Category Archives: zypfxh

GJM offers Muslims 12-hour ‘window’ for Eid celebrations

first_img On Friday, GJM supremo Bimal Gurung had said that there would be no relaxation for Muslims to celebrate Eid. On that day, the GJM had provided a 12-hour bandh relaxation to the boarding schools to evacuate the stranded students.Senior GJM leaders and supporters took out a rally from Chowkbazar to the GJM head office and opened it with “We Want Gorkhaland” chants. GJM supporters also took part in other processions as the indefinite strike demanding a separate state of ‘Gorkhaland’, carved out of West Bengal, entered its 11th day today.Call for protestIn a video message last night, Mr. Gurung had urged the people to hit the streets, but also cautioned them that the leaders from the other parties might “try to betray” the Gorkhaland agitation.“We are ready for talks only on the issue of Gorkhaland, not on any alternative formula…. Remember that one day, everyone has to die. Either my body will go home or I will return with Gorkhaland,” he had said in the message.Barring medicine outlets, all other shops remained closed in the hills. Internet services remained suspended for the eighth day and the security forces continued to patrol the streets. Meanwhile, in Siliguri, an outfit named ‘Amra Bangali’ (We are Bengalees) took out a rally to protest against the “separatist movement” of the GJM. Army denies link with ‘soldiers’ in video over Gorkhaland In a change of stand, the GJM on Sunday decided to allow a 12-hour bandh relaxation only for the Muslims to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr in the Darjeeling hills tomorrow.“The Muslim community in the hills will be given a 12- hour relaxation on June 26, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., to celebrate Eid,” a senior Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leader said.Muslims can also use vehicles with stickers mentioning the purpose to go to the plains and meet their relatives, he added. “Except this, everything remains the same. The indefinite shutdown will continue,” he said.Also Readlast_img read more

Low pressure over Bay of Bengal intensifies into depression

first_imgThe well-marked low pressure over the Bay of Bengal intensified into a depression on December 6, raising the likelihood of heavy rainfall, coupled with squally winds in Odisha from December 8.Latest observations and satellite imageries indicate that the low pressure area over southeast Bay of Bengal concentrated into a depression and lay centred about 1,250 km south-southeast of Gopalpur, the met office in Bhubaneswar said.The system is likely to move northwestwards and reach the Andhra Pradesh coast around December 8 evening. It is likely to intensify further into a deep depression in the next 48 hours. However, there is a probability of slight weakening of the system when it reaches near the Andhra Pradesh coast.Under its impact, heavy rain is likely to lash coastal Odisha and several areas like Koraput and Malkangiri in southern parts of the State, while weather is expected to be by and large dry till December 7, said local met office director Sarat Chandra Sahoo.The intensity of the rainfall is expected to decline from December 11 when several areas in western Odisha and interior region would experience light to moderate rain, he said.Squally winds, with a speed of 40 to 50 kmph and gusting up to 60 kmph, are likely to prevail along and off the Odisha coast from Thursday evening to December 9 and decrease thereafter. Sea condition would be rough to very rough along and off the Odisha coast during the period, the Met office said.In view of the weather condition, fishermen along and off Odisha coast are advised not to venture into the sea from Thursday till December 10, it said.Directive to authoritiesThe Odisha government has directed district authorities to take steps to save the crops from rains.Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik took stock of the situation on December 5 in view of the warning issued by the met office and directed District Collectors to remain alert and take steps to save the harvested and standing paddy crops during rains.Mr. Patnaik, during a video conference with the Collectors, asked for spreading awareness among farmers about the steps required to save the harvested as well as standing paddy crops from rain.Mr. Patnaik said funds available with the Regulated Market Committees could be used for making arrangements for protection of paddy in the mandis.For paddy crops that are ready, farmers should take steps to harvest and store them in safe places, said a senior official.The Collectors were also asked to complete disbursement of agriculture input subsidy of ₹718.5 crore to the farmers affected by drought, pest attack and unseasonal rain by December 15.last_img read more

ED attaches assets of 4 Goa cricket officials

first_imgThe Enforcement Directorate has attached assets worth ₹4.13 crore of four former office bearers of the Goa Cricket Association (GCA) in a money laundering case.The attached properties include an apartment of Dayanand Narvekar, three shops owned by Chetan Desai, a plot of Vinod Phadke and two land parcels, besides ₹67,500 in fixed-deposit of Akbar Mulla. The action was taken on the basis of an FIR registered by the Goa Police for alleged swindling of funds received by the GCA from the BCCI. During 2006-2007, the BCCI forwarded grants/TV subsidy amounting to ₹6.95 crore to the Association. Of that, ₹3.87 crore was allegedly siphoned off by the then four office bearers by fraudulently opening accounts with the Development Credit Bank and the Shiroda Urban Cooperative Society. The accounts were opened in GCA’s name. “The money was withdrawn in cash using bearer cheques in the name of fictitious persons. The office bearers used to telephonically inform the bank officials concerned asking them to clear the cheques,” said an ED official. The ED said Mr. Narvekar also siphoned off ₹26 lakh from the Federal Bank account of the GCA. “The amount was withdrawn in cash ostensibly to pay Hako Enterprises, Mumbai, for supply of sports equipment. However, the company confirmed that it had not supplied any such equipment nor such a payment had ever been received,” the official said.last_img read more

