DRI seizes 8,000 kg of shark fins in Mumbai and Gujarat town

first_imgThe Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has smashed an international wildlife smuggling racket with the seizure of about 8,000 kg of shark fins in Mumbai and the coastal town of Veraval in Gujarat. Four persons, including the mastermind, have also been arrested.According to the DRI, the consignments were meant to be illegally exported to China and Hong Kong. The fins were procured from the seas along the coasts of Ratnagiri and Mumbai in Maharashtra, and Veraval and Okha in Gujarat. They are used for preparing “shark fin” soup in China and Vietnam. Usually served on special occasions such as weddings and banquets, it is considered a luxury food item and is of immense significance, with one bowl of soup costing at least $100.Acting on a tip-off that some exporters were indulging in the trans-border smuggling of fins of various species of sharks, the agency mounted surveillance and zeroed in on the suspects. The fins were to be smuggled out on the pretext of exports of dried ray skins, dried marine products, and fish maw, to evade detection. “In all, 3,000 kg of shark fins was seized from the godown at Sewri and 5,000 kg from the godown in Veraval. Investigations are under way to determine from when the gang had been operating,” said an official.The wildlife inspectors confirmed that the seized goods were shark fins. “It has come up during the investigations that the stocks are replenished regularly,” the official said.Through a notification dated February 6, 2015, the Finance Ministry has prohibited export of shark fins of all species. The agency said shark finning is an act of removing the fins, often while the shark is alive. Fishermen keep just the fins — only 1 to 5% of the fish’s weight — and throw away the rest, as they fetch a high price.With the fins having been removed, the sharks are unable to swim. As a result, they either sink to the bottom of the sea and die, or get eaten by other predators.In August 2013, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change had approved a policy on “shark finning”, prohibiting removal of fins on board a vessel on the sea. The policy prescribes that any possession of shark fins would amount to “hunting” of a Schedule I species under the Wildlife Protection Act.India became signatory to the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora in September 2014 and listed five more shark species for conservation.last_img read more


