Afternoon Brief, March 20

first_imgAdvertisement Facebook Subscribe to the Afternoon Brief Trending Story:Arsenic-Tainted Wine: Overkill or a Real Killer?If you drank a bottle of the alleged arsenic-tainted California wine, there’s probably no need to rush to the attorney’s office to update your will…Today’s News:Napa vineyard workers get $65,000 in sex discrimination caseEight farmworkers settled their sex discrimination complaint against a Napa Valley vineyard owner and two companies that worked on the property, the state Department of Fair Employment and Housing said…Scaremongers Spark Fear Over Arsenic in WineChris Lehane, a spokesman for The Wine Group: “It’s the equivalent of yelling fire in a crowded theater when there is no fire and in fact, everything’s perfectly safe”…Possible Indian casino plan alarms Napa vintners, countyNapa Valley Vintners is sounding the alarm that an Indian tribe and a Las Vegas company will be seeking to open a casino in Napa, Solano or Sonoma counties…Revision of CDFA regulations governing grapevine nursery stock productionLittle Fly, Big Problem for WineWellington dumps $40m of Treasury Wine stock as Ellerston buys moreIs the Prosecco bubble about to burst?FDA Regulations Pose Serious Problems For Small Wine BusinessWine geeks get their own ConAlex Gambal vineyard deal reveals shift in Burgundy as prices riseAustralian grape growers asked to consider future in biggest New South Wales wine regionChinese rivalling French to buy Bordeaux vineyardsWine Australia eyes ProWein expansionFree-trade turning point in B.C. wines’ 25-year historyTop Stories:“Very high levels of arsenic” in top-selling winesHow Real is the Danger of Arsenic Poisoning from Wine?What’s the Average Starting Salary in Tasting Rooms?10 Insights to Conclude: Consumer Choice is a MythNapa Winery Owner Involved in Suspected Murder-Suicide21st Annual Central Coast Insights with Experts and TroublemakersNapa Valley Vintners Announces 2015 Wine List Award WinnersWine in 2015: Five key trends to raise a glass toExtraordinary Brands Engage the HeartA silver bullet to replace copper in the vineyard?U.S. Authorities Sink Underwater Wine MaturationSurvey Shows Vineyard Planting Trends Down for California, Up for Washington StatePremium Boxed Wine Continues To Surge, As Gallo Preps New EntryJailbreaking yeast could amp up wine’s health benefits, reduce morning-after headachesNova Cadamatre: My Top Five Winemaking Nightmares Email Subscribe to the Afternoon BriefAdvertisement TAGSAustraliaBordeauxBoxed WineBrandingBritish ColumbiaBurgundyCasinoChinaFDAGalloGrape PestNapa Valley VintnersProseccoProWeinSommConTreasury Wine EstatesWashingtonWine CrimeYeast Linkedincenter_img ReddIt Share Pinterest Twitter Home Afternoon Brief Afternoon Brief, March 20Afternoon BriefAfternoon Brief, March 20By Editor – March 20, 2015 29 0 Previous articleRevision of CDFA regulations governing grapevine nursery stock productionNext articleIntroducing “The Mad Crush: A Memoir of Mythic Vines and Improbable Winemaking” Editorlast_img read more

Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins & More Set for 2019-2020 Season at Classic Stage Company

first_imgJonathan Hadary, Victor Garber & Terrence Mann in the 1990 premiere of “Assassins” at Playwrights Horizons(Photo: Martha Swope/NYPL) View Comments A new staging of Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman’s 1990 musical Assassins has been announced to appear at Classic Stage as part of the company’s 2019-2020 season. The off-Broadway nonprofit’s newest lineup of productions will also include Shakespeare’s Macbeth and a pair of beloved gothic plays performed in repertory.Artistic Director John Doyle, said, “All of the works this season explore disturbing aspects of humanity. Yet they all have beauty. There’s nothing more poetically beautiful than Macbeth’s ‘Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow’ speech; there’s tenderness in the two gothic plays; there’s so much humor in Assassins—and such deep psychological and social insight in all of them.”The season will kick off with a new interpretation of Macbeth (October-December 2019) directed by Doyle. He will also helm the revival of Assassins (April-June 2020), which first appeared off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons in 1990 and was later seen in a Tony-winning Broadway production with Roundabout Theatre Company in 2004.The centerpiece of the Classic Stage season will be repertory stagings of Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (January-March 2020).Casting, additional creative team members and exact production dates will be announced at a later time.last_img read more

