Ex-Minister sentenced in Bihar bitumen scam

first_imgA special CBI court in Ranchi awarded five-year jail term on Friday to former Bihar Minister Mohd. Ilyas Hussain and four others in the 22-year-old bitumen scam case.The CBI court of Anil Kumar Mishra had reserved orders after hearing was completed in the case on February 19.“Contractor D.N. Singh was awarded seven years imprisonment in the case… the court also slapped a fine of ₹20 lakh on Mr. Hussain and the contractor,” lawyer Arvind Singh told local journalists in Ranchi.Mr. Hussain was Minister for Road Construction when Lalu Prasad was Chief Minister of the State. The RJD legislator from Dehri in Rohtas district of Bihar lost membership of the State Assembly after he was convicted in the scam by the CBI court.The ₹1.57 crore bitumen scam had surfaced in 1997. The Patna High Court handed over the case to the CBI.last_img read more

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Zinedine Zidane lavishes praise on ‘team player’ Cristiano Ronaldo

first_imgReal Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane lavished praise on Cristiano Ronaldo after the three-times world player of the year appeared to struggle through the Champions League final against Atletico Madrid on Saturday.Ronaldo was subdued for long spells but fired home the winning penalty to give Real a 5-3 success in the shootout following a 1-1 draw after extra time and then performed his shirtless celebration, proudly showing off his muscular torso.”He wasn’t injured. He gave us the win, he was fine, he fought hard and he ran a lot like everyone in the team,” Zidane told reporters. “He has always helped his team-mates.”Ronaldo scored 16 times in the Champions League campaign to finish as top scorer in the competition for the fourth season in a row, albeit a goal short of the record he set two seasons ago.He has won the Champions League three times, twice with Real and once with Manchester United, but still one fewer than his great rival, Lionel Messi of Barcelona.’I WAS CONFIDENT”We’re really happy, finals are always hard,” said Ronaldo. “The side was great and sacrificed a lot. Its impressive. I knew I was going to score the winning penalty; I was confident.”Former Real playmaker Zidane, who became the seventh person to win the Champions League as a player and coach, said that work, and more work, was the secret of Real’s success.”We worked so much,” said the Frenchman, the first coach from his country to win the trophy. “I believe a lot in work, work is the most important thing and everyone has done a good job.”advertisement”We suffered a lot physically and some players had cramp, but it’s normal,” he added.”Mentally, there is a lot of pressure but you have to fight. We have worked a lot and when you get something as big as the Champions (League), it means a lot for the staff and the supporters.”last_img read more

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Indian Super League: NorthEast United come from behind to beat Kerala Blasters

NorthEast United FC staged a stunning comeback in the dying moments of the match to stun Kerala Blasters 2-1 in Guwahati in a thrilling Indian Super League (ISL) encounter on Friday.The first half was goalless but it was the second half that not only breathed life in the encounter but by the end, NorthEast United had snatched a victory from the mouth of defeat.Matej Poplatnik scored in the 73rd minute to put Kerala in the lead but it all melted down for the Blasters in the extra time as NorthEast United scored twice to win the match.Bartholomew Ogbeche scored a penalty in the third minute of stoppage time and then Juan Cruz Mascia found the back of the minute in 90+6′ minute to get all the three points for the NorthEast outfit.#NEUKER turned out to be a match to remember as 2 late goals in added time secured all 3 points for @NEUtdFC against @KeralaBlasters!More videos: https://t.co/8jtqJIjojH#ISLRecap #LetsFootball #HeroISL #FanBannaPadega pic.twitter.com/YfvCJlCM1e Indian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) November 23, 2018NorthEast United’s first win on home soil saw them rise to third on the table with 14 points from seven matches, while Kerala remain at the seventh spot with seven points from eight matches.Also read – ISL: Bengaluru FC maintain unbeaten streak with win over FC GoaThe hosts took control of the match early on and knocked on the doors of the Kerala defence.In the 10th minute, a Federico Gallego corner-kick, that wasn’t properly cleared by Poplatnik at the near-post, fell to Ogbeche whose free header was brilliantly saved by Dheeraj Singh in goal.advertisementAt the other end, Halicharan Narzary managed to beat his marker on the left flank and picked out an unmarked Seiminlen Doungel in the centre of the box but the Indian forward headed glaringly wide.NorthEast United centre-back Mislav Komorski was next in line to send a free header wide, this time from Lalthathanga Khawlhring’s cross.Kerala came close to scoring against the run of play before the break. Narzary beat Robert Lalthlamuana in the box and chipped the ball over an onrushing Pawan Kumar but the woodwork denied the Indian forward.READ – ISL: FC Pune City get first win of season as Jamshedpur FC lose their firstAfter the change of ends, Kerala Blasters brought on CK Vineeth at the hour-mark as David James sought a spark in the attacking third and the go-to player almost delivered a few minutes after taking the field.The forward received the ball on the edge of the box and unleashed a dipping shot that missed the target by inches.Kerala finally broke the deadlock in the 73rd minute through Zakeer Mundampara’s corner-kick. The midfielder’s delivery to the near post was headed into the net by Poplatnik who had drifted away from his marker.The Highlanders tried to mount a response by pouring men forward. Ogbeche won the ball in midfield and after a neat give-and-go with Nikhil Kadam at the edge of the box, tried to curl the ball into the net but Nemanja Lakic-Pesic kept Kerala in the lead with a timely block.Just as it seemed like Kerala would get all three points, Sandesh Jhingan barged into Mascia inside the area and conceded a penalty. Ogbeche stepped up and converted the spot-kick to level the scores.However, there was more drama three minutes later as a loose ball inside the box fell to Mascia who lashed a volley in to stun the visitors and claim all three points.(With PTI inputs)Also watch – read more

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China’s World Cup team is made up of 18 players from one province

first_imgBy Saumojyoti Singha Choudhury Bhubaneswar, Nov 29 (PTI) Unusual as it may sound but China, for all its sporting culture, provinces and gargantuan size, had to pick all its 18 hockey World Cup-bound players from one province, the name of which sounds similar to that of its neighbouring country. Very few people know that the country’s entire 18-member men’s hockey team belongs to just one province — Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. China is made up of 34 provinces. China’s men’s hockey team is making its debut at the World Cup here and its best result in the sport till date is a silver medal finish at the 2006 Doha Asian Games. What has caught the attention is that all the 18 players representing China in the ongoing World Cup hails from the Inner Mongolia province. Hockey is not that popular in China. It is mostly common among the Daur people, who have been playing a traditional sport called ‘Beikou’, a game similar to field hockey, for about 1,000 years. The modern game started in China in the mid 1970s. “Yes, all players from the team are from Inner Mongolia. They all are from just one club and one province,” China’s South Korean coach Sang Ryul Kim told PTI. Kim, who guided his own country South Korea to a silver medal in the 2000 Sydney Olympics and mentored China to beat India and Pakistan before claiming the Doha Asiad silver, has got a wealth of experience as a coach. “Hockey is most popular in that region of China. Hockey is similar to a traditional sport of that region named ‘Beikou’, so these players have easily adapted to the game,” he added.advertisement China will make its World Cup debut against England in a Pool B match on Friday and the coach said his players have the capability to cause an upset or two in the tournament if they turn out on the turf without any fear. “They have the fitness. They have the mental strength. The only problem with our players is that they have very less experience of playing against strong teams. That’s the only weakness,” Kim said. “If they (Chinese players) are worried and doubtful on the pitch, they can’t do anything. If they are confident, they can do something,” he added. PTI SSC AHlast_img read more

