The upcoming Princess Grace Awards Gala on October 8th will mark a milestone in the Foundation’s history, returning to Los Angeles for the first time in nearly three decades.Gala Co-Chairs, Honorary Consul of Monaco in Los Angeles Dick Wolf and his wife Noelle and Chairman/CEO of The Walt Disney Company, Bob Iger and his wife Willow Bay will be joined by President/Chief Executive of Dior Couture, Sidney Toledano and his wife Katia to kick off a three-year partnership with the iconic design house, who will serve as the sole presenting sponsor for upcoming Awards Galas in Los Angeles, Monaco and New York.Dior will play a vital role in taking guests on a three-year journey following Grace Kelly’s life as an artist – from Hollywood to Monaco (as the Gala will be held in Beverly Hills and Monte Carlo in 2014 and 2015 respectively) and then back to NYC in 2016 where Dior Haute Couture will help celebrate the 34th anniversary of the Princess Grace Foundation-USA.Held in the presence of Their Serene Highnesses, The Prince and The Princess of Monaco, the 2014 Awards Gala will recognize this year’s Princess Grace Award winners and Prince Rainier III Honoree.“It is our pleasure to welcome Dior Haute Couture into our artistic family,” Toby Boshak, Executive Director of the Princess Grace Foundation-USA said. “We are delighted to be working with the House of Dior whose long-standing relationship with the Princely Family of Monaco is celebrated by this new collaboration. Dior’s dedication to artistic excellence parallels our own mission of supporting emerging talent, and we look forward to a spirited and inspiring partnership.”Sidney Toledano said, “Our partnership with the Princess Grace Foundation-USA is deeply rooted in history and mutual admiration between the Princely family of Monaco and the House of Dior. We both share the same pursuit of artistic excellence and are honored to be a part of recognizing the artistry of Princess Grace Award winners in theater, dance, and film.”In addition to the co-chairs, the host committee dedicating their leadership support includes: Mikhail Baryshnikov, Brad & Colleen Bell, Linda & Jerry Bruckheimer, Ron Burkle, Tina & Rick Caruso, Jennifer Grant, Barbara Grant Jaynes & David Jaynes, Sherry Lansing & William Friedkin, Marc & Jane Nathanson, Mandy Patinkin, Cecilia Peck-Voll & Daniel Voll, Lisa & Richard Plepler, Tawny & Jerry Sanders, Eric & Wendy Schmidt, Barbara Sinatra, Cicely Tyson, Andrea & John Van de Kamp, Denzel & Pauletta Washington and Reese Witherspoon & Jim Toth.Find out more here.Source:PR Newswire
In a unanimously adopted resolution, the 15-member body also declared its readiness to terminate the mandate earlier if the International Independent Investigation Commission (IIIC) reports that it has completed its work.The Commission – whose mandate was set to expire on 15 June – is headed by Daniel Bellemare, a Canadian prosecutor who told the Council in April that the body needs more time to complete its investigations. In his most recent report Mr. Bellemare said a criminal or terrorist network is responsible for the 2005 car bombing in downtown Beirut that killed Mr. Hariri and 22 others.The Commission is currently probing the links between members of the network and others outside the group, and what role the network has played in Lebanon’s other recent political killings.Those accused of Mr. Hariri’s murder will be tried by the United Nations-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon which is currently in its start-up phase. 2 June 2008The Security Council today extended through the rest of this year the mandate of the independent probe into the February 2005 assassination of the former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri and a series of other recent killings in Lebanon.
