NEW DELHI: A jawan, posted on guard duty outside the Finance Ministry in the North Block in the high-security VIP zone, committed suicide on Tuesday by shooting himself with the service weapon. “Head constable Jai Narain of Rajasthan Armed Constabulary (RAC) was posted at gate number 2 of North Block. He shot himself with his service carbine in the parking lot outside Finance Ministry at around 12:40 pm,” said Madhur Verma, Public Relation Officer, Delhi Police. Also Read – Kejriwal ‘denied political clearance’ to attend climate meet in DenmarkNarain was taking a break when the incident happened. He died on the spot, police said. “Two shots were fired from his service gun. No suicide note was recovered from the body. The police are conducting an investigation under Section 174 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (inquest),” Verma said. According to the preliminary investigation, Narain had just come back from his vacation. He was posted here for over a year. Police are trying to verify if he was depressed over some personal issue and hence the family of the deceased jawan is being asked to clarify if they know something was troubling him.
Kevin Jonas Sr., has been named Honorary Chairman of Convoy of Hope, a humanitarian relief charity.As co-founder and partner of the Jonas Group, Inc., Jonas is a leading pioneer in bringing together the world of entertainment and new digital technology/media.“Our family have been supporters of Convoy of Hope since they responded to the devastating earthquake in Haiti in 2010,” shares Jonas. “My goal is to use my experience to build bridges for Convoy of Hope, raise additional support and increase awareness for the work they do around the world.”“Kevin Jonas and his family have been great friends of Convoy of Hope,” says Hal Donaldson, CEO & Co-Founder of Convoy of Hope. “Our team is excited to work with Kevin to help hurting people and feed hungry children around the world.”In addition to founding the Jonas Group, Jonas manages top artists such as the entertainment phenomenon, the Jonas Brothers (Kevin, Joe, and Nick Jonas), Frankie Jonas, Rosso Sisters, Olivia Somerlyn, Anna Maria Perez de Tagle, Unlocking the Truth, Mike Tompkins, Daniella Mason, and many others.Jonas’ background in entertainment began at the age of eight as a singer, and he went on to become a world traveling performer and multiplatinum songwriter. He was also a consultant to several record companies before founding his current management company. Jonas lives in Dallas, TX with his wife Denise and family.Convoy of Hope, a faith based organization founded in 1994, has a driving passion to feed the world. With a long history as an early responder in times of natural disasters, Convoy of Hope has been a Four Star Charity as recognized by Charity Navigator for 11 consecutive years. In the last 20 years, Convoy of Hope has served more than 65 million people. For more information, click here.
PARIS – Rose scents mingled with celebrities such as Marion Cotillard, Sofia Coppola and Rita Ora at Chanel on Tuesday as showman Karl Lagerfeld recreated a verdant garden to showcase his bucolic couture designs. Elsewhere in Paris, Givenchy’s new designer unveiled her highly anticipated couture debut.Some highlights from Tuesday’s spring-summer 2018 shows:___GIVENCHY DESIGNER’S COUTURE DEBUTA spooky, floodlit chateau in Paris’ historic Marais area was the venue Clare Waight Keller chose to stage her first couture show since being appointed creative director at Givenchy last year.Guests were led up a dimly lit stairway as discordant music played to a mysterious hall with shimmering crystal chandeliers. The edgy music and venue represented the future and the past.The sublime couture creations harked back to the designs of house founder Count Hubert de Givenchy — but Waight Keller infused them with a fashion-forward touch.The house’s signature sharp shoulder — here, often on shoulder-draped coats — was a running style in the diverse looks that mixed hard and soft. In the more architectural moments, Waight Keller evoked the spirit of Givenchy’s mentor, Cristobal Balenciaga.Lines — rigid bodices, cinched waists and a hard V-shaped decollete — fused with delicate materials. Feathers flashed vermillion peeking from the inside of a coat and a softly tiered full skirt bled from purple to electric orange and cobalt blue.It made for some sublime looks that remained highly feminine at all times.Dark romance was at the heart of this accomplished display, which was possibly the best seen all season.___CHANEL’S GARDEN COUTUREChanel’s fragrant garden featured architectural wooden arbors, white roses and a babbling water fountain.Inspired by the geometric curves in the furniture, Lagerfeld went back to nature — and to Chanel’s couture roots — for a display of pure drama constructed with geometric detail.The stone-colored clothes teamed with soft floral embroideries and frothy details. Models including Cindy Crawford’s daughter Kaia Gerber wore sweet pink, white and purple posies in black tulle hair-pieces.The devil’s in the detail and this season, Chanel was all about the sleeve.A raglan style — one that extends in one piece fully to the collar — seemed to inspire the beautiful and surreal arm shapes that descended stiffly like a tapered tube. Shoulders were wide and dramatically curved.Full skirts flared out like giant bells in a crisp line shared this surreal quality.Lagerfeld is an ambitious man, and elsewhere his 69 designs also channeled the tiered fashions of the swinging 1920s.