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Women’s Super League: talking points from the weekend’s action

first_img1) Clinical Miedema benefiting from Arsenal’s attacking waveVivianne Miedema has nine goals from five games this season, after her hat-trick against Reading. Now that she’s injury-free, she’s been super-clinical, the world-class striker she promised to be previously, and she’s benefiting from the attacking wave that is Arsenal. They’ve got attacking players like Lisa Evans and Beth Mead on the flanks, and then they flood players down the middle, like Jordan Nobbs and Daniëlle van de Donk. New goalkeeper Pauline Peyraud-Magnin is also a huge asset. She’s that new breed of goalkeeper, like Ederson – very comfortable in possession and starts attacks. Arsenal beat Reading 6-0 and their pressing was something to behold. They scored within two minutes in the first half, two minutes in the second half and right at the end of the first half – critical times to score. The way they’re blowing teams away is ruthless.2) Stale Chelsea looking hesitant and downbeatChelsea drew again; 0-0 with Birmingham, and I think they may be suffering from still being in the Champions League. I don’t know if that’s entirely the cause but Manchester City have picked up their form massively since they went out, and obviously Arsenal don’t have European football. Maybe it’s also down to teams knowing what they’re up against and being able to counter what they do. World-class players like Ramona Bachmann, Fran Kirby, Ji So-yun, are just not doing it. They seem hesitant and downbeat and, in general, Chelsea appear to be going into games doubting their ability. They’re also missing the leadership of Katie Chapman since she retired, and maybe they’ve underestimated what the loss of her character would look like on the pitch.• Match report: Birmingham 0-0 Chelsea3) Birmingham inspired by matchwinner BergerI want to give some credit to Birmingham: they’ve won four games, drawn one and only conceded in one, and that which was against Manchester City, when they lost 3-2. Manager Marc Skinner has organised his team really well, but while I might be slightly biased being a former goalkeeper, Ann-Katrin Berger has been an absolute stalwart for them. She’s the equivalent of Miedema in terms of a match-winner with the saves she’s pulled off, no more so than on Sunday when she saved Karen Carney’s penalty against Chelsea. She’s out of contract at the end of 2018 and Birmingham need to hold on to her. What she went through last season, taking time out because she was being treated for cancer, shows the strength of character she has. I can’t think that’s gone unnoticed with her teammates. You’ve got to be wowed and spurred on by how she’s returned to playing.4) Stanway and Weir form City’s young coreGeorgia Stanway got a hat-trick for Manchester City against Brighton, after she looks like the type of a young player (she’s only 19) they will build their team around for a long time to come. Alongside Stanway, Caroline Weir has had some mesmerising performances – she was a big part of the Scotland team who qualified for the World Cup for the first time, and she’s really benefited from moving to a full-time professional club. She played for Liverpool last season, where she didn’t really have the freedom to express what she’s about, but now having runners like Nikita Parris and Mel Lawley has brought to the forefront her quality. Weir was such an astute signing after Izzy Christiansen went to Lyon. She’s a little like Riyad Mahrez – her set-pieces and the weighting of her passes are unreal. Her left foot is carving those defences up, and for me she’s an early contender for player of the season. Chelsea Women Birmingham City Women Reuse this content Share via Email Women’s football Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Women’s Super League Liverpool FC Women Arsenal Womencenter_img features 5) Liverpool not letting off-pitch uncertainty affect themAt the start of the season Neil Redfearn left Liverpool because he wasn’t happy, not about the players but about the off-field set-up at the club. They’ve been getting a bit of stick in the press but the character of the girls has been amazing, grinding out 1-0 wins left, right and centre. They got another of those this weekend, when Courtney Sweetman-Kirk scored against West Ham. You could see how much the goal meant to the whole team. Sometimes players or teams make excuses, about how what happens off the pitch affects how they play on it, but it’s clear the group of players at Liverpool haven’t let all that other stuff impact their performance.BT Sport has coverage of FA Women’s Super League all season. Watch Man City v Reading on BT Sport 1 this Friday, 26 October from 6.45pm.  The FA Women’s Super League (@FAWSL)From goalkeeper to goal in 3 passes 😯 Stanway gets her hat-trick and @ManCityWomen lead 4-0 at Brighton Last 15 minutes LIVE here 👉 https://t.co/0IW6e73B4x pic.twitter.com/pe0KoxN5GhOctober 21, 2018 Share on Messenger Share on Pinterest Topics Share on WhatsApp Brighton & Hove Albion Women Share on LinkedInlast_img read more

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Ten things we learned playing Volta in FIFA 20