A one-grant limit: NIH institute puts squeeze on flush investigators

first_imgIn the latest example of budget stretching at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the agency’s basic science institute is imposing a strict one-grant limit on scientists who already have plentiful no-strings support. The move could free up at least $6 million, or 25 grants for other scientists.The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) announced the belt tightening on 13 January: “Investigators with substantial, long-term, unrestricted research support may generally hold no more than one NIGMS research grant,” a notice says. The rule will apply to researchers who already have at least $400,000 per year in research funding not tied to a specific project (not including salary or overhead costs).The new limit “will enable NIGMS to fund additional labs, increasing the likelihood of making significant scientific advances,” NIGMS says. The rule takes effect in January 2016. (It comes on top of an NIGMS policy giving extra scrutiny to proposals from investigators whose proposals would bring their overall direct funding to at least $750,000.)Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The most notable group affected by the policy is the elite scientists supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). NIGMS Deputy Director Judith Greenberg estimates there are at least 22 HHMI investigators who hold two or three NIGMS research grants. Limiting them to a single grant could free up $6 million for 25 to 30 grants for established or young investigators, she estimates. The policy potentially applies to other investigators as well, such as those with endowed chairs at universities.“Everybody in the biomedical community realizes how tough it is these days and the need to spread funding around,” Greenberg tells ScienceInsider. At the same time, “I’m sure we’ll be getting lots of phone calls about this,” she says.Harvard University molecular biologist and HHMI investigator Johannes Walter says he’s not thrilled about having to give up one of his two NIGMS grants—he will have to drop the work if he can’t find other funding. At the same time, he understands the need for the policy because many “superb” labs rely solely on federal funding. “A policy that makes sure these federal dollars reach a maximum number of deserving labs seems very reasonable to me,” he writes in an e-mail.last_img read more

Heavyweights Anthony Joshua, Jarrell Miller hurl insults instead of leather

first_imgLATEST STORIES PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants British boxer Anthony Joshua, left, is shoved by Jarrell Miller, right, as they pose for photographs during a news conference Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, in New York, to promote their upcoming fight. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)NEW YORK — Staring contests, shouting matches, some shoving. Even a near mix-up with some members of the audience.All part of the pregame show, if you will, when heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua and challenger Jarrell Miller shared a makeshift stage at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday.ADVERTISEMENT Urgent reply from Philippine ‍football chief World fencing body ‘interested’ in France’s embrace of lightsaber SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte MOST READ He’s coming over to Miller’s backyard; the heavyweight known as Big Baby (23-0-1, 20 knockouts) is from Brooklyn. Joshua basically shrugs when that’s mentioned.“He gasses out, he gets hit a lot,”Joshua said of the 300-pound Miller. “He’s slow.”Miller wasn’t slow to insult Joshua at every turn Tuesday, calling the Briton everything from “phony” to “no role model” to a “prom queen.”“I am ready, you have no idea,” he said. “I breathe, eat and sleep Anthony Joshua. I got a picture on my wall of Anthony Joshua. I wake up in the morning with Anthony Joshua.“The way I got here is unconventional, something out of a fantasy book. I worked hard for this, hard. Ground it out. I got to go to war.”ADVERTISEMENT The title fight, Joshua’s U.S. debut, isn’t until June 1. The WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO belt holder is unbeaten (22-0, 21 knockouts), but has only fought in the United Kingdom, where he’s filled London’s Wembley Stadium and Cardiff’s Principality Stadium for defenses of his title. Now, it’s the Garden, an arena synonymous with boxing, but a new locale for the champion.“I am not here to win a popularity contest. I don’t want to focus on the recognition part,” Joshua said. “That’s a losing battle. But as far as fighting around the world, I like to fight wherever the market is. In the U.K., we had 100,000 coming out and that’s why it made sense to be fighting there. At the moment, it’s brilliant to be at Madison Square Garden, with a global audience.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption charges“Madison Square Garden is massive. Madison Square Garden is really big, brilliant. Wembley holds a lot more people, but this is something different and new territory.“We’ve built it from the ground up in the U.K., and now we’re coming over.”center_img Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting PDEA chief backs Robredo in revealing ‘discoveries’ on drug war Miller especially was annoyed when Joshua said he would train for the fight in Brooklyn. And as allegations from each boxer flew about alleged use of illegal substances — Miller tested positive for a banned drug in 2014 — they shouted over each other into microphones at a news conference without ever really answering questions.Miller claimed Joshua “has to have people look up to him like he is some kind of a god” while adding Joshua is “a puppeteer.”But they were ready to make some predictions. Before leaving the stage early, Miller vowed he’ll step out of the Garden ring in June as the champion. And Joshua promised, “I am going to knock him out on June 1. He’s the softest puncher in the heavyweight division.”“I just gave him a big paycheck and some cheeseburgers,” Joshua joked. “It was an easy promotion.”The bout will be streamed by DAZN in the United States and televised by Sky Sports in the U.K. Hopefully it will have more jabs and hooks and uppercuts with the gloves on in the ring and not the mouthing off that marked the beginning of the promotion.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View commentslast_img read more

Malaysian teen eyes triathlon medal in SEA Games

first_imgLATEST STORIES View comments Duterte calls himself, Go, Cayetano ‘the brightest stars’ in PH politics Drilon apologizes to BCDA’s Dizon over false claim on designer of P50-M ‘kaldero’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH PLAY LIST 05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH00:36Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games00:50Trending Articles03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games Rice industry paralysis MOST READ Xian Hao will be one of the youngest competitors in the triathlon and duathlon at the Philippines SEA Games in Manila.And it’s not the first time he is going in as the “kid” of the Games. He was also the youngest triathlete at the Commonwealth Games and also qualified for the Youth Olympics in Argentina last year.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGreatest ever?SPORTSFormer PBA import Anthony Grundy passes away at 40SPORTSSan Miguel suspends Santos, Nabong, Tubid indefinitely after ‘tussle’ in practiceDespite his young age, he has hopes of helping his team to the bronze medal in the triathlon and duathlon mixed relays.“It can be quite a challenge in this sport at my age, because physically I’m not fully developed or as experienced as the other athletes, but that has never stopped me,” said Xian Hao. What’s behind the display of Chinese flag in Boracay?center_img Duterte officials’ paranoia is ‘singularly myopic’ Chong Xian Hao will be one of the youngest competitors in the triathlon SEA Games. Photo from The StarPETALING JAYA — Age is no barrier – that’s what many aging athletes say. But when Chong Xian Hao says it, there’s a different meaning altogether.He is just 18.ADVERTISEMENT Bemedaled Malaysian archer aims to win back SEA Games gold in PH Priority legislation in the 18th Congress The biggest challenge at the SEA Games will be the home side. The Philippines have dominated the triathlon in the last two Games winning all the gold medals.“They have a lot of good athletes and they have dominated the sport. It will be difficult to better them but we will do our best.”In triathlon mixed relay, Xian Hao will be partnered with Thiang Chong Yoong, Yeong Zhen Yi, Aimi Iwasakai Muhd Moritoh while in the duathlon mixed relay he will team up with Mohd Haziq Junaidy, Zhen Yi and Allison Yee.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Ethel Booba on SEA Games cauldron: ‘Sulit kung corrupt ang panggatong’ Matteo Guidicelli had saved up for Sarah G’s ring since 2014? “As I’m younger, I have more energy and I will use that to my advantage.“I always enjoy a challenge and I hope to be able to inspire other young athletes to pick up the sport and show that age is just a number.”Xian Hao said he picked up the sport when he was just 10 because his parents saw an advertisement in the newspaper.“We had never heard of triathlon before and it was interesting because it combined cycling, swimming and running all in one. And that was the main attraction for me. I liked different sports.“Also because it’s three disciplines, I hardly get bored during training because I’m always doing something different. At the same time I get to meet different people from each sport, which is inspiring and fun.”ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

