Get ready for some summer lovin’ and “have a blast” as Olivia Newton-John makes her way to Flamingo Las Vegas with her “Summer Nights” residency.Opening inside the Donny & Marie Showroom on Tuesday, April 8, the beloved internationally-renowned singer-actress will take audiences on a musical journey through her life in film and music.Tickets go on sale Friday, Feb. 7 at 10 a.m. Members of Caesars Entertainment’s Total Rewards program will have access to an exclusive pre-sale from Wednesday, Feb. 5 at 10 a.m. to Thursday, Feb. 6 at 10 p.m.“I am thrilled to be able to call Las Vegas home for a while,” says Olivia. “I have performed here many times through the years and have had nothing but wonderful memories and I look forward to even more fun at the Flamingo. I am especially thrilled that a portion of every ticket sold will benefit the Olivia Newton-John Cancer & Wellness Centre.”“We look forward to welcoming Olivia to Flamingo Las Vegas, where so many other iconic artists have performed,” said Eileen Moore, regional president of the famed center Strip resort. “She has such a broad appeal and you can count all of us here at Flamingo among her adoring fan base; she’s the ‘one that we want’ and we can’t wait for her to call Flamingo home.”The production, featuring an eight-piece band, will take fans on a journey through the celebrated singer, actress, songwriter and philanthropist’s life and career. With more than 100 million albums sold, Olivia’s successes include four Grammys, numerous Country Music, American Music, Billboard and People’s Choice Awards, an Emmy Award, ten #1 hits and more than 15 top 10 singles. She is also proud to be the recipient of the Order of Australia honor and was bestowed the Order of the British Empire by the Queen. In 1978, her co-starring role with John Travolta in Grease catapulted Olivia into super-stardom and to date remains the most successful movie musical of all time. Commemorating its 35th anniversary last year, Grease is sure to play a significant role in Olivia’s new show “Summer Nights.”The show will be a musical journey through the iconic artist’s illustrious career featuring hits from her early years including “Have You Never Been Mellow,” “Let Me Be There,” “If You Love Me Let Me Know” and “I Honestly Love You,” as well some of her favorites from Grease, “Hopelessly Devoted to You,” “You’re The One That I Want,” and of course, “Summer Nights.” Favorites and hits from her other movies, including Xanadu, as well as her ’80s anthem and record breaking song “Physical,” will keep the room dancing, while new songs from her recent Billboard hit album Grace and Gratitude are sure to warm the hearts of the entire audience.Olivia’s appeal seems to be timeless. With a career spanning more than four decades she is still a vibrant, creative individual adored by fans across the world. Throughout her career, the much-loved star has held many humanitarian and environmental causes close to her heart, particularly since the birth of her daughter Chloe. Olivia served as Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations Environment Programme, was the co-founder of Children’s Health Environmental Coalition (now Healthy Child Healthy World) and, in 1992 she created National Tree Day in Australia, which is responsible for planting more than 10 million trees since its beginning. In 2008 she married “Amazon John” Easterling and together they are spreading the word about the importance of preserving the Rainforest by serving on the board of the ACEER Organization. With her life today focusing on health and wellness, she serves as the spokesperson for Trivita, a leading wellness company, and is the co-owner of the internationally award-winning Gaia Retreat and Spa near Byron Bay in Australia. Most recently she co-founded One Tree, One Child, an international school initiative with the goal of having every child under the age of ten plant at least one tree.In 1992, Olivia was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her personal triumph against cancer led her to announce her partnership with the Austin Health and the creation of the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre (ONJCWC) in her hometown of Melbourne, Australia. After nearly ten years of fundraising close to $200 million, the ONJCWC opened its doors in 2012. The ONJCWC provides a comprehensive range of services and facilities for cancer treatment, education, training and research as well as a dedicated wellness center. Olivia is thrilled that a portion of every ticket sold to her Flamingo shows will benefit the ONJCWC. For more information visit OliviaNewton-John.com or follow her on Twitter @OliviaNJ.Flamingo Las Vegas is proud to serve as the Las Vegas home for one of the world’s most beloved entertainers and philanthropists. The performance schedule for Olivia Newton-John’s “Summer Nights” is as follows:April: 8 – 12 May: 6 – 10, 27 – 31 July: 1 – 5, 29 – 31 Aug: 1, 2, 5 – 9, 12 – 16, 19 – 23, 26 – 30All shows begin at 7:30 p.m. Ticket prices are $69, $99 and $139, and a special meet and greet package is available for $249. Additional service fees apply. Tickets are available at any Las Vegas Caesars Entertainment Box Office, by phone at (702) 777-2782 or (855) 234-7469 or by visiting flamingolasvegas.com. For groups of 10 or more call (866) 574-3851 or email EntertainmentGroupSales@Caesars.com.Source:PR Newswire