Praxair starts up Peru Air Separation Plant

first_imgSubscribe Get instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270.last_img

DFL 2nd edition starts July 12

first_imgTeams joining the tournament will be announced on June 24.The screening procedure of players will be conducted on June 27 and 28.Players in the U11 will have a maximum of 14, while the U13 will have 18 players.FIFA Rules and Disciplinary Code will be applied./PN BY CYRUS M. GARDEBACOLOD City – The Dynamic Football League (DFL) 2nd Conference will start on July 2 at the Panaad Park and Sports Stadium.This football tournament is a school-based grassroots development program organized by the Dynamic Football Club of Ricky Yanson.Two age-group categories will be contested – the Under 11 and Under 13.last_img

Delight as stolen quad is recovered

first_imgA quad which was reported stolen in Newtowncunningham this week has been recovered and returned to its rightful owners.A local crime alert was launched on Tuesday when a Red Honda 350cc quad was believed to be stolen from a property in Drummay, Newtowncunningham.In a positive update, it has emerged that the quad was returned to its owner on Wednesday. According to the local crime alert group, the owners have expressed thanks to the public who shared the notice and passed on information.Delight as stolen quad is recovered was last modified: October 4th, 2018 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

New UN body to focus on women

first_imgFormer Chilean President Michelle Bachelet is sworn in as executive director of UN Women by UN secretary- general Ban Ki-Moon. (Image: UN Woman) The creation of a new body, UN Women – or the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women – was celebrated on 30 January 2011 at the 16th Summit of the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Speaking about the new entity at the summit, UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon said: “There is progress here and there on the continent regarding women’s rights, but we must go much further to ensure greater gender equality in Africa. It is not just a matter of justice as the facts show indeed that gender equality is a factor of growth and social peace.”The entity should place emphasis on African women’s access to education, health and political responsibility, Ban added.Achieving gender equality was a key theme of the 2011 AU summit.“We need to empower African women who produce food, raise children and drive the economy. When women take their rightful place at the negotiating table, in parliament and in leadership positions across society, we can unleash Africa’s enormous potential. UN Women is here to help reach this goal,” said the secretary-general.Unveiling UN Women’s new logo at the summit, its executive director Michelle Bachelet said: “A vision of how much more is possible when men and women have equal rights and opportunities will drive UN Women. We will be bold and ambitious in our aspirations and we will also be practical in building an organisation that can make a lasting difference in women’s lives.”Bachelet was Chile’s first woman president, serving her term from 11 March 2006 to 11 March 2010. She prioritised women’s issues during her tenure and has been working with the UN Development Fund for Women (Unifem) since leaving office.Pushing gender equalityUN Women was created in July 2010 at a UN General Assembly session and became operational on 1 January 2011.It merges four previously distinct entities of the UN focusing on gender equality: Division for the Advancement of Women; International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women; Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women; and Unifem.UN Women will see to the development of women-friendly policies, and help member states implement and monitor them.Celebrating African leadersAt this year’s AU summit, President of Equatorial Guinea Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo took over the rotating presidency of the AU from Malawian President Bing wa Mutharika.The choice of Mbasogo has been criticised as taking the AU back to the days when dictators led the now-defunct Organisation of African Unity. Mbasogo has ruled Equatorial Guinea with an iron fist for more than 30 years after executing his predecessor.The UN secretary-general spoke about the unrest in Egypt and the political crisis in Côte d’Ivoire at the summit, but also commended the successful secession referendum in Sudan.French President Nicholas Sarkozy said that France would continue to support development on the African continent.President of South Africa Jacob Zuma also addressed delegates at the summit.“Today we also celebrate many outstanding leaders on the continent. We were inspired by Julius Nyerere, Kenneth Kaunda, Patrice Lumumba, Kwame Nkrumah, Haile Sellasie, Jomo Kenyatta, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Ahmed Ben Bella, Samora Machel, Agostinho Neto, Ahmed Sekou Toure, Amilcar Cabral, Abubakar Tafawa-Balewa, and many others.”“We continue to draw inspiration from their selflessness, commitment and dedication to this continent and its people,” added Zuma.last_img read more

