Samsung takes on Xiaomi sells 2 mn Galaxy A phones

first_imgNew Delhi: Taking on Chinese player Xiaomi big time, South Korean tech giant Samsung sold two million phones in its mid-price segment Galaxy A series in India in just 40 days starting March 1, earning a revenue of $500 million. Samsung is targeting $4 billion in revenues from its Galaxy A series of phones this year. Earlier this month, it announced Galaxy A20, its fourth smartphone in the Galaxy A series this year. Galaxy A20 is available in India at Rs 12,490. Also Read – Swiggy now in 500 Indian cities, targets 100 more this year In March, Samsung launched galaxy A10 at Rs 8,490, A 30 at Rs.16,990 and A50 in two variants – one at Rs 19,990 and the other at Rs 22,990. “In the first 40 days starting March 1, we have sold a total of two million units of three Galaxy A models in India – A50, A30 and A10. The revenue turnover from these three phones in 40 days is $500 million,” Ranjivjit Singh, Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President, Samsung India, told IANS on Monday. Also Read – New HP Pavilion x360 notebook with in-built Alexa in India “I think this a record for any brand in the industry,” Singh added. “When the rest of the portfolio in A series becomes available, we are sure of not only achieving but exceeding our target,a the Samsung executive said, adding that the A series phones will continue to be available across the channels – both online and offline. Samsung India is now gearing up to launch the Galaxy A70 smartphone with triple camera system next week and the Galaxy A80 with rotating camera in May. “We will launch the Galaxy A70 in India next week in Rs 25,000 to Rs 30,000 bracket and the Galaxy A80 in the Rs 45,000 to Rs 50,000 bracket in May,” Singh said. Samsung earlier announced that it would launch at least one phone every month from March to June this year.last_img read more

35K families in New Gurugram still do not have access to water

first_imgGurugram: Thirty-five thousand families in New Gurugram do not have access to water supply as pipelines have not been laid in these areas. Despite assurances given by the Gurugram metropolitan development authority (GMDA), the deadline is not being met due to various challenges. The families in the sectors are getting their water supply from tube wells and tankers.The Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) has promised to complete work on laying pipelines in the coming months, covering most of the new sectors between 58 and 115. However, the work in sectors 68-90 is still stuck due to hurdles related to land acquisition. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderTo provide piped water to new sectors, the development authority has already augmented the capacity of Chandu Budhera water treatment plant. “We have increased the capacity of Chandu Budhera plant; the increased capacity will be used to cater to only the new sectors. We have also raised the capacity of the water boosting station in Sector 51,” said a senior official from GMDA. The official further said that GMDA has a plan to set up a boosting station in Sector 72. But it would take around two and a half years to be built. Thus, initially, the Sector 51 boosting station will be used for supplying water to the new sectors. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsOn the current status of work on laying internal pipes to connect the master pipeline with households in different sectors, GMDA officials said the new sectors from 58 to 115 have been divided into four phases –58-67, 68-80, 81-95 and 95-115. Pipes for the first phase, comprising sectors along Golf Course Road Extension, are being laid. And according to officials, the supply will start in the mid of 2019. For sectors between 81 and 95, land acquisition has been completed for laying the pipelines. But Huda is yet to allow alternative plots to landowners, which may take a few more weeks. Also, the pipelines have to cross the railway tracks, for which GMDA officials are already in talks with the railways. “They had asked us to deposit Rs 15 crore. We have already approved Rs 6 crore, which will be given to them within the next week. They will need a month to complete their process and we will need another month after that to complete the pipe laying work. This phase should start getting piped water in the next two-three months,” said the senior official from GMDA.last_img read more

Rhino bone recovered 2 held in Jalpaiguri

first_imgDarjeeling: Two persons were arrested and a bone of a rhinoceros was recovered from their possession in Jalpaiguri district on Monday.Based on a tip-off, the Special Task Force of the Forest department led by Sanjay Dutta, range officer, Belakoba Range, conducted a raid at a location in Fatapukur on National Highway 31 C at around 2 pm on Monday. “We found 3 persons in a huddle beside the road. A deal seemed to be going on. As we tried to surround them, one person managed to slip away. We detained the other two,” stated Dutta. The forest officials found a black school bag in their possession. The bag contained a piece of Rhino bone weighing more than 800g. One of the arrested also possessed two Adhaar cards in the name of Prasanta Sarkar of Fulbari, Ghokshadanga, Cooch Behar. The other card bore the name of Rasidul Islam. The other person arrested is Bharat Roy (24 years) of the same locality as Sarkar. During interrogation, they admitted that they have been involved in wildlife trafficking and smuggling of other contraband items.last_img read more