India vs Australia: Another lucky escape for MS Dhoni, this time at MCG. Watch

first_imgBrief Scores: India (234/3; Dhoni 87*, Jadhav 61*) beat Australia (230; Chahal 6 for 42) by 7 wickets to win ODI series 2-1. Full ScorecardMS Dhoni rode his luck in the series-deciding third and final one day international against Australia in Melbourne on Friday. Chasing a tricky 231 to win the series at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, MS Dhoni got a reprieve when he was dropped on 0 first ball that he faced.Not just that, he also survived run out chance and a caught behind.However, Dhoni was not alone in getting. Skipper Virat Kohli also enjoyed his share of luck to an extent until his stay at the crease. He was also dropped and survived a run out opportunity.Not much of an appeal from the Aussies, but it looks like Dhoni has edged that! Not out… #CloseMatters#AUSvIND | @GilletteAU pic.twitter.com/6iOl7tfrGD cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) January 18, 2019DROPPED CHANCESKohli was dropped by Peter handscomb on 16 off Marcus Stoinis in the 12th over of India’s innings. Stoinis had bowled a length delivery outside off, the ball skidded on after pitching and hurried onto the batsman. Kohli tried to run it down to third man but it took the outside edge and travelled quickly to Handscomb at first slip. The Australian fielder jumped to his left and got his hands to it but failed to hold on. The ball raced behind for a boundary in the process.A few over later after Shikhar Dhawan was dismissed by Marcus Stoinis, MS Dhoni walked in to bat at No.4. He was dropped on the first ball he faces.advertisementOn the fourth ball of the 16th over, MS Dhoni tried to slash hard at a widish delivery bowled by Stoinis. Glenn Maxwell, ome of the best fielders in the world, moved to left and got both his hands to it but the ball popped out and Dhoni was granted a life on nought.THE MIX UPIt’s not a hidden fact that MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli have a great understanding while they are running quick singles, converting one into twos and twos into threes.But on Friday, something unusual happened between the two in the 21st and the 22nd over.On the third ball of the 21st over, MS Dhoni hit the ball towards mid off and called for a single off Stoinis. Kohli was off in a flash but Dhoni saw Jhye Richardson charging towards the ball and he decided to send Kohli back. The India skipper almost gave up on his return but luckily the ball didn’t hit the stumps and he was safe.In the next over Kohli was facing Adam Zampa. The Australia leg-spinner bowled a full outside off, Kohli reached for the ball and hit it left of the backward point fielder. He initially took a start to which Dhoni responded. Handscomb, the fielder, was quick to pounce on the ball and fired a throw at the keeper’s end. While Kohli was ball-watching, Dhoni was just a few yards away from the batting crease. The Alex Carey then threw the ball towards Zampa who failed to grab the ball completely but managed to disrupt the bails. Dhoni was quick and the replays suggested the Indian wicketkeeper was back home safely.LUCKY ESCAPEIn the 29th over, Dhoni found the inside edge of his bat and it carried to keeper Carey. It was a neat catch, Glenn Maxwell and bowler Peter Siddle appealed. However, their appeal was not that convincing and Dhoni survived for the third time.In the previous match, Dhoni benefitted from another umpiring howler when he didn’t ground his bat at the other end and the run was added to the total. The umpires had failed to notice of that incident.Did anyone notice that dhoni actually didn’t complete the run here? pic.twitter.com/F9KjKiFILc neich (@neicho32) January 15, 2019However, it was curtains for Kohli when he finally ran out of luck in the 30th over. Jhye Richardson bowled a full and wide ball outside off, Kohli puched at it but found a thick edge of his bat to Carey. Richardson got the India skipper for the third time in the series.last_img read more

Seatrade Enters Slot Charter Agreement with HapagLloyd

first_imgzoomFor illustrative purposes; Image Courtesy: StreamLines Specialised reefer transporter Seatrade, and its affiliated company StreamLines, have entered into a cooperation deal with Hapag-Lloyd commencing with a slot charter agreement on the US East Coast to Europe trade.As from April 13, 2018, the company started offering weekly services for reefer cargo in containers, from the ports of Savannah, Charleston and Norfolk, into London, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Bremerhaven and Le Havre.Seatrade informed that the transit times in this deal offer a continuation of the fast direct and dedicated service.“Through this cooperation agreement with Hapag-Lloyd, we will continue to provide USA reefer cargo shippers and European receivers with the highest quality of service and customer care together with fast transit times and first-class equipment,” Seatrade said.They added that the agreement allows an expansion of port options and provision of multiple vessel calls weekly, giving shippers even more frequency and flexibility.last_img read more

