Cautioning that the return of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to power in the 2019 general election will put the country in peril, senior journalist Arun Shourie on Friday advised the Opposition to stop stressing on prestige issues and instead forget the past to come together to fight. “When the country is in danger, Opposition leaders like Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejariwal should not make an issue of who will make the first phone call,” Mr. Shourie said, addressing the Mumbai debut of Rashtra Manch, a non-political forum with a call to ‘save democracy and constitution.’ BJP MP Shatrughna Sinha, former finance minister Yashwant Sinha, former raliway minister Dinesh Triwedi, AAP MP Sanjay Singh, former high court judge Abhay Thipsay among others were the other speakers at the event. They voiced their concern over instances of violence, the alleged involvement of BJP in manipulating the media, judiciary and bureaucracy, and the autocractic functioning of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Mr. Shourie said that 2019 is going to be the last chance to reverse the course. “ Opposition parties should avoid breaking alliance over 3 or 4 seats. Don’t make your differences public. Don’t talk about each other, but talk to each other.”Commenting on the role of media, Mr. Shourie said, “Many say that media persons fear exposing wrongdoing by the government and business groups. But I think it’s greed that is coming in the way, not fear.”Mr. Shatrughna Sinha said, “Before being a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party, I am a representative of the Bharatiya Janta. A party is larger than an individual, but our nation is larger than any party. I won’t leave the BJP but if because of my work and actions they want me to leave … lets see.”Mr. Yashwant Sinha pointed out that the country’s home minister was not aware about situations like the alliance in J&K, or the framework of the Naga accord and the same could be said about the finance ministry and demonetisation. Meanwhile, Mr. Thipsay said that under BJP rule, even judges are scared to deliver judgement. “Our country has taken a turn for the worse in the past four years. Independence of judiciary is a fundamental feature of the Constitution but it is being subverted like never before,” he added.
The first phase of Lok Sabha polls in Bihar on Thursday is set to be a tough battle between the BJP-led NDA and the RJD-led Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance).In the 2014 elections, the NDA had won all four seats — Gaya, Jamui (both reserved seats), Nawada and Aurangabad — going to the polls, but this time it appears to be tough for them to retain them.Manjhi vs ManjhiThe NDA candidates apparently are relying on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s charisma while the Grand Alliance is banking on caste calculations and local issues.In Gaya, former Chief Minister and president of Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) Jitan Ram Manjhi is pitted against NDA candidate Vijay Kumar Manjhi of the Janata Dal (United). Both come from lower Scheduled Caste Musahar (rat-catchers) community but Mr. Jitan Ram’s political stock appears to be high among the voters and Mr. Vijay Kumar, said locals, is a “lightweight candidate” against him.Mr. Vijay Kumar is contesting a parliamentary election for the first time. His mother Bhagwati Devi had once represented the Gaya seat. The BJP dropped its sitting MP Hari Manjhi as the seat went to alliance partner JD(U) under the seat-sharing pact.The bahubali factorOn the neighbouring Nawada seat, the contest is between NDA candidate Chandan Kumar Singh (Lok Janshakti Party) and Mahagathbandhan nominee Veebha Devi (RJD). In 2014, firebrand BJP leader Giriraj Singh had won the seat but this time the BJP swapped this seat with LJP and shifted Mr. Giriraj Singh to Begusarai. The LJP candidate is the brother of don-turned-politician Surajbhan Singh, while the RJD has given the ticket to the wife of suspended party leader Raj Ballabh Yadav. Mr. Raj Ballabh is a known bahubali leader (strongman) in the area with huge assets. He is currently in jail in connection with an alleged rape case of a minor girl. For the voters, Mr. Chandan Singh is an outsider and Ms. Veebha Devi a local. “Her husband may be in jail but his wife has no criminal record against her. Chandan Singh’s brother Surajbhan Singh too has a tainted past. At least Veebha Devi is a local and will be approachable,” said a group of villagers at Kharidi Bigha village in the constituency.Caste calculationsIn Jamui, NDA candidate Chirag Paswan (LJP) is contesting against Grand Alliance candidate Bhudeo Chaudhury (Rashtriya Lok Samata Party). In 2014, Mr. Chirag, son of Union Minister and LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan, had defeated RJD candidate Sudhanshu Bhaskar from Jamui. Locals said the LJP leader had won the seat riding on the “Modi wave” and this time, too, he appears to be pushing hard on the “Modi magic and some development work done by him in the constituency”. However, if the caste calculations work for the Mahagathbandhan candidate this time, Mr. Chaudhury could upset Mr. Chirag’s dream of retaining the seat for a second time, said locals. On the Aurangabad seat, the NDA has retained its sitting MP Sushil Kumar Singh (BJP) against surprise Mahagathabandhan candidate Upendra Prasad (HAM-S). Mr. Sushil Kumar won the seat in the last two Lok Sabha elections and is pushing hard this time to score a hat-trick. However, by fielding Mr. Upendra Prasad from the OBC Kushwaha caste, theMahagathbandhan has played the caste card to woo the backward and extremely backward voters in the constituency. “It will not be an easy win for the BJP candidate this time. The caste calculus in favour of the Mahagathbandhan candidate can throw a surprise result this time,” said Bharat Sao of Raniganj village in the constituency.