Young South African golfer swings to success

first_imgRay Maota Lwazi Gqira from Duncan Village in EastLondon is making waves in the world ofgolf after competing at the 2011 ToyaPolish Junior Championship in Poland. East London Port Manager JacquelineBrown, Gqira and Millie Zim of SAGDB,showing off the new kit.(Images: Transnet National Ports Authority)MEDIA CONTACTS• Terry TaylorTransnet National Ports Authority:Corporate Affairs manager+27 43 700 1200 / +27 83 284 1786RELATED ARTICLES• Sun City golf courses still top notch• SA to host world’s richest golf event• Ernie Els joins golfing legends• Hi-tech help for future sports stars South Africa’s Lwazi Gqira, 18, is swinging his way to golfing success after recently competing in the Toya Polish Junior Championship, which ran from 22 to 25 June 2011.To get there, the young sportsman from a poverty-stricken squatter camp in Duncan Village, East London, took his first flight in an airplane.“It was my first flight and I was nervous, but I really enjoyed watching TV in the sky,” he said.Once in Poland, another first for Gqira was being able to tee-off with a set of brand new clubs. Until now he has had to borrow second-hand equipment from his coach and teammates.As a member of the East London Golf Club, Gqira was selected by the Border Golf Union to represent their under-18 squad in Poland.He was joined by Armandt Scholtz and Kim Daniels, who also represented the Border Golf Union at the championships. All three belong to the South African Golf Development Board (SAGDB) programme.Gqira held a nine-iron for the first time when he was nine years old and now, almost a decade later, he has got the chance to play in a major junior championship with his peers from other countries.“The first time I started playing golf, I didn’t enjoy it,” Gqira said.“This was coupled by the fact that I was the only child in my neighbourhood who was playing golf while the other boys played soccer. I decided to play soccer as well, but then after two months I decided it was not for me and I picked up golf clubs again,” he added.The opportunity for Gqira to play overseas was made possible by Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA), which invested R30 000 (US$4 366) in Gqira to enable him to get his first new golfing kit and clubs.Jacqueline Brown, East London Port Manager, said: “Despite the hardships he has experienced in living in an impoverished area, his determination and zeal to succeed has placed him right in front.“TNPA is proud to be able to play a part in Gqira’s journey towards his planned pro golfer status. We will support him all along the way in achieving both stardom in golf and in attaining top academic honours.”Gqira said he’d like to walk in the footsteps of some of South Africa’s golfing greats like Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel.“I strive to be like my favourite pro golfers, Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel,” said Gqira.Golfing rootsGqira started out as being a caddie for Richard Dikileyo, who later became his coach after seeing his potential and enthusiasm for the sport.“Richard taught us that we should not smoke, abuse alcohol or use drugs. He taught us that through golf, we can rise above our circumstances.” said Gqira.“Those words have stayed with me and motivated me. The SAGDB taught us the basics well and moulded us into the golfers we are now.”Gqira was also a member of the Ernie Els & Fancourt Foundation until he opted to leave as his school work was taking a knock.At the foundation he met his current coach Michelle de Vries, who works with Dikileyo to nurture golfing talent in East London.De Vries said: “Lwazi is a pleasure to coach. We call him pro because of his mannerisms and practice ethic.“He comes from a difficult background, but he has the will to overcome his obstacles and I will do anything to help him achieve his goals if he is willing to overcome adversity.”Gqira describes De Vries as being like a mother, while De Vries, who has no children, recognises him as a son.The Poland experienceGqira, who competed with more than 90 other players in his category, came 25th, which is quite an achievement for a first-timer playing in a major championship.“I was a bit nervous in the first round, but after that I said to myself I need to relax and play my game.”Gqira said Poland was a beautiful country with beautiful architecture and that he will cherish the memories of taking part in the tournament even though communication with the other golfers was hard due to language being a barrier.last_img read more