HC rejects plea seeking gag order on CJI matter

first_imgNew Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday refused to entertain a plea seeking to restrain the media from reporting the sexual harassment allegation against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi. A Division Bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani rejected the plea and asked the petitioner to go to the Supreme Court. “We will not interfere in the issue… Everything is with the Supreme Court. Go to the Supreme Court,” the court said. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange framework The bench also mentioned that there is a Supreme Court order dated April 20 on this regard. On April 20, the apex court has said: “Having considered the matter, we refrain from passing any judicial order at this moment, leaving it to the wisdom of the media to show restraint, act responsibly as is expected from them and accordingly decide what should or should not be published, as wild and scandalous allegations undermine and irreparably damage reputation and negate independence of judiciary.” Also Read – Trio win Nobel Medicine Prize for work on cells, oxygen Gogoi has rubbished the allegation of sexual harassment against him, saying that there was a “larger conspiracy” to destabilize the independence of the judiciary which, he said, was “under very serious threat”. The Delhi High court was hearing a petition filed by an Anti Corruption Council of India organisation through counsel Hussain Mueen Farooq and B. Sudha. The petition has sought a direction to restrain TV channels, newspapers as well as social media platforms from publishing or telecasting the allegations of sexual harassment against the CJI till the three-judge panel arrives at any conclusion. The petitioner said that he suspected the involvement of “anti-national elements” in the matter.last_img read more

Its a boy Meghan Prince Harry are proud parents

first_imgLondon: It’s a “healthy” baby boy for Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle, making him seventh-in-line to the British throne. The 34-year-old father, Duke of Sussex, was present at the birth of his boy, who weighs 3.2 kg. The new father, Prince Harry, told reporters that Meghan and the baby were doing “incredibly well” and that the couple were “absolutely thrilled” since the birth at 0526 am (local time). “It’s been the most amazing experience I can ever possibly imagine. How any woman does what they do is beyond comprehension, said Prince Harry, making a brief media appearance as a new father. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: Report”It was amazing, absolutely incredible. I’m so incredibly proud of my wife and as every father would say, this baby is absolutely to die for So, I’m just over the moon,” he said, confirming that the baby was “a little bit overdue” and that the couple were still deciding on a name. “The couple thank members of the public for their shared excitement and support during this very special time in their lives,” the palace said, adding that, “More details will be shared in the forthcoming days.” Also Read – Iraq military admits ‘excessive force’ used in deadly protestsMeghan, 37, went into labour “in the early hours” of Monday morning. The new royal baby, as Queen Elizabeth II’s eighth great grandchild, will be seventh-in-line to the British throne. He or she will be in line behind its grandfather Prince Charles, uncle Prince William and his children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis and father Harry, Duke of Sussex. However, the baby will not be bestowed a title of His or Her Royal Highness (HRH), or referred to as a Prince or Princess, unless the 93-year-old monarch steps in to make an exception to the royal titles rule dating back to 1917. The boy will be able to use one of Harry’s lesser titles to be known as the Earl of Dumbarton. Meghan, a former actress, and Harry got married at a lavish wedding ceremony in Windsor Castle in May last year and announced the pregnancy publicly in October 2018, on the first day of their Commonwealth tour of Australia and New Zealand. In a break from usual royal tradition, the couple have chosen to keep the birthing plans for their baby a private affair and said that they would be announcing the birth publicly only “once they have a chance to celebrate privately as a family”. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex had moved out of their London home at Nottingham Cottage in Kensington Palace into their newly-refurbished 10-bedroom family home at Frogmore Cottage in Windsor on the Queen’s estate recently in preparation of the new arrival.last_img read more

DEO office requests DRM Sealdah Div to arrange special train services

first_imgKolkata: The District Election Officer (DEO) of South 24-Parganas has written to the Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) of Sealdah division urging him to make arrangements of some special train services for smooth disposal of huge number of polling personnel in connection with the last phase of the Lok Sabha elections in Bengal on Sunday, May 19.”After the conclusion of the poll process and subsequent submission of poll-related materials like EVMs, VVPATs and the like at the corresponding receiving centres, the voting personnel will start returning to their residences, many of which are located in far away scattered places from the South 24-Parganas district in which a number of booths are located in remote areas. Such large scale movement cannot be done by buses. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja”So we have sought additional train services,” a senior official in the DEO office in the district said. The last local train from Diamond Harbour to Sealdah leaves Diamond Harbour at 22.15 pm. However, on Sundays, there are times when it remains cancelled. The DEO has urged the DRM to ensure the services of this local train at 22.15 or 22.30 pm and also make arrangements for a special train at 1 am on Monday to cater to the rush of the polling personnel. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayDEO Y Ratnakara Rao has also urged the DRM to make similar arrangements for plying of the last trains leaving from Baruipur, Lakshmikantapur, Namkhana and Canning stations for Sealdah and special trains late at night to manage the heavy rush. It may be mentioned that the entire Gosaba Assembly constituency under Joynagar Parliamentary constituency that has 257 booths and nearly half of Patharpratima Assembly constituency with 136 out of 293 booths are located in remote riverine locations. The district administration’s elaborate arrangements have ensured that polling personnel reach these places 48 hours in advance. “We have made all DCRCs weather-proof taking lessons from the 2009 Lok Sabha elections when 200 EVMs were damaged due to inclement weather and machines were procured from Hyderabad on a war footing to address the crisis situation. “A large part of the district, being located in the coastal belt, experiencing natural calamity is always on the cards. So we need to be prepared fully in advance,” the senior official added. The Eastern Railway authorities have already responded and have assured to make the necessary arrangements.last_img read more

