A historic task

first_imgJuly 7 is a historic day when the UN General Assembly passed Treaty Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons in 2017. The treaty is an opportunity which the global community must utilise to make the world free of nuclear weapons. An opportunity lost may never be regained. The world has never been in such an uncertain situation in the last several decades as it is now. The ongoing conflicts in several hot spots in the world if not cooled down urgently, may escalate into larger wars. A last-minute decision by the US President Trump to not attack Iran has only saved time. The tension still persists. The situation in Syria has been one of the worst scenarios in recent times. Iraq and Afghanistan are not yet stabilised. Internal strife in Somalia, Rwanda, and Yemen are other grave scenarios. Our own region, South Asia is equally volatile. The events following Pulwama terrorist violence which killed 49 CRPF personnel had almost pushed India and Pakistan to the brink of war. The threat of use of nuclear weapons gave dreadful shivers to the people on both sides. The jingoists on either side of the border took no time calling for destruction of the other. Any use of nuclear weapons would have been catastrophic not only for India and Pakistan, but the whole world. Also Read – A special kind of bondIra Helfand, Co-President International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) and Allan Robock & colleagues from Department of Environmental Sciences School of Environmental and Biological Sciences Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA conducted a study on the Climatic Consequences of limited Nuclear Conflict between India and Pakistan using 100 Hiroshima size nuclear bombs. The study proved with evidence that over 2 billion people would be put to risk globally as an aftermath of nuclear famine which would ensue under such situation. Any nuclear conflict between the major nuclear powers could be the end of modern civilisation. We have already seen unprecedented damage after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki where over 200,000 people were killed. The after effects of radiations are seen even today. Also Read – Insider threat managementSouth Asia is one of the poorest regions in the world. The human development ranking for India and Pakistan is at 130 and 150 respectively. Hunger index of India is at 103 and Pakistan at 106 out of 119 countries. About 40 per cent of the world’s stunted children and 53 per cent of all wasted children live in South Asia. Around 34 per cent of the population has no access to sanitation. Investments in health and education remain less than 4 per cent and 3 per cent of respective GDPs. Yet successive governments and military establishments have escalated military spending in India and Pakistan to US$ 64 billion and US$ 11 billion annually in 2017, respectively. India’s defense expenditure is 1.62 per cent of its GDP, while its Central health budget is 0.26 of GDP, six times less than its arms budget. Pakistan’s spending on arms is equivalent with budgetary allocation 8.9 billion USD. With Pakistan worth 300 billion USD economy its defense expenditure comes to 2.9 per cent of the GDP. As per the latest report of Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) the annual global defense expenditure is US$ 1699 billion (2.2 per cent of the global GDP). The US tops the defense spending at 611 billion USD. China’s defense expenditure is 215 billion USD, while India is the 5th largest military spender with an outlay of 55.9 billion USD (Rs.363350 crore). Increase in spending on arms race causes serious resource crunch on health, education and development. The developing countries and poor in these countries are worst affected. It is time, steps are taken for complete nuclear disarmament and end to arms race. On July 7, 2017, the historic Treaty Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) passed by the UN General Assembly with 122 votes in favour and only one against. This is a moral victory for the peace movement globally. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons opened for signature at United Nations headquarters in New York on September 20, 2017, and will remain open indefinitely. Once 50 nations have ratified or acceded to it, it will enter into force. Already, 70 countries have signed it and 23 have ratified. It is a big opportunity for complete nuclear disarmament and to save the world from nuclear catastrophe. It is time the nuclear armed states realise this and join the treaty without any ifs and buts. India should take the lead. (Dr. Arun Mitra is an ENT surgeon. Views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

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Not a presidentialstyle campaign no platform from leadership hopeful Kenney

first_imgCALGARY – Former federal cabinet minister Jason Kenney says he won’t have a policy platform as he seeks the leadership of Alberta’s new United Conservative Party.Kenney announced what he called a “grassroots guarantee” in Calgary Tuesday saying he would consult members of the new party and other Albertans before determining what promises he would campaign on as leader in the next provincial election.“I will not be running a presidential-style campaign where I improvise some detailed platform for an election two years from now, for a brand new party before its members can even be consulted,” Kenney said.Kenney said he will continue to express his opinions on a number of issues, but nothing will be written in stone.“I want to repeal the carbon tax. We need to reduce the tax burden to restart our economy. We need to balance our budget. We need to fight for school choice,” said Kenney.“My convictions have been clear. I will continue to speak about them, but I will not say to members that this will be the policy imposed by me.”Kenney, who was the leader of Alberta’s Progressive Conservative party, is seeking the leadership along with former Wildrose leader Brian Jean and conservative strategist Doug Schweitzer.Both Jean and Schweitzer have already unveiled some of their policy plans for UCP if they are successful.“I think they’re making a mistake. In a certain sense they’re repeating the top-down style leadership that got us into this trouble in the first place,” said Kenney.“It’s not even credible. People who are doing that right now — they don’t know how deep the debt hole is going to be in 2019 or 2020. How can you plan the budget for three years from now without the facts in front of you?”A political scientist from Calgary’s Mount Royal University said a lack of policy could be a risky move by Kenney.“It remains to be seen whether this is going to pay off or not because the two opponents are being very clear about some of their policy initiatives and so voters will have a sense of what they are voting for,” said Lori Williams.“I think he’s trying to avoid controversy by doing this — basically avoid losing votes by standing for anything and leadership is about standing for things.”Schweitzer said any policies he has announced so far would still go to party members for debate.“It is critical that Albertans know where their leadership candidates stand on important policy issues,” said Schweitzer. “Jason’s new grassroots guarantee is simply a sad attempt to turn this leadership race into a campaign of rhetoric over substance.”In a statement, Jean said Alberta voters are tired of “personality-based politics.”“I applaud Mr. Kenney’s commitment to grassroots principles, but the members need to know what the leadership candidates’ positions are,” he said. “I used the policies developed by the members as the foundation for my announcements and I will continue to do so.”The new leader of the UCP will chosen Oct. 28.— Follow @BillGraveland on Twitterlast_img read more

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Justin Trudeau set to appear on Live with Kelly and Ryan this

first_img“He always seemed like a great guy, an interesting person, and as leader of all of Canada, I think the American public and Canadian public are interested in what he has to say,” said Gelman. NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau can expect a mix of personal and political talk when he sits down with morning show co-hosts Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest during their visit to Canada. “We will be brushing upon things that are going on in the news; but again, we’re not a news show, we don’t pretend to be a news show. But we can’t ignore things that are happening out there.” Advertisement Trudeau will be the first sitting Canadian prime minister on the long-running daytime show when he appears at their first live taping in Niagara Falls, Ont., on Monday June 5th. The show will be taped at the Oakes Garden Theatre, which showcases panoramic views of the American and Horseshoe Falls. Login/Register With: “On our show, we really are about having fun and positivity and about getting into who people really are,” said Michael Gelman, executive producer of “Live with Kelly and Ryan” in a phone interview. Other guests slated for Monday’s show include “Orphan Black” actress Tatiana Maslany and American singer Erin Bowman. “Live with Kelly and Ryan” airs on CTV in Canada, and in national syndication in the U.S. The second episode, which will air Tuesday, will be filmed immediately after the live-to-air Monday show. Tuesday’s guests will feature “America’s Got Talent” judge Howie Mandel, “Cars 3” star Nathan Fillion, and musical performers French Montana and Swae Lee.It’s not the first time the show has visited the tourist city. Episodes were filmed there in 1996 when the show was known as “Live With Regis and Kathie Lee,” with former co-hosts Regis Philbin and Kathie Lee Gifford; and in 2006, when Ripa had already joined as a host, replacing Gifford.center_img “A lot of the conversation is going to be about him, him personally … in addition to being the leader of your country. We’re going to have 3,000 people in the audience and I think everyone will be really excited to see him. Facebook Twitter Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement The New York-based show also taped episodes north of the border on Prince Edward Island in 2010, and in Banff, Alta., in 2012. “We love the people,” Gelman said of Canada. “There’s so much natural beauty and so many things to do up here, so it’s been a real haven for us in terms of finding locations to visit.”last_img read more