Highlights of TSB report on whalewatching capsizing off British Columbia

first_imgVANCOUVER – Key findings of the Transportation Safety Board on causes and contributing factors in the capsizing of the Leviathan II, along with some recommendations made by the board:— Conditions were favourable for the formation of breaking waves and moments before the wave that capsized the boat struck, the master became aware of it and attempted to realign the vessel to minimize its impact, but there was not enough time for his actions to be effective.— The vessel maintained position on the weather side of a reef that was exposed to the incoming swell to allow passengers to view wildlife. As the vessel was leaving the area, a large wave approached from the starboard quarter.— It took about 45 minutes before search-and-rescue authorities became aware of the capsizing because the crew did not have time to transmit a distress call, nor did the vessel have a means to automatically send one.— Crew members were able to discharge a parachute rocket, which alerted a nearby Ahousaht First Nation fishing vessel that was instrumental in saving the lives of a number of survivors.— If companies that operate passenger vessels do not implement risk management processes for environmental hazards there is a risk of a similar capsizing and loss of life.— The life-raft deployed after the capsizing was fitted with an emergency pack that did not contain devices effective for signalling distress, such as a parachute rocket or buoyant smoke float.— Transport Canada should consider whether requirements for the use of digital emergency beacons should be applied to additional classes of boats and airplanes.— Operators of commercial passenger vessels on the west coast of Vancouver Island should be required to identify areas and conditions conducive to the formation of hazardous waves and adopt strategies to reduce the chances of passenger vessels encountering those conditions.last_img read more

Media figures on asylum in Italy misleading UN refugee agency says

Responding to what it called “misleading statistics” being reported in the Italian media, a spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said that the figures being quoted – namely that 92 per cent of the 8,701 asylum applications were rejected – were a distortion of the full picture of the refugee situation there.“There is a colossal difference between the figure of 8 per cent recognition currently being reported in the Italian media, and 51 per cent,” as the agency figures its rate of recognition of refugee claims, according to the spokesman.Ron Redmond explained that the figure of 7,921 “rejected cases” included 2,352 people who were in fact subsequently granted various forms of international protection, in addition to the 780 applicants granted refugee status according to the 1951 Refugee Convention.Another 2,627 people who, for one reason or another dropped out of the process but were also classified as rejected might also include a certain proportion of refugees or people who would qualify for “subsidiary protection,” he said.“If this group is discounted – because we have no idea whether they are or are not refugees – the number of asylum applications which have been actually examined on their merits by the (Italian eligibility) Commission is 6,074,” he added, thus bringing the percentages of those receiving protection under the Refugee Convention to 12.8 percent and those obtaining subsidiary protection to 38.7 percent. read more

Doctors warn of increasing safety risks amid hospital overcrowding

first_img 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. Hospital ward Almost half a million emergency patients had to wait more than four hours for a bed between October 2015 and September 2016. File pictureCredit:Peter Byrne/PA Patients are being left stranded on trolleys without access to vital medical supplies and sent home too soon amid widespread hospital crowding, doctors say.More than half of medics polled by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) said patient safety has deteriorated over the past year and three quarters fear dangers to patients within 12 months.The survey of more than 2,100 RCP members from across the UK found that 84 per cent had experienced staffing shortages.And less than half thought doctors at their trust would speak up if they were concerned about risks to patients.In the survey, doctors said they were “firefighting”, “papering over the cracks” and “hanging on by their claws”.One said: “The hospital is operating at full capacity all of the time, We are asked (almost daily) to ‘lower our thresholds’ for what we consider to be a safe discharge.”Medics said they were working in circumstances which were “completely unsafe” for patients, with one describing 55 emergency beds being opened, without extra staff. “Currently the hospital is overfull, with patients on trolleys in corridors and in the middle of the bay (with no curtains, access to electricity, oxygen etc) .. elective surgery has been cancelled (including cancer surgery)” said one.”I feel like I’m on the Titanic” said another.Research by the royal college found 43 per cent of doctors were working in departments with shortages of medics.  Prof Jane Dacre, RCP President, will today tell the college’s annual conference that doctors were being “pushed to their limits”.”We worry that there are inherent safety risks in a hospital running at full or over capacity – from an increase in hospital acquired infections to the impact of burnout from overworked staff,” she said.Janet Davies, chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said: “Hospital doctors are blowing the whistle on sliding standards in patient care – wards are full and without the staff to cope.”Nursing staff share their fear that things will get even worse in the next year.”Philip Dunne,  health minister, said: “We want to make the NHS the safest healthcare system in the world supported by world-class doctors and nurses – that’s why there are already 34,800 extra clinical staff, including over 11,600 additional doctors and over 13,400 additional nurses on our wards since May 2010. “last_img read more

Land reclamation to be aggressively pursued – Trotman

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedLand Reclamation forum held for minersJuly 16, 2014In “Business”Mining industry has to do more to regulate itself – Minister TrotmanJuly 30, 2016In “Mining”Ministry commences ‘tax concession hearings’ with minersJanuary 15, 2016In “Business” Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman said he would petition the Ministry of Finance to set aside a greater portion of the gold royalties for land reclamation projects.Trotman, who visited a pilot land reclamation project site in Olive Creek, Region Seven last week, told the Government Information Agency (GINA) that the Natural Resources Ministry, through the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), will be aggressively pursuing land reclamation in the mining industry.However, the Minister pointed out that financing the project will be costly. Currently, miners pay the GGMC an environmental bond of $100,000. “It may be too much to ask them (miners) to pay a $1M, in view of all that is going on, but I believe that a percentage of the royalties received could be set aside,” Trotman said.Part of the reclaimed land at Olive Creek, Region Seven. This was once a mined out pit. Two years ago the pit was back-filled and left to be re-vegetated naturallyAdditionally, the government says it intends to invest oil revenues, when it begins oil production, into reclamation projects.“We have to bring it to a place or a point of optimum where as much reclamation is happening as there is mining. As we progress into having revenues from oil and gas, we’ve already made provisions for some percentage to be set aside from that for environmental protection and reclamation projects like these,” said Trotman.The Natural Resources Minister says he envisions having a reclamation project in each of the six mining districts in Guyana. “We have to ensure that mining remains viable, but at the same time, we do so in a sustainable manner.”The Olive Creek project, which was undertaken in collaboration with Correia Mining Company, seeks to provide necessary data on natural reclamation. It is expected that the information that the GGMC accumulated from the Olive Creek reclamation project will be used to promote the practice.An aggressive education awareness campaign, targeting miners, will soon be underway by the GGMC. Miners are required by law to reclaim the lands they mine, however most of them do not adhere to this mining rule which seeks to promote environmentally safe and sustainable mining practices.Land reclamation could reverse geological changes on the land and in water flow and reduce the prevalence of mosquitoes and the diseases they spread. The GGMC had also achieved success in reclaiming mined out lands in Mahdia back in 2009. read more