Hosts Rajasthan beat Kochi convincingly by 8 wickets during their IPL match at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on Sunday. Score | PhotosBowling first, Rajasthan captain Shane Warne and Siddharth Trivedi shared six wickets between them as Kochi were all out for 109. And then Shane Watson scored a quick-fire 49 to help Rajasthan emerge winners.Rajasthan openers Rahul Dravid and Shane Watson got off to a good start scoring runs at ease. And the 110-run target wasn’t a tough one that warranted heavy scoring. Still the duo scored at more than six runs an over putting 68 for no loss after 10 over.Finally, Dravid departed in the 11th over getting run out in Thissara Perera’s over on 44, but by that time the team total was a fine 71 and there so no reason for Rajasthan to worry.Then Watson and Johan Botha upped the tempo towards the end. Watson picked Muttiah Muralitharan and smashed two sixes off him in the 13th over and the followed them up with two fours off Ravindra Jadega in the next over. He went for another one, but failed and Jadeja’s ball crashed into his stumps. He fell on 49.Finally Johan Botha and Ross Taylor helped the team home in the 15th over. Botha scored a four off the first ball of the 15th over off Muralitharan and Rajasthan won the match by 8 wickets.Kochi innings Rajasthan captain Shane Warne and Siddharth Trivedi shared six wickets between them as Kochi were all out for 109 in 20 overs against Rajasthan during this 28th IPL match.advertisementEarlier, Rajasthan captain Shane Warne won the toss and elected to field. Warne’s decision bore fruits early with VVS Laxman, who was opening as Kochi’s regular opener Brendon McCullum is out with a shoulder problem, fell in the fourth over off Shane Watson. He got run out on 8 with Kochi were 26.The other opener and captain Mahela Jayawardene too could not stay at the crease for long and was sent back by South African Johan Botha on 28. He was bowled out by a Botha delivery that rubbed off Jayawardene’s thig and then rolled on to the stump. He could only score 13.Then in the eighth over a Shane Warne turner struck Brad Hodge’s stumps to see him off on 42/3.Post those early wicket Parthiv Patel and Ravindra Jadeja batted with confidence to thwart the oppostion bowlers. The two had put on 48on board and were looking good and settled but soon after the strategic time-out, oppostion skipper Warne struck to remove Jadeja on 90/4. Jadeja wanted to sweep Warne across the boundary, but a top edge that took the aerial route was neatly pouched by the bowler. He fell on 22.The next ball too proved to be fruitful, with Warne scalping Parthiv on 32. This time around the captain got assistance from keeper Dishant Yagnik, who removed Parthiv’s bails in a flash and Kochi were down to 90/5.Next over saw another wicket fall with Raiphi Gomez going down to Siddharth Trivedi and Kochi were down to 90/6. Trivedi had another reason to cheer as Kochi’s Sri Lanaka import Thissara Perera walked back as soon as he came in and Kochi were down to 92/7 in no time. Kochi could only manage to score 109 all out. RP Singh was the last man to fall from the Kochi camp and he was run out on the last ball of the 20th over.
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At 34 for three, Krunal Pandya joined Rohit and brought Mumbai closer to victory with a 54-run partnership off 40 balls. Mumbai Indians Krunal Pandya plays a shot during the IPL-10 qualifier 2 Match against Kolkata Knight Riders at Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Friday. – PTI Bumrah and Lasith Malinga got the last two batsmen cheaply. After Bumrah dismissed Chris Lynn for four in the second over, the 29-year-old Sharma emerged as the wrecker-in-chief, sending back KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir (12) and Colin de Grandhomme (0) off consecutive balls, besides castling Narine in the fifth over. × Krunal Pandya showed maturity, finishing as Mumbai’s top scorer with 45 off 30 balls, while Rohit contributed 26. COMMENTS Mumbai finished the run chase by scoring 111 for four after losing three wickets quickly, including the in-form Parthiv Patel (14) and his opening partner Lendl Simmons (3). Mumbai Indians Krunal Pandya plays a shot during the IPL-10 qualifier 2 Match against Kolkata Knight Riders at Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Friday. – PTI The situation got worse for the Knight Riders as Sharma snapped up Colin de Grandhomme. Ishank Jaggi (28) and Surayakumar Yadav (31) put on 56 runs for the sixth wicket in 47 balls, during which they belted five fours and one six, and saved KKR from further embarrassment. Mumbai Indians exploited the conditions and rattled Kolkata batsmen from the very first over, having them on the mat at 31 for five in seven overs, after Rohit Sharma opted to field. COMMENT Mumbai knocked off 16 runs in the 11th over bowled by Piyush Chawla (2/34), and scored eight in the next over to inch closer to their target. Mumbai Indians breezed into the final of IPL-10 with a six-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders in the Qualifier 2, their clinical performance making it look all too easy in the end here tonight. May 20, 2017 Earlier, Karn Sharma and Bumrah saw Mumbai Indians bowl out Kolkata Knight Riders. Mumbai dealt KKR another body blow by sending back their captain Gautam Gambhir after the batsman had scored 12 off 15 balls. A face-saving partnership ensued before Mitchell Johnson claimed the wickets of Piyush Chawla and Nathan Coulter-Nile, leaving Kolkata at 101 for eight. KKR began the innings rather poorly, losing Lynn early, when he tried to loft Bumrah in the second over of the match. Mumbai struck for the second time in the fifth over, removing Narine for 10, thanks to a superb googly by Sharma and wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel did the rest at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium. In the very next over, Bumrah got his second wicket of the match, when he trapped Robin Uthappa plumb in front of the wicket. Sent into bat, KKR were bowled out for 107 runs in 18.5 balls, and Mumbai chased down the target with 33 balls to spare at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. cricket SHARE SHARE EMAIL Pandya struck eight boundaries. Two-time winner Mumbai Indians will lock horns with Rising Pune Supergiants in the title clash in Hyderabad on Sunday. Leg-spinner Karn Sharma was the star performer with the ball for Mumbai, returning excellent figures of 4/16 — the joint best effort by a spinner in an IPL knockout game, while Jasprit Bumrah provided fine support to pick 3/7 in three overs. At that juncture, KKR did get the wicket of Rohit, but Pandya along with Kieron Pollard (9) steered Mumbai home. SHARE Published on
