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In what has become a superficial annual ritual, the Indian Ambassador to the United Nations Ashoke Kumar Mukerji again called for reform of the UN Security Council to make it more representative of contemporary global realities.In his address to a meeting of the UN Security Council on Maintenance of International Peace and Security, Mukerji said, “It is ironical that calls for democracy and the rule of law are being made in a Council that itself embodies the undemocratic stranglehold of the privileges of a few, forged by a wartime alliance that no longer exists.”For all the frequent odes to global peace, justice and international law, the structure of the security council was a crude expression of brute power of its times. Created in 1945, the UN Charter rewarded the victors of World War II — France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States and China — with permanent seats with veto powers in the all-powerful security council. In the 70-years since, UN membership has quadrupled from 51 to 193. But the council has been substantively modified only once, in 1965, when it was expanded by adding four additional non-permanent members, who are elected to two year terms by the General Assembly.For the past quarter century several proposals have been kicked around to reform the anachronistic structure of the security council. Brazil, Germany, India and Japan have formed an interest group known as the G4 to lobby for permanent seats for themselves on the strength of their financial muscle, population and regional importance.With the exception of some opposition by regional rivals (Pakistan to India; Mexico, Colombia and Argentina to Brazil; Italy and Spain to Germany; and South Korea to Japan), there is broad support to grant permanent security council seats to the G4 nations. All current permanent members, whose unanimous consent will be required to alter the membership of the UN Security Council, have endorsed India’s bid for a permanent seat; support for some of the other G4 nations is more lukewarm.India has been elected as a non permanent member of the security council seven times, receiving 188 of the 190 votes during its last bid in 2011-2012. A New York Times columnist wrote that if the permanent members of the UN Security Council were chosen “with a vote by the fans … Then the perm-five would be Russia, China, India, Britain and the United States.” During the past 50 years India has been one of the largest contributors to UN Peacekeeping operations, contributing more than 100,000 troops worldwide.For all the lobbying and repeated pledges (most recently US Pres. Barack Obama reaffirmed his support for India’s bid for a permanent seat) it is unlikely that the security council will be reformed anytime soon. It serves the beneficiaries of the current dispensation far too well to motivate them to tinker with it. As Mukerji noted, “The Council’s invocation of these purposes and principles (of the UN Charter) appear selective, to suit the national interests of powerful member states.”Ultimately, the Security Council will not be reformed by its self-serving managers by an appeal to higher principles. There is nothing inherently just or democratic about adding additional permanent members with veto powers anyway. Indeed, the far more likely scenario, if any change were ever to come to pass, is the creation of a permanent-lite membership, which grants countries like India permanent membership on the security council without veto power (the solution most frequently broached).Perhaps the only real way to force change is for the G4 nations to issue an ultimatum of their own to the United Nations: expand the membership of the security council and include them as permanent members with veto powers in the next two years or the G4 members withdraw from the United Nations.It is the kind of muscle war victors understand best. Related Items
Thee BJP retained control of Gujarat in this year’s assembly elections, but with a significantly diminished majority. The party won 99 of 182 assembly seats in Gujarat, down from 115 seats in 2012. In advance of the elections, the party had targeted boasted it would win 150 seats.Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who took on Prime Minister Narendra Modi toe to toe in the Gujarat elections boasted that the polls had delivered a “zabardast jhatka (terrific shock)” to the BJP and exposed Modi’s credibility crisis.Gandhi, whose Congress Party performed above expectations, said: “It is a very good result for us. Agreed that we lost and could have won, we fell short. But BJP suffered a massive jolt in Gujarat. People of Gujarat do not accept Modi’s model. It is high on propaganda but it’s hollow.”The BJP taunted that Gandhi was enjoying his “defeat as victory.” BJP Chief Amit Shah blamed the Congress and its allies for sowing the seeds of “caste politics” and the “low level of political discourse” for failing to achieve its 150 seat target. “Congress brought the level of the campaign down, because of which our number of seats went down.”My Congress brothers and sisters, you have made me very proud. You are different than those you fought because you fought anger with dignity. You have demonstrated to everyone that the Congress’s greatest strength is its decency and courage.— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) December 18, 2017LIVE: Press conference by BJP Shri @AmitShah on #ElectionResults.#HimachalPradeshElections #GujaratResults https://t.co/VQ0OBlKW7N— BJP (@BJP4India) December 18, 2017The BJP has also swept Himachal Pradesh winning 44 seats of 68 seats in the state, while the Congress managed to win 21 seats.The Gujarati NRI community campaigned actively for the BJP. A group of 60 Gujarati NRIs who had flown in to Gujarat earlier this month and urged the voters not to be “swayed by misleading forces.”The NRIs belonged to a range of professions, including doctors, pharmacists, businessmen and technology executives. 51-year-old Jashubhai Patel, a surgeon from California, said that Modi has given a “unified identity” to Indians abroad.“The way he has taken Hindutva to the world, from yoga to Indian way of simple living, everyone is looking up to us. I tell voters to strengthen him. Life was very difficult for us when we were growing up in Gujarat. Narendrabhai took Gujarat out of the misery of both caste politics and underdevelopment,” he told The Economic Times.Bharat Barai, an oncologist who was among the NRIs who had arranged Modi’s Madison Square address in New York to Indian-Americans was also in the state to campaign for BJP.Interestingly, 2 per cent of the voters in Gujarat voted for NOTA — none of the above. Related Itemsbjp winsgujarat assembly electionsGujrat nrisNarendra Modi
The $445 million project is being spearheaded by the NWC. Story Highlights Nonpareil Water Supply System in Negril, Westmoreland is scheduled for completion by the end of 2014. The upgraded facility will improve the water supply to residents of Sheffield, Little London, Nonpareil, etc. Rehabilitation work on the Nonpareil Water Supply System in Negril, Westmoreland, which is currently underway, is scheduled for completion by the end of 2014.The $445 million project, being spearheaded by the National Water Commission (NWC), entails the installation of new transmission and distribution pipes and storage tanks, among other inputs.The upgraded facility, when complete, will improve the water supply to residents of Sheffield, Little London, Nonpareil, Negril, Orange Hill, Mt. Airy, Good Hope, Whitehall and Mount Airy, in Westmoreland.Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change Minister, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, who toured the project on Friday (August 9), underscored the project’s importance, noting that the water supply has not been as consistent as it should be. This he attributed to technical challenges arising with the system, coupled with aging pipelines, and made worse by drought conditions.“This project is critical to improving supply in a crucial cross section of the western region which has experienced exponential population growth, and contributes colossally to Jamaica’s tourism, agricultural and manufacturing industries,” Mr. Pickersgill said.Tourism Minister and Member of Parliament for Western Westmoreland, where the system is located, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill, welcomed the project and expressed satisfaction with the progress of implementation.“A number of communities…are now going to receive water supply because of this expansion project. It’s a good project which is coming from the Logwood source, so we are expecting a good water supply for the entire area. When you consider the levels of expansion taking place, it’s very necessary for an expansion of this nature. These communities have had levels of water supply, but not enough to meet the needs of the (levels of growth experienced),” Dr. McNeil told JIS News.
New Delhi: Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray Monday met Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and demanded that the Assembly polls in the state, due later this year, be conducted through paper ballots instead of Electronic Voting Machines.In his visit to the national capital, the first in more than a decade, Thackeray said he has submitted a letter to the Election Commission, demanding it to switch back to the traditional paper ballot. He termed the meeting “mere formality”. “There are doubts in the minds of voters that the votes they cast do not go to their chosen candidates. In such a scenario, the Election Commission should switch back to paper ballots and conduct the Maharashtra state polls through it. We strongly feel that the EVMs can be tampered with,” Thackeray told reporters after the meeting.
