10 months agoChelsea boss Sarri to go back to Empoli for Hamed Junior Traore

first_imgChelsea boss Sarri to go back to Empoli for Hamed Junior Traoreby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea boss Maurizio Sarri is ready to go back to Empoli for a new signing.Local media sources say Empoli youngster Hamed Junior Traore is interesting Sarri, who is tapping his old network for information on the midfielder.The 18 year-old is shining for Empoli coach Beppe Iachini and come to the attention of Sarri.The former Empoli coach is set to call president Fabrizio Corsi about a price for Traore.The Ivorian was outstanding for Empoli in defeat to Sampdoria last weekend. TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Man dies after falling from truck taking part BC Canada Day parade

first_imgABBOTSFORD, B.C. – A man is dead after falling from the back of a pickup truck that had driven in a Canada Day parade in Abbotsford, B.C.Police say the man had been riding in the back of a Dodge Ram pickup truck, which had recently left the Canada Day parade procession on Sunday afternoon.They say he fell from the truck and was struck by the trailer it was pulling, sustaining serious injuries.Police did not give the man’s age or say where he was from, but said he was taken to hospital and did not recover.The driver of the pickup truck remained on scene and is co-operating with police, who are conducting an investigation.Abbotsford police offered their condolences to the family and friends of the man who was killed.last_img read more

Federal court gives huge victory to Metis and nonstatus Indians

first_imgAPTN National NewsMetis and non-status Indians won a “huge” victory Tuesday when the Federal Court of Canada ruled they fall under the federal government’s responsibility.It took years to get to this point, but the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples called the ruling a victory that was worth the wait.“We’re pleased. It’s a start. It’s a huge decision. It really has brought forward that Metis and non-status Indians are now recognized,” said a spokesperson for CAP who added more information will be available at a news conference Tuesday afternoon in Ottawa. “We will be responding in-depth once our legal has given more in-depth view of the potential impacts.”The ruling means Metis peoples are the responsibility of the federal government and can negotiate treaties and issues such as education, health and tax exemptions.However, the court didn’t order the government to begin negotiations. So when, and if, that happens remains in question.“The evidence concerning non-status Indians establishes that such persons were considered within the broad class of ‘Indians,’” said Justice Michael Phelan “The situation regarding Metis was more complex.”Phelan said nevertheless, Metis generally are often treated as Indians and have similar limitations, as well as suffer the same burdens and discrimination.More to come …last_img read more

Aecon Group receives approval to rejoin Gordie Howe bridge consortium

first_imgTORONTO – Aecon Group Inc. says it has received approval to rejoin the group selected as the preferred proponent to build and operate the Gordie Howe International Bridge.Aecon’s request to rejoin its partners as part of the Bridging North America team was approved following a review by the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority, the Crown corporation responsible for the project.The consortium, which also includes ACS Infrastructure Canada Inc., Dragados Canada Inc. and Fluor Canada, was selected as the preferred proponent for the project in July.Aecon was initially part of the group but pulled out in May as it was undergoing a federal review about a proposed takeover by a Chinese state-owned company that was ultimately blocked by the Canadian government.Before the takeover by China Communications Construction Company was rejected, the federal government had reportedly decided that Aecon couldn’t work on the bridge for security reasons and opposition from the U.S. administration.The group’s plan for the bridge calls for a six-lane, 2.5-kilometre cable-stayed design. The cost, design details and expected construction schedule are expected to be announced once the contract has been awarded and signed in September.Companies in this story: (TSX:ARE)last_img read more

Man running from Alaska to Florida passing through Fort St John this

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Run Pete Run! A man who has made it his goal to run from Alaska to Florida will be making his way through the Energetic City this Saturday.American born Peter Kostelnick is in the 30th day of his historically long journey. The man is running 65-110 kilometres per day and hopes to reach Key West, Florida by early November.Kostelnick, who was in Pink Mountain this morning, will be one of the first ever to run the entirety of the Alaska Highway. Two years ago Kostelnick broke the world record for running across America in just 42 days, six hours and 30 minutes, beating the previous record by four whole days. He has also won the Badwater 135 twice, a race regarded as the “toughest footrace on the planet.” Kostelnick’s current run is completely self-supported which means he is pushing a stroller with his gear and food. He also enjoys company so residents are encouraged to join his run as he passes through Fort St. John.Residents can track Kostelnick’s location via his Strava on petesfeetaa.com. Anyone interested in learning more on his journey can click here.last_img read more