first_imgAs Goal learned by attending an exclusive preview event in Berlin and getting hands-on with Volta, there is more to the new mode than a simple reboot of the popular Street series. These are the ten things we learned from playing Volta in FIFA 20…Volta is not FIFA StreetVolta has been compared to EA Sports’ classic series FIFA Street, which featured exaggerated gameplay and player models and became a cult classic.Despite featuring smaller teams, Volta has more in common with the full 11-a-side game than any of the games in the Street series. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? EA Sports attribute this to wanting Volta to act as a stepping stone to the traditional game, allowing players to take the skills they’ve learned on the courts into stadiums – mirroring the real-life paths of many footballers.Skills don’t win gamesThe biggest difference between FIFA Street and Volta is that in the latter skills don’t win you games, or give you any advantage aside from helping you beat your marker.While they’re useful to beat an opponent, the result is decided on who scores the most goals. EA Sports made this decision after talking to legendary street footballers who admitted that while showboating is fun, all each team wants to do is to score more than their opponent.There are four ways to play VoltaThere are three main ways to play Volta – kick-off, Story and Volta World.Kick-off mode is similar to the kick-off mode found in the main game, with the option to pick from a myriad of street football match-types before you choose one of many club and national teams to represent and face off against.The Story and Volta World modes begin with players creating their own street footballer (male or female).From there, the Story mode takes players on a narrative-driven guide to the world of street football, presented in a similar way to the Journey. The Story mode is optional and players can just jump right into Volta World if they want to get right into the action.Volta World is an offline mode, where players traverse a global map, taking on other teams with different challenges and rewards.Teams faced in Volta World are all player-generated, just as they are in Squad Battles in FIFA Ultimate Team, meaning that every match you play is against a team created by another FIFA fan elsewhere in the World.There’s also player-vs-player League and World Tour modes, giving players the chance to skip the story and to face off against other players online.FIFA 20 Volta ViniciusYou can take another team’s playersAs you progress through Volta World you’re able to recruit players from teams you’ve beaten. That player stays with their team, but a replica joins yours to be used to future matches.Since you can create a version of yourself in Volta, it’s possible that there could be multiple versions of you playing Volta football all over the world. You may even end up facing a team which includes the player you created.Home advantage mattersAs well as creating your own player, you also get to choose a location, court type and playstyle as your ‘home’.As Volta league matches have a home and away element, this means it’s important that you customise your home to suit your own play style. Do you like to play passes off the wall? Be sure that your court has walls. Perhaps you’re a skiller, in that case ensure your home match type is for smaller squads with more one-on-ones.FIFA 20 Volta RioSkills are easierThe stick and button combinations required to pull off skills in Volta are the same as those used in the full FIFA game. This was chosen as a way to introduce new players to skill moves and mean that flicks and tricks learned in Volta can be carried into 11-vs-11 matches.However, if you’re lucky enough to have a highly skilled player on your team, they will beat players with more flair, just as they would in the full game. When we had a chance to try this out in Berlin, the difference was noticeable when playing with players like Neymar and Messi.FIFA 20 Volta SanchoNo keeper? No problemWhile the core game of Volta feels similar to the full FIFA experience, certain changes were made to players’ AI to ensure they behave like street players. An example of this which becomes apparent early on is how they block shots.In matches without goalkeepers (which can be turned on and off) players obviously can’t block shots on goal with their hands. Instead, they angle their body down to use the rest of their body.Another example is in how they use the walls of courts to beat players – something their real-world counterparts would never do – which meant tweaks to the AI so Volta players know it’s possible and don’t consider everything outside the lines as out of bounds.Men and women together but stars don’t mixFor the first time in a FIFA game, in Volta men and women can play on the same pitch and there’s no difference to how they play, it’s a level playing field. Although mixed-gender matches are purely aesthetic, it really adds to the realism to see men and women on the same court.While men and women mixing it up on the court is possible, Volta doesn’t allow for teams of created and real-world players, or to play with a dream team of players from different club teams. There isn’t even an equivalent FIFA Ultimate Team element, meaning there’s no dream team building or packs to open, which leads us on to the good news that…FIFA 20 Volta (custom)There are no microtransactions or loot boxesAs well as there being no packs to open in Volta, there’s no microtransactions at all. Players can earn virtual currency in Volta World to spend on cosmetic items, but they have no real-world value.Volta has boss battlesName us a good video game without a good boss battle. You can’t, it’s not possible. In Volta, at specific points in the campaign, you will face teams featuring legendary street footballers. Beat these teams and the legendary player joins your ranks. This part is a bit like FIFA Street, which allowed you to recruit players from teams you beat to create your custom dream team squads.last_img read more

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Party rejected my offer to quit as CM says Mamata Banerjee

first_imgKolkata: Forty-eight hours after the Lok Sabha election results were announced, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee finally broke her silence. At the first press conference held by Banerjee the after poll results were announced, she said that she offered to resign from the post of Chief Minister, however, her party, All India Trinamool Congress, did not endorse it. “The first thing that I had said in the meeting was that I want to resign and only continue as the party president. But, my party leaders and workers did not endorse it,” Banerjee said. Also Read – City bids adieu to Goddess DurgaBanerjee made a few structural changes following the review meeting she held on Saturday at her Kalighat residence. It was attended by all elected MPs of her party, district presidents and senior leaders. The party supremo added that she would, henceforth dedicate more time to her party than to the government. “I have fulfilled my election manifesto. We have delivered all our promises. It’s now time to focus and dedicate more time to the party,” she said.(With inputs from DNA)last_img read more

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State sees major reshuffle in IPS cadre

first_imgKolkata: In a major reshuffle of IPS officers in the state, Superintendent of Police (SP), Hooghly (rural) has been changed. 19 more IPS officers’ postings have been changed as well. According to the order published on Thursday, SP, Hooghly (rural) Sukhendu Hira has been posted as the Deputy Commissioner (DC), Reserve Force (RF) in Kolkata Police. Tathagata Basu, who was the DC (headquarters) in Chandannagar Police Commissionerate, will replace Hira. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellersSanjay Chander, Director General (DG) of Counter Insurgency Force (CIF) has been made the DG Establishment, while Siddh Nath Gupta, who was the Additional Director General (ADG) Establishment, has been transferred to the post of ADG, CIF. Vishal Garg, Inspector General (IG), Presidency Range, has been made the IG, Criminal Investigation Department (CID) II. Meanwhile, Kallol Ganai, IG, Burdwan Range, has been made the IG, Traffic in West Bengal Police. Tanmay Ray Chaudhuri, who was the Deputy Director, Directorate of Economic Offences, has been transferred to the post of DIG, Burdwan Range.last_img read more

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India to take up with Pakistan proKhalistan leaders presence on Kartarpur panel

first_imgNew Delhi: India is going “with high expectations” for the Kartarpur corridor meeting on Sunday and is expected to raise with the Pakistani side several issues, including the presence of pro-Khalistani leader Gopal Singh Chawla on a panel associated with the project. The first round of talks was held on March 14 on the Indian side of the Attari-Wagah border and the second round is scheduled for July 14 (Sunday) at Wagah, on the Pakistani side. Also Read – Squadrons which participated in Balakot air strike awarded citations on IAF Day The second round of talks was originally scheduled on April 2 but India raised objections to pro-Khalistani leader Chawla being linked to the Kartarpur project. According to sources, India is well on its way to completing the project by October 31. It will be thrown open to pilgrims in November to mark the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism. So far, India has completed 60 per cent of a four-lane highway that will connect the Zero point of the Kartarpur corridor to the national highway, while the foundation work of a state-of-the art passenger terminal is nearing completion and the terminal will be ready by October end. Also Read – SC declines Oil Min request to stay sharing of documents on Reliance penalty The corridor will allow pilgrims to travel from Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India’s Gurdaspur district to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib at Kartarpur in Pakistan, the final resting place of Guru Nanak Dev. The Kartarpur gurdwara is located in Pakistan’s Narowal district across the Ravi, about four kilometres from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur. According to sources, the facilities India has made are meant to cater to 10,000 pilgrims a day on religious occasions, like Guru Purab, and 5,000 pilgrims a day on other days. However, going by the size of the facilities being constructed by Pakistan, a question mark remains on whether it will be able to cater to the volume of traffic, said sources. According to sources, the issues to be discussed at the Sunday meeting would include who can visit the Kartarpur shrine, how they can move across the corridor, the documentation required — will it be visa free, and what are the facilities to ensure the movement is smooth, safe and unhindered. The other issues to be taken up would be how the pilgrims are required to travel, in groups or individually, and the choice of transport — whether by foot or bus. “We are going for the meeting with high expectations. Our side of the corridor will be ready and we hope the other side is coming up with matching response,” the sources said.last_img read more

