Dravid, Irfan not in World Cup squad

first_imgRahul Dravid and paceman Irfan Pathan did not figure in the initial probable list for the World Cup announced by the BCCI in Mumbai on Saturday.The 30-member list included youngsters Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane along with old war horses Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag.The squad will be pruned next month for the quadrennial event starting on February 19 to be played in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.Speaking to reporters after the selection meeting, Chairman of selectors Kris Srikkanth said, “As you know there are no big surprises. This is a probables team and everyone selects himself. There is one more month to go to select the final team and we will sit down and think calmly before finalising the team.””I am confident that the team will do well in the World Cup. They have been doing well in one-day cricket. The World Cup is happening in the sub-continent and I am confident that the team will do well,” he added.Apart from the omission of the 37-year-old Dravid, who has not played an ODI since September last year, and Pathan, on the sidelines since February 2009 in ODIs, there aren’t any surprise selections.The batting list expectedly features Tendulkar, Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina.The 22-year-old Pujara along with Virat Kohli are among the youngsters picked in at least the preliminary squad.The bowling line-up is also on the expected lines with the pace attack led by Zaheer Khan featuring Ashish Nehra, S Sreesanth, Munaf Patel and Ishant Sharma.advertisementThe spin department has the experienced Harbhajan Singh along with Amit Mishra, Piyush Chawla, Pragyan Ojha and R Ashwin.Apart from Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the probables list has three other wicketkeepers in Parthiv Patel, Wriddhiman Saha and Dinesh Karthik.The list: Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, S Sreesanth, Munaf Patel, Ishant Sharma, Vinay Kumar, M Vijay, Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Ajinkya Rahane, Saurabh Tiwary, Yusuf Pathan, Parthiv Patel, R Ashwin, Wriddhimaan Saha, Dinesh Karthik, Shikhar Dhawan, Amit Mishra, Piyush Chawla, Cheteshwar Pujara, Pragyan Ojha, Praveen Kumar.- With PTI inputslast_img read more

Sons bat for fathers ahead of Himachal polls

first_imgWinter is around the corner but it’s still quite ‘sonny’ up in Himachal Pradesh as the state gears up for assembly polls .While Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and arch-rival Virbhadra Singh , the state Congress chief, are busy rallying support across all the 67 constituents, their sons have taken up the mantle for campaigning in their father’s constituencies.And the upcoming polls are bound to prove a test of fire for both Arun Dhumal, who looks after the family business in Jalandhar, and budding politician Vikramaditya Singh. Both their fathers are contesting from new constituencies as the delimitation commission has scrapped Dhumal’s bastion Bamsan constituency in Hamirpur. Virbhadra’s stronghold Rohru, meanwhile, has been reserved for scheduled caste candidates.Dhumal and Virbhadra will now be vying for victory from Hamirpur and Shimla (rural) respectively.It’s hardly surprising then that Vikramaditya and Arun have been going out of their way to connect with the electorate and working hard to ensure their father’s absence doesn’t cost them the November elections.Vikramaditya, who’s in his early 20s, gets up at the crack of dawn every day before setting out to interact with voters, obviously taking his maiden attempt at campaigning seriously.He visits a new place each day and spends 16 hours on the campaign trail from 8 am till midnight.”It is a big responsibility as the campaign is for a reputed politician,” Vikramaditya said.”People are raising local issues, such as lack of health amenities and road connectivity. Unemployment is another big problem,” he added.The path appears easier for Arun as Hamirpur is already a Dhumal bastion, but that doesn’t mean the scion is taking the job any lightly. The businessman has been trudging up and down every village of the constituency with his team.”People of Hamirpur are going to poll record votes in favour of the chief minister. He is campaigning elsewhere as he has to cover 67 constituencies. The people are overwhelmed and coming forward openly,” Arun said.Interestingly, neither Dhumal nor Virbhadra has announced dates for campaigns in their own constituencies. But they are expected to canvass in their respective constituencies for at least one day, when they will also file their nominations – October 16 for Dhumal and October 17 for Virbhadra.advertisementlast_img read more


first_img(REOPENS SPD 5) (REOPENS SPD 5) Reacting to his improved rankings, Bopanna said, “Really proud to have qualified into the top 10 rankings,Brink of RIO Olympics deadline ??. #GoalsWithDreams,” he tweeted. PTI PM PMlast_img