Wozniacki beats Halep to win 1st major at Australian Open

first_imgGlobe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki kisses her trophy after defeating Romania’s Simona Halep during the women’s singles final at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018. (Photo by DITA ALANGKARA / AP)MELBOURNE, Australia — It took Caroline Wozniacki 43 majors and two failed attempts in finals before finally claiming her first Grand Slam singles title.One of the first things she did as a champion was apologize to top-seeded Simona Halep following her 7-6 (2), 3-6, 6-4 win in the Australian Open final on Saturday night.ADVERTISEMENT Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH 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 City She returned and broke for a 5-3 lead before leveling the match.The players had a 10-minute break between the second and third sets with the temperature at 30.5 Celsius (87 Fahrenheit) and 60 percent humidity.Wozniacki appeared to sense Halep’s fatigue and attacked hard, getting a break in the second game.Halep converted her sixth breakpoint chance when Wozniacki double-faulted for the first time in the set. It was 2-1.There was a total of four straight service breaks until Halep held and got on level terms. She broke Wozniacki for a 4-3 lead, but lost momentum after Wozniacki’s medical time out.“I can still smile. It’s fine. I cried, but now I’m smiling,” Halep said. “Is just a tennis match in the end. But, yeah, I’m really sad I couldn’t win it. I was close again, but the gas was over in the end.”Serena Williams didn’t watch the game, saying she gets too nervous, but tweeted to congratulate her good friend Wozniacki.“New number one and aussie open champ. So awesome. So happy. Are those tears? Yup they are. From a year ago to today I’m so proud my friend so proud.” Read Next NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Wozniacki saved match points in her second-round win over Jana Fett and later said she was relaxed because for the rest of the tournament she was “playing with the house money.”So both players rolled the dice in the 2-hour, 49-minute final, which featured some long, absorbing rallies and 10 service breaks – including six in an eight-game run in the third set.“I know that today is a tough day,” Wozniacki said to Halep. “I’m sorry I had to win today but I’m sure we’ll have many matches in the future. Incredible match, incredible fight. And again, I’m sorry.”Halep was playing with an injured left ankle, needed treatment for dizziness in the second set and had rallied from a break down in the third set to lead 4-3 when Wozniacki took a medical time out to have her left knee taped. In the end, she just ran out of steam.“It’s not easy to talk now,” Halep said at the presentation. “It’s been a great tournament for me. I started not very well with the ankle injury. I just wanted to give my best every match, which I did. Of course I’m sad I couldn’t win today but Caroline was better than me. Sad that I couldn’t make it the third time, maybe the fourth time will be with luck.”Wozniacki is the third first-time major winner in the four Grand Slam tournaments since Serena Williams won the 2017 Australian Open for her record 23rd Grand Slam title.Serena Williams, who beat her older sister, Venus, in last year’s final, took time out for her pregnancy and the birth of her first child in September, and is preparing to return to competition next month.Wozniaki was ranked No. 1 for 67 weeks, including 49 straight from Feb. 21, 2011 until Victoria Azarenka replaced her on Jan. 30, 2012.Wozniacki got a break in Halep’s first service game and had a chance to serve for the first set at 5-3, but the Romanian rallied to break back and to force a tiebreaker. After getting an early jump in the tiebreaker, Wozniacki won the last three points to win a set for the first time in a Grand Slam final.Halep fended off four break points to hold early in the second set, and called for the trainer after holding in the fifth to get her blood pressure and pulse taken. 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena stingcenter_img Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LATEST STORIES MOST READ Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” played over the stadium speakers as the 27-year-old Danish player carried the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup around Rod Laver Arena.Wozniacki lost two US Open finals – in ’09 and 2014 – and Halep lost two French Open finals before their meeting at Melbourne Park.It was the first time in the Open era that players ranked No. 1 and 2 were meeting in a major final without either having won a Grand Slam title.So the pressure was on.It was the first time in the Open era that both Australian Open finalists had saved match points before reaching the final, also, so in some ways the pressure was off.In Halep’s case, she was the first player who had saved match points in multiple matches to have reached the final. She saved triple match point and rallied in the third set to beat Laura Davis 15-13 in the third set of her third-round match, and also needed to save match points in her semifinal against Angelique Kerber.ADVERTISEMENT Church wedding serves as an inspiration for Barroca John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding “I’m sorry, I’m just taking a second to hug Daphne,” Wozniacki said, pausing as she clutched the winner’s trophy in the on-court ceremony. “I dreamt of this moment so many years, to be here now it’s a dream come true.”More than seven years after appearing in her first Grand Slam final at the 2009 US Open – a straight sets loss to Serena Williams – Wozniacki can finally erase the “but never won a major” footnote that has long been attached to her resume.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“I’m never going to get the question again about being a world No. 1 without a Slam,” she said after leaving the court.Wozniacki will regain the top ranking next week for the first time in six years – beating Serena Williams’ record of 5 years, 29 days between stints at No. 1 on the women’s tour – in another benefit of beating the top-seeded Halep. View comments Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoiseslast_img read more


Jose replaces Van Opstal in Gilas pool

first_imgHeart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken What ‘missteps’? LATEST STORIES Role player Ambulodto gets moment to shine Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH 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 Games Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garage 1 dead in Cavite blast, fire World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netRaymar Jose has officially replaced Arnold Van Opstal in the Gilas Pilipinas pool.National team coach Chot Reyes picked the Cignal HD bruiser to beef up the team’s frontline after dropping Van Opstal and Bradwyn Guinto from the Gilas Pilipinas program.ADVERTISEMENT “Raymar has always been in our radar. When we dropped AVO, we needed another big guy so we’ve invited Raymar and he has willingly accepted,” said Reyes.Jose appeared in the resumption of the Gilas Pilipinas practices on Tuesday evening at Meralco Gym, joining Bobby Ray Parks, Kevin Alas, and Baser Amer as the new faces in the national team pool.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutReyes also bared that Gilas axed Van Opstal after he struggled to participate in the team practices in the buildup for the 2017 Seaba Championship as the former La Salle big man nursed an Achilles injury.“I think we’re going to drop him because in the run up to the Seaba Championship, for some reason, he wasn’t coming to practice,” he said. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH Sources close to the situation shared that Van Opstal has earlier been taken out from the program even before the 2017 PBA All-Star Week, which explains his absence from the team’s daily practices.With the decision, Reyes saidthat June Mar Fajardo will be the lone San Miguel representative to the Gilas Pilipinas pool, in accordance to the PBA’s agreement with the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) requiring the mother ballclubs to loan one veteran and one cadet to the pool.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View commentslast_img read more