“These essential and life-saving supplies will help thousands of children and women in desperate need across South Sudan,” said Dermot Carty, UNICEF Deputy Director of Emergency Programmes. Mr. Carty, usually based in Geneva, will be in South Sudan for a month, supporting UNICEF’s work to assist communities affected by the current crisis, which has taken a heavy toll on civilians since it began in mid-December. Fighting between pro- and anti-Government forces have uprooted well over half a million people across the world’s youngest nation, with some of them having sought refuge in neighbouring countries. Nearly 70,000 of those displaced within the country are sheltering at the bases of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). Almost 80 per cent of those at the UN protection sites are women and children.The plane that arrived today brought treatments for malaria, pneumonia, diarrhoea and malnutrition, as well as nutrients, vitamins, antibiotics and painkillers for children. The supplies also include midwifery and obstetric surgery kits, equipment that will help to deliver clean water and sanitation, and tents, tarpaulins and blankets. The next plane is expected to arrive on Thursday, bringing in more medical supplies and water and sanitation equipment.“Children are dying from malnutrition and diseases that can be prevented in times of peace – such as measles and malaria,” said Mr. Carty. “Our most urgent plea now is for all parties in the conflict to allow these humanitarian supplies to be transported and distributed safely to the children who have no part in this conflict. “Each day we lose, we fail the children of South Sudan,” he added. UNICEF said that over 200,000 have been reached with some form of assistance. However, in areas where fighting has been heavy, humanitarian assistance is sporadic as access is limited.“The biggest challenge at the moment is to be able to get access to those who are in need for security reasons,” Mr. Carty stated. “To adapt to that, we are trying to be nimble and flexible. We are ready to jump through windows of opportunity when they appear.”Meanwhile, UNMISS reported that it has conducted 49 police and 112 military patrols in the past 24 hours, including in Juba, Bentiu in Unity state and in Malakal in Upper Nile state.In Malakal, the Mission has received reports that the national forces – the Sudan People’s Liberation Army – appears to be in control of the town, after heavy fighting between the SPLA and anti-Government forces yesterday.UNMISS reported continued small-scale fighting in the town today. It is also very concerned about the continued reports of extra-judicial killings, and intends to investigate these reports.To the south, in Unity state, the Mission has received reports of rising tensions in the town of Leer, as the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) is reported to be advancing toward the town. In Jonglei state, UNMISS reported that the situation is calm in the vicinity of its compound in Bor, where some 1,000 UN troops and police are currently protecting 10,000 civilians sheltering there.
Warning of an urgent humanitarian situation in the eastern part of Syria’s Aleppo city, the United Nations humanitarian chief today reiterated a call for a cessation of violence, medical evacuation of hundreds of patients in critical conditions, as well as safe, full, regular and unimpeded humanitarian access.“I am deeply alarmed by the ferocious pummeling of eastern Aleppo city where an estimated 275,000 people are besieged,” the Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O’Brien, said in a statement issued by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which he heads.The clock is ticking. Stop the carnage now.“Indiscriminate bombing and shelling continues in a shocking and unrelenting manner, killing and maiming civilians, subjecting them to a level of savagery that no human should have to endure,” added Mr. O’Brien, who is also the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs.He expressed concern that the health care system in eastern Aleppo is “all but obliterated” with medical facilities being hit one by one. He said he received reports of attacks on at least three hospitals, including a pediatric one providing services to thousands of sick and injured children.“The health system is on the verge of total collapse with patients being turned away and no medicines available to treat even the most common ailments,” he warned. With clean water and food in very short supply, the number of people requiring urgent medical evacuations is likely to rise dramatically in the coming days, he said. Mr. O’Brien went on to highlight that with nowhere to hide, women, children and men in eastern Aleppo are terrified as they are subjected to bunker buster bombs, barrel bombs, mortar rounds and artillery shelling. Those who use such weapons in densely populated areas know that they will cause immense harm and suffering to civilians, yet they persist, he added. He once again demanded that the parties and those who support them immediately cease all actions that can result in loss of civilian life or damage to essential civilian infrastructure; establish a medical evacuation system for eastern Aleppo so that the hundreds of critical cases can receive proper medical care; and ensure safe, full, regular and unimpeded humanitarian access as obliged under international humanitarian law. “We are in a race against time to protect and save civilians in eastern Aleppo city. They need our urgent action to bring an end to their living hell. Words are not enough,” he said. “As humanitarians, we are committed and ready to reach all those who are trapped and slipping away into an unimaginable humanitarian catastrophe. The clock is ticking. Stop the carnage now.”
The Ohio State baseball team fell to Cincinnati Wednesday evening in Cincinnati, 5-3. The Buckeyes showed Tuesday’s rainout against Akron didn’t slow them down, though, as they got on the board quickly with a two-out error on a ground ball hit by freshman third baseman Jacob Bosiokovic, which scored redshirt senior second baseman Ryan Cypret to take a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Freshman right-hander Jake Post started the game and pitched three scoreless innings with four strikeouts and two hits. Post’s four strikeouts tied his career-high, something he’s achieved in each of his last four starts. OSU coach Greg Beals said before the game that Post would get the nod since his start was pushed forward due to the game being called. “Post will get the start because of the rainout,” Beals said. “The biggest expectation tonight is to play good baseball and get some momentum for the weekend.” Unfortunately for Beals and the rest of the team, things started to go downhill for OSU in the bottom of the fourth. The Bearcats tied the game with a two-out RBI triple by freshman infielder Devin Wenzel. The next inning, the Bearcats added onto their lead with a solo shot by freshman catcher Russell Clark. Then redshirt sophomore outfielder Ethan McAlpine scored on an error, making it 3-1, Cincinnati. On McAlpine’s next at bat, he made the Cincinnati lead 4-1 with a two-out RBI double in the bottom of the sixth. OSU chipped away at UC’s lead in the top half of the seventh, when Cypret drove in a run with an RBI single. Senior shortstop Kirby Pellant followed with an RBI double, cutting the Bearcat lead to one, 4-3. Redshirt senior righty David Fathalikhani took the hill in the seventh for the Buckeyes and gave up a two-out homerun by junior outfielder Matt Williams, bringing the score to 5-3. Williams snapped Fathalikhani’s scoreless streak, which lasted 13 appearances. The bomb by Williams was the final run scored in the game as the Buckeyes lost, 5-3, to the Bearcats. OSU is 23-12 overall, 7-5 Big Ten, while Cincinnati improved to 14-21 on the year. Illinois is scheduled to come to Columbus for this weekend’s Big Ten series. Redshirt senior first baseman Brad Hallberg thinks the team will perform well if it sticks to its tried and true tactics. “Pitching and defense has been our game all year and we did that at Nebraska,” Hallberg said. “We’re going to keep trying to do that and if we can do it in these games coming up we’ll be good to go.” Ohio State is set to play Illinois Friday at Bill Davis Stadium. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m.
