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Colombia to Mexico via human smugglers Brazeaus alleged victim reveals journey to

first_imgJorge Barrera APTN National NewsShe said the beginning of the journey began in a courtroom “like this one” in Colombia when police escorted her toddler son’s father from prison to sign the release so she could take the boy to Panama for “vacation.”On the afternoon of day two in the Gatineau, Que., trial of suspended Senator Patrick Brazeau, who has pleaded not guilty to charges of assault and sexual assault, defence lawyer Gerard Larocque attacked the credibility of the alleged victim during cross-examination. First he pressed her on details of her tale of escape to Canada and then suggested the RCMP helped her get permanent status in exchange for dirt on the fallen Algonquin politician.When he hit a dead-end, Larocque abruptly switched to the subject of a necklace Brazeau gave the woman. The slight necklace belonged to Brazeau’s mother and the alleged victim said she ripped it off during the incident on that Thursday morning of Feb. 7, 2013.By focusing on the woman’s mostly underground journey to Canada, Larocque unearthed a Hollywood-worthy tale of a mother fleeing Colombia to protect her two children by embarking on the oft-trod clandestine path taken by Latin Americans heading to El Norte.The woman told a story of mini-bus rides through Central America and forged passports in Mexico before landing at the airport in Montreal with her son and a daughter sometime in March of 2008 where she faced interrogation into the early morning hours.The alleged victim, who can’t be identified by name because of a publication ban, said she had to flee Colombia to protect her children because there were threats against them.“I left Colombia for that reason,” said the woman, who was an accountant and director of the library in the university from where she graduated.Canada was her intended final destination, but her visa application to enter the country had previously been rejected.So, she decided to go underground.After arranging through local lawyers to have her son’s father escorted to a courtroom to sign a release so she could take the boy out of the country, she flew to Panama. She said the father believed she was only going for vacation, but she had previously arranged to meet a man who would arrange the passage to Canada.It cost her about 25 million Colombian pesos to make the journey, which was about $13,000 US dollars based on the exchange rate in the first part of 2008. In 2009, the average monthly Colombian salary was about 570,000 pesos.The alleged victim wouldn’t reveal who the man was, the fixer, in Panama. She said he used fake names and didn’t remember the one he went by at the time. She said one of the contacts along the way was named “Maria.”From Panama she drove through Costa Rica to Guatemala in a “small car” with the fixer, a driver and her two children. In Guatemala she said she changed vehicles and traveled in a small bus, with five other people picked up along the way, to Mexico. She said she wasn’t asked to show any documentation at any of the customs check points. She would have passed through Nicaragua and either Honduras or El Salvador, depending on the route her fixer took to Guatemala.In Mexico, she and her two children had photos taken for the fake passports that had been pre-arranged. She said she needed the Mexican passports to get into Canada because she had been previously denied a visa under her real name.She stayed a month in Mexico before flying into Montreal, with at least $3,000US hidden in her coat, sometime in March of 2008. When she reached the Canadian customs officer she presented six passports, three Colombian and three Mexican, and said the Mexican documents were fake. She said the customs officer seized all the passports. She denied she also brought money hidden in her socks.“They made me go into a room and made me wait until 1, 2 a.m.,” she testified. “They were looking for an interpreter and looking for information. I went to another office and they started interrogating me.”She said it was difficult for her to recall all the details of that day.“It’s difficult for me to remember everything in 2008,” she said, after Larocque pressed her on the money hidden in socks. “At that moment I had a lot of emotion, fear, stress, I didn’t know what would happen when I arrived here with my two children.”She applied for refugee status and, sometime in 2013, received her permanent residency status and got all six passports back.It was at this point that Larocque began pressing her on the date she received the status. She couldn’t remember and Larocque tried to have Judge Valmont Beaulieu order her to bring the document to court Wednesday. Beaulieu rejected the request. But he did order her to bring her six passports to court.Larocque suggested that the victim received her residency because she helped the RCMP with their separate investigation into Brazeau and his Senate housing allowance. Brazeau is facing one charge of breach of trust in Ontario as a result of that investigation. The charge stems from his claiming of the $22,000 per year in housing allowance by listing his father’s home in Maniwaki, Que., as his permanent residence.“I want to suggest that your situation in Canada improved after being in contact with the RCMP,” said Larocque.Crown prosecutor Sylvain Petitclerc said Larocque achieved little with that line of questioning.“It was very, very long, for nothing,” said Petitclerc to reporters after the day’s hearing.Larocque abruptly switched his line of questioning after the victim recounted the part about the police officers escorting her son’s father to a courtroom to sign the release.He asked for a replay of the 911 audio and then went after the necklace.“You had a chain around your neck that my client gave you?” said Larocque.The woman said, yes, she had the necklace, which was Brazeau’s mother’s, around her neck when the alleged attack began in full.Larocque said the alleged victim never mentioned the thin necklace, which snapped when she yanked it off her neck, in the various statements she gave to the police or the Crown prosecutor. He said she never mentioned the necklace when she was asked earlier Tuesday to circle the bruises and scratches on her body in photos taken shortly after the alleged attack.She said she didn’t remember it, that there were a lot of details she didn’t remember from that day. She said she didn’t remember the bruises Brazeau left on her buttocks until she saw the photos Tuesday morning.She said she yanked the necklace while she was on the ground, at the top of the stairs as Brazeau, also on the ground, pushed her from behind with his feet. She said he was demanding the necklace back.“I grabbed it and said ‘take your mother’s chain,’” she said.She said she pulled the necklace off with her left hand.“It’s a formal choice you made not to speak about the necklace,” said Larocque. “Because those injuries (to the neck) would have been from your actions.”She denied it.“Not from my actions,” she said. “He grabbed me by the neck.”Larocque leaned into her, pressing on.“Never before had you mentioned that you ripped off the necklace,” he said.“Yes because here is my opportunity to speak about everything and respond to all the questions in detail that you want to know about what happened,” she said.Larocque then said she yanked off the necklace in the bedroom, not at the top of the stairs.She denied it.“That is what enraged you, that he wanted the necklace back,” he said.“False,” she said.Court then broke for the day.The trial resumes Wednesday morning. The trial is expected to last beyond this week.Read Tuesday morning’s court testimony here.jbarrera@aptn.ca@JorgeBarreralast_img read more