Points Table

first_imgFirst RoundGroup ATeamM WLPtsNRRChennai Super Kings 4316+2.050Warriors 4316+0.588Victoria4316+0.366Wayamba4132-1.126Central Districts4040-1.844Group BTeamM WLPtsNRRSouth Australia 4408+0.589Royal Challengers Bangalore 4224+0.759Lions4224+0.401Mumbai Indians4224+0.221Guyana4040-2.083last_img


I am under no extra pressure, says Vijender

first_imgMumbai, Jul 13 (PTI) Star Indian boxer Vijender Singh today said he felt no additional pressure before his first home professional bout against Australias Kerry Hope for the WBO Asia Pacific super middleweight title, but only a sense of responsibility for the future of the sport in the country. “I think, there is no pressure (but) more responsibility because this fight will decide what is the future of pro boxing in India. People are excited and would be coming to see (the fight),” the 2008 Olympic Games bronze-medallist told reporters here. “Of course I will have to give (my) 100 per cent, I have to win the fight, thats (an) important part, but there is no pressure, (only) responsibility is there, fulfil it and take the title,” said the 30-year-old. Vijender was on a visit to the Jamnabai Narsee School in suburban Vile Parle to promote the July 16 fight in Delhi, along with Bollywood actor John Abraham. Vijender, who had won his first six professional fights inside the distance, is up against an opponent, who brings with him the experience of 30 bouts, of which he has won 23, out of which two were by knock-outs. Exuding confidence ahead of the title fight, Vijender said, “He is a southpaw (left-hander) and I know him and he is a very experienced guy. I spoke to (my) coach. We will take him, its not that difficult, dont worry.” “I dont want to say anything before the fight, pass any comment or any bad thing about him, like I am going to destroy him,” said the bronze medal winner in the 2009 World Championship in middleweight (75kg). “But I know, he has experience, I know that his recored is 35 or something, but it is a record right now. But I have an Olympic medal. I have got an Olympic medal, I did get (medals) in the Asian Games, Commonwealth Games. I can do that and I know that.” (MORE) NRB SSR GK PM PM BASadvertisementlast_img read more


Biker suffers fatal injuries after crashing into Nuwan Kulasekara’s car

first_imgSri Lanka fast bowler Nuwan Kulasekara on Monday was involved in a horrific road accident in which a bike rider was killed, a Sri Lanka Cricket release stated. Kulasekara was later released on bail.The 28-year-old unidentified man lost control of his bike and rammed into Kulasekara’s car, who was coming from the opposite direction. The accident took place on the A-1 highway, which is considered to be one of the most dangerous roads in the country.”Preliminary inquiries have revealed that Mr Kulasekara was returning to Colombo from Kandy, when the unfortunate motorcycle rider who was travelling in the opposite direction had lost control of his bike whilst trying to overtake a bus and got flung into Mr Kulasekara’s path,” the release said.The 34-year-old cricketer retired from Tests in June this year to concentrate more on limited-overs cricket. The right-arm medium pacer has 48 wickets from 21 Tests at an average of 37.37. He has played 173 ODIs so far and has taken 186 wickets at 34.08.last_img read more


Robinson and Metta World Peace to Lakers

first_imgAccording to the Vertical, Metta World Peace has reached agreement on a deal to re-sign with the Los Angeles Lakers and free-agent forward Thomas Robinson has agreed to a one-year deal with same team.Robinson, 25, has been working out daily for the Lakers and plans to sign Thursday. The Lakers have 14 guaranteed salaries – with Yi Jianlian on a strong partial guarantee – giving Robinson an opportunity to make the regular-season roster.World Peace, 36, has been working out daily with the Lakers, and the two sides finalized a contract for training camp on Wednesday.Source: Eurohoops.netTweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more