Taker: “Can I retire now?”HHH: “smile and wave, or I’ll book you for Wrestlemania 40!” #WWESSD pic.twitter.com/h5gI801cMx— Bove (@Bigmattandfries) October 6, 2018 EXCLUSIVE: @RondaRousey pulled off her first double armbar with EASE at #WWESSD! pic.twitter.com/IRoWnuwmlg— WWE (@WWE) October 6, 2018 When you forget to save your work and Word crashes #WWESSD pic.twitter.com/alUDaU5s1v— WWE Critics (@WWECritics) October 6, 2018 Congratulations to The Juggernaut @WWE_Murphy #WWESSD #AndNew pic.twitter.com/nAClCzdndX— Johnny Metal (@ScreamRoyalFury) October 6, 2018 That’s how it’s done. 🤜👊🤛#WWESSD @WWERollins @WWERomanReigns @TheDeanAmbrose pic.twitter.com/ZFuxCovwEX— WWE (@WWE) October 6, 2018 Asuka needs a massive reset button, turn her heel. I hope this meaningless feud is over. Seeing her dancing with Naomi was absolutely cringe. How can creative ruined this woman, is mind boggling. Her mystique and her intensity is all gone. At least she didn’t take the pin.#WWESSD— #WOKEN AllHailMauro (@WOKEN_EddieKing) October 6, 2018 The real highlight of #WWESSD? John Cena’s hair. pic.twitter.com/vPd6PLkOPe— richard cumiskey (@ricky9537) October 6, 2018 EXCLUSIVE: It was an emotion-filled day for @PeytonRoyceWWE & @BillieKayWWE, who pulled out an #IIconic win at #WWESSD! pic.twitter.com/HmDfMTT0AK— WWE (@WWE) October 6, 2018 Retired Shawn Michaels has taken more bumps than Active Brock Lesnar #WWESSD— WWE Creative Humor (@WWECreative_ish) October 6, 2018 New @JohnCena merch. 🤔 yay or nay? #WWESSD #WWE #WWEAustralia @IAmEliasWWE @FightOwensFight @fightbobby pic.twitter.com/hDBGb8yWnq— Shubham Roy (@Shubham696Roy) October 6, 2018 They are the BROTHERS of DESTRUCTION after all…#Undertaker and @KaneWWE just made one last STATEMENT! #WWESSD #TripleHvsUndertaker pic.twitter.com/Abt6gQKD5Z— WWE (@WWE) October 6, 2018 #WWESSD Daniel Bryan beats The MizMe: pic.twitter.com/c7ZtQBhJos— James 🔥 (@xBurningStomp) October 6, 2018 AdvertisementThe main event of the show which saw Triple H defeating The Undertaker. Photo Credits: WWEWWE’s trip to The Great Southern Land turned out to be eventful. A vocal crowd of over 70,000 were in attendance to witness the spectacle at Melbourne Cricket Ground in Melbourne, Australia.The night started with The New Day and Becky Lynch retaining their titles, while hometown heroes Buddy Murphy and The IIconics sealing a victory. Buddy Murphy dethroning Cedric Alexander to win the WWE Cruiserweight Championship arguably received the loudest pop of the night.John Cena returned to action debuting a new hairdo to team-up with Bobby Lashley and took on the duo of Elias and Kevin Owens. AJ Styles too retained his title after a tense encounter with Samoa Joe. The much-awaited match of Daniel Bryan vs The Miz ended in a quick abrupt fashion as WWE’s resident YES! man picked up the victory with a small-package which seemed like a nice callback to Bryan’s Mr Small Package gimmick of his early days in the indies.While in the main event, The Game got over The Phenom in their “last ever” encounter. The Brothers Of Destruction laid out Triple H and Shawn Michaels post-match to end the event.Let’s see how the Twitterati and the Superstars reacted to Super Show-Down:Still The Queen @MsCharlotteWWE #WWESSD pic.twitter.com/mhSeTECJ06— Knights Of Charlotte (@QueensKnight5) October 6, 2018 Wakanda Forever #WWESSD pic.twitter.com/kmdtbYwpxo— Markell Bailey (@tenorbuds) October 6, 2018 5 star match in the stands! #WWESSD pic.twitter.com/uURubreIoV— Simon Takla (@simontakla) October 6, 2018 john cena after reading the tweets about his hair pic.twitter.com/PcQHHBLlJx— WrestlinGifs (@WrestlinGifs) October 6, 2018 For the #LastTimeEver, @TripleH has DEFEATED The #Undertaker! #WWESSD #TripleHvsUndertaker pic.twitter.com/UGw6GKJqeG— WWE (@WWE) October 6, 2018 One last … #GameTime. #WWESSD pic.twitter.com/e5DtLjxarO— Triple H (@TripleH) October 6, 2018 .@YaOnlyLivvOnce doesn’t forget. #WWESSD pic.twitter.com/c67YpecdCg— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) October 6, 2018 That was rowdy, that was fearless, this team had it ALL!#WWESSD @RondaRousey @BellaTwins pic.twitter.com/QaE0Oq2lpg— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) October 6, 2018 I’ve traveled the world as the @WWE Champion, defending it has been my life. I came to Australia to do just that… Joe tried to mess with a man’s family. Now I’m going to make sure he won’t be the same next time he sees his. #WWESSD #AndStill— AJStyles.Org (@AJStylesOrg) October 6, 2018 Mr Small Package strikes again! Watch out @AJStylesOrg! #MrSmallPackage— Daniel Bryan (@WWEDanielBryan) October 6, 2018 When one chapter ends, another opens. I’ll see you in Saudi Arabia, @WWEDanielBryan. #ThePhenomenalvsTheYes#WWECrownJewel— AJStyles.Org (@AJStylesOrg) October 6, 2018 That’s… that’s not how an armbar works but okay#WWESSD pic.twitter.com/jAJrnKTtuQ— GIF Skull (@GIFSkull) October 6, 2018 Advertisement How to sum up the AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe feud. #DaddysHome #WWESSD #SDLive pic.twitter.com/xrljowKiy9— Markell Bailey (@tenorbuds) October 6, 2018 When your phone battery hits 1% and you left your charger in the other room #WWESSD pic.twitter.com/mPo8KhcFcn— WWE Critics (@WWECritics) October 6, 2018 The 🤝 is on a whole other level. Well done, @NaomiWWE & @WWEAsuka. #WWESSD pic.twitter.com/UVVC0N63I1— WWE (@WWE) October 6, 2018 I personally think @JohnCena ‘s new haircut is awesome! Only real good looking dudes have hair that cool. pic.twitter.com/K55VrBZOeD— John Layfield (@JCLayfield) October 6, 2018 This just means the world to us! Thank you! 🙏 https://t.co/gfGmeNWoKC— Peyton Royce (@PeytonRoyceWWE) October 6, 2018 a DOUBLE ARMBAR FOR ROWDY RONDA ROUSEY AND THE BELLA TWINS TO WIN #WWESSD pic.twitter.com/4EvKGdyHST— Wrestling guy (@mir_zayan) October 6, 2018 JUST. LIKE. THAT.@JohnCena executes the #6thMoveOfDoom to get the WIN for himself and @fightbobby at #WWESSD! pic.twitter.com/W056Ek3C2u— WWE (@WWE) October 6, 2018 @CedricAlexander was the Best in @WWE205Live – But I’m better than the Best! The #AgeofAlexander is now extinct like the dinosaurs! #AndNEW #WWESSD pic.twitter.com/OU0ZPCaYEF— WWE Buddy Murphy (@WWE_Murphy) October 6, 2018
Gorakhpur (UP), Nov 17 (PTI) Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said Saturday his government was promoting sports like the central government and rewarding those winning medals in international events.The chief minister was here to present awards to the winners of a wrestling championship at regional stadium.Congratulating the winners, he said, “Gorakhpur has given many national and international players which brought fame and glory to the nation and the state.”He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was promoting sports with Khelo India programme and the state government was supporting him in the campaign. PTI CORR SAB DPB