PORTER’s Editor-in-Chief, Lucy Yeomans is to co-host the third annual Incredible Women Gala 2018 with Universal Pictures chairman, Donna Langley in association with Estée Lauder on Tuesday October 9 at The Ebell of Los Angeles.The Gala celebrates women who have changed the global conversation over the past year. The event is in celebration of PORTER’s annual Incredible Women list which highlights female leaders, celebrities, CEOs, writers, scientists, actresses, musicians, activists and designers, marking the ‘incredible moment’ when they impacted positively on other women through their actions, achievements, innovations or inspiration. The theme of this year’s list is One Year Stronger and will be published in the Winter issue (on sale September 28, 2018). The evening – in support of Vital Voices, a non-profit, bipartisan organization – will include a special performance by noteworthy talent paying tribute to heroines around the world.Expected to attend are Annie Lennox, Amber Heard, Leslie Mann, Alison Brie, Miranda Kerr, Sam Taylor-Johnson, Busy Philipps, Kumail Nanjiani, Storm Reid, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Mahershala Ali, Cindy Holland and Tina Tchen.
Kolkata: The residents of the former 51 Bangladeshi enclaves in Cooch Behar district, who formally became Indian citizens on August 1, 2015, and later cast their votes twice in 2016 — first in the Assembly polls, and then in the Lok Sabha bypoll will for the first time, be voting to play a role in government formation at the Centre. Despite visible signs of development, the dwellers have been complaining of a dearth of jobs, while many of those who chose to migrate to Cooch Behar from the Indian enclaves in Bangladesh territory are yet to get their promised land and are forced to stay in detention camps. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja On April 11, when the two northern Bengal seats Cooch Behar and Alipurduar go to the hustings, the ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal would be banking on its organisational strength and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s popularity to checkmate a resurgent BJP and traditional powerhouse Left Front. From lush green tea gardens to former Bangladesh enclaves, Cooch Behar stands out for its topographical diversity. Erstwhile ruling Left Front partner All India Forward Bloc had a stranglehold over the seat from 1977 to 2009, winning it ten times at a stretch. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highway The AIFB’s undefeated run came to an end in 2014, when the Trinamool snatched the seat, and repeated its success in a by-poll two years later after the death of the sitting MP, Renuka Sinha. Though the AIFB finished second in 2014, the BJP emerged as a surprise runner up in 2016 by bagging over 28 per cent of the votes. The once formidable AIFB came up a poor third managing a pathetic 6.49 per cent votes, with its candidate forfeiting the security deposit. This time, the Trinamool has nominated a former All India Forward Bloc leader and ex minister in the Left Front government Paresh Adhikari, hoping to grab a slice of the Left’s captive votes. The BJP nominee, Nisith Pramanik, is also a turncoat, having been a youth Trinamool leader till the party expelled him last year. The AIFB has nominated Gobinda Roy, while Piya Roy Chowdhury is fighting on a Congress ticket. Organised tea garden workers and their dependents form a sizeable chunk of voters in Cooch Behar and about 50 per cent of the electorate in Alipurduar. Just as Cooch Behar was once an impregnable AIFB fort, similarly the Revolutionary Socialist Party held sway in Alipurduar, winning all ten elections between 1977 and 2009. The Trinamool’s Dasrath Tirkey captured the seat in 2014, gaining 29.46 per cent of the valid votes, while the RSP’s Manohar Tirkey got 27.72 per cent, the BJP’s Birendra Orao finished a close third securing 27.30 per cent of the votes. This time, Dasrath Tirkey is again contesting as a Trinamool candidate, RSP has nominated Mili Orao, and John Barla is the BJP nominee. The Congress, which got about 9.5 per cent of the votes five years back, has fielded Mohanlal Basumata. Trinamool holds six of the seven assembly segments under Alipurduar, with Madarihat electing a BJP nominee in 2016. Observers feel resentment over wages and a lack of land rights for tea garden workers, could be crucial factors in the coming elections in both constituencies, particularly Alipurduar. The BJP, which has put in place a high-pitch campaign in the two seats by roping in its heavyweight leaders, is hoping to combat Trinamool’s organisational might by consolidating the disgruntled tea garden workers, besides playing on the resentment among the former enclave dwellers. While Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah have led the BJP campaign, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee held multiple rallies for Trinamool contestants, while CPI-M state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra has been the star speaker for the Left Front candidates. Statistically speaking, a total of 18,10,660 electors (941,479 male, 869,175 female and 6 others) are eligible to choose their representative for Cooch Behar in 2010 polling stations from among 11 candidates. In Alipurduar, 16,43,616 voters (831,717 male, 811,876 female and 23 others) have the mandate to elect their MP in 1,834 polling stations. The votes would be counted on May 23 — like in the rest of the country.