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Egypt Apologizes to Morocco for Including ‘Unrecognized’ Flag in CAN 2019…

Rabat – The organizing committee of the 2019 African Cup of Nations (CAN) has extended its apologies to Morocco’s authorities, moroccan football fans, and the Moroccan Royal Football Federation (FRMF) for including the Polisario flag in their official music video.  The committee explained the inclusion as an “unintentional” mistake. In a statement, the organizing committee offered its apologie for the appearance of  an “unrecognized” flag.Read Also: CAN 2019 Official Music Video Includes Flag of Self-proclaimed SADRThe CAN 2019 organizers said that the official video was released “without the approval” of the committee. “The organizing committee of the competition reaffirms its full respect to the brotherly kingdom of Morocco, and its national sovereignty.”Moroccan fans were surprised to discover that the official music video entitled “All Together” shows the flag of the self-proclaimed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR)This is not the first mistake the  committee have made concerning Morocco’s territorial integrity, having initially listed Polisario in ticketing system for CAN 2019.FRMF submitted a letter to the Egyptian football federation, the committee, and the African Confederation of Football (CAF) to protest the move. In response, Egypt removed the separatist group from the ticketing website read more

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Reform debate should not distract UN from helping to resolve conflicts –

No reform proposals, “however important,” should keep the UN from working for peace and stability based on democratic self-government in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as many other countries, and for a just and lasting peace between Palestinians and Israelis, he said in a message, delivered by Edward Mortimer, Director of Communications, to the two-day International Conference on UN Reform, which opened in Tehran yesterday.”Iran has an important contribution to make to the solution of many of these problems, as well as to our collective global response to global challenges,” Mr. Annan said, noting that the reform package he outlined in his Report “In Larger Freedom” was of vital interest to Iran as to other countries in the region.He stressed the importance of a culture of peace and the need to build and strengthen it at both the national and international levels and noted that the UN would continue to support efforts to promote a dialogue among civilizations. “We must educate ourselves and our societies to go beyond stereotypes of each other, and to avoid simplistic categorizations that exacerbate misunderstandings and prevent real problems being tackled,” he added.Noting that any culture of peace is threatened by resort to terrorism, Mr. Annan said that phenomenon did not emanate from any particular religion or ideology nor was it directed only at certain countries or people. He said that all must agree how to define it and adopt a comprehensive convention outlawing it in all its forms, stressing that “while I am fully aware of the sensitivities and concerns that exist on this issue, I believe we must be able to agree that the legitimate fight of a people to resist foreign occupation does not and cannot include the right to deliberately kill or maim civilians and non-combatants.”Touching upon other issues highlighted in his reform agenda, he stressed that respect for human rights should include acknowledgement of the responsibility to protect civilian populations form genocide, ethnic cleansing and other such heinous crimes. On the use of force by states, he acknowledged that this was a “point of great sensitivity for Iranians, since the Security Council failed to take such measures when Iran was attacked in 1980, and Iran was left to exercise its right to self-defence on its own.” read more

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Family of Westminster river plunge survivor overwhelmed by love and support

first_imgFloral tributes to the victims of the Westminster attack are placed outside the Palace of Westminster “Andreea is still in a critical but stable condition and benefits from the best medical healthcare possible. We are overwhelmed by the love, support and respect for our Andreea.”The Metropolitan Police have been and continue to work tirelessly in providing their care and support during this very difficult time.”Andrei has since been discharged from hospital. Andrei Burnaz, partner of Andreea Cristea who jumped into the Thames Footage of the atrocity showed Ms Cristea falling 50ft from the bridge into the freezing water below. Mr Burnaz was knocked to the ground.She was pulled out of the water alive, but remains in hospital in a stable condition. Andreea Cristea was critically injured when attacker Khalid Masood ploughed through pedestrians in last Wednesday’s attack. The 29-year-old, who was visiting London with her boyfriend, is still in hospital, almost a week after the tragedy.Her partner, Andrei Burnaz, had been planning to propose to her later that day. Mr Burnaz had been planning to propose to Ms Cristea on the day of the attackCredit:Facebook  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.center_img In a statement, the couple’s families said: “Our family is so grateful for the first responders, the medical personnel and the assistance of the UK Government agencies. Floral tributes to the victims outside the Palace of WestminsterCredit:Matt Dunham /AP Andrei Burnaz and Andreea Cristea from Romania who were injured during last week's terror attack The family of a Romanian woman who fell from Westminster Bridge into the River Thames during the terrorist attack say they are “overwhelmed by the love, support and respect” shown for her. Ms Cristea with her partner Andrei Burnaz, who was also injured in the attackCredit:PAlast_img read more

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Elite Chinese hacker rumored to be running Anvisoft antivirus firm

first_imgWhenever a new antivirus firm pops up, the Internet tends to be wary. Recent years have seen a multitude of malicious hacks and trojans masquerading as legitimate antivirus software, and suspicion is even more warranted when a firm appears to be based out of China. Anvisoft is a Chinese antivirus start up that has already been whitelisted by a few established AV companies. However, the man behind this venture might be one of the most noted hackers in China.There are hints that Anvisoft is concealing some very basic facts about itself. Back in April, a user inquired on Anvisoft’s own forums where the company was located. The answer from a rep: Canada. However, the domain registration record lists Freemont, California. The incorporation records, however, list Chengdu in the Sichuan Province of China as Anvisoft’s home base. The rep was also evasive when it came to naming the CEO of the business.Security analyst Brian Krebs did some digging, and was able to uncover some concerning details from a whois lookup and a reverse DNS lookup. The original registrant of the Anvisoft domain is listed as “wth rose.” This same individual held other domains, which led Krebs back to an email user name in Gaoxingu, China: “tandailin.”Krebs feels it’s safe to say that the man behind Anvisoft is Tan Dailin, a 28 year-old hacker that goes by the handle Withered Rose (or wth rose, if you’re in a hurry). This is notable because of Dailin’s involvement with a team of state-sponsored hackers in China called NCPH. While working with NCPH, Dailin designed zero-day exploits that targeted Microsoft Word, and also managed attacks on US Department of Defense assets.Dailin is most likely the mysterious CEO of Anvisoft, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the company is illegitimate. This man would certainly not be the first black hat hacker to turn over a new leaf, but the lack of information being released should give you pause. Several sites of questionable veracity are pushing Anvisoft’s Smart Defender software, but you might want to steer clear for now. There is probably a fox/hen house analogy to be made here.via Krebs on Securitylast_img read more