Premier Horgan says LNG decision could be weeks away

first_imgCBC News is reporting that during a question and answer session with reporters after his speech, Horgan said that the announcement could be occurring in the next couple of weeks.Signs have been pointing towards the LNG Canada making a positive final investment decision for nearly the past year, after Petronas – which scrapped it’s proposed Pacific NorthWest LNG project last July – announced that it was considering a minority stake in the Shell-led joint venture.Kitimat mayor Phil Germuth said in July that he felt that it was incredibly likely that the joint venture partners would pull the trigger on building the $40 billion project, while in May, LNG Canada CEO Andy Calitz said than a final investment decision would occur in 2018, with construction also due to start before the end of the year.With files from CBC News: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/premier-john-horgan-final-address-2018-ubcm-1.4823972 WHISTLER, B.C. – Speaking at his closing keynote address of the Union of B.C. Municipalities Convention in Whistler today, B.C. Premier John Horgan said that an LNG final investment decision could be made in the next several weeks.Horgan said during his nearly 40-minute presentation that the government was  “very, very close to having a final investment decision from an LNG company,” though he didn’t say which.last_img read more

MP Bob Zimmer to hold second Caribou Closures Town Hall

first_imgThe purpose of the meeting was for residents to hear details regarding the potential Caribou Closures and for residents to have their say during a Question and Answer session.This upcoming meeting will look at the same issues and concerns residents have with the Caribou Recovery Process.The next Northern B.C. Caribou Closures Town Hall is taking place Saturday, February 23, in Prince George at the Marriott Hotel.The meeting will be in the Spruce Room and will run from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.For more information, you can call Anita Bergstrom at 250-561-7982. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Local M.P. Bob Zimmer will be hosting a second Public Northern B.C. Caribou Closures Town Hall.The Town Halls are being hosted by Zimmer in response to the lack of public consultation from the Provincial Government on the Caribou Recovery Process.The first meeting was held in Fort St. John on February 2, 2019.last_img read more

Ohio State football finalizes 2013 schedule

The path to what some fans hope will be a national championship season is now set in stone as Ohio State football finalized its 2013 schedule Friday. Fifteen days after Vanderbilt canceled its trip to Columbus for next year, the Buckeyes added San Diego State for a Sept. 7 contest against the Aztecs in Ohio Stadium. “San Diego State has a fine football program and we are happy to be able to add them to our schedule,” OSU athletic director Gene Smith said in a released statement. “We have had an excellent relationship with SDSU over the years with three exciting, competitive games since 2001.” The 2013 game will be the fourth time the two teams have met since 2001. The Buckeyes, which hold a 3-0 advantage in the series, have outscored the Aztecs, 70-31 over the course of contests in 2001, 2003 and 2005. SDSU, which finds itself currently a member of the Mountain West Conference, will move to the Big East next season a long with fellow MWC member, Boise State. Other non-conference opponents for the 2012 season include Buffalo, Florida A&M and California. OSU continues its 2012 campaign against Illinois Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at Ohio Stadium. read more

Opinion LeBron James Aaron Craft headline intriguing NBA Draft offseason for Ohio

