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Toying with peoples power

first_imgDemocracy grants citizens the right to vote and with that power, citizens become the most important feature of any democratic government. Anything to everything that the government does is assumed to be in the benefit of the people. Abraham Lincoln defined democracy as the government of the people, by the people and for the people with the root word in Greek itself citing “rule by the people”. But with the latest Bill floated in the Lower House of Parliament, there is a sense of irony prevailing on the government’s part. The RTI (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was introduced with the objective to strengthen and streamline the RTI Act, 2005. But, with details of the proposed amendments along with reasons for such an amendment bill as forwarded by the government, the objective somewhat gets diluted. RTI Act has perhaps been the biggest boon for the citizenry of this nation. It gave them the medium to know and question those in power without any barrier preventing the revelation of any information not disclosed by the government. Immeasurable good has resulted from such legislation and that may have in itself acted as a strong deterrent for government officials in withholding any information–let alone the one people seek. It is, therefore, to the existence of RTI that citizens can take the necessary step to criticise the government based on information reflecting its performance across different parameters and pertinent issues. It cannot be surprising that this pro-democratic tool has also prevented the country from functioning in the traditional way where the outright belief highlighted that the less public knows, the better it is. And, this may not have been as sound as it seems for everyone. For those who continue to possess something to conceal, RTI will always be a dangerous trump card in the common man’s pocket. Given the purview that RTI exercises and the social good it has done for society, steps to strengthen it should be in the direction of increasing its reach and cementing its implementation. Those are the ideal amendments. But the version of amendments that the government presented were far from those. They elaborated on the tenure, salary, and posting of personnel working to uphold the RTI Act. Information Commissioners, both state and Central, as well as Chief Information Commissioner will be subject to the government’s discretion over the length of their tenures and their salaries. Against the earlier rule of a fixed five-year tenure and salary as that of the Election Commissioner–or Chief Election Commissioner in case of Chief Information Commissioner–this new amendment leaves the decision on the government’s whims. By stating that the terms and salaries of state and Central Information Commissioners, Information Officers as well as the Chief Information Commissioner, the government, through RTI (Amendment) Bill 2019, seeks to undermine the independence of a statutory body. This is a violation of the very cause that gave birth to RTI. Information Commissions were set up to perform the sacrosanct task of functioning independently while processing information desired by the people, especially without any interference from the government. If what government wants is passed then it would not be surprising if Information Commissioners are transferred or their tenure curtailed in case of any particular matter involving the government itself doing rounds of the judiciary. Against the ideal amendments, controlling officers and commissioners posted under the Information Commission is not representative of a substantial amendment. The government argues–through the Statement of Objects and Reasons of RTI (Amendment) Bill, 2019–that functions being carried out by the Election Commission of India and the Information Commission are totally different. It cites that because ECI comes under Article 324 of the Indian Constitution serving a special purpose of conducting elections, it is different from Information Commissions, both state and Central, which are statutory bodies under RTI Act, 2005. The government concludes that since the mandate of ECI and IC are different hence their status and service conditions need not be rationalised accordingly. Even if the government summarised their summary, laymen may still be unable to see how it strengthens the RTI Act and not grant powers to government in a bid to control these independent commissions. Also Read – A compounding difficultyIt must be recalled that this Bill was not tabled in the Lok Sabha despite being circulated amongst legislators due to protests from opposition leaders and RTI activists for particularly clear reasons for the amendment impinging on the freedom exercised by Information Commission in processing and furnishing requisite information to the public. In this context, it is hardly surprising that the very same protests were the order of the day when the Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha. Keen on getting the amendment passed in the Lower House, the government could have channelised the eagerness towards strengthening RTI’s implementation say, filling vacancies in Information Commissions, addressing attacks on RTI activists or for that matter drafting a Whistleblower’s Protection Act. Legislations ought to forecast the problem it pertains to address and reflect the change due to its presence but with this amendment Bill, both seem bleak.last_img read more