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Tim Allen To Be Honored By Midnight Mission

first_imgThe Midnight Mission is to honor Tim Allen at its annual Golden Heart Awards in May.From MidnightMission.org: “Please join us on Monday, May 6, for The Midnight Mission’s (TMM) Annual Golden Heart Award Gala. Each year, The Golden Heart Award is presented to those who have shown exceptional support, deep partnership and dedication to TMM and our purpose of providing a bridge to self-sufficiency for those in need.“This year, our Gala will be held at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, beginning at 6 pm with a reception, followed by dinner, the awards presentation and entertainment.“We are pleased to be honoring Tim Allen, an American comedian, actor, voice-over artist and entertainer, known for his role in the sitcom Home Improvement. We will also be honoring Jason Sinay, a respected Los Angeles session musician, who has worked with many artists including Jerry Lee Lewis, Neil Diamond and The Dirty Knobs (with Mike Campbell of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers).“We hope you will join us for this moving and awe-inspiring night of celebration!”For tickets and more information, click here.last_img read more

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Paqtnkek Nation in Nova Scotia in mourning after two die when boat

first_imgAngel MooreAPTN NewsThe Paq’tnkek First Nation in Nova Scotia is in mourning after two members of the community died after their fishing boat capsized just off the community’s coast.Ozzy Clair, and his cousin Niko were about 60 metres offshore harvesting oysters when the calm waters turned stormy.Lenore prosper was also on the boat.She survived.Her uncle, Paul Prosper says Niko saved her life.“They were with the boat as far as I understand for a bit, and then realized that they should make it to shore and so they swan together,” he said.“And it really was… it really helped her to survive.”Niko Clair’s body was found about three metres from the shore.His cousin Ozzy’s body was recovered near the boat.Both were unresponsive and pronounced dead that evening.The community is getting help.The Eskasoni First Nation has sent its crisis team to help the community at the health centre.“Ozzy and Niko Clair will be dearly missed by certainly people within, throughout our community,” said Prosper. “But throughout our surrounding communities, throughout the Mi’kmaq nation and beyond there.”The community has only been in the oyster fishery for about five years.According to Prosper all three were wearing a life jacket.The Transportation Safety Board is investigating.amoore@aptn.ca@angelharksenlast_img read more

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Group home at odds with coroner over how long Amy Owen left

first_imgKenneth JacksonAPTN NewsA private group home operator in Ottawa says it had a suicidal First Nations girl under “heightened supervision” when she took her life over two years ago according to recently filed court documents. In fact, the company claims Amy Owen was alone in her bedroom for just 10 minutes before she took her life April 17, 2017.“Mary Homes’ staff had interaction with Amy 10 minutes before she was found in her room …,” the company wrote in its statement of defence  in response to a $5.5 million lawsuit filed by Owen’s family in April.“On that last occasion departing staff saw her in the doorway of her room and had a brief discussion with her.”Staff then tried to revive Owen once they found her lifeless said Mary Homes.This drastically changes the time frame previously reported by APTN News based on the investigating coroner’s report made up in part from police interviews. Dr. Dimitri Makropoulos determined Owen was left alone for approximately one hour.“Ottawa Police and Forensic Identification detectives also attended the (group home) and interviewed group home staff,” wrote Makropoulos.Owen’s family is also suing Tikinagan Child and Family Services, the agency that removed Owen from her home on Poplar Hill First Nation after she was sexually assaulted by someone not in her immediate family.Tikinagan filed a statement of defence, like Mary Homes, denying responsibility for Owen’s suicide. However, both Tikinagan and Mary Homes filed cross claims pointing the finger at each other.But it leaves the question, how long was Owen left alone?The day Owen died there were three workers in the home according to Makropoulos’s report. A fourth worker was out picking up another child.Makropoulos wrote Owen was “alive and well” at 2:45 p.m. in her bedroom.“Amy Jane was checked on by a staff member approximately one hour later at 15:45 p.m., and was found hanging from the window frame,” wrote Makropoulos.She was officially pronounced dead at 5:10 p.m. at hospital.About a month before her death, Owen tried to die by suicide in her bedroom following previous trips to the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) in Ottawa where she was admitted each time for several days for severe self-harming.Then in the first nine days of April she was back at CHEO and would be four times for self-harm.Makropoulos wrote that group home workers were aware of multiple incidents of self-harm and that Owen reported increased suicide ideation at the time and described a specific plan, noting that she had made an attempt “a couple of weeks ago”. As well, her best friend had recently died by suicide. She was released in the afternoon of April 4 requiring treatment for self-harm. Four days later, on April 8, she was back at CHEO for the same thing. “She was subsequently assessed by a crisis intervention social worker … deemed not to have any active suicidal ideation, and was advised to follow-up with multiple available resources in the community,” said Makropoulos.The next day Owen was back at hospital having harmed herself again.  She denied any suicidal ideation.“According to group home staff, Amy Jane continued to demonstrate aggressive and self-harming behavior and had been supposed to return to the higher-acuity crisis home … on April 13, 2017,” said Makropoulos.But the home was found to have too many other high risk “clients” and the decision was made to keep Owen at the Wilhaven residence.The former Wilhaven residence in Ottawa. Kenneth Jackson/APTN photo.CHEO recommended two weeks before her death that Owen should be under strict supervision.This issue was brought up by Tikinagan during the police investigation into her death.“Amy Jane’s Tikinagan CAS worker did express concerns to Police about the lack of 1:1 supervision at the group home at the time of Amy’s death,” the coroner said.The “1:1 supervision” means having a group home worker with Owen around the clock but Mary Homes said, according to the coroner’s report, it had difficulty arranging a 1:1 worker for Owen.In its statement of defence, Mary Homes alleges Tikinagan never approved funding for the specialized supervision.The Owen family is the second from Poplar Hill to sue Tikinagan over a child in its care dying by suicide.Kanina Sue Turtle’s family is suing for $5.9 million after Turtle, 15, filmed her suicide in a foster home owned and operated by Tikinagan in Sioux Lookout Oct. 29, 2016.The video shows she was left alone over 46 minutes before the sole worker in the home checked on her.That home was still operating as of last year, while Mary Homes had to shutdown the Wilhaven residence.It was recently put up for rent.kjackson@aptn.caThe Canada Suicide Prevention Service enables callers anywhere in Canada to access crisis support using the technology of their choice (phone, text or chat), in French or English:Phone: toll-free 1-833-456-4566Text: 45645Chat: crisisservicescanada.calast_img read more

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Religious Tolerance and Security Reforms Have Made Morocco a Bulwark against

