first_imgMadrid: Barcelona made a nightmare start to the defence of their La Liga title by losing Luis Suarez to injury and then losing 1-0 to Athletic Bilbao, after a sensational late volley from substitute Aritz Aduriz. Suarez hobbled off in the 37th minute with what looked like a calf injury before Aduriz came on in the 88th, the 38-year-old striker who has announced he will retire at the end of the season. This was a spectacular start to the finale as Aduriz threw himself into the air and acrobatically volleyed past Marc-Andre ter Stegen to send San Mames wild on La Liga’s opening night on Friday. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over Chandigarh “The competition has put us in our place,” said Gerard Pique afterwards. “We were not us.” Barca were already without Lionel Messi, who sustained a calf injury during pre-season, and before kick-off confirmed they were about to lose Philippe Coutinho, a loan deal “agreed in principle” with Bayern Munich, according to the club’s director Guillermo Amor. Suarez will undergo tests on Tuesday to diagnose the length of his absence but Messi’s return, and perhaps negotiations for Paris Saint-Germain striker Neymar, might assume added urgency during his absence. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced later Antoine Griezmann will be expected to step up too but after joining from Atletico Madrid in July, he endured an underwhelming debut. Coutinho is evidence of the need for time to adjust. Bilbao, who finished eighth last season, held Barca to a goalless draw in February and they were good value for another point until Aduriz intervened. He has scored more than 200 goals in his 20-year career but perhaps none as memorable as this one. La Liga’s first of the season may even prove to be its best. – ‘Beautiful football’ – ======================== “Sometimes football can be so beautiful,” said Aduriz afterwards. “It will be impossible not to miss this but everything has a beginning and an end. I am incredibly grateful to be able to choose this ending.” For Barca, there was at least the consolation of an excellent performance from Frenkie de Jong, also making his debut in place of Sergio Busquets. De Jong fully justified his place with a serene display, seamlessly linking midfield to attack and dictating tempo with a maturity well beyond his 22 years. By contrast, Griezmann never really settled after a nervous start, allowing a simple pass to slip under his foot before hacking late at the shin of Unai Lopez. Inaki Williams, meanwhile, fresh from signing a nine-year contract last week, started fast, as he saw a rasping shot pushed wide and then skipped in behind Nelson Semedo but was again denied by Ter Stegen. De Jong was tidy and composed but Barca were less controlled and their rhythm knocked further by Suarez departing shortly before half-time. He had been testing his calf moments before, just as a poor header back landed perfectly in his path. Suarez shot first time but struck the post. Raul Garcia failed to beat Ter Stegen from 10 yards while Rafinha, on for Suarez, went close, his curling effort brilliantly tipped onto the join between the post and crossbar by Unai Simon. Ernesto Valverde put Ivan Rakitic on for Carles Alena at half-time and Rafinha again hit the post, this time freed by a cute reverse pass from Ousmane Dembele. Bilbao seemed to tire and Barca turned the screw. Rakitic fired over as three Bilbao defenders leapt in front of him but their opponents survived. Carles Perez, the 21-year-old forward, came on for only his second league appearance but it was Bilbao’s substitute that proved decisive. A quick one-two down the right produced a looping cross into the box, where Aduriz did the rest.last_img read more