OTTAWA – The man accused of making ransom demands during journalist Amanda Lindhout’s kidnapping in Somalia told two undercover RCMP officers he received $10,000 for his role.In Ontario Superior Court on Friday, the Crown played a secretly recorded video of Ali Omar Ader’s June 2015 meeting with the officers at an Ottawa hotel — the culmination of an elaborate ruse to elicit a confession.Ader believed he had travelled to Canada from his home in Mogadishu to sign a contract with Vancouver-based Catalina Publishing for his book “A Slow Genocide,” a history of Somalia’s troubled last 20 years.As part of the contract, he was told to divulge anything about him that might expose the company to risk, so that it could be ready with a public-relations plan.On the video, Ader acknowledges his paid efforts in the service of a shadowy group of armed kidnappers.Ader and the undercover officers — one posing as Ader’s business agent, the other as a publishing mogul — then take a break for a snack before returning to work on the contract.Ader was expecting to take a tour of Parliament Hill the next day. Instead he was arrested by the RCMP.Lindhout was a freelance journalist from Red Deer, Alta., when she and Australian photographer Nigel Brennan were grabbed by masked men near Mogadishu in August 2008 while working on a story. Both were freed in November 2009 for a ransom.Ader, a 40-year-old Somalian national, has pleaded not guilty to a criminal charge of hostage-taking.During pre-trial motions in April, details emerged of how the Mounties concocted a scheme to lure Ader to Canada — evidence the Crown began Friday to fully lay out for Justice Robert Smith.The RCMP officer who would become Ader’s trusted business agent told the court he first spoke with him by telephone in June 2010, seven months after Lindhout and Brennan were freed.The undercover officer, who cannot be legally identified, told Ader he was a consultant hired by the traumatized Lindhout family to follow up on inquiries — including phone and Facebook messages in 2010 from Ader to Lindhout’s mother, Lorinda Stewart.Ader frequently spoke with Stewart by phone during the 15-month ordeal, and he was supposedly following up to help her daughter now that she was free.The officer said Ader “wanted to make amends” and that he hoped to write a book about his homeland.The Mountie thought it would be “a good strategy” to pursue the publishing angle as a means of building a relationship and obtaining a confession.In May 2013, the officer arranged for Ader to meet him on the East African island of Mauritius to discuss the budding book project. He recalled greeting the slim Somalian man who was missing a front tooth in the outdoor seating area of a resort hotel.“He was smiling and we hugged when we met,” the Mountie told the court. “He was quite happy to see me.”The next morning at breakfast, Ader openly spoke of agreeing to help the kidnappers for a share of the ransom they would demand, the officer said. “He told me he became the group’s brains, and those were his words.”The Mountie said Ader also acknowledged filming a video of Lindhout and Brennan that he then delivered to news outlet Al Jazeera.However, under the laws of Mauritius, the RCMP could not surreptitiously record audio or video of encounters with Ader.As work on the book progressed, the officer suggested that Ader come to Ottawa to meet the publisher and finalize the deal.The video captures the moment the supposed Catalina Publishing executive arrives, and the Mountie acting as Ader’s agent touts his literary prospect by proclaiming, “This is my star.”— Follow @JimBronskill on Twitter
APTN National NewsJust days before a federal committee will table its report on violence against Aboriginal women, dozens of people stood on Parliament Hill to remember yet another woman who was brutally murdered.Friends and family of Loretta Saunders gathered to send politicians a message.APTN’s Maike Eikelmann reports.
19 February 2008The head of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has begun a three-country mission to West Africa, where he is promoting efforts to boost economic performance in the impoverished region. The head of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has begun a three-country mission to West Africa, where he is promoting efforts to boost economic performance in the impoverished region.Kemal Dervis, UNDP’s Administrator, started his trip yesterday in Benin, where he is expected to meet with President Boni Yayi and tour the Songhaï agricultural centre in the capital, Porto Novo, UN spokesperson Marie Okabe told reporters.Later this week Mr. Dervis is scheduled to travel to neighbouring Togo and then Senegal.