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Lanka to raise up to 2 bn in foreign borrowings

“Tomorrow we will advertise and call for bids. We hope to collect $1.0 billion in a couple of days. It would even go up to $2.0 billion,” Karunanayake said. Sri Lanka’s new government plans to borrow up to $2 billion from overseas, the finance minister said Thursday, just two weeks after raising a billion through its first international bond issue, the AFP news agency reported.Minister Ravi Karunanayake said the government was seeking at least $1.0 billion with a five-year tenure, but may increase the loan amount to $2.0 billion depending on the market response. “We want to borrow at low interest rates to pay off the high interest loans taken by the previous government,” the minister told the Foreign Correspondents’ Association of Sri Lanka.The Central Bank of Sri Lanka last month raised $988 million through the combination of a 10-year bond and shorter term bonds at a weighted average cost of 5.261 percent a year. The move to raise foreign cash comes amid rising domestic spending and shortfalls in revenue collection, the minister said, while accusing the previous administration of overstating revenues and under estimating expenditure. The government has increased welfare spending and reduced the price of fuel and utilities in line with election promises ahead of the January 8 presidential vote won by Maithripala Sirisena.Despite a marginal improvement in tax collection, President Sirisena’s government is hard pressed for cash to meet new spending commitments. read more

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Thousands of returning Afghans signal start of repatriation season UN agency says

Some 1,000 Afghans registered at the Katcha Garhi refugee camp on the edge of Peshawar, Pakistan, ahead of their repatriation this week, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Over the last two days, 1,117 refugees returned from Iran, including 460 under a joint initiative by UNHCR and the Iranian Government, marking a significant increase from the winter months.Afghan refugees going home under the facilitated return initiative receive a small travel grant of between $3 and $30, depending on the distance to their home communities, along with some food and other assistance provided inside Afghanistan.This year, UNHCR said it expected to assist the repatriation of up to 1.2 million Afghan refugees from Pakistan, Iran and the Central Asian states, and to help another 300,000 internally displaced Afghans to go back to their home areas. The agency will focus on refugees in Pakistan’s more than 200 refugee camps, while continuing to facilitate the return of Afghans in Pakistan’s urban areas.The refugee agency has appealed for $195 million to fund its Afghanistan programme and to assist Afghan refugees in surrounding countries. So far, it has received only $47 million, including $16 million in carry-over funds from 2002. read more

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Landmark civil society forum on conflict prevention wraps up at UN

“[In] today’s world, more than ever, development and peace are indivisible,” Ibrahim Gambari, UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, said in his concluding remarks to the Global Conference on the Role of Civil Society in the Prevention of Armed Conflict and Peacebuilding.“We know that prosperous societies are more likely to have the resources they need to build strong institutions of government and civil society which makes internal war less likely.”The three-day conference, which was co-sponsored by the UN Department of Political Affairs, was aimed at implementing a global agenda to prevent conflict. It came in response to Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s recommendation in his 2001 report on the Prevention of Armed Conflict “to organize an international conference of local, national and international NGOs (non-governmental organizations) on their role in conflict prevention and future interaction with the United Nations.”When he opened the conference on Tuesday, Mr Annan called for the creation of a sustainable network of individuals and groups – including partnerships with governments and UN agencies – committed to prevention and peacebuilding at global, regional, and national levels.Mr. Gambari warned that the need for global solutions, and the need for strong global institutions, must not divert attention from the need to understand individual regions, countries and societies.“For us to make a meaningful contribution, we must do all we can to understand the local context in which we are working, to appreciate local history and culture and know how best to support the efforts of local government and local civil society,” he said.“I cannot say this strongly enough: if we are to be effective in conflict prevention and peace-building, we can only depend on first-rate analysis and knowledge. I believe a partnership between the UN and civil society in doing this is critical.”Diplomacy in the 21st century no longer simply meant men in suits at committees and conferences, Mr. Gambari noted. It had to be more dynamic, in the field, in the actual war-zones, and involving not just governments and the UN but also regional and non-governmental organizations. The role of the Secretary-General’s good offices was critical. But so was the work of many of the organizations here today. “We must invest in our capacity for prevention, peace-making and peace-building and we must work together in this area,” he said.Calling for the United Nations to work in greater and more effective partnerships with others, including with civil society organizations, he welcomed the “challenging” Global Action Agenda for the future presented by the civil society leaders to the UN Secretariat.The Agenda highlighted key features of prevention and peace-building. It emphasized the crucial need for local ownership and participation at all stages of peace processes. It also underlined the need for dialogue, for transparency, for accountability. “These are all principles that we, in the UN Secretariat, also truly believe in,’ Mr. Gambari said. read more

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INTERVIEW Few global issues as urgent as tackling climate and disaster risks