2017 Skoda Octavia facelift first drive review

first_imgThe name Octavia dates back to the late 1950’s when Skoda first introduced it as a small family car. Over the past years, dimensions of the car have grown but the motive still remains. Except, the launch of the car in India back in 2001, spiralled it to a successful sprint in our market as a sought-after executive saloon. Fit for the white-collared individual with panache and style for the whole family.Now in its third generation, the Octavia is more stylish than ever before. The 2017 version of the Octavia gets visual tweaks that takes the design language a little further to look contemporary. While most of the bodyline remains unchanged from the outgoing car, the headlamps  and tail lamps are new and get the most noticeable changes.Departing from the rectangular single piece unit, this new version sports split lamps with the grille cascading onto the two lamps. (Photo: Sanjay Raikar)Design:First, the shape. Departing from the rectangular single piece unit, this new version sports split lamps with the grille cascading onto the two lamps. While the shape of the lamps are striking to say the least, it’s the hidden tech that really is more impressive. Skoda calls it Adaptive Frontlight System and it’s as simple to understand. Activated by light sensors which automatically switch on the headlamps in low-light conditions (just as any car equipped with auto headlights), these headlamps can further change the geometry of the light throw based on the driving conditions. Thus the light pattern can change/level with load, steering angle, rain and even speed of the car.advertisementDRLs and what look like eyelashes inside the headlamp casing light up, adding to the details. (Photo: Sanjay Raikar)Aiding the headlamps are cornering fog lamps which activate upon actuating the turn indicators and will light up the side at which the steering is being turned towards taking care of blind spots.The cornering lamps however, aren’t LEDs and barring their functionality, the look odd lit up in a hue of yellow instead of being uniform as the white light from the headlamps.Tail lamps also get LEDs with a distinct C-shaped illuminated strip much like its VW cousins. (Photo: Sanjay Raikar)Features:Just as the exterior, there’s a substantial update for this 2017 version. An 8-inch colour infotainment touchscreen now makes it to the dashboard and is the most apparent change from the old Bolero system, now called Amundsen. Apart from Mirror Link, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for maximum connectivity across mobile interfaces, the touchscreen integrates various functionalities to control auxiliary car functions. The capacitive touchscreen is also one of the smoothest to operate in a car of this segment.The classy interior has been left untouched and still features the black and beige dual-tone upholstery. Convenience features also include a dual-zone climate control air-conditioning system. (Photo: Sanjay Raikar)Skoda also offers an app called BossConnect that allows you to operate the infotainment system through your phone. Thus, increasing convenience especially for the rear seat passengers who also get dedicated USB slots to charge their devices.There is ambient lighting that can be actuated and changed through the new infotainment screen. (Photo: Sanjay Raikar)Convenience also comes from park assist which help reduce parking effort as sensors help identify a parking space and line the car up, taking over steering duties while the driver controls throttle and braking only.Skoda will continue to offer a choice of efficient diesel and petrol engine options for the face-lifted car. (Photo: Sanjay Raikar)Engine:Skoda will continue to offer a choice of efficient diesel and petrol engine options for the face-lifted car. There’s a 1.4-litre turbo-petrol engine producing 150bhp and 250Nm of power, mated to a 6-speed manual transmission only; while a 2.0-litre diesel engine producing 143bhp and 320Nm, mated to a 6-speed DSG gearbox claims 21kmpl as overall efficiency.Now in its third generation, the Octavia is more stylish than ever before. (Photo: Sanjay Raikar)We got our hands on the 1.8-litre petrol. This sprightly engine develops 180bhp and 250Nm sending power to the wheels via a 7-speed DSG.Verdict:Refined, linear and quite sporty to drive thanks to the well-tuned suspensions and slick-shifting gearbox, this is the choice for the enthusiasts who’ve always liked the Octavia for its performance.ALSO READ:Skoda dealerships start accepting bookings for Octavia faceliftALSO READ:Skoda Octavia facelift will arrive in India by June 2017last_img read more

F1 tycoon Vijay Mallya’s superyacht impounded over wage dispute

first_imgSign up to the daily Business Today email or follow Guardian Business on Twitter at @BusinessDesk India Share on Facebook Water transport Motor sport Since you’re here… Some of the senior crew, who have not left the vessel since it was abandoned, are owed up to $92,000 in unpaid wages. Mallya, a co-owner of the Force India Formula One team and self-proclaimed “King of the Good Times”, was arrested in London last year over allegations he supported his F1 team with money-laundered cash.Indian authorities are seeking his extradition to face trial in India. Mallya is on bail pending an extradition hearing scheduled to begin in April.Danny McGowan, strategic organiser of the maritime union Nautilus International, said crew were left with no choice but to ask the courts to hold the Isle of Man-registered superyacht ransom. The yacht, which features a 15-seat cinema and Sir Elton John’s baby grand piano, has been impounded in a “maritime lien” which gives the crew claim over the vessel to the value of the unpaid wages. Vijay Mallya is on bail pending an extradition hearing. Photograph: Getty Share on WhatsApp … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Formula One Formula One 2017 Topics Business Twitter center_img South and Central Asia Pinterest Share via Email “Our members onboard gave their employer and the ship owner multiple opportunities to pay monthly wages, displaying a loyalty and restraint greater than many would show in such situations,” McGowan said. “These opportunities were regularly ignored by the owner, leaving us with no option but to take the case to the courts.”McGowan said it was the first that the financial security provisions of the Maritime Labour Convention have been enacted to help crew on an abandoned superyacht. He said the union had secured $615,000, which covers four months worth of unpaid wages from the vessel’s insurers under the international Maritime Labour Convention. But he said Nautilus members were still owed an additional $330,000 and non-union crew members were owed hundreds of thousands more. Charles Boyle, Nautilus’s legal director, said: “The superyacht sector is seen as one of glamour and glitz, but the sad reality is that crew members can experience exploitation and abuse, and that is why Nautilus has become increasingly involved in such justice case.”A representative for Mallya did not respond to requests for comment. The 62-year-old businessman is on bail and living in a £11.5m mansion in the Hertfordshire village of Tewin, nearly Welwyn, 20 miles north of London.Mallya, who was once known as the “Branson of Bangalore” for his business and sport empire that included Kingfisher beer and the Kingfisher airline, bought the Indian Empress in 2006. He spent more than £5m refitting the yacht in 2015, which included making space for Sir Elton John’s black Yamaha Disklavier, which the singer had used to write the Songs from the West Coast album. Mallya bought the piano for €226,000 at a charity auction. Reuse this content Share on Twitter Facebook A $93m (£67m) superyacht owned by Indian multimillionaire Vijay Mallya has been impounded in Malta in a dispute over the businessman’s failure to pay the crew more than $1m in wages.Mallya’s 95-metre Indian Empress was boarded by port officials and prevented from leaving Malta on Tuesday as part of the crew’s legal action to recover unpaid wages. More than 40 crew, including several Britons, Indians and eastern European workers, have not been paid since September when Mallya – who is fighting extradition from the UK to India – abandoned the vessel. Share on LinkedIn Share on Pinterest Support The Guardian Share on Messenger newslast_img read more