Then-senior guard Aaron Craft attempts a layup during a game against Nebraska March 14 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. OSU won, 71-67. Lantern file photoAs the dust from the NBA Finals has settled, basketball fans have turned their attention to the much anticipated 2014 NBA Draft, and even more so, free agency.For basketball fans in the state of Ohio, two names will be watched closely: LeBron James and, for those in Columbus, Aaron Craft.James, who according to multiple reports will exercise his early termination clause with the Miami Heat, has Cleveland fans buzzing about the thought of seeing “the King” return to his home state and to the team that drafted him in 2003.The Cavaliers have been building, and tearing down at times, their team since James took his talents to South Beach, but with key pieces in place such as Kyrie Irving and Anthony Bennett (just kidding) along with the No. 1 overall pick in Thursday’s draft, Cavs fans can only dream for now.If James was to return to Cleveland, it would be the best move he will have ever made in his career.During his four seasons in Miami, James has been largely the victim of ridicule for how he left the Cavs in the summer of 2010, and rightfully so. As a Cleveland fan on vacation in Florida at the time of “The Decision,” I sat and watched Florida basketball fans celebrate in the lobby of my hotel. I sunk in my chair as all hope of bringing a championship to Cleveland was washed away in the Florida sun.Now, James can fix the broken bridges between he and Cavs fans if he makes his triumphant return home to a city which has not won a major championship since 1964. If in fact he does return, it will be to a better roster than the one he left back in 2010.Which brings me to Aaron Craft. How you may ask? Simple.While discussing sports at a summer job, a co-worker of mine and a fellow Ohio State student brought the following comparison to my attention.Remember James’ old teammate on the 2007 Cavs Finals team, Eric Snow? If you look closely at the similarities between Snow and Craft, you will see where I am going.Snow, a Michigan State grad out of Canton McKinley high school in Canton, Ohio, played four seasons in college, just as Craft did. Both Craft and Snow also put up comparable numbers in their college careers.Craft, who averaged 32.6 minutes per game in his college career also averaged just 8.9 points per game. How does that stack up to Snow? Snow played in just 25.2 minutes per game and averaged 5.9 points per game as a Spartan.While neither Craft nor Snow was a particularly good outside shooter, each shot around 50 percent in their careers. Craft finishing his career with a 45.9 percent career field goal percentage while Snow shot 52.1 percent.However, with every pro there is a con and with every similarity, there is a difference.Craft was clearly the better defender of the two, as he averaged 2.45 steals per game during his time at OSU, while Snow averaged just 1.3 in his time as a Spartan.In terms of passing, Snow was clearly better, however, as he averaged 5.3 assists per game including 7.8 his senior season. Craft never averaged more than five assists per game in a season.So what am I trying to say? Someone needs to take a chance on Craft.If Snow can get drafted (43rd overall) and have a 13-year playing career with three teams – the Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers and the Cavaliers – Craft can as well. The former Buckeye may not be the fastest, strongest or most athletic guy on the floor, but there is no one in this upcoming draft who will give you more effort than Aaron Craft.Enjoy Thursday’s draft and free agency season Ohio basketball fans, it could very well be a memorable one. read more

Wenger My heart beat much quicker than I expected

first_imgArsene Wenger admitted that Arsenal’s second leg against CSKA Moscow in their Europa League clash proved to be a very nervy encounter with two late goals saving them from a tricky endThe Gunners arrived for their second leg of the quarter-finals against CSKA with a comfortable 4-1 lead from the first leg last week. But after a sloppy start in Moscow, the hosts were deservedly in the lead with both Fedor Chalov and Kirill Nababkin taking advantage of Petr Cech’s mistakes to spark fears of a possible comeback.However it was not to be with Danny Welbeck giving Arsenal a crucial away goal in the 75th minute, in what was their first shot on target. Aaron Ramsey then added a second to seal a 2-2 draw and, critically, a 6-3 aggregate win for Wenger’s side.After the match, Wenger conceded that it proved to be a rather nervous experience for him with the Frenchman crediting the first leg result for the victory.Jadon SanchoMerson believes Arsenal should sign Sancho Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho might be the perfect player to play for the Gunners, according to former England international Paul Merson.“You could see when you have a big difference after the first game it is difficult to turn up with the same urgency than if the difference is very small and that played a part in the first half,” said the Frenchman, according to Sky Sports.“I felt in the two games they played well, especially tonight they made my heart beat much quicker than I expected it to be.“We played against a good team. I knew that after the first game and they showed that again tonight, they gave us many problems.”Joining Arsenal are Atletico Madrid, RB Salzburg and Marseille, for Friday’s draw for the semi-finals of the Europa League.last_img read more