“If you look into countries that are exposed to hurricanes and cyclones – for example, those hit by recent dreadful cyclones in the Caribbean – you see the entire GDP, or huge percentage of it, being wiped out,” said Robert Glasser, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, in an interview with UN News. The UN and its Member States have many priority issues, but “there are very few that are as urgent as addressing climate risk and disaster risk,” he added. Ahead of the International Day for Disaster Reduction, annually observed on 13 October, Mr. Glasser spoke about this year’s campaign objectives, and more broadly about how reducing disaster risk can contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and how climate change adaptation and disaster risk management must go hand in hand. UN News: The International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction is around the corner. Last year, the Day was about reducing mortality, but this year, the focus is on reducing the number of people affected by the disasters – why is that? Robert Glasser: We have a major campaign to raise awareness of the increasing costs, including loss of life and economic costs, of disasters. We model our campaign on seven global targets in the Sendai Framework – an international agreement that UN Member States have signed, in which they have committed to reduce disaster risk. Sendai ‘Seven’ Campaign incorporated these seven targets. The first target is about the loss of life. And the second, which we are featuring this year, is about reducing the number of people whose homes and livelihoods are affected. UN News: What is the status of implementation of the Sendai Framework? Robert Glasser: Well, this is a remarkable agreement because in it countries have committed to achieving really remarkable goals – reducing significantly loss of life, reducing number of people affected, and reducing the economic impact of disasters. They are committed to do this because they are seeing huge costs – economic, social and environmental costs – of these disasters that are growing rapidly. Each country is exposed to a different range of hazards. They understand the impacts these hazards have on sustainable development. So, this agreement puts in place these seven global targets, and an accountability framework at the global level, for which we can monitor the progress Member States are making as they reduce disaster risk. UN News: How important is disaster reduction to the achievement of the SDGs? Robert Glasser: Well, it is hugely important. Let me give you a couple of examples. There are some estimates that the annual cost of disasters is something like $500 billion, and that 26 million people fall into poverty each year as a result of disasters – a lion’s share of the people displaced from natural disasters. If you look into countries that are exposed to hurricanes and cyclones – for example, those hit by recent dreadful cyclones in the Caribbean – you see the entire GDP, or huge percentage of it, being wiped out. The average annual loss from these disasters in some countries equates to something like 60 per cent of their annual social expenditure. VIDEO: The 2017 International Day for Disaster Reduction focuses on reducing the number of people affected by disasters by 2030.UN News: Anything to add? Robert Glasser: There are many priorities in the UN system and Member States have many priority issues, [but] there are very few that are as urgent as addressing climate risk and disaster risk more broadly. They have a huge impact on people’s lives, taking people’s lives, and on wasting money that should be spent on more productive things. Rescuers at work in Sankhu, a town in north-western Nepal badly affected by the earthquake. Photo: Laxmi Prasad Ngakhusi/UNDP Nepal So, we put all these costs together and see that they are escalating rapidly, particularly the economic costs. You see that in many, many places, it would be impossible to achieve the SDGs unless we address these disaster risks. And, of course, with climate change, the speed in which these hazards are increasing in severity and frequency is really daunting. UN News: People still question the validity of a view that climate change is causing disasters. Does climate change play a crucial role in causing natural disasters? With climate change, the speed in which these hazards are increasing in severity and frequency is really dauntingRobert Glasser: This is such an important issue. Let’s say, the doctor says you have cancer. You go to seek a second opinion, and you were told you have cancer. You go to five, six doctors and they all say you have cancer. At some point, you have to listen to the experts, and this is what has happened with climate change. Those people who doubt that climate change is happening are not doubting it on the basis of any solid scientific consensus. Using multiple ways of demonstrating these lines of evidence, scientists are absolutely convinced that human activity is increasing the average global temperature of the planet. And the connection between rising temperature and natural disasters is very clear and is highlighted also by these scientists. We would expect changes in the distribution, frequency, and severity of disasters. We have seen sea-level rise and bleaching of coral reefs. That’s a disaster – an economic disaster, a tourism disaster – for many countries. If that continues and reefs still do not recover, it affects fisheries. In the hurricanes we have just seen this year in the Caribbean, we saw how sea-level rise can contribute to storm surges that resulted in much more severe damage in cities in Texas and elsewhere. We’ve seen floods in South Asia. In the Horn of Africa, people say drought only happened every 20 years or so, but now it’s every couple of years, or even consecutive years. UN News: What is the role of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, and more broadly the UN system, in disaster risk reduction? Robert Glasser: I am so grateful to so many of my colleagues and agencies in the UN that are working on various aspects of reducing disaster risk – starting with climate change and the huge efforts that Patricia Espinosa and the UNFCCC [UN Framework Convention on Climate Change] is working on; Petteri Taalas at WMO [World Meteorological Organization] and the amazing scientists there that are working on early warning systems, multi-hazard warning systems. UNISDR has great collaboration with WMO and the World Bank to do that. Virtually, every organization in the whole UN system – including the UN Development Programme (UNDP), which is increasingly playing an important role in these areas, and the economic commissions – is really increasingly focused on addressing these risks, embedding risk in the Sustainable Development Goals, which is our overall framework for development and for all the work we are trying to do now. Of course, there is a lot of work to do. There are huge gaps, and we have the UN reform that hopefully will help us become even more strategic in targeting how we address these challenges. So, I am very grateful to my UN colleagues for the impact they are having on this important problem. A family along with their cattle and possessions stranded atop small islands formed due to massive floods, Sindh province, Pakistan. Photo: IFAD/EPA/Nadeem Khawer A flood control dam inTianjin Eco-city, Tianjin, China. Photo: World Bank/Yang Aijun A seven-year-old girl stands in the destroyed library of Nabau District School in Ra Province, Fiji. Photo: UNICEF/UN011701/Sokhin At the Africa Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction meeting in Mauritius, UNISDR chief Robert Glasser meets the youngest participant, Chilal, and her mother, Oumie Sissokho, Director of Operations with the National Disaster Management Agency of Gambia. Photo: UNISDR UN News: What are your priorities for the remainder of this year? Robert Glasser: Getting back to your original question about the link between the Sendai Framework and SDGs, one priority is to build the integration the SDGs call for – the coherence of our approach. To give you one example, we have, in many countries I visited, the environment ministry creating a climate adaptation plan, the disaster management agency producing a disaster management plan, but they do not come together even through probably 70 per cent of the disasters in the disaster management plan are climate-related. So, helping countries integrate two critical frameworks – Paris [Agreement] and Sendai Framework – in the context of their economic planning by embedding risk, by ensuring that they are not investing or building hospitals in flood zones, for example, is hugely important. Something like $100 trillion is invested in infrastructure, including the Belt and Road Initiative in China. If all of these initiatives are resulting in infrastructure that produces more greenhouse gas, and is vulnerable to climate risk and disaster risk more broadly, then we will never achieve the Sendai Framework, let alone the SDGs. That would be a huge waste of money that could be spent on fighting poverty, on a whole range of other social benefits. Of course, you can’t scientifically attach any one event directly to climate change, but these are exactly the things the science suggests are going to happen, and happening now. You can also increasingly do statistical analyses that say ‘well, you can’t say that we are 100 per cent certain that this is climate change, but it is 3,000 times more likely to have happened as a result of climate change.’ So, you start seeing one-in-500-years events happening every 200 years, or seeing multiple events like this. The evidence is really becoming overwhelming. UN News: Many people are alarmed by a recent wave of disasters, such as Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose and Maria, and earthquakes in Mexico. So, there is probably new awareness about the importance of doing something on disaster risk reduction. What should we do? A major disaster also serves as a huge opportunity for countries to begin building back betterRobert Glasser: Well, two things. I hope that particularly the climate-related disasters raise people’s awareness about the urgency of action to reduce greenhouse gases. Because, if we do not reduce greenhouse gases, so much of everything else we are trying to do to reduce disaster risk will be overwhelmed by rising seas, stronger storms, droughts and alike. So, that is number one. Second thing is that, it’s a sad thing to say, but we find that if you look back historically, a major disaster also serves as a huge opportunity for countries to begin building back better from the previous disaster, and to begin thinking, ‘okay, we do not want this to happen again.’ There is a lot of political energy for legislation to be enacted, for changes to be put in place in government, for disaster management agencies to be given more authority, or even to be moved into the Prime Minister’s Office – these are the reflection of the central importance of addressing this. You have seen this actually in Mexico. It was an earlier earthquake decades ago that actually triggered the formulation of the current National Disaster Management Office that is now putting in place a lot of measures – first of all, responding to this disaster, the recent earthquake, but also to prevent future disasters. read more