The 20 Most Important People to the 2015 Season (No. 5)

first_imgKyle and I will be sorting through the 20 most important people leading up to the 2015 season every day until the Central Michigan game which, as you know, is just 5 (!) days away.Porter: Mike Gundy is No. 5 for me. Again, I’m answering the question “whose absence would most affect Oklahoma State this year?” Gundy himself said the machine is the machine whether he’s there or off on his tractor.“I can leave here for a week and this thing runs itself,” he said. “Everybody knows what to do, and I don’t get in anybody’s way. I let everybody do what they think is best.”This is a great spot for a leader to be in. The entire thing shouldn’t be dependent on your presence. Now, long term, it’s a different story. Gundy would easily (and obviously) be No. 1. But for 12 13 14 (?) games? Yeah, 5th seems about right.Boone: Chris Carson is the No. 5 most important player for the Cowboys this season in my eyes. He has the breakaway speed of an elite running back, along with excellent protection skills which will be equally as important early in the season.  Early on in camp, Carson drew praise saying he has ‘an NFL look’, and after being named the starter for week one, he’ll get a chance to prove just that.#okstate Early takeaways on new guys: Victor Salako a mountain at LT, Carr is a bottle rocket, Carson has an NFL look, Burton is a hammer.— Bill Haisten ?? (@billhaisten) August 7, 2015No. 6 (Porter: Ogbah | Boone: Sheperd)No. 7 (Porter: Bean | Boone: Childs)No. 8 (Porter: Spencer | Boone: Taylor)No. 9 (Porter: Carson | Boone: Washington)No. 10 (Porter: Taylor | Boone: Bean)No. 11 (Porter: Maile | Boone: Burton)No. 12 (Porter: Burton | Boone: Simmons)No. 13 (Porter: Walsh | Boone: Seaton)No. 14 (Porter: Peterson | Boone: Crabtree)No. 15 (Porter: Washington | Boone: Jacobs)No. 16 (Porter: Sterns | Boone: Salako)No. 17 (Porter: Childs | Boone: Sterns)No. 18 (Porter: Sheperd | Boone: Maile)No. 19 (Porter: McEndoo | Boone: Walsh)No. 20 (Porter: Jacobs | Boone: Lampkin)If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!last_img read more


Mason Rudolph Played Sugar Bowl With Screw in Foot

first_imgMason Rudolph got the start in the Sugar Bowl on Friday evening, and looked every bit as good as the pre-injury Rudolph. His mobility, throwing, and general comfort level did not appear to be any different, despite the surgery that he underwent just days after Bedlam in the middle of December.Rudolph reportedly practiced in full capacity this week, and capped the end of his sophomore season going 18/31 passing on 179 yards through the air.According to ESPN’s Joe Schad, it is confirmed that Mason Rudolph is, indeed, tough as screws. OSU QB Mason Rudolph told me he played with a screw in his foot to repair a broken fifth metatarsal— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) January 2, 2016“There was some soreness,” he told The Oklahoman’s Kyle Frederickson. “But it was very minimal.”The procedure may not sound familiar, but Dez Bryant actually broke the same bone – the fifth metatarsal – that Rudolph injured. Bryant was shut down by the Dallas Cowboys earlier this week to undergo surgery and end his season.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!last_img read more


US envoy says Israel has right to annex West Bank

first_imgJerusalem: The US ambassador has said Israel has the right to annex at least “some” of the occupied West Bank, in comments likely to deepen Palestinian opposition to a long-awaited US peace plan. The Palestinians have rejected the plan before it has even been unveiled, citing a string of moves by US President Donald Trump that they say show his administration is irredeemably biased. They are likely to see the latest comments by US ambassador to Israel David Friedman as new nail in the coffin of a peace process that is already on life support. Also Read – ‘Hong Kong won’t rule out Chinese help over protests’In the interview published by the New York Times on Saturday, Friedman said that some degree of annexation of the West Bank would be legitimate. “Under certain circumstances, I think Israel has the right to retain some, but unlikely all, of the West Bank,” he said. Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat has said any such policy would be tantamount to “US complicity with Israeli colonial plans.” The establishment of a Palestinian state in territories, including the West Bank, that Israel occupied in the Six-Day War of 1967, has been the focus of all past Middle East peace plans. Also Read – Pak Army chief accompanies Imran at key meetings in ChinaNo firm date has yet been set for the unveiling of the Trump administration’s plan although a conference is to be held in Bahrain later this month on its economic aspects. The public comments made by administration officials so far suggest the plan will lean heavily on substantial financial support for the Palestinian economy, much of it funded by the Gulf Arab states, in return for concessions on territory and statehood. “The absolute last thing the world needs is a failed Palestinian state between Israel and Jordan,” Friedman said in the Times interview. “Maybe they won’t take it, maybe it doesn’t meet their minimums. “We’re relying upon the fact that the right plan, for the right time, will get the right reaction over time.” Friedman, a staunch supporter of the Israeli settlements, told the Times that the Trump plan was aimed at improving the quality of life for Palestinians but would fall well short of a “permanent resolution to the conflict.” He said he did not believe the plan would trigger Palestinian violence. But he said the United States would coordinate closely with Arab ally Jordan, which could face unrest among its large Palestinian population over a plan perceived as overly favourable to Israel.last_img read more