Throttle Jockey: That special bond between man and Low Rider

first_img Editors’ Recommendations Buying a big-inch Harley is a unique experience. It’s a major life decision, unlike buying that generic SUV or plunking down your cash for, say, a big screen TV. Why? In conversation over dinner recently during a press outing with Mike Goche, Harley-Davidson’s current Motorcycle Product Planning Manager, he recalled how, when he bought his first Harley in the early 1990s, he was told “welcome to the family” by the dealer.And really, that kind of sums it up.Many companies try (and fail) to cultivate a “we’re all a big family” vibe when you buy their products, but honestly, in the United States, no brand can claim it has anywhere near the authenticity of inclusion like Harley-Davidson can. That feeling you’re a part of something much, much bigger than yourself is especially strong when you decide to saddle up a “big-inch” Harley, like the $14,399 Low Rider.Riding a true biker’s bike like a Low Rider imparts a mysterious… something onto the rider/owner, a certain elevation of visibility most other bikes just don’t have, and in truth, haven’t earned. The Harley heritage results in instant respect from youngsters, a bit wider berth from other riders, a long second look from possible passengers. It’s a mystique, a halo of badassery included at no extra charge. But it’s more than that.What is it that makes you feel bigger, stronger and more confident while at the controls of these machines? The heritage? Made-in-America pride? That sound? The inexhaustible desire to twist the throttle at low RPM so you can feel that ocean of torque wash over you, again and again and again? It’s hard to pinpoint. Miles of riding are required to really form the bond, to understand that thing that can’t be readily explained, as Goche reflected on his first rides all those years ago as we talked over darts and libations at a Portland hotspot.Truth: I don’t own a Harley. I never have. It’s not that I have anything against them – I think they’re great bikes, and the H-D story, especially the rebound from the low-point AMF years to the top-shelf machinery they make today, is a righteous American legend, business or otherwise.To be honest, I haven’t felt the desire to own, much less ride, a cruiser. I like big power, precision, handling, modern tech and cornering clearance in my rides. I’m allergic to ape hangers, forward controls and exhaust pipes so loud they set off car alarms and wake the neighbors when you fire it up in the morning. I know those are all mandatory qualities for many Harley riders, but I always found them anathema. Yes, I’ve clearly owned many Hondas, among other brands.Alternately, I like to ride in the dirt, and with all those criteria, H-D has been pretty much an outlier, Sportster XR1200X and the long-defunct FXDX model excepted. And I just haven’t had the wallet for those H-D toys anyway, what with a mortgage, kids, a bunch of nice bikes already in the garage and so on. You know the drill.But a couple of years ago, Harley re-skinned the Low Rider, and suddenly, a bunch of my cruiser boxes got ticked. Flat (and adjustable!) handlebars, dual front disc brakes, mid controls, decent cornering clearance, a factory 2-1 pipe that, even though it’s stock, had a nice rumble and snap to it. And now, the big high-output 103 cubic inch motor in the latest iteration. While riding my father-in-law’s too-small Harley Nightster (a.k.a Sportster 1200) around Texas last year, I pulled into a Harley dealership and threw a leg over a Low Rider. Oh, baby.I wasn’t able to ride one at the time, so when Harley-Davidson said they were coming to Portland for their 2016 model rollout and could I attend, I asked if a Low Rider would be included. Indeed it was. My chance had come at last.After tooling around on a new Forty-Eight (a fine machine to be sure), we set out for a longer road ride and I immediately requested the Low Rider. It really wasn’t on the list of “new new” bikes, but it was new enough, and I wanted to see if the actual riding experience met my high and perhaps unrealistic expectations.The Low Rider dates back to the early 1970s, a styling and engineering compromise of sorts that came about after Harley brass noticed custom builders were combining certain Sportster parts with big-inch bike elements to form a sort of big, simple, yet sportier heavyweight bike. The Low Rider retains those qualities today, with a simple layout and a somewhat hidden focus on performance. It’s no pure sport bike, but it’s no slouch either.Saddling up for the first time, I found the fit and comfort spot-on for my size. Fire the engine and the lumpy idle vibrates… everything, but in a good way. I rode a new Indian last year and while it was a fine and capable machine, the thing I told Goche after our day out was that compared to the Indian, Harleys just seemed more visceral, more elemental, and while “unrefined” is definitely the wrong word, perhaps “more alive” are the right ones.Once underway, the Low Rider’s vibes fall away above idle as the rubber-mounted plant rises in RPMs. It’s smooth. Really smooth – but still present. And very powerful. The Harley folks don’t talk horsepower numbers, and while I know that’s important to a lot of riders, suffice to say the Low Rider is plenty fast enough, especially with 98-foot-pounds of torque. It also packs in great brakes along with sufficient lean angles. And trust me, I have pretty steep expectations on all those fronts.It also packs an unexpected amount of tech, with an innovative optional in-hub ABS system available, a flawless fuel injection setup, and a helpful LCD info panel tucked into the speedo that shows range to empty, gear position, the time and numerous other data bits, all controlled by a button on the left bar pod. Turn signals self-cancel at the right time. You can get a keyless option for the ignition. Fit and finish are outstanding top to bottom. And I love that sparkle paint – long live the Seventies!Harley has refined and refined and refined the control systems of their bikes to the point that, while it still takes a definite effort to shift, clutch and brake, those systems work with a precision and smoothness that satisfies while also engaging the senses. Whether rolling stoplight to stoplight in the city, cruising down the open road or railing through some tight turns at speed on a mountain highway, the Low Rider was, above all, easy to ride and totally enjoyable. The fact that it looked great and sounded good as well were just bonus points.I swapped out with other bikes a few times during photo stops, but when it came time to hit the road again for the next long leg of the ride, my butt was almost always back on the L-R. The other journalists in attendance were focused on the latest/shiniest new models, but the thought that kept coming back to me while on the Low Rider was “I could ride this thing All. Day. Long.”Naturally, a large component of riding a Harley is style. For me personally, that’s not my primary concern, although I try to avoid riding ugly bikes. The Low Rider is classic Harley biker kit: it looks long, low and mean, but also simple and purposeful. It’s not a chromed-out glamour sled, but it’s not a murdered-out invisibility cloak either. To me, if I can get one in black or red (or both), it’s just right. And of course, customization options are endless. But for me, it’s just right just as it sits.Our test ride at an end, I shut down the Low Rider rand reluctantly handed over the keys. The techs packed up the bikes, the journalists dispersed from my fine city and I was left with my memories and a thumb drive full of photos from our time on the road.Everyone has their Goldilocks bike, that one machine that satisfies your lust and expectations, but then adds in something more, something intangible and hard to pin down that makes you right with the world, at least for a little while.I think I just found mine.Bike photos by Bill Roberson. Riding photos by Riles and Nelson. Other photos courtesy of Harley-Davidson. Harley-Davidson provided meals and accommodations during this review.  The Best Men’s Trail Running Gear for Warm Weather How to Use a French Press Coffee Maker The Best Drinks to Pair With Your Favorite Food Shows center_img Runners, Say Goodbye to Chafing with Path Projects Running Shorts How to Remove a Tick: A Simple Guide to Safely Getting Rid of Ticks 1. 2016 Harley-Davidson Dyna Low Rider 103 2. 2016 Harley-Davidson Dyna Low Rider 103 3. 2016 Harley-Davidson Dyna Low Rider 103 4. 2016 Harley-Davidson Dyna Low Rider 103 5. 2016 Harley-Davidson Dyna Low Rider 103 6. 2016 Harley-Davidson Dyna Low Rider 103 7. 2016 Harley-Davidson Dyna Low Rider 103 8. 2016 Harley-Davidson Dyna Low Rider 103 9. 2016 Harley-Davidson Dyna Low Rider 103 10. 2016 Harley-Davidson Dyna Low Rider 103 11. 2016 Harley-Davidson Dyna Low Rider 103 12. 2016 Harley-Davidson Dyna Low Rider 103 13. 2016 Harley-Davidson Dyna Low Rider 103 14. 2016 Harley-Davidson Dyna Low Rider 103 15. 2016 Harley-Davidson Dyna Low Rider 103 16. 2016 Harley-Davidson Dyna Low Rider 103 17. 2016 Harley-Davidson Dyna Low Rider 103 18. 2016 Harley-Davidson Dyna Low Rider 103 19. 2016 Harley-Davidson Dyna Low Rider 103 20. 2016 Harley-Davidson Dyna Low Rider 103last_img read more