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Is this really Jane Austen Mystery deepens over infamous Rice portrait after

first_imgThe marking, said to belong to an art supplier at the beginning of the 19th century, has opened up fresh questions about the provenance of the Rice portrait.One expert has claimed the stamp near-enough proves it cannot show a young Austen as it does not hail from the right period.The finding follows years of dispute about who the Rice portrait, named after its current owners who are sixth-generation descendants of the author, really shows.The full-length portrait, which depicts a teenage girl in a long white dress carrying a green umbrella, is believed by some to be of the author when she was 13, painted by Ozias Humphry in the late 1780s. 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. He believes it is linked to a “colourman” called William Legg who worked from High Holborn between 1801 and 1806. Other canvases bearing the stamp – including the Rice portrait – would also have to be from this period, he said, which would make it too late to be of a 13-year-old Austen.“If one is talking about proof [it is not of her], then the William Legg stamp certainly provides as much proof as we are likely to find,” Mr Simon said.A spokesman for the National Portrait Gallery confirmed Mr Simon had examined the “Mrs Smith” portrait.  The latest dispute involves a small stamp reportedly discovered on the Rice portrait, which reads Wm LEGG, High Holborn.  The stamp is the similar to one on “Mrs Smith”, which was discovered by Anjana Ahuja, a journalist.Ms Ahuja, writing in the FT Weekend Magazine, revealed she wrote to Jacob Simon, a former chief curator at the National Portrait Gallery who now volunteers as a research fellow, to find out about the stamp. The Rice Portrait of Jane Austen by British painter Ozias Humphry (1742-1810)  The Rice Portait of Jane Austen" by British painter Ozias Humphry (1742-1810)  At this time, Jane Austen would have been in her mid-twenties and not the young adolescent depicted hereNational Portrait Gallery Jane Austen by Cassandra AustenCredit:National Portrait Gallery Londoncenter_img It is unsigned and undated. If authenticated, it would be the only oil painting of Austen to exist.But experts – including those at the National Portrait Gallery – are not convinced and, in 2007, when the portrait was put up for auction at Christie’s in New York it failed to sell. If one is talking about proof, then the William Legg stamp certainly provides as much proof as we are likely to findJacob Simon Jane Austen by Cassandra Austen It is one of the longest-running mysteries in the art world, with collectors and experts at loggerheads over whether a centuries-old painting really is of Jane Austen.But now it seems the row over the infamous Rice portrait may be coming to a close, after an accidental find at an auction cast more doubt on its authenticity.For a stamp discovered on the back of a simple £400 painting titled “Mrs Smith” – picked up dull and unvarnished just over 18 months ago at a country auction – provides a match with the one on the disputed portrait. He said: “The colourman’s tax stamp on the back of this portrait of Mrs Smith, signed and dated 1803, adds further weight to the dating of the Rice portrait as circa 1802-5 due to the fact that it too has an equivalent William Legg/High-Holborn/Linen stamp on the back of its canvas.”On the Rice portrait, he added: “The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges that it remains possible that the girl depicted here is Jane Austen, and naturally we would be delighted if it could be proven to be her. “Nevertheless, we continue to believe that the stylistic features of the portrait, and the colourman’s stamp on the reverse of the canvas, suggest a date of about 1802-6. “At this time, Jane Austen would have been in her mid-twenties and not the young adolescent depicted here.”But some remain hopeful. The official website for the Rice portrait disputes what the stamp says and adds that it could of been a different William Legg. Anna Rice, the current owner of the portrait, told the paper she has “no doubt” the portrait is of Austen. But she added: “I very much welcome all debate on the subject and I also welcome any opportunity to bring the picture into the public domain.” last_img read more