The Longhorns will host the Tigers on September 7, which could quickly decide the fate of their season.Brad Crawford of 247Sports believes the contests against LSU and Oklahoma could define Texas’ season.Picking up two victories over top teams could elevate the Longhorns’ chances of making the College Football Playoff. On the flip side, both matchups could also put Texas in an early hole to start the first half of the season.An early win over LSU in September could set the tone for the rest of the season. As for the rivalry battle with Oklahoma, it’s fair to say that game will most likely come down to the wire.It’s going to be an interesting season for Tom Herman and the Longhorns.[247Sports] AUSTIN, TX – OCTOBER 25: A general view of fans at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium during a game between the Oklahoma State Cowboys and the Texas Longhorns on October 25, 2008 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)Expectations will be high for the Texas Longhorns this year, but their schedule won’t do them any favors. The prestigious program has a few tough tests ahead of them for 2019.Texas ended the previous season with a statement win over Georgia in the Sugar Bowl. The victory over the Bulldogs let the rest of the country know that the Longhorns can compete with the elites in college football.Unfortunately for Texas, next season features matchups against two of the best schools in the nation: LSU and Oklahoma.Playing against Oklahoma isn’t a surprise, especially since the Cotton Bowl takes place every year. However, the showdown with LSU is pretty intriguing because of the timing.
Reuters LondonAugust 9, 2019UPDATED: August 9, 2019 09:47 IST David Luiz (Reuters Photo)HIGHLIGHTSArsenal have signed Brazilian centre back David Luiz from ChelseaLuiz was reportedly signed for approximately eight million poundsDavid Luiz joined Chelsea in 2011 from BenficaArsenal have signed Brazilian centre back David Luiz from London rivals Chelsea, the Premier League clubs said on Thursday.The details were not disclosed but British media reported the transfer fee was approximately eight million pounds ($9.7 million) and the 32-year-old had signed a two-year contract.Luiz, the 10th player to wear the colours of both London clubs in the Premier League era, joined Chelsea in 2011 from Benfica. He won the Champions League (2012), Premier League (2017) and FA Cup (2012, 2018) in two spells with Chelsea.Brazil international Luiz, who also won the Europa League (2013, 2019), spent two years at Paris St-Germain where he played under Arsenal manager Unai Emery after joining the French club in 2014 before returning to Stamford Bridge.”David has huge experience and I look forward to working with him again. He is a well-known player and adds to our defensive strength,” said Spaniard Emery.Arsenal, who finished fifth last season and missed out on Champions League qualification for a third successive year, were in the market for defenders following the departures of Laurent Koscielny, Carl Jenkinson and Stephan Lichtsteiner.Luiz is Arsenal’s sixth recruit of the close season after Gabriel Martinelli, Dani Ceballos (on loan from Real Madrid), centre back William Saliba, who has been loaned back to St Etienne, Nicolas Pepe in a club-record deal and left back Kieran Tierney who arrived on deadline day.advertisementAlso Read | Tottenham Hotspur sign Lo Celso on loan, Manchester United offload Lukaku on deadline dayAlso Read | Romelu Lukaku completes switch to Inter Milan from Manchester UnitedAlso SeeFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAnita Jat Tags :Follow Premier League transfers Next Arsenal sign Brazilian defender David Luiz from ChelseaDavid Luiz won the Champions League (2012), Premier League (2017) and FA Cup (2012, 2018) in two spells with Chelsea.advertisement
Image Courtesy: Incat CrowtherIn today’s spotted we present you the first ferry in NYC Ferry’s fleet which was recently christened in New York.The vessel was christened Lunch Box, following a naming competition held amongst New York school students.Lunch Box is the first vessel in a fleet of catamaran ferries commissioned by Hornblower Cruises to form NYC Ferries, a government initiative to bring an affordable, city-wide ferry network to the Big Apple.Over the coming year, the fleet is expected to grow to some twenty vessels and the network will grow to six routes. On Manhattan, the routes will be based out of Wall Street and East 34th streets and will serve areas such as DUMBO, Rockaway, Astoria, Brooklyn, Sunset Park.The vessels are being constructed by two shipyards, Horizon Shipbuilding and Metal Shark. Naval architecture firm Incat Crowther has developed the ferries’ design.The vessels offer quick turn-around using the standard New York City bow loading geometry. This allows the vessel to nose into wharves with minimal mooring. The wheelhouse of the vessel is situated immediately behind the foredeck, enhancing operational safety, Incat said.Lunch Box, which can accommodate 150 passengers, is expected to be one of the cleanest operating in American waters, with efficient Tier 3 certified main engines, dry exhausts, and vinyl coating in lieu of toxic solvent-based paints, according to Incat.With a length of 26 meters and a width of eight meters, the ferry is able to reach a maximum speed of 27 knots.
zoomIllustration; Image Courtesy: Port of Newcastle The New South Wales Government has expressed its support for a proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal at the Port of Newcastle.The Newcastle GasDock project, with an estimated direct onshore investment of up to AUD 250 million (USD 169.9 million) at the port, received Critical State Significant Infrastructure (CSSI) status from NSW Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, the Hon Rob Stokes MP.“The terminal could be operational by 2022-23 and provide supply for gas-fired power stations, helping to manage energy security during the period in which the Liddell power station is scheduled to close,” Acting Premier, John Barilaro, said.Barilaro added that the proposal for the AUD 589 million gas import terminal at Kooragang Island in the Port of Newcastle would include a connecting pipeline to the existing NSW gas supply network.Despite being declared ‘critical’, the terminal will still be subject to detailed community consultation and a full and thorough environmental assessment.The proponent, Newcastle GasDock Company (NGDC), will now need to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the project, which will go on public exhibition for community feedback.