___DIANE KRUGER ON HER GRITTY FILM ROLEThough she was overlooked for an Oscar nomination, “Inglourious Basterds” star Diane Kruger is still buzzing from the critical acclaim surrounding her challenging role in the movie “In The Fade.”Kruger plays a steely woman whose life falls apart after her husband and son are killed in a bomb attack.The German-born actress, who attended the Armani Prive couture show in a black tuxedo and sequined gown, said that this film “definitely” comes at a good time for feisty female roles in cinema.“It’s a very strong female role,” she said.“The protagonist was originally written for a man so it was changed for a woman, which is always great,” she added.___DIOR’S MASKED BALLMasked revelers danced into the early hours of Tuesday at the soiree event of couture week: Christian Dior’s surrealism-themed masked ball at the Rodin Museum.Actress Monica Bellucci stepped onto the checkered chess board set in a vivid red lace Dior gown, while model Bella Hadid stunned in a revealing black tulle shoulder less dress, hugging singer Courtney Love effusively.Guests in check face masks that sometimes impaired vision negotiated around giant 2-meter chess pieces, faceless dancing performers and hanging surrealist sculptures in the marquee venue that was also used to showcase the historic design house’s spring and summer couture styles.A wall of white arms, some fake and some real (belonging to hidden performers), handed out white roses to passers-by who snacked on white chocolate playing cards served on a green poker table cover.___ALEXIS MABILLE’S OLD-SCHOOL GLAMOURThe red carpet said it all: French designer Alexis Mabille turned on the glamour for a display of classic couture gowns.The styles were firmly set to the 1950s — the years following the austerity of World War II that produced long exuberant lengths of fabric, hyper-femininity and hourglass silhouettes.A floor-length satin gown in coral sported a giant floppy bow at the waist, while one in dark cobalt saw an abbreviated take on a fifties jacket as a bustier and was paired with full length evening gloves.Mabille didn’t forget to have fun.A series of balloon gowns — with curved hems gathered around inside — were the strongest pieces in the show.Each consecutive skirt sported an even bigger explosion of fabric, until the show reached a dramatic crescendo in a circular bottle green gown that spread out from the bust.___ARMANI PRIVE’S WATERcolour-INSPIRED DESIGNSEven a fashion master can have off days.Tuesday was a mixed couture bag for Giorgio Armani, who explored the theme of watercolour in an exhaustive collection of shimmering pastel gowns that combined too many divergent ideas.Armani’s best looks kept it simple.A minimalist satin bodice in oyster led the eye to a dramatic whoosh of silk spilling from the waist. But elsewhere, some looks — though beautifully constructed — saw a complicated silhouette and busy patterns vying for attention.Nevertheless, it was a hit for celebrities such as Marion Cotillard and Isabelle Huppert, who applauded vigorously from the front row.___SWAROVSKI AT HOTEL DE CRILLONNo luxury detail was overlooked at the launch of Swarovski’s eyewear collection inside the revamped Hotel de Crillon, which reopened last year after a 200-million euro refurbishment.Views of the sparkling Place de la Concorde delighted guests, including model and actress Poppy Delevingne, socialite Olivia Palermo and actress Morgane Polanski, the daughter of director Roman Polanski.The eyewear was displayed on stands and featured opulent use of crystal in architectural designs inspired by the Atelier Swarovski jewelry collections, which were also shown off at the event.Guests then tucked into a lavish meal that included wine from the famous vineyard Chateauneuf-du-Pape.___Thomas Adamson is at Twitter.com/ThomasAdamson_K
New Delhi: The Home Ministry Monday announced release of an additional Rs 1,000 crore to the cyclone-hit Odisha as announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.A Home Ministry statement said the amount would be in addition to the Rs 341 crore that had been provided to the Odisha’s State Disaster Response Force in advance. As announced by Prime Minister after his aerial survey and review of relief efforts with the Odisha government, the Home Ministry has announced a further release of Rs 1,000 crore for assistance to the state, the statement said. Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra SinghThe extremely severe cyclone ‘Fani’ made a landfall in Odisha on May 3 causing extensive damage in the state and claiming at least 34 lives. Meanwhile, the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC), headed by Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha, met Monday for a seventh time in quick succession and reviewed the coordination efforts and restoration measures in the areas affected by the cyclone. The Odisha government has informed that restoration of the power and telecommunication infrastructure continues to remain the major priority and so far around 50 per cent power restoration has been reported while more works need to be done in Bhubaneswar and Puri, the statement said. The NEET examination, which was postponed in the state because of the cyclone, will be held on May 20. The medicines dispatched by the central government have been received and all measures were being taken to prevent any outbreak of diseases, the statement said. Reviewing the relief measures, the Cabinet Secretary stressed that power connectivity needs to be restored on priority basis as drinking water supply, telephone connectivity and banking operations need electricity.