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Facebook helps family separated by war reunite decades later

first_imgGUATEMALAN SIBLINGS WHO lost contact during the country’s turbulent 1960-1996 civil strife have been reunited 31 years later, with some help from Facebook.Ofelia, Avilio and Elsira Funez Velasquez had their tearful reunion at the headquarters of the Mutual Support Group, an activist with the social group, Enrique Barrera, said.Sister and brother Ofelia and Avilio grew up in the family’s home town of La Democracia, in Huehuetenango, orphaned when their parents were killed in the years of violence.Their sister Elsira, however, was adopted more than 20 years ago by a family in Honduras. In San Pedro Sula, she studied to be a nurse and started a family, all without knowing where her siblings were.The reunion was made possible when the Mutual Support Group helped reunite another of the family’s children, Criserio, with brother Avilio.When their picture was posted on Facebook, their missing sister Elsira spotted her brothers, and promptly contacted the Mutual Support Group for help. A banner showing just some portraits of people who disappeared during the decades-long Guatemalan civil war. Image: AP Photo/Luis Soto“I felt so happy because I have found my sisters and brother,” said the woman, now 35, who was four when she lost track of her siblings.Of the family’s seven children, four have been brought together while three are still missing: Victor, Estela and Roberta.Ixil Mayan women gather around a mass grave near Ixtupil in Guatemala in May 2013 as forensic anthropologists exhume the skeletons of their loved ones who died during the civil war. Image: AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)– © AFP, 2013last_img read more

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Documentary tells story of only Irish man to survive Nagasaki

first_imgTHE STORY OF the only Irish man to survive the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki in World War II is to be told in a new television documentary.Dr Aidan MacCarthy from west Cork was being held in a prisoner-of-war camp in the Japanese city when the nuclear weapon was dropped on Nagasaki on 9 August 1945, three days after the attack on Hiroshima.As black rain began to fall from the sky after the bomb hit, MacCarthy thought the world was ending – but he survived, and made it back to his home in Castletownbere.“It’s very hard to believe that it actually happened, that any of it happened, let alone to my father,” MacCarthy’s daughter Nicola says in the TV3 documentary, which will air on Monday. “It was always very difficult when he was alive to actually believe that he had been through that and come out relatively unscathed.”MacCarthy had joined the RAF at the age of 28 when World War II began and served as a medical doctor.He had volunteered for service in Asia as the Japanese took control of Singapore, but he was captured in Java and moved to the brutal camp in Nagasaki, which was attached to the Mitsubishi Steel and Iron Works in the city.In the camp, MacCarthy endured torture, severe starvation, beatings and forced labour.When the war ended, the commander of the camp presented MacCarthy with a samurai sword, which has been mounted on the wall of his family’s pub in west Cork ever since.Thousands of Irish men fought for the British allies in World War II with Ireland choosing to officially remain neutral in the six-year conflict.A Doctor’s War will air on TV3 on Monday night at 10pm. It features audio recordings of interviews with the late Dr MacCarthy and interviews with his two daughters.Dr Aidan MacCarthy with his colleagues (Pic: TV3) In pictures: World War II refugees reunited in Ireland after more than 60 years >Read: Holocaust survivors received €950m settlement from Swiss banks >last_img read more

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Elders Youth Conference kicks off in Anchorage

first_imgThe First Alaskans Institute’s 32nd annual Elders and Youth conference begins Monday in Anchorage at the Dena’ina Convention Center. Hundreds of Alaska Natives from across the state, young and old, will meet over the next two-and-a-half days to learn about and discuss a diverse set of issues. This year’s theme is “Not in our smokehouse!”On the first day, attendees will elect members to the Statewide Elders and Youth Council, participate in regional dialogue sessions and discuss Native languages and conference resolutions.This year’s elder keynote speaker is Gregory Fratis Sr., who is Unângax from St. Paul Island. (Unângax is traditional alternative to Aleut.) According to the institute, Fratis is involved in teaching his Native language, cultural values and traditions to youth in his village.The youth keynote speaker is Lacayah Engebretson. The Tlingit, Yup’ik and Athabascan college student from Glenallen is studying education at the University of Alaska Anchorage. She’ll speak to the conference about the importance of Alaska Native educators.The conference, which is held each year during the same week as the Alaska Federation of Natives convention, is an opportunity for youth to learn about leadership and how to participate in policy discussions and group decision making. Last year about 1,100 people attended the conference.A live feed of the Elders and Youth conference and the Alaska Federation of Natives convention can be seen on 360 North. Follow KTOO’s coverage of both events here.Full disclosure: The First Alaskans Institute organizes and funds a volunteer group unrelated to the conference of which Jennifer Canfield is a member.last_img read more