1164 work permits issued in 2016 Felix

Minister of Citizenship, Winston Felix who has direct responsibilities for the Department of Citizenship within the Ministry of Presidency (MOTP) told the Department of Public Information/Government Information Agency (DPI/GINA)  that there are ten countries that citizens routinely apply for work permits in Guyana.Minister of Citizenship, Winston Felix“For the pass year we issued one thousand one hundred and sixty-four (1,164) work permits to nationals from 10 countries; Chinese, Americans, Cubans, Indians, British, Trinidadians, Canadians, Venezuelans, Jamaicans and Brazilians. Those are the top ten”, Minister Felix explained.Felix said that as much as Guyana is lacking certain human resources, an orderly migration process for these citizens is a priority for the department.The minister added that marriage and Guyanese whose children are born out of Guyana are some of the leading areas for citizenship applications in Guyana.“We have two hundred and thirty-six (236) foreign nationals who have obtained Guyanese citizenship. Some by marriage and some by ordinary residency, meaning those that have been living in Guyana for the prescribed period,” Minister Felix added.Between 2012 and 2014, Guyana issued just over two thousand three hundred work permits, with Brazilian workers receiving 2147 (two thousand one hundred and forty-seven) of the total.Felix says while the David Granger Administration intends to accommodate foreign investment, it would not do so at the expense of Guyanese workers. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedHomestead settlement being established for Venezuelan migrants- FelixJuly 30, 2018In “latest news”Guyanese burdening immigration system by overstaying- FelixMarch 8, 2017In “latest news”Citizenship Ministry granting temporary amnesty to illegal foreign nationalsFebruary 21, 2018In “Business” read more

FYROM moves on with parliament vote

first_imgThe government of Zoran Zaev in FYROM are preparing to have a secondary vote in Parliament in order to ratify their agreement with Greece, after the original vote had been vetoed by the country’s President Gjorge Ivanov.Ivanov refused to agree to the deal, stating that it would make the FYROM “subjugated and dependent upon another” and also threatened anyone who signed it with a five-year imprisonment. However, should the agreement receive the majority vote for a second time around, he will be forced to sign it, as per the laws of the country. The original vote had 69 out of 120 in favour, from the necessary 61.Meanwhile, Zoran Zaev is also being said to hold a referendum on the matter. The date of this referendum was previously speculated by the media in the country to be either the 9th or the 16th of September. Although a later statement by mr Zaev himself confirmed that it will most likely take place sometime between late September and early October, considering the question that his people will be asked but also the nature of the referendum itself (whether it will be decisive or more of a consultation) are two issues that still have not yet been decided.At the same time, Greece’s parliament is preparing for its own vote to ratify the Prespes agreement. In a statement released by the Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ press office, it was pointed out that the country will only support FYROM’s NATO bid once the agreement has been solidified in both nations and asked for the largest possible support in the vote. “The government will comply to the letter to all provisions of the Prespes agreement. Subsequently, the Greek parliament will table the agreement for ratification. Only after ratification by both sides does the agreement come into effect. The same applies to FYROM’s NATO accession protocol, which will be drafted only if FYROM complies with the above terms.” Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Wilmington Band Parents Raffling Off Limbo Game Kit

first_img(NOTE: The above announcement is from the Wilmington Wildcat Bands Parents Association’s Facebook page.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedWilmington Band Parents Raffling Off A Jumbo Wildcat Connect Four GameIn “Community”Wilmington Band Parents Raffling Off Pair Of Great Red Sox TicketsIn “Community”Wilmington Band Parents Soliciting Business & Family Donors For 2019-2020 BannerIn “Community” WILMINGTON, MA — The Wildcat Band Parents are raffling off a Limbo Game Kt during the month of July.Tickets cost 1 for $5 or $30 for 10. To purchase tickets, email whswildcatbandsparents@gmail.com or stop by the Band Parents’ table at the Concerts on the Common beginning July 10.The drawing will take place on July 31. All proceeds will support the Wildcat bands.The prize was created and donated by band parent Doug Moore.last_img read more

AYUSH centre to come up in Ananthagiri Hills

first_imgVikarabad: A new AYUSH healthcare centre is coming up at Ananthagiri Hills soon. MLA Dr M Anand and the Commissioner of AYUSH Alugu Varshini visited the TB Hospital located amid the hills on Wednesday and inspected wards and buildings. Speaking on the occasion, the Commissioner disclosed that the AYUSH centre was coming up at the TB Hospital. MLA Anand said the funds released for the repairs of TB hospital were not used properly, and the amount would be spent for the new AYUSH centre. He also revealed that Rs 6 crore had been sanctioned for the newly proposed centre. Also Read – Hyderabad: Wall collapse in Kukatpally damages four cars Advertise With Us Alugu Varshini said the TB hospital was established there due to the serene setting and healthy air. “Now the number of inmates of the hospital has declined, but the hospital will continue along with AYUSH centre,” she said. She said infrastructure, facilities and buildings would be provided soon for the newly proposed health care centre. Superintendent of the hospital Sudhakar Shinde, TSMIDC DEE Arjun and others were present.last_img read more