Real Madrid block Bale China move Source

first_imgMadrid: Gareth Bale’s move to Chinese side Jiangsu Suning has been cancelled by Real Madrid, a source close to the Wales forward told AFP on Sunday. Bale, 30, who has been in the Spanish capital since 2013, was expected to join the Chinese Super League outfit on a three-year-deal worth ?1 million ( 1.1 million) a week. The 77-time international had been told by Real coach Zinedine Zidane he does not form part of his future plans at the Bernabeu. The former Tottenham Hotspur winger came off the bench to play half an hour in Real’s record 7-3 defeat to rivals Atletico Madrid on Saturday. The source dismissed reports by Spanish daily Marca which said the player’s family had blocked a potential move to Asia. Marca said those close to Bale had asked his representatives to look for clubs in Europe “before definitively saying yes to Jiangsu Suning’s offer”. The Chinese transfer window closes on Wednesday.last_img read more


School children may celebrate this Friendship Day with Delhi Police

first_imgNew Delhi: Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) has asked Directorate of Education (Delhi Government) to direct all government and public schools to visit their nearby police stations along with the students for celebrating friendship day with cops.The DCPCR letter accessed by Millennium Post reads that it is hereby requested to the Director Education to give direction/advisory amongst all the government and public schools to make a plan for the visit of their nearby police stations with school children to celebrate Friendship Day by tying friendship band made by the children only. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder”This will be an effort to help children get familiar with the police personnel and make them understand the support and help extended by the cops at time of need, emergency and threat,” reads the letter written by Jyoti Duhan Rathee, member DCPCR. “In some cases, we have found that children hesitate to approach the police. Through the initiative, we want to remove the fear or hesitation from children and make them comfortable,” said Jyoti Duhan Rathee. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsPlan to meet Police Chief Another letter was written to the Commissioner of Delhi Police regarding the children’s visit at Delhi Police Headquarters on Friendship Day. The letter reads that the DCPCR had planned to conduct one hour visit at Delhi Police Headquarters to interact with police chief on the occasion of Friendship Day with the group of government school children consisting both boys and girls and all the children above 13 years of age. “They will come along with their teachers. This will be an effort to get them familiar with the police personnel and make them understand the support and help extended by them at the time of need, emergency and threat,” wrote Jyoti Duhan Rathee. Recently a study conducted on 100 child rape victims by DCPCR found that 52 percent of the total child victims are currently studying in schools and the corresponding shares of school-goers among girls and boys are 51 percent and 67 percent respectively. “There is, however, a huge gap in educational attainment, as could be noticed in the share of dropped out children, who form 42 percent of the total sample,” revealed report.last_img read more