Ohio State women’s basketball freshman guard Ameryst Alston hadn’t made a shot all night until there were .01 seconds left in regulation. Alston rebounded a purposely-missed free throw by senior guard Tayler Hill and threw up a prayer over two Wisconsin defenders. The ball danced around the rim and finally found the bottom of the net as time expired in the second half, sending the game into overtime with a 52-52 tie. “We work on missing free throws occasionally in practice. I did not even think about it. I just caught it and passed it up there,” Hill said. The game went on into double overtime before OSU finally pulled away and dropped Wisconsin, 65-59, at the Schottenstein Center Thursday. OSU coach Jim Foster said he was confident in Alston’s put-back the moment it left her hands. “She always makes interesting layups. She has a good sense around the basket and knows how to get there,” Foster said. But Wisconsin coach Bobbie Kelsey didn’t agree. He said he wasn’t so sure if the shot was even good or not, blaming the lack of monitors for a possible game changer. Alston finished with five points, four assists and two steals, and helped her team earn just their third Big Ten win this season. Up two at the end of the first half, the Buckeyes started the game’s second act with much more aggression to get to the rim. OSU managed to build a six-point lead, but easy Badger layups left the Buckeyes trailing for the last six minutes of the game. Wisconsin sophomore guard Jacki Gulczynski could not be guarded as she drop 13 points in the second half. “Jacki stepped up big time,” Kelsey said. “She came through for us. She hit some clutch shots when we needed her to.” Conversely, Hill’s 15 points made the contest her 56th consecutive game in double figures, the longest active streak in the Big Ten and the fourth longest in Division I women’s basketball. Hill also finished the game with five rebounds, four assists, and three steals in 46 minutes of playing time. But for a change, it was not Hill that led the Buckeyes in scoring, but rather junior center Ashley Adams. Adams finished the night one rebound shy of a double-double with nine. She also had 16 points, three assists, and one steal. Foster said Adams stepped up and played well inside the paint. Another key to OSU’s success was redshirt senior guard Amber Stokes, who played 32 minutes and added 15 points, hitting her shots at crucial moments. After losing to Wisconsin for the first time since 2001 on Jan. 20, the Buckeyes needed a staunch defensive effort to prove they were better than their 2-7 Big Ten record indicated. And it was defense indeed that seemed to be the saving grace for the Buckeyes in the second half. The Badgers went from shooting 40 percent from 3-point range in the first half to not taking any 3-pointers in the second half. “As a team we played good defense,” Stokes said. “We held them down until the very last second.” With just six games remaining in the Big Ten regular season, the Buckeyes (13-10, 3-7 Big Ten) are now 11-3 at home this season. The Buckeyes will look to continue their momentum against Northwestern on Feb. 10 at 4 p.m. at Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston, Ill.