South African firm wins another Airbus A400M contract

first_img3 July 2014Denel Aerostructures, a subsidiary of the state-owned Denel Group, has won its fourth contract to manufacture parts for the Airbus A400M military transport aircraft, the company announced this week.South Africa is one of seven countries working on European aircraft manufacturer Airbus’s A400M programme.Denel Aerostructures, the only tier 1 supplier of parts for the A400M outside of Europe, is already responsible for the design, engineering and fabrication of the giant airlifter’s wing-to-fuselage fairings and fuselage top-shells, as well as for the manufacture of the ribs, spars and swords that make up the inside structure of the A400M’s distinctive tail section.Under the new, six-year contract, worth more than R260-million, Denel Aerostructures will manufacture ISO locks for the A400M’s cargo hold.According to Engineering News, the ISO locks “are a combination of aluminium rails and cross tracks which serve to guide the movement of ISO containers within the cargo hold. The containers are then secured in their positions by a comprehensive system of locking mechanisms”.Denel Group chief executive Riaz Saloojee said in a statement that the new work package confirmed Denel Aerostructures’ reputation as an emerging player in the global aerospace environment. “It is a vote of confidence in the South African engineering and high-tech manufacturing sectors.”Noting that Denel Aerostructures had beaten international bidders for the contract, Saloojee added: “It is quite clear Airbus Defence and Space is satisfied with the quality of work we have delivered on other contracts over the past nine years and decided to place another work package with Denel.”Denel describes the A400M as “the most cost-efficient and versatile airlifter ever conceived and absolutely unique in its capabilities”.With a cargo hold designed to carry the outsize equipment needed for both military and humanitarian disaster relief missions, a range of over 3 300 kilometres, and the ability to land on unprepared terrain, the airlifter has been “designed to meet the needs of the world’s armed forces in the 21st century”, the company says.It is also “ideally suited to the typical African peace-support missions which continue to be undertaken by South Africa in support of African Union and United Nations mandates on the continent”.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

J&K Assembly polls: National Conference poised to sweep Valley, Congress(I) eyes Jammu