Consumer advocates say the kids’ version of Amazon’s Alexa won’t forget what children tell it, even after parents try to delete the conversations.A coalition of groups on Thursday is planning to ask the Federal Trade Commission to investigate whether Amazon is holding onto children’s voice recordings and personal information longer than it should.The complaint outlines flaws discovered while testing the new kid-oriented smart speaker Amazon introduced last year. In one example, the voice assistant remembers a girl’s walnut allergy even after an adult deleted that information.The complaint says Amazon may be running afoul of the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.Amazon says its service complies with that law.It’s unclear whether the FTC will take up the complaint, since its investigations are rarely public.Matt O’Brien, The Associated Press
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has urged foreign correspondents to humbly use the power of the press to search for the truth and give voice to the voiceless, calling journalism an important tool to counter hatred and fake news.In an audience Saturday with the Foreign Press Association in Rome, Francis also urged journalists to not fall prey to click-bait headlines and half-reported stories, saying errors can not only misrepresent the truth but damage entire communities.While Francis meets with journalists regularly during his foreign trips, it was the first time a pope has received the Foreign Press Association since St. John Paul II in 1988.Francis said he and the Catholic Church at large appreciate the work of journalists “even when you touch a raw nerve, including within the ecclesial community.”The Associated Press
DENVER — More than 1,700 people walking on a University of Colorado campus were unknowingly photographed as part of a facial recognition research project.The Denver Post reported Monday that professor Terrance Boult set up a long-range surveillance camera in an office window at the Colorado Springs campus. It captured more than 16,000 images of passers-by during the spring semesters of 2012 and 2013.Boult says the images were collected to create a dataset as part of an effort to enhance facial recognition technology.The dataset was made publicly available online in 2016, but it was taken down in April.Boult says he waited five years to release the dataset online to protect student privacy.University spokesman Jared Verner says a panel reviewed the research protocol for the project.___Information from: The Denver Post, http://www.denverpost.comThe Associated Press
The BASL will be recording more statements over the next few days and will then decide on the next course of action. According to the BASL, if required it will file legal action over the incident either as a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) or in support of a victim.Three people have died so far and many others sustained injuries during the “battle for water” at Weliweriya. The Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission has also launched an investigation into the incident.A five member team of the Human Rights Commission has already recorded statements from the police, the public, a church in the area and from others involved in the incident.The HRC today had meetings with 24 public institutions including the police and army over the incident. A priest and a nun at a church were assaulted by troops during the violence in Weliweriya last week, lawyers said today quoting statements they had recorded.The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) said that a team of lawyers had visited Weliweriya yesterday and recorded statements from people in the area as well as doctors who had treated the injured. “The people still live in fear,” an executive member of the BASL told the Colombo Gazette. The clash took place between the army and the public during a protest over contaminated water. (Colombo Gazette)
NEWARK, Del. — Eric Carter had 23 points, eight rebounds and four assists, helping Delaware beat Louisiana Tech 75-71 on Monday night.Ithiel Horton made three 3-pointers and scored 18 points for Delaware (5-2). Darian Bryant added 12 points and Kevin Anderson 11.Carter and Horton each had 11 points in the first half as Delaware made 5 of 11 from distance for a 35-33 lead. Delaware’s starters combined to score the Blue Hens’ opening 42 points, helping build a four-point lead with 15 minutes left.Anderson’s driving layup with 2:09 remaining gave Delaware a six-point lead and Horton’s defensive rebound and two free throws in the closing seconds sealed it as Derric Jean’s 3-pointer at the buzzer was Louisiana’s Tech’s only points in the final two minutes.Oliver Powell scored 14 points for Louisiana Tech (4-3). Amorie Archibald made three 3-pointers and scored 13 points, and Jean finished with 12.The Associated Press