Moroccos FM underlines French leading role in supporting Moroccos territorial integrity

first_imgParis – Moroccan minister of foreign affairs and cooperation, Salaheddine Mezouar underlined this Wednesday in Paris, France’s leading role in supporting Morocco to preserve its territorial integrity.“We are happy that France remains faithful to its positions and orientations concerning the cause of our territorial integrity”, he said after meeting in Paris with French foreign minister Laurent Fabius.He added that Morocco is acting for peace, security, stability and openness, pointing out that he reviewed with the head of the French diplomacy last week’s visit to the region by the UN secretary general’s personal envoy for the Sahara, Christopher Ross. Regarding international issues, he said the meeting also surveyed the situation in Libya and Syria and the upcoming France-Africa summit.For both France and Morocco, Africa is a common region of interest and Morocco is keen on endeavoring with France to support African countries in development and co-development issues, he added.“We are determined to act together at the service of populations and stability in various countries of the African continent”, said Mezouar.Regarding illegal immigration, he urged the European Union to pay particular attention to co-development and work on the human and humanitarian fronts.“Morocco has been making considerable efforts to fight illegal immigration and is unable to find on its own solutions to this phenomenon”, he went on, arguing that partnership with Europe and with France is crucial for a positive humanitarian and co-development action to address this problem”, said the Moroccan foreign minister.This is the first meeting between the French foreign minister and Mezouar who was appointed on October 10.last_img read more

Nelson Mandela From terrorist to peace icon

first_imgBy Rafiu AjakayeJOHANNESBURG  – Numerous factors contributed to his legend.But what made Nelson Mandela a rare gem were qualities of greatness such as perseverance, patience, humility, and, above all, a rare spirit of forgiveness manifested in how he dealt with his political foes, who kept him behind bars for nearly three decades. Mandela, who died late Thursday at the age of 95, was born in 1918 in South Africa’s southern Transkei region.A trained lawyer and a boxer, he combined law with political activism.At one point in the fight against the apartheid regime, Mandela was a leading campaigner for armed struggle, a decision forced upon him by the intolerance and indiscriminate violence of the apartheid regime.In 1961, he was named a commander-in-chief of the Umkhonto we Sizwe (“Spear of the Nation”), the armed wing of the then-outlawed African National Congress (ANC), which trained in Algeria and Ethiopia.Mandela was arrested in South Africa in 1962 and sentenced to five years in prison.In 1964, he was again charged with sabotage and sentenced to life in prison at Johannesburg’s infamous Rivonia trial.While in court, thumping his signatory fist, Mandela gave a speech that came to codify the message of the anti-apartheid struggle.“During my lifetime,” he bellowed to the cheers of supporters who were kept at bay by the apartheid police, “I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people.”He went on to say: “I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideals of a democratic and free society. It is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”Mandela, with inmate number 46664, was taken to Robben Island, where he spent 18 years mobilizing support for his struggle and sending secret letters back home to supporters and family, according to his autobiography, “Long Walk to Freedom.”Authorities got wind of his antics and transferred him in 1982 to Cape Town’s Pollsmoore Prison and later to Victor Veriter Prison in Paarl.Mandela’s struggle, alongside his membership in the ANC, drew world attention, and at some point split the international community down the middle.Most world capitals, though less powerful, backed calls for new sanctions against the apartheid regime and for existing sanctions to be toughened.But until 2008, the US had designated him a “terrorist,” given his support for violence against the apartheid regime.But global support for Mandela’s cause became more obvious in 1988 at a concert in Wembley Stadium in London, when tens of thousands gathered to chant “Free Nelson Mandela” while several millions more were glued to their TV screens across the world to watch.The decision of the white minority-led government of South Africa to free Mandela on February 11, 1990 was a fait accompli.The apartheid regime was no longer sustainable amid mounting international calls for freedom in South Africa.Mandela’s release therefore was non-negotiable; in fact, for the government of WF de Klerk, it was a bid for credibility and acceptance in a new world.After 27 years behind bars, Mandela was freed to lead the ANC in negotiations with the white minority rulers, culminating in South Africa’s first democratic elections in 1994.Rather than pursue a vendetta as demanded by ANC hawks, he chose the path of peace and reconciliation for the good of his troubled nation, even as he wielded power as the country’s first black democratically-elected president.In spite of criticism that he was a weak leader who watched his ANC comrades commit a number of “atrocities” – an allegation later found to be false – Mandela loomed large in racist society for building a “rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world.”He tried to unite the white minority with the black majority, urging both sides to forget their traditional antipathies.-Retirement-But Mandela did something much more shocking: at a time in which Africa was governed by sit-tight leaders, Mandela broke the jinx by opting out of power after serving for only one four-year term in office – despite pleas for him to run for another term.That singular act raised Mandela’s stature as a world leader and the “conscience” of black Africa.The man not only relinquished power, but he also avoided competing with his successor, Thabo Mbeki.Losing his son Makgatho to AIDS, Mandela launched a spirited campaign to enlighten the people about the danger of AIDS and the futility of thinking it was curable through local practices.He dedicated the rest of his life to campaigning for good governance, equality, and freedom in Africa and around the world.Mandela was a fierce critic of the Israeli occupation of Palestine, and he will also be remembered for opposing the 2003 US invasion of Iraq.His Nelson Mandela Foundation continues to do extensive works to support people with terminal diseases.Several humanitarian causes have been named after him, including the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund.He retired from public life in 2004.Mandela, also known as Madiba, is a prince from South Africa’s Xhosa tribe, a recipient of at least 250 honors, and a winner in 1993 of the Nobel Peace Prize, which he won alongside de Klerk for their roles in ending the South Africa crisis.He is survived by three daughters, 18 grandchildren, nine great grandchildren and three step-grandchildren.His extraordinary life story, quirky sense of humor and lack of bitterness towards his former oppressors have all earned Mandela a global appeal verging on sainthood.last_img read more