Defence minister says Canada will extend Indian Ocean commitment to 2021

first_imgOTTAWA – Canada will extend its commitment to maritime security in the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean with ships and personnel for another four years, says Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan.He says Operation Artemis, the latest incarnation of Canada’s contribution to a multinational security force in the area, will be extended until the end of April 2021.The international task force deploys ships and surveillance systems to intercept shipments of weapons and narcotics in the region.Sajjan said the extension authorizes the Canadian Armed Forces to commit up to 375 personnel to the operation, send in a frigate once every two years and contribute an Aurora patrol plane once a year.Canada will earmark up to $131.4 million to support the extension.He says Canada has supported security in the area since 2001 under a number of operations and Canada just completed its third rotation in command of the maritime security task force.In the last year, this task force seized and destroyed nearly 2,700 kilograms of narcotics and more than 3,000 weapons.“The government of Canada’s renewed commitment to counter-terrorism efforts is vital to building a safer and more prosperous world,” Sajjan said in a statement.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A headline on an earlier version included an incorrect year.last_img read more

Burkina Faso to Ask Morocco to extradite Former President

Rabat – Burkina Faso interim Prime Minister Isaac Zida said that his country will ask Morocco to extradite ousted leader Blaise Compaore.“We will ask Morocco to place president Compaore at the disposal of Burkinabe justice,” Zida was quoted as saying by AFP.Compaore fled the country on October 31 following a popular revolt sparked by his attempt to amend the constitution to extend his 27-year term. He arrived in Morocco on November 20 after he first took refuge in neighboring Ivory Coast.In a statement released last week, the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the former President would remain Morocco for “fixed-term-stay,” and affirmed its support to the transition process underway in the country.“The Kingdom of Morocco, which has strong historical, human and political ties with Burkina Faso, reaffirms its support to the transition process in the country and congratulate the brother people of Burkina Faso and its driving forces for their spirit of patriotism and responsibility in this important stage of their history”, the statement added.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed. read more

Moroccos Revenues from Alcohol Cigarettes Gambling Reach Over MAD 10 Billion

Casablanca – The revenue of the domestic consumption tax on cigarettes, alcoholic drinks and gambling is expected to generate over MAD 10 billion.In a new report the 2017 Finance Law Project (PFL 2017) revenue from domestic consumption tax on cigarettes, alcohol and gambling prove that this religiously prohibited industry is, in fact, an important source of revenue for the government.The government is expected to collect MAD 1,26 billion from the domestic tax imposed on the consumption of all sorts of alcoholic beverages. Added to this, the tax revenue on the sale of cigarettes is estimated at MAD 9.1 billion, while another MAD 160 million will be collected from the tax on gambling. Interestingly, the 2017 revenue estimations of alcoholic drinks are higher than those of 2016. Perhaps not surprisingly, they are 400% higher than those of non-alcoholic drinks.Predictably, there has been some push back on the results. The Moroccan daily newspaper, Al Akhbar, took the announcement as an opportunity to slam the Justice and Development Party (PJD), chich has led the government for two consecutive sessions (2011 – 2016 and 2016 – 2021) accusing it of “… contradictory moralistic discourse”.”In today’s issue of the paper, Al Akhbar stated “… the Islamists of the Justice and Development Party are counting on increasing sales of products ‘haram’ to fill in budget holes.”Addressing the issue of the “Islamization of the state,” which came as an accusation of many political rivals of the PJD during the last election campaign, Abdelilah Benkirane, the party’s Secretary-General, stated that the religious reference of the party does not determine the policies of the government. He went on to challenge that no one can refer to any government policy that can be considered “Islamic.”Edited by Constance Guidon read more

US claims for unemployment aid hit lowest level since 69

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits dropped to the lowest level in nearly half a century.The Labor Department says claims for jobless aid fell by 5,000 last week to 192,000, lowest since September 1969. The four-week average, which is less volatile, dropped by 6,000 to 201,250, lowest since November 1969.Weekly claims have been at historically low levels — below 300,000 — for more than four years.Unemployment claims are a proxy for layoffs. The low levels show that most American workers enjoy job security. The employment rate is 3.8%, the lowest in almost 50 years.Paul Wiseman, The Associated Press read more