The new test, however, will give clinicians a greater chance of recognising tumours which, while physically small, are located in areas of the body with a higher cell diversity, thereby making them more dangerous.Dr Yinyin Yuan, who led the research, said: “We used to think of tumours as simply a collection of cancer cells, but we now know that they are often complex ecosystems made up of different types of healthy cell too.“More work is needed to refine our test and move it into the clinic, but in future it could be used to identify women with especially aggressive ovarian cancers, so they can be treated with the best possible therapies available on the NHS or through clinical trials.”Around 7,100 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year in the UK.Professor Paul Workman, chief executive of the Institute of Cancer Research said the deal was more likely to spread than many other cancers because there is no barrier between the ovaries and many of the bodies organs.“Finding ways of treating highly aggressive ovarian cancers is a huge challenge,” he said.“But by knowing that a woman has an especially lethal form of the disease, we can look to explore aggressive combination treatments, and give women choices about the kinds of care they want to receive.” Survival was far poorer among women with high diversity than those with low scores, with just nine per cent of women with diverse metastases surviving five years from diagnosis, compared with 42 per cent of those whose metastases were dominated by one cell type.The test promises a far more sophisticated prognosis for women with the disease than is currently available, allowing those at high risk to be fast-tracked for aggressive treatment.Currently doctors rely heavily on the overall size of cancerous tumours to indicate the how treatable the disease might be in a given patient. A new computerised test originally designed to study plants is being used to accurately predict how long women suffering from ovarian cancer are likely to survive.The fully automated system, which can analyse thousands of cells in only a few seconds, measures the diversity of different types of cell in areas of the body where the cancer has spread.Scientists at the Institute of Cancer Research found a “staggering” difference in survival rates between women with high and low levels of diversity at these secondary sites. We used to think of tumours as simply a collection of cancer cells, but we now know that they are often complex ecosystemsDr Yinyin Yuan, Institute of Cancer Research 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. The new test promises to speed up diagnoses and make them more accurateCredit:Telegraph
Chilean mining company Antofagasta has received environmental approval for a major $1.1 billion expansion of its Los Pelambres copper mine, the regional government of Coquimbo stated on February 14. The project includes a desalination plant at its port facility in Los Vilos, and new ore mills and related infrastructure at the mine itself, the company said in a statement. The miner also said it will need to obtain additional permits and final approval from its board of directors before it can begin work on the project.At the AGM in 2017, Chairman Jean-Paul Luksic stated: “At Los Pelambres, our next development project is the Incremental Expansion project. This is our most advanced project and we finalised the feasibility study in March this year. We now expect the capital expenditure to be $1.05 billion, very similar to the pre-feasibility study estimate, with some $425 million earmarked for a desalination plant and pipeline that will provide up to 400 litres per second of water. This will complement the continental water sources we already have and provide us with water security. This project also involves construction of a new concentrator line at Los Pelambres, and when complete will add 55,000 tonnes of copper to our annual production, bringing total production to over 400,000 tonnes a year.
Des voitures électriques traversent l’EuropeHier, 24 voitures électriques ont quitté Paris en Direction de Prague. Cette traversée de 3 000 kilomètres à travers l’Europe vise à promouvoir la “mobilité durable” et l’électricité d’origine renouvelable.Ce sont au total 24 véhicules électriques qui ont quitté les Champs-Elysées pour un voyage de 15 jours à travers l’Europe. Ils couvriront les 3.000 kilomètres qui les séparent de Prague, pilotés par des équipages originaires d’Europe, des Etats-Unis, d’Inde et des Emirats arabes unis, rapporte TV5monde. L’expédition doit passer par la Belgique, les Pays-Bas, l’Allemagne, la Suisse et l’Autriche pour finalement arriver à la capitale tchèque le 25 septembre.À lire aussiMal des transports : pourquoi est-on malade en voiture et comment l’éviter ?Ce voyage a pour but de démontrer que “la mobilité durable existe et est fiable” et de promouvoir l’électricité d’origine renouvelable. Cette expédition baptisée Wave 2011 se compose de 250 kilomètres par jour divisés en deux étapes de 125 kilomètres. Le plein d’électricité s’effectue entre les deux et afin d’encourager l’utilisation d’électricité d’origine renouvelable (éolienne, solaire, marine…), les équipes participantes se sont engagées à produire dans leur pays respectif une quantité d’électricité “verte” équivalente à celle nécessaire à leur voyage.”La mobilité durable est prête pour la vie de tous les jours, c’est la solution contre la crise du climat”, affirme à l’AFP Louis Palmer. Cet ingénieur et aventurier suisse est le premier homme à avoir fait le tour du monde “sans consommer une seule goutte de pétrole” à bord de sa voiture solaire (“Solartaxi”) en 2008. Il a d’ailleurs obtenu cette année le prix “Champion de la Terre” du Programme des Nations unies pour l’environnement (PNUE). “Il y a des solutions disponibles et il est temps de les montrer”, a-t-il indiqué. Le 12 septembre 2011 à 20:32 • Maxime Lambert