17 February 2009The United Nations refugee agency hopes that a new European Union (EU) asylum system due to be announced tomorrow will ensure more consistent decision-making across the 27-nation block, where asylum-seekers of similar backgrounds now have widely varying chances of finding protection in different member states. The European Commission is due to publish proposals to set up a European Asylum Support Office for the bloc, where UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) research has shown that asylum-seekers from countries such as Iraq, Somalia or Afghanistan face prospects from as low as zero to over 90 per cent depending on the state in which they lodge their application.“In some cases, people in need of protection are not recognized as such, due to the narrow approach taken by some states to key issues, such as protection needs faced by people in situations of generalized violence,” UNHCR spokesman Ron Redmond told a news briefing in Geneva today.“UNHCR believes that a European Asylum Support Office would strengthen practical cooperation and the sharing of good practice among member states. This should help to narrow differences between member states’ approaches to the application of EU asylum legislation and ultimately result in more consistent, fair and effective asylum systems across the EU.”Mr. Redmond said possible UNHCR cooperation with the new office could include providing the services of experts, contributing to comparative analysis of the practice of states, or offering expertise regarding conditions in asylum seekers’ countries of origin or countries through which they travelled.“Based on UNHCR’s supervisory responsibility regarding implementation of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, we are well placed to help the EU and the future support office to ensure that the Common European Asylum System develops in line with international refugee law and high standards of protection,” he added.
Sri Lanka said it welcomes the success of the countries concerned in resolving the issue peacefully, manifesting the efficacy of the multilateral approach for the promotion of international peace and security. Under the agreement, all the nuke-related sanctions by the United Nations and Western countries against Iran will be stopped and removed.The UN Security Council unanimously adopted the resolution as the first important step toward implementing the historic agreement reached in Vienna last week between Iran and the P5+1 group, Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States plus Germany. “Sri Lanka has always supported efforts by the international community to resolve the Iran nuclear issue amicably, respecting Iran’s right to peaceful uses of nuclear energy and ensuring the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme,” the statement added. The Sri Lankan Government has welcomed the resolution of the Iran nuclear issue, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.The Foreign Ministry said that Sri Lanka welcomes the successful conclusion of negotiations between Iran and the US, UK, France, Germany, China, Russia and the European Union in Vienna on 14 July 2015. In the resolution, the 15-member body called for its full implementation on the timetable established in the agreement.The agreement is expected to put Iran on the path of sanctions relief, with more strict limits on its nuclear program.Iran will increase its crude output to a significant level after the western sanctions against Iran’s oil industry are removed according to the recent nuclear agreement. (Colombo Gazette)
Federal Reserve stands by aggressive stimulus but says the US economy has strengthened AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email WASHINGTON – The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that the U.S. economy has strengthened but still needs the Fed’s extraordinary support to help lower high unemployment.In a statement after a two-day meeting, the Fed stood by its plan to keep short-term interest rates at record lows at least until unemployment falls to 6.5 per cent, as long as the inflation outlook remains mild. And it said it would continue buying $85 billion a month in bonds indefinitely to keep long-term borrowing costs down.Speaking at a news conference, Chairman Ben Bernanke stressed that while the economy has improved, the Fed won’t ease its aggressive stimulus policies until it’s convinced the economic gains can be sustained. An unemployment rate of 6.5 per cent is a threshold, not a “trigger,” for a possible rate increase, he said.Bernanke also said the Fed might vary the size of its monthly bond purchases depending on whether or how much the job market improves. The unemployment rate has fallen to a four-year low of 7.7 per cent, among many signs of a healthier economy.