Descriptions of magnificence and splendor don’t begin to capture the stunning beauty of the temples of Khajuraho.A visit to the town of Khajuraho, which has an airport of its own and is well connected by road from Gwalior and Varanasi, is an intriguing experience. The local economy is set to welcome the tourists. Everyone, starting with the the rickshaw-wallahs and the cab drivers who takes you to the hotel, sizes you up. Among other things, they are curious why you would come to see the temples famous worldwide for their erotic images. In this age of pictorial pornography and widely available images of the temple structures themselves, what prods you to spend all that money to visit an arid town, with almost no other attraction to see the temples? If you are a couple, with the airs of being newly married, and there are a few of them, then it titillates them. It must be some feat to start your married life with the education of sculptures that are immensely erotic and suggestive. If you are a Westerner, the locals are not amused. They know that it does not take much for goras to be thrilled by anything that is exotic – the erotic simply adds to the excitement. Visitors from Japan, Hong Kong and the East, for whom the temples seem to hold intense attraction, appear strange, but elicit sympathy for their wanton hunger for things erotic. If you are a single male, you invite knowing stares. The locals are quite amused by your attraction to the sculptures, which you seem to consume all by yourself. Either you are an eccentric scholar who is going to hang out there for a while or a pretty desolate traveler in the land of love and lust.Then there is that NRI crowd. A rickshaw-wallah surmised that the returning Indians come to Khajuraho to test the power of their earnings. What they could not see earlier, and what they are embarrassed not to have seen before, they come to see with their means. For them the taxi, van or rickshaw fares are higher and most importantly, these people, he said, do not want to share rides with others. They want to ride alone. Of course, no generalizations are fair, but it is always a good starting point to read the landscape of a place you are visiting. Somewhere in books or tourist literature you learn that only ten percent of the sculptures in Khajuraho are erotic. This might dampen your enthusiasm a little, as the erotic is what gives these temples their notoriety. Men, women, animal-like figures, and gods all join in a feast of erotic poses, in breathtakingly beautiful sculptures, opening up several sex manuals on how to realize physical intimacy in a variety of unions. If you want to read the impressions on the faces of visitors, I suggest you turn your back against the sculptures, pretending to tie your shoes or taking pictures of the other temple across from you. You will see visitors facing the sculptures, dropping their jaws at the explosive sexuality of coital positions between men and women, with several formulations of singular and plural possible between them. These stunned and admiring faces say a lot about how advanced the reality of those who built them from the 9th through the 14th century was compared to our imagination.The temple guards, all males and employees of the Archeological Survey of India, are happy to share their tales of visitors. There are two kinds of visitors: those interested in detailed and patient studies of each sculpture, who take copious notes and stick around for few days (at least) to take photographs. They are the studious types, not quite charmed by what is going on around them. They are only a few, but they come too. The rest move through the temples, of which only one is used today for active worship, quickly. They are the typical visitors. The guides to the site tell you that it takes under four hours to see the 14 Western temples. These visitors are mainly interested in erotic sculptures, as that is why they have come. Some are intensely busy taking photographs while some move with efficient speed having pretended that they have absorbed all that there is. The other two groups of temples, for which there is no entrance fee and which require auto rides, are on the Southern and Eastern sides of the town.The guards are self-taught experts in these sculptures. This is one government job they did not know they would get. To make the most of it, they have little mirrors in their hands. With plenty of sunshine to help them, they will point you toward poses in sculptures that are explicitly titillating. While they are guiding you to what they think you are interested in, they will tell you in wonderful Madhya Pradesh Hindi or in broken English that those are “Kama Sutra” poses. They are perpetuating a stereotype, but that is what most need and they have to earn a living too. The guards are amused and amusing features of these temples. In their painful boredom of being alone in the arid land, they are entertained by the strange, alien creatures that seem to visit continuously from all corners of the world. In return, they offer you quick courses in erotica, almost reading your minds or tell you stories of other visitors, historical tid-bits which may just not be true. Once you have seen the temples, there isn’t much to do in town. The much publicized light show, which is strewn together by the voice of Amitabh Bachhan, occurs next to the Western temples. Using the backdrop of the temples as a stage, it offers a quick history of the building of the temples and their discovery by a British hunter in 1838. It is an attractive feature of the place, and even if you have done your homework, it does offer a way to grasp what one can in a place now considered a tourist