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As you see with Bundee Pacific Islanders can all dance and entertain

first_img‘As you see with Bundee, Pacific Islanders can all dance and entertain!’ Connacht head coach Pat Lam told us about his journey through the Polynesian-influenced Auckland rugby scene. 16,639 Views By Murray Kinsella Oct 27th 2016, 5:25 PM Ex-Leinster lock Thornbury’s adventure to the heartland of New Zealand rugby181kg and depressed to a pro contract in France: Kalolo Tuiloma’s tale Thursday 27 Oct 2016, 5:25 PM http://the42.ie/3048820 Short URL Share28 Tweet Email1 Aki is all about his Connacht family. Source: James Crombie/INPHO“Even when I go back to my cousins [in Samoa], they’re all neighbours. Everything is built around extended family and the reason they could have so many kids is because everyone looks after everybody.“When you go there, there’s a lot of song, a lot of dance. As you see with Bundee, they can all dance and entertain! I think that sense of belonging is about being part of a group and that’s why so many are involved in team sports rather than individual sports.”The physical prowess of the players Lam was working with in Auckland wasn’t in any doubt, nor was their skill set.He took a year to fully understand how he needed to organise his team in the disjointed nature of the season, but won the NPC in 2005 and then did so again in 2007 in an undefeated campaign.That title remains the last one Auckland has won, as the sheer level of talent in the province has not been turned into further success.“It’s about trying to get a structure where that talent can come out, but at times that was difficult because some guys grow up as players who can make something out of nothing,” says Lam on the subject of getting the most out of the Polynesian talent in Auckland.“Say if you have a 4 v 3 but the first guy just steps and goes and looks to beat them himself. That’s good, that’s fine, but sometimes the other players get reliant on that player, or that player gets reliant on his own ability and then he finds out that sometimes he can’t do that because the picture has changed. That’s where it breaks down.“That was one of the biggest challenges – to make it all about team and to get everyone understanding their roles.”Lam’s success led to him landing the Blues job in Super Rugby in 2009 and he guided the Auckland-based franchise into a semi-final in 2011 before his stint ended in disappointment in 2012.The breaking apart of, and “in-fighting” between, Auckland and the Blues was disruptive and a relationship that had helped the Blues win three Super Rugby titles has not yet fully recovered. Lam loves Auckland but Connacht is his home now. Source: James Crombie/INPHOLam looks back on that 2012 season with the Blues as a valuable lesson in his coaching career now, while his love for Auckland remains undiminished.“I’m always proud, it will always be my home team,” says Lam. “When I think of Auckland, I think of home. That’s where I was born and bred, even if it’s not my kids’ home now.“I was very privileged to play for them, coach them and to win championships as a player and as a coach, but for me now it’s about what I do with whoever I’m working with. All of those experiences have brought me here to where I am.“When I came here to Connacht, it was about trying to replicate what Auckland was for me. The only way I get a sense of home is to get to know the people, and I’m not even talking about the rugby people.“Get to really know the people and that gives you a sense of responsibility and what it’s about. If I didn’t really enjoy that, I’d probably go.”The42 is on Snapchat! Tap the button below on your phone to add! Add us: the42.ie Lam celebrates the Pro12 success last season. Source: James Crombie/INPHO“Everything was around leading standards and it didn’t surprise me that so many of those players went on to represent New Zealand. They really led it in that area in the transition from amateur to professional.”The love of Samoa never left Lam, with trips to the island to visit his relatives keeping it alive and he was capped by his parents’ native land in 1991, going on to win 34 caps, captain them and play in three World Cups.He did play for the All Blacks once in 1992 but it was a non-Test game against a Sydney team and he therefore did not go down the route trodden by the likes of Bryan Williams in adopting New Zealand as his Test nation.After spells with North Harbour, the Crusaders, Newcastle and Northampton – taking him into the professional era – Lam hung his boots up and moved into coaching in a role as Ian McGeechan’s assistant with Scotland in 2003.‘Geech’ was an important mentor and Lam enjoyed making the trips across to Europe for international camps with the Scots, but Auckland came calling in 2004 and the local boy jumped at the opportunity to head coach his home province.His Auckland squad included many players with backgrounds like his own, Polynesian descent. What is it that makes Samoans, Tongans and Fijians such good rugby players?“Of course, there’s the physicality, the combat, all of that sort of stuff. They’re built for it really. It was a natural fit, a natural game for Pacific Island men.”But more than that, Lam believes that the sheer importance of family in the Pacific Islands has meant the adaptation to rugby was a natural one.“Pacific Islanders are very similar to the Irish – it’s about family,” says Lam. “It’s all about ‘bro’, ‘cuzzy’, ‘cuzzybro’, ‘hey, brother’ and the way it was in the Pacific Islands, the grandparents, the children, the grandchildren, everyone was in the same area. Source: The42.ie/YouTubeThis post is part of The42′s Facing History series, supported by Cadbury Boost. To read more, click here.ONE SIDE OF Pat Lam’s office at the Sportsground in Galway is taken up by a large bookcase.Names like John Wooden, Carol Dweck and Bill Walsh stand out on the spines of the hundreds of books. Lam enjoys reading about and discussing the art of coaching and psychology, not specifically limited to rugby.On another wall, this one opposite the Connacht head coach’s desk, is a whiteboard with various reminders and ideas scrawled across it, but there’s one permanent quote at the top that won’t ever be wiped away.“I have no business doing what I do if I listen to people who have no idea or experience about what I do.”Lam got that one from Wayne Bennett, the legendary Brisbane Broncos boss who has been an influence on many coaches outside of rugby league.Lam has mentioned this quote a number of times in his media dealings in recent years and you might think he recalls it in periods of doubt, but the truth is that the 48-year-old has developed genuine confidence in what he does.Connacht’s poor start to the season may have rattled people on the outside of the province, but Lam was calm. He understood that the blip was fleeting, that it would pass as Connacht’s level of performance returned to its mean – which is now high-quality.Rugby has been Lam’s life, allowing a shy Samoan boy to grow into the leader he is today. His family are priority number one, of course, but the oval ball game has been almost ever-present as a source of happiness and the focus of Lam’s intellectual powers. Lam in Samoa colours in 1998. Source: EMPICS SportBorn in Auckland in 1968, Lam’s journey is also crucial in understanding a prominent strand of New Zealand rugby. His family is Samoan, their traditions those of the Pacific Island, but Lam was part of the transformation of Auckland rugby.Today, the Auckland scene is dominated by players of Polynesian descent, many of them Samoans like Lam.The contributions of players with Pacific Island backgrounds to New Zealand rugby is beyond dispute – the likes of Jerome Kaino, Keven Mealamu, the Savea brothers, Joe Rokocoko, Tana Umaga, Victor Vito, the list goes on and on and on.These men are celebrated as a key part of New Zealand rugby now and Auckland – the world’s largest Polynesian city – continues to produce hundreds of talented players for the sport.It wasn’t always the case that Pacific Islanders were celebrated in New Zealand rugby. Indeed, as the second generations of Pacific Islander immigrants began to excel in rugby, there was even concerned talk of the ‘browning of the All Blacks’.There were initially stereotyped notions that Polynesian players were only good for smashing each other in the collisions and that their growing influence would ‘dumb down’ New Zealand rugby.Lam was something of a trailblazer. A born and bred Aucklander, he was very much a Samoan boy nonetheless. Of course, he ended up playing Test rugby for Samoa but he understands the Auckland scene, and the Polynesian influence on it, better than most.Lam grew up in the suburb of Avondale, which used to be part of West Auckland but is now on the border of Central Auckland, such has been the sprawl of the city.“I was always West side and then there’s guys like Bundee [Aki] from the South side. That’s probably why Connacht was a good fit for me – the West side!”The rugby pitch in Avondale College served as Lam’s back yard as he grew up, and he spent countless hours on that field playing with his friends. He was just four-years-old when he was involved in his first game. Lam with Bundee Aki, who is also of Samoan descent. Source: James Crombie/INPHO“I remember even before I got to primary school, my uncle coached a team. My cousins who we grew up with, he coached their team. I was on the sideline and I was quite a big boy even when I was four.“They were short [on numbers] to play. It was seven-a-side playing in your bare feet and that’s where I first got introduced to it.“By the time we got to primary school, everyone played at lunch time. On a Saturday, it wasn’t a case of, ‘Is everyone going to show up?’ It was a case of, ‘How many teams do we have? Where can we fit everyone?’”As the little boy with “the brown face”, Lam was an exception to the norm. His parents are both Samoan but came to New Zealand, where they met, in order to find work and raise a family.That wider-scale immigration was only beginning back then, and Lam stresses that rugby was important for him in integrating into life in Auckland.“In primary school, it pretty much gave me my identity because I was pretty shy. Where I was at, there wasn’t too many Pacific Islanders in the school.“I would say back in the ’70s and ’80s, Pacific Islanders were seen as the factory workers, they were seen as not the top echelon of society, if you like.”Lam’s first memory of watching the All Blacks is a 1975 game against Scotland at Eden Park [or ‘Lake Eden’], when the pitch was flooded but the match continued.All eyes in the Lam household were on Bryan Williams – an Auckland native whose father was Samoan and whose mother was also of Samoan descent.“He stood out because he was the only Pacific Islander in the team,” says Lam. “You look at the team now, look at my school, and the kids there now – it’s a lot of brown faces.“You look at the changing of the All Black faces, Auckland rugby and club rugby. There are so many Pacific Islanders playing now. It all started to happen in the late ’90s and the early 2000s, the second generation Samoans coming through, and it completely changed the shape of New Zealand rugby I think.” Lam at the 1999 World Cup. Source: PA Archive/PA ImagesLam’s secondary schooling took place at St. Peter’s College, a Catholic state school close to the city centre.The Grafton-based school had never won a prestigious Auckland 1A title when Lam first joined, while they’d also never tasted a home success in the ‘Battle of the Bridge’ against bitter rivals Auckland Grammar, a much bigger school situated just 250 metres down the road. Lam was enthralled by the focus on rugby.“Even the team announcements, there was a big board on the wall and the team would be chalked up there,” he recalls with a smile.“Everyone would be waiting around on Thursday afternoon to see who was going to make the First XV. It was such a big occasion. As a 12 or 13-year-old I was thinking ‘Wow, this is massive.’”As Lam established himself and began helping St. Peter’s to success, his confidence as a person grew.“It changed me completely because I wasn’t a natural leader. When you’re in a big school, as soon as you walk on the field everyone’s playing rugby and you join in. I was playing with older guys because I was big and you might bump someone off and word gets around, ‘Oh, he’s a good rugby player.’“The teachers who are rugby coaches start coming up and having chats to you about going into their team and you start getting a few favours, and quickly start working out that rugby has a lot of benefits in a rugby school.“Even to the point that one of the teachers would give me the squash court or the gym to use; I had my own key to go in any time. There was a lot of perks in playing rugby!”For Lam’s parents, his progress into the First XV was also vital in bringing them into New Zealand society.While Samoan culture remained a huge part of the Lam’s family life, the exposure to the parents of Pat’s team-mates on the St. Peter’s First XV helped them to integrate.“I think it completely changed my parents,” says Lam. “When I was young, discipline was strong in Samoan culture. You pretty much got a smack if you did things wrong and I appreciate that because it taught us right and wrong. Lam’s journey began in Auckland. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO“You’re not allowed do that now obviously, the law says you can’t. My parents were firm and fair, but I think what happened was, growing up the New Zealand way, the parents in the First XV were a strong community.“Each set of parents was rostered to have a team party or dinner after each game.“My parents just saw there was a different way to do things and they felt a real bond with all the other parents in the school. They ended up being life-long friends and I think that gave my parents good insight – because traditionally it was just work and come home to family – but they met a whole new group.“They were extremely proud of me making the First XV and that’s when you sort of recognise, maybe I’ve got something here.”He would later feel that same pride when his own sons came through the St. Peter’s ranks.Lam’s playing ascent continued with selection to the Auckland U16s, New Zealand U17s and Schools, and eventually the senior Auckland provincial set-up. The game was still amateur at that time in the early ’90s but Lam loved the honour.There were three National Provincial Championships for Auckland in Lam’s five years there, while he was also involved in the latter part of the incredible streak that saw Auckland defend the Ranfurly Shield 61 times between 1985 and 1993.Graham Henry was in charge for Lam’s last two years with Auckland, becoming an important figure in his transition into coaching later on.“Effectively, when I came through in Auckland, it was a really good example of professionalism not being about the money,” says Lam. “It was all around the attitude and the way you did things.“I remember coming to training and straight away you knew where you had to sit and so forth, but in training you just did not make a mistake. They would record any ball that went down and they could say, ‘A ball hasn’t been dropped for three weeks.’“People were diving to catch passes! You learn pretty quickly that there was a seniority but there were standards and they came hard at you. You had to toughen up or you’d get kicked out. 5 Comments Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

