Elephants, both African and Asian, have long been considered empathetic animals. They help baby elephants stuck in mud holes, use their trunks to lift other elephants that are injured or dying, and even reportedly reassure distressed individual elephants with a gentle touch of their trunk. But it’s one thing to witness something that looks like consolation, and another to prove that this is what elephants are doing. Now, scientists have shown that Asian elephants do indeed get distressed when they see others in trouble, and they reach out to console them—just as we do when we see someone suffering. Elephants, thus, join a short list of other animals, including great apes, canines, and some birds, that scientists have shown to reassure others.The study “is the first to investigate responses to distress by Asian elephants,” which “is inherently difficult to assess because one has to wait for opportunities to arise spontaneously,” says Shermin de Silva, a behavioral ecologist at the Uda Walawe Elephant Research Project in Sri Lanka. It would not be ethical to intentionally create stressful situations for the animals as a test, she notes—which is why, until now, researchers have had to rely on well-documented but anecdotal observations of wild and captive elephants to back up claims that they reassure each other.Joshua Plotnik, a behavioral ecologist at Mahidol University, Kanchanaburi, in Thailand, and Frans de Waal, a primatologist at Emory University in Atlanta, got around this problem by comparing Asian elephants’ behaviors during times of stress to periods when little upset them. For 1 to 2 weeks every month for nearly a year, Plotnik spent 30 to 180 minutes daily watching and recording 26 captive Asian elephants. The animals ranged in age from 3 to 60 years old and lived within a 30-acre area of Elephant Nature Park in northern Thailand. Most of the elephants, aside from mother-juvenile pairs, were unrelated and did not live in family groups as wild elephants do. Instead, the park’s Mahouts, or keepers, organized them into six groups which they then guided through a daily routine—bathing and feeding them in the morning, and tethering them at night. But during the day, the elephants were left alone to roam and graze at will. 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Other researchers have previously shown that when upset, an elephant flares its ears and erects its tail; it may also trumpet or roar, or make a low rumble to show its distress. When elephants in the park saw another elephant behaving in this manner, the observers typically responded by “adopting the same emotion,” Plotnik says, “just as we do when watching a scary movie together. If an actor is frightened, our hearts race, and we reach for each other’s hands”—a reaction known as “emotional contagion.”For example, in one event recorded on video (above), the female Mae Perm rushes to the side of another adult female, Jokia, who was upset after hearing the roar of a captive bull elephant in another nearby park. Both elephants push their ears forward and raise their tails—but Mae Perm does so only after seeing Jokia’s distress. Mae Perm also makes loud chirps, which are known to be reassuring calls, and then caresses Jokia with her trunk, finally placing it in Jokia’s mouth—an act which “might send a signal, ‘I’m here to help you, not hurt you,’ ” Plotnik says. Jokia, in turn, places her trunk in Mae Perm’s mouth—a gesture which is probably like a hug, the researchers say.Sometimes several elephants were present when one was spooked by something. These bystanders typically reacted the same way, adopting the agitated behavior of the victim, as Plotnik calls the distressed individual, raising their tails, flaring their ears, and sometimes urinating and defecating while chirping. In some cases, they also formed a protective circle around the victim.Plotnik recorded 84 such stressful incidents, noting where each occurred, the time of day, weather, and what other elephants were present—and how these individuals reacted. For a control, he compared these incidents with periods with as many matching variables as possible, but when nothing stressful occurred. The researchers’ subsequent analysis—reported today in PeerJ—showed that the elephants’ emotional contagion and distinctive, reassuring behaviors happened almost exclusively in response to some stressful trigger.Most significantly, the elephants seemed capable of recognizing distress in their fellows, a behavior that may require empathy. “It’s that ability to put yourself emotionally into another’s shoes,” Plotnik says.But proving that is what elephants are doing will take more studies, he and others say, and preferably in wild, not captive, populations. “What is unclear is whether this reassurance primarily benefits the distressed animal, or the responders,” de Silva says.Nevertheless, the study “provides a very interesting first exploration” into the “post-distress behavior of elephants,” says Graeme Shannon, a behavioral ecologist at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, adding that the findings are “intriguing because they parallel what has been observed in captive and wild non-human primates, further underlining the complex cognitive abilities of elephants.”Some think the work may aid conservation efforts. “Any good science that supports the idea that elephants are sentient beings capable of empathy is important,” adds Cynthia Moss, an ethologist and director of the Amboseli Elephant Research Project in Kenya, who has observed “reassurance behaviors” daily among the elephants there for more than 40 years.