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Hafiz Saeed 2611 mastermind arrested days before Imran Khan meets Trump

first_imgHafiz Saeed, leader of terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba.ReutersHafiz Saeed, the man behind the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai, was arrested in Pakistan on Wednesday afternoon. The founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba and the chief of Jama’at-ud-Da’wah has been sent to judicial custody. This comes a day after Pakistan opened its airspace to civilian and commercial flights for the first time since the Balakot airstrike in February.The arrest also comes days ahead of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s US visit. Khan is likely to meet US President Donald Trump at the White House on July 22.Saeed was arrested from Lahore by the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) of Pakistan’s Punjab Police. He has been sent to judicial custody. The 69-year-old was earlier booked along with 12 accomplices for terror funding. He is facing 23 terror-related cases in Pakistan, India Today reported.  Hafiz Saeed released from house arrest in Pakistan, speaks with supporters after attending Friday Prayers in Lahore, Pakistan November 24, 2017.ReutersKhan’s US visit is being seen as an attempt to repair the ties between the two countries as the Pakistan government is frequently accused of facilitating terrorism. Pakistan was also dangerously close to being blacklisted by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) earlier this year and was put on the grey list after the organisation directed the country to act against terror outfits. Pakistan has been given October as the deadline to prove its efforts to counter terrorism on its soil.Saeed is listed as a global terrorist by the United Nations and the United States had earlier announced a $10 million bounty for his arrest.Here is a timeline of how Hafiz Saeed managed to evade arrest• November 26, 2008 – Multiple attacks rock Mumbai and kill 166 civilians. It was orchestrated by Lashkar-e-Taiba’s chief Hafiz Saeed. • October 10, 2008 – The United Nations lists Saeed as “being associated with Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT)” under the behest of India. He is placed under house arrest next day. • June 2009 – Lahore High Court rules Saeed’s house arrest as unconstitutional and orders his release • August 2009 – Interpol issues red corner notice against Saeed. This makes it mandatory for Pakistan to share information regarding crimes and criminals with all intelligence agencies around the world. • September 2009 – Saeed placed under house arrest after Interpol’s RCN. • October 2009 – All charges dropped against Saeed by Lahore High Court citing lack of evidence for a conviction. The court also added that the Jamaat-ud-Dawa is not a banned organisation. • April 2012 – The US announces $10 million reward on Saeed and blacklists JuD and Lashkar-e-Taiba. • June 2014 – The US labels Jamaat-ud-Dawa as a “foreign terrorist organisation. This was done in order to freeze any asset the organization has in the US. • January 2015 – Pakistan lists JuD and the Haqqani network as banned outfits. • January 2017 – Saeed placed under house arrest again after US President Donald Trump announces immigration ban against Pakistan. • September 2017 – Saeed’s new terror front Tehreek-e-Azadi-Jammu & Kashmir (TAJK) banned in Pakistan. Saeed was running his operations under TAJK after JuD and LeT were banned. • October 2017 – Lahore High Court warns that unless there is evidenciary support against Saeed, he will be freed from house arrest. • November 2017 – Saeed is freed from house arrest even though government warned the court saying that freeing an international terrorist would attract sanctions against Pakistan. • June 2018 – Saeed announces that he would contest Pakistan’s general assembly elections and would seek a seat through Milli Muslim League (MML). • July 15, 2019 – Pakistan grants pre-arrest bail to Saeed. • July 17, 2019 – Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) of Pakistan’s Punjab Police arrests Saeed and places him in judicial custody.last_img read more

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Rohingya children witness crimes against humanity HRW

first_imgRohingya refugee children pose for a picture in a camp at Cox`s Bazar, Bangladesh, on 26 September, 2017. Photo: ReutersAbdulaziz is only nine years old, but his serious look and stern demeanour makes him seem much older. There’s a reason for that: three weeks ago, he watched Burmese soldiers murder his parents and siblings, and now he has to look after his little brother, Zahid, 6, the only survivor from what was once a family of seven.When Myanmar soldiers attacked hundreds of Rohingya Muslims in the village of Tu Lar To Li on 30 August, Abdulaziz took his brother Zahid by the hand, and together they swam across an adjoining river to escape, even as soldiers fired at them, killing some of those swimming alongside, saidPeter Bouckaert, Human Rights Watch’s emergencies director and an expert in humanitarian crises in an article published on the HRW website on Friday. Peter Bouckaert added, “From across the river, the little boys watched as the soldiers first shot dead their father Mufiz, 35, and then took their mother Rabu, 30, their brothers Janatullah, 10, and Shabullah, 5, and their sister Mumtaz, 3, into a nearby house. The house was soon engulfed in flames.”He also said that nearby in the sprawling Kutupalong refugee camp on the Bangladeshi side of the border stood another little boy, 10-year-old Ali, whose parents and three siblings were killed in the same massacre by the Burmese military. According to those taking care of him, Ali has not spoken since the killings.The ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya Muslims since an attack by Rohingya militants on police posts in late August has harmed countless children, many of them shot or hacked to death by uniformed soldiers,Approximately 480,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh, and according to UNICEF the majority among them are children. These children are deeply traumatised and have had their lives ripped apart by the violence they have experienced and witnessed.Peter Bouckaert said, “Reading about half a million Rohingyas fleeing violence in Myanmar in just over one month may leave many feeling powerless. But each refugee, like Abdulaziz and his brother Zahid, have real needs that can be met – from safe shelter, food, and clean water, to psychosocial counseling to deal with the trauma they experienced, and, urgently, an education that can eventually help them realise their full potential.”Sadly, the United Nation’s emergency request for funding for education has fallen on deaf ears, even though more than 100,000 of the refugees are children who should soon be in school. Those responsible for these crimes need to be held accountable, he added.But for the children who have lost their families, experiencing some sense of normalcy, as well as justice, is essential to healing such deep wounds.last_img
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Music Modernization Act Approved by House Judiciary Committee Steven Tyler Execs Weigh