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45 years of compassion recognised

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Loula Kostos is almost 80, yet she still continues to volunteer her time every week to help sick children and parents at the Royal Children’s Hospital.What keeps her going, “as corny as it sounds” she says, is the reward she gets from making a difference in someone’s life.Kostos, who began as a Greek interpreter 45 years ago today works one day a week in the recovery ward, escorting patients and family members into the theatre, and supporting families whilst their child is having surgery.She was recently named the recipient of the hospital’s 45 Years of Service Award, and only last week nominated for a Minister for Health Volunteer Award.Whilst she is appreciative that her efforts have been recognised, she admits it has not always been easy.“I had to get used to what I saw in the early days because you see a lot of bad things,” she says.“When I first started I remember a little Greek boy born without a top on his head and with three nostrils, and I had to go and interpret for the little boy’s family.The father said he couldn’t take his baby home because it was so awful and told them to take him away to a special home. But it had a good ending because a week later, the parents came in and said they wanted to keep him. He grew up doing all the things the doctors said he couldn’t do; he learnt to walk, grew to be intelligent and in the end they put a top on his head.”As the Greek-Australian community grew and their children grew up speaking English, Loula moved away from interpreting and to helping the families in the recovery ward.A normal day at the hospital will see her in the waiting room keeping children occupied with toys, and comforting mothers whist their children undergo surgery.“I walk in with the mothers down that long corridor before their child is having heart surgery and it is very traumatic for them. “They start crying and they make you cry too sometimes. But you become hardened to it and you learn how to cope, just like they all do.”Despite suffering from and eventually beating breast cancer, Kostos continued her volunteering services and intends to continue into the future. She laughs heartily when I remind her that it is her eightieth birthday this year.“I enjoy it- that’s the reason I keep going! You go in there on Monday and you feel on top of the world and by the end of the week you’re complaining about little things and just as you get fed up, you go in there again on Monday and think, oh my God aren’t I lucky!”last_img read more