MOSCOW, Idaho — Trudging through a densely planted patch of birch trees in spitting rain, Ronald Mahoney spotted one more. He yanked the chainsaw into action, sawed a V-shaped wedge into the trunk and finished it off with a clean cut from the opposite side.The birch, particularly beefy and marked with a blue ribbon, came crashing down precisely where the 65-year-old retired extension forester wanted it.“You can see how fast it’s growing,” Mahoney said, squatting over the stump and tracing the circumference with his fingers. “Each one of these rings is a year. This one’s growing maybe … three-quarters an inch in diameter every year.”Deeper in the patch, another chainsaw buzzed to life.Mahoney, a retired forestry professor from the University of Idaho, was about halfway through leading a small crew in logging about six dozen hardwoods from the school’s research station in Sandpoint. For 11 hours, the team — consisting mostly of students, members of the school’s chapter of the Society of American Foresters — cut, piled and loaded eight species of trees. They’d been grown from seed sources ranging from Pennsylvania to Idaho to northern British Columbia.They were planted more than two decades ago, when Mahoney, with the help of then-graduate student Yvonne Barkley, began studying how hardwoods grow in the heart of conifer country. The Sandpoint station was one of several patches throughout the Northwest and Canada where the two researchers planted more than 30 species of trees.Mahoney tracked the growth of paper birch trees, while Barkley, now a UI associate extension forester, wrote her master’s thesis on the black cherry after two years of research.
Walmart Tags See it Gaming Culture Comments Share your voice 3 Kid Icarus stars Pit, who’s hunting for three sacred treasures and is now a treasure for one person. Nintendo; screenshot by CNET The retro gaming market is on fire in recent years. Games from the ’80s and ’90s with original packaging can sell for big money. One individual found an unopened Kid Icarus game for the NES that sold for much more than the original price from back in 1987. At auction, a sealed copy of Kid Icarus for the NES sold for $9,000 on Thursday, according to a listing on Heritage Auctions. The description for the game says it was found in an attic and was still in the original J.C. Penney bag. The seller of the game was Scott Amos of Reno, Nevada. He told the Reno Gazette Journal on Monday that he cleaned out the attic of his childhood home and discovered the sealed game. The date on the receipt was Dec. 8, 1988, so he assumes the game was a Christmas gift purchased by his mom that she forgot about. He says he thought it would be worth a few hundred dollars until he spoke with some experts who let him know the true value. The description for the game says it’s one of the rarest titles to find in its original packaging, with only 10 known to be owned by collectors. Developed by Nintendo and released for the NES in 1987 in the US, Kid Icarus has players control Pit in a Greek mythology-inspired world as he collects treasures and defeats Medusa’s forces. Nintendo made a sequel to the game in 1991 for the Gameboy called Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters. In 2012, the series returned with Kid Icarus: Uprising on the Nintendo 3DS.As expensive as this sealed Kid Icarus game might’ve been, it didn’t match the unopened copy of Super Mario Bros. that sold for more than $100,000. Review • Nintendo 3DS Nintendo 3DS $399 $399 CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Mentioned Above Nintendo 3DS Super Mario 3D Land Limited Edition Nintendo See It
Obaidul Quader file photoAwami League general secretary Obaidul Quader on Saturday alleged that the opposition alliance of the BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami have instigated the non-political demonstration by the students on Dhaka streets.He came up with the allegation at an emergency press conference at the AL’s Dhanmondi office, following an alleged attack on the AL president’s political office in Dhanmodi.Quader, also the road transport and bridges minister, alleged that political elements are making infiltration into the peaceful protests of the students.”The intruders have attacked the Awami League president’s political office,” he claimed.BSS quoted Quader as saying that ‘vested quarters have politically extended support to the students’ movement and attempts have been made to transform the student movement into anti-government movement’.Showing some photos of the protests, Quader claimed that the protesters are from a political party.“We are closely watching their movements and suspecting their links to the ongoing demonstration,” he said.Quader urged the protesting students to remain alert so that no vested quarter can take any advantage of their non-political movement.“The students should remain alert against the vested quarters who have extended support to the students’ movement politically and attempted to catch fish in muddled water for creating an unstable situation in the country as they have failed to wage their own movement,” he said.Urging the students to return to their respective classes, he said the government has taken initiatives to implement the nine-point demand, raised after a road accident which left two students of Shaheed Ramiz Uddin School and College dead on the spot.