UNP claims victory at Parliamentary polls

He said that after the Prime Minister takes oaths a decision will be taken on the new Government, which will be a National coalition Government. The United National Party (UNP) has claimed victory at the 2015 Parliamentary election.The UNP said that party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe will take oaths soon as the new Prime Minister before President Maithripala Sirisena. UNP member John Amaratunga said that while the final results in the 2015 Parliamentary election have not yet been announced, it has already been confirmed that the UNP will end with the number of seats it requires to form the next Government. Amaratunga said the UNP is expected to end with 105 seats in Parliament.The United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) has already accepted defeat at the election. UPFA member Udaya Gammanpilla said the UPFA will sit in the opposition and not join the National Government of the UNP. (Colombo Gazette) read more

Sri Lanka accused of failing to dismantle deep state network

“It’s hard to convey the extent of the sexual depravity and cruelty of the perpetrators,” said Ms Sooka, “what’s clear is any security sector reform in Sri Lanka must ensure that officials responsible for these grave crimes are held criminally accountable”. (Colombo Gazette) Abduction and torture of Tamils by the Sri Lankan security forces remain systematic because in 30 months the new Government has failed to dismantle the networks of the ‘deep state’.This includes torture chambers in one of the country’s largest army camps, immigration fraud, human smuggling and extortion by government allies.  Abduction and torture of Tamils by the Sri Lankan security forces remain systematic because in 30 months the new Government has failed to dismantle the networks of the ‘deep state’. “It is hardly surprising that Sri Lanka’s white van abductions continue as those in charge of past system crimes have been promoted and rewarded by this Government, which reassures perpetrators that they will never be held accountable,” said the ITJP’s Executive Director, Yasmin Sooka. “In addition, torturing Tamils has become a highly lucrative business,” she added. The ITJP comprises prosecutors and lawyers who’ve worked on international tribunals, UN commissions and the ICC. Its findings are reinforced by medical NGOs and doctors who do painstaking work forensically examining the scars of torture survivors.For its latest report the ITJP took detailed testimony from 57 Tamil victims of illegal detention and torture under the Sirisena government – 24 of them tortured in 2016 or 2017. No official has been investigated or held accountable for such torture. The ITJP’s report,“Unstopped”, indicates that the ongoing torture is not the conduct of a few “rotten apples” in the Sri Lankan security forces as it includes senior officers who themselves participate in the torture which is systematic and condoned.In a third of cases in 2016/17 senior officers are described entering the torture chamber, indicating knowledge on the part of those in command. 12 victims in 2016/17 heard other prisoners screaming from their solitary cells, indicating (a) more people were tortured and (b) all the security personel present at the site would have had knowledge of the torture. Biometric fingerprinting has been used in the torture chambers, technology that was only recently introduced for passports. Organised crime would be unlikely to use this or want to fingerprint in the first place. Victims describe being asked questions about information given during previous interrogations that was not widely known, indicating those involved in torture now have access to a centralised database of past interrogation records. 8 victims describe some of their perpetrators wearing military uniforms. In 7 cases the victim was tortured in a known site – the Vanni Security Force Headquarters (also known as Joseph Camp). Victims are held in purpose built cells and tortured in rooms already equipped for torture. The abductions, release and detentions follow a similar modus operandi as during the Rajapaksa years.- Reprisals contiue against family members after the victim has fled,” the report said.The ITJP’s report provides graphic descriptions of the torture methods used in 2016/17, which include beating with cricket wickets and pipes, burning with cigarettes and branding with hot metal rods, asphixiation and hanging upside down. In addition, 18 victims (15 male) described experiencing sexual violence. This includes torture chambers in one of the country’s largest army camps, immigration fraud, human smuggling and extortion by government allies. read more