« Les ambulanciers paramédicaux de la Nouvelle-Écosse sont des professionnels bien formés qui sont prêts à mettre leur vie en danger pour aider les autres, a dit Kevin McNamara, sous-ministre de la Santé et du Mieux-être. Je remercie les récipiendaires des médailles, ainsi que tous nos ambulanciers paramédicaux, pour le travail exceptionnel qu’ils font chaque jour pour assurer la santé et la sécurité des Néo-Écossais. Les ambulanciers paramédicaux sont vraiment essentiels à notre système de soins de santé. » La Médaille pour services distingués des services d’urgence médicale a été créée en 1994. Il s’agit d’un élément du programme national de reconnaissance des gens qui travaillent dans des emplois à risque élevé qui améliorent la sécurité publique du Canada. En plus des ambulanciers paramédicaux, les policiers, les pompiers, les agents correctionnels, les membres de la Garde côtière et les agents de la paix sont également admissibles à recevoir cette médaille. Les récipiendaires sont mis en candidature par leurs pairs et par le public. Ils doivent avoir 20 ans de service exemplaire au cours de leur carrière, dont au moins 10 ans dans un poste de services médicaux d’urgence qui peut comporter des risques. Pour obtenir plus d’information sur les prix, consultez le www.gg.ca. Dix-sept ambulanciers paramédicaux de la Nouvelle-Écosse ont reçu la Médaille pour services distingués aujourd’hui, le mercredi 23 septembre, pour leur dévouement à aider les Néo-Écossais au moment où ils en ont le plus besoin. Chacun des récipiendaires a consacré sa carrière à offrir des soins d’urgence de qualité supérieure, parfois à de grands risques. Le lieutenant-gouverneur J.J. Grant a présenté les médailles lors d’une cérémonie qui a eu lieu à la Résidence du lieutenant-gouverneur, à Halifax. « Les ambulanciers paramédicaux sont des professionnels hautement qualifiés qui se préoccupent des autres avant de se préoccuper de leur propre confort et sécurité, a dit le lieutenant-gouverneur Grant. La Nouvelle-Écosse est bien servie par ces personnes qui sont reconnues aujourd’hui, et il s’agit d’un privilège pour moi, au nom de la Couronne, de célébrer leur service exceptionnel aux gens de notre province. » Récipiendaires des médailles : Dale Bartlett, Truro, comté de Colchester Cpl Jeffrey Bezanson, Springhill, comté de Cumberland Paul Blake, Yarmouth Kevin Boudreau, Arichat, comté de Richmond Bruce Cox, Bedford, MRH Paul Gouthro, Sydney Mines, MRCB Jonathan Humes, Lower Sackville, MRH Patrick Kline, Halifax Dale Langille, Amherst, comté de Cumberland Thomas MacLean, Glace Bay, MRCB Peter MacPherson, Mahone Bay, comté de Lunenburg Paula Martell, Halifax Joe Muise, Chéticamp, comté d’Inverness Victor Murphy, North River, comté de Colchester Dawn Nickerson, Fletcher’s Lake, MRH Mark Wheatley, Brookside, MRH Keith Wilcox, Glace Bay, MRCB
MONCTON, N.B. – A hushed Moncton courtroom heard the alarmed voice Wednesday of a senior Mountie calling for help as “heavily out-armed” officers tried to track a gunman out to assassinate police.“We’re going to need everything we’ve got,” Cpl. Peter MacLean pleaded in a June 4, 2014, recording played at the RCMP’s Labour Code trial. “We’re heavily out-armed here.”Then, to other officers, MacLean radioed: “Keep cover guys. He’s got long guns. Ours are too short for him. We don’t have the artillery for this.”MacLean testified Wednesday that officers “didn’t have anything to match” Justin Bourque’s semi-automatic rifle in the Moncton massacre, which left three Mounties dead and two others wounded.MacLean was one of three responding RCMP officers who took the stand Wednesday in Moncton provincial court.They described a chaotic response to the shooting spree with scarce resources — two officers argued over a hard-body armour suit, insisting the other take it for the sake of her children — broken communication and general lack of co-ordination.The RCMP is accused of failing to provide members and supervisors with the appropriate information, instruction, equipment and training in an active-shooter event.Witnesses said Wednesday reports of a camouflaged man carrying two long guns initially didn’t raise too much alarm. Codiac RCMP often received calls about misguided hunters or kids carrying realistic toy guns, they said.As soon as reports of live gunfire came in, Cpl. Jacques Cloutier, who was acting sergeant for the detachment while the command post was unfilled, testified that he sent everyone in the office to the scene.The chatter over the radio became more “active,” Cloutier said, so he asked for an update. An officer called him to say that Const. Fabrice Gevaudan “was gone.”“I asked … ‘Tell me, well, where did he go?’ and I realized what he meant,” Cloutier told the court. “For five seconds, I was kind of numb.”MacLean told the court that he and another officer “hopscotched” through the residential neighbourhood — one providing cover, while the other darted through a backyard — trying to conceal themselves as they searched for the shooter.MacLean had lost his radio during the pursuit, so he took Gevaudan’s as officers futilely tried to revive him, he said.He said the radio traffic was frantic and full of “conflicting” information. Officers from other detachments couldn’t even access the channel, he said.Volleys of shots rang out in quick succession, MacLean said, leading him to question whether the shooter was carrying an automatic weapon.MacLean pleaded for back-up from other detachments, an emergency response team and air support.Another witness, Const. Martine Benoit, testified that she couldn’t recall anyone being in charge as confused officers scrambled to respond to unverified sightings of the shooter.Benoit told the court that she stood alone in a parking lot “waiting to be shot again” not long after Bourque fired multiple rounds into her police cruiser, sending smoke billowing from her engine.“It was kind of a chaos situation,” Benoit said. “It was one shot after the other.”She testified that another officer, Const. Eric Dubois, came to her aid and they took cover behind his car. As the gunfire resumed, Dubois told her that Gevaudan had died, said Benoit.“There was bullets flying everywhere.” she said. “(Dubois) was upset, obviously. We had just lost a member and he wanted to get the suspect.”Dubois kept popping up from behind the car to get a better eye on Bourque. Benoit said she told him to get down, then she saw blood running down his arm.Dubois fled to the Hildegard Fire Station, where officers who had escaped the line of fire set up a staging area. Benoit said she was too afraid to go out in the open, but another officer came to escort her to the station.“I don’t recall that anyone was in charge at that point,” she said. “There was a lot of members trying to figure out what they needed to do.”Benoit said Cpl. Lisa Whittington urged her to take her hard-body armour, or HBA, but she resisted.“We were arguing on who was going to take the HBA that they had there,” Benoit recounted. “She says, ‘Well, you have kids.’ And I said, ‘Well you have kids too.’”Eventually, Benoit put on the equipment.Over the radio, Benoit said she heard that the shooter had been spotted near Ayer Avenue and Preston Crescent, about 2.5 kilometres away from where the last shooting took place.Benoit told the court that she questioned how the shooter could have moved so quickly, but she jumped into another police cruiser and drove to the scene.Court heard that she stood alone in a school parking lot, waiting for instructions from dispatch as night fell.“I was scared because I didn’t know where he (the shooter) was,” she said. “I was waiting to be shot again.”Benoit said she was briefly joined by another officer, but then another call came in, and they had to leave. Again, Benoit was alone, she said.Bourque, who was targeting police in an effort to start an anti-government rebellion, was caught after a 28-hour manhunt. He was sentenced to life in prison with no parole eligibility for 75 years after pleading guilty to three counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder.