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The state of Alaska has proposed regulations for an industrial hemp pilot program.A state law passed last year authorized the creation of a program to study the growth, cultivation or marketing of industrial hemp.Anchorage TV station KTVA reports staff at the state Plant Materials Center planted six different strains for the first phase. Center director Rob Carter says because hemp has been illegal, there isn’t a lot of research showing what varieties grow well.Hemp is related to marijuana but has just trace amounts of THC, the chemical found in marijuana that produces a high.Chris and Ember Haynes, who own Denali Hemp Company in Talkeetna, get their hemp seed oil ingredients from Colorado since it’s illegal to grow plants. They hope to participate in the pilot programThe Associated Press
New Russian powder plant at Leninsk KusneskFollowing a very good reception of high performance cementitious powders in Russian coal mines, it became necessary for Minova to increase its production capability. The result was the opening, by Minova CarboTech’s Russian arm Minova CarboZakk, of a state of the art powder plant in Leninsk Kusnesk. This will allow Minova to cater for the needs of coal and metal mines alike. “Russia is an important region for Minova and we are pleased with the dynamic expansion of our companies there,” says Director for Business Development Peter Bell. “This development underlines our technical leadership and commitment to share expertize throughout the Minova global network.”Minova also plans to open a new factory in Karaganda, Kazakhstan, with the initial focus on the production of resin capsules for copper and coal mines. Resin capsules are primarily used as an anchoring medium for rockbolts and cable anchors to provide roof and rib support.The mining industry in Kazakhstan has witnessed strong growth over the last few years and attracted worldwide attention with the flotation of Kazakhmys, one of the largest copper companies in the world, in London. Minova was already active in Kazakhstan and the decision to establish a company there is a natural progression.Comments Michael Reich, Chief Executive of Minova CarboTech: “What is distinctive about Minova is that we offer solutions not just products, and being close to our clients helps us to do just that. We have good relationships with our customers in Kazakhstan and our increased presence in this country’s growing market will help us build on this strong foundation.” Leading global supplier of underground mine consumables, Minova International, has some interesting developments in Russia and neighbouring Kazakhstan designed to strengthen further its presence in these two important regions.
Wisla Plock is winning again. Today they won against MMTS Kwidzyn (4th team of last season) in away game 32:36. Although it wasn’t easy game they got another 2 points and they are still in the first place of polish championships table.The game began with Kwidzyns lading, but then Wisla shot three goals and it was 1:3 for them. Lars Walthers players had all under control and they had 2-3 goals more than hosts. After 20 minutes Wisla led by 5 goals and it was quite comfortable situation for them. But before the break Plock was winning 19:22. Great day had again Christian Spanne, who after first half got 6 goals. In second half play didn’t change a lot, but over 37 minute was only 23:25, when to Plocks goal hit Robert Orzechowski. Oilers made a few mistakes and Kwidzyn took advantage on it. On 10 minutes to the end of the game was 30:30 and everybody get really nervous, especially due to third 2-minute suspension and red card to Muhamed Toromanović. Finally Wisla won by 4 goals, 32:36. The best striker of Oilers next to Spanne was Petar Nenadić (9 goals both of them). More goals at all game had only Robert Orzechowski (10).MMTS: K.Szczecina, S.Suchowicz – M.Seroka, P.Rombel, M.Daszek(6, 1k), A.Nogowski(2), M.Górski, A.Pacześny, M.Peret(5), A.Łangowski(1), P.Rosiak, M.Adamuszek(7, 3k), K.Sadowski, R.Orzechowski(10), M.Mroczkowski(1), T.KlingerOrlen Wisła: M.Šego, M.Wichary – C.Spanne(9, 3k), A.Wiśniewski(1), V.Ghionea(1), I.Nikčević(5), K.Syprzak(2), M.Toromanović(1), N.Eklemović(4), M.Kubisztal(2), B.Kavaš(1), A.Twardo, P.Paczkowski(1), P.Nenadić(9, 1k), F.IlyésSuspensions: MMTS 6 min (A.Nogowski 2 min, M.Daszek 2 min, M.Peret 2 min) – Orlen Wisła 12 min (M.Toromanović 6 min, P.Paczkowski 4 min, C.Spanne 2 min)TEXT: Michalina Chabowska kubisztalMMTS KwidzynnenadicnikcevicspannewaltherwicharyWisla Plockwisniewski ← Previous Story ASOBAL (Round 13): Barcelona wins in Madrid against Atletico, with one hand on the league trophy Next Story → EURO 2012: Montenegro wins war against Hungary – Superb Romania smash Spain!