Ohio State Director of Athletics Gene Smith supportive of unlimited food for

OSU Director of Athletics and Vice President Gene Smith in an interview with The Lantern Jan. 29.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorDivision I college athletes are now able to keep their bellies as full as they want with food from their respective institutions, and Gene Smith is pleased to hear they won’t be going hungry.The NCAA Legislative Council approved criteria Tuesday allowing Division I student-athletes an unrestricted amount of meals and snacks in accordance with their respective scholarships, and OSU’s director of athletics and vice president approves.“We have always been supportive of this type of legislation,” Smith said in an email to The Lantern Thursday. “It is deregulation of student-athlete welfare benefits and permissive, meaning schools can choose to do as they please based on their needs and capabilities.”The NCAA’s announcement comes more than a week after University of Connecticut senior guard Shabazz Napier said at times he goes to bed “starving” because he doesn’t have enough money to spend on food.“We as student-athletes get utilized for what we do so well, and we’re definitely blessed to get a scholarship to our universities,” Napier said April 7 after he and his team defeated Kentucky, 60-54, to win the National Championship. “But at the end of the day, that doesn’t cover everything. We do have hungry nights that we don’t have enough money to get food in. Sometimes money is needed.”The rule — which is not to be made official until the Division I Board of Directors meet and vote on it April 24 — not only applies to student-athletes who are on full scholarship, but walk-ons as well. If passed, the rule becomes effective Aug. 1.“The provision of meals approved (Tuesday) is in addition to the meal plan provided as part of a full scholarship,” the NCAA statement read. “Prior to this change, scholarship student-athletes received three meals a day or a food stipend.”Smith did not give the monetary figures requested by The Lantern representing how much is spent on snacks or meals for OSU student-athletes, instead forwarding the question on to Associate Athletics Director for Finance Peter Hagan. Hagan did not immediately respond.The decision to remove the straps and allow Division I athletes full access to as much food as they want also comes nearly three weeks after the National Labor Relations Board’s Chicago district gave Northwestern football players the right to formally establish a union March 26, and could be another step in the movement of college athletes becoming employees.Smith’s comments on the expansion of the food benefits echo what he said in a Jan. 29 interview with The Lantern, during which he said he does “not believe student-athletes are employees.”“But I do believe we need to find ways to continue to provide additional benefits,” Smith said Jan. 29. “For example, I am a big believer in coming up with a cost of attendance model … I believe we need to lift some of the other small restrictions we have in place, whether it’s meals or travel or things of that nature that will help out a little bit.”In an attempt to get a comment from OSU football coach Urban Meyer on the situation, an OSU athletic spokesman told The Lantern in an email Tuesday that since there hasn’t been a vote from the board of directors on the issue, there was no comment. Meyer did not respond to an email requesting comment Thursday.One of Meyer’s players however, senior defensive lineman Michael Bennett, did say he would enjoy getting more of a stipend as a football player.“I mean the cost of living’s going up and I don’t think that our stipend is going up,” Bennett said after practice March 27. “So obviously a little bit more money is nice, but I’m not really in the business of trying to force people to do that.” read more

Derby Mikkel Hansen PSG demolish leader HBC Nantes

Selestat24 – 27Dunkerque 5.St. Raphael7412219:2189 Creteil35 – 31Chambery Savoie Paris Saint Germain showed TOP class in the best possible moment, against the leader of the LNH, HBC Nantes 33:21 (16:14). A key role in tjhis success had Mikkel Hansen, who lead his team with fantastic shooting performance – 13 goals. The only team who is still unbeaten in France are Montpellier HC, which will clash with Nimes today… 6.Chambery Savoie7313190:1977 Cesson Rennes24 – 24Aix 12.Aix7124181:2034 10.Creteil7214214:2215 9.Toulouse7304213:1976 STANDINGS: 3.Paris SG7502232:18810 Paris SG33 – 21Nantes 1.Montpellier6510190:15611 photo: Toulouse32 – 34Tremblay ← Previous Story Ratko Djurkovic as fireman in Hungarian Komlo Next Story → Asian Club League Draw took place in Doha Istres32 – 33St. Raphael 7.Tremblay7313183:1927 11.Selestat7205199:2214 13.Nimes6204166:1704 4.Dunkerque7502184:17510 14.Istres7016188:2171 2.Nantes7511192:18211 HBC NantesLNH handballMikkel HansenPSG Handball 8.Cesson Rennes7313166:1807 read more