“We have found logic behind the students’ nine-point demand. The process of implementation has started,” said the AL general secretary.The police have arrested the drivers involved in the accident and the owner of the bus, he said, adding the legal procedures are going on.Prime minister Sheikh Hasina has provided financial assistance of Tk 20m each to the two victims’ families, he added.Quader said the victims’ families also urged the students to return home calling off the movement.The government has also taken initiatives to construct underpasses as per the demand of the protesting students. The responsibility has been given to the Engineering Corps of army and the design has already been completed, he said.He said there is no need to call tender as the work will be held through DPP.Besides, Quader said, the government has taken initiatives to construct modern speed breakers through ramble stick system and steps have been taken to deploy traffic police in front of schools and colleges.He said the proposed Road Transport Act will be placed before the next cabinet meeting on Monday for approval and it is expected to be passed in the next session of parliament.“I hope that the act will be passed keeping the highest punishment,” the AL general secretary added.Mentioning the cancelation of the route permit of the Jabal-e-Noor Paribahan bus, Quader said it is not possible to cancel the route permits of all unfit vehicles within next 24 hours as the BRTA (Bangladesh Road Transport Authority) has no such manpower which will be needed for this.Earlier the BRTA had only one executive magistrate, he said, adding now there are five executive magistrates there and the government will implement the students’ demands in this regard as soon as possible.He said prime minister Sheikh Hasina has already directed to take action against the drivers who have no license.The executive magistrates have begun their works to cancel the route permits of the unfit vehicles.Mentioning another demand of the students, Quader said the shipping minister has already sought apology.
A laptop screen displays a parliamentary petition on the website of the British government, demanding Britain cancel a planned state visit by US President Donald Trump. Photo: AFPBritish prime minister Theresa May on Monday refused to back down on inviting US President Donald Trump for a glitzy state visit, despite a petition gaining more than 1.5 million signatures and protesters rallying across the country.May is standing firm on the invitation, which would see Trump honoured by parliament and Queen Elizabeth II, despite the premier’s office saying she does not agree with his controversial ban on refugees and citizens of seven mainly Muslim countries.“The United States is a close ally of the UK, we work together across many areas of mutual interest and we have that special relationship between us,” May told a press conference in Dublin alongside her Irish counterpart Enda Kenny.“I have issued that invitation for a state visit to President Trump to the UK and that invitation stands.”The British premier added: “In relation to the policies that have been announced by the US, the UK takes a different approach.”May announced the state visit during a meeting with Trump at the White House on Friday, which was intended to boost trade ties after Britain leaves the European Union.But her closeness to the erratic billionaire drew fire at home, particularly when she initially failed to condemn the travel ban, saying it was a US affair.Tens of thousands protestProtesters rallied in cities across the UK on Monday, with a police source telling AFP the crowd in London stood at tens of thousands.“Don’t hold hands with Nazis” and “No to racism, no to Trump” read placards in London, while the crowd chanted: “Shame on you Theresa May.”Protester Annette Connors, 41, said the government’s position on Trump suggested Britain was more concerned with scoring a trade deal than principles.“I’m very much against Trump being invited for a state visit, I’m also very disappointed at the government response to what he does compared to European leaders’ responses,” she told AFP.In Manchester, northwest England, crowds chanted “no state visit” and “refugees are welcome here”.Janet Harbour, 54, said she was protesting for the very first time.“He is a disgrace to America,” she told AFP. “America can do better and needs to do better.”The national mood was captured on several of Britain’s newspaper front pages for Tuesday, many of which carried protest photos contrasting with May’s position.By Monday evening, more than 1.5 million people had signed an online petition calling for the state visit to be cancelled because Trump’s “well-documented misogyny and vulgarity disqualifies him” from meeting the queen.Set up several months ago, the number of signatures has surged since Trump signed his contentious executive order on Friday.‘Divisive and wrong’Opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, the smaller Liberal Democrats and the Scottish National Party have all called for the state visit to be cancelled, as have some from May’s own party.Conservative Muslim lawmaker Sayeeda Warsi told BBC radio that Britain should question whether it should roll out the red carpet for “a man who has no respect for women, disdain for minorities… and whose policies are rooted in divisive rhetoric.”Trump’s order suspended the arrival of all refugees for at least 120 days, Syrian refugees indefinitely, and barred citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days.British foreign minister Boris Johnson told parliament it was “divisive and wrong to stigmatise because of nationality”, confirming that, after talks with the US administration, most Britons would be exempt.However, Johnson said there was “no reason” why Trump shouldn’t receive a state visit, calling the US-UK relationship the “single most important geopolitical fact of the last 100 years”.