destination.All temples should be seen at the crack of dawn. The Western temples simply look spectacular in the sunlight of central India. The sculptures on the outside are waking up as the light caresses them. And you don’t quite notice the sexuality of the sights you behold. Instead, the whole world is opening up to you in its sensual essence.The temples are intensely sensuous. Aren’t they all in India. But here, in the Chandela tradition, each square foot is sculpted. There are levels of sculptures and multitude of layers of details. There are gods and goddesses, both within and throughout the temples, tempering the spirits as our eyes rest on them. It is clear that those who built the temples and those who hold them dear in their worship, were devotees of Shiva. No wonder, the gods here are forcefully passionate and tender at once. Goddesses move within the spectrum of malevolence, only containing energy in restraint until the moment it is required and benevolence that seeks justice in generosity. One never forgets that these are places of worship and that makes the rest of the experience even more meaningful. All we have to imagine is large groups of sculptors, some seasoned and apprentices, gathering together at sun rise, beginning their craft with a prayer and then dedicating themselves to actualizing what they imagined. These are products of human imagination as much as the erotic sculptures are. One does not think of divinity in seeing these gods. It is pure admiration and sensuality. A culture once made gods playful, sensuous and then embodied all that in carnal forms. There is no guilt here. As the sculptors made their art, they must have stepped back to examine the flaws to correct them and features they admired. Once that art took form, they stepped back and worshipped them even more, except now that worship was displaced from the admiration of their own work to the divinity of spirits that made the work possible. So when we are worshipping gods, we are really admiring the artists who gave shape to our imagination.The life surrounding these artists and their patrons who commissioned them had a prominent place for animals. A life so integral to animals and not dependent, as some apologetics would have you believe, placed great emphasis on their depiction. So we have gods that are like animals and animals with the powers we could have attributed to gods. Elephants, horses and monkeys figure distinctly among these sculptures. All of them seem equal to the human form, participating in everything with pure joy. There isn’t one animal figure that seems as if it is dragged into something, or tired, or weighted down by burden. Monkeys are playing with those who are intertwined in sex. There are varahas, Shiva’s nandi adoring activities of war, everyday life and worship and other mystical beings, synthesized as spirits from the imagination of sculptors. They are engaged in war, combat and also in unions with women. The sculptures are puzzling and to the newcomer, the befuddlement requires serious unlocking of studied knowledge.The 80 temples, of which 22 survive, were built over four centuries by Chandela warriors. They depict everyday life, of which worship, sexuality and sensuality are a part. The temples are laced with graceful depictions of war and everyday life. The images of dance, music and marches all appear to be of joyous people. That brings you to the realization that the period in which the temples were built and the people who built them must have been happy people indeed. It is unlikely that this was a representation meant to sugarcoat everyday suffering. With hundreds of workers and sculptors required to put these buildings together, their own lives had to be reflected in what they did. The female form is dominant to the sight in the sculptures of all temples. Apsaras and sarsundaries turn grace into unlimited seductiveness. As they dance, adorn themselves, paint and present postures that are inviting as they are contemplative, these women truly seem as if they come from celestial abodes to bless our carnal yet mortal existence. There is no way to turn your eyes away from them. What strikes you most is the incredibly respectful world they open up. None of them appears to be “consenting” in the way that the Western idiom of the gaze reduced the female figure. They are inviting but hardly objectified. If you are an expatriate returning to your early world or a foreigner witnessing these grace-defining beings for the first time, you cannot but notice their distinct claim to respect and admiration. They bring to you a world very difference from women in Western paintings who struggle to present themselves from the commodities they have become in the privatized gaze that falls on them.And that is perhaps the greatest characteristic of these temples. The nudity in them is public. For a temple where worship is most important, it is intriguing for any Westerner to see this nudity in public. For the uninformed, it is a cultural jolt. It draws stark contrast with a culture that developed forms of seeing that promoted illicitness, guilt and above all, dehumanizing objectification. Seeing nudity in public in the West is damaging to one’s moral standing and yet, all technologies of seeing, from photography and painting to film, promote and then condemn such acts of seeing. That is precisely why the West is still struggling in practice and philosophy with the erotic. This culture, in the temples of Khajuraho, understood what nudity is, a form to which we all belong and therefore, well within our desires of public celebration. That is where the jaw dropping experience at these temples comes from.There are sculptures