11 die as avalanches hit vehicles in J&K

first_imgThe bodies of eleven people, including a beacon officer, were retrieved on Saturday from the parts of the Sadhna Top in Kupwara, where three avalanches swept away three vehicles on Friday afternoon.The police said eight bodies were recovered after a night-long search operation, in which locals also joined the administration in sub-zero temperature. Two bodies were recovered on Friday night. One more was recovered late on Saturday.Seven passengers were on board and three pedestrians were on the way when avalanches hit the Sadhna Top Karnah.“Two among 12 trapped passengers were rescued from the spot, including a 10-year-old boy. Both have been shifted to the hospital,” said an official.One Beacon officer also died in the incident. The avalanches hit Khoni Nallah.Officials said two rescue teams, comprising the army, police and State Disaster Response Force, started rescue operation immediately and scanned the area throughout the night.The authorities have directed that the movement of traffic “should be restricted on vulnerable roads in the event of adverse weather predictions.”The incident sparked protests with locals demanding a tunnel, connecting the Karnah with Kupwara.J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti expressed grief and sorrow over the incident, an official spokesman said. The CM conveyed her sympathies to the bereaved families, he said.The government sanctioned ₹4 lakh as ex gratia relief for those deceased in the avalanches and a compensation of ₹12,600 each to the injured.(With PTI inputs)last_img read more

ESPN’s FiveThirtyEight Releases Playoff Odds After Rivalry Weekend

first_imgESPN's FiveThirtyEight playoff odds for College Football teams after rivalry week.fivethirtyeight playoff oddsThe regular season, at least for most college football teams, has ended. Which means that after next Saturday’s slate of contests (many of which are conference championship games), the playoff selection committee will have all of the info it needs to make its decisions. Will their be chaos on the final Saturday? Or will it all hold?At this point, according to ESPN’s FiveThirtyEight, a few things are clear. Oklahoma, after winning the Big 12, is in the playoff field. Alabama, with a win over Florida in the SEC title game, will also have a spot. Clemson, with a win over UNC, is in. And the winner of the Big Ten title game between Iowa and Michigan State will qualify as well. The question marks? Does UNC, with a win over Clemson, get in? And if Alabama loses to Florida, does Ohio State sneak back in? Here are the odds that FiveThirtyEight has at the moment.Oklahoma is in. The next four are locks if they win. Lurking: UNC, Stanford, Ohio State. https://t.co/ZvsQO702Hb pic.twitter.com/djQVtog8wY— Andrew Flowers (@andrewflowers) November 29, 2015In just a week, we’ll have all of the answers. Until then, expect a great deal of debate.last_img read more

Donald Trump showdown at the NATO summit a journalists perspective

first_imgBRUSSELS – It was only a matter of time.Among the 2,000 or so reporters, photographers, producers, camera operators and other media professionals from across the world who attended this week’s NATO summit, there was little doubt Donald Trump would ignite some manner of fireworks. It was just a question of when and how.For journalists covering the summit, the sequence of events of how Trump upended the final day of the event in Brussels was just as explosive and unpredictable as the news they had to report on.Here’s a taste of the “Trump effect” on what is normally a carefully choreographed meeting of world leaders.8:45 a.m., Brussels time.The massive media hangar located within the new NATO headquarters compound was quiet. This was the second and final day of the summit, but most journalists accredited to cover the event had been operating on little sleep for several days, what with travelling and covering any and all developments relevant to their countries and audiences.NATO leaders were only just arriving for the day, and nothing had really happened yet. The U.S. president had once again tweeted his displeasure about NATO allies for not ponying up their fair share of military spending toward transatlantic security. He had issued a similar tweet the previous evening, setting the stage for a showdown.10:20 a.m.Things were up and running, the regular buzz of the media centre had resumed, but things were strangely quiet on the NATO side. The presidents and prime ministers were meeting behind closed doors, ostensibly discussing the efforts of Georgia and Ukraine to join NATO as ally nations. But there had been no recent updates.10:30 a.m.A few tweets began popping up. Something was amiss behind the closed doors. One by one, news outlets began posting alerts citing sources confirming that NATO leaders were in the midst of an emergency session called after Trump demanded ally nations meet, or exceed, the two per cent spending targets agreed to in principle by the countries in 2014.10:45 a.m.Journalists were frantically typing out or live-reporting on air what few details they had confirmed and what the developments could mean for the treaty alliance’s future. There were questions about whether Trump had threatened to pull out of NATO entirely if his demands were not met. Reporters were on phones and laptops, working sources, trying to get any handle on what exactly was going on.11 a.m.One by one, small groups of journalists were heading out the door of the media centre and heading toward the area NATO leaders held their press conferences. But there was no official word yet that any press conference had been called.The number of people heading for the door began grow, their strides picking up pace. Soon, a full-blown stream of journalists was pouring out, with cameras, notepads and phones in hand, some breaking out into a run.Trump was giving a press conference.11:10 a.m.The firehose stream of journalists from the media centre was emptying into the largest of 13 press conference rooms set up in a large, white military-grade tent. Hundreds of television and still cameras were lined up in the dark room, with more arriving every minute. The camera operators jockeyed for positions with good angles. Journalists settled into chairs or crouched along aisleways, facing an empty stage set with a podium and two American flags.Most journalists at the summit wouldn’t have laid eyes on the U.S. president in person, had it not been for this impromptu press conference on the final day. Summits are tightly controlled affairs, and this one in particular — which deals with defence policy — is especially tightly secured.Reporters and photographers are ferried from one event to another in buses, given strict rules about where they can stand and how many questions they can ask — or not, as the case may be. Most of the press conferences or events are pooled to limit the number of journalists in any one area and avoid security or crowding concerns.That’s why the open and free access to this event was unlike anything that had happened thus far.12:25 p.m.Finally, a voice through an unseen speaker made the announcement.“Ladies and gentlemen, the president of the United States.”And there he was, flanked by two of his right-hand men, Mike Pompeo and John Bolton.The bright lights washed out the signature tone of his skin slightly, but it was indeed Donald Trump, in the flesh, talking about how he had single-handedly managed to elicit commitments from all NATO allies to increase their defence spending targets and calling himself “a stable genius.”At first, White House press correspondents were the only reporters asking questions. Eventually, other savvy journalists in the room began to realize he seemed to be taking questions randomly from the crowd. Hands shot up, and some at the back of the room began pressing forward, hoping to get a question in.But many happily remained in the back, watching the spectacle unfold. Here and there, journalists began turning around and snapping selfies, mid-press conference. Some even had their photographers shoot flash photos of them with Trump taking questions in the background.The press conference took over the rest of the day’s narrative, with all other NATO leaders’ closing press conferences focused on responding to Trump’s bravado.Did Trump cause the media frenzy that generally followed him throughout the summit, or did the media frenzy themselves by his very presence? Anything Trump is automatic headline material, it seems. Or, as he would say, ratings gold.Newsworthy or not, it certainly is a spectacle to behold.last_img read more