Jihadi bride Khanjit NijjerCredit:Ed Willcox In 2015, his wife started sending him money – first £1,500 then later two payments of £2,000 – telling those whose names would appear on the transactions that Khan was studying or carrying out aid work. ‘Although I accept you were acting to support your husband, you retained a choice and you chose to send the money to be used in Syria.’You provided significant sums of money to be sent to your husband and prepared to send him equipment and clothing as well, knowing he was by then engaged in fighting for Isil.’At his suggestion you engaged other innocent people to make the transfers for you.’You told them lies about the reason you needed their assistance. You also agreed with your husband to use an encrypted messaging App to conceal your discussions. Overall your offences are very serious ones.’Nijjer, of Dalberg Way, Abbey Wood, southeast London, admitted two counts of a funding arrangement contrary to section 17 of the Terrorism Act 2000 and was jailed for five years and three months. Judge Kinch added: ‘The background is that you left home aged 18 or 19 and converted to Islam and then married Abdul Khan.’You became part of his family and you say you found him dominating and controlling. When Abdul Khan went to Turkey in 2014 and overstayed he required you to send funds to support him.’Your pleas are tendered on the basis that at first you thought the money might be intended for Abdul Khan to start a business in Turkey but by 2015 you had become aware that it was not just an extended business trip to Turkey but that he had crossed into Syria and was taking up arms for so called Islamic State. Nijjer was caught out when her name was spotted by police investigating cash transfers in Turkey.She was interviewed by the police and told them she thought her husband was travelling in Turkey on holiday with friends.When Nijjer was released on bail her phone was searched by police and a secretive messaging application called Threema was found installed at her husband’s request.Conversations on the phone showed Khan glorifying drone strikes, Isil, and achieving martyrdom.By 2016, Khan was pressurising his wife to join him in Syria, but she was worried about her safety and refused to go.Nijjer was interviewed a second time in June 2017 by police and only when showed an image of her husband dressed as an Isil fighter did she accept the transfers were funding terrorism. A jihadi bride who bought flip flops for her Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) terrorist husband while he was fighting in Syria has been jailed for more than five years.Khranjit Nijjer, 32, deceived friends and family to raise £4,500 to fund Abdul Khan, who she married when she was 19.The money was then wired to Isil accounts to used by the extremists in the Middle East to fund their reign of terror. Three covert payments were made through transfers using third party names to Khan and Nijjer also used money she raised to buy chargers for iPads and smartphones, solar panels, flip flops and boots which she was going to send to Syria. The items had all been ordered through Nijjer’s Amazon account following specific requests and instructions from Abdul Khan identifying what he needed,’ Judge Christopher Kinch QC told the Old Bailey. They were then delivered to her address in Docklands or Abdul Khan’s family home in Romford, the court heard. Khan travelled to Turkey in 2014 after withdrawing £10,000 and was caught by Turkish authorities only to escape to join Isil in Syria, where it is understood he is still fighting. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
Investigators have made one of the biggest ever seizures of heroin in the UK after discovering £40 million worth of the drug hidden among a consignment of bathroom towels and robes on board a ship from the Middle East.The drugs, which weighed almost 400 kilos, were thought to be destined for British streets and would likely have been sold by county lines gangs across the country.The haul came when officers from Border Force and the National Crime Agency identified a suspicious container on board a ship that had docked at Felixstowe, Suffolk on its way to Belgium.Inside they discovered a huge quantity of the drug which had been packed into boxes and hidden under towels.After removing the heroin, the container was loaded back onto the ship and was allowed to continue on its voyage under covert police surveillance. The container was unloaded in the port of Antwerp, before being taken by lorry to Rotterdam.When suspects began to unload the container on Monday, Dutch police swooped and arrested two men.At around the same time officers from the National Crime Agency arrested a man in the Bromsgrove area of Worcestershire in connection with the operation.The consignment is estimated to have a street value in excess of £40 million and is one of the largest ever hauls seized in the UK. The heroin was found packed in with towels and robes Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Colin Williams, from the NCA said: “It is almost certain that some of these drugs would have been sold in the UK, fuelling violence and exploitation including what we see in county lines offending nationwide.”The heroin trade also feeds addictions that put users’ lives at risk, while giving rise to crime such as theft which make people feel unsafe in their communities. We work in the UK and with partners around the world to target the crime groups posing the greatest threat to this country.”