first_imgThe United Nations Development Programme celebrated 50 years at the frontline of development and its leading role in realising the Global Goals by 2030 this week with a star-studded gala featuring a musical performance from Grateful Dead legend Bob Weir.Michelle Yeoh, Connie Britton, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, Padma Lakshmi and UNDP Administrator Helen ClarkCredit/Copyright: Getty Images for UNDPHe joined three of UNDP’s current Goodwill Ambassadors – His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and actors Connie Britton and Michelle Yeoh – in a star-studded Gala hosted by Emmy-nominated executive producer and host of Top Chef, and New York Times best-selling author Padma Lakshmi at Phillips, a partner of the event, in Manhattan.“Tonight’s gala is a celebration of UNDP’s 50th Anniversary,” said Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator. “Our people work tirelessly every day in some 170 developing countries and territories around the world. We work to eradicate poverty, empower women, help countries recover from disasters and conflicts, and protect the environment.”“It’s an honor to have had such influential advocates and partners come together, including a legendary musician, to help shine a spotlight on the important work UNDP does around the world to protect our planet and its people. We hope this event will showcase how we can be the first generation to end poverty and stop climate change.”The event’s honored guests included Tribal Planet CEO Jeff Martin; as well as the organization’s corporate partners Deutsche Post DHL and Baidu. The honorees received the UNDP People and Planet Award in recognition of their accomplishments.Among those serving on the host committee were Edward Dolman, chairman and CEO of Phillips (committee chair); Sir Harold Evans, editor-at-large, Thomson Reuters; Kate Garvey, co-founder of Project Everyone; Jean Todt, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety; Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia and Wikimedia Foundation; and Hollywood actor Jack Black.Bob Weir is one of the founding members of the legendary Grateful Dead, which received a GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007. Since establishing the band in 1965, Weir has become one of rock’s finest and most distinctive rhythm guitarists. This year Weir released Blue Mountain — his first solo album in more than ten years and his first of entirely original material in thirty years. This past summer, Weir performed with Dead & Company, featuring Grateful Dead members Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann along with GRAMMY-winner John Mayer, Oteil Burbridge and Jeff Chimenti. This fall he embarked on the widely successful Campfire Tour playing songs in support of his new album.last_img read more

first_imgAdvertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement TORONTO – The union representing 12,000 Canadian journalists and media workers welcomes Finance Minister Bill Mourneau’s announcement of $600 million in aid for financially struggling news organizations.“The new labour tax credit for local journalism is what’s been needed to help save local news,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor’s National President.In today’s Fall Economic Statement, it was revealed that news outlets that hire to expand local news coverage will be eligible for tax credits. Unifor is also relieved that the federal government will allow non-profit news organizations to apply for charitable status, and Canadians will receive a 15 per cent refund on all subscriptions to paid digital news sites. “Mainstream journalism does the heavy lifting in our democracy and it is in crisis as advertising revenue is siphoned away by Google and Facebook,” said Dias. Canadian newspapers, including their website operations, have lost about 40 per cent of their revenue since 2012 and more than 250 Canadian news outlets have closed in the last decade.Dias praised the work of Unifor Locals in campaigning for these new federal measures over the last two years.“Unifor media workers have been talking to Members of Parliament and it is refreshing to see that they got the message,” said Jake Moore, Unifor Media Chair.Unifor also welcomes the new tax reforms, and write offs which will incentivize investment and job creation throughout the Canadian economy.“By enabling businesses to immediately expense investments in machinery and equipment, there will be an added financial incentive to expand operations and create jobs and that is good news for our members,” said Dias.Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

S. Swaminathan, Project Officer for the Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme, said the Health Department had notified six hospitals in the district for the Chief Minister’s health insurance cover.Cardiac surgeries had been performed under the scheme. He advised the refugees to get health insurance related doubts clarified by calling 18004253993. D. Parimala Devi, Dean cum Special Officer of Government Medical College in Pudukottai, in her inaugural address, spoke on the objective of the camp organised as part of Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme. Kamalanathan, leader of the camp, said the camp helped the refugees understand the significance of the health insurance scheme. V.C. Subash Gandhi, Research Scholar, said a total number of women from 430 families, were screened for special tests with focus on non-communicable diseases.G. Marimuthu, cardiologist from Malar Hospital which sponsored the camp, spoke. (Colombo Gazette) Sri Lankan refugees at a special camp in India have been screened for non-communicable diseases, The Hindu newspaper reported.A free health camp to benefit the Sri Lankan refugees accommodated at the special camp in Thoppukollai in Pudukottai, India was conducted at the camp site in the village as part of celebrations birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. read more

A hartal was staged in Vavuniya today in protest over the rape and murder of a teenager last week.An autopsy conducted on the teen found dead in a house in Vavuniya revealed that she was raped and murdered. The 14 year old girl was found hanging from the neck with the help of a saree inside the house last week. Investigations into the death had been launched and a post-mortem examination was conducted on the body of the victim. The post-mortem examination found that the teen had been sexually abused and murdered. The police have launched investigations to identify the culprits. (Colombo Gazette) read more