Mariska Hargitay To Be Honored At 7th Annual Elly Awards Luncheon

first_imgThe Women’s Forum of New York will present The 7th Annual Elly Awards Luncheon benefiting The Education Fund of the Women’s Forum on Monday, June 19th at The Plaza Hotel in New York City.The awards, named for the Women’s Forum founder Elinor Guggenheimer, will honor outstanding women leaders. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Education Fund of the Women’s Forum, which has has helped over 200 women over age 35, whose lives have been disrupted by extreme adversity, complete their college degrees.The Elly Award Recipients (all in attendance) will be:● Carolyn B. Maloney, U.S. Representative for New York’s 12th congressional district. ● Daryl Roth, producer of over 100 on and off Broadway productions, including seven Pulitzer Prize-winning plays, and winner of 10 Tony Awards.● Mariska Hargitay, actress, director, producer, advocate, Emmy award-winning star of NBC’s Law & Order: SVU and founder of the Joyful Heart Foundation, who will receive a Special Elly Award.The Elly Award Celebrity Presenters (all in attendance) will be: • Carole King, celebrated singer-songwriter, member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, best-selling author and activist. • Jordan Roth, President of Jujamcyn Theaters, Tony Award-winning producer, Founder & CEO of Culturalist.com, and creator of Givenik.com. • Sheila Nevins, President, HBO Documentary Films.Cheryl Wills, award-winning NY1 anchor and author, will moderate a conversation on leadership with the honorees following the presentation of the awards.“The Women’s Forum of New York is comprised of the most accomplished and successful women in the city from every professional sector,” said Carolyn Carter, President of the Women’s Forum of New York. “We know from our own success how critical education is so our Education Fund is one way we ‘give back’ – helping women over 35 whose lives have been disrupted by extreme adversity complete their education and get their lives back on track. We hope we inspire them, because their dreams, drive and determination certainly inspire us.”“Thirty years ago, the Education Fund embarked on a mission to help women, who had overcome serious hardships in their lives, realize their dream of a college education,” added Ilene Wachs, President, The Education Fund of the Women’s Forum. “Since then, we are proud to have given over $1.25 million in grants to over 200 women to help them return to school, earn their degree and take their place in the world. Our grants have changed their lives, influenced their families and made a difference in their communities.”The Elly Awards will begin at 11:30 a.m. (press check-in is 11:00 a.m.) at The Plaza Hotel with a reception and VIP arrivals. The Luncheon and Presentation will be from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m.The 2017 Elly Awards:Legendary Chair: Lucy Jarvis.Honorary Chairs: Kay Koplovitz, Rosie Rios, Phillipa Soo.Chairs: Myra J. Biblowit, Ceci Kurzman, Suzanne Townsen.Committee: Beverly Beaudoin, Carolyn Carter, Janice Reals Ellig, Emita B. Hill, Ilene Wachs.GOLD SPONSOR: BNY Mellon.SILVER SPONSORS: Dede Thompson Bartlett, Citi, Con Edison, FIS, Lucy Jarvis, MetLife, Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, Lulu C. Wang, Linda A. Willett, Wilmington Trust.BRONZE SPONSORS: Accenture, Georgette Bennett and Leonard Polonsky, Annabelle Bexiga and Chris McConnell, Colgate-Palmolive Company, Commonfund, Janice Reals Ellig, Fiduciary Trust Company International, Greenberg Traurig LLP, Veronica Hackett, JPMorgan Chase & Co., KPMG LLP, Barbara Marcus, Pershing, a BNY Mellon company, Muriel F. Siebert Foundation, Susan Skerritt, Time Warner Inc., The Travelers Companies, Inc., U.S. Bank.FELLOW SPONSORS: Maria R. Morris, Daryl Roth, Ilene Wachs.last_img read more