EUMorocco Fisheries Agreement Complies With International Law European Commission

Rabat – The fisheries agreement between the EU and Morocco is “in full compliance with international law,” said Enrico Brivio, the European Commission Spokesperson for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.“The Fisheries Partnership Agreement protocol is in full compliance with international law,” Enrico Brivio told EurActiv, the leading online media on EU affairs, adding that all of the EU’s agreements apply to the Western Sahara region.“Detailed reporting obligations on Morocco on use of Commission sectoral support ensure that the protocol serves the interests of all local population,” Brivio pointed out. He also stressed that the protocol’s clear reporting mechanism represents an additional tool to monitor compliance with international law.MWN with MAP

Morocco Raising Awareness About Alzheimers Disease On World Alzheimers Day

Rabat –In recognition of World Alzheimer’s Day, l’Association Marocaine Alzheimer Maladies Apparentées (AMAMA) is staging an awareness campaign at the Centre Commercial Anfa Place in Casablanca on September 19-20th.The event is being held to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and to support patients and reduce their families’ hardship in dealing with their loved ones affected by the disease.The two-day event will include coaching and awareness activities for patients’ families and highlights the need for alzheimer’s to be among the top priorities of the Ministry of Health. Alzheimer’s is a disease that degenerates brain cells, resulting in the patient’s gradual loss of memory, speech, movement, and the ability to think clearly.Alzheimer University has reported that nearly 46.8 million people worldwide are living with dementia in 2015, implying one new case every 3.2 seconds. The number might rise to 74.7 million in 2030 and 131.5 million in 2050.In Morocco, there are currently no accurate figures regarding Alzheimer’s patients and insufficient diagnosis equipment.Alzheimer is said to have no effective treatment. However, the American Institute for Health and Tel Aviv University jointly conducted a study that indicated that the Islamic prayer “Salat” reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer by 50%.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission read more