The logo of the Anti-Corruption Commission is seen in front of its building. File PhotoThe Anti-Corruption Commission, country’s principal organ for fighting graft, was less actively engaged in fulfilling its stated function in 2018, as evidenced by a fall in the number of inquiries, investigations and charge-sheets it executed during the year, compared to 2017.The ACC, however, contends it was more qualitatively engaged in graft-busting during the year.According to the ACC’s own data gleaned from its recently released annual report, some 3,427 complaints were submitted to the commission during 2018, of which it completed inquiries into 827 – around a quarter. In 2017, it completed inquiries into 1,445 out of 18,000 complaints it received.The ACC went on to file some 216 cases during 2018, against 273 in 2017.The ACC also completed 489 investigations in 2018, almost half the number it did in 2017, when it completed 965. This number includes investigations that may have been initiated in previous years.The commission’s own data shows that it submitted 236 charge-sheets during 2018, against 382 in 2017.ACC public relations officer Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya told UNB that the case rate is going down as they are paying attention to ‘quality investigation. “We’ve no shortage of resources but officials are assigned to submit quality investigation reports.”During a press briefing after submitting the ACC’s annual report to president Abdul Hamid on 13 May, ACC chairman Iqbal Mahmood also said that the commission was looking into the quality of investigations to ensure “100 per cent success rate” in the trial of corruption cases.Iqbal Mahmud also emphasised the need to eliminate corruption at the lowest level of the administration and said it becomes difficult to take action when lowly-ranked corrupt officers become influential.The ACC chief said, “The majority of Bangladeshis live in rural areas. Villagers don’t have access to the DCs, SPs. They think low-level officers can help solve their problems. We need to pay attention to stop corruption at the lowest level.””When we go to catch these people, we’re told that they’re insignificant. The media then says we’ve only caught small fry. But the people of the country want to stop small-time, field-level officials from engaging in corruption,” he added in favour of this ‘bottom-up’ as opposed to ‘top-down’ approach.Iftekharuzzaman, executive director of Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB), said ACC still has a big scope to expand its professional skills towards performing better in their investigations, in keeping with a large, well-funded and resourceful institution, instead of chasing after “small fry”.”They can work for increasing the skills of the officers of the investigation team through modern training and updated knowledge to relentlessly combat, control and prevent corruption, as corruption is a sophisticated crime,” Iftekharuzzaman said.Playing down the numbers released by the ACC, he said, “Number is no matter. What matters is who is included in the case. They (ACC) are only busy catching the small fry. They need to open the cases against the big fish. If the ACC can do the job properly, people will trust them.”Expressing a skeptical view of the recent emphasis on “preventive” activities by the ACC, Iftekhar said, “Conducting programmes for the prevention of corruption and promotion of best practices is all very well, but spending disproportionate time in such activities will itself be a bad practice as they must keep in mind the ACC’s responsibilities and its mandate to carry out inquiries and investigations and to execute its duties as a prosecuting agency.”He also stressed the need for transforming the ACC into a constitutional body, as opposed to a statutory one created through the Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2004, in order to guarantee its total independence.”The ACC should be completely an independent, autonomous and constitutional body to perform well,” he said.
Padma Bridge. File PhotoCertain people are spreading a rumour that human heads will be used in the construction of the Padma Bridge.”Some quarters are spreading rumours on social media that human heads will be required to construct Padma Bridge,” said Padma Multi-Purpose Bridge director Shafiqul Islam in a press release on Tuesday.He said, “It is a rumour and there is no truth in it. We request the people not to be confused over the matter.”The press release said the construction of Padma Bridge is proceeding speedily and 81 per cent of the construction has been completed till 30 June 2019.