Rabat – Amidst widening security and social concerns over the return of ISIS and other terrorist network-affiliated Moroccan nationals, Moroccan authorities are confident about the country’s preparedness to prevent future events of the magnitude of the 2003 Casablanca and 2011 Marrakesh bombings.Since the April 2011 Marrakesh terror strike, Morocco’s modernized and upgraded security system has established the kingdom as a bulwark against radicalization and organized crime, BCIJ (Central Bureau of Judiciary Investigations) director, Abdelhak Khiame, told French magazine Valeurs Actuelles in an interview published on June 14. The success of Morocco’s anti-terrorist model, Khiame elaborated, lies in an “anticipatory philosophy” that deals with terrorism at its very core.Despite separatist grievances in the south and some recent—though sporadic—political upheavals, the North African country still carries its so-called “exceptionalité Marocaine” (Moroccan exception) reputation: a bastion of security and peace in a troubled neighborhood. Although the idea of the Moroccan exception is also said to entail  Morocco as a cultural bridge, home to striking social-cultural diversities, the notion has been slightly altered in recent years. The shift has placed a particular emphasis on the country’s brand of tolerant and difference-accommodating Islam, as a factor of stability and social cohesion during and after the events of the Arab Spring.But how did this come about? How, after being shaken to its core by the terrorist strikes in 2003 and 2011, has Morocco managed to establish itself as an inspiration for other nations fighting against terrorism and radical ideologies? Why is the Moroccan anti-terrorism experience an example worth emulating?The BCJI director claimed that Morocco did not just want to fight terrorism after the 2011 strikes; the country also had “to deconstruct radicalization” in order to both limit the appeal of ideology-linked violence but also identify those most susceptible to fall prey to it.“Although it is premature to claim victory now, radicalization has drastically declined in Morocco in recent months,” he said, explaining that there now is an established network of government-sponsored experts who identify and intervene in “high risk areas.” The experts include sociologists, psychologists, Islamic law specialists, and Ulemmas (Islamic scholars) who cooperate to promote a version of moderate and tolerant Islam. “These experts also intervene in prisons to persuade terrorists to review their ideas on the meaning of jihad,” Khiame further said, hinting at another successful feature of Morocco’s robust anti-terrorism model: deradicalization. Successfully de-radicalized former terrorists are also sometimes relied upon to participate in awareness-raising campaigns in “fragile and vulnerable places.”The effective coupling of theological re-orientation and security reforms has thus been a crucial ingredient of Morocco’s anti-terrorist apparatus. Investing in state-sponsored IslamOn the religious front, the Rabita Mohammedia of Oulemas (Mohammedia House of Scholars) is leading a strenuous battle against radical and monolithic interpretations of the Quran and Islamic tenets. With more than 30 online platforms at its disposal, it disseminates books, video recordings, cassettes, and even animes whose main objective is to prevent the proliferation of radical Islamism.The body is made of experts from various academic backgrounds committed to “de-coding and deconstructing religious radicalism.” They first identify the ideological terrains that terrorist are most likely to exploit—Arab Unity, religious binarisms (Islamic world vs. others), name-calling piety, etc. Once they identify the rhetoric and vulnerable populations most susceptible  to such appeals, they then devise a counter-rhetoric designed to “immunize” fragile populations not priorly exposed to radical rhetoric, in addition to “de-radicalizing” those with previous  exposure to “simplistic pan-Islamist narratives.”“There are no self-proclaimed imams in Morocco. That is illegal,” other governmental sources told Valeurs Actuelles, as they further explained that everything is done to ensure that the country’s 45,000 practicing imams uphold and echo the pluralist core of Morocco’s official Islam in their Friday sermons. “Mosques that deviate are rapidly identified, and steep punishment follows.” A new generation of imamsEqually crucial on the ideological and religious front is Morocco’s tutelage of a new generation of imams, trained both in traditional theological sciences and “modern” courses in social sciences and the humanities. At the Mohamed VI institute for Imams, courses include sociology, philosophy, psychology, communication sciences, etc., and imams are instructed to value debates and critical thinking.Since its inception in 2006, the institute has attracted candidates from other African countries, due to the  Moroccan government’s extension of scholarships to candidates from countries like Guinea, Niger, Mali, Ivory Coast, and Nigeria. Scholarships include everything, from on-site accommodations, free courses, and pocket money. “This is to prevent external influences,” said a religious instructor, well aware of the financial factor in feeding the ranks of radical Islamism.The success of the institute has also attracted the attention of some non-African governments, with France agreeing to a partnership in 2015. France now sends on a yearly basis dozens of Imam Students to be trained in the Moroccan tradition of Islam. This year, for example, the Institute hosted 50 French nationals, of whom 10 were girls. Of the inclusion of female students in the Institute’s program, one instructor said: “It is the best way to show our openness and effectively fight against extremists who are annoyed by such a model.”Modernized anti-terrorist unitsTo supplement the ideological success of its anti-terrorism, Morocco has also heavily invested in its intelligence and elite police units, creating sophisticated networks of cooperation and intelligence sharing between the country’s top anti-terrorist specialized units. The BCIJ, the perfect embodiment of Morocco’s specialized anti-terrorist units, has often been described as the “Moroccan FBI,” an indication of the body’s high standards and commendable achievements in dealing with terrorist threats. It a special police made up of 400 detectives and 700 field agents, highly trained and equipped to root out   the various forms of domestic and transnational terrorism. The BCIJ works in collaboration with other sub-departments and security sub-divisions under the commands of the Interior Ministry, therefore creating a vast interconnected and independent hierarchy of anti-terrorist units. BCIJ operatives have neutralized 815 terrorist since 2015, in addition to dismantling 53 terrorist cells from 2015 to April 2018.“We anticipate terrorist strikes,” said BCIJ director Khiame, adding: “We receive intelligence from all agencies working under DGST (General Directorate of Territorial Surveillance). All tasks are divided and this gives us ample time to gather intelligence and intervene in time to stop potential terrorists.” read more

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Sri Lanka and Afghanistan to discuss prisoner transfers