first_imgThe legislation appears to be on a fast track, with the Senate expected to introduce its version next month, paving the way for President Trump’s signature. Although the bill has bi-partisan support, the legislation’s provisions – which have advanced piecemeal in various bills over the past four years – have a free-market thrust popular with Republicans over the years, which means it is unlikely to meet with executive branch opposition.Aerosmith cofounder Steven Tyler said:  “I am ecstatic and relieved that the House Judiciary passed the Music Modernization Act out of committee today and onto the House floor, then onto the Senate. I am a proud member of Songwriters of North America and we are changing these outdated laws that unfairly hold down songwriters and other music creators from being paid fairly. [Attorney] Dina LaPolt, who brought this issue to my attention years ago, has been my partner in copyright reform and together, we have spent years advocating and fighting for this. Justice will finally be served!”Supremes cofounder Mary Wilson said: “We are one step closer to a new day when artists like me who recorded music before 1972 are paid for those digital radio streams under federal law. It’s critical we get this bill over the finish line – the greatest generation of music deserves to be paid for our work, regardless of when it was made! I urge all Members of Congress to support this important legislation.”RIAA CEO Cary Sherman said: “As this historic legislation begins to advance through Congress, we move one step closer to the finish line.  A unanimous vote should send unmistakable signal to lawmakers in both chambers:  this package of reforms enjoys deep, bipartisan support.  And for good reason –  this bill is result of thoughtful, extensive examination of the patchwork of antiquated music licensing laws that poorly serve creators.  This includes the unintended and unfair quirk in the law that denies legacy artists the federal right to be compensated by digital radio services.  We are grateful for the stewardship of Chairman Goodlatte and Ranking Member Nadler, as well as Representatives Issa, Johnson, Collins, Jeffries, Smith, and Deutch, who all have been tireless advocates for this important legislation. We now look to the House floor, and urge all Members of Congress to advance this bill to help make these critical reforms a reality.” National Music Publishers Association president/CEO David Israelite said: “The House Judiciary Committee’s approval of the Music Modernization Act (MMA) is a critical step towards finally fixing the system to pay songwriters what they deserve. We greatly appreciate the committee’s attention to helping music creators, specifically Chairman Goodlatte, Ranking Member Nadler, Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, and a special thanks to Congressman Doug Collins for being the driving force behind the MMA. There is unprecedented consensus and momentum behind this bill, and we look forward to seeing it soon pass the full House.”ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews said: “Today’s reintroduction of the Music Modernization Act signals we are one step closer to reforming our outdated music licensing system and providing songwriters a better future. We thank Chairman Goodlatte, Ranking Member Nadler and Reps. Collins and Jeffries for their leadership and keeping America’s songwriters a priority.”Recording Academy Chief Industry, Government & Membership Relations Officer Daryl Friedman said: “After years of effort to modernize, the time has come. This bill has strong bipartisan support and we expect there will be Senate movement in May.  As technology changes there will continue to be incremental legislation and tweaks, but this is broad enough, and substantial enough where we think this is our generation’s major change for music. No matter what happens in technology, the MMA will be able to address payments to creators much more effectively than the present system. It’s a very consequential bill and we are thrilled it has hit one week before Grammys on the Hill. Our advocates are ready to hit the House and Senate and lobby on this to make sure we have final passage.” The United States House Judiciary Committee voted unanimously today (32-0) to approve the Music Modernization Act. The act combines key provisions of what were four separate legislative initiatives into a single bill that will update how music rates are set and how songwriters and artists are paid. The bill now awaits consideration by the full House of Representatives.A key provision of the bill (HR 5477) is for Congress to establish the equivalent of a SoundExchange for songwriters to track credits and distribute royalties when digital services use their work. The switch to a market-based rate standard for artists and writers, closing the pre-1972 loophole that denied digital compensation to legacy artists and the addition of copyright royalties for producers and engineers are other changes widely hailed as improvements by a wide range of industry organizations, from the Recording Academy and the RIAA to ASCAP, BMI, the American Association of Independent Music and the American Federation of Musicians. Popular on Variety ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15last_img read more

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Education dept to crack down on saffronisation of schools

first_imgKolkata: The state Education department is all set to take strong measures to tackle alleged saffronisation of education in the state. State Education minister Partha Chatterjee will hold a meeting with Gerry Arathoon, the Chief Executive and Secretary of the ICSE council, soon after the pujas.It has been learnt that the Education minister will seek his opinion on the secular education system in the country and will follow it up with leading institutions like Ramakrishna Mission and seek their viewpoint in this regard. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeIt may be mentioned that the number of RSS minded schools in the state is more than 1,000 and some of these schools are affiliated to the ICSE council.”The state is of the opinion that the lessons that are imparted in these schools go against the culture and tradition of education in the state. If everything goes as per plan, the meeting with Arathoon will be held on November 2,” a senior official of the Education department said.The minister has repeatedly expressed his concern over the mushrooming of such RSS backed schools in the state and had directed his department officials to prepare a list of such schools. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe state has identified around 493 such schools, among which 125 are running without no objection certifi-cate of the state. The state wants to ensure closure of these schools.It may be mentioned that a handful of these schools have been found imparting lessons on how to fight with sticks. They also have certain religious texts that encourage religious intolerance. “We have to see whether these schools are running with proper permission of our department and also examine what is being taught,” the official added.last_img read more