Crown wraps up case against suspect in Calgary Stampeder shooting

first_imgCALGARY — The prosecution has wrapped up its case against the man accused of fatally shooting a member of the Calgary Stampeders two years ago.The Crown called four witnesses Monday in the second-degree murder trial of Nelson Lugela.Lugela, 21, was charged after Mylan Hicks was shot in the chest and the abdomen in the early hours of Sept. 25, 2016, outside the Marquee Beer Market.Between 15 and 25 members of the football team had been at the bar celebrating a last-minute victory over Winnipeg hours earlier. Testimony has heard there was an altercation over a spilled drink earlier in the evening which reignited in the parking lot after the club closed.Several members of the CFL team testified at the trial.In testimony Monday Calgary Police Det. Ken Carriere described searching a back alley near the location Lugela and two friends had parked their car after the shooting when he saw a footprint near a bunch of recycling bins and looked inside.“On top there was a box for a lamp, both sides were closed, yet there seemed to be a hole in the middle,” he said.“I used one finger to kind of lift up the box and I heard a clunk inside. I turned my head down to try to get to see further into the box. I saw what I called the gun metal grey and some ribbing. I immediately believed it to be a firearm.”Sgt. John Medlicott did an interview the day of the shooting with Darwin Concepcion who ended up testifying against Lugela for the Crown.“Originally Mr. Concepcion said he didn’t know anything about a firearm at all. We were determining if he was a suspect or a witness,” said Medlicott.“Darwin’s cooperation level changed at one point in the interview. He recognized the seriousness and the jeopardy of the situation. He decided he was going to become a cooperative, forthwith witness and wanted to tell where the firearm was located.”Firearm and tool-mark expert Darryl Barr examined the shell casings and the slugs from the firearm used in the shooting.Barr said he was “very confident” that the shell casings for the Kimber 9 mm semi-automatic was a match.He said an examination of the slugs themselves was inconclusive.Lugela’s defence lawyer Alain Hepner said he expected to call one or two witnesses Tuesday.Follow @BillGraveland on TwitterBill Graveland, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Address worlds concerns on terrorism crossborder attacks India US tell Pak

first_imgWashington DC: India and the United States have asked Islamabad to “meaningfully address” the international community’s concerns on terrorism, including that emanating from across the border from Pakistan. The concern was raised in an statement by the Indian Embassy here after Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale and his American counterpart Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale held Foreign Office Consultations here at the State Department, nearly a month after the Pulwama terror attack. “Both sides called on Pakistan to meaningfully address the concerns of the international community on terrorism, including cross-border terrorism,” the statement said. Tensions between India and Pakistan flared up after a suicide bomber of the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror group killed 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel in Kashmir’s Pulwama district on February 14. India has provided a dossier to Pakistan, detailing the role of JeM in the Pulwama terror attack. India has also said that Pakistan has failed to take any credible action against JeM and other terrorist organisations, which continue to operate with impunity from Pakistan. On Monday, Gokhale called on US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and they agreed that Pakistan must take “concerted action” to dismantle terrorist infrastructure and deny safe haven to all terror groups on its soil. Gokhale and Hale also reaffirming their commitment to the Indo-US Strategic Partnership and they reviewed the progress made since the first Ministerial 2+2 meeting held last September and discussed ways to further expand cooperation. While cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region formed an important part of their deliberations, they also discussed counterterrorism cooperation and a range of global and regional issues of mutual interest, including the current situation in Afghanistan, North Korea, Iran and Venezuela, the State Department said in a readout of the meeting. “They affirmed the vitality of the US-India strategic partnership and the importance of joint leadership to strengthen the rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific region,” the State Department said, amidst China increasingly flexing its muscles in the region. The Indo-Pacific is a biogeographic region, comprising the Indian Ocean and the western and central Pacific Ocean, including the South China Sea. Beijing asserts nearly all of the South China Sea as its territory, while Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam all claim parts. During the meeting, Gokhale and Hale affirmed their support for increased cooperation to include advancing initiatives undertaken as part of the 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue process. “Recognising that the US and India share complementary visions for the Indo-Pacific, they agreed to deepen cooperation toward their joint goals in the region, including in conjunction with other Indo-Pacific partners,” the State Department said. According to the Indian Embassy, Gokhale and Hale exchanged views on building convergence in the Indo-Pacific and agreed to work with each other and regional partners to promote inclusivity, stability, peace and prosperity in the region.last_img read more

Job creation down 17 in Feb to 1503 lakh ESIC payroll data

first_imgNew Delhi: Job creation dropped by 1.73 per cent in February to 15.03 lakh compared to 15.30 lakh in the same month last year, according to the latest payroll data of the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC). The data showed that during September 2017 to February 2019, nearly 3 crore new subscribers joined the ESIC scheme. According to the data, the gross new subscribers addition remained the highest at 19.81 lakh in July 2018.last_img