2. The visiting Afghan Foreign Minister was accompanied by His Excellency Mr. Shaida M. Abdali, Non-Resident Ambassador of Afghanistan to Sri Lanka, Mr. Azizudin Ahmadzada, Director General, First Political Division and Mr. Saed Abdul Bashir Sadaat, Deputy Spokesman, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan.3. One-to-one meeting between the two Ministers was arranged on 19th December 2012, followed by official bilateral talks. 1. At the invitation of the Hon. Prof. G.L. Peiris, Minister of External Affairs of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, His Excellency Dr. Zalmai Rassoul, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan paid an official visit to Sri Lanka from 18th – 21st December 2012, marking the first ever bilateral visit undertaken by an Afghan Foreign Minister to Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka and Afghanistan have agreed to  discuss matters pertaining to the transfer of prisoners, a joint communiqué released by the External Affairs Ministry said today.The joint communiqué follows the visit to Sri Lanka by Afghan Foreign Minister Dr. Zalmai Rassoul. The joint communiqué said: 4. Hon. T.B. Ekanayake, Minister of Culture & the Arts, Hon. Rauff Hakeem, Minister of Justice, Secretaries of the Ministry of Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare, Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Ministry of Culture & the Arts, Ministry of External Affairs and the Vice Chancellor of the Kotelawala Defence Academy were present at the official bilateral talks representing Sri Lanka.5. The official discussions between the two sides were marked by friendship, mutual respect and understanding. The Minister of External Affairs of Sri Lanka and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan noted that the two countries share a common cultural and historical heritage that has paved the way for regional cooperation which is an impetus to build a multi-faceted partnership between the two countries.6. The official bilateral discussions focused mainly on the areas of cooperation in the fields of trade and commerce, culture, legal consultations, employment opportunities and education. 7. The two Ministers agreed to harness the resources and the skilled labour available in Sri Lanka to contribute towards rebuilding Afghanistan and restoring cultural artifacts in the country. The urgent need for development of professional and skilled manpower in Afghanistan was reiterated at the Meeting. In this regard, a bilateral agreement for providing professional and skilled labour to Afghanistan was proposed by Sri Lanka. Afghanistan welcomed the participation of Sri Lankan professionals and skilled manpower to rebuild their country. 8. Sri Lanka was requested to provide more placements in its universities in the disciplines of medicine, engineering, agriculture and technology. Sri Lanka responded positively to the request of Afghanistan and offered to consider more placements in the universities on a fee-levying basis in addition to two gratis placements in the Kotelawala Defence University.9. The visiting Afghan Minister made a special request seeking assistance of the Government of Sri Lanka to restore the printing press of the Ministry of Education in Afghanistan, which would be exclusively used for printing of text books for Afghan school children. Sri Lanka agreed to consider the request positively which would symbolize the friendship and cooperation between two countries.10. Signing of the bilateral Agreement on Economic, Educational, Scientific and Technological Cooperation and the Memorandum of Understanding on Cultural Cooperation between the two countries were viewed by the Ministers as the core component of stronger Sri Lanka- Afghanistan relations. This will pave the way for conducting annual consultations between the two countries. 11. Both sides agreed to discuss matters pertaining to the transfer of prisoners.12. Both sides noted that they could draw inspiration from each other’s experiences as both countries are re-emerging from the shadows of conflict and facing formidable challenges in the areas of reconciliation and reconstruction. The visiting Foreign Minister praised His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa, President of Sri Lanka for his leadership in eradicating terrorism and achieving peace and stability in Sri Lanka.13. The two Ministers acknowledged the need to enhance bilateral trade and the Afghan Foreign Minister agreed to send a delegation representing Ministry of Commerce and Industry and Chamber of Commerce of Afghanistan with a view to exploring avenues for trade expansion. Further, cooperation in the field of processing gemstones was discussed. In this context Afghanistan requested the services of Sri Lankan expertise in this field.14. Both Ministers emphasized the significance of this historic visit of the Afghan Foreign Minister to Sri Lanka and with a view to further consolidating the political, economic and socio cultural relations, announced the decision to open Embassies in both capitals.15. The two Ministers reiterated the importance of working together at bilateral level and in regional fora for the mutual benefit of the two countries.16. The visiting Afghan Foreign Minister called on His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa, President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka on 20th December 2012 and also had comprehensive discussions with the Hon. Basil Rajapaksa, Minister of Economic Development and Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Secretary of the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development. Visiting Minister extended President Karzai’s invitation for H.E. the President of Sri Lanka to visit Afghanistan.17. His Excellency Dr. Zalmai Rassoul, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan delivered a Public Lecture on the topic “Afghanistan today and beyond 2014” at the Ministry of External Affairs, which was appreciated by those present.18. The Foreign Minister of Afghanistan visited the Southern Port City of Galle. During the visit he called on the Hon. Kumari Balasuriya, Governor of the Southern Province and visited the Maritime Museum.19. His Excellency Dr. Zalmai Rassoul, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan expressed his gratitude to the Honourable Minister of External Affairs of Sri Lanka for the warm reception and hospitality accorded to him and his delegation during their visit to Sri Lanka. read more

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UN to observe day of solidarity with detained missing staff members

There are at least 39 staff members of the UN family of organizations currently missing or “disappeared” – possibly under arrest or being held in detention. To focus global attention on their plight, the Eighteenth Annual International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff members will be observed tomorrow.The Day marks the armed abduction of Alec Collett near Beirut Airport in1985 while on assignment for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). The fate of Mr. Collett, a former journalist and Director of the UN Information Centre in Ghana, has never been determined. This year, a lapel pin intended to highlight the importance of staff security and safety will be distributed. Mrs. Elaine Collett will present Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette with the first pin during a brief ceremony at UN Headquarters. read more

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UNs agricultural and educational agencies spotlight rural Caribbean poverty

With rural poverty high and the level of rural education low in Caribbean countries, the United Nations agricultural and educational agencies today opened a two-day regional meeting in St. Lucia on nutrition, education and HIV/AIDS.According to a UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) report to be presented at the meeting, “The education system in the Caribbean evolved from a colonial historical legacy which was predicated on privilege. Education served as a primary device for social selection and class stratification.”With the attainment of independence, mass education has become a social and political priority, but has not reached many in the rural areas, the report said. In Jamaica, the rural poverty rate is three times higher than the urban poverty rate, while in Guyana, almost the entire rural population is poor.“In the Caribbean region, the impact of poverty, HIV/AIDS and educational deficits is acutely felt in the rural context,” according to the report, which stresses the need to make a considerable effort to reach the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and raise standards of living. The MDGs are a set of time-bound targets for slashing a host of global ills.“Education is essential for the rural poor, many of whom are women. It is also essential for rural children who lose their parents to AIDS. Field schools need to be developed to provide essential skills and knowledge to orphaned children. Educating the rural poor contributes to preventing the (HIV) pandemic from expanding rapidly in rural areas,” said the head of FAO Gender and Population Division, Marcela Villarreal. read more