TWO ADULTS AND one child were taken from a fire in an apartment in Balbriggan, Dublin, in the early hours of this morning.The alarm was raised at 1am at the apartment on Landy’s Court, Millstreet and the Dublin Fire Brigade was called to assist. Five units of the fire brigade and two ambulances were sent to the scene.The child was taken to Temple Street Hospital and one of the adults was taken to Beaumont Hospital, both suffering smoke inhalation.Read: Police say fire in which woman’s body was found was not suspicious>Read: Bus set on fire outside Quinn Group property>
Marcoule : la radioactivité reste très faible dans le four qui a exploséSelon Olivier Isnard, un expert de l’Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire (IRSN), la radioactivité reste très, très faible au sein du four qui a explosé lundi matin sur le site nucléaire de Marcoule.”La radioactivité contenue dans le four est très, très faible, c’est sans aucune mesure avec ce qui est contenu dans un réacteur”, a souligné cet après-midi, Olivier Isnard, un porte-parole de l’Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire (IRSN). Selon les mesures effectuées, le four qui a explosé ce matin sur le site nucléaire de Marcoule et qui contient quatre tonnes de métaux, présente en effet une radioactivité proche de 67.000 becquerels, soit moins de 17 becquerels par kilogramme. À lire aussiLe pied d’éléphant, cette effrayante masse radioactive cachée dans les entrailles de Tchernobyl”C’est très peu, donc on ne s’attend pas à avoir un impact dans l’environnement”, a ajouté l’expert, en précisant qu’une équipe envoyée depuis Cadarache (Bouches-du-Rhône) doit faire lundi des prélèvements – herbe, terre, poussière sur les capots de voiture – qui seront analysés d’ici ce soir. Il précise : “comme on s’attend à avoir un très très bas niveau, voire même au niveau du bruit de fond, il faut faire des mesures fines ce qui prend un peu de temps”. Toutefois, les résultats devraient être connus dans la soirée. D’après les observations, le bâtiment dans lequel se trouve le four n’a subi aucun dommage et les balises qui y ont été mises en place n’ont détecté aucune augmentation de la radioactivité, a de même précisé Olivier Isnard. Le 12 septembre 2011 à 17:03 • Maxime Lambert
MovieBob Reviews: ‘Shadow’MovieBob Reviews: ‘The Curse of La Llorona’ Stay on target Is Star Trek: Discovery good?If the inaugural episodes are any indication? Yes, it’s very good.Just as a reference point: Are you big on Star Trek?I am very big on Star Trek, yes.Okay. Is this a whole new thing, is it part of the other TV shows or part of those Chris Pine movies?It’s a new series set in the original TV-based continuity. Timeline-wise, we’re approximately ten years before the events of The Original Series from the 1960s.So are they doing a retro thing with it?Not really. Aesthetically, it looks similar to Enterprise but significantly more expensive and polished.What’s it about?Broadly, it’s about the early days of the Federation/Klingon War that was well underway by the time Kirk and company showed up. The new gimmick this time is that instead of making a Starship Captain the main character, we’re mainly following a lower-ranked officer who isn’t necessarily privy to all the information about this or that mission and isn’t the final decision on what to do about things.So who is this hero?Sonequa Martin-Green as “Michael Burnham;” initially a Starfleet First Officer whose rank/status get… “changed” because of the role she plays (or is believed to have played – it’s a touch complicated) in an encounter with a renegade religious-fundamentalist sect of Klingons that ignites the war itself and reunifies the (at this point) splintered Klingon Empire into the formidable enemy seen later in the continuity. She ends up conscripted under shady circumstances to The Discovery, a research ship captained by a mysterious military-hardliner (Jason Isaacs), staffed by some of her former crewmates who now have decidedly mixed feelings about her and seemingly involved in various not-entirely-above-the-board secret projects for the war effort.What’s different this time around?This is the first new Star Trek for the age of 21st Century “Peak TV,” and its definitely built for such. It’s clearly aiming to be “binge-friendly,” since its doing its main run on the CBS All-Access streaming platform (example: “The Discovery” itself and seemingly half the regular cast don’t actually show up until the third episode.) It’s a pretty bid deal that Green is the first Black woman lead of a series in Trek history, and the series is very much focused on getting back to the franchise’s tradition of using science-fiction to comment on real-world social and political topics in a big way.Can you elaborate on that?Well, for one thing, we get a new angle on what the Klingons went to war about: The renegade sect that manipulates the conflict into being are religious-fundamentalist terrorists whose ideology is implied to “take over” the newly-reunified Empire, and their specific grievance with The Federation is that they see the idea of mixing various alien races into singular intergalactic cooperation as a threat to Klingon cultural-purity – in other words, they’re nationalists, and our new overriding metaphor is “Federation=Globalism=Good Guys” versus “Klingons=Isolationism=Bad Guys.” On that same theme, Burnham is technically a human but was adopted and raised by Vulcans and culturally-identifies as Vulcan herself; observing their traditions and lifestyle while striving for their idealized level of logical-detachment.So we’re just doing the “Am I human or Vulcan?” thing, again?Not exactly. She’s not of mixed genetic heritage like Spock was, so it’s more like reconciling a religious upbringing with her own personality as an independent adult – mostly in the form of Vulcan logic making her kind of a hardass but human emotion making her occasionally deadpan sarcastic about it.What doesn’t work?Overall, I can’t think of anything that’s a serious flaw: It all looks great, the writing is solid, the setup is compelling and Green is a revelation as Michael – a bonafide star-making performance if ever there was one. If I have a concern, it’s that (regarding what was screened for critics) the first two “backstory” episodes felt more engaging than the third “status quo for the rest of the series” episode. Though some of that could be that the first two brought on a special guest star who steals a lot of scenes. But on-balance, the prognosis is very, very positive.How does it compare to other Trek shows?It’s easily the best the franchise has offered, in any form, since Deep Space Nine went off the air. Tonally, I’d say it strikes the perfect balance between Picard-lecturing intellectualism and Gorn-punching pulp-sci-fi escapism that tends to represent Star Trek at its best from my vantage point. I’m really psyched to see where it’s all going.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.