What ‘missteps’? PH triathletes aim for SEAG golden sweep Powered by the core of University of the East, the Iron Lady Warriors suffered a straight-set loss to Foton (21-25, 16-25, 17-25) Tuesday night, while the Asset Managers bowed to Generika-Ayala (14-25, 25-23, 15-25, 14-25).Petron will also have Marivic Meneses, Ria Duremdes, Mina Aganon, Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, Remy Palma, Bernadeth Pons and Bang Pineda.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Cayetano dares Lacson, Drilon to take lie-detector test: Wala akong kinita sa SEA Games Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Every 18 seconds someone is diagnosed with HIV BSP survey: PH banks see bright horizon amid dark global recession clouds “Yes, we are strong on paper. We [have a] talented lineup. But it’s up to us to work together and be cohesive on the court,” said Tunay, who is one of the Blaze Spikers’ star players.She will have to form one cohesive unit with fellow big names Mika Reyes, Ces Molina, Cherry Rondina and Rhea Dimaculangan, to name a few.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutPetron debuts Thursday against F2 Logistics in the main game at 7 p.m. at FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan.Cignal and Sta. Lucia open the triple-header at 3 p.m., while opening-day losers Cherrylume and Cocolife collide at 5 p.m. Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ MOST READ Palace: Duterte to hear out security execs on alleged China control of NGCP Carmela Tunay of Petron goes for a kill against Mylene Paat (L) and May Macatuno of Cignal. INQUIRER PHOTO/ Sherwin VardeleonCarmela Tunay admits that her team Petron has become a “super team” in the Philippine Superliga All Filipino Conference—but only on paper.The highly popular open spiker said the task of translating their strong lineup on the court depended on the players themselves.ADVERTISEMENT BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast LATEST STORIES 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 View comments
SHARE SHARE EMAIL November 26, 2017 SHARE sport COMMENT COMMENTS Published on India clinched 10 medals, including two golds, at the BWF Para-Badminton World Championships here today.India’s Parul Parmar defeated Thailand’s Wannaphatdee Kamtam 21-8 21-17 in the finals of the women’s singles Standing Lower (SL3) to clinch the gold medal.Parmar also combined with Japan’s Akiko Sugino to win the gold in the women’s doubles (SL 3-4) after beating Chinese pair of Cheng Hefang and MA Huihui 21-16 21-19 in the summit clash.Tarun Dhillon and Manoj Sarkar won the silver in the men’s singles (SL 4) and (SL 3) respectively.Results:Terminology – SL (Standing Lower); SU (Standing Upper); SS (Short Stature)Gold: Parul Parmar (WS SL 3)Gold: Parul Parmar with Japan’s Akiko Sugino (WD SL 3-4)Silver: Tarun Dhillon (MS SL 4)Silver: Manoj Sarkar (MS SL 3)Bronze: Raj Kumar/Rakesh Pandey (MD SU 5)Bronze: Raja Magotra/Ruhi Satish Shingade (XD SS 6)Bronze: Umesh Vikram Kumar with Thailand’s Chawarat K (MD SL 3-4)Bronze: Raja Magotra/ Mark Joseph Dharmai (MD SS 6)Bronze: Manasi Joshi (WS SL 3)Bronze: Pramod Bhagat (MS SL 3).
From Lalit K JhaWashington, Mar 14 (PTI) Citing the example of working with India and China to reach the Paris climate change agreement, US President Barack Obama has called for mobilising the world to meet shared challenges like the threat posed by ISIS.”Were going to have to keep mobilising the world to meet shared challenges. And that includes strengthening international rules and norms that undergird peace and security,” Obama said yesterday in his address to the Chief of Missions Conference at the State Department.”Were going to have to continue to ensure that Iran fully meets its commitments under the nuclear deal; to make sure that were enforcing effective sanctions on North Korea; that, at our upcoming summit here in Washington, were continuing to increase nuclear security,” he said.Obama said he believes that a broader vision of American strength that harnesses all elements of national power, including diplomacy, is what is going to “make a difference in this complicated age that we live in”.”Thats how we build a global coalition to deal with Iran — strong sanctions plus diplomacy. And under the nuclear deal, Iran will not get its hands on a nuclear weapon,” he asserted.”Thats how we work with countries like China and India and nearly 200 nations to reach the Paris agreement, the most ambitious global agreement ever to fight climate change,” said the US President.Obama said he plans to do everything that he can with every minute that he has left in the Presidents office to keep making progress and make the world safer, more prosperous, and to deal with the enormous challenges that so many people are burdened with around the world.advertisement”First and foremost, weve got to continue to keep our nation safe, especially from the threat of terrorism,” he said.”Were going to have to continue to strengthen our global coalition against ISIL, whether its the air campaign, support for local partners, cutting off ISIL financing, preventing the flow of foreign terrorist fighters, working with partners to counter ISILs bankrupt, nihilistic ideology,” the US President said.”On climate change, we have to ensure that nations meet their Paris commitments, that the United States does so as well, and that we invest in new clean energy solutions, and help developing countries deal with climate change and ensuring that they do not feel that they have to choose between uplifting their people economically and preserving the planet,” he said.In the Asia Pacific, he said, the US would have to move ahead with its re-balance, strengthening alliances, partnering with ASEAN, supporting the transition in Myanmar, moving ahead with TPP and ensuring security and stability in places like the South China Sea. PTI LKJ ASK MRJ
Ambitious English county Somerset snapped up formidable Sri Lankan batsman Mahela Jayawardede on Thursday to partner explosive West Indian opener Chris Gayle for the domestic Twenty20 season.Jayawardene, the 38-year-old former Test skipper, has scored 1,493 runs in 55 Twenty20 internationals and will feature in 12 of 14 domestic matches for the English county.”To have the top two run-scorers in the history of the World T20 walking out into the middle at Taunton is something that I hope the members and supporters will be looking forward to,” Somerset director of cricket Matt Maynard said in a statement.Gayle, 36, who will play in the World Twenty20 semi-final against India later on Thursday, said in January, he would return for six Somerset matches this year after scoring 328 runs in three appearances for them last term.Somerset failed to make the knockout stages of last year’s NatWest T20 Blast, which was won by Lancashire Lightning.
Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has admitted his “surprise” that Juventus elected to pay €100 million (£89m/$116m) to sign Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid.The deal has been the most notable of the summer to date, with the Portuguese icon leaving the Bernabeu after nine years in the Spanish capital, where he broke a raft of records and wrote himself into club legend by scoring a rate of greater than a goal a game.Although Juventus have praised the physical state of the 33-year-old, the German director believes they received the thin end of the deal to sign the five-time Ballon d’Or winner. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! “We at Bayern Munich would not invest so much money in a 33-year-old,” he told TZ. “Marketing has certainly played a big role in this transfer.“It’s the deal that’s received most attention so far. And I understand that. This is about a player who has won everything with Real in the past few years. He has been voted the best player in the world five times, so all in all he is a great footballer.“Nevertheless, I was surprised that Andrea Agnelli finally decided to do business.”Rummenigge understands, however, why the deal was concluded.“In Italy, Agnelli has earned great acclaim – from Juve’s point of view the transfer makes sense, after all, Italian football had recently lost some ground. With this big deal, the Italians are now hoping that they will once again come into the focus of world football,” he said.Meanwhile, he does not think it was possible that another Bundesliga club might have signed the European champion and has warned his German compatriots over complacency.“Only Bayern could have,” he said, when asked about Ronaldo in Germany. “It’s noticeable that the top stars are not flocking to Germany in droves. And then only to Bayern. “We have to be careful in the Bundesliga because we’re starting to stew in a juice of satisfaction. A few years ago, we were second in the UEFA ranking, now we’re fourth. If this trend continues, we’ll lose Champions League places in the not too distant future. And then the howling will start, but the child will already be in the well.”Bayern’s Bundesliga defence starts on August 24 with a home match against Hoffenheim.
Chennai, July 6 (PTI) Highlights from the Southern regionat 2105 hrs.MDS2 LAW-BETTING-HEGDEHyderabad: Supporting the recommendations of the LawCommission on allowing gambling and betting in sports,retired Supreme Court judge N Santosh Hegde favours legalisingprostitution by saying vices cannot be abolished by the State.MDS4 TN-ACTOR-TOBACCO-GOVTChennai: With a poster showing actor Vijay with acigarette kicking up a storm, the Tamil Nadu governmentdirects the actor who is also producer and director of theSarkar to withdraw the poster.MES8 KA-SEIZUREBengaluru:A total of 2.8 kg of gold ornaments, worthabout Rs 85 lakh, found in a dustbin inside a toilet at theKempegowda international airport is seized by the Customsauthorities, say officials.MES11 TN-AMMUNITION-EXPERTRameswaram (TN): For the second time this week, an expertfrom the Petroleum and Explosives Organisation examines theexplosives unearthed along with arms near here and collectssamples of the substances for testing.MES13 VP-PD-PROJECTSPuducherry: Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu says if theCentre and States work together by forgetting all differencesthey can do wonders in developmental activities and inpromoting the welfare of the people. PTINVGNVGNVG
Share on LinkedIn 1) It wasn’t always widely known, but Buzzcocks’ brilliant Pete Shelley, who died this past week, wrote the music for the iconic Channel 4 Tour de France theme, itself taken from within 1984 track Give It To Me. Another sad passing this week was Paul Sherwen. It’s well worth a listen to the Cycling Podcast’s tribute, while Sherwen recalls how he met his broadcasting partner Phil Liggett.2) The Miami Miracle! Obviously there’s already a Tecmo Super Bowl version out there. Gronk’s still stumbling. More laterals: here’s the Music City Miracle, which always features highly among some of the NFL’s most famous. There are more in college football, including … Miami (!) v Duke, Trinity v Millsaps and the classic: Cal v Stanford. Watch out for that band! More on The Play.3) Jimmy Gressier successfully defended his European U23 Cross Country title last weekend. He didn’t quite nail the finish, mind. Share on WhatsApp … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay. Whether we are up close or further away, the Guardian brings our readers a global perspective on the most critical issues of our lifetimes – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. We believe complex stories need context in order for us to truly understand them. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. 4) Out this Friday: Sunderland ‘Til I Die. Here’s a look at the trailer. And it feels the perfect time to look back at another Wearside documentary: Premier Passions (parts one, two, three, four and five), plus the Premier Pressures followup. Oh, and here’s Peterborough’s Ivan Toney showing speed of thought to score from way downtown in the 4-4 FA Cup draw with Bradford that Posh eventually won on penalties. Jimmy Gressier retains Euro U-23 Cross Country title but faceplants on finish line – video Reuse this content Sport Share on Messenger Anastasia Dobromyslova: ‘Being a girl, I’ve had to fight for my spot in darts’ Support The Guardian Share on Pinterest features Since you’re here… 5) It’s the most wonderful time of the year – darts is back at the Ally Pally. This year, two female players are in the main draw: Lisa Ashton, seen nailing a two-bull finish here, and Anastasia Dobromyslova. The Russian took part in 2009, the same year she beat Vincent van der Voort at the Grand Slam of Darts. The pair met in the BDO women’s final in January, Ashton winning 3-1.6) To the NHL and St Louis Blues scoring one in off the ref (disallowed, alas). Here are the 2018 season’s slickest slo-mo deflections and up in Northern Michigan: goalie goal!Our favourite from last week’s blog1) Dean Jones and his very bad idea. Starring Curtly Ambrose and his wristband.Spotters’ badges: Voodoo22Guardian YouTube football channelDo subscribe if you fancy.Guardian YouTube sport channelDo subscribe if you fancy. Play Video Read more Share on Twitter Share on Facebook YouTube archive 0:31 Share via Email US sports Topics
Before the European Under-21 Championship began, Poland’s Krystian Bielik admitted he faced an uncertain future at club level.”There is one thing I can say for sure,” the versatile centre-back added, “I will definitely not go back to Arsenal’s Under-23 team.”At this stage, it wouldn’t make any sense.” Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? It would be even more ridiculous now.The defender has been the key player in a Poland team that has taken the Under-21 Euros completely by surprise.A side that only qualified through the play-offs have now won their first two games in Group A, following up Sunday’s impressive defeat of Belgium with a stunning 1-0 victory over hosts Italy on Wednesday night.What’s more, a player that former Arsenal Under-23s team-mate Cohen Bramall only last week told Goal was “scary” good, has scored in both games.His winner against the Azzurrini was as shocking as it was crucial, coming as it did just five minutes before the end of a first half that the hosts had utterly dominated.With Fiorentina’s Federico Chiesa again in scintillating form on the left flank, Italy tore into Poland right from the first whistle.However, unlike the 3-1 win over Spain, this time the in-demand winger couldn’t provide a cutting edge.Nor could anyone else, for that matter.Patrick Cutrone – selected to lead the line ahead of Moise Kean – toiled ineffectively up front, Lorenzo Pellegrini and Rolando Mandragora squandered wonderful opportunities to score, while Riccardo Orsolini endured his own personal nightmare.Chosen ahead of Nicolo Zaniolo on the right-hand side, the Bologna winger saw a fine goal ruled out by VAR for offside and ended up being forced off at the break through injury.However, not before playing an indirect but crucial part in Bielik’s winner.Dawid Kownacki’s free-kick – awarded after a needless challenge from Nicolo Barella on the edge of the area – struck Orsolini in the nether regions, deflecting the ball into the path of Bielik, who found the bottom corner of the net with a first-time half-volley that Alex Meret disappointingly failed to keep out with his right hand.It was, thus, a painful evening for Orsolini and Italy, in every sense.With only the group winners guaranteed a place in the semi-finals, the hosts now need to beat Belgium and hope Spain do them a favour against Poland, who boast a 100 per cent record.And that’s a truly frightening position for the Azzurrini to find themselves in, given the ‘scary’ form of both Bielik and the table-topping Poles.