Union Budget 2017 Highlights Here is FM Arun Jailtleys speech key takeaway

first_img[Representational Image]PIB IndiaAmid uproar over Narendra Modi’s government continuing with the Union Budget 2017-2018, following the death of E Ahmed, Congress MP from Kerala had raised doubts over the possible postponement of Budget speech. However, the House Speaker, Sumithra Mahajan gave the go ahead following a tribute and few minutes silence in respect of the deceased MP. The highlights below let us have a peek into the government’s focus for the next fiscal year, until the fine print of the Budget reaches everyone. Read: Union Budget Session 2017 Live Updates: MP Ahamed’s death creates uncertainty; FM Arun Jaitley reaches Parliament, Union Cabinet to meet shortlyFinance Minister, Arun Jailtley started his Union Budget 2017 at 11 pm as planned. Top highlights of Union Budget 2017-2018:We have moved from a discretionary administration to a policy-based administration.Focus will be on energising our youth, to reap benefits of growth and employment.International Monetary Fund estimates that the world GDP will grow by 3.1 percent in 2016 and 3.4 percent in 2017.Demonetisation is a bold and decisive measure, for many decades tax evasion was a way of life for many.Pace of remonetisation has picked up and will soon reach comfortable levels. Effects of Demonetisation  not expected to spill over to next year.Have done away with planned and  non-planned allocation.Agenda is to transform, energise and clean India.Surplus liquidity in the banking system will aid in lower cost of lending and credit.Committed to double farmer income in five years. Agriculture is expected to grow at 4.1 percent in the current year.Overall approach in this year’s Budget has been to spend more in rural areas.Farmers will benefit from 60-day interest waiver announced by PM.Target of agricultural loans to farmers set at record Rs 10 lakh cr in 2017-18Fasal Bima Yojana coverage will be increased to 40 percent.Issuance of soil health cards has gathered momentum.Pledges to setup a mini lab in krishi vigyan kendrasWill support NABARD to digitise 63,000 primary agri co-operatives.To set up Rs 5,000 cr worth dedicated micro irrigation fund by NABARD.Long term irrigation fund set up in NABARD, additional corpus Rs 20,000 cr.Dairy processing fund initial corpus at Rs 2,000 cr.Pledges to bring one crore households out of poverty by 2019.National agricultural markets to be expanded to 585 markets.Cabinet approves extension of tenure of loans under credit linked subsidy scheme of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana from 15 to 20 years.Budget allocation to MNREGA increased to a record Rs 48,000 crore for 2017-18 from Rs 37,000 cr in 2016-17.Total allocation for rural, agricultural and allied sectors for 2017-18 is Rs 187223 cr, which is 24 percent higher than last year.100 percent village electrification will be achieved by May 1, 2018.Proposes to introduce a system of measuring annual learning, science to be given more focus.To complete 1,00,00,000 houses by 2019 for houseless and those living in kaccha house.Open defecation free villages are now being given priority for pipe to water supply.Safe drinking water to cover 28,000 arsenic and Fluoride affected habitations in the next four years.For senior citizens, Aadhar cards giving their health condition will be introduced.Two new All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to be set up in Jharkhand and Gujarat.Steps will be taken to launch dedicated trains for pilgrimage and tourism.Rail safety fund with corpus of Rs 100,000 crore will be created over a period of five years.A new metro rail policy will be announced, this will open up new jobs for our youth.At least 25 stations are expected to be awarded during 2017-18; 500 stations are to be made differently abled-friendly by providing lifts and escalators.By 2019, all coaches of Indian Railways will be fitted with bio-toilets.Service charges on e-tickets booked through IRCTC will be withdrawn.Transport sector allocated Rs 2.41 lakh crore and Bharat Net Project allocated Rs 10,000 cr.The Foreign Investment Promotion Board has been abolished.Action plan to eliminate Kala Azar and Filariasis by 2017, Leprosy by 2018, Measles by 2020 and Tuberculosis by 2025.Mission Antyodaya to bring 1 crore households out of poverty and to make 50,000 Gram Panchayats poverty-free.During 2017-18, another 5 lakh ponds will be constructed, for drought-proofing.Railway related state-run companies like IRCON and IRCTC to be listed on stock exchanges.3.5 crore youth will be trained under Sankalp program launched by the government.Propose to double the lending target of Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana and set it up at Rs 2.44 lakh crore for 2017-18.Unmanned railway level crossings to be done away with by 2020.Government to commission 3,500 km of railway tracks in 2018.Propose to feed 7000 solar railway station in medium term.Government proposes 1 lakh cr corpus for Railway ministry’s safety fund over five years.Chandigarh and eight districts of Haryana have been declared kerosene free.Pace of construction of roads has increased to Rs 133 km/day in 2017.2,000 km of coastal roads have been identified for development.National Highway allocation now stands at Rs 64,000 cr.FM proposes Rs 2.41 lakh cr allocation.Rs 3.96 lakh cr have been allocated for infrastructure.Government to take up second phase of solar power development for additional 20,000 mw.Government to launch Adhaar Pay soon.Rs 10,000 cr allocated for recapitalisation of PSU banks.New rules for pricing medical devices to benefit common man.Government considering introduction of new law to confiscate assets of offenders who escape the country.Aadhar enabled payment system to be launched soon. Banks have targeted to introduce additional 10 lakh Point-of-Sale terminals by March 2017.Total expenditure of budget 2017-18 has been placed at Rs 21.47 lakh cr.Defence expenditure excluding pension at Rs 2.74 lakh cr.Total resources being transferred to the states andunion territories with legislature is Rs 4.11 lakh cr.Fiscal deficit target for 2017-18 is 3.2 percent. Proposes to create a payment regulatory board at RBI.Government to launch two new schemes to promote BHIM App.Government to take steps to promote digital payments at petrol pumps, hospitals.Government to set up new crude oil reserves.Web-based pension distribution system for defence will be established.We are largely a tax non compliant society, when too many people evade taxes burden falls on those who are honest.Out of 3.7 crore who filed tax returns in 2015-16, only 24 lakh persons showed income above Rs 10 lakh.Due to demonetisation advance tax on personal income tax has been increased by 34.8 percent. There is an urgent need to protect the poor from chit fund schemes, draft bill placed in public domain.The net tax revenue grew by 17 percent in 2015-16.Capital gains tax to be exempted, for persons holding land from which land was pooled for creation of state capital of Telangana.Holding period for land and building will be reduced to 2 years from 3 years.Income tax for small companies with an annual turnover of 50 crore, now to pay 25 percent, a 5 percent reduction.Not to remove Minimum Alternative Tax in 2017-18; Propose to allow a carry forward of MAT for a period of 15 years as against 10 years now.Proposes to reduce basic customs duty on LNG from 5 percent to 2.5 percent in 2017-18.To cut presumptive turnover threshold for companies with turnover up to Rs 2 cr to 6 percent.SIT has suggested no cash transaction above Rs 3 lakhs. Government has accepted this.Maximum cash donation any party can receive will be Rs 2000 from one source.Political parties will be entitled to receive donations by cheque or in the digital mode from their donors.Political parties will need to file income tax returns.Proposes transparency in political party funding.Proposes to amend RBI Act for issue of electoral bonds for political funding.Government abolishes Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), more easing of the FDI policy on the anvil.Propose to reduce existing rate of taxation of those with income between 2.5 lakh to 5 lakh from 10 percent to 5 percent.Surcharge of 10 percent for those whose annual income is Rs 50 lakh to 1 cr.Finance minister to exempt some foreign portfolio investment from indirect transfer provisions.Tax foregone from deduction in tax rate at Rs 15,500 cr.Net revenue loss in direct tax could be Rs 20,000 cr due to exemptions.FM concludes his speech. Lok Sabha adjourned.  (Source: EY India, ANI, CII)last_img read more