Îles artificielles de Dubaï un projet pharaonique qui senfonce sous leau découvrez

first_imgÎles artificielles de Dubaï : un projet pharaonique qui s’enfonce sous l’eau, découvrez les imagesDubaï – La construction des îles artificielles du titanesque projet “The World” a été arrêtée de 2007 à 2009, crise financière oblige. Ces 300 îles se sont depuis rapprochées et plus préoccupant encore, commencent à couler.On connaît trop bien Dubaï pour ses excentriques projets architecturaux. Le 4 janvier 2010, l’Emirat nous livrait sa Burj Khalifa, une tour haute de 828 mètres, arrachant ainsi l’ancien record du gratte-ciel Taipei 101 culminant à 508 mètres. Mais Dubaï ne fait pas qu’envahir les airs, ses constructions s’emparent également des mers : il l’a prouvé avec les Palm Islands, un ensemble de trois archipels artificiels construits sur ses côtes. Depuis 2003, cet émirat arabe est penché sur la construction de “The World”, un autre archipel artificiel de 300 îles, chacune représentant un pays. Il est situé à 4 kilomètres des côtes de Dubaï et mesure 9 km de longueur et 6 de large. Son coût était estimé à plus de 10 milliards d’euros en 2005.Malheureusement, la crise financière ayant durement frappé, les travaux ont dû être mis en veille de 2007 à 2009. De ce fait, les îles ont dérivé, se sont rapprochées les unes des autres et ont commencé à s’enfoncer.À lire aussiLe Conseil de Paris lance le projet de construction de la Tour TriangleA l’origine de ce projet : Nakheel Properties, qui a mis en place des moyens hors norme. Onze milliards de mètres cubes de sable ainsi que 47 millions de tonnes de roches ont été nécessaires à la construction de l’archipel. Des moyens énormes pour un projet qui ne sera sûrement pas finalisé. D’après le Guardian, quotidien britannique, l’archipel est “privé de tout renforcement et de maintenance, les îles sont doucement submergées par les vagues. Ce ne sont que des pâtés de sable crasseux qui s’enfoncent dans la mer”.En 2003, lorsque le projet n’en était qu’à ses débuts, la rumeur de stars se ruant pour acheter certaines îles avait couru. Il serait aujourd’hui difficile de croire qu’elles étaient prêtes à débourser plusieurs dizaines de millions de dollars pour ce piètre résultat.Découvrez les images : 3 février 2010 à 12:54 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

1113 NXT Results Orlando Florida Balor Itami appear

first_img Sasha Banks Gets Cagey When Asked About Feud With Alexa Bliss Facebook WhatsApp WWE’s Sasha Banks Opens Up About Concussion Google+ Videos Articles International Superstar Shake-up Dates Confirmed Dave Bautista will be a character in new video game, Finn Balor reveals new look What Is Ronda Rousey’s Dream Match? WWE Superstar Finn Balor confirms marriage to FOX Sports Reporter Veronica Rodriguez Xavier Woods Videos Articles Alexa Bliss Now Playing Up Nextcenter_img Now Playing Up Next Sasha Banks Now Playing Up Next Sasha Banks Takes A Break From WWE To Deal With Injury Now Playing Up Next 9/13 NXT Live Results: Cocoa, FL (Dain vs. Kushida, NXT North American Title Match) Pinterest Twitter Jason Namako RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR 11/13 NXT Results: Orlando, Florida1. The Jersey Boys def. The Mechanics2. NXT Tag Team Champion Kalisto def. Aiden English3. Steve Cutler, Elias Sampson & Hugo Knox def. Shoot Nation4. Baron Corbin def. Tye Dillinger5. CJ Parker def. Solomon Crowe6. Sasha Banks & Becky Lynch def. Bayley & Alexa Bliss7. Bull Dempsey def. Jason Jordan8. Hideo Itami & Finn Balor def. The Ascension by DQ.Source: PWInsider.comRecommended videosPowered by AnyClipSasha Banks Gets Cagey When Asked About Feud With Alexa BlissVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPauseUnmuteDuration 0:27/Current Time 0:03Loaded: 54.24%0:03Remaining Time -0:24 FullscreenUp NextThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Replay the list Videos Articles Now Playing Up Nextlast_img read more