A man has been arrested for the armed robbery of a Hamilton pharmacy.According to police, a man armed with a knife stole narcotics from the Shoppers Drug Mart at 753 Main St. E on Jan. 18.Police released surveillance photos of the suspect a few days later.38-year-old Joseph Michaud, of Hamilton, has been charged with Robbery and Fail to Comply with Probation.

first_imgNew software that enables an optimal, streamlined approach to mine plant shutdown scheduling to fast track maintenance was the overall winner at the recent Curtin Commercial Innovation Awards, resulting in A$15,000 for its inventors.Shutdown maintenance optimisation was a research project involving Curtin researchers Associate Professor Ryan Loxton, Dr Reza Parand, Dr Yufei Sun, Mr Chongyi Liu and Mr Praveen Jayakumari. The project was initiated and funded by Linkforce Engineering, one of the largest engineering services companies in Western Australia.Associate Professor Loxton explained the project team developed unique mathematical algorithms for scheduling maintenance activities in mine plant shutdowns.“Scheduling shutdowns is currently a time-consuming manual process. These algorithms take just seconds to run and consider a range of factors such as activity workflow, plant access restrictions, safety regulations, and personnel and equipment availability with the aim of creating an optimal schedule that minimises maintenance downtime,” Loxton said.Linkforce Engineering is currently developing a professional shutdown planning system based on the Curtin team’s algorithms, and is exploring commercialisation opportunities across the mining and resource sectors.last_img read more

first_imgA WOMAN IS due to appear at Navan District Court this morning in connection with a €150,000 drugs seizure.The 32-year-old woman and two men, aged 59 and 34, were arrested during the search of the house in Wilkinstown yesterday.Cannabis plants with a street value of €150,000, along with equipment used for the cultivation of cannabis, were seized.The men were released yesterday afternoon and a file is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.Gardaí said the search yesterday was part of an ongoing investigation into drug dealing in the area.Related: Three arrested after gardaí seized drugs from Meath house>last_img read more

first_imgThose of you worried about the slow and steady decline of the English language, feel free to weep silently: Internet acronyms LOL (Laugh Out Loud,) OMG (Oh My God,) and FYI (For Your Information) have all been added to the online version of the Oxford English Dictionary. The Oxford English Dictionary is well known for being quick to incorporate popular language from the Internet into its official lexicon: in previous years the dictionary has added acronyms like BFFs (Best Friends Forever,) IMHO (In My Humble Opinion,) and TMI (Too Much Information) to the official list. The OED gave the acronyms a nod because of how quick they are to type and communicate and the frequency they’re used on sites and in situations where characters count, like SMS messages and on Twitter. They also note that while people tend to think of OMG and LOL as phrases from the past 10 years, OMG dates back to 1917, LOL dates back to the 1960s, and FYI got its start in official memoranda back in 1941.last_img read more

first_img <> Sonic the Hedgehog fans have been asking for the franchise to return to its 2D roots for years thanks to the slew of horrendous 3D titles. After all this time Sega is finally going to give the Sonic faithful what they want with Sonic Mania. This title is a pure throwback to the days when the Sonic the Hedgehog series was actually good. It appears that Sega knows it has something special on its hands, so it will be giving the game the treatment it deserves with one retro-tastic collector’s edition.The Sonic Mania Collector’s Edition is now available to pre-order from Amazon for the PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. It comes with a 12-inch Sonic the Hedgehog figurine that is standing on top of a Sega Genesis. You’ll hear the infamous “SEEEGA” chime when you flip the power switch on the miniature console. There is also a small Sonic Mania cartridge with a golden ring on it. The game itself is digital, and a code for it can be found on a metallic collector’s card. All of this comes inside of a deluxe collector’s box.Sonic Mania is being developed by a group of former fans who came to the attention of Sega after they released their own Sonic games. This group includes Christian Whitehead, Headcannon, and PagodaWest Games. The game will have new zones and remixed versions of classic levels. Like the old Sonic games, each stage will have a myriad of surprises and secrets for diligent gamers to discover. Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles control exactly the way you remember, but an all-new drop dash, which helps maintain momentum when landing on the ground, will make traversal much more fun. The game will run at 60 fps, providing some of the best animations the series has ever seen.Expect Sonic Mania to be released sometime in Spring of 2017.last_img read more