Trudeau challenged on immigration Indigenous sovereignty at Nova Scotia town hall

first_imgJustin Brake APTN National News The prime minister kicked off a national town hall tour Tuesday night in the Sipekni’katik district of Mi’kma’ki – or Lower Sackville, N.S. That’s what Trevor Sanipass of Eskasoni and Elder Billy Lewis reminded the more than 1,000 in attendance during a land acknowledgement to begin the evening.From health care and marijuana legislation, Justin Trudeau fielded questions on an array of issues, including immigration and Indigenous sovereignty in the Sackville High School gymnasium.As the event began Rebecca Moore, a 27-year-old Mi’kmaw woman from Pictou Landing First Nation stood silently among the seated audience members as the prime minister slowly went around the room taking questions in a clockwise direction.After a dozen questions, and arriving at the place where Moore stood alongside her friend Michelle Paul, who was holding an eagle feather in the air, Trudeau skipped over the two, still not having taken a question from an Indigenous person on Indigenous related matters.Moore quietly walked out of the room. But Paul left her place and moved to an empty seat ahead of Trudeau’s queue, this time garnering his acknowledgement.Holding the eagle feather, Paul challenged Trudeau on the disparity between his promises of reconciliation and renewing nation to nation relationships, and the realities on the ground in Nova Scotia.“Right here in Mi’kma’ki, right now, we have in Eskasoni 70 per cent poverty — that’s unacceptable. We have in Potlotek water that cannot be drank, that cannot be used — that’s unacceptable. And on the Sipekni’katik River we have warriors at the Treaty Truckhouse who refuse to leave because Alton Gas is threatening to pour brine in our river system. That is unacceptable,” she said.Paul reminded Trudeau that there are traditional governing systems in place in Mi’kma’ki, but that Canada doesn’t recognize them, instead negotiating only with the Assembly of First Nations and chiefs elected under the rules and legislation of Canada’s Indian Act.After returning to the audience Moore then spoke to Trudeau reminding him that the Peace and Friendship treaties are still binding, and that Canada is not holding up the Crown’s side of the agreements.“I’m a direct descendant of Jean-Baptise Cope, who signed the Peace and Friendship Treaty—the Peace Treaty of 1752—and we’re still here and every day I see that treaty being disrespected and dishonoured and I’m here to ask you: When are you going to honour the treaty in its full capacity, the way that it was supposed to be?”Moore also suggested that if the treaties were being adhered to, fewer Mi’kmaq would be living in poverty.“We are not an Indigenous nation under Canada, we are an Indigenous nation on a national level,” she said.“We have something under the Peace and Friendship treaties [where] we have the rights to sell our wares, and we also have the rights to best advantage in trade. So my question to you is: If we have best advantage in trade under international treaty law, then why are we the poorest people in the country? It doesn’t look to me like we have best advantage in trade. It looks to me like you have best advantage in trade.”Responding, Trudeau didn’t address the Mi’kmaq treaties specifically but acknowledged that Canada has not respected treaties with Indigenous nations more broadly.He also alluded multiple times to “partnerships” between Canada and “Indigenous Canadians,” and said reconciliation and the establishment of healthy nation to nation relationships will take some time.“You both highlighted the complexities and the challenges we are facing of defining what is a nation to nation relationship, who our interlocutors must be, how we move forward in true partnership that respects rights and opportunities,” he said.To Paul and many in Mi’kma’ki, the wait has been decades and centuries-long.“We don’t have the luxury of time, actually, because a lot of our leadership that he recognizes are at the table negotiating, as we speak,” Paul told APTN after the event, alluding to various Mi’kmaq land claims negotiations taking place between Indian Act chiefs and Canada’s Department of Crown-Indigenous Affairs.“We’re not happy about that,” Paul said. “They don’t have our consensus. We want our treaties honoured, we want them implemented. We know how powerful our treaties are.“We’re ready as rights holders, as a sovereign Mi’kmaq Nation.”The issue of immigration featured prominently at Tuesday’s town hall, too.Outside about two dozen people rallied in support of Abdoul Abdi, the 23-year-old Somali refugee making headlines over his potential imminent deportation.Abdi’s sister, Fatouma, asked Trudeau point blank why he isn’t stepping in to help her brother.“Why are you deporting my brother? How come you’re not stopping it?” she asked the prime minister.Trudeau said deporting people is “something we have to take very, very seriously [and] something we have to reflect on with compassion, and with empathy, and with understanding on a case by case basis.”jbrake@aptn.calast_img read more