HALIFAX – A year after Halifax decided to consider naming a street after Sidney Crosby, the hockey superstar suddenly finds himself embroiled in an ugly political mess that has some residents openly musing about rescinding the offer.It’s no secret the Pittsburgh Penguins captain has faced widespread criticism on social media for his decision to support the team’s upcoming visit to the White House, but disapproval has also percolated to the surface in his hometown, where Crosby is typically accorded god-like status.Soon after the Penguins accepted President Donald Trump’s invitation to bring the Stanley Cup to Washington, D.C. — Crosby called it “a great honour for us to be invited there” — some Haligonians were calling on him to reject the offer.They asked Crosby to show unity with NFL players and others protesting Trump for criticizing the league’s players for refusing to stand during the national anthem.One of Halifax’s most outspoken social activists, El Jones, weighed in with a 900-word opinion piece that took the NHL star to task for failing to fall into line with other athletes.Jones, Halifax’s former poet laureate, noted that Crosby said there was “little to no discussion” in the locker room about the decision to visit the White House.“That players in the overwhelmingly white NHL … were able to have ‘no discussion’ about this issue while black athletes in other leagues faced the president’s harshest language says a great deal about white privilege,” Jones wrote for Vice News.“Crosby’s choice not to side with black athletes should not be seen as representing the absence of racism in Canada. It is instead the exact face of ‘polite’ Canadian racism … This is what racism looks like in Canada, where everything is so comfortable (for white people) and nobody can understand why those protesters have to be so rude about it.”Jones suggested Crosby is no stranger to racism because the suburb in which he grew up, Cole Harbour, had race riots at the local high school in the 1990s and again in 2008.In the Halifax Chronicle Herald, Atlantic Canada’s largest-circulation newspaper, an editorial cartoon on Monday depicted Crosby meeting Trump in the Oval Office, with the hockey player saying, “I’m Sid the Kid,’ and Trump replying, “I’m Donald the Baby.”The newspaper also carried an opinion piece from two local professors who offered six reasons for Crosby to stay home. The No. 1 reason? “You have already been there.”The fifth reason was more pointed: “Remember your roots. You are from Cole Harbour, the flashpoint of black and white race relations in Canada for the past 30 years. The parallels between your hometown and the U.S. today are too obvious to ignore.”A column in the city’s alternative weekly, The Coast, compared Crosby to a notably apolitical singer: “The Taylor Swift of hockey has no problem joining his Stanley Cup-winning teammates in Washington.”On Twitter, there appeared to be little support for Crosby’s position — even in tweets sent from the Halifax area, where regional council unanimously voted last year to consider renaming a suburban street after Crosby.“Thank you Sidney Crosby for the helpful reminder of why it’s a bad idea to name streets and buildings for people prematurely,” said one resident. Another followed up with: “Find it difficult to support naming a street after Sidney Crosby after his decision to visit Trump.”And then there was this: “Sidney Crosby is a bum just like Trump if he goes to the White House…. better stay there too.”Crosby still has plenty of supporters online and elsewhere in Nova Scotia, though.“I think Sidney should do what he feels is best for him and the team,” said one tweet. “Our opinions shouldn’t matter.”The Penguins visited the White House in 2009 and 2016 after winning the Stanley Cup.One Twitter scribe suggested the practice should have nothing to do with who is in power: “It’s about the tradition and the landmark, not the idiot that is the occupant.”On Facebook, Halifax resident Laura Patterson said Crosby can’t avoid politics.“The Penguins don’t exist outside of current events, and the decision to visit or not visit the White House is politicized either way. The Penguins made the wrong choice … The Penguins and Sidney Crosby are left standing on the wrong side of history … I hope he reconsiders. Either way, he’ll be making a stand.”Halifax-based classic rock radio station Q104 asked Twitter users the following question: “Should Sidney Crosby go to the White House?” The unscientific poll attracted 479 responses with 61 per cent saying no.
As nations and individuals around the globe gear up to participate in the world’s largest grassroots environmental movement, WWF’s Earth Hour has kickstarted the countdown to the 2015 event with the release of the official campaign video.Video: Earth Hour 2015 Official VideoSet to the international hit song ‘Pompeii’ by British rock band Bastille, the two-minute video demonstrates how Earth Hour is empowering individuals and organisations around the world to take action on climate change.Showcasing memorable moments and achievements from past Earth Hour events as well as powerful statements from world leaders and personalities such as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, US President Barack Obama and actors Emma Thompson, Li Bingbing and Mark Ruffalo on the issue of climate change, the Earth Hour 2015 video aims to inspire people with the message to act and ‘use your power to change climate change’.“This is the ninth time the Earth Hour movement will roll across the world. Millions of people will come together to use their power to change climate change and we want to work with them to deliver real solutions for a sustainable future for our planet,” said Sudhanshu Sarronwala, Executive Director, Marketing and Communications WWF International.In the past eight years, Earth Hour has grown from a symbolic lights-off event in Sydney, Australia to the world’s largest open-sourced environmental campaign mobilising hundreds of millions of people in more than 7,000 cities and 162 countries and territories.“We would like to thank the band Bastille, Universal and EMI Publishing for helping us create an inspiring video that captures the energy and power of the Earth Hour movement to impact climate change,” said Sarronwala.Earth Hour 2015 will take place on 28th March 2015 between 8:30 and 9:30 P.M. in your local time zone. To know more about the event and activities happening in and around your city and how you can use your power to change climate change, visit www.earthhour.org.