first_imgPeter S. Christiansen published today a statement where he says his client is innocent of all charges and the sexual relations between Ronaldo and Kathryn Mayorga were consensualThe scandal involving Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo and former American model Kathryn Mayorga continues, with the Juventus footballer lawyer releasing a statement today.“The sexual relations between Ronaldo and Mayorga were absolutely consensual and the confidentiality agreement that followed does not in any way imply an admission of guilt by Ronaldo,” the statement was published on Gestifute.“Cristiano deny all the allegations, documents used by media are made up. In 2015 dozens of entities [including law firms] in different parts of Europe were attacked and saw a lot of information on their electronic equipment being stolen by a hacker.”“This hacker then tried to sell such information, having now a media outlet, irresponsibly publishing some of the stolen documents, significant parts of which were altered and/or completely forged,” the statement added.Romelu Lukaku, Inter MilanLukaku backed to beat Ronaldo in Serie A scoring charts Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Former Inter Milan star Andy van der Meyde is confident Romelu Lukaku will outscore Cristiano Ronaldo in this season’s Serie A.“Cristiano Ronaldo does not deny that he agreed to conclude an agreement, but the reasons that led him to do so are at least to be misrepresented. This agreement is by no means a confession of guilt.”“What happened was simply that Cristiano Ronaldo merely followed the advice of his advisers in order to put an end to the insulting accusations made against him in order to avoid attempts, such as those now witnessed, to destroy a reputation built thanks to intense work, great athleticism and ethically impeccable behavior,” the press release said.“Unfortunately, it is now involved in a type of litigation that is very common in the United States of America.”“Although Cristiano Ronaldo is accustomed to the constant attention of the media, inherent in the fact that he is a well-known person, it is absolutely deplorable that certain media continue to propagate and stimulate a deliberate campaign of defamation based on stolen and easily digital manipulating documents,” Christiansen concluded.last_img read more

first_imgThe American Soybean Association (ASA) is welcoming the Obama Administration’s commitment to remove remaining obstacles and secure Congressional approval of the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) that was signed on June 30, 2007. At the G-20 summit in Toronto this past weekend, President Barack Obama signaled his intention to set a deadline for removing outstanding obstacles to the implementation of the agreement and gain Congressional approval of the deal in 2011. U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk will be tasked with negotiating with his Korean counterpart to work out the details by the next G-20 meeting, which will be held in Seoul, South Korea, in November.”The free trade agreement with South Korea would provide landmark opportunities for U.S. soy, meat, and poultry exports,” said ASA President Rob Joslin, a soybean producer from Sidney, Ohio. “The agreement is very positive because it will further open South Korea’s market to U.S. exports of soybeans and soy products.”The agreement offers immediate duty-free access to U.S. soybeans for crushing and to U.S. soybean meal. And for the first time, producers of U.S. food-grade soybeans would have access to the South Korean market outside of the import monopoly created by the Korean State Trading Enterprise. Tariffs on refined soybean oil would be eliminated over 5 years, and tariffs on crude soybean oil would be eliminated over 10 years.”U.S. soybean growers will also benefit because this agreement is expected to generate millions of dollars in additional exports of meat and poultry,” Joslin said. “Domestic livestock consumed more than 24 million metric tons of soybean meal in 2009, which was 70 percent of all the soybean meal processed in this country.”The agreement has been awaiting action by Congress on the necessary implementing legislation. That legislation has been held up by demands from some lawmakers that improvements be made to the agreement in certain sectors, including automobiles.”ASA is encouraged that the President’s deadline will motivate negotiators to resolve any outstanding issues,” Joslin said. “Ratification of this trade agreement is long overdue.”In 2009, South Korea imported $449 million worth of soybeans, soybean meal and soybean oil from the United States. The South Korean market is now the fifth largest for U.S. agricultural exports, valued at $3.9 billion in 2009. According to economic analysis by the American Farm Bureau Federation, the Korea FTA would expand those exports in a wide range of commodities and result in $1.8 billion in additional sales – a 46 percent increase.”ASA supports negotiation of trade agreements that significantly improve access to foreign markets for U.S. soy and livestock products,” Joslin added. “U.S. soybean farmers benefit from free trade because more than half the value of the U.S. soybean crop is exported annually.”The KORUS FTA is one of three that are pending approval by Congress. Agreements with Colombia and Panama also have been awaiting action for more than three years. ASA is calling for action on all three FTAs, pointing out the enormous risk of letting other countries move forward first.last_img read more