Henry wants Grimandi to join him at Bordeaux

first_imgThierry Henry wants Gilles Grimandi to join him at Bordeaux should he get the manager’s job there, according to Metro.Reports in France suggest Thierry Henry has agreed a deal that would see him become the new manager of Bordeaux and he wants former Arsenal teammate Grimandi to become his no. 2.The French club are in search of a new manager after they sacked Gus Poyet, who subsequently branded the club’s board a disgrace.Henry who has been assistant to Belgium head coach Roberto Martinez over the last two years, also spent time learning the ropes as the coach of the Arsenal academy. Following his success in Russia, Henry confirmed he would step down from his role as an analyst with Sky Sports to focus solely on his managerial career.The Arsenal legend would be walking into a club in disarray should he take the Bordeaux job after the club got rid of Poyet. The former Sunderland manager was furious at the club’s board for selling Gaetan Laborde without his knowledge prompting a training boycott from the club’s first team players.Transfer: Elneny leaving Arsenal for Besiktas George Patchias – August 29, 2019 Mohamed Elneny is about to complete a loan move from Arsenal to Besiktas.According to the Daily Mail, Mohamed Elneny is about to complete a…Henry will be hoping to make sure his experience as a footballer and a coach helps him become a good manager as he starts a new chapter of his football career.last_img read more

Benitez has no choice but to play defensively

first_imgThe Newcastle United boss surprised everybody with his tactics against Chelsea, but he admits he wishes he could be attacking all the timeRafa Benitez is known in the world of football as a coach who loves attacking tactics.All his teams have been built over the idea that the sport is better when the club is attacking.But since he doesn’t feel he has the footballers he wants on Newcastle United, he has no choice but to play defensively.“I like to play with five strikers if I can,” he said as quoted by The Chronicle Live.“Again I will say, in all my life, we have had teams organized playing attacking football because attacking football means scoring more goals than the others and we used to score a lot of goals.”Tammy Abraham, ChelseaChelsea hat-trick hero Tammy Abraham hopes for more Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Tammy Abraham hopes this season will be his big breakthrough at Chelsea after firing his first hat-trick for the club in Saturday’s 5-2 win at Wolves.“When a team is organized, it seems that it is defensive,” he added.“I like to be organized because we are strong and in the big picture, we are better.”“Now again I will say, I was watching yesterday teams playing 5-4-1, 4-5-1 and it seems that they are great tacticians and they are fantastic because someone on the TV has an opinion, he explained.“But I was watching the game analyzing the stats and I don’t agree with some of these comments.“As a manager, you have to make decisions; as a pundit, you have to give opinions,” he said.“That’s it.”last_img read more

Howe vows to work on defensive lapses

first_imgBournemouth boss Eddie Howe has vowed to fix the defensive problems in his team after their 3-1 home defeat to Brighton in the third round of the FA Cup on Saturday.The Cherries have now conceded 15 goals in four games including the latest against the Seagulls from Anthony Knockaert, Yves Bissoume and Florin Andone who all found the net.Marc Pugh grabbed the hosts solitary strike in the tie which only proved scant consolation as the Cherries slumped out of this year’s cup.“These games always swing on small moments, and the chance that came our way that we missed just before the goal was key,” Howe disclosed to Sky Sports.Eddie Howe pleased with attacking poise, but feels Wilson was too honest Stuart Heath – August 25, 2019 A.F.C Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe felt as though his striker Callum Wilson was too honest against Manchester City and may have won a penalty,…“We haven’t maximised our chances, and we’ve been easy to score against recently, and that must change.“We’ll go away on the training ground and try to put that right now.”Up next for Howe’s men is a trip to Merseyside to face Everton.last_img read more