From Dakar King Mohammed VI Answers Mauritanias Diplomatic Provocation

Washington D.C.- At the end of the day, King Mohammed VI chose the right time and the right place to answer Mauritania’s diplomatic provocation. In delivering a speech from the Senegalese capital, where he is celebrating Morocco’s 41st anniversary of the liberation of the Western Sahara, the Monarch is sending a strong message of displeasure to Mauritania’s President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz.The Monarch decision to speak from Dakar is a strong indication of underlying disagreements between Rabat and Nouakchott over Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz chummy relations with the Polisario separatist movement and Mauritania’s adherence to the Algerian agenda in Africa.Mauritania’s’ unfriendly and sometime hostile acts toward Morocco in the Western Sahara conflict have exacerbated regional conflict in North Africa pushing the region close to a war. Nouakchott hosting of high-ranking Polisario leaders and the close relations between the ruling party and the Polisario leadership have undermined Mauritania’s “positive neutrality”. King Mohammed VI choice of location will likely add more strains in the relations between the two capitals. After years of Mauritanian provocations, Rabat needs a more assertive posture to counter President Ould Abdel Aziz aggravations.Senegal, Morocco strongest African ally next to Gabon, has been advocating for the return of the Kingdom to the African Union. It is a staging point for Moroccan business ventures in Sub-Saharan Africa and a hub for Moroccan religious and cultural activities in the continent. It is a natural stop for the Monarch in any African visit.Nonetheless, the fact that relations between Senegal and Mauritania have been deteriorating lately over economic and administrative disagreements may add to Nouakchott’s mistrust of Morocco’s “grand plan” in the region.Then again, after repeated provocations, Moroccan officials cannot help but view Mauritania as ostensibly on the side of their archrival Algeria. It has been evident from the high-level visits and exchanges between the Polisario and emissaries of Ould Abdel Aziz that the Islamic Republic is supporting elements hostile to the Kingdom.If the Western Sahara conflict has been a source of contention, Mauritania’s suspicion of the Kingdom’s intention in the region remains the true motivator in Nouakchott unsympathetic postures.Some Mauritanian analysts view the shift in their country’s foreign policy as a reaction to King Mohammed VI repeated snubbing of their President. Several officials have complained that the Moroccan King, who enjoys visiting African countries and believe in South-South cooperation, has never put a foot in their country.Since its independence, Mauritania has tried to keep balanced diplomatic and military relations with its bigger neighbors Morocco and Algeria. However, as the conflict continues in the Western Sahara and Rabat and Algiers remain deadlocked, the role of Nouakchott becomes more important. This fact is not lost on President Ould Abdel Aziz who continues to play regional powers against each other.President Ould Abdel Aziz   obsession with the so-called Dakar-Rabat-Paris axis’s efforts to destabilize his government is pushing the region toward more instability. Rabat disillusioned with his neighbors double game is not attempting to destabilize Mauritania, it is simply looking to rebalance its African foreign policy.American and French officials wish to see Mauritania maintaining close ties to Morocco in order to deal with its security concerns particularly in confronting terror groups active in Mali, not far from its borders, which has been recently attacked. However, President Ould Abdel Aziz grandiose feelings and disillusion about his nations’ regional role could spell more security and economic problem for his people.Observers in Rabat see the two countries share more common interests than divergences. In fact, an independent Sahrawi entity in the Western Sahara with tribal ties to Mauritanian poses a bigger danger for Nouakchott. Yet for General Ould Abdel Aziz, appeasing Algeria comes before the stability if his nation.The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed read more

Leaked Document US Asks Israel to Temper Its Response to Recognition

Rabat – A leaked document from the US State Department shows that the White House is asking Israel “to temper its response” to the US recognition of Jerusalem, “as the US expects a backlash and is weighing the potential threat to US facilities and people,” according to Reuters.“While I recognize that you will publicly welcome this news, I ask that you restrain your official response,” said the document, seen by Reuters and leaked on December 6.The State Department said in the document that they expect that there will be “resistance to this news in the Middle East and around the world. We are still judging the impact this decision will have on US facilities and personnel overseas.” Another document also seen by Reuters states that the US had formed an internal task force “to track worldwide developments” following President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem.A US official who spoke anonymously to Reuters said that “it was standard to set up a task force any time there is a concern about the safety and security of US government personnel or US citizens.”The State Department did not make any comment on the documents, said Reuters.The document asked European officials to argue that “Trump’s decision did not prejudge so-called final status issues that Israel and the Palestinians need to hammer out in any peace agreement,” reported the news agency.“You are in a key position to influence international reaction to this announcement and we are asking you to amplify the reality that Jerusalem is still a final status issue between Israelis and Palestinians and that the parties must resolve the dimensions of Israel’s sovereignty in Jerusalem during their negotiations,” it said.“You know that this is a unique Administration. It makes bold moves. But it is bold moves that are going to be needed if peace efforts are finally going to be successful,” it added. read more