CRTC unveils new proposal to make TV service contracts easier to understand

OTTAWA — Canada’s broadcast regulator issued its final thrust Thursday in a series of moves aimed at positioning consumers “in the driver’s seat,” ahead of the country’s broadcasters, offering up a draft code that would require cable and satellite companies to make customer contracts easier to understand.Broadcast service providers would also have to more clearly spell out fees and policies surrounding early contract cancellations and adding or removing individual channels under the code.In issuing the proposed code, the CRTC also said it expects closed captioning services for Canadians with disabilities, already available through regular television programming, to be included free of charge when those programs are broadcast online and on mobile devices.And it said described video — a talk-over service for visually impaired viewers — must be expanded, with a requirement that all programs aired between 7 and 11 p.m. include the service by September 2019.“Canadians will have access to compelling television content, the freedom to choose the content that meets their needs and tools to navigate a dynamic marketplace,” Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission chairman Jean-Pierre Blais said.“They are now in the driver’s seat.”The CRTC received more than 13,000 submissions from individuals, interest groups and industry players since it launched a wide-ranging consultation process called Let’s Talk TV in 2013.From the get-go, the commission made clear its decisions would move regulation in a more consumer-friendly direction, away from favouring the commercial marketplace.It should come as no surprise, said John Lawson of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, given statements made by Blais when he was named by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to head up the regulatory body in June 2012.Terence Corcoran: CRTC chairman Jean-Pierre Blais’ off-key, misguided ‘statement’CRTC chairman says report Bell manipulated news coverage ‘disturbing’CRTC’s mandatory pick-and-pay TV aims to give Canadians more choice, but is it too little too late?“When he was first appointed, he did a number of interviews and quite clearly said ’I’m here to do consumer stuff’,” said Lawson.It’s a welcome change for consumer advocacy groups like OpenMedia, which have been encouraging a change in direction since the days when former CRTC chairman Konrad von Finckenstein declared in a public hearing that “citizen comments and concerns are out of scope” with the regulator’s mandate.“There’s definitely been a cultural change,” said OpenMedia campaign coordinator Josh Tabish.“That being said, they still have a long way to go to improve things.”Still, the decisions have sparked disappointment and even outrage on the part of some broadcasters.But they are not intended to invoke a negative reaction from industry, said Scott Hutton, the CRTC’s executive director, broadcasting.“It’s not putting down companies,” said Hutton.“It’s essentially looking at the Broadcasting Act and ensuring that everyone who is in the industry and everyone who should benefit from those objectives . . . get something out of it.”The TV code proposal follows on other recent CRTC directives that prohibited 30-day cancellation policies and required cable and satellite services to offer individual channel selection on top of a trimmed-down, lower-cost basic TV service.The regulator also announced a dramatic overhaul of what some critics had complained were protectionist rules governing the amount of Canadian television programming.The CRTC said last month it was eliminating the 55% daytime quota for Canadian programs that local TV stations must broadcast, but maintaining rules requiring that broadcasters spend to produce Canadian content.Thursday’s proposed code also comes on the heels of a dispute that went public this week between the president of Bell Media and Blais over the regulator’s so-called “pick-and-pay” system.The spat erupted after Blais announced the so-called “pick-and-pay” model for TV service.The Globe and Mail reported that, shortly after Blais released the decision last week, the president of Bell Media intervened to exclude the regulator from news coverage on CTV, the country’s largest private broadcaster which is owned by Bell Media parent BCE Inc.It was just the latest in a series of bitter disputes between Bell companies and the CRTC.Industry watchers say Bell, unlike most other telecom companies in Canada, is worried that the CRTC’s consumer-friendly approach is hurting its bottom line. And for good reason, say consumer advocates.“Bell has more to get mad about,” said Lawson.“They’re behemoth-sized,” he said, pointing out that Bell has moved over the years from being a telephone company to what is now one of the largest vertically-integrated firms in the country with business holdings in TV networks, satellite distribution, newspapers, cellular services as well as traditional landline phones.The regulator is accepting public comments on the draft TV service code until May 25.It wants to know what information consumers are looking for from cable and satellite providers when they sign up for service.It’s also asking how much notice cable and satellite companies should give customers before hiking prices and what constitutes a “reasonable time frame” for service calls. read more

Ethalaya Editors house searched

The journalist said that the police had questioned him about some missing documents from the police headquarters. Priyantha said that he had given the police a statement for three hours and denied having in his possession any stolen police files.He also said that he had refused to divulge to the police where he received information pertaining to the police mentioned in some of his articles. In the year 2000 Priyantha was arrested and detained by the police over his writing while in April this year he was questioned twice by the CID.In March 1999 he was abducted and assaulted and then dropped off on the road. (Colombo Gazette)Report by Indika Sri Aravinda The House of the Editor of the Ethalaya and Gindara (Fire) magazine Srilal Priyantha was searched by the police this afternoon.He said that a police team had initially attempted to arrest him but later took down a statement from him and then searched his house. The police had attempted to arrest him using a Court order obtained from the Gangodawila Magistrates Court. read more

Brewers of Corona and Budweiser revise buyout to appease US regulators and

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Brewers of Corona and Budweiser revise buyout to appease US regulators and push deal through NEW YORK, N.Y. – Anheuser-Bush InBev changed the terms of its proposed $20.1 billion acquisition of Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo Thursday in an attempt to push through a deal that federal regulators say will kill competition.AB InBev is willing to sell Modelo’s Piedras Negras brewery and give perpetual rights for Corona and the Modelo brands in the U.S. to Constellation for $2.9 billion, the company said Thursday. The brewery, which currently makes Corona, Corona Light and Modelo Especial, will give Constellation total control over the production of Corona and Modelo in the U.S.Under previous terms of the complicated deal, Modelo would sell its half of Crown Imports to wine maker Constellation Brands Inc.to address antitrust concerns, but InBev maintained the right to end an import agreement with Crown Imports, and that was to be exercisable every 10 years.Regulators are leery of the tie-up because AB InBev and Modelo control about 46 per cent of annual U.S. sales.Anheuser-Busch was purchased by Belgium’s InBev in 2008. The combined company is already the world’s biggest brewer and makes Budweiser, Beck’s and Stella Artois, among others.Last month the Justice Department filed a lawsuit to block the deal, saying that one company controlling nearly half of all U.S. beer sales would stifle competition and increase prices.“We believe this revised agreement addresses all of the concerns raised by the U.S. Department of Justice in its lawsuit, leaving no doubt about Constellation’s Crown beer division’s complete independence and ability to compete,” InBev said in a statement released Thursday.AB InBev rose nearly 4 per cent in premarket trading Thursday, while Constellation jumped more than 17 per cent. by The Associated Press Posted Feb 14, 2013 7:46 am MDT read more