BELLINGHAM — Whatcom County prosecutors have filed a charge of first-degree murder against a man in the death of a teenager near Bellingham in 1989.The Bellingham Herald reports Timothy Bass was charged with murder on Thursday in connection to the abduction, rape and murder of Mandy Stavik of the Acme area.Whatcom County Prosecutor David McEachran says that’s likely to be the only charge because the statute of limitations has run out for rape or kidnapping charges.Bass’ arraignment is set for Dec. 22.Authorities said DNA evidence led to his arrest on Tuesday.Mandy Stavik vanished in 1989 on the Friday after Thanksgiving while jogging near her home.A volunteer firefighter found her body during a search three days later in the South Fork of the Nooksack River.
Budget 2016: The government is to introduce a new savings mechanism known as a Lifetime individual savings account (Isa).Chancellor George Osborne announced the plans in his Budget 2016 speech today (16 March).The Lifetime Isa is aimed at helping young people save for the long term, with a particular emphasis on saving for retirement and for first homes.From April 2017, those under the age of 40 will be able to save up to £4,000 a year in a Lifetime Isa. The government will pay £1 for every £4 saved.Contributions can be made with the 25% government bonus paid up to the age of 50. The government bonus will apply to savings withdrawn for retirement from the age of 60, and at any time from 12 months after opening the account for purchasing a first home.A national limit of £450,000 will apply for property purchased using Lifetime Isa funds.Savings can be withdrawn for other purposes at any time but the 25% bonus and any interest or growth on this must be returned to the government. These withdrawals will also be subject to a 5% charge.Osborne said: “For those under 40, many of whom haven’t had such a good deal from the pension system, I am introducing a completely new flexible way for the next generation to save. It’s called the Lifetime ISA.“Young people can put money in, get a government bonus, and use it either to buy their first home or save for their retirement.“For the basic-rate taxpayer, that is the equivalent of tax-free savings into a pension, and unlike a pension you won’t pay tax when you come to take your money out in retirement.“Unlike a pension you can access your money any time without the bonus and with a small charge.“And we’re going to consult with the industry on whether, like the American 401K, you can return money to the account to reclaim the bonus, so it is both generous and completely flexible.”Phil Wadsworth, chief actuary at JLT Employee Benefits, said: “Are new attractive Isas set to take over pensions?“Getting one pound for every four is a straightforward incentive to save. Coincidentally, it is the equivalent of pension tax relief for a basic-rate tax payer. The fact that Lifetime Isas are much more flexible means younger people will likely find it more attractive than pension savings.”Joanne Segars, chief executive at the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA), added: “The introduction of a Lifetime Isa is an interesting initiative to help younger people add to their pension and lifetime savings. We look forward to working with the government to help make sure that the Lifetime Isa does help younger people build up their savings.“An important part of this will be to make sure that savers’ interests are protected by ensuring that the regulation on charges and governance of the Lifetime Isa are comparable to those for pensions, which have been reviewed to make sure they offer savers good value.”