Kolkata: Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee has urged party leaders on Friday to identify those who had been and are still staying in contact with BJP and at the same time, said those who have joined the saffron party will not be allowed to rejoin Trinamool.She told party leaders not to worry and assured that the party will make a comeback in the 2021 Assembly polls. Banerjee met the leaders of Jhargram and Bankura at Trinamool Bhavan on Friday afternoon. Subrata Bakshi, state Trinamool president and Suvendu Adhikari, state Transport minister, also attended the meeting. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellers”Intensify vigil and identify those who are keeping contact with BJP. Also find out those who had supported BJP in the recently concluded general election. Those who have joined BJP will not be allowed to rejoin the party,” she asserted. Banerjee said BJP has distorted her statement on the ‘cut money’ debacle. “BJP has distorted my view on cut money. I did not say it the way it is being circulated by BJP,” she maintained. She reiterated that despite her requests, some leaders did not develop contact with the people and the party had to pay a price for their attitude in the Lok Sabha election. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja”I told you repeatedly to build contact with people. But you did not and the party is paying a price for it,” she said and once again instructed the leaders to intensify their contact with people. She also stated that the leaders should bury their hatchets and work together to make the party regain its position. She urged Arup Chakraborty, Arup Khan and Shampa Daripa of Bankura to increase their contact with people. Rajib Ghosal, Trinamool Youth Congress president of Bankura, has been sidelined and a new president will be elected. She also asked Shyamapada Mukherjee, former minister from Bankura, to keep in touch with Daripa. In Jhargram, she asked Birbaha Soren to get in touch with Uma Soren for the party’s programmes. The Trinamool supremo said in both Jhargram and Bankura, the state government has carried out massive development. Several schemes have been initiated for SC and ST people. “But despite that, we have failed to win the election. We lacked in informing the people about the schemes. The leaders lacked in developing contact with the people as well,” she said. It may be recalled that both in Jhargram and Bankura, Trinamool Congress candidates had lost to their BJP rivals. Trinamool had fielded Subrata Mukherjee in Bankura, who lost by a huge margin. Similarly, Birbaha Soren was defeated by the BJP candidate as well. Banerjee is visibly disturbed over the poll results and held a marathon meeting with the district leaders on Friday, to analyse the poll debacle in Bankura and Jhargram.
JAKARTA, Indonesia — Instagram has removed an account that published comic strips depicting the struggles of gay Muslims in Indonesia following a frenzy of moral outrage online in the world’s biggest Muslim nation.The Ministry of Communications said Wednesday the account under the username Alpatuni was pornographic and it was closed after the communications minister wrote a warning letter to Instagram.The comics depicted gay characters facing discrimination and abuse, which has become increasingly common in Indonesia since late 2015 when conservative politicians and religious leaders began a campaign of portraying lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people as a threat to the nation.An account of the same name on Facebook, which owns Instagram, was also no longer accessible.The Associated Press
By Josh BabbRabat – Kalam’s announcement came as protests by the Muslim Rohingya population who fled persecution in Myanmar broke out across refugee camps in Bangladesh. The protestors said they feared more violence if they were repatriated to Myanmar. Bangladesh had originally brokered a deal with Myanmar to begin returning 2,260 Rohingya refugees from nearly 300 families on Thursday. The UN refugee agency and human rights groups criticized the move to begin repatriation, saying Bangladesh can not force the Rohingya back against their will. “The plan to begin returning the Rohingya to Myanmar comes just days after UN investigators warned of an ‘ongoing genocide’ against the Muslim minority.” The terms of the repatriation deal have yet to be made public.Read Also: Aung San Suu Kyi to be Stripped of Seventh Award over Rohingya ViolenceBeginning in August 2017 the Rohingya population in Myanmar experienced army-led violence in response to a series of attacks by Rohingya rebels on military compounds. The Myanmar military’s campaign killed more than 6,700 people and forced nearly 700,000 to flee into neighboring Bangladesh. The UN Human Rights Commission stated that there were credible reports of “massacres, murders and mass rapes,” as hundreds of Rohingya villages burned across the Myanmar countryside. The sheer scale of the crimes led many nations and human rights organizations to accuse Myanmar’s government of ethnic cleansing and genocide. Aung San Suu Kyi, the de facto leader of Myanmar’s civilian government and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, has been widely criticized for failing to condemn or even acknowledge the atrocities directed against the Rohingya at the hands of Myanmar’s armed forces. In a stunning rebuke Amnesty International revoked Aung San Suu Kyi’s Ambassador of Conscience award, given to her in 2012, two years after her release from a years long period of house arrest for her efforts to promote democratic reforms in Myanmar. Writing in the Washington Post, Kumi Naidoo, the secretary general of Amnesty said, “Although her party does not control the military, Aung San Suu Kyi has allowed herself and her government to become a shield for military abuses.”Aung San Suu Kyi faced further criticism this week when she attended the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Singapore. US Vice President Mike Pence repeatedly pressed her to protect the Rohingya, “This is a tragedy that has touched the hearts of millions of Americans.” Pence also told her Americans believe in a “free and independent press,” saying Myanmar’s jailing of two Reuters journalists last December who had been covering the massacre of the Rohingya was “deeply troubling.” Myanmar is a Buddhist-majority country and many do not accept the Rohingya as true members of Myanmar society, instead viewing them as “Bengalis” who immigrated illegally from nearby Bangladesh. Nearly all Rohingya have been denied citizenship in Myanmar since a 1982 law went into effect.