Four school buses have been destroyed by fire this morning in Burlington.Police and firefighters responded to the First Student Bus Lines yard at 5421 Dundas Street around 4 a.m. They found four buses fully engulfed in flames when they arrived.In order to fight the blaze Halton Police closed part of Highway 5 as they had to lay over 600 metres of water line.The fires were under control within a half hour.The fire is not considered suspicious.
TORONTO – Ontario plans to provide up to $190 million to help hard-hit municipalities pay for the cleanup and recovery costs from the December ice storm, Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Linda Jeffrey said Wednesday.The money will be divided up among the 32 towns and cities across southern Ontario that requested financial help from the province, including Toronto.But the dollar figure could change, given that some municipalities are still cleaning up from the storm, she said.The costs the province will cover include warming centres, additional police expenses and cleaning the debris left by the storm, she said. But it won’t pay to replace downed trees.However, the municipalities had said the recovery efforts could cost more than $250 million, including $106 just for Toronto.Those were rough estimates that may have included items like regular working hours of municipal staff, rather than just overtime, Jeffrey said.Toronto originally asked the province to cover spring flooding costs and hydro costs, which weren’t eligible for compensation, she said. The new, one-time program the province has created will only cover the costs of the ice storm.Toronto council has revised its figure to $86.5 million.The provincial government is still working with municipalities to assess the damage and the full cost, Jeffrey said.“I think we’ll actually get them more than they’ve actually asked for,” she said.The money will likely flow within the next few months, Jeffrey said, but it’s difficult to know since some municipalities are still cleaning up.The pre-Christmas storm downed trees and hydro lines, left hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses without power for days and stalled road and air travel.Councils in many municipalities, including Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, and Caledon, had voted to ask the province that they be declared disaster areas after the ice storm.Mayors had asked the federal and Ontario governments to each cover a third of the cleanup costs from the storm, which left people shivering in the cold and dark for days until power was restored.The municipal leaders said property taxes alone could not fund the recovery and gave the province until March 1 to respond.Jeffrey said the province is seeking financial help from Ottawa, since the costs associated with the ice storm qualify under a federal program that provides assistance when the province’s eligible costs exceed $1 per capita.In their recent penny-pinching budget, the federal Conservatives also earmarked $200 million over five years to establish a national disaster mitigation program.But that’s not enough, Jeffrey said.“Based on what’s been happening in the last year — whether it’s flooding or an ice storm — certainly there appears to be more climate-change events that are happening across Ontario and probably Canada,” she said.“So we’re putting them on notice that in Ontario, we’re prepared to pay 100 per cent of those eligible costs.”At least two big city leaders hailed the province’s move.“They listened and they responded,” Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion said Wednesday in Ottawa. “What more can you ask for?”Toronto is getting all the assistance it sought from the province, said deputy Toronto mayor Norm Kelly.“This is not just good news, this is great news,” he said. “I’m delighted to hear it.” AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Ontario to give $190 million for ice storm cleanup, challenges Ottawa to step up by Maria Babbage, The Canadian Press Posted Feb 26, 2014 1:43 pm MDT
by Youkyung Lee, The Associated Press Posted Jan 16, 2017 2:48 am MDT Last Updated Jan 16, 2017 at 3:20 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email SEOUL, South Korea – In a departure from the leniency typically given South Korean big businesses, prosecutors on Monday requested the arrest of the de facto head of Samsung Electronics, the country’s most valuable company, in an influence-peddling scandal that has toppled the country’s president.Lee Jae-yong, the 48-year-old vice chairman at Samsung Electronics, faces allegations of embezzlement, of lying under oath during a parliamentary hearing and of offering a bribe of 43 billion won ($36 million) to a long-time friend of impeached President Park Geun-hye, according to Lee Kyu-chul, a spokesman for a special prosecutors’ team investigating the political scandal.It will surprise many that prosecutors requested the arrest of the man who symbolizes the future of South Korea’s most important chaebol, as family-controlled conglomerates are known. Such leaders tend to be treated as vital for the national economy.Samsung Electronics is South Korea’s most successful company and a source of pride for many who equate its huge global success with national prestige. The company has gone through a rough patch in the past half-year, however, after its latest premium smartphone was found to be prone to catching fire.Prosecutors understood worries that Lee’s arrest could hurt the economy, but “we believed that it was even more important to carry out justice,” Lee, the spokesman at the special prosecutors’ team, told reporters.A Seoul court said it will review the prosecutors’ request on Wednesday. The request takes two to three days to review, according to a Seoul court official in charge of arrest warrants who declined to give his name because of office rules.“The public demand that chaebol, especially Samsung, should not be an exception and that everyone should be equal before laws has become stronger,” said Kim Sang-jo, executive director of Solidarity for Economic Reforms, a private watchdog on big businesses. “Prosecutors and judicial institutions cannot ignore the huge pressure from the public.”Samsung allegedly donated funds to various entities controlled by Choi Soon-sil, the jailed secretive confidante of the president, including two non-profit foundations and a winter sports centre run by Choi’s niece. This allegedly happened while the company was seeking the government’s help with a leadership succession within the Samsung group to Lee Jae-yong from his father who has been hospitalized for more than two years.Part of the money given to Choi allegedly was embezzled by the Samsung vice chairman, the spokesman for the prosecutors said. He declined to disclose the exact amount.Samsung said it has never made donations to win favours.Prosecutors also indicted ex-health minister Moon Hyung-pyo on Monday on charges he abused his power to compel the national pension fund to support a contentious Samsung merger in 2015.