The top 10 most read stories on www.employeebenefits.co.uk between 26 May and 1 June 2016:Shappi Khorsandi to host Employee Benefits Awards 2016Asda and Quintiles shortlisted for best benefits technologyUnited Arab Emirates debuts 3D-printed officePension exit charges under scrutinyArriva and Nottingham City Council shortlisted for best voluntary benefitsGovernment consults on British Steel pension scheme71% do not have policies to deal with employee cancer diagnoses32% do not feel proud of their organisationHerbert Smith Freehills introduces return-to-work scheme for female lawyersScottish Widows completes £54m bulk annuity transaction
Stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via email, podcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @aprnDownload AudioTrial Begins For Man Charged With Killing VPSO Thomas Madole Dave Bendinger, KDLG – DillinghamAfter a lengthy four days to select a jury, opening statements were made this morning in the murder trial of Leroy Dick Jr. at the courthouse in Dillingham.Bering Sea Storm Hits Aleutian IslandsLauren Rosenthal, KUCB – UnalaskaAfter a week of warnings, a heavy-duty storm washed into the Bering Sea early this morning. Hurricane-force winds smacked the far western Aleutian Islands. And while the storm has disturbed life at sea, it’s expected to start losing power fast.How Will Legal Marijuana Work In Rural Alaska? Ben Matheson, KYUK – BethelEarly next year, Alaskans will be able to legally buy, transport, and use small amounts of marijuana. The initiative will not be law until three months after the vote is certified, and the state has more time to come up with rules for marijuana sales.Alaska Miners Association Convention Held In Anchorage Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – AnchorageThe Alaska Miner’s Association annual convention has been going on all week in Anchorage. Coinciding with the AMA’s 75th year, is the 25th anniversary of Kotzebue’s Red Dog Mine.Rep. Mike Chenault Tapped For 4th Term As House Speaker Alexandra Gutierrez, APRNNikiski Republican Mike Chenault will serve his fourth term as House Speaker in the Alaska State Legislature. That will make him the longest serving speaker in legislative history.UA President Warns Regents About Budget Dan Bross, KUAC – FairbanksThe University of Alaska Board of Regents has passed a budget for next year, but there’s concern about state funding.Crews Troubleshoot Bethel’s Pool Sprinkler System Ben Matheson, KYUK – BethelThere’s no timeline for reopening the $24 million Bethel pool, which closed right after the grand opening this past Saturday due to a sprinkler system issue.Ferry System Limits Solo Travel By Kids, Teenagers Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – JuneauThe Alaska Marine Highway System will no longer allow children and teen-agers under 18 to travel solo.AK: High Tech SurgeryAnnie Feidt, APRN – AnchorageSurgeons these days have a lot of futuristic tools at their disposal in the operating room. They use robots, high definition cameras and special dyes to help them complete complicated procedures. And you don’t have to travel to big cities in the Lower 48 to find the most up to date technology.300 Villages: KivalinaThis week, we’re heading to Kivalina on the Chukchi Sea. Stanley Hawley is the Tribal Administrator for the City of Kivalina
At least 19 people were injured in a clash between two groups of villagers at Sarole village in Lohagara upazila on Saturday night.Police said two groups of villagers — one led by Alam and the other led by Khokan — had been at loggerheads over establishing dominance in the area.As a sequel to the enmity, supporters of the two groups engaged in a clash in the night equipped with local weapons, leaving at least 19 people of both groups injured.The injured were admitted to Lohagara Upazila Health Complex, said sub-inspector Prabir Das of Lohagara Police Station, adding that additional policemen have been deployed in the area to ward off further trouble.