of sex between men and women in positions that have since become a matter of popular lore. It is still a disputed claim that these sculptures are depictions of Kama Sutra, that luscious attraction of the rest of the world. Countless sex “manuals” derived from Kama Sutra, the photographic and video forms of which promotethe athletic aspects of sex, shamelessly copy or directly use the sculptures of Khajuraho. The film Kama Sutra by Mira Nair, which was filmed on site at the temples, simply exaggerated those claims, adding to the stereotyping about the Kama Sutra and India. Very few of us venture to read the Kama Sutra itself, which even in its translation by Richard Burton, is a biased and misunderstood text. Above all, it is without visuals. The mythology of eroticism and the sexuality of Khajuraho moves in to make up the void. Eroticism in Indian temples is not uncommon at all. Konarak in Orissa stands as another example, but images of fornication, foreplay and polyphonic sexuality are to be found in places of worship all over India. The Shri Padmanabhaswamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), which requires that you strip your clothes and wear a single cloth for worship, contains a multitude of erotic images in the most common and yet unassuming places. It is a place of celebrated devotion. The Nilakantha temple near Baroda and the Adiniitha and Chowmukhi temples at Ranakpur near Udaipur are other examples of temples with erotic images. As Sudhir Kakar points out, there is nothing embarrassing by such temples and reason to believe that they are a product of a “degenerate” era. Indeed, these temples are testimony to a culture that is mature in recognizing and respecting an area of our lives that is essential, in romance and in worship. Sexuality is a form of worship. If a visitor does not come away with that feeling, it is difficult to locate the difficulties one may have in understanding that.The utmost value in staring at these sculptures, which challenge your imagination and sink you into depths of profound admiration, is in their carnal beauty and grace. As you stare at the sculptures and begin to let your eyes travel through their contours, the sculptured figures return their gaze on you. They ask you to see everything in its sensuality, including the objects around. The space between objects adorns the objects and gives them their distinct existence. They look at you, examining the gaze that looks at them. You wonder if you have the preparation to really appreciate what they speak of and what they show you.Sex and sexuality are taboo and the morality of the Western culture is so ridden with guilt over what ate entirely simple issues. Even those who prohibit others to have sex have it themselves. It is an orientation of the mind, they say. Here at Khajuraho, we hold the lessons that sex is well beyond the mind, well beyond the coded desires of the bodies and certainly far beyond the boundaries set by our technologies. It is something to be cherished, something to be understood.These sculptures at times seem to scream that sexuality is not contained in anything. All our existence is sensual and sexuality is only a part of it. Genital pleasures confine, not define our sexuality. These global temples of erotica inform us that sex is only a small, if not insignificant, part of our lives. Related Items
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Yes, it’s been five years already.Five years since the big Rihanna-Calvin Harris collaboration happened.The duo which created magic with the track We Found Love in 2011, has gone ahead and revealed their newest single together. Also Read: Sultry Rihanna to fiery Justin Bieber: 6 performances that ruled Brit Awards Harris and Rihanna whose track, We Found Love ruled all possible charts at the time of its release have got everyone, including Taylor Swift really excited.Named This Is What You Came For, the track’s vibe is extremely breezy and quite different from a usual Calvin Harris number–something that his star girlfriend, Taylor Swift seems to be extremely proud about.Also Read: Baba Sehgal’s new song about Rihanna obviously has words like kirana, banana, and police thaanaSwift had recently shared a picture of herself at Coachella festival sporting a jacket with, what we now know is the album art for this wonderful collaboration.Listen to the track here.
Mumbai, May 21 (PTI) Shashank Manohars view on the controversial Decision Review System (DRS) remains the same as before even after becoming the first independent chairman of the International Cricket Council after stepping down as the BCCI chief earlier this month. “My view on DRS remains the same, whether as BCCI president, or as ICC chairman or as nobody,” said the Nagpur lawyer at a media conference here today when asked on the subject. Manohar held the view as BCCI president that DRS, in its current form, was not acceptable as the leg before decision in the system was not foolproof. “Actually telling the truth, BCCI was never against DRS, right from my earlier tenure (as BCCI chief). Only issue was with lbw being decided by DRS. For everything else, we accepted, but ICC told us that either we accept it in full or not. We are not even willing to accept it for lbw,” Manohar had said in December. He also said the ICC had formed a small committee to look into the entire structure of the organisation and submit a report to the ICCs Board. “The entire ICC constitution is being looked into. A small group of people (including himself) has been formed. We have asked for suggestions from all countries – including affiliates and associates – not only about the financial structure (of ICC), but with regard to administrative structure, cricketing structure, management etcetera. That will take about six months time (to be finished) and then everything will be finalised,” he said. PTI SSR KRK AH AH RDSadvertisement