HOUSTON: Around 40,000 people have registered themselves for Indian-American community summit “Howdy, Modi!” here, which will be addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 22 during his visit to the US for the UN General Assembly session, organisers of the event said. “Howdy”, short for ‘How do you do?’, is a friendly greeting commonly used in the southwestern United States. Also Read – Watch: Donald Trump says Florida faces absolute monster hurricane Advertise With Us Attendance to the summit is free, but passes have to be obtained which is now open for public, said the host Texas India Forum, a Houston-based non-profit body, which expects around 50,000 people to attend the prime minister’s address to the Indian diaspora at the sprawling NRG football stadium in the US’ fourth most populous city. Houston, which has one of the largest concentration of over 5,00,000 Indian-American community in the US, is the energy capital of the world. Also Read – Pakistan test-fires 290-km range missile Advertise With Us Energy security is a priority area for the prime minister. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said, “I look forward to welcoming PM Modi to Houston, home to one of the biggest and most vibrant Indian communities in the US.” “This historic visit will strengthen the already robust bonds between Houston and India on trade, culture and tourism — all of which benefit every Houstonian.” Advertise With Us Over 39,000 people have signed up in the first two weeks. There are more than 1,000 volunteers and 650 Welcome Partner organisations for the event, the Texas India Forum said. According to the convener of the organising committee Jugal Malani, before the prime minister’s address, the event, with the tagline ‘Shared Dreams, Bright Futures’, will include a cultural programme that puts a spotlight on Indian-American contributions to the United States. “We want the entire city of Houston to come to enjoy the festivities and learn about Indian-Texan relations,” he said. This will be Modi’s third major address to the Indian-American community after he became the prime minister in 2014 and the first after his re-election in May. The previous two were at the Madison Square Garden in New York in 2014 and the Silicon Valley in 2016. Both the events were attended by more than 20,000 people. US Senator John Cornyn said, “On behalf of the hundreds of thousands of Indian-Americans in Texas, and as co-chair of the Senate India Caucus, I welcome Prime Minister Modi to Houston.” “India continues to be key security and economic partner of the United States, and I look forward to seeing that relationship strengthen with his visit to Texas,” he said. A number group of organisations from a wide spectrum of the Indian diaspora in the United States has mobilized support for the “Howdy, Modi!” event. Sanjay Ramabhadran, the president of the Texas Lyceum said, “The future of Texas is inextricably tied to global trade and strategic relations. As a Texas-wide leadership group focused on the civil discourse on the important policy issues facing our state, we recognise that this visit will be a giant step in further strengthening Texas- India relations on numerous fronts.” According to WISERTrade, the US Census Bureau, and the Foreign Trade Division, in 2019 (year to date), India is Houston’s fourth-largest trading partner just behind Brazil, China and Mexico.
Infosys, India’s second largest IT firm, has rolled out a new appraisal system named iCount for its employees. The system measures their performance based on the targets given to them.The move comes months after it had abandoned the bell curve appraisal tool to assess its employees’ performance.Under the new assessment system iCount, employees will get feedback on their performance throughout the year.”Infosys has changed the way performance management is done, with higher focus on individual performance rather than relative performance. We have moved away from forced ranking curve and given our managers more flexibility and empowerment, while still retaining focus on maintaining a high performance culture,” an Infosys spokeswoman told The Economic Times.In September last year, Bengaluru-based IT major had ceased using the bell curve method. Under that system, the managers were compelled to separate the employees into three categories and “rank the performance of 70 percent as average, 20 percent as high and 10 percent as low.”Infosys’ move to discontinue the bell curve tool was one of CEO Vishal Sikka’s initiatives to reduce attrition levels and improve employee productivity. After taking charge as the chief of Infosys in August 2014, Sikka brought many changes for ‘Infoscions,’ including doing away with the formal dress code.The new system will reward the company’s employees based on their performance in short-term, taking into account annual targets set for them.”The underlying message is that every Infoscion counts and contributes…It allows for continuous feedback from peer, manager, stakeholder. This is much better than the earlier point in time feedback,” the company spokeswoman told the daily.Other IT majors such as Accenture and IBM have also made changes to their employee performance appraisal systems. Recently, IBM started using a new system called Checkpoint that helps in reviewing employee performance continuously rather than assessing once a year.