Uber proposes rideshare program in YYC

Uber proposes rideshare program in YYC by News Staff Posted Sep 12, 2014 7:41 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Calgarians looking to make a few extra bucks by offering a taxi service may soon be able to do so.Uber Technologies is looking for approval from Calgary City Hall for a new program called uberX.Toronto recently gave the company the thumbs up to operate its rideshare program.Spokesperson Jeff Weshler told 660News, under the program, anybody can sign up to be a taxi driverAfter clearing rigorous police background checks, they can offer rides at rates lower than local cab companies.“It’s not an average Joe; [the drivers] are undergoing very stringent checks. It means that these are safe and reliable rides that are being provided through this platform,” said Weshler.He said his company is in talks with the City of Calgary, hoping eventually they will be allowed to launch uberX here. read more

End of the line Man loses leg to superbug after routine knee

“It’s like a row of soldiers. You knock one infection down but then another one pops up. You go home and you feel okay but then it’s all hiding there underneath the skin.“It starts off as a little pimple or a red spot and then the skin turns black and gets swollen and incredibly painful,” he says. She predicted a future “where the types of intervention we routinely deliver today, such as caesarean sections, chemotherapy and hip replacements become extremely dangerous… due to drug resistant infections”. Officials estimate that at the current rate, 10 million people a year will die worldwide by 2050 because of the rise of superbugs. 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. What Mr Tilley has gone through is still rare, says Dr Williams, but resistant infections are not.“The numbers are going up and up. There’s a straight correlation between the number of antibiotics we use and the number of resistant infections,” he says.Mr Tilley underwent the amputation in November and nearly two months later his stump is healing well and he is looking forward to having a prosthesis fitted in the next few months. Paradoxically, he says he will be more mobile without his leg – he has spent much of the last six years using sticks and crutches to get about and has been heavily reliant on his wife, Andrea. He says adjusting to life as an amputee will be hard but once he gets the hang of his prosthesis he hopes to be back to his previous, active self. The pain of the infection was the worst thing, said Mr Tilley.  It was so intense during a walking holiday in Spain he considered throwing himself off a mountain path. In the end he opted to have his leg amputated. “Between the microbiologist and the surgeon you could see they were fighting their way through this. They didn’t know what to do with me. There are no antibiotics for this – this is the end of the line,” he said. John Williams, an infectious diseases consultant at James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough, said Mr Tilley had various resistant infections over the years.“If you look at the figures on knee replacements about two per cent become infected – it’s a bit higher for the second knee and a bit higher for the third knee.“The more operations a patient has there is less and less bone and soft tissue for the surgeon to work with so the replacements become that much more difficult,” he said.  Protect yourself and your family by learning more about Global Health Security  A British man has had his leg amputated after contracting a superbug infection following what should have been a routine knee replacement.He is one of a growing number of NHS patients for whom common operations are going horribly wrong because of the rise of antibiotic resistance.Paul Tilley, 68, a former catering manager from Dalton in North Yorkshire, had his right leg removed before Christmas.He contracted the bug after a simple knee replacement. Doctors battled to fight the infection over the course of six years and a series of follow-up operations but without success.“The doctors don’t tell you you need a leg amputation – you have to take the decision yourself. But after six years of pain and not being able to live my life it was the only choice,” he says.  Mr Tilley is one of a growing number of NHS patients to have fallen victim to the epidemic of antibiotic resistance that has been building over the last few years.Data suggests there are at least 2000 superbug-related deaths in the UK each year, many linked to common but invasive operations such as hip and knee replacements.Professor Dame Sally Davies, the Chief Medical Officer for England, warned in The Telegraph last year of a dark future for modern medicine unless the blight of antibiotic resistance could be tackled. “When bone becomes infected you need to get high concentrations of antibiotics into it and not all oral antibiotics achieve that. And if you have a resistant organism it becomes harder because you have a limited number of options. The infections are treatable but you don’t have as many choices and you end up relying on drugs from the 1950s and 60s,” he says. Mr Tilley problems began almost as soon as his knee was replaced.“Within a matter of days I was in the most tremendous pain. I was shaking and vomiting. The nurses had to call the surgeon out in the middle of the night because they didn’t know what to do with me,” he said.His medical notes show a series of infections set in, including the superbugs meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Enterobacter cloacae.  He received a wide range of antibiotics and endured three follow-up knee replacements but the infections could not be killed off. Surgeons even tried an artificial knee coated in silver, a metal known for its anti-bacterial properties. Mr Tilley said last week he had never heard of superbugs or antibiotic resistance before his first operation. Now he has become an expert, losing track of the the number of different antibiotics he has taken orally and by drip over the last few years. Paul Tilley contracted the bug after a simple knee replacement Paul Tilley contracted the bug after a simple knee replacementCredit:Charlotte Graham/The Telegraph read more

Nikola Karabatic scores 1000th goal for France

Nikola Karabatic was one of the best French player in semi-final victory over Spain last night in LUSAIL Arena in Doha. The WORLD BEST PLAYER 2014 will remember 29 of January because of one another reason. He scored his 1000th goal in 245th match in the national team.France will meet the host team Qatar in the big final of thr 24th Men’s Handball World Championship. The match starts on Sunday 19.15 local time. ← Previous Story France beat Spain with amazing Omeyer between the posts Next Story → Denmark fifth, Germany clinch Olympic qualification spot! nikola karabatiNikola Karabatic