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Nvidia GeForce Experience Nodejs security vulnerability

first_imgNvidia GeForce Experience Node.js security vulnerability by Martin Brinkmann on April 23, 2017 in Windows – Last Update: April 24, 2017 – 11 commentsSec Consult security researchers discovered a vulnerability in Nvidia’s GeForce Experience software that allows attackers to bypass Windows application whitelisting.Nvidia’s GeForce Experience is a program that Nvidia installs by default in its driver packages. The program, initially designed to provide users with good configurations for computer games so that they run better on user systems, has been blown up since then by Nvidia.The software checks for driver updates now, and may install those, and it enforces registration before its other functionality becomes available.What’s interesting about it is that it is not needed for making use of the graphics card, and that the video card works equally fine without it.Nvidia GeForce Experience installs a node.js server on the system when it is installed. The file is not called node.js, but NVIDIA Web Helper.exe, and it is located under %ProgramFiles(x86)%\NVIDIA Corporation\NvNode\ by default.Nvidia renamed Node.js to NVIDIA Web Helper.exe and signed it. What this means is that Node.js is installed on the majority of systems with Nvidia graphics cards, considering that drivers are installed automatically and not using the custom install option.Tip: Only install the Nvidia driver components that you need, and disable Nvidia Streamer Services and other Nvidia processes,Whitelisting allows administrators to define programs and processes that may run on an operating system. Microsoft AppLocker is a popular whitelisting solution to improve security on Windows PCs.Administrators may improve security further by using signatures to enforce code and script integrity. The latter is supported by Windows 10 and windows Server 2016 with Microsoft Device Guard for instance.The security researchers found two possibilities to exploit Nvidia’s NVIDIA Web Helper.exe application:Use Node.js directly to interact with Windows APIs.Load executable code “into the node.js process” to run malicious code.Since the process is signed, it will bypass any reputation-based checks by default.From attacker perspective, this opens two possibilities. Either use node.js to directly interact with the Windows API (e.g. to disable application whitelisting or reflectively load an executable into the node.js process to run the malicious binary on behalf of the signed process) or to write the complete malware with node.js. Both options have the advantage, that the running process is signed and therefore bypasses anti-virus systems (reputation-based algorithms) per default.How to resolve the issueProbably the best option right now is to uninstall the Nvidia GeForce Experience client from the operating system.First thing you may want to do is make sure that a system is vulnerable.  Open the folder %ProgramFiles(x86)%\NVIDIA Corporation\ on the Windows PC and check if the directory NvNode exists.If it does, open the directory. Find the file Nvidia Web Helper.exe in the directory.Right-click on the file afterwards, and select properties. When the properties window opens, switch to details. There you should see the original file name and product name.Once you have established that a Node.js server is indeed on the machine, it is time to remove it provided that Nvidia GeForce Experience is not required.You may use the Control Panel > Uninstall a Program applet for that, or if you use Windows 10 Settings > Apps > Apps & features.Either way, Nvidia GeForce Experience is listed as a separate program installed on the system.Uninstall the Nvidia GeForce Experience program from your system.If you check the program folder afterwards again, you will notice that the entire NvNode folder is no longer on the system.Now Read: Block Nvidia Telemetry Tracking on Windows PCsSummaryArticle NameNvidia GeForce Experience Node.js security vulnerabilityDescriptionSec Consult security researches discovered a vulnerability in Nvidia’s GeForce Experience software that allows attackers to bypass Windows application whitelisting.Author Martin BrinkmannPublisher Ghacks Technology NewsLogo Advertisementlast_img read more

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Police block entry to Istanbul park on protest anniversary

first_img Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkish authorities have deployed thousands of police to block entry into Istanbul’s Gezi Park, barring access to a few hundred demonstrators trying to mark the second anniversary of the start of the nationwide anti-government protests in 2013.Holding carnations and shouting slogans, the protesters tried Sunday to march to Istanbul’s main square where Gezi is located, but were blocked by police. They dispersed after delivering speeches and leaving carnations on a street leading to the square. Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Comments   Share   Parents, stop beating yourself upcenter_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 Sponsored Stories Hundreds of thousands of Turks took to the streets denouncing the government’s increasingly autocratic leadership in late May and June 2013. The protests were sparked by opposition to government plans to uproot trees at Gezi to build a shopping center. Thousands were wounded and at least 12 people died in protests that year.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top holiday drink recipeslast_img read more

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Wyndham Tamansari Jivva Resort Bali Honoured Twice

first_imgSource = Wyndham Tamansari Jivva Resort Bali Wyndham Tamansari Jivva Resort Bali Honoured TwiceWyndham Tamansari Jivva Resort Bali Honoured Twice at 2018 Bali Tourism AwardsFor the second consecutive year, Wyndham Tamansari Jivva Resort Bali has been recognised with two accolades at the 2018/19 Bali Tourism Awards held this week.The five-star resort has won in both the Leading Beach Resort and Leading Beach Restaurant categories, which were announced during the gala dinner at the Inaya Putri Hotel Bali.The acclaimed Bali Tourism Awards recognise the best travel and hospitality brands that have contributed outstanding work in the industry and have become a top travel brand among visitors.In 2017 the Wyndham Jivva Bali was honoured with Leading Boutique Hotel and Leading New Beach Resort categories.“It is a distinct honour to receive these awards. These achievements reflect our continuous commitment to strive for excellence in delivering personalised and memorable experiences to our guests,” said Agus Suananda, General Manager of Wyndham Jivva Bali. “We are grateful to our guests who have extended their love and support. These awards serve as a great encouragement to our team and motivate us to achieve more.”More than a hundred of Bali’s travel and hospitality businesses competed across 32 categories.  These were judged by a panel of industry experts and leaders with their total scores combined with online votes.Wyndham Jivva Bali is located on the absolute beachfront of Lepang Beach, east coast of Bali. The resort serves as the perfect base to explore, nearby Klungklung and Ubud, the world-class surfing break of Keramas and the Bali Marine and Safari Park.For more information about Wyndham Jivva Bali, call +62-366-543-7988 or visit: www.wyndhamjivvabali.com  last_img read more

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