Mahatma Gandhi’s speech caught on gramophone during his 1931 visit to England now shares space with classical music legend M S Subhalakshmi’s song, recorded when she was just nine, in a new virtual archive.The Archive of Indian Music (AIM), formally launched on 30 July, is an online compilation of vintage gramaphonic records of speeches, songs, plays etc dating as far back as 1902.‘This is a private initiative, a non profit trust where we source oldest rarest gramophone records like old ghazals, speeches of leaders, theatre recordings, folk music etc and digitise it for free access by laymen,’ Vikram Sampath, founder AIM said. Sampath, an engineer, historian, author and musician from Bangalore has till date digitised 1000 clips from a collection of 12,000 gramaphone recordings and a total of 200 artists on the site, a pilot project that began in May this year. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The archive includes digital version of first recording of Vande Matram clips, of Rabindranath Tagore reciting poetry as also recordings from early cinema, film songs by Mohammed Rafi and playback singers, folk music and devotional songs, ghazals, qawali as well as recordings of old plays etc.‘I first hit upon the idea while researching for a book he wrote on Gauhar Jaan, a singer from Kolkata, who was the first from India to record on gramophone in 1902,’ says Sampath.
Detroit, USA — The United States Geological Survey (USGS) acknowledged the fall of a meteorite on the outskirts of Detroit (Michigan) that caused a small tremor of 2.0 on the Richter scale.The earthquake was recorded at 20.09 local time (01.09 of Wednesday GMT). The USGS confirmed that the origin of the earthquake was the fall of a meteorite that was “seen and heard” in the Detroit area.The National Weather Service in Detroit, although yet to issue an official statement, said the flash was “not thunder or lightning, but instead a likely meteor.”The approximate location of the meteorite’s fall was 8 kilometers west-southwest of New Haven.Before the USGS announced the fall of the meteorite, dozens of people shared through social networks, recordings of the meteor where a flash of bright light was followed by an apparent explosion.In February of 2017, a similar event took place when hundreds of people from Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Iowa, New York, Ontario and Kentucky reported seeing a giant green fireball enter Lake Michigan.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: S.P Tourism WA has launched a Facebook campaign to support research into one of the regions unique visitor experiences, swimming with whale sharks. Tourism WA together with whale shark research and conservation organisation ECOCEAN will call on their Facebook community to support the adoption of a whale shark by ‘liking’ a series of posts.Tourism Western Australia director domestic marketing Toni O’Donnell said Western Australia’s Ningaloo Reef was one of the places in the world people could swim with these “gentle giants”.“The annual whale shark migration to Ningaloo is one of Western Australia’s truly extraordinary experiences attracting visitors from around the world,” Ms O’Donnell said.Ms O’Donnell added that the campaign provides an opportunity for Tourism WA to give back to their dedicated online community while supporting important research in the conservation of these creatures.ECOCEAN director Brad Norman explained that the spots on every whale shark were different and therefore by obtaining photos submissions of individual whale sharks, the program could follow their movements.ECOCEAN has created a whale shark photo identification library, and has since catalogued over 41,000 images and received over 18,000 reported sightings from across the globe.Ms O’Donnell added that Tourism WA would partake in ECOCEAN tagging program in order to provide regular updates to the community.“The tagging program will support ECOCEAN’s research efforts whilst also enabling Tourism WA’s Facebook community to remain in contact with its adopted whale shark.”https://www.facebook.com/ExtraordinaryWesternAustralia Australia’s most extraordinary experience, swimming with the whale sharkImage Source: James Morgan
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Sarah Green, ? pictwittercom/oZWR2hzMnT— Maddy but spooky (@maddycunningham) October 28 2018 On Monday the Obama Administration moved to punish Russia for annexing the region of Crimea with a round of financial sanctions The reply from Moscow’s political elites was either a laugh or a shrug None of the individuals targeted that time were particularly close to President Vladimir Putin nor were they senior enough to threaten his entire hierarchy But the laughter turned to consternation on Thursday after the latest round of US sanctions On its website the US Treasury Department published a blacklist of 16 government officials and four members of what it called Putin’s "inner circle" It was an impressive list and the implicit threats of what’s to come were even more pointed than the asset freezes it imposed Here are a few that Putin could find between the lines of the sanctions list: 1 Now it’s personal It’s not just about Crimea or Ukraine anymore It’s not even about punishing Russia’s economy It’s about making life as uncomfortable as possible for Putin and his closest friends In its explanation of the blacklist the US Treasury Department refers to a place called the Ozero Dacha Collective a gated community of lakeside villas that Putin and his pals set up near St Petersburg in 1996 At the time Putin was just making his move from his hometown where he’d