Kamal unites with antiliberation forces says B Chy

first_imgAQM Badruddoza Chowdhury. File PhotoPresident of Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh (BDB) Badruddoza Chowdhury on Saturday warned that people will not forgive if any party tries to foil the election, reports UNB.Speaking at a discussion at BDB’s Badda election office, he also urged the Election Commission to create a level-playing field by discharging their duties independently.B Chowdhury, also the chairman of Jukta Front, said his party did not make any coalition with those who betrayed the blood of martyrs of the 1971 liberation war.He accused Kamal Hossain of forging a coalition with the anti-liberation forces. “They’ve recognised them (anti-liberation forces).”The BDB leader said they deeply respect and remember historic leaders Bangabandhu, Ziaur Rahman, Moulana Bhasani, Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, Sher-e-Bangla AK Fazlul Huq and MAG Osmani.He bemoaned that no other parties mention the names of these leaders in their election manifestos.At the programme, Sunamganj district BNP ex-general secretary Rafiqul Islam Chowdhury formally joined BDB.last_img read more

Guatemala volcano death toll up to 69

first_imgA youth cries over the coffin of Nery Otoniel Gomez Rivas, 17, whose body was pulled from the volcanic ash during the eruption of the Volcan de Fuego, which in Spanish means Volcano of Fire, during his wake at the main park of the town San Juan Alotenango, Guatemala on 4 June. Photo: APGuatemalan authorities have increased the confirmed death toll from the eruption of the Volcano of Fire to 69 as officials suspended the search until dawn on Tuesday.Fanuel Garcia is the director of Guatemala’s National Institute of Forensic Sciences and he announced the higher death toll late Monday. He said only 17 of the dead have been identified so far.The burning ash and mud that engulfed villages on the volcano’s flanks Sunday left many victims unrecognizable. They will have to be identified through DNA testing or other means.A lack of electricity in the most heavily hit zone makes safely searching at night impossible.Rescuers pulled survivors and bodies from the charred aftermath of the powerful eruption of Guatemala’s Volcano of Fire a disaster that caught residents of remote mountain hamlets off guard, with little or no time to flee to safety.Using shovels and backhoes, emergency workers dug through the debris and mud, perilous labour on smouldering terrain still hot enough to melt shoe soles a day after the volcano exploded in a hail of ash, smoke and molten rock.Bodies were so thickly coated with ash that they looked like statues, and rescuers were forced to use sledgehammers to break through the roofs of houses buried in debris up to their rooflines to try to see if anyone was trapped inside.In the afternoon, Fanuel Garcia, director of the National Institute of Forensic Sciences, said 62 bodies had been recovered and 13 of those had been identified. Guatemala’s national disaster agency later raised the toll to 69.“It is very difficult for us to identify them because some of the dead lost their features or their fingerprints” from the red-hot flows, Garcia said. “We are going to have to resort to other methods … and if possible take DNA samples to identify them.”Hilda Lopez said her mother and sister were still missing after the slurry of hot gas, ash and rock roared into her village of San Miguel Los Lotes, just below the mountain’s flanks.“We were at a party, celebrating the birth of a baby, when one of the neighbors shouted at us to come out and see the lava that was coming,” the distraught woman said. “We didn’t believe it, and when we went out the hot mud was already coming down the street.”“My mother was stuck there, she couldn’t get out,” said Lopez, weeping and holding her face in her hands.Her husband, Joel Gonzalez, said his father had also been unable to escape and was believed to be “buried back there, at the house.”Guatemalan authorities say they had been closely monitoring the Volcano of Fire, one of Central America’s most active, after activity picked up around 6 a.m. Sunday.The volcano has registered a number of minor eruptions over the years, and no evacuations were ordered as scientific experts reported the activity was decreasing.Guatemala’s disaster agency, Conred, issued a number of standard precautions, advising people to wear protective face masks, clean their rooftops of ash once the eruption was over and cover any food and water intended for human consumption. It also said to heed any recommendations from authorities. Guatemala City’s international airport was closed due to the danger to planes.Conred spokesman David de Leon said that around 2:00pm the volcano registered a new, more powerful explosion.Soon, searing flows of lava, ash and rock mixed with water and debris were gushing down the volcano’s flanks, blocking roads and burning homes.“It traveled much faster. It arrived in communities right when the evacuation alerts were being sent out,” de Leon said.Authorities scrambled to issue an evacuation order. Some communities emptied out safely. But in places like Los Lotes and the village of El Rodeo, about eight miles (12 kilometers) downslope from the crater, it was too late for many.The fast-moving flows overtook people in homes and streets with temperatures reaching as high as 1,300 degrees Fahrenheit (700 Celsius), and hot ash and volcanic gases that can cause rapid asphyxiation.Rafael Letran, a resident of El Rodeo, criticized Conred for not evacuating communities earlier.“When the lava was already here they passed by in their pickup trucks yelling at us to leave, but the cars did not stop to pick up the people,” Letran said. “The government is good at stealing, but when it comes to helping people they lack spark.”De Leon said the disaster agency followed protocol.“As soon as we received the information around 6:00am that the volcano was in an eruptive phase, the protocol was initiated to verify with different sectors and also talk to the communities, to community leaders. … We had the information from our scientific service, and they told us the trend was that the activity was diminishing,” he said.In El Rodeo on Monday, heavily armed soldiers wearing blue masks to avoid breathing in ash stood guard behind yellow tape cordoning off the disaster scene. Helmeted workers carried bodies away on stretchers, and smoke was still rising from some parts of the ashen landscape strewn with boulders and other debris.President Jimmy Morales traveled to survey the disaster area.Emergency crews in helicopters managed to pull at least 10 people alive from areas cut off by the flows. Conred said 3,271 people had been evacuated.last_img read more