Premier Tourism Road Show with more cities more partners

first_img Road Show delegation starts in the Western USA Baha Mar deal should not be secret Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 24 Mar 2015 – New partners, new cities for a bigger impression when the public and private sector team up for a second Road Show and this time the talk will be far more than tourism. Premier Rufus Ewing with the Turks and Caicos Hotel & Tourism Association on Friday made the announcement that now the trip will include the Chamber of Commerce, the Real Estate Association and the Airports Authority. Premier Rufus Ewing: “We will meet with tourism professional as well as Mayors of some cities, Chambers of Commerce of some cities to discuss tourism in Turks and Caicos and to invite those individuals to either invest, visit or do business in the Turks and Caicos islands.”Michel Neutelings, returned recently as president of the TCHTA explained the bigger representation brings a stronger cross section. “We’ll have travel professionals, journalists, and we’ll have business professionals, stakeholders and potential investors and potential real estate buyers and it’s very exciting to be able to promote the Turks and Caicos as a family, as a team.”Nikheel Advani, Vice President of the Association explained how the cities were selected. “We sat down as a team to look at the data with the Tourist Board and the various parties to see where the best business comes out of, where the new flights are coming out of with partnerships. I will speak a little bit about Houston, where the new flight will come from United. The TCIAA together with the Tourist Board, the Hotel Association and the Government worked out to try to get these flights and we support having an increase in flights. We’re doing Houston, Dallas – they are a big market for us – we’ll start in Atlanta, we’re also going back to New York which is our key market as you all know, the North East and the tri-State is definitely very big for us; we will also do Chicago and Boston; Boston is the first time…”New Tourism Minister Hon Porsha Smith called it exciting. It allows us to showcase Turks and Caicos and it also helps us to build upon the expectation of increasing our tourism numbers and tourism arrivals so we are excited to be a part of this.” The Premier’s Tourism Road show will happen May 18-22. Survey shows TCI beaches keep visitors coming Recommended for you Related Items:houston, Portia smith, remier rufus ewing, tourism, tourist board Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApplast_img read more

Esther Valdes Border security threats

first_imgEsther Valdes: Border security threats Posted: February 8, 2019 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI)- Customs and border protection say that year to date, more than 650 apprehensions occurred in this remote and unsecured area in Arizona.Joining KUSI to talk more about border security issues is political analyst Esther Valdes. KUSI Newsroom KUSI Newsroom, February 8, 2019 Categories: Local San Diego News, Politics FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

2014 Magazine Launches Outpacing Last Year in Q1

first_imgMediafinder has released its first quarter report on magazine launches and closures. This year is shaping up better than the previous year, as 45 print magazines launched in 2014 verses 27 in 2013.There is some bad news, however. Closures this year outpaced 2013, with 14 versus 9. Still, that equals a two-year net market gain of 48 new (or revived) titles in Q1.Breaking it down further, 36 of the launches this year are consumer-facing titles and 9 are in the b-to-b space. But all 14 closures this year are consumer titles.In 2009 there was a net market loss of more than 120 titles over the entire year, and things looked bleak. However, the industry is clearly rebounding–with stable net gains since 2010.last_img read more

Pandora Goes Curated With Streaming Playlists OnDemand

first_img Pandora Launches Curated Playlists pandora-goes-curated-streaming-playlists-demand Email Facebook Pandora Goes Curated With Streaming Playlists On-Demand Still backed by the sophisticated Music Genome Project, Pandora adds new dimensions of data with “wickedly expert curators”Philip MerrillGRAMMYs Oct 30, 2017 – 4:17 pm Today’s announcement that Pandora Premium launched 250 curated playlists turned heads, in part because their streaming service developed without listeners being able to request specific tunes the way people can on Spotify. When Apple Music launched in 2015 it placed a big emphasis on its hip human curators while Pandora seemed to have staked out the machine-driven side of music recommendations.Pandora’s algorithmic back end depends on the Music Genome Project — a way to turn one track’s musical properties into a set of several hundred descriptive pieces of data. Based on the analytics of each user’s personal preferences, Pandora generates radio-like streaming stations to fit each individual listener. This is still true and has resulted in modern peculiarities like when one spouse prefers their hip new music from Spotify while the other spouse favors country music from Pandora. Although Pandora has led the way, all the major streaming services now hope their personalization-math will make visitors want to return and encourage subscribers to pay.The copyright-license fees for on-demand selections are higher than for pre-programmed streams, and this is likely why Pandora’s featured playlists are only available on its $9.99-monthly Premium tier. It is also related to Spotify’s challenges with its business model, because these higher costs make it harder to be profitable. Pandora is leveraging the new work put in by its “wickedly expert curators” to add new stations for its Free and $4.99-monthly Plus tiers. In terms of math, this is going to get interesting because Pandora’s personalization analytics will be getting new data from users’ interactions with its human curators’ work.In terms of language, Pandora’s featured playlists really speak Millennial, and that’s fun. So we have new playlists with names like “Heartbreak Reggae,” “The TRL Era,” and “Flexxx.” The wit passes down to free stations with edgy labels like “Keep It Lit,” “Hipster Brunch,” and “Beast Mode.” It can seem fragmented, trying to have something for everybody, but streaming services must grab attention to survive — then learning each individual’s preferences narrows down what gets recommended most prominently. So score one for humans. Even math-master Pandora has come around to giving human curators leading roles in answering today’s epic question, “What should I stream next?”Pandora Challenges College Students For Social ImpactRead more Twitter News last_img read more