served as a functionary in the mayor’s office to a position in the Kremlin Many of his old friends moved with him to the capital and as Putin’s influence grew so too did the fortunes of the Ozero Collective Many of the men who had summer homes next to Putin in that community went on to become billionaires or senior officials under his rule and the word ozero which means lake in Russian has become almost synonymous with nepotism in the Putin era The Obama Administration’s direct assault on the members of Putin’s clique goes to the core of Putin’s inner circle and for a man as loyal to his friends as Putin has been through the years that will turn this conflict into a personal grudge 2 Secrets are no longer safe Few state secrets are as carefully guarded in Russia as the personal finances of its President Though rumors and unconfirmed reports have pegged Putin’s personal fortune at around $40 billion the Kremlin has always maintained that its master is a civil servant of modest means earning less than $200000 in 2012 and owning only one Russian-made car But in its statement on Thursday the US Treasury Department stated that Putin has investments in a company called Gunvor one of the biggest oil traders in the world That is not public information and although the US government hasn’t given its source this little bombshell comes with an implicit warning: The White House knows things about Putin’s wealth that he does not want going public 3 Insiders are not immune Last year Putin tried to preempt Western sanctions against Russia’s elites In his state of the nation address he ordered all state officials to close their foreign bank accounts and bring their assets home The move was meant to give the Kremlin some immunity from the unrest that Western blacklists are designed to spread through the halls of power And even if his officials did not comply with that directive they would be left in no position to complain when those sanctions hit — Putin had already warned them this was coming But that vaccine does not seem to have worked against the sanctions leveled on Thursday The targets this time included not just officials but companies and institutions that do not have the option of bringing their assets home Bank Rossiya a lender run by one of Putin’s close associates will have a hard time operating internationally now that its access to US capital markets are restricted So will the companies of the billionaire Rotenberg brothers Putin’s childhood friends who are both on the blacklist 4 Anyone could be a target The list of sanctioned individuals is astounding in part for its randomness In addition to Putin’s ex-KGB confidants and judo buddies it includes such obscure politicians as Aleksandr Totoonov a member of the culture science and information committee in Russia’s upper house of parliament Why him The only reason given in the statement is that he supported the deployment of Russian forces in Ukraine But so did practically every single lawmaker in Russia so all of them are now fair game At least publicly both houses of the Russian parliament have defied this threat openly calling for the US to blacklist all their members in solidarity with their sanctioned colleagues But in private many of them have likely been making calls to their bankers and real estate agents to figure out what assets they now stand to lose Contact us at editors@timecomThe closing moments of the season six finale of The Walking Dead saw Rick Grimes and company awaiting their fate at the hands of Negan and his barbed wire-covered baseball bat Lucille a trap they had been lured into by the infamous Saviors earlier in the episode This sequence came as a shock to many viewers with some in disbelief that the Alexandrian residents had been so easily tricked by Negan’s henchman However in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly executive producer Greg Nicotero explained that the villainous group is one of the most seasoned out there RT:The Walking Dead Season 7 Official Comic-Con Banner pictwittercom/LIP4rFU5oF TWD on ComicBookcom (@NewsOfTheDead) July 14 2016 “The Saviors as sadistic as they may appear they have a system that works for them” he told EW “Yeah theyre fed up and theyre a little weird but theyve been doing this for a long time and they have a very large group Its not like its a pocket of 10 or 12 people They have a good thing going and the most interesting thing about them for me is theres mythos involved with them Its like you hear about this guy Negan just like you hear about this guy Rick and you hear about these people Theres a lot of that involved in season seven” Nicotero went on to say that fans can expect to find out more about the Saviors in season seven “The nice thing about this season is you will get a chance to see some of these inner workings of these different worlds and these communities and really get a chance to see how much they know about the rest of the world” he said “I think thats a really good theme for season seven which is nobody really knows what the world has in store for them out there So the audience just like these people goes through these journeys” The premiere of the seventh season of The Walking Dead will air on AMC on Oct 9 Read more at EWcom Write to Megan McCluskey at meganmccluskey@timeinccom As she recalls, File image of CEC Achal Kumar Joti. refused to react to the Opposition’s remarks, Hodges struck down prohibitions on same-sex marriage,K.She explained the skill is both useful and fun: "If you know how to knit, Deep vein thrombosis is something that a few of you will have heard of.
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