La NouvelleZélande redoute une grave marée noire dans lune de ses baies

first_imgLa Nouvelle-Zélande redoute une grave marée noire dans l’une de ses baiesUn porte-conteneur libérien, le Rena, menace de se briser et de polluer les côtes de la Nouvelle-Zélande avec ses 1.700 tonnes de fioul lourd. Echoué depuis mercredi dans la baie de Plenty, le cargo a déjà laissé échapper du pétrole qui a englué de nombreux oiseaux.Le Rena, un porte-conteneur libérien d’une capacité totale de 47.000 tonnes, menace de déverser 1.700 tonnes de fioul lourd dans la baie de Plenty, après s’être échoué sur le récif Astrolabe, près de l’île du Nord de la Nouvelle-Zélande. Le carburant qui a commencé à s’échapper du bateau, échoué depuis mercredi, forme déjà une nappe de cinq kilomètres de long dans laquelle de très nombreux oiseaux se sont retrouvés pris.À lire aussiLa Méditerranée est officiellement la mer la plus polluée par le plastiqueDes avions ont largué des agents dissolvants sur la nappe pour tenter de la réduire mais l’opération n’a donné aucun résultat et le fioul risque désormais de souiller le littoral, indique Le Monde. Le ministre néo-zélandais de l’environnement, Nick Smith, a estimé aujourd’hui que l’avarie du Rena “pourrait devenir la catastrophe écologique maritime la plus grave qu’ait connue la Nouvelle-Zélande depuis des décennies”.Pour protéger autant que faire se peut la baie de Plenty, qui est l’une des destinations touristiques les plus populaires du pays et un havre pour les baleines, les dauphins, les phoques et les pingouins, les autorités cherchent à pomper les cuves du Rena. “Le problème, c’est que la situation se dégrade et, d’après mes informations, il est possible que le navire se brise et coule”, a déclaré le ministre des transports Steven Joyce, au New Zealand Herald.Les 23 membres d’équipage philippins sont toujours à bord du cargo et travaillent jour et nuit à écoper l’eau qui s’engouffre dans le bateau. Ils cherchent également à transférer le pétrole dans des parties encore préservées du navire. Le pire est à craindre dans la mesure où du mauvais temps est attendu pour le début de la semaine prochaine, précise l’AFP.Le 7 octobre 2011 à 12:23 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

eRepublic Buys TechWirenet

first_imge.Republic, a publisher targeting the government and public service markets, has acquired TechWire.net, a regional news site covering California’s technology infrastructure development.Terms of the deal were not released, but it allows e.Republic to expand into private-sector coverage of tech issues that impact local government. “Now more than ever, government and industry need to understand each other because they are mutually interdependent in efforts to prepare communities for the future,” says e.Republic CEO Dennis McKenna in a statement. “The combination of TechWire and e.Republic positions us to deliver in-depth coverage of these evolving issues for both public- and private-sector audiences.” TechWire, which was launched in 2011, will remain a standalone site. Founder and publisher Bill Maile will join e.Republic as industry and markets editor. Included in the deal is TechWire’s #Innovate Technology Conference, held each year in Sacramento.e.Republic bought Governing magazine from Florida’s Times Publishing Group back in 2009.last_img read more

Punnam Venu gets key post in ABVP

first_imgWarangal: Punnam Venu has been elected as Warangal district (Undivided) convener of the ABVP. The ABVP State meeting that was held in Bhongir recently decided to elevate Warangal Urban district convener Punnam Venu as the erstwhile district convener. Venu worked for the organisation in different capacities since 2015. Beginning with the post of vice president of the Vaagdevi Degree College, he held the posts of City Joint Secretary the Secretary. Venu thanked ABVP State President and Secretary Meesala Prasad and Ambala Kiran, and other leaders for appointing him as the erstwhile district convener.last_img

A decade of RTI law in JK Corruption remains a challenge

first_imgHigh Court order disrespected More than 6 months have passed since the PIL on RTI implementation was disposed of by Hon’ble High Court of J&K. But the awareness camps or proactive disclosure of the information is yet to be initiated.To implement the said high court direction, the government has not even issued a formal order or circular till date. I am dismayed and distressed by the administration which has not taken any concrete steps to implement the provisions of J&K RTI Law. The State Information Commission (SIC) which is a quasi-judicial body for implementation of the RTI Act, has a lone Information Commissioner while two commissioners are not being appointed for last 1 year.It took 6 months or more for Governor of J&K to implement his own decision called State Administrative Council (SAC) decision vis a vis declaring J&K Bank as Public Authority by bringing the bank under the ambit of Right to Information (RTI) law.After the PIL on RTI implementation was filed, Government got exposed vis a vis conducting training RTI workshops for its citizens and designated officers (PIOs and FAAs). When details of awareness camps and workshops were submitted before the Hon’ble High Court by the government, it was shocking to know that mere two RTI workshops had been conducted in last 3 years (until Oct 2018) by the government through Institute of Management Public Administration & Rural Development (IMPARD). During these two workshops, only 42 officers had been trained.Pertinently from the year 2011 to 2013 more than 75 RTI workshops were conducted by IMPARD wherein more than 2500 officers were trained. This indicates that the government has failed to even create awareness for its own officers. Creating awareness among disadvantaged communities seems to be a distant dream.Conclusion Jammu & Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik has been saying that corruption is a serious problem in J&K and needs to be dealt with an iron fist. Everybody knows that RTI helps to make government accountable before citizens.The information which can’t be denied to a member of the state legislature or parliament can’t be denied to a citizen as well and this is well explained in the RTI law. It is also a fact that RTI checks corruption and ensures empowerment of people. If the government is serious about eradicating corruption, then the institutions that help to reduce corruption need to be strengthened.RTI thus need not only to be strengthened but this law should be institutionalized as well. If people don’t know how to file an RTI application or how to pay RTI application fees even after 10 years of enactment of this law in J&K, I believe this is an utter failure of the government.If the government is not able to create awareness about this law or lacks the manpower to train PIOs and designated officers, why can’t this job be outsourced to Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) or other institutions who undertake capacity building programmes and workshops? If NGOs can be asked to assist the government in creating awareness on Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao, Consumer Rights, AIDS, Environmental issues etc why can’t they be asked to undertake RTI awareness as well?Dr Raja MuzaffarBhat is Chairman of Jammu & Kashmir RTI Movement. He is also an Acumen India fellow from 2017 cohort.Feedback : bhatrajamuzaffar@gmail.com The 2004 RTI law was repealed when Jammu & Kashmir state legislature came up with a much robust information law in 2009. (Representational Image)Jammu & Kashmir Right to Information Act 2009 (RTI law) completed 10 years of its enactment in March this year. Including the RTI law enacted in the year 2004 (J&K RTI Act 2004), it has been almost 15 years since this law has been operational in our state. The 2004 RTI law was repealed when Jammu & Kashmir state legislature came up with a much robust information law in 2009. After more than a decade, we still have bad governance and maladministration in Jammu & Kashmir. Corruption is still a big challenge.The main reason is lack of awareness and non-implementation of transparency laws which unfortunately are to be implemented by the same Government officials who are looting state exchequer.Being a campaigner of RTI Act in J&K, I have written a lot on RTI from the last 12 years. Not only have I been writing but our dedicated campaigners have been trying their level best to create awareness about this legislation without any resources as NGO funders hardly support initiatives like anti-corruption work or activities related to transparent governance.After keenly observing the developments around RTI regime in my state, I have come to the conclusion that Government officials do not want this law to flourish. It is because of this that the implementation and awareness about the act have been dismal and pathetic in the state for the last 5 to 6 years.Legal obligationsUnder section 23 of the J&K RTI Act 2009, the government is under a legal obligation to undertake information, education and communication (IEC) programmes on RTI law. This awareness campaign is especially to be undertaken among disadvantaged communities living in far off areas of J&K.In addition to it, the government has to train its officials, especially the designated First Appellate Authorities (FAAs) and Public Information Officers (PIOs). These officers have to be sensitized about the provisions of the law. As Government failed to do so, our organization Jammu &Kashmir RTI Movement filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) before the state High Court last year.The Court disposed of the PIL within a few months directing the government to create awareness and to make a voluntary disclosure of information under sections 23 and 4 of the J&K RTI Act 2009 respectively. This was our main prayer before the High Court. In spite of the December 2018 High Court directions, the government continues to violate this law. We are now mulling for contempt proceedings in the coming weeks.Before moving to High Court with a PIL, J&K State Information Commission (SIC), an autonomous institution created under State RTI law of 2009 also issued several circulars and notices to Government to adhere to the provisions of section 4 and 23 of J&K RTI Act 2009.Former State Chief Information Commissioners (CICs) G R Sufi and Khurshid Ahmad Ganai issued several circulars reminding the Government to make a voluntary disclosure of information on official websites of different public authorities and impressed upon the government to undertake RTI awareness campaigns under section 23 of J&K RTI Act 2009. Government hardly bothered to adhere to the circulars and notices.last_img read more