Elon Musk’s Cheeky ‘Nuke Mars!’ Post Is Taking Over TwitterTwitter Tests Subscribe-to-Replies Feature Stay on target Think for a second about how much of a movie’s budget goes toward marketing. Sending actors out on the late night circuit, organizing press events and cutting eye-catching trailers. Then some snarky teenager makes a comment on Twitter that catches on and the movie flops. All that effort, all that money, all for naught.Maybe that’s a bit of exaggeration, but Twitter can have an impact on how well a movie performs, according to a recent study at Emerson College. The study was conducted to supplement an earlier study on the effects of word of mouth on box office performance. As there is no reliable formula for box office success, word of mouth has long been thought to be the only reliable predictor. But now, we have scientific confirmation that a correlation exists.Since Twitter forces people to distill their thought into 140 characters or less, it’s a pretty great place to get a feel for how a movie will perform. The study analyzed a sample of 12,000 tweets about 17 movies in the fall of 2016. They were only able to use data from 11 of those movies, though because some low performers didn’t have enough tweets for researchers to gather any data. They found a strong correlation between the use of a movie’s official hashtag on Twitter and its revenue the following weekend. If a film’s hashtag was used a lot, it’s revenue would increase over the previous weekend. If fewer people tweeted about it, the movie would make less money.Exhibit One from the study shows a strong correlation between hashtag use and revenue. (Via PR Newswire/Emerson College)It all comes down to word of mouth. No matter how good a trailer looks, no matter what A-list stars you cast, if you can’t get people talking about your movie, no one will see it. At the end of the day, that’s really what marketers are trying to generate: positive word of mouth. It all seems to make sense and can easily be applied to recent high-profile hits and flops.Anecdotally, remember Passengers? Of course, you do, the advertisements were impossible to miss. TV spots started showing up two months before it even came out. There’s a movie that seemed to have everything: sci-fi action, two of Hollywood’s biggest stars, and a marketing push that would make Marvel blush. That seemed to backfire, as, by the time the movie came out, nobody really cared. There wasn’t much social media buzz, though to be fair, it was going up against Rogue One. And it certainly didn’t help that what little word of mouth there was pretty negative. (Seriously, by most accounts, it was a real piece of crap.) As a result, the movie failed to bring in the numbers it was aiming for.So there you have it. If you want an idea of whether or not a movie will do well, just check Twitter. See? It’s not a terrible cesspool of angry eggs all the time.
Some whale watchers in Australia got more than they bargained for on a recent tour in Australia when a huge humpback whale stealthily snuck up on the tour and shocked everyone by jumping completely out of the water, just feet from the boat.One of the tourists captured the close encounter on video, and it’s incredible. Who knew something this big could have ups like this?
Facebook Comments The Supreme Court’s Civil and Administrative Law Branch recently rejected the final pending appeal against a port renovation and expansion project by APM Terminal, a Maersk subsidiary based in the Netherlands. The lawsuit attempted to block the $1 billion project on the country’s Caribbean coast by claiming that APM’s exclusive 33-year concession to operate the container terminal is an illegal monopoly.“This decision reaffirms the importance of the new container terminal in Moín,” Paul Gallie, general director for APM Terminals in Central America, said in a press release to local news outlets. “We need a competitive and modern port.”The project aims to update Costa Rica’s ailing port structure, which currently ranks 140th of 144 countries, according to the World Economic Forum. The new terminal will upgrade Costa Rica’s most frequented port to receive modern post-Panamax ships, which can transport up to 12,000 containers at a time.Since its announcement, the port project has been met with support from the government and business communities and contention from environmentalists and the port workers’ union, Sintrajap. Construction initially was slated to begin in September 2013, but lawsuits and the permitting process have delayed it by more than a year.With the final lawsuit out of the way, APM Terminals is scheduled to break ground within the next two months. However, the company still is waiting for approval by the Environment Ministry’s National Technical Secretariat of a 3,000-page environmental impact assessment. Related posts:Solís administration, striking dockworkers at loggerheads over port concession UPDATE: Atlantic ports paralyzed after dockworkers go on ‘indefinite’ strike Police re-take docks from striking union workers, arrest 68 Limonenses weigh in on Moín Port expansion and the ongoing dockworkers strike