“We cannot accept the special prosecutors’ argument that there were unlawful favours related to the merger or the leadership succession,” Samsung said in a statement.The investigation of the Samsung chief could also target Park. Her impeachment is under review by the constitutional Court, which will decide whether to restore her power or force her from office. The prosecutors’ spokesman said investigators had evidence proving that Park shared wealth with Choi and was an accomplice in the Samsung bribery case. They plan to summon Park and will then decide whether to name her as a suspect in the Samsung case, he said.The national pension fund is the biggest shareholder in Samsung C&T. Its vote in favour of the company’s merger with Cheil Industries helped facilitate Samsung’s leadership succession, allowing Lee Jae-yong to increase his control over Samsung Electronics without spending any of his own money. Smaller shareholders said the merger unfairly benefited Samsung founding family members and hurt minority shareholders.Samsung sought “unlawful favours” related to “leadership succession,” the prosecutors’ spokesman said.Samsung Electronics was founded by Lee Jae-yong’s grandfather. The younger Lee has been serving as its de facto head since his father suffered a heart attack in 2014.Other leaders at Samsung, Hyundai Motor and SK, including Lee’s father Lee Kun-hee, have been convicted in the past for embezzlement or tax evasion. But most avoided imprisonment and later won pardons from presidents who worried that the economy might suffer if they were jailed.In turn, the businesses often responded to such pardons by announcing big investments or jobs. A former South Korean president pardoned Lee Kun-hee, the ailing Samsung chairman, in 2009, in hopes he would help South Korea win a bid to host the Winter Olympic games.He was reinstated as a member of the International Olympic Committee after the pardon and South Korea won the bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics games in Pyeongchang.___Follow Youkyung Lee: www.twitter.com/YKLeeAP South Korea seeks arrest of Samsung scion in graft scandal
by Jordan Press, The Canadian Press Posted Jun 7, 2017 12:49 pm MDT Last Updated Jun 7, 2017 at 3:20 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Liberals to face Senate as showdown looms over infrastructure bank plan OTTAWA – The government’s plan to create a new $35-billion infrastructure bank is facing a rocky road as senators stand poised to rewrite the Liberals’ budget bill and delay creation of the financing agency.An independent senator will ask the Senate next week to separate out the legislation creating the so-called infrastructure bank from the larger budget bill to give the upper chamber more time to debate the proposal.Whether Sen. Andre Pratte has enough support is unclear, but he said there is interest from Conservatives, Liberals and independents who want more time to review the legislation.The Liberal government’s plan is to use public funds through the bank to leverage billions more from investors to pay for large projects, such as rail lines, bridges and transit systems that may be too expensive for governments, or too risky for private companies to handle alone.Pratte said several senators remain unconvinced about the plan after a preliminary study of the proposal, citing concerns about the agency’s independence, transparency and the degree to which taxpayers will be exposed to financial risk.“In many senators minds, those hearings have actually pointed to more issues to be studied,” said the Quebec senator who was appointed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.“There are issues and questions that have arisen that point to more concern, rather than less.”The Liberals say they see no reason to separate the bank from the rest of the bill that implements elements of the federal budget.Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi said the government wants to get the bank up and running by the end of the year, including appointing a chief executive and board of directors and can’t do that without parliamentary approval for the bill.“The Canada infrastructure bank is such an integral part of our overall infrastructure plan and it really ties into the budget process and that’s why it’s there,” Sohi said before Wednesday’s caucus meeting.“Having it … as part of the broader budget legislation makes sense so we can get on with delivering on the commitments that we made to Canadians.”The Liberals continued to face flak over the plan in the House of Commons on Wednesday amid concerns the government is putting taxpayer dollars at risk in order to lure private investment, details of which have been outlined in internal government documents obtained by The Canadian Press.The documents say taxpayers may bear significant risk in projects where the government takes an equity stake, provide a loss buffer to private investors in other instances, or invest on equal footing but at “concessionary terms” with ownership reverting to a city or province at the end of a term.The documents obtained under the Access to Information Act also show the bank could use innovative financing tools like derivatives and contributions that are repayable based on certain benchmarks.Finance Minister Bill Morneau defended the bank in an interview Tuesday, saying the agency would reduce the risk to taxpayers should there be cost overruns on projects. On Wednesday, Trudeau said Canadians were on side with the government’s overall infrastructure plan that included a “world-class infrastructure bank” to deliver more projects that communities need.Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer was unconvinced: “The leverage comes from using taxpayers money to guarantee profits for investors and that’s not right.”The Liberals plan to avoid overly risky projects. All proposals would require government approval before the agency could strike a financing deal and funding would flow on a project-by-project basis.That process left a Senate committee unconvinced that the government had struck the right balance between oversight of public funds and giving the agency the ability to make decisions on projects absent political interference. A report released Wednesday by the Senate banking committee also pointed to cabinet’s ability to hire and fire the CEO and chair of the board as issues that the government needs to address.“The whole idea of the infrastructure bank is to ensure good investments for Canadians and returns for Canadians, but as soon as you get cabinet involved in it, it becomes political,” said committee chairman Sen. David Tkachuk.
“This is the first ever transition from one civilian Government to another and a significant step forward for democracy in the country,” the Secretary-General said of the 11 May elections, in a statement issued by his Spokesman. “By exercising their constitutional right to vote, the people of Pakistan have reaffirmed their desire for and commitment to a democratic Pakistan and their respect for the constitution of the country,” Secretary-General Ban said. Pleased to note the significant turnout for the elections, especially the youth and first time voters, “who came out in millions to take part,” the UN chief also noted the increase in the participation of women, but regretted that in some parts of the country, they were deterred from voting.“The Secretary-General applauds the courage and determination of political parties and election workers to engage in the electoral process despite the challenging security situation ahead of the voting,” the statement said. Mr. Ban also commended the Electoral Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for successfully organizing the polls, and reaffirmed the commitment of the United Nations to continue to support and assist the ECP.With more than 86 million people reportedly registered to vote, Pakistanis were set to select from among 5,000 candidates for the National Assembly and nearly 11,700 vying for the Provincial Assembly. A statement issued by Mr. Ban’s Spokesman on 9 May noted the Secretary-General’s “concern” about the series of attacks in the run-up to the polls targeting politicians, political rallies, and election offices.More than 100 people were reportedly been killed during that cycle of political violence, according to media reports. The UN chief conveyed his heartfelt condolences to the families of all the victims. He also acknowledged the efforts being made by the Government of Pakistan “to ensure the safety and security of candidates, party workers, election officials, observers and voters on the day of the elections,” that statement noted.