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VIDEO Behind the scenes at WrestleMania 32 The Bella Twins get emotional

first_img Videos Articles WWE Confirms The Shield And Ronda Rousey At Super Show-Down Google+ Pinterest WWE has posted a series of videos from backstage at WrestleMania 32 last night.Behind the scenes at WrestleMania 32The Bella Twins get emotional, hint at Brie’s final matchCharlotte talks about the new WWE Women’s Championship WWE Royal Rumble Card Update For 2019 Now Playing Up Next Ronda Rousey New stipulation added to Roman Reigns vs. Erick Rowan this Sunday at Clash of Champions Becky Lynch Recommended videosPowered by AnyClipWWE Female Superstars Get Green Light To Bounce Between BrandsVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPauseUnmuteDuration 0:34/Current Time 0:03Loaded: 100.00%0:03Remaining Time -0:31 FullscreenUp NextThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Replay the list Now Playing Up Next WWE Clash of Champions Results – 9/15/19 (Rollins vs. Strowman, Kingston vs. Orton) Now Playing Up Next Charlotte Flair And Becky Lynch Involved In Brawl At An Unlikely Location WhatsApp Nikki Bella Fires Back At Ronda Rousey Now Playing Up Next Facebook Charlotte Flair Twitter WWE Female Superstars Get Green Light To Bounce Between Brands Videos Articles Adam Martin RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Now Playing Up Next Videos Articles WWE United States Championship match added to Clash of Champions this Sunday in Charlottelast_img read more

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Atlantikós serves up Greek food at The St Regis

first_imgGyros, feta cheese, hummus. Shireen loves everything about Greek food. What Lynn really loves is the spirit of opa and breaking plates. Thanks to one South Florida hotel, you can enjoy the fun of opa nights, too.Greek tradition has invaded Bal Harbour with quite the smash.Panos Nikiforou: “It’s like a party, we celebrate here at Atlantikós.”Atlantikós, in The St. Regis Bal Harbour, provides guests and locals with the ultimate Greek experience.Panos Nikiforou: “Greeks want to enjoy their life, they go out and spend their time in nice places.”They’re serving Greece’s best kept secrets and the more popular Mediterranean dishes we love here in the States.Panos Nikiforou: “Greek cuisine is not spicy, it’s mostly seafood oriented, light options over there, very healthy.” FOR MORE INFO:Atlantikós at The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort9703 Collins AvenueMiami Beach, FL, 33154(305) 993-3333http://www.stregisbalharbour.com/AtlantikosCopyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Anastasios Chasekioglou: “Seventy-five percent of our products came straight from Greece.”The restaurant hopes to make you feel like you’ve been transported from the 305, all the way to the European nation.Anastasios Chasekioglou: “We offer Greek food made for Miami.”Every Thursday night from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. — it’s opa night, complete with authentic culinary dishes served family style.Not a fan of fish? Chef has this to offer for all you meat lovers.Panos Nikiforou: “Greek beef and lamb meatballs, served with Greek yogurt.”And yes they have gyros, or as they’re called in Greek gee rows. center_img Panos Nikiforou: “Gyros is a thing that’s famous all over the world. We make it homemade here.”And to complete the experience, Greek wine… all for $45 a person.And a live band plays traditional music.Of course the delicacies will suit your pallet, but don’t just take our word for it.Kellie Torda: “It’s amazing. I don’t even feel like I’m in Miami. I feel like I could be in Greece.”And it all caps off with the ceremonial breaking of the plates.Panos Nikiforou: “We break plates. Breaking plates is something positive for us. It’s we keep the positive energy with us and we keep away the negative energy.” last_img read more

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Exclusive Jon Cleary Premieres DynaMite Video Talks New Orleans Roots

first_img Email News Exclusive: Jon Cleary Lets The Song Lead exclusive-jon-cleary-premieres-dyna-mite-video-talks-new-orleans-roots Facebook Twitter Exclusive: Jon Cleary Premiere’s “Dyna-Mite” Video, Talks New Orleans Roots The GRAMMY-winning singer/songwriter delves into the musical lineage that informed his latest album, ‘Dyna-Mite,’ and premieres the video for its title trackPaul ZolloGRAMMYs Aug 10, 2018 – 10:13 am “In New Orleans,” says Jon Cleary, “you have to keep it real.” It’s that authenticity which  drew him to this city, and its music, in the first place, although he grew up more than an ocean away in England. Never did he yearn to reinvent New Orlean music, or to bring some singular British slant to it. He yearned only to belong to this tradition and to celebrate its spirit in new song and old with real-time reverence.That devotion led him to forge an expansively exuberant and intimate connection with the music, which he’s made lovingly now for 35 years, and resulted in immediate, unequivocal acceptance into the fold.  Soon as New Orleans heard him play, it didn’t matter where he was born. Cleary was then, and remains, an absolute musical monster. Yet a polite and erudite British one, hence the name of his band the Absolute Monster Gentlemen.He started as a kid on guitar, until R&B 45s came into his consciousness. Gradually he morphed into a pianist and then a seriously great pianist. He also started writing and performing songs, as well as playing any instrument he could find.  His great playing led to invitations from successive legends to play with them, most notably Bonnie Raitt, who heard his funky fluency and wanted it for her band. “Jon Cleary,” she once said, “is the ninth wonder of the world.”That wonder sparkles with ongoing greatness on Cleary’s newest album, Dyna-mite, which weds all facets of his expression. It’s fat, funky, and it grooves. It’s his first since 2015’s Go Go Juice, which won the GRAMMY for Best Regional Roots album at the 58th GRAMMY Awards. Accepting that award, his mission statement was clear, expressing real gratitude for the inclusion he was offered from the start.”I’d like to thank that large family of New Orleans musicians,” he said, “and the giants who came before us on whose shoulders we’re standing, especially Allen Toussaint, who did the horns on this and who is very missed.”  He also thanked his parents, and his grandmother, Sweet Dolly Daydream, an English music-hall singing star.Presently in Europe and beyond on tour with with Raitt before returning home, he spoke to us, on Oslo time, about all this and more. Here he is, in his own words:Discovering The New Orleans Sound I had an uncle who lived in New Orleans for many years when I was very young, and came back with great 45 records, and those, along with his stories,  became the basis for my education in New Orleans Rhythm & Blues.  Also an Englishman named John Broven wrote a definitive history of New Orleans R&B called Rhythm and Blues in New Orleans. The combination of my uncle’s stories and 45s and this factual history book gave me a lot of background. I always wanted to go there, and was just waiting until I was old enough to leave school and do it.I don’t think it was random. This music is in my soul, really. I don’t know if I could have gone down any other musical path.  I think it was fortuitous that I had this direct connection with the music of New Orleans. I felt I  was hard-wired to process that style of music. I heard Professor Longhair, Fats Domino and Allen Toussaint records and I loved them. But I also loved a lot of British music I heard. So it was a bit of nature and nurture both.It wasn’t till years later I discovered that these records I loved all came out of New Orleans. There was a tune called “Brickyard Blues,” which was a hit for a Scottish singer Frankie Miller. I loved that tune, and couldn’t wait for it to come on the radio. When it did I would be absolutely mesmerized. Found out  years later it was recorded in New Orleans, and was written by Allen Toussaint. And there were many tunes like that which pressed all of my buttons.Becoming A PianistI started on guitar as a teenager and it was my main instrument. We had my grandmother’s old piano, and I’d play guitar chords on it. But once I heard New Orleans piano music, I realized that is what I loved. When I first moved to New Orleans, I didn’t bring a guitar, and I realized that piano music was more interesting to me. It also was a new way to look at chord shapes. It offers the widest range of all instruments. It was like being let out of a small garden into a huge playing field.The old musicians I played with in New Orleans didn’t really care that I spoke with a funny accent. Or that I was a lot younger than then, or white, or English. It didn’t matter. As long as you could play, that is all they cared about.Serving The SongI’ve learned how to avoid bad cliches in songwriting. But also to embrace the good ones. There’s twelve notes and four beats to the bar. How much variety can there be before it begins to sound like Schoenberg or Thelonious Monk? That’s why there aren’t many pop songs written in 5/4. People want to dance. Harmonically, there aren’t that many combinations of those twelve tones that haven’t been played yet. And they haven’t been played yet probably because they don’t sound good. There’s nothing new under the sun.  So you try to avoid the bad cliches. But let in the good cliches. The 12-bar blues.I’ve got lots of unfinished songs. Sometimes if I can’t finish it, I’ll put it on the mental backburner, and come back to it. Sometimes it will be a long time, but I’ll finish it. There’s one on the new album called “All Good Things” that I started 25 years ago.    I’ve written many songs with varying degrees of success and failure. I’m always open to any way into a song. No one method always works,  and it might  be dangerous if you found some kind of formula.Sometimes a song idea can be as fleeting as a dream is when you wake up. For the first few seconds it’s very vivid. But within five seconds of opening your eyes, it’s gone. The same thing happens with music. Sometimes you get an idea for a song and you can hear all the parts. You hear it almost as if you are listening to a record of it, as if it has been complete and in the world for a long time. You try to get just a snapshot of it.When I write songs, I start in different places. Sometimes I’ll have an idea for a hook with no instrument, and sing it into my phone. Other times  I’ll go straight to the studio and  pick up the bass, or go to electric piano and just start playing. Sometimes it starts  with drums. Whatever the nearest instrument is will lead me to a certain direction.But it doesn’t really matter what instrument I use, because the songs lead the way. All I need to do, really, is follow, and stay out of the way. To let the song shine and sing.Catching Up On Music News Powered By The Recording Academy Just Got Easier. Have A Google Home Device? “Talk To GRAMMYs”Read morelast_img read more