“We are seeing improvement,” Bernanke said. “One thing we would need is to see this is not temporary improvement.”Jim O’Sullivan, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics, said the Fed appears focused on “whether recent improvement continues, and no changes to the (bond) purchase program appear imminent.”But O’Sullivan said he thinks the Fed might scale back its bond purchases in the second half of this year if job growth continues to accelerate.Brian Bethune, an economics professor at Gordon College in Wenham, Mass., said the Fed’s first move might be to reduce its monthly bond purchases in the October-December quarter of this year and again in the first quarter of 2014. Reducing the Fed’s bond purchases would likely cause interest rates to rise, making loans more expensive, and possibly cause stock prices to fall.But investors seemed pleased with the Fed’s decision to maintain its low-interest rate policies indefinitely for now. The Dow Jones industrial average close up about 56 points, having risen slightly after the Fed’s statement was released at 2 p.m. EDT.The Fed’s statement took note of the global stresses that have been intensified by the turmoil in Cyprus, which is trying to stave off financial ruin. No longer does the Fed statement say, as it did in December, that “strains in global financial markets have eased somewhat.”Bernanke was asked at his news conference whether the flare-up in Cyprus signals that the U.S. financial system might be more vulnerable than bank “stress tests” have shown. He sought to downplay the dangers posed by the tiny Mediterranean nation. Bernanke said that “at this point,” he sees no major risks to the U.S. financial system or economy.The Fed noted in its statement that the U.S. job market has improved, consumer spending and business investment have increased and the housing market has strengthened. But its latest economic forecasts, also released Wednesday, show that the Fed still doesn’t expect unemployment to reach 6.5 per cent until 2015.The Fed also cautioned that government spending cuts and tax increases could slow the economy. It predicts that growth won’t exceed 2.8 per cent this year, slightly lower than its December forecast of 3 per cent.A total of 13 Fed officials still think the first rate increase won’t occur until 2015, the same number that thought so in December. One Fed official thinks the first boost in the short-term lending rate won’t occur until 2016.The statement was approved on an 11-1 vote. Esther George, president of the Kansas City regional Fed bank, dissented for a second straight meeting. She reiterated her concerns that the Fed’s aggressive stimulus could heighten the risk of inflation and financial instability — a concern shared by other critics.Some economists say they fear the Fed has pumped so much money into the financial system that it could eventually ignite inflation, fuel speculative asset bubbles or destabilize markets once the Fed has to start raising rates or unloading its record $3 trillion investment portfolio.And while the Fed’s low interest-rate policies are intended to boost borrowing, spending and stock prices, they also hurt millions of retirees and others who depend on income from savings.“Things are not going to get better for savers,” said Greg McBride, senior financial analyst at Bankrate.com. “Rates are going to stay low for borrowers, and the Fed’s accommodation will continue to be a positive for the stock market. Right now, the market is addicted to Fed stimulus.”The economy slowed to an annual growth rate of just 0.1 per cent in the October-December quarter, a near-stall that was due mainly to temporary factors that have largely faded. Economists think growth has rebounded in the January-March quarter to an annual rate around 2 per cent or more. The most recent data support that view.Americans spent more at retailers in February despite higher Social Security taxes that shrank most workers’ paychecks. Manufacturing gained solidly in February. And employers have gone on a four-month hiring spree, adding an average of 205,000 jobs a month. In February, the unemployment rate, though still high, reached its lowest point since December 2008.One reason for the Fed’s reluctance to reduce its stimulus is the history of the past three years. In each of the three, economic prospects looked promising as the year began. Yet in each case, the economy stumbled.Though the economy has brightened this year, it still faces threats, including across-the-board government spending cuts that took effect March 1 and are expected to trigger furloughs and layoffs.The Fed’s forecasts for the economy are rosier than those issued by the Congressional Budget Office. The CBO has warned that the government spending cuts, along with the Social Security tax increase and higher taxes on top earners, could slow growth by 1.5 percentage points this year, to 1.5 per cent.___AP Economics Writer Christopher S. Rugaber contributed to this report. by Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press Posted Mar 20, 2013 2:01 pm MDT
UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Process Nikolay Mladenov delivered his latest monthly briefing to the Security Council, noting that he was doing so at a time when “regional tensions are taking an increasingly perilous turn.” His comments echoed remarks by UN Secretary-General António Guterres who opened the meeting by underscoring his commitment to achieving two democratic States living side-by-side in peace.Mr. Guterres emphasized the Organization’s long-held support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, stressing: “There is no Plan B.”“This is a time for dialogue, for reconciliation, for reason,” the UN chief said, expressing concern that global consensus on the issue may be eroding.Warning that “obstacles on the ground have the potential to create an irreversible one-state reality,” Mr. Guterres underscored however that: “It is simply impossible to square the circle of a one-state reality with the legitimate national, historic and democratic aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians.”“At this moment of grave consequence, I appeal for effective concerted action by all parties. It is more important than ever.”Mr. Mladenov reported on developments such as the need to maintain support for the UN agency assisting Palestinian refugees across the region, UNRWA, as it faces a substantial funding shortfall.He also spoke of the violence affecting both sides, including the killing of seven Palestinians by the Israeli security forces and the stabbing death of an Israeli civilian by a Palestinian in the West Bank.Mr. Mladenov also said it was time to “break the cycle” in Gaza, which has been under the control of Hamas for a decade and which currently is facing what he described as a “humanitarian, economic and ecological calamity.” He called for Gaza to be returned to the control of the Palestinian Authority, adding that “there can be no Palestinian state without Palestinian unity.”Mr. Mladenov also urged the international community to continue advocating for “substantial” Israeli policy changes related to the West Bank, including halting settlement construction there: something the UN considers illegal under international law. UN Photo/Loey FelipeNickolay Mladenov, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, briefs the Security Council.“In this chamber, we have often spoken of the need for leadership on both sides to reach a deal, a compromise, through negotiations that would allow Israelis and Palestinians to separate and be master of their own fate. But these negotiations would not be negotiations between equals,” he said.“For one side is under military occupation. Its leadership has committed to a peaceful solution to the conflict through negotiation. I urge, in closing, the international community not to give up on support for the moderate Palestinian leadership or on building up the institutions that will increase the chances of success. Our window of opportunity is closing and, if we do not seize it quickly, the Israeli- Palestinian conflict will be engulfed in the whirlwind of religious radicalization that remains present in the region.”Also addressing the Council, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas addressed concerns surrounding the status of Jerusalem, considered holy by both Jews and Muslims as well as Christians.He recalled the decision announced last December by United States President Donald Trump to recognize the city as Israel’s capital.“It did so ignoring that East Jerusalem is part of the Palestinian territory. It is occupied since 1967. And it is our capital open to all the faithful of the three monotheistic religions,” he said.Mr. Abbas described the situation of the Palestinian people as “no longer bearable,” and he called for an international peace conference to be convened this year as a means to find a solution to the stalemate.Israel’s representative to the United Nations Danny Danon also touched on the issue of Jerusalem, observing that the Palestinian leader had left the room prior to his presentation.“Let me be clear: for thousands of years, Jerusalem has been the heart and soul of our people. Jerusalem has been our capital since the days of King David and Jerusalem will remain the undivided capital of the State of Israel forever,” he said.“We will always insist on Israeli sovereignty but even fair-minded observers would agree that under any possible agreement, Jerusalem would be recognized internationally as our capital.”Prior to the start of Tuesday’s meeting, ambassadors observed a moment of silence in honour of one of their former colleagues, Ambassador Vitaly Churkin of the Russian Federation, who died a year ago that day.