Steven Gerrard confesses how Rangers job consumes him

first_imgRangers manager Steven Gerrard has revealed how the job has taken a toll on him so much so that he is now trying to get back to normal life following the Scottish League winter break.Gerrard is now so immersed with the job that he says his mind is always on the next opponent or the formation to be played even while on a day off.Gerrard who joined the Ibrox team last summer says it is expedient that the players have some time to rest while he uses the opportunity to catch up with family.He told Daily Record:“The important thing is to switch off mentally. It has been full-on for us, with games smacking you in the face every three or four days.Steven Gerrard, Michael OwenOwen reveals why Liverpool didn’t offer Gerrard a new contract Manuel R. Medina – September 6, 2019 According to Owen, the Reds wanted to sell Gerrard two years before he left the club and that’s why they didn’t offer him a contract renewal.“The fitness coach told me the other day that 80 percent of our games have had less than a three-day lead-in. That’s tough for the players.“Do I need to switch off as well? I’ll try.“But the thing that’s surprised me most about management at this level is how difficult it is to switch off. Even when you’re at home or on a day off, I’ve found it really hard.“As a player it was easy to switch off. I could do stuff with my friends, play golf or watch telly. It was like a switch.”last_img read more

YWCA turns light on domestic violence

first_imgEverybody knows America has gotten a little silly about assigning special observances to days, weeks and even entire months. Did you know October is National Apple Month, National Pizza Month and National Toilet Tank Repair Month?But here’s a deadly serious one: October is also domestic violence awareness month.How serious? According to the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, an average of three women are killed by a current or former partner in the United States each day. According to Washington state, there were 28 domestic violence homicides in Clark County from 1997 to 2009 — and 14 abuser suicides.“We’re right around the national average,” said Debra Adams, director of the YWCA Clark County’s SafeChoice program. “We handle 50,000 calls per year related to domestic violence.” She said the local SafeChoice shelter hosts around 300 women and children fleeing domestic violence per year.SafeChoice combats domestic violence through education, advocacy and growing partnerships, Adams said. Given the way the economic climate has curtailed social service budgets including the Y’s, she said, agency collaborations have never been more crucial.“Because we’re the only domestic violence agency in the whole county,” she said, “and because even our own agency budget been impacted, we are asking community partners to step up and work with us. We want to do a lot of cross training.” That means police, teachers, social service providers, church leaders — anyone who can help.last_img read more

Hardware glitch As deadline for filing IT returns nears snag hits portal

first_imgIncome taxFlickrJust two days ahead of the deadline for filing income tax (I-T) returns, the online system of the tax department suffered a technical snag on Saturday holding off taxpayers from uploading the annual statements on the website.Although the issue was sorted on Saturday, the problem apparently recurred on Sunday again.”For the last two hours, the system has stopped functioning. It is showing a glitch. We now have a huge backlog of returns to be filed,” said a chartered accountant based in the national capital.”It is a hardware glitch. The site has not crashed. The technical team is working on it and it should be up and running shortly,” The Times of India quoted a CBDT spokeswoman said.Tax consultants said the department’s filing system had been erratic since Saturday morning but completely stopped accepting returns by the evening.On Saturday, TOI quoted the I-T department as saying that technicians were working to resolve the glitch.The problem seemed to have been addressed for that day. However, some took to Twitter to complain that the website did act up on Sunday as well. Read what they say here: @PMOIndia @arunjaitley @PiyushGoyal @sureshpprabhu Dear sir Pls extend duedate of filing ITR as Income tax website is not working properly— Kiran Bhargav (@kiranbhargav378) July 30, 2017@IncomeTaxIndia Aadhaar linking not working on Income Tax website.. session expired error occurred simultaneously..!!! Pls resolve..— Pardeep Chaudhary (@pardeep8137) July 30, 2017On Sunday late evening, a top official of Income Tax department told TOI the last date for filing of income tax returns (ITRs) for the financial year 2016-17 will not be extended beyond Monday’s deadline.”The last date for filing of ITRs remains July 31. There are no plans to extend this deadline. The department has already received over 2 crore returns filed electronically. The department requests taxpayers to file their return in time,” the official said.last_img read more