Walgreens faces rightwing boycott over transinclusive bathroom policy

first_imgUS pharmacy chain Walgreens is facing a right-wing boycott after announcing a trans-inclusive bathroom policy.The store altered its policy after an incident at the Walgreens on Sunset Boulevard, where Jessie Meehan – who is a cisgender woman – was told to use a stall in the men’s room because she looked ‘too masculine’ to go into the female bathroom.  Yale University sues state of Connecticut over gender-neutral bathroom limitationsLGBT history will be made at the Rio Olympics, starting with the first same-sex married couple to compete in the gamesOne of the largest LGBT+ legal nonprofit organisations will sue Trump over transgender military banPINK NEWS- On Nov. 17, 2017, Walgreens distributed this memo stating, ‘All individuals have a right to use restroom facilities that correspond to the individual’s gender identity, regardless of the individual’s sex assigned at birth.’“The policy came as the result of being pressured by the ACLU of Southern California.“Since a similar public policy was announced by Target Stores, Inc. two years ago, dozens of women and children have been victimized by male predators inside Target stores.“Walgreens’ new policy could potentially result in female customers becoming victims of voyeurism, sexual assault and physical attack.”Walgreens (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)Once more, for good measure: Crimes remain illegal.In 2016 more than a million people pledged to ‘boycott’ Target over its trans-inclusive bathroom policy.The store came under fire from Christian evangelical groups after publishing a policy clarifying that customers are permitted to use the bathroom which is appropriate to their gender identity.The policy was standard for most retailers, but the issue quickly grew into a media controversy.A customer enters a Walgreens store (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)The group behind the petition, the American Family Association, also took issue with Target’s LGBT-friendly Pride merchandise.The AFA lashed out at the store, claiming: “Target appears content with its sprint into self-destruction”.“Target [has an] all out love affair with the LGBTQ. For the past two years, Target stores have entire sections dedicated to products normalizing homosexuality.“In many instances, profits from the sale of the products are donated to gay advocacy groups for the promotion of the lifestyle to children in public schools.”The group added: “While AFA’s boycott [has] focused on Target’s bizarre and dangerous dressing room and bathroom policy, the company has a history of distaste for traditional family values.”“Pray that Target‘s leadership will realize it gravely misjudged the 1.5 million families who have signed a pledge to boycott its stores.”Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… Meehan, who launched a case via the ACLU, did not seek out a financial settlement – instead pressing the store to adopt an LGBT-inclusive bathroom policy across all of its 8,100 stores.The new policy was rolled out this month and states that customers should be able to use the bathroom that aligns with their preferred gender identity.But anti-LGBT conservatives have opted to once again wage a war over the issue – having launched a notorious boycott of Target over a similar policy in 2016.A Walgreens store (Photo by KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)The American Family Association, the anti-LGBT pressure group which was behind the Target boycott, has now turned its guns on Walgreens.It has launched a petition which claims: “Walgreens’ store policy endangers women and children by allowing men to frequent women’s restrooms.“As an example, since a similar public policy was announced by Target Stores, Inc. two years ago, dozens of women and children have been victimized by male predators inside Target stores.“Walgreens’ new policy could potentially result in female customers becoming victims of voyeurism, sexual assault and physical attack.“Walgreens must immediately reverse its dangerous policy that allows men unrestricted access into women’s restrooms.”There have been zero reported incidents of transgender people exploiting LGBT-inclusive bathroom policies in order to commit crimes, anywhere in the world.Crimes are still against the law even if you legally enter a space to commit them.But those two points have seemingly evaded the AFA, which had strong ties to Vice President Mike Pence.2015: Governor of Indiana Mike Pence is flanked by anti-LGBT lobbyists as he signs a ‘freedom to discriminate’ billThe AFA’s sockpuppet activist group One Million Moms, which has 3,721 mostly-male followers on Twitter, also spoke out.It claimed: “In a shocking policy announcement, Walgreens has now directed its stores to allow men full and unrestricted access to women’s restrooms in all of its 8,100 stores. eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us)last_img read more