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Priyanka Chopra gives it back to Salman Khan reveals why she left

first_imgPriyanka ChopraInstagramAfter keeping her calm for a while, ignoring Salman Khan’s unprompted responses against her; it seems, Priyanka Chopra has decided to give it back to Salman Khan. In the wrap-up party of The Sky is Pink, Priyanka indirectly revealed why she chose this film and not the others.In a video that has now gone viral, Priyanka can be seen calling the film a ‘song-and-dance’ film. She said, “Everyone questions my judgment – why not this tent-pole, potboiler, song-and-dance film and why am I playing a mother.” When the people present at the party asked what those ‘potboilers’ are, she chose to just laugh it off.Chopra also added that it was the director Shonali Bose and her vision that made her choose the film over a tentpole, song-and-dance film.In the last few months, following the episode of Priyanka Chopra’s decision to quit the film, Salman Khan had made several references, jibes, comments and digs at the actress for choosing to walk out of his film. “She (Priyanka) spoke to me saying, ‘Nick (American actor-singer Nick Jonas) has proposed to me and I want to get married, so there will be some date issues’. I said, ‘Sure, get married, we can adjust those two, three days. Then she said that she does not want to do the film,” Salman had said at a media interaction.Not just this, he even went onto say that Priyanka Chopra was a gutsy woman since she chose to leave one of the biggest projects of her career by choosing to not do Bharat. A large section of Priyanka’s fans and followers condemned Khan’s comments calling them sexist and made out of ‘hurt ego’.last_img read more

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Karnataka CM Yediyurappa promises lions share of jobs for Kannadigas

first_imgBS YediyurappaTwitterKarnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said his government is committed to ensuring that employment opportunities for Kannadigas are never compromised and that they get a lion’s share of jobs in the state.Yediyurappa was delivering his Independence Day address at Field Marshal Manekshaw Parade Grounds in Bengaluru on Thursday.The government’s move came after pro-Kannada organisation Kannada Ranadheera Pade led a 24-hour protest campaign — Karnataka jobs for Kannadigas —  demanding 100 percent job reservation.The president of the organisation Harish B Kumar said: “We are Kannadigas first and then Indians. India is a country made up of states and not the other way around”. He emphasised that they were proud Indians. “It is sad that the Union government has refused to acknowledge the flag officially despite a request to do so,” Kumar added.Recently, protests and social media campaigns were taken on this issue and activists have been demanding a policy similar to the one in Andhra Pradesh. In July 2019, Andhra became the first Indian state to reserve 75 percent jobs for locals in all private industrial sectors.Yediyurappa said that the government is ready to offer equal job opportunities to the people migrating to Karnataka seeking employment. But, he also said the people migrating to the state should also adapt to the Kannada culture, language and lifestyle without compromising their identity.”In this regard, Kannadigas lead by example. Kannadigas no matter where they go and settle blend seamlessly with the country or town of adoption. This is worth emulating,” he added.In his speech, the CM said that Bengaluru should also be developed like San Francisco’s Silicon Valley. He said that Karnataka has met 98 percent of criteria in ease of doing business and the government will take steps to achieve 100 percent.The 2014-19 industrial policy of Karnataka will expire in September and the government will come up with new policies to boost development in areas recognised as backward, Tier 2 and Tier 3, to attract investments outside of Bengaluru and create job opportunities.Yediyurappa said that his government is committed to building a wealthy and healthy Karnataka, focusing beyond the boundaries of Bengaluru.last_img read more

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Linux camp has key to Windows 8 boot lockout

first_img(Phys.org)—Microsoft’s rocky reputation with the open source community was not exactly obliterated with hardware news surrounding the upcoming launch of the operating system, Windows 8. Systems will come with Secure Boot enabled in the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI). Only operating systems with an appropriate digital signature will be able to boot. The worry was that only Windows 8 will run on these systems. Users would find it hard to boot non-Microsoft operating systems. UEFI stands for Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI)and it defines a software interface between an operating system and platform firmware. PC BIOS soon to be replaced by UEFI Numerous PCs designed for the mass market will be labeled with Windows 8 and that in turn set many users to think these are tough times for Linux users to boot their favorite Linux flavors. Some see this as a way for Microsoft simply to ensure security over its machines while others see it as a way for Microsoft to push Linux distributions to the back of the line.Systems with the Designed for Windows 8 that include the Secure Boot can stop unsigned code such as malware from running during the boot process. Any operating system will also be prevented to run if it doesn’t have the approved bootloader.Open source advocates recognize that UEFI has its security merits. Earlier this year, Olaf Kirch, director of the SUSE Linux Enterprise department in SUSE Engineering, called UEFI Secure Boot a useful technology, as it makes life more difficult for attackers to hide a rootkit in the boot chain. At the same time, he said, the basics of its operation, establishing a single root of trust, “conflict with the principles of Open Source development, which must be independent and distributed to work.”Outside Microsoft, big name vendors have been responding with workarounds. Leading Linux names, Canonical, Red Hat, and SUSE have been working on ways that allow their distributions to boot on Windows 8-certified hardware.The Linux Foundation, meanwhile, has come up with a plan to bypass the problem presented by Secure Boot to enable users of open source operating systems to continue to boot on hardware certified for Windows 8. The foundation has announced it will obtain a key from Microsoft and sign a small pre-bootloader. This will allow the booting of any operating system. In a guest post from James Bottomley, Linux Foundation Technical Advisory Board, talked about the Windows 8 move. “In a nutshell, the Linux Foundation will obtain a Microsoft Key and sign a small pre-bootloader which will, in turn, chain load (without any form of signature check) a predesignated boot loader which will, in turn, boot Linux (or any other operating system).”This will be a general purpose solution, not just for Linux. The key would not directly enable booting but instead would transfer control to another bootloader to boot an operating system. As such, the workaround is called the”pre-bootloader.” The pre-bootloader goes past the Secure Boot process. A boot-loader such as GRUB2 takes over and handles the OS booting.According to the Foundation, all the work is left to the real bootloader which “must be installed on the same partition as the pre-bootloader with the known path loader.efi (although the binary may be any bootloader including Grub2).” Once the pre-bootloader is run, the user can boot any OS without having to worry about Secure Boot lockouts. As for a risk that it will turn out to be a vector for malware, the pre-bootloader can be used to boot a CD/DVD installer or LiveCD distribution or even boot an installed operating system in secure mode for any distribution. The pre-bootloader will involve a “present user test.” Someone must be present at boot time to confirm the user wants a particular OS to run. After the pre-bootloader carries out its work, it will wait for a prompt for a user before continuing The user test removes the fear that it can be used to carry malware. More information: www.linuxfoundation.org/news-m … t-system-open-source Explore furthercenter_img Citation: Linux camp has key to Windows 8 boot lockout (2012, October 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-10-linux-key-windows-boot-lockout.html © 2012 Phys.org This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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Discover the Caribbean in the tiny villages of Costa Rica