The CPA said that the proposed amendments have far reaching implications both in terms of preserving democratic values and achieving post-war reconciliation. The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) is deeply perturbed by recent media reports that the government is planning on amending several provisions of the Thirteenth Amendment to the constitution.A statement by the CPA said that over the past several weeks there were contradictory statements made by senior MPs of the United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) as to whether discussions are under way to amend the constitution. “As such it is highly disconcerting that the proposed amendment is a result of a process that was shrouded in secrecy and only limited to some constituent elements of the UPFA government. CPA has critiqued the lack of transparency and public participation in the law making process – the process that formulates constitutional amendments and broad sweeping legislation –since its inception. However despite promises– including the proposals of the present government in terms of its ‘National Human Rights Action Plan’ – successive governments have exploited these deficiencies in the law making process and have not demonstrated any willingness to remedy these failings,” the CPA said. The CPA says the incumbent government has repeatedly adopted the process of classifying constitutional amendments as ‘urgent bills’ and thereby further limited the existing space for public debate and judicial scrutiny. Considering the serious and irreversible impact the present amendment would have on the post-war reconciliation process. CPA strongly urges the government that in the event they do propose legislation amending the Thirteenth Amendment to the constitution, they desist from adopting the proposed urgent bill procedure.CPA has repeatedly critiqued the Thirteenth Amendment as being inadequate in devolving power to the Provinces. The Thirteenth Amendment is replete with provisions which weigh the balance of power in favour of the centre. Considering the weaknesses of the Thirteenth Amendment, all subsequent power sharing proposals – from the Mangala Moonesinghe Committee proposals to the Majority Report of the All Party Representatives Committee – in initiatives under successive governments, have reiterated the need to move beyond the provisions of the Thirteenth Amendment. CPA further states that such a unilateral act would amount to a violation of specific undertakings of the present government to the international community that it would work to formulate a political solution acceptable to all communities, and specifically to the undertakings given to the government of India that any future political solution would go beyond the framework of the Thirteenth Amendment. Regardless of these statements of intent, the government has demonstrated no credible commitment to negotiating a post-war power-sharing settlement.Therefore CPA strongly urges the government to not proceed with the proposed constitutional amendment and to recommence an inclusive dialogue with a view to developing a consensus amongst all major stakeholders on a political solution acceptable to all communities. (Colombo Gazette)
MONTREAL — Canadian National Railway Co. is laying off some non-unionized workers, less than three weeks after the company reported the highest quarterly revenues in its 99-year history.A spokesman said no locomotive crews or front-line employees were affected, but held off on explaining what prompted the move.CN Rail declined to say how many consultants, contractors and managers face dismissal, saying that a “small percentage” of non-unionized workers were let go.Affected management employees were notified last Friday. The Teamsters Canada union confirmed it had not been informed of any layoffs for its members.The Montreal-based railway earned a net income of $1.13 billion in the quarter ended Sept. 30, an 18 per cent year-over-year increase, the Montreal-based company reported last month. Revenues ramped up to $3.69 billion.The windfall came partly as a result of $48 million in land sales and higher pricing for coal, lumber and petroleum and chemicals amidst an economy firing on all cylinders.Companies in this story: (TSX:CNR)
“He will develop a cohesive and forward-looking policy approach among all external actors,” Mr. Annan said in a letter to the Security Council, offering his good offices to the countries of the region in the light of ongoing peace talks between the Ugandan Government and the LRA. The Council welcomed these talks last month. Mr. Annan noted that the LRA insurgency had caused the death and abduction of thousands of civilians, displaced more than 1.5 million people in northern Uganda, and severely disrupted humanitarian operations in southern Sudan. “Its presence and activities in the north-eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) also represent a serious security threat for the civilian population and the region,” he wrote. Mr. Chissano, as Special Envoy for the LRA-affected areas, will seek a solution that addresses the root causes of the conflict and will liaise with the International Criminal Court (ICC), where LRA leader Joseph Kony and four other senior figures have been indicted for war crimes. Ugandan Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa told the UN General Assembly’s annual gathering of world leaders in September that his country has offered an amnesty to the LRA leadership because it believes this is the best way to peacefully end the conflict. In his letter, Mr. Annan cited Security Council resolutions early this year, which strongly condemned the activities of the LRA both in southern Sudan and in the Great Lakes region of Africa, and asked the Secretary-General to recommend more effective ways for the UN to address the problem of the LRA in the region.