Houston Rockets To Honor Santa Fe Shooting Victims Before Game 5

first_img Share Gail Delaughter | Houston Public MediaHouston Rockets merchandise is displayed in a store on May 23rd, 2018,  before Game 5 against the Golden State Warriors.When the Houston Rockets suit up for Thursday night’s Western Conference finals game, they’ll carry onto the court a remembrance of the 10 people who lost their lives in last week’s Texas school shooting in Santa Fe.Each player’s uniform will feature a gray rectangular patch on one shoulder that will read: “Santa Fe HS” when they meet the Golden State Warriors in Game 5. The words will be in green writing with a yellow outline as a nod to the school’s colors.“If it moves two or three people to understand that we’ve got to have some change, that would be great,” coach Mike D’Antoni said. “Your heart goes out to them and it puts you back in reality real quick. It’s just time for something to change. We just can’t go on (like this).”The patches are one of several tributes the team plans in the first home game since Friday’s shooting. Eight students and two teachers died at the school, located 30 miles from downtown Houston. A 17-year-old student is being held on capital murder charges.The high school’s choir will perform the national anthem and there will be a moment of silence and a video tribute prior to tipoff to remember the victims.Before answering questions about the series Friday, Chris Paul sent his condolences to those affected by the shooting, and the star guard addressed the tragedy again in an on-court interview with TNT after Tuesday night’s win.“The city of Houston, we’re going to need you,” Paul said. “We’re going to need you Game 5. The city has been through a tough time with the things in Santa Fe. But … hopefully basketball can be a way that people can come and ease their minds if only for a second. Houston, we’re coming home.”Santa Fe’s senior class, which is about 300 students, and administrators have been invited to attend the game as guests of owner Tilman Fertitta. The Rockets also will honor first responders on the court. Fertitta was born and grew up in Galveston, Texas, which is in the same county as Santa Fe, and hopes his gesture can help raise the spirits of students trying to find a sense of normalcy after the shooting.“I have roots in Galveston County. Everybody knows that,” Fertitta told reporters Tuesday night. “I played on that football field in Santa Fe. We just wanted to step up … just something we can do to recognize the deceased and let the survivors have a great time.”Proceeds from Thursday night’s charity raffle will go to the Santa Fe Strong Memorial Fund.The Rockets have joined the city’s other professional sports teams in honoring those affected by the shooting. On Tuesday, the Houston Astros donned T-shirts during batting practice that said: “Santa Fe Strong.” Houston Texans star J.J. Watt pledged to pay for the funerals of all the victims and visited with some of those wounded in the shooting at a local hospital Monday.“We have to all come together, obviously, politicians mainly, need to come together and get it right,” Texans’ coach Bill O’Brien said. “Whatever the answer is, they need to come together and get it right because it’s got to stop happening. But what J.J. has done, nothing surprises me with J.J. He really cares about Houston. He cares about people, and it’s a great thing.”last_img read more