Recent Testimony Undermines Tariq Ramadans Alibi

Rabat – The organizers of an event attended by the detained Islamic scholar in 2009  have contradicted his alibi that he was on a plane to the conference at the time when a complainant accused Tariq Ramadan of rape.The president of the Union of Young Muslims, Yassine Djemal,  who organized the conference in September 2009, said in a court hearing that Ramadan arrived in Lyon, France before the time that the defense had allegedly claimed during an investigation, according to French news agency AFP.“Mr. Ramadan was scheduled to arrive in Lyon on October 9, 2009, at 11:15 a.m. A colleague and I picked him up at the airport at around 11:35 a.m.,” said Djemal. In order to defend his client from the plaintiff’s claims, which pinpoint the rape in the afternoon, Ramadan’s first lawyer presented an airline ticket during investigations, implying that the scholar landed in Lyon at about 6:35 p.m.The witness added that they then transported Ramadan to hotel Hilton where the woman claimed to have been raped.Ramadan was arrested on January 31, after two women filed complaints against him last year, accusing him of rape.Ramadan fully denies the accusations and deems them to be part of a “campaign of lies launched by adversaries,” a sentiment shared by his supporters. In March, another French woman of Moroccan origin filed an additional rape accusation at the Paris prosecutor’s office against the detained scholar. The 40-year old complainant accused the Islamologist of nine accounts of rape over the span of a year and a half, from February 2013 to June 2014 in Paris, Roissy, Lille, London, and Brussels.If the charges are confirmed, the scholar will face up to 15 years in prison on the charge of rape, and up to 20 years on the separate charge of rape of a vulnerable person. read more

Liz Weston Lets get real about health costs in retirement

You won’t pay for health care in retirement with one lump sum. That’s the way these expenses are often presented, though, and the amounts are terrifying.Fidelity Investments, for example, says a couple retiring in 2019 at age 65 will need $285,000 for health expenses, not including nursing home or other long-term care. The Employee Benefits Research Institute says some couples could need up to $400,000 — again, not including long-term care. The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College hasn’t updated its figures recently, but back in 2010 estimated a typical couple could spend $260,000 for medical and long-term care, with a 5% risk that costs will exceed $570,000.No wonder 45% of people in their 50s and early 60s have little or no confidence that they’ll be able to afford their health care costs once they retire, according to a survey by the University of Michigan.MEDICAL COSTS MAY BE MORE PREDICTABLE THAN YOU THINKThe approach of presenting people with a huge, perhaps unattainable, figure has long bothered Jean Young, senior research associate with the Vanguard Center for Investor Research.“The thing is, it’s not helpful, it’s not actionable, it’s not relatable,” Young says.You also may need six figures to cover food, or transportation, or shelter in a typical retirement. But these are costs you pay over time — just like you’ll pay for health care.Young and other Vanguard researchers partnered with actuaries at Mercer Health and Benefits consulting firm to create a proprietary model based on what retired people actually spend on health care. What they found was that medical costs tend to be in certain ranges, based on a handful of factors:— Where you live— Your health— Your parents’ health— Whether you buy supplemental coverage— Your incomeHigher-income people pay larger premiums for certain parts of Medicare. Some premiums also vary by location, as do medical costs in general. How much health care you’ll consume is greatly influenced by how healthy you are when entering retirement, and, to some extent, your genes.“The actuaries know that the health status of your parents tends to pass generationally,” Young says.A TYPICAL RANGE: $4,900 TO $6,000Here’s the number the researchers came up with: $5,200. That’s the median amount a typical 65-year-old woman could expect to spend annually for premiums and out-of-pocket medical, dental and vision costs in 2018. (Median is the point where half pay more and half pay less. The study used women because they have slightly higher long-term costs, but the gender difference is about 2%.)That assumes the woman lives in a medium-cost area, is at medium risk for health care costs (she either smokes or has a chronic medical condition or two) and buys supplemental Plan F, the most popular Medigap policy. Eighty per cent of those in similar situations would face costs in the range of $4,900 to $6,000.The models also include worst-case scenarios. If her health deteriorated to the high-risk category, her costs could exceed $11,000. If she opted to do without a Medigap policy and had a bad year, she could pay over $21,800.LONG-TERM CARE IS STILL A WILD CARDRetirement planning involves a lot of educated guesses. How long you’ll live, inflation rates, returns on your investments, your expenses — these may not end up being what you expected. Financial planners typically craft their assumptions about what’s most likely to happen and may suggest insurance or contingency plans to cover the worst-case scenarios.Long-term care costs remain the big wild card. Half of people over 65 don’t incur any long-term care costs, Young says, and a quarter incur less than $100,000.“The problem is, 15% are going to spend a quarter of a million or more,” Young says.Those who exhaust their savings may end up on Medicaid, the government program for the indigent that pays for long-term care (Medicare does not). People who have a few million dollars saved may opt to “self-fund,” or pay for it without help. Those in between might consider some kind of long-term care insurance, or earmark assets they can tap if necessary, Young says. That could be your home equity or investments that give you income while you’re healthy but could be sold to pay for long-term care. The key is to not use up those resources for other costs. Holding something in reserve is particularly important for women, who are twice as likely to require paid care.“We live longer; we tend to care for our husbands,” Young says. “The risk is higher for women.”_________________________________________________This column was provided to The Associated Press by the personal finance website NerdWallet. Liz Weston is a columnist at NerdWallet, a certified financial planner and author of “Your Credit Score.” Email: lweston@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @lizweston.RELATED LINK:What you will spend on health costs in retirement http://bit.ly/nerdwallet-health-care-costs-retirementLiz Weston Of Nerdwallet, The Associated Press read more