India to Cut Stake in Staterun Banks Raise 26 bn

first_imgThe Indian government has approved plans to sell part of its stake in state-run banks and raise about $25.76 billion, according to a statement issued on Wednesday.  State Bank Of India, largest public-sector bank in IndiaReutersThe decision was taken at a meeting of the Union Cabinet. The sale is expected to happen in a phased manner, till 2019.  The 27 state-run banks of Asia’s third-largest economy currently have state ownership ranging from 56 percent to 84 percent. These banks account account for 70 percent of the total outstanding loans of about $1 trillion. The government would continue to hold 52 percent stake in the banks after the stake sale.The banks also need an estimated $60 billion to build a buffer against bad loans in line with new global regulations.Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha had told the parliament in November that a reduction in government stake in the banks would reduce capital injections substantially, as mandated by the new norms.Over the last decade, the government funded these banks by about $13 billion. However the need to lower the budget deficit could limit the options available to the government on continued funding for the banks.Over the next four years, the government would have to pump in ₹788.95 billion ($12.70 billion,) to maintain its 52 percent stake. Dividend outflow for the same period would mop up almost ₹345 billion ($5.56 billion.)While the bigger state-run banks could see positive reaction to its share sales, smaller ones could languish. Most state-run banks are burdened by high levels of bad debt and corporate governance issues.A panel appointed by the RBI had recommended the government to reduce its stake in state lenders to less than 50 percent.last_img read more

Indians make more product searches on Amazon than Flipkart Report

first_imgAmazon boxes are seen stacked for delivery.ReutersFor Amazon and Flipkart, the competition is not just restricted to the e-commerce world.India’s two major online retailers are also vying for customers’ attention to build on their brand-base and user popularity.Billionaire Jeff Bezos-led Amazon made for 46.02 percent of mobile searches in India in the e-commerce category on the mCent browser app during July-December 2017, according to a report by free internet provider Jana.Meanwhile, rival Flipkart was able to gather 20.90 percent of searches in the corresponding period.Other smaller rivals such as eBay accounted for 9.91 percent of the searches, Snapdeal was at 7.87 percent and Shopclues at 6.77 percent.The research analyzed popular search terms across various categories and brands within the mCent browser app.Amazon’s annual subscription service, Prime, was a major reason why users were opting for Amazon over Flipkart over the past year, as the company saw a 1.5-time growth over its closest rival between April and September 2017, a report by Forrester Research said last year.The Seattle-based company witnessed the highest number of Prime subscriptions in India in the first year of launch than in any other country.The current eligible selection for Prime in India stands at over 25 million items, including Prime Video, but the company is planning to increase the items to lure more shoppers.Amazon’s Prime service, where users get free one or two-day shipping on various items, has gained a lot of traction because of a quicker delivery option compared to others. “Our data shows Amazon’s marketplace is the first choice among Indian consumers, where searches outpace nearest competitor Flipkart 2x and best popular sites like eBay and Snapdeal by a healthy margin,” Nathan Eagle, CEO and founder of Jana, said in a release dated February 5.Top shopping categories among Indian shoppers overall included laptops, cameras, tablets and smartphones, the report said.Jana’s report showed that Apple was a dominant brand when it came to search terms. The iPhone 8 led the pack with nearly one in five searches, followed by the iPhone X.last_img read more