Annie Lennox Speaks At International Conference On AIDS And STIs In Africa

first_imgAnnie Lennox delivered the opening speech at the International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa in South Africa in the weekend, just days after learning of the death of Nelson Mandela.“As we are gathered here for the opening of the 17th ICASA, two days after the passing of our beloved Nelson Mandela, we need to ask ourselves a question – if he were here, what would he ask of us?” she said in her speech. “The legacy of Nelson Mandela is not simply a static piece of history… and it should never be left or interpreted as such.“This extraordinary man, this exceptional leader who taught the world so much through his own personal sacrifice and dedication, never wished to be placed upon a pedestal or deified through the lens of media celebrity or the cult of personality.“His example was courageous, visionary and filled with a rare sense of human empathy and integrity.“Before he retired from public life several years ago, he shared one simple but resonant statement…”It’s in your hands”. We need to take a moment to reflect upon that…“Each of us, individually or collectively, can either respond and engage wholeheartedly with everything he stood for, or allow his message to simply evaporate.“It is easy to stand on the shoulders of giants when the steps have been paved by the efforts and sacrifices of others. It is easy to inherit a windfall of benefits and relax in the apathy and indifference of your personal comfort zone… but to engage with the challenges – and commit one’s life to the service of a higher principle than mere self interest is a truly noble and transformative path. Madiba categorically walked his talk. Now we must do the same.“Ten years ago in 2003, when musicians like myself were invited to take part in the launch of 46664 – Mandela’s HIV/AIDS Foundation – the pandemic was out of control and things were absolutely desperate.“Madiba personally and publicly declared that “a genocide was taking place in the “rainbow nation,” with women and children as the front line victims”. The situation was so extreme that it was hard to grasp or comprehend the scale of the horrendous facts and statistics. People were literally dying like flies, funeral tents were everywhere and graveyards were full to overflowing. Elderly grandmothers were having to take care of orphaned grandchildren … and hundreds of thousands of children were either taken in by orphanages or abandoned to their fate.“Now, ten years later, in 2013 we are at a point where in many respects the destructive tidal wave of HIV and AIDS is actually being turned around. Globally – new HIV infections among adults and children have been reduced by 33%.“With more access to antiretroviral treatment, AIDS related deaths have dropped by 30% since the peak in 2005. New HIV infections in children have come down by 50%.“By the end of last year, 9.7 million people in low and middle income countries were accessing antiretroviral therapy – an increase of 20% in just one year.“Here in South Africa more than 2 million people are receiving the life and health sustaining treatment they require, in comparison to a decade ago, when there was almost no access to antiretroviral therapy… almost all women are being tested for hiv during pregnancy… almost all pregnant women are being treated to prevent their babies from being infected… and almost all women are delivering HIV negative babies. 98% of babies are being born HIV negative in South Africa… an incredible achievement that we can all celebrate!“This nation has responded to the pandemic in an exemplary way.It is an amazing success story.“But while we celebrate these successes, we also realise that so much still remains to be done. South Africa has the largest prevalence of sexual violence in the whole world, with one in four men admitting that they have “raped” someone…“Sexual violence is both a cause and a consequence of women’s increased vulnerability to HIV.“It is time for leaders across the african continent – and leaders everywhere to commit to taking concrete action to stop violence against women and children, by implementing the policies which effect change. Talking is not enough – we need action and accountability.“As a younger person, I was deeply inspired by the anti apartheid movement and I passionately believe in the cause of racial equality, civil rights and equal opportunity for all.“With the best constitution in the world, this is what the nation of South Africa is actually meant to uphold and represent!In the same way that as a woman and a mother I naturally feel a profound sense of connection to all women and children around the globe.“It is therefore completely unacceptable to me – as it should be to all of us – that one thousand women become infected with HIV in Sub Saharan Africa every single day.“Now more than ever, we must commit to reaching our goal of a world with zero discrimination, zero new infections and zero AIDS related deaths.“We’ve come a long way… and we can be truly proud of what’s been achieved so far.“We owe it to Mandela to ensure that this dream is ultimately realised and fulfilled.”last_img read more


Revisioning the Americas through Indigenous filmmaking

first_imgAPTN National NewsIndigenous filmmakers from around the world are in Montreal right now for the First Peoples Festival.Events are happening in Montreal and Kahnawake.APTN National News reporter Ossie Michelin talks with a local filmmaker taking part in the discussion group.last_img