Dani Elgadi knows the fear and shame of bullies making you their target. The Brock men’s basketball player wasn’t always 6’7”. In fact, he was the shortest kid in his Grade 5 class. He was shy, quiet and non-confrontational.And, he was bullied.Elgadi shared his story with 800 elementary students from 20 local schools during the Badgers vs. Bullying event held at Brock University Thursday, Oct. 22.He recalled how two older boys bullied him on a few occasions as he walked home from schools.But, it wasn’t the bullies who made the biggest impression on him. It was the strangers who stepped in and made it stop.You can ask for help. Whatever you can’t handle alone, you have people who can help you.“These were bystanders who saw something, knew it was wrong and they did something,” he said.After that, Elgadi decided to ask for help from his older brothers, who from then on walked home with him.He urged the students to reach out if they are being bullied.“You can ask for help. Whatever you can’t handle alone, you have people who can help you,” he said.That’s the message head coach Charles Kissi also gave the students.He told them about a time when he was too scared to ask for help – he ended up walking for four hours in the blistering cold until he couldn’t take it anymore and asked a cab driver for a ride. The driver didn’t make him pay the fare. It taught Kissi that people will help when you ask.The students also heard from Brock bullying expert Associate Professor Tony Volk and basketball player Johneil Simpson before watching the Badgers take the court against the University of Victoria Vikes. Brock won 99-69.This was the inaugural Badgers vs. Bullying event, which quickly reached its maximum capacity of 800 students. Another 2,000 students from dozens of additional schools had to be turned away for this year, but the students will all be given free tickets to a future Brock Badgers men’s basketball home game. Plans to host next year’s social awareness event at a bigger venue are already being considered.
http://jrnl.ie/3359125 17,365 Views RANK-AND-FILE gardaí have called on the Commissioner to change regulations to allow them to wear a beard on duty.It’s the final day of the Garda Representative Association (GRA) and having dealt with some rather more serious issues like assaults, terrorism and GSOC investigations this week, a lighter motion on the right to facial hair was proposed by Kildare rep John-Joe O’Connell.O’Connell read from the garda code, which states sideburns must be neatly trimmed and can not extend past the lower part of the exterior ear opening.“A moustache can be worn and kept tight and neatly trimmed. No portion will extend below the corners of the mouth or fall below a line parallel with the lower lip. Otherwise the face must be clean-shaven,” he continued.The presence of beards on men in society is not as unusual a sight as it might have been in times gone by.O’Connell said some members do not mind having to shave every day before going to work, but for some, it is “irritating to their skin, annoying and uncomfortable”.Back in 2001, the association raised this issue in relation to garda whistleblower John Wilson, who was confined to indoor duties for breaching regulations by letting his facial hair grow. Wilson said at the time that he was suffering from a skin condition which was eased by growing a beard. The garda code was later changed to include an exemption from this rule for members who cannot shave for medical reasons.“It’s a fact of life men grow hair on their faces,” O’Connell said. He asked garda delegates to support the motion: “I promise it will grow on you.”Brendan Stokes, of Carbury station in Kildare, seconded the motion:“It’s not like we want to reunite the Dubliners and start growing beards all over the place,” he said.Sligo-Leitrim’s Jack Kelleher also spoke in favour of the motion.It is a human right I think to allow us be natural. Beards can reduce skin cancer…help reduce asthma and allergies. They help you keep young looking…They reduce infections and you end up with blemish- free skin and a beard is a natural moisturiser.“All jokes aside, I think this is an old law and should be done away with. If anyone wants to wear a tidy beard, it should be allowed. It does no harm,” he said. The motion was passed by the conference.When asked about the motion yesterday Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan said changing the rules to allow officers to grow beards was not high on her list of priorities.Poll: Should uniformed gardaí be allowed have beards?> Police in other jurisdictions are permitted to wear a beard on duty. Image: Nick Ansell/PA Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 53 Comments Wednesday 26 Apr 2017, 12:50 PM Police in other jurisdictions are permitted to wear a beard on duty. By Michelle Hennessy Short URL Share11 Tweet Email2 ‘It’ll grow on you’: Gardaí demand the right to wear a beard on duty “It’s not like we want to reunite the Dubliners and start growing beards all over the place.” Image: Nick Ansell/PA Apr 26th 2017, 12:50 PM