Related posts:US Coast Guard faces a new spike in Cuban ‘boat people’ As talks with US begin, Cubans anticipate changes in their lives Why Midwestern farmers want to break the Cuba embargo US food producers see bonanza in Cuba, but steep barriers remain MIAMI, Florida – One result of the recent warming of relations between Cuba and the United States wasa surge in “boat people” headed to U.S. shores. Following the recent announcement of historic talks between the two nations, many Cubans are concerned that the revised Cuban Adjustment Act and its “wet-foot, dry-foot policy,” which grants Cubans who reach U.S. soil automatic political asylum, will soon end.According to 29-year-old Cuban immigrant Yuniesky Alcolea García, who recently made the journey by sea to Florida, the announcement of talks caused panic on the island.“From my town only a few people had left before,” Alcolea García told The Tico Times. “But a group of about 20 people left in January, and while I was building my boat, I knew at least three other groups that were building. The town became a vacuum, because the people leaving have specialized skills.” Yuniesky Alcoleo García in a resettlement office at the Church World Services in Miami, Florida. He arrived in the U.S. on June 6, 2015. Eline van Nes/The Tico TimesThe perception that the wet-foot, dry-foot policy would instantly change as talks proceeded early this year turned out to be misleading. Any changes to the Cuban Adjustment Act – like the U.S. economic embargo of the island – require action by the U.S. Congress, a slow process.According to U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, the policy would remain in place for now, NBC reported, although he added, “Our borders should not be open to illegal migration.”The boost in the number of Cuban refugees after the talks began added to an already growing number of migrant interdictions reported by the U.S. Coast Guard in the past few years, which jumped from 985 in 2011 to 2,111 in 2014.In Little Havana, the Cuban district of Miami, Cuban-born Erik Otero, a former cigar-rolling champion at the age of 11, said people are afraid they will become “trapped” in the “open-air prison” of an island.“Now that Cuba is off the terrorist list, it won’t take long for the political asylum option to be removed too,” he said.Just talking about the new U.S.-Cuba relations angers Otero.“It’s very difficult to get a phone call from someone who is leaving on a boat, and afterwards you never hear from them again. We hear the stories of people who stayed and the stories of people who came here, but who’s speaking on behalf of the ones who never made it?” The murky waters of the Florida Keys. Eline van Nes/The Tico TimesSent back to CubaThe wet-foot, dry-foot policy was negotiated in 1995 by the Clinton administration after an increase in the number of boat refugees. The policy states that every Cuban intercepted at open sea by the Coast Guard will be sent back to Cuba without further repercussions, but every Cuban that reaches U.S. soil – having “dry feet” – will be accepted as a seeker of political asylum. The idea of the policy is to discourage boats and encourage Cubans to apply for the 20,000 yearly visas issued by the U.S. government.The result, however, is a cat-and-mouse game between the Coast Guard and Cuban rafters that has been ongoing for years.Recent arrival Raidel Simón Grencibia, 40, used old car parts to build a boat with his friend. They barely made it: Just before reaching Florida, a wave capsized the boat forcing Grencibia to swim for three hours before reaching shore. It was the third time he left the island by boat; the other two times the Coast Guard caught him, which he said led to a public shaming in Cuba.“After that you have difficulty finding a job,” Grencibia said. “Everyone with a good job belongs to the [Communist] party, so they won’t take you in anymore. I was sick of our system, waiting an entire day in line for free health care, and when it is your turn the doctor tells you his office hours are over.”Alcolea García also said he was publicly shamed after an earlier attempt to cross: “It is marked in your document that you tried to leave. During job interviews they will say they do not trust you because you might leave Cuba any day.”The Cubans we interviewed in Florida said they not only worry about a change to the political asylum policy, but also the possibility that Cuban immigrants could be more easily deported. Restaurants advertise Cuban food in the Florida Keys. Eline van Nes/The Tico TimesSympathy from many localsThe Cuban rafters normally arrive in the Florida Keys, mostly at night to avoid U.S. authorities. Kayak guide Randy Marrow never actually saw Cubans arriving, but he has seen the abandoned boats often enough, especially on the Marquesas, an island group some 20 miles west of Key West.“The people here sympathize a lot with the Cubans coming over. Many refugees end up staying in the Keys, so everybody here has a friend who had to go through the same thing,” Morrow said after finishing a day of kayaking through the Keys. He said local fishermen often help Cubans when they see them on the water by giving them food and medical supplies. The fishermen help check if makeshift rafts are strong enough to make it to the Keys, and they usually they don’t warn the Coast Guard, Morrow said.“Before, the Coast Guard would have one slow cutter to protect the border. But with 9/11, a lot changed,” Morrow said. “Suddenly Homeland Security had way more money to spend. Now they move around in speedboats patrolling the area.”Morrow learned from a friend who worked with the Coast Guard that smugglers charge up to $10,000 a person. Only Cubans who can afford to pay are delivered by speedboat.“The Florida Keys have a long history of smuggling. In the 1940s it would be rum, and later came the drugs – cocaine, marijuana. Nowadays it’s more Cubans that are hidden in the boats,” he said. A favorite pastime in Little Havana, Miami. Eline van Nes/The Tico TimesBoat season“When I started here 21 years ago, we would work with a lot of rafters,” Óscar Rivera, from the Church World Service Resettlement Office, said. He saw the groups of refugees changing over time.