Lanka suspends visas on arrival

first_imgColombo: Sri Lanka on Thursday suspended its plans to grant visas on arrival to citizens of 39 countries after the devastating Easter suicide bombings that killed nearly 360 people. “Although arrangements were in place to issue visas on arrival for citizens of 39 countries, we have now decided to hold it for the time being in consideration of the current security situation,” Tourism Minister John Amaratunga said in a statement. “Investigations have revealed foreign links to the attacks and we don’t want this facility to be abused,” Amaratunga added. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USThe visas on arrival pilot programme was part of a larger initiative to increase tourist arrivals to the country during the six month off-season period from May to October. The island nation received 7,40,600 foreign tourists in the first three months of 2019. Around 450,000 Indians visited Sri Lanka last year and the island nation was expecting the total Indian tourist arrivals to cross one million mark in 2019. Sri Lanka’s tourism industry, which accounts for around five per cent of the country’s GDP, is likely to suffer due to the Easter blasts. Tourism revenues in Lanka increased to USD 362.7 million in November from USD 284 million in October 2018, according to reports. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsMeanwhile, the Lankan authorities Thursday intensified their raids with the help of the army and arrested 16 more suspects in connection with the country’s worst terror attack that killed 359 people and left over 500 injured. President Maithripala Sirisena has said that 139 people have been identified as suspects in connection with the attacks. Addressing an all-party conference at the Presidential Secretariat here, Sirisena said that a Combine Operation Centre will be established within the defence ministry for the enforcement of the country’s security measures from Friday.last_img read more


Human Rights Watch Moroccan Government Should End the Criminalization of Homosexuality

Casablanca – Morocco’s Islam-based penal code punishes those convicted of the crime of “homosexuality” with six months to three years in jail, a sentence that Human Rights Watch (HRW) says cannot be tolerated. According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), the discrimination against homosexuals “violates fundamental human rights protected by international law.”The organization’s position that Morocco should end the criminalization of homosexuality is based on the fact that Morocco is a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). HRW stated that the Moroccan Constitution is committed to “prohibiting and combating discrimination against anyone on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity … or any personal circumstances whatsoever.” In May 2014, six Moroccans convicted of committing homosexual acts were sentenced to up to three years in prison and were expelled from their hometowns.However, their sentences were reduced last week by an appellate court, which reduced the prison terms of the six defendants and revoked their banishment.The American non-governmental organization (NGO) also raised questions about “procedural fairness” in the appeal. “The Court of Appeal did not call any witnesses to the bar and did not consider any other evidence, and at the hearing all the accuseds denied being gay,” said HRW.On July 2, HRW urged Morocco to “stop prosecuting people for homosexuality.”“If Morocco aspires to become a regional leader in the field of human rights, it should take the initiative to abolish some of its laws that discriminate against same-gender sexual relationships,” said Sarah Leah Whiston, director of the Middle East and North Africa division of Human Rights Watch.Being homosexual not only has legal implications but is both culturally and socially taboo in Morocco. For this reason, most gays and lesbians do not “come out” due to the fear of physical reprisals.In addition, under Article 489 of the Moroccan Penal Code, homosexual acts are punishable by up to three years in prison and a fine ranging from 120 to 1200 dirhams.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed read more


Air Berlin launches DüsseldorfMarrakesh direct flight

Marrakesh – German carrier Air Berlin inaugurated Monday a new route linking the German western city of Düsseldorf to Marrakesh with two weekly direct flights, the Moroccan airports authority (ONMT) announced.The Monday and Friday non-stop flights to Marrakesh will be operated with an Airbus A320, according to the German airline.Connecting flights are available from Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart, Vienna and Zurich, Air Berlin added, noting that it will be offering an additional flight per week from Dusseldorf to Agadir as of the 2014 winter season. In addition, NIKI, the Austrian subsidiary of the Air Berlin group, will also be starting new routes from Vienna to Agadir as of next winter.Germany is a strategic market for Morocco’s tourism sector as the European country is the world’s second largest pool of tourists (over 50 million).In 2013, more than 55,000 German tourists visited Morocco. read more