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Termtime holidays Parents can be prosecuted for taking children out of school

first_imgMinisters have argued that children must be in school every day, and that every extra day of school a child misses can affect their GCSE results.How many children miss school for holidays?Figures published by the Department for Education last month showed that around a million schoolchildren missed lessons last year after taking family trips during term time.About one in six pupils in England took at least a half day off for a trip in the 2015/16 academic year with the vast majority doing so without getting permission from the head teacher.Overall, there were 801,980 pupils in England’s state primary, secondary and special schools (11.9 per cent) with one or more sessions (half days) of absence due to unauthorised family holidays, and 223,080 students (3.3 per cent) with at least one missed session due to agreed family breaks.There are no overall figures on the numbers of parents handed fines for taking children out of school, but figures previously showed that in the 2014/15 academic year, at least 50,414 penalty notices were issued due to children being taken out of lessons for trips.This was up 25 per cent on the year before, when at least 40,218 penalties were given out, and up 173 per cent from the 18,484 fines handed out by local authorities in 2012/13. These figures cover 71 councils that provided data for all three years. But a QC for Mr Platt described the submission as a new and radical interpretation of the law which was absurd and would ”criminalise parents on an unprecedented scale”.James Eadie QC, for the Education Secretary, argued it would be ”absurd” if parents could go on holiday with children when ”the sun is out and foreign climes beckon” in a way that ”undermined” Government policy on unauthorised absences.The Government ordered a crackdown on school absences in 2013.New guidelines were introduced for English schools which only allow heads to permit pupils to miss classes in ”exceptional circumstances”.Families complain that trips in official holiday periods are up to four times more expensive, and local councils have reported that the number of breaks in term time is increasing. Reading out the court’s verdict,  Lady Hale, Deputy President of the Supreme Court, said that Parliament would not have found it “acceptable” for children to be taken out of school by parents with a “blatant disregard for the rules”.”This is not an approach to rule-keeping which any educational system can be expected to find acceptable,” she added. It is a slap in the face to those obedient parents who do keep the rules, whatever the cost or inconvenience to themselves. “The case will be returned to the magistrates’ court with a direction to proceed as if the submission of no case to answer had been rejected.”The ruling will be seen as a victory for the Department of Education, which tightened the rules in 2013 in response to the rising numbers of parents taking their children out of school during term-time in order to avoid the surge in prices charged by travel companies during the peak holiday seasons.It followed a pledge by the then Education Secretary Michael Gove to curb the scale of unauthorised absences in primary schools – which were then twice as high as secondaries. Jon Platt High Court  Jon Platt Commenting, a spokesman for the council said the ruling had provided “much-needed clarity”, adding that it would continue to apply its code of conduct on school absences in accordance with the judgement.A Department for Education spokesman said it was “pleased” with the judgement, adding that it had removed lingering “uncertainty” for schools and local authorities.“The evidence shows every extra day of school missed can affect a pupil’s chances of achieving good GCSEs, which has a lasting effect on their life chances,” they added.Father: This is the state taking away parents’ rightsSpeaking after the ruling was given, Mr Platt said he was “not at all surprised” at the judgment.He said: “I’m pleased that they acknowledged the judgment doesn’t go on to say what the school rules should be. Schools need to think very carefully about what these rules should be.”Some have policies that mean that every day missed is a criminal offence.”He added that schools need to build in some flexibility to “attenuate the shocking outcome of this case”. He added: “I have absolutely no intention of pleading guilty to this offence when it goes back to the magistrates’ court.”To parents all over England I say this: the legal battle is now over. There is no right of appeal beyond this place. It will be a generation or more before this court revisits this issue, if ever it does.”You can no longer make the decision to take your children out of school, even for one morning without permission of the state.”Labour: Taking children out of school creates ‘chaos’Speaking on BBC Breakfast on Thursday, shadow education secretary Angela Rayner said removing children from school during term-time would create “chaos” in the classroom.She said: “I completely understand the difficulties that working parents face – I did myself as a single mum.”But it’s really, really important that we set that principle that actually children should attend school in term-time. There are exceptional circumstances, there is discretion at the moment.”But if all parents took their children out of school in term-time because it was cheaper to get a holiday that way, then it would be chaos in our schools and it would affect all children.”What is the background to this case?The High Court ruling in May last year cleared Mr Platt of failing to ensure his daughter attended school regularly, as required by section 444(1) of the Education Act 1996.Mr Platt’s request for permission to take his daughter out of school was refused by her head teacher. Speaking in Parliament Square after the ruling, Mr Platt apologised to his wife for his stubbornness, adding that he was “not at all surprised” by the verdict.However, he said that he felt the decision was “outrageous” and “shocking”, as he warned parents with outstanding fines to pay them or face “ending up here in two years time”.Speaking to The Telegraph, he added: “I really hope people have paid them, but I know there will be those who don’t because they think they can still win.“I say to them that it is very difficult to do so now, because this ruling makes it very difficult to win the case. If you think that you can argue that 99 percent constitutes good attendance, you can’t.” Jon Platt speaking outside the High Court in May last year Credit:Matthew Chattle/REX/Shutterstock Jon Platt outside the Supreme Court on ThursdayCredit:Dan Kitwood/Getty Mr Platt added that the decision represented a victory for the Department of Education, and symbolised the “state” wrestling parents’ rights over their children’s welfare away from them.He now faces legal costs of more than £10,000  and could be fined a maximum penalty of £1,000 when the case is reexamined at the Isle of Wight Magistrates’ Court later this year. Jon Platt arrives at the Supreme Court  Until the Supreme Court’s ruling, many parents presumed they could escape prosecution for truancy, providing they could demonstrate that their child had regularly attended school.But on Thursday that question was unequivocally answered, with the judges ruling that unless a child is sick, absent due to religious observance reasons, or unable to attend because their school transport did not arrive, they must attend school – unless the headteacher has stated otherwise.It means that even half a day’s absence, unauthorised, could lead to prosecution – although the judges noted that “trivial” breaches of the law would likely receive a lesser sentence, such as a fixed-penalty notice or an acquittal.It comes two years after Mr Platt was unsuccessfully prosecuted by the Isle of Wight Council after he failed to pay a £120 fine, leading the authority to pursue the case through the case through High Court and subsequently the Supreme Court. The Department for Education has told parents that their children missing just a few days in the classroom can damage GCSE results.Why is this such an important decision?The crux of the matter is that five Supreme Court judges were being asked to consider whether or not Mr Platt committed an offence by failing to ensure his daughter “attended school regularly”, as required by section 444(1) of the 1996 Education Act. As managing director of JMP Partnership, a business which advises clients who have been mis-sold PPI, Mr Platt has been providing guidance to other parents facing prosecution during his landmark legal battle.But on Thursday there were fears that advice issued by the 46-year-old on his website may have resulted in some parents refusing to pay fines issued by their local authority – meaning they too could now face hefty penalties and a criminal record.The guidance, published by Mr Platt, who colleagues said was currently undertaking a law degree, claims that there “is a very good chance” that local authorities will “withdraw” fines if your child’s attendance is over 92.3 percent.Following Thursday’s ruling, however, he emphasised that “all parents with outstanding fines” should now pay them. After the holiday, he was issued with a fixed penalty notice, but he did not pay the £60 by the initial deadline, and was sent a further invoice for £120, which he also did not pay.At a Supreme Court hearing in January, the local authority, backed by the Education Secretary, argued that a child’s unauthorised absence from school ”for even a single day, or even half a day” can amount to a criminal offence. Jon Platt and his wife Sally outside the Supreme Court in central London on Thursday morning Jon Platt said schools now need to think ‘very carefully’ about absence rulesCredit:Stefan Rousseau/PA Jon Platt and his wife Sally outside the Supreme Court in central London on Thursday morningCredit:Stefan Rousseau/PA Mr Platt warned other parents to pay any outstanding fines or “face ending up here in two years time”, adding that the decision represented the “state” wrestling the duty of care for children away from their parents. “The issue is no longer about term-time holidays,” he said. “It is about the state taking the rights of parents away from making decisions about their children. “Many of you thought, as I did in 2015 when I took my daughter on holiday, that it would be grossly unfair to retrospectively criminalise me. That was very nearly the case.”  A key High Court finding was that the magistrates who originally heard the case were legally entitled to take into account the daughter’s overall attendance record and not just her lack of “regular attendance” during the Florida holiday period.At a Supreme Court hearing in January, the Isle of Wight council argued a child’s unauthorised absence from school “for even a single day, or even half a day” can amount to a criminal offence.A QC for Mr Platt, described the submission as a new and radical interpretation of the law which was absurd and would “criminalise parents on an unprecedented scale”.The action was being closely watched by parents across the country. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The High Court ruling led to a surge in term-time holiday bookings, which are expected to fall sharply after Thursday’s ruling. Parents may no longer believe it is worth taking them out of lessons to take advantage of cheaper holiday prices.As the Supreme Court decided in favour of education bosses, it means that schools and local councils could be even tougher on families whose children miss any school without permission.What are the current rules?In the autumn of 2013, there was a major crackdown on absence, including term-time holidays.New rules were brought in, which said head teachers could only grant leave in “exceptional circumstances”. Previously, school leaders were able to approve leave of up to 10 days for “special circumstances”.Fines for unauthorised absence were also increased in 2013, with parents now incurring a penalty of £60, rising to £120 if it is not paid within 21 days. anyone who fails to pay within 28 days can face prosecution. Parents who take their children out of school for term time holidays can be prosecuted, the Supreme Court has ruled as a “stubborn” father lost his landmark case on Thursday whilst appealing to parents not to follow his example.Delivering their verdict, the judges ruled that Jon Platt, a businessman from the Isle of Wight who took his six-year-old daughter on a seven-day family trip in Florida in April 2015, should have paid a £120 fine for his daughter’s unauthorised absence.The judges said he had shown a “blatant disregard of school rules” and that his approach had been a “slap in the face” to “obedient” parents who abide by the law.Their ruling means that parents who take their children out of school on holiday – even if their child has regular attendance – can be prosecuted if they do not receive permission from the head teacher.last_img read more