Sophomore offensive lineman Taylor Decker (68) gets set to block a defender during a game against Iowa Oct. 19 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won, 34-24.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorThe No. 24 Ohio State women’s volleyball team is looking to put a halt to a five-match losing streak, but will have to take down another top-15 opponent to do it.The Buckeyes, in the midst of a 2-7 start to Big Ten play, are scheduled to face No. 13 Nebraska at 7 p.m. at St. John Arena.Coming off a three-set loss to No. 2 Penn State, freshman setter Maggie Heim said in an email that she and her teammates will have to keep their heads up in order to end their losing streak.“Keeping a very positive demeanor both on and off the court is huge,” she said. “Our energy and passion for the game will play a big role in a quick bounce back.”Heim said the 3-0 loss at Penn State “revealed many things that we need to work on.” She also said she has “no doubt” the Buckeyes will be able to get back in the mix by the end of their conference schedule.OSU started the season 12-0 in non-conference play before dropping then-No. 10 Michigan at home in its first Big Ten match, but have since slid down not only the conference rankings, but the American Volleyball Coaches Association Top 25 Poll.A win against Nebraska is likely the only thing that could keep the Buckeyes, once ranked as high as No. 12, from falling out of the poll completely.While it would help the team’s standings, junior setter Taylor Sherwin, who has recently been splitting time with Heim, said in an email it would “feel awesome” and spark the team for the rest of the season if they could get a win against Nebraska.Junior defensive specialist Alyssa Winner said in an email a victory over Nebraska at home would feel even better than beating the Cornhuskers 3-1 on their home court last season.In the short term, the Buckeyes recognize that they have to improve their offensive efficiency. The team hit minus .030 in the loss to Penn State, and Winner said they know how to get it done.“Keep working as a team on our tempos and holding blockers on the other side of the net to get open looks,” she said.Heim said the Buckeyes have to take a new mindset heading into the Nebraska match.“Playing with a chip on our shoulder like we have nothing to lose will also help,” she said.While the Penn State match marked the end of three games on the road, OSU will only be back in Columbus for a single match. The Buckeyes head back out on the road for matches against Michigan State in East Lansing, Mich., Nov. 1.
The Ohio State Men’s Basketball team played Michigan State on Feb. 17 at the Breslin Student Events Center in East Lansing, Mich. Ohio State lost 44-62. Photos by Casey Cascaldo Ohio State sophomore forward Kaleb Wesson (34) attempts a shot in the first half of the game against Michigan State on Feb. 17. Ohio State lost 44-62. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo Editor
THE SHERIFF OF Houston’s Harris County has adopted a sweeping policy designed to protect and guarantee equal treatment of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender inmates, including allowing transgender individuals to be housed based on the gender they identify with instead of their biological sex.The new policy, which Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia’s office believes to be one of the most comprehensive in the country, states “discrimination or harassment of any kind based on sexual orientation or gender identity is strictly prohibited,” and outlines how such inmates will be searched, booked and housed.The policy also covers intersex inmates, defined as people born with sex chromosomes or reproductive systems that can not be distinctly identified as male or female.Houston has the third-largest county jail in the US, after Los Angeles and Chicago’s Cook County, and processes some 125,000 inmates annually. Other major jails, including LA, Washington, D.C., and Denver, have taken similar steps to meet new federal standards for protecting inmates from sexual abuse and assault.But Harris County is the first in Texas to adopt this extensive of a policy, according to Brandon Wood, executive director of the Texas Commission on Jail Standards, a state agency that inspects, regulates and provides technical assistance to county jails.The 11-page policy, along with a separate three-page document protecting this population from workplace discrimination, went into effect this week.“It represents a significant step forward,” said Harper Jean Tobin, director of policy for the Washington-based National Center for Transgender Equality, who worked closely with Garcia and his staff.The new policy may be notable because it’s occurring in a staunch red state proud of its conservative values, Tobin said. But she emphasised it’s not about politics.This is not a red or blue issue. It is an issue of preventing violence, of meeting the state’s legal and moral responsibilities to keep people safe and safeguarding public funds that when sexual abuse happens in prison need to be spent on medical care and mental health care and recovery.According to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, the jail currently has about 8,900 inmates and at least 250 of them, or 2.8 percent, identify themselves as lesbian, gay bisexual or transgender.A “safe zone project” will promote a “positive relationship of solidarity” between the sheriff’s department and the gay community, according to the document. Members of this staff will wear an obvious identifier so they can be easily spotted.The sheriff’s department will also have “zero tolerance” for staff sexual misconduct or sexual harassment toward members of the gay community. Violations could “result in termination” or referral for criminal charges or other action.Another key section of the policy states that members of the transgender community will be addressed by their chosen name, even if it has not legally been changed, both when spoken to and on their identification bracelets.Read: Fear of rejection still biggest barrier to coming out for trans community>Read: Cyberbullying and homophobic bullying policies now mandatory for schools>
We’ve all heard the warnings about ATMs being “modified” with card skimmers in order to steal your details and siphon money from your account. But that doesn’t mean they are easy to spot, or in fact how much trouble criminals go to so as to ensure your details and PIN are logged.Brian Krebs from KrebsonSecurity has posted details of a fairly new ATM Skimmer that was discovered at a bank in San Fernando Valley. As you can see, from the front you really can’t tell this is a fake card reading slot, and as long as it is attached to a machine that has a similar color scheme, most people wouldn’t give it a second thought.Look around the back though, and you see the kit required to make this scam work. Those big batteries we all rely on to power our smartphones for hours every day apparently also work very well when powering a skimmer. In this case one is powering the circuitry to record and store the details of an inserted card.You can also see a pinhole on the right side of the casing. Behind that is mounted a camera which, when activated, records the key presses of the person who just slid their card into the machine. The footage of the PIN entry, coupled with the card details, give the criminal everything he/she needs to commit fraud.A big battery and a few gigabytes of flash memory and this kit could collect hundreds of card details over the course of a few days. The skimmer also seems to be from an organized person (gang?) who is doing this on a large scale–that “5” etched on the inside of the case suggests there’s a number of these skimmers deployed in the area.Read more at KrebsonSecurity
Two Vancouver residents and two Oregon residents were indicted Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Portland in connection with a global conspiracy in which more than $1.2 billion in illegal drugs were sold online to buyers around the world, according to the Justice Department.Jason W. Hagen, 39, and Chelsea L. Reder, 23, both of Vancouver, and Richard E. Webster, 45, and Donald R. Bechen, 39, both of Washington County, Ore., allegedly participated in the conspiracy by selling methamphetamine internationally for the digital currency, called bitcoins, on a website dubbed the “Silk Road.”They are charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine over the Internet, conspiracy to export methamphetamine to other countries and 15 counts of international and domestic money laundering.Before its seizure in October, the “Silk Road” provided a virtual marketplace for distributors and suppliers of illegal drugs, firearms and fraudulent identification cards to peddle their products on the Internet through an encrypted network called “The Onion Router.”Hagen, Webster, Bechen and Reder participated in the marketplace by selling more than 17 pounds of methamphetamine on the website, the justice department said. The sales involved about 3,169 transactions, the justice department said.
Rae Bareli: Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Tuesday reached Rae Bareli to meet the family of former Congress legislator Akhilesh Singh, who passed away on August 20. Priyanka spent about half an hour with the family of the late leader and conveyed to them condolences from her mother Sonia Gandhi, who is an MP from Rae Bareli. Also Read – Shah urges women to shun plastic bags Advertise With Us Akhilesh Singh’s daughter Aditi Singh is now a Congress MLA from the Rae Bareli Sadar seat, which was earlier held by her father. Priyanka later left for the Bhuemau Guest House, where she will meet her party workers. She will then proceed to Lalganj’s Modern Rail Coach Factory, the workers of which are protesting against its privatisation. Also Read – Free bus travel for women gets Cabinet nod Advertise With Us Some of the agitating workers had met the Congress leader in the morning upon her arrival here to inform her of their demands. Priyanka assured the workers that she would support them in their efforts to prevent the factory’s privatisation. The Ministry of Railways has envisaged corporatisation of its seven production units and associated workshops under one entity called the Indian Railway Rolling Stock Company. Advertise With Us Sonia Gandhi had on July 1 raised the issue of privatisation of public sector units in the Lok Sabha and accused the government of selling the country’s assets to private players at a throwaway prices. This is Priyanka Gandhi’s second visit to Uttar Pradesh. Earlier this month, she visited Ubbha village in Sonebhadra district, where at least 10 tribals were killed in a caste carnage last month over a land dispute.