Delaware court revives Blue Bell Creameries shareholder suit

DOVER, Del. — Delaware’s Supreme Court has overturned the dismissal of a shareholder lawsuit against one the country’s largest ice cream makers after a 2015 listeria outbreak that killed three people.The court ruled Tuesday that a judge erred because the plaintiff had not demanded that the board of Blue Bell Creameries take action itself before the lawsuit was filed. That demand requirement can be waived if a plaintiff raises reasonable doubts about the impartiality of directors because of close ties to management. Former CEO Paul Kruse is a defendant in the suit.The court also said the lawsuit adequately alleges that the board at Blue Bell failed to implement any system to monitor food safety performance or compliance.The Brenham, Texas, company suffered significant financial losses due to the outbreak.Randall Chase, The Associated Press read more

Ban Kimoon recommends extension of UN office in Central African Republic

7 December 2007Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has recommended that the United Nations office in the Central African Republic (CAR) be extended for another year to help the country consolidate progress and prevent a relapse into conflict. In a letter to the President of the Security Council, Mr. Ban notes that the Government has indicated that it would like the UN Peacebuilding Support Office in the CAR, known as BONUCA, to “continue to assist them in their efforts towards building lasting peace, including by helping the national stakeholders organize an inclusive political dialogue.”Some recent positive developments, facilitated in part by BONUCA, show that the UN peacebuilding efforts in the CAR are “making strides,” writes Mr. Ban, noting in particular that preparations for the national dialogue are progressing, and the round table held in Brussels on 26 October mobilized close to $600 million for the country’s development programmes.But despite progress, concern remains about a number of issues, including sporadic attacks by rebels and criminal gangs and subsequent reprisals by Government forces, as well as the fallout of the Darfur crisis in the border areas with the Sudan, all of which add to the prevailing insecurity in the country and the humanitarian challenges it faces.These factors also undermine efforts to reform the economy and to promote development, both of which are crucial for long-term stabilization of the country, the Secretary-General adds.The support of the international community remains vital to the country’s efforts to remain on the path to peace and development, Mr. Ban writes, recommending that BONUCA’s mandate be extended through the end of 2008, so that it can help national players to organize an inclusive political dialogue and facilitate the mobilization of resources for national reconstruction, development and other priorities.Mr. Ban’s comments echo those in his recent report on BONUCA’s activities, in which he appealed to actors in the CAR to engage in national dialogue to end the cycle of political instability and violence that continues to plague the country. read more

Over 500000 people displaced in DR Congo last year says UN

More than a half a million people have been displaced in the past 12 months in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), mainly due to fighting between Government and rebel groups in the country’s volatile northeast, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said today.This is the largest wave of displacement in the country since the end of the civil war in 2003, OCHA added.Escalating clashes between Congolese armed forces (FARDC) and dissident groups and militias, as well as widespread human rights violations committed by all groups throughout 2007 especially since last August, are responsible for the massive increase in internal displacement within North and South Kivu provinces. Some 1.5 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) returned to their homes in the eastern part of the DRC last year with the help of aid workers. However, in many areas most affected by the recent escalation of fighting, especially the two Kivu provinces, new displacements are much greater than the returns, OCHA noted. “Such an overwhelming level of new displacement is very worrying,” John Holmes, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, said. “Unless peace can be quickly restored, we are bound to see further human tragedy in a country trying to emerge from years of civil war. Meanwhile, armed groups must stop targeting civilians.” The situation is especially dire in North Kivu, where fighting has escalated in recent months between Government troops and rebels allied with the dissident army general, Laurent Nkunda. Since last August, some 232,000 people there have fled their homes, bringing the total number of IDPs in the province to over 800,000, including those displaced before 2007. Meanwhile, unconfirmed reports suggest there may be an additional 150,000 displaced.South Kivu is also badly affected, according to OCHA, with over 100,000 people displaced last year. At the same time, the province has become a “safe haven” for some 60,000 people fleeing North Kivu. While the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) assisted some 230,000 people to return to their homes throughout 2007, South Kivu continues to host over 357,000 IDPs.Meanwhile, a UN-supported conference aimed at bringing peace, security and development to the DRC’s strife-torn eastern region is currently underway in Goma, the capital of North Kivu. Addressing the over 1,000 delegates today, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for DRC stressed the need for participants to acknowledge the sufferings of women, who endure various acts of wartime sexual violence, and children drafted against their wills into the ranks of armed groups.Alan Doss called on both rebels and Government troops to take disciplinary measures against those among them who abuse the rights of women and children. In addition, he urged the armed groups to immediately release child soldiers within their ranks.The conference, expected to conclude on 17 January, continued today with thematic workshops, including presentations by various commissions and local armed groups. 15 January 2008More than a half a million people have been displaced in the past 12 months in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), mainly due to fighting between Government and rebel groups in the country’s volatile northeast, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said today. read more