first_imgThe Ridgefield school board voted Friday morning to hire Nathan McCann, who oversees a small Arizona school district, to be the new superintendent of Ridgefield schools.McCann, the current superintendent of Altar Valley Schools in Tucson, will start on July 1. The school board is still negotiating his contract, but it could be finalized by Tuesday, board member Joe Vance said.After a series of interviews with finalists, the board members thought McCann came across as the best fit for the job, showing a passion for education and commitment to improvement, Vance said.“He stated in one of our community forums that he thinks our district can be the best in the state,” Vance said.In his new job, McCann will move to a district about three times larger than Altar Valley, which has about 750 students. In a recent letter to parents, McCann described the challenges of dealing with a $443,000 cut to the district’s budget, explaining that some important programs would have to take a hit.Before taking his current position, he worked as a principal and at the high school and junior high levels in Arizona’s Flowing Wells School District.last_img read more

first_imgSaturday — 40,367 adult fall chinook salmon, 2,902 jack chinook, 4,965 adult coho, 281 jack coho, 2,200 steelhead, 1 sockeye. Water temperature was 69.1 degrees. Streamflow was 102,400 cubic feet per second.last_img

first_imgKarimnagar: As part of the innovative Back-to-School Bucket Challenge initiated by Shri Seva Marg voluntary organisation, its president Mupalli Phanita distributed lunch plates worth Rs 8,000 to the students of a government school in Srinagar Colony in Karimnagar.M Phanita said that the school principal requested to donate plates for the students to have mid-day meals when they were distributing notebooks to poor and orphan students in the same government school as part of Back-to-School Bucket Challenge last week. Also Read – Police permission must to erect Ganesh pandals in Nizamabad Advertise With Us When the issue was posted on Facebook, one Mr Santosh Reddy quickly responded and donated plates worth Rs 8,000 to the children. MEO Bhadraiah expressed happy and thanked the organisation for their service to the children and blessed them to continue their service in future also. Ward member Buchi Reddy, school headmaster Narahari Satyanarayana Reddy, teachers and others were present.last_img read more

first_imgRajamahendravaram: The continuous drizzling from the morning in the city disturbed the movement of people and business sector, though there is no downpour. Because of this, many petty vendors closed their business and rain water is flowing on the roads in some low-lying areas. Students faced problem to go to schools and some school managements cancelled the classes. There is no rush at juice shops and mirchi bandis are doing good business. Because of the drizzling, the prices of flowers at Jampeta flower market skyrocketing.last_img read more