Listen To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: 00:00 /01:03 Share Alvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz/Houston Public Media Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg (center) says her office will continue promoting the use of personal recognizance bonds and also will expand diversion programs for low-level drug offenders.Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg unveiled Tuesday a series of recommendations about the work of her office.A group of 60 community leaders and experts —including former HPD Chief C. O. Bradford; Lydia Johnson, professor at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law; former Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia; and Tarsha Jackson, who leads the Texas Organizing Project in Harris County— worked on the recommendations, which cover a wide range of topics, such bail bond reform, officer-involved shootings and victims’ rights, among others.Regarding the reform of the bail bond system in Harris County, Ogg said the suggestions made by the committee emphasize to continue promoting the use of personal recognizance bonds, instead of cash bonds.“When our prosecutors began recommending that, that was in line with the committee’s recommendations,” the DA explained during a press conference held at the South Texas College of Law Houston.The District Attorney added that, also based on the suggestions made by the group, her office will expand the use of diversion programs for low-level drug offenders and, in regards to officer-involved shootings, those cases will be handled by prosecutors assigned to the DA’s Civil Rights Division and will be presented to grand juries “expeditiously.” X
Pu Ying Huang for The Texas TribuneParts of Harris County’s Criminal Justice Center, which is located in downtown Houston and was severely damaged last year because of Hurricane Harvey, will reopen next month in an effort to reduce jail crowding and speed up the judicial process.Harris County Judge Ed Emmett announced Friday that parts of the Criminal Justice Center, which is located in downtown Houston and is the county’s primary criminal courthouse, will reopen next month in an effort to reduce jail crowding and speed up the judicial process.According to a news release from Emmett’s office, four floors of the courthouse, which was severely damaged by Hurricane Harvey last year, will be reopened on June 4 for jail dockets. The dockets include initial appearances and pending jail cases.Emmett said the county would reopen 14 courtrooms on the 17th-20th floors of the building – 12 for felonies and two for misdemeanors. There will be no trials at the building until more repairs are completed.“County taxpayers have been spending nearly $20,000 a day to send hundreds of jail inmates to other locations because damage from Hurricane Harvey left us unable to operate our courts as usual,” said Emmett. “By reopening these courtrooms early, we are able to save money and, just as importantly, ensure that our courts can do their jobs more quickly and efficiently.”Repairs on the courthouse could cost at least $70 million and likely will not be finished until next year, according to the news release.The reopening of the 14 courtrooms is expected to reduce congestion at the neighboring Civil Justice Center by an estimated 50 percent and boost the processing of in-custody criminal defendants by 20 percent. Share
Butterfield & Robinson is adding three new walking trips for 2018 and revealing data that supports B&R’s growth in walking departures since 2010. Introducing Basque Country Walking, Holland Walking and Cotswolds Self-Guided Walking, B&R’s newest itineraries on foot allow travellers to slow down while immersing themselves in celebrated regions with culinary experiences and majestic surroundings.“Appealing to our travellers’ senses, the sights of Holland, delicious delights of Basque Country, and character of the Cotswolds are major highlights of these itineraries,” says Caitlin Ryan, sales manager, Butterfield & Robinson. “Our newest trips expand an already robust walking portfolio and speak to the growth we’ve seen in the category as a whole.”B&R reports a 20% average increase in yearly walking departures, while the total number of walking trips in 2016 marked a 188% increase from 2010. Earlier this year, B&R also announced the addition of India Walking for next year, a seven-day return to the rural lands of the Rajasthan region.B&R’s newly announced walking trips include:Basque Country WalkingA rewarding week of hiking takes travellers from mountains to ocean with indulgent stops along the way. Beginning deep in the heart of French Basque Country, hikers reach altitudes over 215m in the Pyrenean summits and surrounding mountain villages, enjoy exquisite dining before reaching Spain and settling in San Sebastian, home to the most Michelin star-rated restaurants per capita.The six-day/five-night Basque Country Walking trip runs in May, June, August and October 2018 from US$5995 with single supplements starting at $900.Holland WalkingA colourful cultural experience begins with a tulip farm tour and traditional lunch in a private tower before wandering among windmills. Travellers will retreat to outside of The Hague to explore the Wassenaar woodland before a trip to Leiden (the birthplace of Rembrandt) and take part in cheese and seafood tutorials.The six-day/five-night Holland Walking trip runs in April and September 2018 from US$4995 with single supplements starting at $700.Cotswolds Self-Guided WalkingThis walker’s paradise is the perfect trip to experience meadows, woodland and stately gardens along five Cotswolds counties. Ripe with local produce, cheese, meats and ales, this trip is for explorers who seek superb accommodations, top restaurants and are happy to go at their own pace on a self-guided adventure.The six-day/five-night Cotswolds Self-Guided Walking trip runs in July, August, October and December 2018 from US$3295.
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