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Over 340 arrested in global child pornography investigation

first_imgPOLICE IN TORONTO say 341 people have been arrested, and 386 children rescued from situations where they may be at risk as part of an international investigation into child pornography.Details of the three-year investigation were revealed at a news conference hosted by the city’s police force this afternoon.According to local media, 108 of the arrests made were in Canada, including 50 in Ontario, with the remainder in the rest of the country.The investigation centred on the Toronto-based ‘AzovFilms.com,’ which went out of business in 2011.Those charged in connection with the case include the head of the company, 42-year-old Brian Way. It’s alleged the company solicited and sold child pornography footage around the world via the internet, according to a press release from Toronto Police.Authorities from the US, Spain, Sweden and Australia were also involved in the wide-ranging inquiry — several of whom had representatives at today’s press conference.Toronto Police press release says An Garda Síochána were involved in the investigation. A spokesperson for the force told TheJournal.ie this afternoon that they had no information of any Irish arrests.The investigation – known as ‘Project Spade – also covered Mexico, Hong Kong, Norway, Greece and Gibraltar.Undercover officers from Toronto Police first made contact with Way in October 2010, and began an investigation of his company.The US Postal Inspection Service was called in as the inquiry developed, and the 42-year-old was arrested in May 2011.According to the police service, over 45 terabytes of data was seized, and the company had revenues in excess of 4 million Canadian dollars (€2.8 million).It’s alleged that Way “paid various people to film children for the purpose of creating movies for sale on his website”. He faces a total of 24 charges, including ‘possession of child pornography’ and ‘laundering proceeds of crime’.(Youtube: Toronto Police Service)(Note: The term ‘child pornography’ is used in this article as it’s the term for the offence used by Interpol, which defines it as “any means of depicting or promoting sexual abuse of a child”).Read: 3,000 suspected child pornography reports in Ireland last yearRead: Child pornography blocking system to be debated by Seanadlast_img read more

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Three arrested after gun found in car in Dundalk

first_imgGARDAÍ HAVE ARRESTED three men after seizing a gun from a car in Louth.The arrests happened at Greenacres in Dundalk shortly after 9pm last night.The men – one aged 40 and the other two in their late 20s – were arrested at the scene and are being questioned at Dundalk Garda Station.The men are being detained under the Offences Against the State Act.Gardaí said this morning that the investigation is ongoing.last_img

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Surrender an hour of your day to Mozillas Browser Quest

first_imgIn the eternal war of who makes the better thing (regardless of whatever that thing may be), it is occasionally nice to see something pop up that everyone can appreciate. Such is the case with Browser Quest, and HTML5 game made by Mozilla and Little Workshop.Browser Quest showcases the best of HTML5 in an online multiplayer game that anybody with an HTML5-friendly browser on a PC, Mac, Linux, Android or iOS can play. If you are interested in some pixel art fun filled with some of the internet’s greatest hits, it is well worth an hour of your time.Browser Quest starts you off as a generic male character in a small village. As you explore, you discover weapons and armor that increase in strength right alongside the power of the baddies you find in those areas. You will find everything from town guards with HTML5 shields to a Nyan Cat nestled in the bushes. As you defeat enemies, explore caves, and talk to NPC’s you’ll unlock some of the 20 achievements that are available for you to aim for.You’re not alone, either, and there’s a basic chat system that will allow you to communicate with the other players you can see on your screen. The other players can help you attack the baddies, but they can also drop in and steal your loot if you aren’t fast enough.With all of this awesomeness going on, there’s still a little room for self-promotion. Randomly available at any point in the game are “foxy” potions, which make your character invulnerable to damage for about 15 seconds. During that time, your armor is replaced with a firefox costume for everyone to see. By the time you reach the final boss you are appropriately prepared to take him on by yourself, but typically you’re not alone in taking him on. When you have defeated the boss, you can still go around unlocking the rest of the achievements you find.This is an impressive undertaking, made even more so by the transparency Mozilla offers. The game is entirely open source and available on Github, and you can even take a look at the server load the game is under. The game is functional on Phones, Tablets, and PC’s, but the phone experience even on a Galaxy Nexus with Chrome for Android is fairly uncomfortable.Browser Quest is free to play for anyone, and is available now. Huge props to Mozilla for releasing such an undertaking, including how incredibly smooth and enjoyable the game is. Take a look at our gallery below!wrdfwrdfretghedphoto 5photo 4photo 3photo 2photo 1jutyjhyutfhfygdfoxyfgnhfdhjnslast_img read more

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