first_img Hedge funds are the very select end of the fund management industry, catering principally to very rich individuals and offering a wide range of often highly specialised investment strategies. Many of the worlds billionaires made their money as hedge fund managers: George Soros is probably the most famous of these, making his fortune running his Quantum Fund from 1973.Soros is most famous for breaking the Bank of England in 1992 by betting heavily against sterling with the Quantum Fund and eventually forcing a huge devaluation of the pound as it was forced out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism. This one bet reputedly made the fund $1bn in profits.Of course, investing in these highly specialised funds run by extremely talented individuals comes at a price: often as high as a 2% annual management fee and 20% of all annual performance above a certain threshold. But a question that should always be asked, as with any highly priced service or product, is: Are they really worth it?On the evidence of this years performance, the answer would have to be no. Since 1 January, hedge funds have actually lost over 2%, while an investment in either UK shares or in UK bonds would have made money (Chart 1).Recent history may not be kind to hedge funds but surely these super-smart guys have made money for their investors in the long run? Well, actually no. It turns out that even in the long run, hedge fund investors in aggregate have not done well.According to HFR hedge fund research, after fees the average hedge fund investor has seen a small loss from 2011 to today (Chart 2).But while £100 invested in hedge funds back in 2011 would only be worth £99 today, that same £100 invested instead in UK shares or in UK government bonds would be worth £133.So what is the moral of this investment story? That for the vast majority of investors, putting money into funds with high fees is a bad idea. In hedge funds as an example, it would seem the only people really making money are the hedge fund managers.The most important variable in choosing an investment fund: The costLots of research has shown it is very difficult to predict which investment funds are going to do well. Even if a particular unit trust has performed well in the past, that is certainly no guarantee of strong performance in the future.The one element that is certain when investing in a given fund is its cost: how much you are going to pay in annual charges for your money to be managed. Clearly for you the investor, the lower the cost, the better.Which is why in general, I advise people to buy low-cost index-tracking exchange-traded funds (ETFs), because they allow you to put your money to work in a diversified fund while paying very low charges, generating investment performance for you rather than making lots of money for the fund manager.Better usually to invest in fund managers than their in fundsWhile I am not a fan of expensive investment funds, I am a fan of fund management company shares. These companies make a lot of money and pay generous dividends to shareholders, making them an attractive investment. They also see growth when stock markets rise; as their sales rise and investors then put more money into their funds, they then generate higher fee income.Man Group (UK code: EMG) is a UK-listed hedge fund manager that manages $79bn in investments across a range of different hedge fund strategies. Profit performance has been strong of late thanks to strong performance at its largest fund, AHL, which has resulted in performance fees boosting overall profits. It remains a relatively cheap share, cheaper on P/E ratio than the UK stock market average, and also a good income payer with a solid 4.2% dividend yield.Moving away from the hedge fund towards more traditional asset management companies, Aberdeen Asset Management (UK code: ADN) is also interesting. It manages £307bn of assets through a number of brands, such as Scottish Widows, but has suffered in recent years as a number of its funds have not performed well.Now there could be a big strategic shift within the company, with the chief executive reportedly trying to sell the company to a larger rival. This could lead to a substantial rise in share price should a takeover materialise. In the meantime, Aberdeen is also a generous income payer, with a near-6% dividend yield.So invest in asset managers such as Man and Aberdeen rather than in their funds. Closelast_img read more

first_imgFisheries and livestock minister Narayon Chandra Chanda addresses a press conference at his ministry in the city on Wednesday. Photo: PIDThe government has imposed a 22-day ban on catching, selling, transportation and hoarding of hilsa during 7-28 October.“We have imposed a 22-day ban, starting from 7 October on catching, selling and transporting hilsa fish in a 7,000-km breeding ground to ensure the safe spawning of this fish during its peak breeding period,” fisheries and livestock minister Narayon Chandra Chanda told a press conference at his ministry in the city on Wednesday.The decision was taken as part of “Hilsa Protection Campaign-2018” as the objective of the restriction is to save mother hilsa which lays eggs during the period.Chanda said the authorities have announced six sanctuaries for hilsa fishes for jatka conservation to increase fish production in the country.“One to two years jail or Tk 5,000 fine will be awarded, if anyone violates the ban,” he added.The minister said the government has implemented various coordinated programmes for increasing hilsa fish production.last_img read more

first_imgProthom Alo illustrationA Juba League leader and a Jatiya Party activist were killed in polls violence in Rangamati and Chattogram respectively on Sunday, reports UNB.The deceased was Bashir Uddin, general secretary of Kashkhali union Juba League unit.An altercation took place between some supporters of BNP and Awami League on Saturday night, Smrity Bikash Tripura, Rangamati Zila Parishad member.As a sequel to the altercation, BNP men attacked Bashir and one of his followers while they were going to polling station in the morning, leaving them critically injured.Among the injured, Bashir died on the way to Chattogram Medical College and Hospital.In Chattogram, a Jatiya Party activist was killed in a clash with Awami League men at Katharia in Banshkhali upazila on Sunday morning.The deceased was Kabir Ahmed, 45,Jatiya Party aspirant for Chattogram- 16 constituency Mahmudul Chowdhury alleged that a number of leaders and activists of ruling Awami League and Juba League tried to stamp seal on boat symbol after occupying Baraitali Government Primary School polling centre on Saturday night.As the JP activists tried to resist them they opened fire on them, triggering a clash that left Kabir dead and several injured.Ballot boxes were stuffed in 20 polling centres in the constituency overnight, he claimed.On information, police rushed in, brought the situation under control and recovered the body from the spot, said Kamal Hasan, officer-in-charge of Banshkhali police station.last_img read more