Verizon Launches Palm a Credit CardSize Phone With an Assist From Stephen

first_img“It’s about technology receding,” Miloseski told Variety. “Do you really need to bring a supercomputer everywhere you go?”Nuk puts the duo’s counter-intuitive goal this way: “We want to get people out of using screens.”The “Palm” name will ring a bell for longtime technology fans: The original Palm Inc. introduced one of the first personal digital assistant (PDA) devices, the Palm Pilot, in the 1990s. The new incarnation of Palm was founded in December 2016 by Miloseski and Nuk. Their Palm Ventures Group acquired the rights to the Palm trademark from Chinese electronics manufacturer TCL, which in turn had bought it from HP in 2014.“We’re not bringing back the PDA,” Miloseski said with a laugh. “We’re focused on reinventing Palm with its roots in mobile innovation.”Among Palm’s investors are TCL, which is the startup’s manufacturing partner — and NBA superstar Stephen Curry, who’s also an adviser to the company on marketing, usability and social strategy. Curry will be a “brand ambassador” for the Palm, and he’s expected to wear it during pregame warmups and workouts with the Golden States Warriors.Here’s Curry working out with the Palm strapped to his left arm in a custom sports sleeve he helped design:Curry promoted the Palm’s launch with posts on social media Monday to his millions of followers with the startup’s tagline of “Live in the Moment”: Hate lugging a bulky, large-screen smartphone everywhere? Verizon has a new gadget for you: The “ultra-mobile” Palm, bigger and more functional than a smartwatch but more compact than a regular mobile phone.The $349 Palm, about the size of a credit card, features a 3.3-inch HD display and weighs in at just 2.2 ounces (62.5 grams). The Android-based device is not meant to be your primary smartphone — in fact, it must be linked to an existing Verizon Wireless account (with which it shares the phone number).What’s the point of a teeny-tiny phone, if you still need to have a regular one? The device’s creators, ex-Samsung design executives Dennis Miloseski and Howard Nuk, said they wanted to create a new category of mobile devices for on-the-go activities, like working out, going to a concert, or taking a weekend getaway. The new Palm is designed for quick, easy access to tasks like listening to music or texting but includes a key feature, called Life Mode, that turns off all app notifications. ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 Popular on Variety center_img In a nod to the original Palm PDA, the new device includes a gesture pad on the lockscreen for quick access to apps. That lets you scribble a letter with your finger, and the Palm pulls up apps that start with that letter.Palm runs Android OS 8.1, and it works with every app in the Google Play store (as long as it complies with Android design specs), including Spotify, Netflix, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Twitter.The Palm is slated to ship in November. The device will be priced at $349 or $299 with a two-year Verizon contract; there’s also a payment plan of $14.58 per month for 24 months. Verizon’s NumberShare service for the device is $10 per month as an add-on to an existing wireless plan. Available in two colors — titanium and gold — the Palm will be sold at Verizon and Best Buy stores and on their websites. In addition, Verizon will offer a range of Palm carrying cases, billfolds and other accessories for the Palm, from Kate Spade and other partners.While it’s small, the Palm is a pretty robust, full-featured smartphone. The LCD display packs in 445 pixels per inch, all in a device that measures 50.6-by-96.6-by-7.4 millimeters.The device runs Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 435 processor and includes 3 gigabytes of RAM and 32 GB of storage. It has a 12-megapixel rear-facing camera and an eight-megapixel front-facing one, and comes equipped with 4G LTE, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. The Palm’s front and back feature Corning’s impact-resistant Gorilla Glass 3 and it has an aluminum mid-frame.With Life Mode enabled, Palm has all-day battery life (about eight hours) with “typical use,” according to the company. More specifically, it’s rated for talk time of up to 3 hours and 20 minutes and local music playback of 9.5 hours. Palm Ventures Group is based in San Francisco’s SOMA district. The company declined to disclose specifics about its headcount, funding or investors (including whether Verizon owns any equity).According to Nuk, one of the sources of inspiration for the new Palm came from Spike Jonze’s 2013 dystopian AI drama “Her.” In one scene, Joaquin Phoenix’s character takes out a small, card-size device and speaks into it. To that end, the Palm features voice-activated features with Google Assistant, which users can access by pressing the power button.Miloseski believes the Palm’s Life Mode feature will be one of its lead selling points. Essentially, it turns off all connectivity when the device goes into sleep mode, so no notifications will pop up until a user reactivates it. “Instead of the phone demanding my attention, I can connect on my terms,” Miloseski said.last_img read more