Prison Sentences Against People Involved in Collapse of Casablanca Buildings

Casablanca  – On Monday the magistrate’s court at the Ain Sbaa First Instance Court in Casablanca delivered verdicts of up to five years imprisonment against nine individuals accused in the Bourgone tragedy lawsuit, named after the Casablanca’s neighborhood where 23 victims perished last summer in the Collapse of Casablanca Buildings.Three of the defendants were acquitted while out on bail, another was sentenced to two years in prison, a third to three years, a fourth to three and a half years, and two of the defendants were sentenced to four years in prison. The final pair of defendants was sentenced to five years. None of the sentenced will have the opportunity of being granted parole.The court fined each of the seven sentenced people 1,000 dirhams and sentenced them to pay a compensation fixed between 20,000 to 300,000 dirhams for civil law petitioners. This lawsuit opened on Oct. 15, 2014. The ten accused include a member of local authorities (moqaddem), town council’s technicians, an engineer, and an employee from the building permit office, in addition to two sons of the owner of a flat under construction at the time of the collapse in which the latter was killed.The charges range from manslaughter, non-compliance with laws related to construction, corruption and forgery of administrative documents.Twenty-three people died and more than fifty were injured on July 11 in the collapse of three apartment buildings due to construction work on the ground floor and illegal building of several additional floors. Edited by Kristina Fried read more


World Takaful Conference forges vision for Takaful market in 2020

Dubai –  The second and final day of the 11th annual World Takaful Conference (WTC) built on yesterday’s highly impactful critical discussions on the state and future of the global Takaful industry. Convened by Middle East Global Advisors and in strategic partnership with the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Authority, WTC is held under the theme “Prudent Practices for Global Growth” and considered to be the world’s most powerful Takaful gathering.This morning, WTC played host to a ratings roundtable that assessed the necessary steps required for Takaful players to build the industry’s financial strength. The session also specifically addressed the ratings perspective of the risk-shifting effect of the use of Qard loans from shareholders to the policyholders’ fund. Following suit was a look at what the Takaful industry would look like in 2020, with a particular look at the whether family Takaful can grow large enough to support the increasing supply of longer-dated sukuk expected in the market. Mahesh Mistry, Director, Analytics of A.M Best mentions, “The lack of differentiation and the associated pricing pressure along with poor distribution networks will be the key challenges for Middle East takaful companies going forward. For the industry to tackle these challenges, the operators will need to adopt suitable strategies and appropriate structures to ensure that the Takaful model employed is balanced, and that it serves the needs of the enormous potential for Shariah compliant insurance, to the benefit of all stakeholders.”The sessions for the afternoon include topics such as innovation and Takaful, the key imperative of risk-based capital and emerging Takaful markets.The WTC audience comprised of high profile guests and dignitaries from Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre, Dubai International Financial Centre, Islamic Insurance Association of London, Insurance Authority UAE, PwC, Moody’s, EY, Swiss Re, Munich Re, Noor Takaful, Watania, Emirates RE and many more organisations.WTC is taking place on the 11th and 12th of April in the Dusit Thani Hotel, Dubai. To find out more about WTC, visit www.wtc16.com. read more


Morocco Launches Environmental Police

Rabat – The Ministry of Energy, Mining, Water, and Environment organized a ceremony to launch the environmental police on Thursday, 23 February in Rabat.The ceremony, which was led by Hakima El Haite, the Minister Delegate in Charge of the Environment, will involve the handing over of environmental inspector’s cards and the presentation of technical monitoring equipment and vehicles for the environmental police.The creation of regional environmental brigades to protect against environmental damage was first announced in September 2013 by the General Directorate of National Security. The missions of the environmental police, set by Decree No. 2-14-782 of 30  on May 19, 2015, include the raising of awareness of environmental issues and the inspection, research, investigation, verbalization and detection of environmental infringements.The offenses that the environmental brigades will police are as numerous as its mission: deposits of waste on private or public land, possession obsolete products or contraband drugs, transport of dangerous goods without authorization.Offenders may face fines ranging from MAD 100 to MAD 2 million as well as possible imprisonment. Once the infringement has been established by the environmental inspector, this latter is responsible for determining the seriousness of the infringement and the penalty for the infringement.According to the decree, environmental police officers “perform their functions voluntarily, or at the request of the governmental environmental authority, or as part of a national environmental supervisory board set up for purpose of environment protection. “The national control plan in particular aims to identify “sectors and industries, environmental activities, which must be submitted as a priority to environmental control,” adding that an annual report should be sent to the Head of Government.Since November 2013, a brigade of 14 environmental police elements have been deployed in Casablanca, Rabat and Mohammedia. From January to July 2014, 414 offense tickets were registered. read more