first_imgIt is a rather odd May in the Kashmir Valley. The mantle of snow is yet to be lifted from the pines of Gulmarg, and the air is nippy around the Dal. But the atmosphere is surcharged with tension. The boulevard is festooned with flags of the ruling National Conference,It is a rather odd May in the Kashmir Valley. The mantle of snow is yet to be lifted from the pines of Gulmarg, and the air is nippy around the Dal. But the atmosphere is surcharged with tension. The boulevard is festooned with flags of the ruling National Conference (NC). Even way past midnight, an occasional jeep meshes gear, carrying party volunteers to far-off corners of the Valley. The houseboats wait for customers with the NC symbol – all red with a white plough emblazoned in the middle – sticking up prominently. Only rarely, in some inconspicuous back-street of the city, does a run of tri-colour Congress(I) buntings assert the second largest party’s presence. Now that the NC has been asked to lock horns with the Congress(I), it is surely not going to take any chances.Across the Banihal tunnel, the level plains of Jammu and its uplands inhabited by non-Kashmiri speaking people throw up different issues and different allegiances. But within the Valley, the NC’s campaign for the June 5 elections is progressing like clockwork, drowning the competing voices with the ferocity of an avalanche.Early Action: Last fortnight, even before the last date for filing of nominations was over, about 10,000 NC volunteers had fanned out to the Valley’s 42 constituencies while, from Jammu, 6,000 supporters had moved to the region’s 32 constituencies. It was action from the word go.Farooq launches his campaign in the Valley: Emotional appealWhile the Congress(I) had just about begun to get into gear, flying khadi-clad observers from New Delhi and setting them up at the expensive Broadway Hotel, the NC had already set up election offices not only in each constituency of Jammu and Kashmir Valley but at the snowy heights of Ladakh and Kargil. As Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, mantle-bearer of his father, the late Sher-i-Kashmir, and flamboyant president of the NC, observed: “We cannot match the Congress(I), rupee for rupee. But when the day comes, the man who is putting up the Congress(l) flag today will pocket his Rs 50 and vote for us. The party will get a drubbing that it will remember for years.”advertisementEven before the failure of the alliance talks with the Congress(I) last month, Farooq had promptly set his election machinery in motion, expanding the NC parliamentary board from three members to nine, dropping three former ministers from his list of candidates and drafting cousin Sheikh Nazir Ahmed into leadership as general secretary of the party.No longer is there a threat from G.M. Shah, the Sheikh’s son-in-law, who devotes his time to legal consultancy now. Shah, who had questioned Farooq’s succession earlier is chastened now. “He will have no political role. He’ll sit at home,” says Farooq, trying to forget the fierce battle for succession that raged last year (India Today, September 15, 1982).Firmly on his side is also the Sheikh’s widow, Begum Akbar Jahan, madre meherban, as her followers never tire of adding to her name. Within the next few days, the mother-and-son team will be on their campaign trail, covering, as Nazir expects, “300 to 400 kilometres every day” in the family’s olive-coloured Matador, or a four-wheel-drive jeep owned by the party.Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah: Testing timeA helicopter is also being chartered to ferry them across to the daunting heights of Leh and Kargil and the inaccessible Shivaliks, roads to which are clogged by the century’s worst winter.Old Campaigners: Farooq’s confidence ‘ is well founded, at least in the Valley, where his party bagged 40 of the 42 seats in the 1977 Assembly elections. Astutely, despite making initial promises of making a clean break with the past, Farooq has largely renominated the old team, dropping only three of his father’s 24 ministers, and bringing only nine new faces in his panel of candidates. “Old wine in a new bottle,” screams Syed Mohammed Mufti, the weighty Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee(l) (J&KPC-I) president whose confrontationist attitude, NC rank and file feel, is responsible for bringing the two parties to a collision course this time round. However, it is indeed the ‘old wine’ that is going to work in favour of NC now.The party is labouring day and night to spread its spell among the people, working up a thick lather of the late Sheikh’s messages, and campaigning almost entirely on NC’s nostalgic links with its departed Messiah’s life and work. On April 24, when Farooq announced the list of NC candidates in all the 76 constituencies at a mass rally in Srinagar’s historic Iqbal Park, his speech was prefixed and suffixed by a tape-recorded address of the Sheikh in 1975 which he had made on the same ground, after being handed back power following 22 years in wilderness. Last fortnight, 15,000 such cassettes were sent out to NC offices in various constituencies, with the promise of another 15,000 to be despatched soon.advertisementBegum Abdullah: Lending a handThe Sheikh’s memory lends its benign presence to the NC show like the towering Pir Panchal overlooking the Valley. At the party’s newly-upholstered central election office in the Nawai-Subha building, election workers are treated with such brainstorming pieces of catechism as:Who gave the Kashmiris their dignity? The Sher-i-Kashmir.Who defended the state’s autonomy? The Sher-i-Kashmir.What was his constant dream? Naya Kashmir (New Kashmir).Who was his chosen successor? Doctor Farooq Abdullah. Emotional Appeal: The incantation goes on till emotion overtakes lung power and faith drowns doubt. Bodhraj Bali, a prosperous trucking agent of Jammu who is also the state’s transport minister and the NC’s sheet-anchor in the Jammu region, summed it up clearly.Said Bali: “In this election, the people are going to vote for the Sheikh. In the next election maybe they will vote for