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Souvlaki, Greece’s traditional fast food that is popular among Greeks and tourists alike, will soon incur a 10-15 per cent price increase, which could lift its cost up to 3 euros per pitta-wrapped souvlaki, from 1 May, 2019.The reason for this sudden hike, according to a statement by the Association of Hellenic Meat Processing Industries (SEBEK), is due to the significant rise in the international pork price by 30-32 per cent since the end of February – a cost which the meat industries and souvlaki shop owners can no longer absorb.“Statistically, every couple of years there is a simultaneous emergence of several factors leading to a pork price increase. Usually the consequences are temporary, and hikes are absorbed by the manufacturing industry and the distribution chain. In this case it is taking longer, and part of the price increase will reach the final consumer,” SEBEK warned.The Athens Professional Chamber called for talks to ease the impact on consumers, asking for a reduction of taxes.Nevertheless, there can be no recommendation, let alone imposition, of a horizontal price hike by the union of souvlaki shop owners that is set to be formed, as that would constitute a direct violation of competition law.READ MORE: Can you get more inventive than the Tsitsipas’ souvlaki?“We want to ensure that the quality of the meat is good, so we are now in the process of reviewing some necessary increases, in order to be able to protect our product,” said Mr Giorgos Polyzos, representative of the Association, who also confirmed that all the street food, souvlaki shops selling the product are also expected to implement the increase.What do Greek Australians think?Greek Australians appear to be 100 per cent supportive of fellow Greeks and are not at all concerned about the slight price increase.“I absolutely love the quality of souvlakia in Greece and I would much rather pay a little extra and enjoy them without having to force the people who make them to cut their margin. We work hard and are lucky enough to be in a position to holiday in gorgeous Greece, and if paying a little extra means helping Greek families make a living, then I don’t see any issue with this,” says Greek Australian executive pastry chef George Diakomichalis, who organises tourist groupsfrom Australia to Greece during the summer months.“I think that in comparison to Australian prices ($4.71) it’s a relatively cheap meal, so I have no objection. I think food prices will always follow financial trends anywhere, so Greece is no different on that score. I would rather eat first grade takeaway than second grade any day,” says Australian travel writer Paul Hellander who also visits Greece a few times throughout the year.READ MORE: Sydney’s favourite souvlaki joint comes to Melbourne“From a tourist perspective, 3 euros is still on the cheap side for food, especially of this quality. In Australia you pay $10 plus for a sandwich so I don’t personally see an issue. My only concern is that the Greek citizens with their low wages will suffer with increases in prices more than us visitors or tourists. I guess you can’t compromise on quality either, so if demand for pork is pushing prices up, then we all need to accept that and move on from there,” says government accounting executive Harry Argyriou who also visits Greece on a regular basis.“I don’t mind paying extra because souvlaki in Greece is still much tastier than here and I don’t feel anyone out there would like to see the quality compromised,” adds immigration agent Zoi Papafilopoulou.
Spain boss Fernando Hierro is feeling confident over his side’s chances against Russia in their knockout match today due to the number of players in the squad that are capable of making the “difference”The 2010 champions have overcome a controversial start, when head coach Julen Lopetegui was dismissed two days before their opening match, to finish top of Group B following tricky encounters against Portugal, Iran and Morrocco.Next up for Spain is a last of 16 tie against Russia and the pressure will on for La Roja with many expecting them to overcome the hosts and reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup, despite the fact that they have generally struggled in the group stages against lesser sides.But Hierro is feeling optimistic and insists that his players are in good shape for today’s match.“We have players that any one of them at any moment can make a difference,” said the 50-year-old, as stated on The National.“We have a lot of faith, that’s most important. The players have worked very well. My players are very fit not only physically but mentally.“We want to be positive and believe everything is going to work out well. We shouldn’t fear the unknown. Nobody knows the unknown. We have trust in our group and in our players.Quiz: How much do you know about David Villa? Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Time to test your knowledge about Spanish legendary forward David Villa.“All will be settled on details. Tomorrow we’re starting a new tournament. We have to be positive, have faith in ourselves and believe things are going to turn out well. And we all are positive that it will.”Spain will be reliant on veteran players like Andres Iniesta, David Silva and Gerard Pique.The trio have extensive experience playing in major tournaments at both club and international level and they were a part of the World Cup-winning squad from 2010.“We know a football match is decided on the pitch,” Hierro said.“My lads are used to playing in big stadiums, with a lot pressure, playing away from home. So we have clearly in mind that whatever’s going to be achieved will be achieved on the pitch.“It’s all about tomorrow, what happens at 5pm. The rest is irrelevant. We know we’re going to play against the hosts. They’re going to be supported by the people, watching in the stands and on television. But we’re also going to have 11 million Spaniards no less watching us on television. And we want to do as best we can.”Spain will take on Russia at the Luzhniki Stadium at 16:00 (GMT +2) today.