first_imgNo related posts. A chorus of howling half-human cries jolted us awake on the first morning of our little Caribbean vacation. It wasn’t the kind of wake-up call that we were expecting (we weren’t expecting one at all), and it took me a minute of fumbling in the pre-dawn darkness just to remember where I was.And there it was again: a cacophony of bellowing, rasping roars that seemed to be coming from just outside the door of our bungalow.Then it dawned on me: howler monkeys.My husband and I were in Cahuita, a lazy, out-of-the-way beach town tucked down near the southern end of Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast. We’d driven from the capital, San José, the day before and settled into our jungle hideaway just before dark. We were expecting to have a good long sleep – not to be startled awake at 4:30 in the morning. But in Cahuita, as it turns out, that’s all part of the experience.I admit that I had hesitated to add Cahuita to our itinerary in Costa Rica – but not because of the threat of howling monkeys. Rightly or wrongly, I tend to associate Caribbean vacations with cruise ships, midnight buffets and all-inclusive resorts. We’d come to Costa Rica to do outdoorsy adventure stuff – whitewater rafting, hiking up volcanoes, zip-lining through the cloud forest – not to lounge on a crowded beach sipping overpriced cocktails.But Cahuita wouldn’t be like that, or so we’d been assured by a couple of friends who knew the area. In Cahuita, they’d said, we’d discover the Caribbean as it was meant to be.And so we did – howler monkeys and all.When we pulled into Cahuita on that first afternoon, it was immediately clear that this isn’t your typical tourist beach town. The place has an old-village feel, with ramshackle wooden buildings, gravel streets and kids tooling around on their bikes. We took a quick stroll through town to get our bearings and saw people sitting out on their front porches, having a drink and watching the world go by.It might have been those front porches, but to me the place seemed to have strong overtones of the U.S. deep South – the Florida panhandle, or maybe the Georgia coast. That sort of connection would kind of make sense, given the region’s history. An Afro-Caribbean fisherman named William Smith was the first person to settle in Cahuita back in 1828. Other fishermen followed, and the area slowly developed into a fishing community with a strong Afro-Caribbean heritage.Today, Spanish is spoken alongside an English-based patois, and salsa music mixes with reggae on the radio airwaves. Local restaurants serve such classic Costa Rican dishes as gallo pinto (rice and beans), but you can also find spicy jerk chicken and other Caribbean staples. Those same cultural influences are evident up and down Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast: Limón, Cahuita’s province, is the most culturally diverse region in the country.We didn’t have too much time before dark, so on that first afternoon of our visit, we decided to head straight for the area’s star attraction: Cahuita National Park, whose main entrance lies at the far end of the village.We checked in at the park gatehouse, a little wooden hut on the edge of a sandy beach, and set off down the 5-mile trail that winds along the park’s coast. We were walking in the shade of palms, strangler figs and mahogany trees, but we could still see glimpses, and sometimes full views, of the glittering ocean on our left.Just 6.5 square miles covering both land and sea, plus another 86 square miles of marine area, Cahuita National Park is one of the smaller reserves in Costa Rica’s extensive network of protected areas. But the park, which was first brought under government protection in 1970, packs a lot into its modest acreage, encompassing tropical rain forest, mangrove swamps and the country’s largest coral reef. It’s home to monkeys, iguanas, toucans, herons, sea turtles and an impressive array of venomous snakes.We didn’t manage to spot all that wildlife in our 90-minute stroll as the sun went down. But we did have a few sightings: a furry gray three-toed sloth taking a nap (a long one, we suspected) in the crook of a tree trunk; a heron standing watch over a little cove; and white-faced capuchin monkeys rustling in the canopy overhead. And then, just as we were about to leave the park, an agouti – a little rodent that looks like the confused, energetic offspring of a squirrel and a Chihuahua – skipped across the trail ahead of us.Not a bad start for our first two hours, I thought.We were up early the next morning, thanks to that ear-splitting monkey wake-up call. We decided to take full advantage of the long day and drive down to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, a somewhat larger coastal town about 10 miles to the south.While Cahuita is rustic and sleepy, Puerto Viejo is rustic and lively, a veritable little party town stretched out along the coast. With plenty of foreigners wandering around in their swimsuits and flip-flops, it had an unmistakable tourist vibe. But still, we saw no signs of chain hotels, and there weren’t any cruise ships lining the bay.We wanted to rent a couple of bikes, which was easy enough to arrange at one of the half-dozen bike shops lining Puerto Viejo’s main street. The cost for a full-day rental: $5 apiece.All geared up with our pastel-colored bikes, we headed south out of town, on the smooth, narrow road that parallels the coast. For the first mile or so, we passed clusters of guesthouses, gift shops and cafes. But then the buildings dwindled, and the jungle grew thicker on either side of the road. The late-morning sun was warm on our sweaty backs, and the air was heavy with humidity and the dense smells of forest and flowering trees.We pedaled all the way to the end of the road, and we were so enamored of the journey that when the pavement turned into a sandy trail, we parked the bikes and started to walk. We’d reached the village of Manzanillo, a tiny outpost less than 10 miles from the border with Panama. But beyond Manzanillo, there’s no road to the border – only a faint trace of a footpath that snakes its way through the remote Gandoca-Manzanillo National Wildlife Reserve.After locking our bikes to a tree, we set off on foot on the path along the coast, keeping our eyes peeled for toucans, kingfishers and other birds that we hadn’t yet managed to spot. But the walking didn’t last long: Within about 30 minutes, the path died out – or so it seemed to us – on a hidden little curve of sand that was empty except for a few crabs that quickly scurried into their holes. So we scrapped the idea of a walk, dropped our bags and went for a beautiful warm-water swim.We took our time riding back to Puerto Viejo that afternoon and returned the bikes just as darkness began to fall. Hungry and thirsty after all that time in the sun, we grabbed a table at the Lazy Mon, a beachside bar with a distinctly reggae feel, and settled in for a couple of hours of plain old chilling out. We ordered mango margaritas – two for the price of one – and dove into a heaping plate of handmade tortilla chips and fresh guacamole. The band crooned “No Woman, No Cry” as the sea breeze rustled the palms overhead.Did it feel like a Caribbean cliche? Oh, yes. In the very best way possible.We had one final morning in Cahuita, and we wanted to use it well. So we signed up for that quintessential Caribbean activity, snorkeling, in Cahuita’s coral reefs.Spread across about 1,500 acres, the coral reef in Cahuita National Park is the largest of its kind in Costa Rica. The reef was damaged in an earthquake that struck the area in 1991, but it has been recovering well, thanks in large part to the protection that the park affords.Just past 8 in the morning, we piled into a little motorboat with two other couples and a local guide who introduced himself as Carlos. We set off across the bay, puttering along for about 15 minutes before Carlos stopped the boat and motioned for us all to heave ourselves over the side and into the water.Carlos didn’t speak a lot of English, but he didn’t need any language skills for this kind of tour guiding. We just swam behind him as he flippered his way around the boat, diving down to point out the octopi, lobsters and sea urchins hiding in the clusters of coral below. At one point a stingray slid past us, its long tail swaying gently in the current.I swam a little ways away from the group, lingering a bit and getting a closer look at the rounded mounds of brain coral and stately rows of Elkhorn coral that dotted the seafloor. The fish were as thick as they were full of color: multi-hued angelfish, neon-blue parrotfish, banana-yellow butterfly fish and dozens of other species.But what really struck me was the quiet. As I floated around in that underwater world, the only sounds I could hear were the swish of the ocean in my ears and my own breath as it pushed its way to the surface.© 2013, The Washington Post Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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Egypt intelligence agency tries to reclaim image