Farooq and judge him by his performance.”In the 1977 elections, NC swept the Valley with nearly 75 per cent of the polled votes and 95 per cent of the seats. Since then, the party has provided only a sketchy administration with its coffers ever empty.Mir Qasim: ‘Mine is a lone voice’Their per capita income, though rising in absolute terms, has fallen from close to the national average in 1975-76 to way below it in 1981 -82. But the people are not so perturbed over these issues as that of the ‘Kashmiri honour’ which they now feel is threatened.Equally strong is the backlash of NC’s emotional appeal, now raging full steam in the Jammu region. “A ballot for NC is a bullet fired at your brother.” reads an untidy but telling graffito as one approaches Jammu’s crowded Residency Road, lined with shops and offices.For the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Jammu is a traditional stronghold: in 1977, BJP candidates, in their earlier incarnation as Janata or Janata-rebel candidates, had wrested 12 out of the 32 seats, leaving the Congress to pick up nine seats.This time, the BJP is contesting 27 seats in Jammu as well as four seats in the Valley “We are bound to get more seats now,” claimed Vijay Kumar Malhotra, the dapper BJP general secretary.But the Congress(I), undeterred by the prospect of a division of anti-NC votes, has set up candidates in all the constituencies of the region, and all but one in Kashmir.”It will hardly make a difference,” says Pandit Trilochan Dutt, veteran Congress(I) leader and former minister, “because the people know that the Congress(I) alone can fight the NC monster, and that the BJP, in deference to their national policy of being soft to all parties rallied against Mrs Gandhi, will simply give up the fight at some stage or the other.”advertisementThe Congress(I) leaders of Jammu openly talk of vigorous infighting in the BJP ranks, and cite as evidence the stray desertion of a former municipal commissioner here, or the filing of nomination papers by a minor party functionary there.But this is clearly the pot calling the kettle black, because Congress(I) ranks are equally, if not more, riven with internal dissension. Dutt’s supremacy is openly challenged by Mangat Ram Sharma, the J&KPCC(I) general secretary seeking election from the Basohli constituency in Kathua district.The cleavage in the Congress(I) ranks shows even more sharply in the Valley itself where a large section, led by former chief minister and Congress(I) Parliamentary Board member Syed Mir Qasim is, at best, staying aloof, and, at worst, making the best effort to ensure the defeat of the official candidate. Qasim’s main grouse is that the party high command, instead of following a conciliatory policy towards Farooq (India Today. May 15), followed a policy of “total opposition” to him.”Mine is a lone voice,” he said in an impassioned tone “and I don’t think I’ll be of much help to the party as its campaigner.” Nevertheless K.C. Pant, the All India Congress Committee(I) (AICC-I) observer for the elections, who was celebrating his first major assignment since his entry into the party early this year, denied with an embarrassed shrug: “What dissension? There is no dissension in the party this time. The workers are full of determination.”New Moorings: In fact the Congress(J) election efforts in Jammu and Kashmir this time mark a total departure from its earlier moorings with the big families of Kashmir – the Bakshis, the Qasims and the Sadiqs. Zainub, daughter of the late G.M. Sadiq, former chief minister, recently turned down a request to contest as Congress(I) candidate from the Amerakadal seat in the heart of Srinagar. Sadiq himself had held that seat earlier. Later on, Mohammed Amin, a retired IAS officer close to the Sheikh during the Plebiscite Front days, also refused to contest the seat on a Congress(I) ticket.Rafiq Sadiq, Sadiq’s son and J&KPCC(I) member, resigned as vice-president of Srinagar District Congress Committee(I) in protest against “Mufti’s stranglehold over the party” and “refusal to listen to Mir Qasim’s advice”. However, party insiders admit that at least half a dozen of Qasim’s men have been packed into the Congress(I) list this time, reportedly as Trojan horses.Mufti, wearing a beaming smile framed by a butterfly moustache, brushes aside the suggestion that his house may not be in order. He chooses instead to harp on his pet themes that: NC is chockful of corruption;its planning is non-productive; that is, while spending on lavish stadia and convention complexes in the city, it has not taken up a single hydel project in the eight years of its rule; and that, being merely a party of the Valley it cannot hold the state together.Free Hand: Mufti feels uncomfortable when he is reminded of the Rs 800 crore Asiad extravaganza in Delhi. Nor does he, in his public utterances, ever hold against NC the fact of Farooq’s succession last year, obviously because of its implication to 1, Safdarjung Road.But, while making the nominations, a process in which he was allowed a free hand by AICC(I) General Secretary Rajiv Gandhi, Mufti has cleverly bunched up a host of influential candidates with no consideration whatsoever of their past record of loyalty.Examples: G.M. Bawan, candidate from Nagin, had defected from NC to Janata to Lok Dal, till he came to Congress(I) recently; Mohammed Amin Bhutt, candidate from Zadibal constituency, followed exactly the same defection trail; Mian Bashir Ahmed, candidate from Darhal in the Rajouri district of Jammu, is an NC ex-minister who, before his recent defection to Congress(I), had crossed over to NC from Congress. In fact, 17 of Mufti’s 75 candidates had been in NC at some time. NC too is in no way immune from the infighting which made itself felt last fortnight when as many as 12 partymen, NC members till a few days ago, filed their nominations as independent candidates. The most notable was Mustafa Mir, Farooq’s principal aide who helped him during the end-April alliance talks between NC and Congress(I) in New Delhi.Fuming at a reference to Mir, Farooq said: “My worst mistake was my inability