“After the earthquake in Haiti in 2010, we saw a lot of Haitians coming, which was a completely different thing. They would be very sick and weak,” he said.This time of year is his group sees more rafters from Cuba coming, because the water is warmer.“It really depends on how many Coast Guard [patrols] are out there. It is hard for me to say that there is indeed an increase, because I see only the rafters who made it. But already now, halfway through the year, we have seen a few hundred coming in. I would say we are some 40 percent ahead,” he added. Cigar seller Lazaro Vento hopes the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba will be lifted soon, so he can sell real Cuban cigars instead of fakes. Eline van Nes/The Tico TimesMore and more Cubans also are opting for a land route through Central America, where more than 17,400 Cubans crossed last year, according to the Houston Chronicle. One option is to take a flight to Ecuador, where Cubans don’t need visas, and travel north. It is a dangerous route with gangs that take advantage of immigrants and an infamous train in Mexico called “The Beast.” But it is sometimes preferable to the shark-infested waters between Cuba and Florida.Cece Roycraft, who runs a diving company in Key West, said that times have changed. She remembers the Mariel boatlift in 1980, when thousands of Cubans emigrated from Cuba’s Mariel Harbor. When they arrived in the U.S., many slept on the streets all over town.“We had our diving boat, and people would offer big money for us to bring relatives or friends here,” Roycraft said. “We never did it, because I couldn’t afford to lose my boat to the Coast Guard. But I know many people who did.”Those times are over, she said, and most people take the route through Central America. But boats still regularly arrive with people like Grencibia and García, who hope for a better life in the United States. García said that he couldn’t wait to start working so he could finally afford the small luxuries he lacked in Cuba. When all is well, he said, he hopes to bring his wife and child, who are still in Cuba. A boat used by Cuban immigrants on display at the Botanical Gardens in the Florida Keys. Eline van Nes/The Tico Times Facebook Comments
Representatives from across the travel and tourism industry came together at the United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights in Geneva to call for collaborative actions to end human trafficking, forced labour and the sexual exploitation of children and share their initiatives that tackle key challenges associated with human rights issues. The United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights was the first time the sector has gathered to discuss possible solutions to these shared challenges before a United Nations audience. The travel and tourism industry has rapidly expanded in recent years, with international tourist arrivals increasing from 528 million in 2005 to 1,323 million in 2017. At the meeting, experts from non-profit organisations stood shoulder to shoulder with senior leaders from global travel and tourism companies, united in their shared commitment to tackling these crimes which have a direct impact on the tourism industry. Madhu Rajesh, Director of ITP said, “ITP convenes the world’s leading hotel groups for collaborative action on these critical human rights issues, and in doing so we create practical tools and programmes that help the hotel industry as a whole move further and faster than they can be working individually. For example, we’ve united our membership around support for ITP’s Principles on Forced Labour, and encourage their adoption by the wider industry. Through our work, we aim to convene key stakeholders from the public and private sector and encourage cross-sector collaboration on this vital issue.” “As the reach of global tourism expands, so too do opportunities for those who travel to harm children by sexually exploiting them,” said Theo Noten, Programme Manager, ECPAT Netherlands. “The travel and tourism industry have a key role to play in keeping children safe. Together with business leaders, especially from the travel industry, we call upon the private sector and governments to protect children and meet the commitments made to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. No child should be left behind!”Helen Marano, Executive Vice-President, External Affairs, WTTC said, “As a global Council which represents all of the segments of the Travel & Tourism sector, we are proud to be leading the path forward for the broader industry’s commitment to the intolerance of all aspects of human trafficking. We will highlight the key efforts being conducted by members of our Council as a way for others to commit, engage and strengthen the ability of Travel and Tourism to tackle this challenge and eradicate child sexual exploitation.”
An all-new Jaguar XJ will make its public debut this July.Speaking at Auto Shanghai 2009, Jaguar Cars Managing Director, Mike O’Driscoll confirmed that:– The all-new XJ will go on sale at the end of 2009 – but will officially be revealed on July 9th in London.– The all-new XJ is the first car to feature the next-generation of Jaguar’s aerospace-inspired aluminium body architecture.– All of Jaguar’s new ultra-efficient Gen III petrol and diesel engines (North America excluded) will be available in the new XJ, including the already acclaimed V6 diesel and 510 bhp supercharged V8.– There will be a choice of standard- or long wheelbase models.– The all-new XJ will introduce the highest standards of personal luxury and specification, including a panoramic glass roof.Full details of the all-new XJ including prices will be revealed on July 9th and orders for delivery in early 2010 will be taken from this time. www.jaguar.com/allnewxj
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