Afghans fear end of press freedoms golden age

first_imgIn this photo taken on 4 April 2019 an Afghan presenter takes part in a live broadcast at the Khurshid TV station in Kabul. Photo: AFPBeneath the gaze of the TV cameras a woman begins speaking, at first softly but with growing passion as she faces the “Butcher of Kabul” across a crowded auditorium and asks if he wants to apologise for alleged war crimes.Without missing a beat, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the ruthless former warlord blamed for rocket attacks which reduced much of the Afghan capital to rubble in the 1990s, declined to do so.The dramatic moment during a recent televised news debate highlights how far media freedom has come in Afghanistan, where — for now — traumatised civilians can stand and at least try to hold powerful men to account, live on camera.”Years ago, these kind of questions could get you killed, but now people can challenge the most dangerous people in mainstream and social media,” Mustafa Rahimi, a university student, said after watching the debate.But today, even as hundreds of media outlets proliferate across Afghanistan, consumers and journalists alike worry a potential peace deal between the Taliban and the US could sound the death knell for a golden age of press freedom.”We are concerned about a total or a partial ban on media,” Sediqullah Khaliq, the director of Hewad TV and radio in Kandahar — the birthplace of Taliban — told AFP.”There is fear that we may go back to a media blackout or having a state-controlled press.”While in power, the Taliban raged against traditional forms of mass communication and entertainment, banning television, movies and allowing only Islamist programming or propaganda to be broadcast on the only radio station, Voice of Sharia.Anyone caught watching TV faced punishment and risked having their television set smashed and then displayed from a lamppost.Almost all electronic products were outlawed as un-Islamic. For a while, trees in Kabul fluttered with the magnetic ribbon tape from destroyed cassettes.Photographs of living things were illegal, and ownership of a video player could lead to a public lashing.- A deadly trade -Afghanistan is the world’s deadliest place for journalists, who face many risks covering the conflict and who have sometimes been targeted for doing their job.Nine journalists, including AFP Kabul’s chief photographer Shah Marai, were killed in an Islamic State attack in April 2018.Media watchdog group Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reported that 2018 was the deadliest year on record for journalists in Afghanistan, with at least 15 media workers killed while working.Despite the risks, hundreds of media organisations have blossomed since 2001, and today there are more than 100 television channels, 284 radio stations and just over 400 newspapers and magazines, according to a government report.With one of the world’s lowest literacy rates, television and radio play a huge role in Afghan culture, and Afghans have grown accustomed to outlets holding their politicians to account.Warlords, politicians, Taliban sympathisers and government officials are openly challenged in televised debates, radio programmes and on social media.”We now play live music, women call in and share their problems on the radio. But even if the Taliban allow radios, I don’t think they would like our programmes,” said Mera Hamdam, a presenter at Zama private radio in Kandahar.”There is huge concern that we will lose all our achievements,” he said.Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said if they return to power, the insurgents would follow an Islamic interpretation of freedom of expression.”We won’t allow propaganda, insults and humiliation to people in society and religious values. We will allow those who work for the betterment of the society,” he told AFP.A sixth round of talks between the US and the Taliban wrapped up last week in Doha, with apparently little progress being made on several key issues.The two foes have for months been trying to hammer out a deal that could see foreign forces leave Afghanistan in return for a ceasefire, talks between Kabul and the Taliban, and a guarantee the country will not be used as a safe haven for terror groups.But observers worry that in a rush to quit Afghanistan after nearly 18 gruelling years of war, America might not push for safeguards of protections many Afghans now take for granted, including media freedoms and improved rights for women and other marginalised people.”Freedom of expression as a protective value should be incorporated into any document resulting from peace talks,” NAI, a leading media support agency, said in a statement.Rahimi, the university student, said he worried about Afghanistan going back to “the dark era”.last_img read more