Pioneering Lawsuit About Human Trafficking And Sexual Exploitation Filed In Houston

first_img Share Photo via PexelsAccording to the lawyers, the plaintiff was born and raised in Houston and the lawsuit contends that around early 2014, right before her 16th birthday, she “was sexually exploited through the use of  www.backpage.com.”Two Texas lawyers filed a pioneering civil lawsuit in Houston this week related to human trafficking and sexual exploitation. It targets a multitude of companies and businesses as defendants, several of them with highly recognizable names.Annie McAdams and David Harris filed the lawsuit on behalf of a 19 year-old woman who remains anonymous at Judge Brent Gamble’s 270th Civil Court in Harris County on Tuesday.Harris noted that the lawsuit is the first of its kind because it is based on Chapter 98 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, which establishes that a company can be held civilly liable for human trafficking if it benefits from it intentionally or knowingly.“We haven’t seen any other civil lawsuits of this magnitude brought under Chapter 98,” Harris underlined during an interview with Houston Public Media. McAdams and Harris explained they met the plaintiff, who is referred to as “Jane Doe # 1” in the lawsuit, when they were working on a project about human trafficking.According to the lawyers, the plaintiff was born and raised in Houston and the lawsuit contends that around early 2014, right before her 16th birthday, she “was sexually exploited through the use of  www.backpage.com.”Online facilitatorBackpage.com –which is one of the defendants— served as a facilitator between the people who forced the plaintiff to engage in prostitution and her clients, the lawsuit contends.One section of the lawsuit asserts that “(…) many men used www.backpage.com to gain access to Jane Doe #1 and sexually exploit her.”The lawsuit also says Backpage.com is the leading online marketplace for human trafficking and the sexual exploitation  of  minors  and  commercial  sex.Backpage.com did not respond to a request for comment from Houston Public Media.As for the other defendants, there are more than 20, including well-known names in the hospitality industry such as Hyatt Hotels Corporation,  along with  Palace Inn and Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores.The lawsuit contends the plaintiff, while being a minor, was repeatedly exploited at truck stops, motels and hotels located in the greater Houston area from 2014 to 2015.Al Ortiz | Houston Public MediaAnnie McAdams (left) and David Harris (right) are the lawyers representing a young woman who was the victim of human trafficking and sexual exploitation in the Houston area.The lawsuit also says there was a “constant flow of male customers” at the rooms where the plaintiff was staying and, yet, the establishments “refused to take any steps to alert the authorities, properly intervene in the situation, or take reasonable security steps to improve awareness of sex trafficking and/or prevent the sexual exploitation of minors at their properties.”The lawsuit adds that failure to act on the part of the motels and hotels listed as defendants led to Jane Doe # 1’s continued exploitation while the establishments “turned a blind eye to the plague of human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of minors at their locations.”Moreover, that turning a blind eye was done, according to the lawsuit, with the goal of maximizing profits by “not refusing room rentals in order to fill vacant rooms, even if those rentals were to minors who were being exploited by human traffickers, including Jane Doe #1.”Video Playerhttps://cdn.hpm.io/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/24172628/HPM-Red-2018-01-24-at-4.53pm.mp400:0000:0000:10Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.As for the truck stops that are listed as defendants, the lawsuit makes similar arguments as to those made against the hotels and motels and adds that they “knowingly benefit from human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of minors by allowing human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of minors to occur on their premise in order to secure the loyalty of truck stop customers who routinely seek to pay for sex.”Hyatt Hotels Corporation said in an email sent to Houston Public Media that they don’t comment on pending litigation, while Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores also communicated via email saying the company takes “these matters seriously” and is “looking into it.”McAdams detailed that the plaintiff is currently involved in “active recovery” but was a minor when the events mentioned in the lawsuit happened.  Harris noted that they are in contact with other victims.“We have a lot of other girls who’ve come forward that have expressed similar stories, horrific stories,” asserted the attorney.See a copy of the lawsuit below:last_img read more