to evaluate people. It is amazing that there are people to whom an MLA-ship counts more than principles.”Still, the real danger to NC in the Valley may spring from a couple of dark horses: the Jammu and Kashmir People’s Conference of Abdul Ghani Lone a former Congress minister who now sports an Islamic beard and talks of taking Kashmir back to its past glory and replacing the word ‘secular’ from the state’s special constitution with the phrase mazhabirawadari, which means religious tolerance; and the Jamait-i-lslami, led bySyed Ali Shah Geelani, who is a candidate from Sopore.Lone has built up an impressive presence and has no problem with money. The Jamait too has its base everywhere.Regional Extremism: Just as the valley has its ‘extremists’, the Jammu. region witnesses extremism of another kind, spearheaded by Bhim Singh, a former Congressman and MLA from Udhampur district, who now heads the fledgling Jammu and Kashmir Panther Party. Singh, a fiery orator, is a relentless spokesman of Dogra identity.Like People’s Conference and the Jamait, his party too seems to have no financial constraints and has set up candidates all over Jammu and in some seats of the Valley. Says Singh: “Both NC and Congress(I) are responsible for the suppression of Jammu which, in 36 years, has not had a single chief minister, a single chief secretary, or a single state police chief.” There are some takers for his party too.A typical example of the hyped-up religious and regional tempo of electioneering in the state is the scramble that has already begun for wooing Moulvi Farooq, mir-waiz of Kashmir and head of the Jamia Islamia mosque, largest in the Valley. The 35-year-old Moulvi is reported to control at least 50,000 votes in and around his Nagin Lake sanctuary.The chief minister called on him twice in the last fortnight, even though the mir-waiz’s supporters are traditional rivals of the NC, their feud dating back to 1938 when the Sheikh’s followers began describing themselves as sher (tiger) and those of the mir-waiz as bakra (goat). Not a year has passed without sher-bakra fights.Though the Moulvi, who heads a party called the Awami Action Committee, is presently lying low, there are more diehard elements on the horizon, totally opposed to the accession of Jammu and Kashmir casting wistful glances -across the Line of Actual Control. Such an organization is Jamait-i-Tulba, youth wing of the Jamait-i-Islami, which is even today boycotting the elections and is openly in favour of a plebiscite in the state. Explained an activist of Jamait-i-Tulba, claiming to be an underground worker : “We want a plebiscite on the basis of the following options: the state remains in the Indian Union; it becomes an independent sovereign state; or it opts for merger in Pakistan.” Though unstated, the activist’s sympathy clearly lay for the last option.Precarious Balance: This is the convoluted scenario in which Jammu and Kashmir, the crowning state of India, is going to seek popular mandate for the sixth time since its accession into the Union. Already there are lines of fracture across the state, with neither a charismatic personality nor an all-embracing political institution emerging on the horizon to reconcile the conflicting interests of politics, geography and religion. Farooq realises this, though he is the least willing to acknowledge it at this stage. “The electorate is perfectly polarised,” he says, “between the NC and the Congress(I).”But the pre-election alignments are entirely different from the contours of politics that are likeiy to emerge afterwards. The failed alliance talks between the NC and the Congress(I) were an attempt to arrive at a consensus that could have held the regional and religious aspirations together. But the chances of an eventual rapprochement are not altogether indistinct.Crucial Test: For Farooq, the June 5 elections are crucial not because this is the first battle he has to fight but because this is one test which he, and perhaps the state, can hardly afford to lose. On one hand, he has to counter the assorted bag of threats from the politico-spiritual forces within the Valley who, despite their protestations to the contrary, have never quite been reconciled to the 1947 accession. On the other hand, there is the threat of his leaning too heavily on the side of the so-called integrationists, abundant in the Jammu region, who are convinced that Article 370 of the Indian Constitution is an open licence for the Kashmiris to exploit the people of Jammu.The danger indeed cuts both ways, and snaps that vital link with the state’s chequered history which enabled it to remain within the Indian Union while retaining its unique identity. Sheikh Abdullah, in his lifetime, had achieved this delicate balance, proving his skill in 52 years of public life. Farooq has had just eight months to Prove it.last_img read more

TCI Commissioner at regional crime fighting meeting

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, TCI, February 21, 2017 – The Commissioner of Police for the Turks and Caicos is attending that regional Law Enforcers Conference being held in The Bahamas where a strong focus is on the resurgence of cocaine and the smuggling of it in the region.    James Smith, TCI top cop is a one man delegation, we are told, at the 2017 Pre-International Drug Enforcement Conference also known as, Pre-IDEC.Twenty countries are participating in the four day conference being held at the Police Headquarters in Nassau and which was opened yesterday by the Bahamas National Security Minister, Dr Bernard Nottage.   Among the other officials attending are US Charge D’Affairs, Lisa Johnson and Special Agent in Charge of the US Drug Enforcement Administration Caribbean Division, Matthew Donahue and Bahamas Police Commissioner, Ellison Greenslade.Peru and Colombia also have representative law enforcers at the Pre-IDEC which started on Monday.#MagnticMediaNews Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Recommended for you BREAKING TCI NEWS: Shooting in Five Cays leaves man dead, second killing in 12 hours Related Items:#MagnticMediaNewslast_img read more