first_imgThis month, Morsi issued a presidential decree to re-open all the investigations. The investigative committee, though, will likely not have authority to investigate the military’s involvement in deadly protests since Mubarak’s toppling.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Associated PressCAIRO (AP) – Egypt’s top intelligence agency, long a secretive power behind the country’s ruling system, is taking a small but unprecedented step out of the shadows in an apparent attempt to win the public’s support in the face of potential challenges from the new Islamist president.In an unusual move, the General Intelligence Service _ known as the “Mukhabarat” in Arabic _ released a 41-minute-long documentary boasting of its achievements, presenting itself as the defender of the nation and vowing to continue to protect the country. Eventually, the Brotherhood may try to reshape the security agencies. “If restructuring doesn’t happen immediately, it will sooner or later,” Morayef said. “The battle hasn’t started yet.”Already, the Brotherhood is in a power struggle with the military, which has ruled since Mubarak’s fall. It has formally handed over power to Morsi, but before doing so it seized overwhelming authorities for itself that retain a large degree of control and restrain the new president. The military’s head, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, vowed that the army would never allow the Brotherhood to dominate the country.The Mukhabarat and the military are in “complete cooperation and understanding” with one another, Gen. al-Yazal said. The intelligence agency’s building is located behind the walls of the Defense Ministry in Cairo. Intelligence chiefs are often from the military. Throughout most of its history, the intelligence agency’s chief was never named, until the last decade when its head Omar Suleiman emerged in a public role as Mubarak’s right-hand man.Suleiman was one of the most powerful figures in Mubarak’s inner circle, serving as his intelligence chief since 1993 and then as his vice president during the 2011 uprising. He was dubbed “Mubarak’s black box” because of his reputation as the regime’s holder of secrets. When Mubarak fell, he was replaced as intelligence chief by Murad Muwafi. Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family “The eye of the Egyptian intelligence does not sleep,” the narrator says. In one of the film’s many dramatic images, it shows footage of a falcon _ the agency’s symbol _ circling in the sky and swooping down to snatch up a snake.“Behind the curtains, the men of Egypt’s intelligence services continue to monitor issues, analyze facts, confront offenses, carry out operations and succeed in achievements without us knowing what they look like or who they are,” the narrator says.The documentary, aired late last week on private and state-run Egyptian TV stations, also plays heavily on widespread anti-Israel sentiment among Egyptians, saying the agency has protected Egypt from plots by Israel and its Western allies. It shows footage from World War II, including images of Jews interned in Nazi camps, and says that Jews plotted for “a nation created on the land of Palestine.”The film, titled “The Word of a Nation,” was a highly unusual public relations move for an agency which traditionally stays hidden, has an opaque but pervasive role and is described by experts as “a state within a state.” The agency oversees espionage efforts abroad but also plays a significant role domestically. It was a crucial underpinning of Hosni Mubarak’s 29-year rule, working to suppress his opponents and ensure the loyalty of institutions nationwide. Suleiman briefly tried to run for president _ provoking a furious outcry from those who launched the revolution against Mubarak _ but failed to qualify on technical grounds.Now the Mukhabarat have faced sharp criticism from Morsi’s Brotherhood as well as pro-democracy activists who fear it will keep its grip on the state. Some have been calling for the prosecution of Suleiman for his connections to Mubarak’s regime, notorious for its political repression and corruption.“Suleiman’s papers should not have been submitted to the elections commission, but to the courts,” said Mohammed el-Beltagy, a leading Brotherhood member and former lawmaker, during a recent interview on the privately-owned ONTV. “This (the agency) is at the heart of Mubarak’s regime, which used to rely on the intelligence services and state security.”During Mubarak’s trial, in which he was sentenced to life in prison for failing to stop the killing of hundreds of protesters during the revolt against him, prosecutors and lawyers for the victims’ families accused the intelligence agency of being uncooperative in the investigation and of destroying tapes and other vital documents incriminating police of targeting unarmed protesters. Former intelligence officer Gen. Sameh Seif al-Yazal told The Associated Press that the film was made to raise awareness about the importance of the agency after it came under attack by some for not doing its job and was criticized as serving remnants of Mubarak’s regime.But it comes at a time when the agency and other key parts of the old system are looking to defend their turf and their sway over the country after the election victory of the new president, Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood. The group was the chief nemesis of Mubarak’s regime and was repressed by his widely-hated state security services and the Mukhabarat itself.In theory, the intelligence agency and other security services would now report to Morsi _ but they and the military are believed to be pushing back to ensure that does not happen and that Morsi does not get to name the government ministers who would oversee them.“For many years, the (agency) saw the Brotherhood as their prime enemy,” said Heba Morayef, a researcher for Human Rights Watch in Egypt. “And because of the treatment the Brotherhood saw for many years, there is a fundamental mistrust and an inherent power struggle that is yet to be addressed.” Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debatescenter_img More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Top Stories Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories The vital role family plays in society 5 ways to recognize low testosterone 3 international destinations to visit in 2019last_img read more

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Niyonkuru was deputy director of the Bank of the Republic of Burundi (BRB).com/2013/01/03/endgame-for-an-enduring-disease-pakistans-fight-against-polio/#ixzz3B2NhEmFu Contact us at editors@time And, but would still mean a $2. Instead."We take spoofing seriously at the FCC and we will continue to do everything we can to confront the scourge of spoofed robocalls, It is not yet known if Florence will make landfall. read more

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The Senate has shown more support for the agency and has reversed similar cuts in previous years.8 billion.

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striking far beyond the theater of conflict in Iraq and Syria."She noted that Miller’s team failed to make the NCAA tournament in each of her last four seasons and cited an abysmal record against conference rivals Minnesota and Wisconsin over that time period. but a personal one. Megan McCluskey An American Marriage by Tayari Jones When a young black man named Roy is wrongfully imprisoned, “He forgets that he is not God and that he will soon leave power. I challenge him to do his worse and enjoy the short time that he has left in office.According to the CBO,"We can repeal. read more

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is being held on unrelated charges in the Cass County Jail.

Though the shooters were wearing masks, said Brianne Langton,Langton estimated about a dozen spaces were vacant downtown. who lives across Michigan Avenue from where the shooting took place.Shots were fired, 2016 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) alongside two senior serving Air Force officers, stealing,” Cocoa farmers in Nigeria have accused the Federal Government of damaging their crops by procuring substandard agricultural inputs for farmers. some of the inputs allegedly procured by the ministry include, once it starts.

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