first_imgHow US forces found toppled Iraqi president Saddam Hussein in 2003. AFPOn 9 April 2003, the US-led coalition overthrew Saddam Hussein. Fifteen years after the invasion, life in Iraq has been transformed.Here is an overview of what has changed in Iraq’s economy, politics, diplomacy, demographics and the Kurdish question.Embargo overThe fall of Saddam’s regime effectively ended a 12-year embargo imposed by the United Nations on Iraq after its invasion of Kuwait in 1990.Iraq’s 34 million people are back in the international trade arena, although nearly eight million residents still live on less than $2.2 (1.8 euro) a day, according to the UN.With 153 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, Iraq is the second largest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.And with a barrel of oil now valued at triple its price in 2003, Iraq’s GDP has increased from $29 billion in 2001 to $171 billion in 2016.But the country has failed to diversify its economy, and the government still draws 99 per cent of its revenue from the oil sector.Since 2003, the oil sector has generated more than $800 billion in revenue, but corruption has cost the country $312 billion, according to the Injah Centre for Economic Development.Baath Party goneThe Baath Party-single, omnipresent and all-powerful-has disappeared.In elections over the past 15 years, Saddam’s secular party has given way to a myriad of political forces, many dominated by religious or tribal leaders.A tacit system of proportional representation reserves top government posts for Iraq’s different communities, with Shiites-two thirds of the population-previously overshadowed by Saddam’s Sunni minority, now dominating political and military institutions.Between Saudi and IranSaddam fought Iran for eight years. But today, Iraq’s powerful neighbour to the east is allied with many of Iraq’s political parties and supports a host of armed factions.Saudi Arabia, a majority Sunni country and Iran’s biggest rival, is attempting to return to Iraq after a decades-old quarrel that began with Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait.Relations between Baghdad and Riyadh have warmed recently with several official visits.Caught between Saudi and Iran, and neighbours with Turkey and war-torn Syria, Iraq has regularly pleaded not to be used as a battleground in any proxy war.Relations with the United States have also evolved over the past 15 years. The Americans have alternately been seen as liberators, occupiers, enemies or allies.Anti-jihadist coalition troops led by the US have worked in cooperation with Iraqi forces against the Islamic State (IS) group since 2014.Rise of ShiitesOnce estimated at one million people, including 600,000 in Baghdad, Iraq’s Christian community-which includes Chaldeans, Assyrians, Armenians and Syriacs (Catholics and Orthodox) — now has only 350,000 members.Long denied freedom of movement at their holy sites, Shiites-from Iraq and around the world-now converge every year for massive holiday gatherings at shrines in Karbala, Najaf, Samarra and Baghdad.The opinions of the country’s highest Shiite authority, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, carry great weight.It was Sistani who mobilised tens of thousands of men to join paramilitary units of the Hashed al-Shaabi, which played a crucial role in defeating IS.The Kurdish questionHeavily repressed during Saddam’s rule, the Kurds ensured that the constitution drafted in the wake of the US invasion expanded their autonomy in the country’s north.They have since gained territory and prerogatives.But the 2005 constitution left many questions unanswered and negotiations that followed never came to fruition.In September 2017, Arbil, the autonomous region’s capital, held an independence referendum, despite strong objections from the central government.The “yes” vote overwhelmingly won, but the fallout split the Kurdish camp and triggered a stern response from Baghdad, which deployed troops and retook disputed areas.Baghdad nipped the autonomous region’s project of a viable economic state in the bud, retaking oil fields that had been seized by Kurdish fighters in battles against IS.last_img read more