Ban confers with Israeli Foreign Minister on Middle East peace process

According to Mr. Ban’s spokesperson Michele Montas, they also talked about operational issues regarding humanitarian aid to Gaza and the West Bank, as well as Palestinian students who are not able to exit Gaza. Mr. Ban and Ms. Livni also conferred on the Annapolis process, the peace process launched in the United States city of that name late last year. In his meeting yesterday with Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak, the Secretary-General discussed Israeli settlements. Ms. Montas noted that Mr. Ban has said repeatedly that they do not help push the peace process forward. In a statement issued last week, he voiced deep concern about the announcement that the Ministry of Defence had issued an initial approval of 20 residential units in the Israeli military post of Maskiyot in the West Bank. “The Secretary-General has stressed many times before that settlement construction or expansion is contrary to international law,” according to a statement issued by his spokesperson. 31 July 2008Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon held talks with Israeli Foreign Minister Livni in New York today, with the two discussing the Middle East peace process, including the situation in Lebanon. read more

Security situation in volatile eastern DR Congo remains tense – UN mission

The security situation in both North Kivu and South Kivu provinces is still tense, according to a press release issued by the mission, which is known as MONUC.Last night Congolese army troops and members of the rebel National Congress for the the People’s Defence (CNDP) clashed in skirmishes near Kirotshe, which is about 35 kilometres south of Goma, the North Kivu provincial capital.The area around Kirotshe has been the scene of fierce fighting this week between the Congolese army and the CNDP, and MONUC blue helmets have had to use armed force to protect civilians.Today MONUC said it had observed that CNDP troops had continued to withdraw to their original positions before the start of the current flare-up of hostilities, on 28 August.The mission is also devising a plan to separate the forces on the ground so that the disengagement phase of a January peace agreement between the two sides, known as the Acts d’engagement, can be implemented.Yesterday the Security Council voiced its serious concern at the fighting in the Kivus, long the most volatile area of the DRC since the formal end of the long-running civil war several years ago. 13 September 2008The United Nations peacekeeping mission to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) said today that its forces in the volatile far east of the country remain on high alert, despite the relative calm in the region since this morning. read more

UN helps boost market access for organic farmers in developing nations

8 October 2008Organic farmers in developing countries will have greater access to world markets, thanks to two practical tools developed by the United Nations and a partner agency to help ease trade in organic agricultural products. The new tools are the result of six years of joint efforts by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), the umbrella organization for the organic sector worldwide.According to FAO, organic trade is expanding at the rate of 15-20 per cent per year, and more than 100 countries currently export certified organic products. However, the global trade in organic products is hindered by a multitude of standards, regulations and conformity assessment systems. This means that products certified as organic under one system may not be easily recognized as organic under another, causing problems and increased costs for organic producers and exporters who want to sell in different markets. Equitool is a guide to help decision-makers assess whether an organic production and processing standard applicable in one region of the world is equivalent, or equally valid, to another organic standard. “This tool facilitates trade while also safeguarding organic production according to local socio-economic and agro-ecological conditions,” FAO said in a news release.The second tool, IROCB (International Requirements for Organic Certification Bodies) is a minimum set of performance requirements for organic certification bodies that will enable import of products certified under foreign control systems.Both tools were approved at the final meeting of the International Task Force on Harmonization and Equivalency in Organic Agriculture (ITF) – which comprises representatives of governments, intergovernmental agencies, and key stakeholders from the private sector, including certifiers and accreditors – in Geneva. “The organic market is steadily expanding, new issues are emerging and organic standards and certification procedures are in constant development,” said FAO Assistant Director-General Alexander Mueller. “Rather than losing time, money and markets in this jungle of standards and regulations, the ITF has laid the basis for harmonious cooperation for those interested in facilitating the growth of the organic sector, while maintaining the integrity of the system,” he added. The ITF advocates that organic trade should be based on international standards and the principle of equivalence, and that organic certification bodies worldwide should meet common performance requirements.There are currently two international standards for organic agriculture: the FAO/World Health Organization (WHO) Codex Alimentarius Commission Guidelines for the Production, Processing, Labelling and Marketing of Organically Produced Food and the IFOAM Basic Standards. read more