Manchester City v Liverpool Mane apologises for ‘accidental collision’ with Ederson Jamie Smith 03:24 10/9/2017 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Manchester City v Liverpool Liverpool Sadio Mané Manchester City Premier League After being shown a red card for catching Ederson with a high boot, the Liverpool star apologised to the Manchester City goalkeeper. Sadio Mane has issued an apology to Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson after he was sent off for catching him with a high boot.Mane was dismissed with Liverpool trailing 1-0 at the Etihad Stadium, and Jurgen Klopp’s side went on to collapse to a 5-0 defeat after he was sent off by referee Jon Moss.The Senegal winger had both feet off the ground as he challenged for a high ball with Ederson outside the box, with the Liverpool man’s studs catching him in the face. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘I’m getting better’ – Can Man Utd flop Fred save his Old Trafford career? Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing And Mane, who faces a three-match ban as Liverpool do not plan to launch an appeal, later apologised to Ederson via social media, although he stressed there was no malice or intent in his dangerous challenge.”I hope and wish Ederson a quick recovery,” Mane wrote on his Facebook page. “I am so sorry he was hurt during our accidental collision on the pitch and am sorry for him that he could not complete the match because of it. I pray he heals fast and is back playing very soon.”Although there was a lengthy delay as Ederson was treated on the pitch, the Brazilian’s injuries are thought to be relatively minor, with Pep Guardiola confirming no bones were broken in the incident.After the game, Ederson tweeted: “Hi, everyone – I am well. What a fright! It was an important win for us. We are strong. Thanks for all your messages of support.” Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
Italy 1 Macedonia 1: Azzurri fail to clinch play-off spot with disappointing draw Guy Atkinson Last updated 2 years ago 04:52 10/7/17 Getty Images Italy were pegged back by a late Macedonia goal, failing to get a win that would have confirmed a World Cup play-off spot next month. Italy failed to secure a World Cup play-off spot as they were held to an uninspiring 1-1 draw with Macedonia at the Stadio Olimpico.Victory would have assured Gian Piero Ventura’s side of another chance to qualify behind group winners Spain, but they were unable to see out a win in Torino.The Azzurri barely got out of second gear against their stubborn visitors but took a first-half lead through Giorgio Chiellini. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. They were made to pay for their sluggish second-half display when Palermo forward Aleksandar Trajkovski lashed home in the 77th minute to claim a memorable point for Igor Angelovski’s side.Italy travel to Albania on Monday for their final Group G game and will want a significantly improved performance to try to secure a play-off spot.The Azzurri, captained by Gianluigi Buffon wearing their traditional blue shirt on his 172nd international appearance, looked sharp in the early stages and should have been ahead inside eight minutes.| A strange sight, but a beautiful one! #ITAMKD #WCQ pic.twitter.com/qb9PNRsnBf — Italy (@azzurri) October 6, 2017 Ciro Immobile and Lorenzo Insigne combined cleverly on the edge of the Macedonia area to allow the latter to break through a static defence and force Stole Dimitrievski into a smart save.Macedonia, clearly not content to sit back and soak up pressure, carved out an excellent opportunity of their own 10 minutes later, but Goran Pandev’s crisp volley was well held by Buffon.Italy then wasted two glorious opportunities to take the lead.Insigne met Marco Parolo’s clipped cross in the middle of the area but his header lacked direction and was gathered by Dimitrievski.The Macedonia goalkeeper should have been called into action again shortly after when Davide Zappacosta pulled down a deep cross inside the area. The Chelsea defender scuffed his half-volley horribly over, though.The mounting pressure paid off five minutes before the break as Chiellini scored his eighth goal for his country.Insigne sliced open the Macedonia defence with an incisive pass into the path of Immobile, who slid in a first-time cross for the Juventus defender to coolly slot through the legs of Dimitrievski.The second half was played out at a pedestrian pace with the first attempt on goal not coming until the 64th minute. Stefan Spirovski tried his luck from distance, but Buffon was equal to his sweetly struck shot. The Juventus stopper was in the right place again a few minutes later to keep out Ilija Nestorovski’s header from a teasing cross.Macedonia’s positive second-half display was rewarded 13 minutes from time when Trajkovski latched onto Pandev’s throughball to fire an unstoppable shot past Buffon into the bottom-left corner. Substitute Federico Bernardeschi drilled a long-range effort wide in the closing stages, but three points would only have served to flatter Ventura’s side after a hugely disappointing performance. read more
RICHMOND COUNTY: Grand River – Forks Bridge Forks Bridge on Soldiers Cove Road will be closed for repairs from Monday, April 30 until Monday, May 14. A detour will be in place. Local Area Office: 902-227-7452 -30-
New Delhi: A 36-year-old man was shot dead allegedly by unidentified motorcycle-borne assailants in northeast Delhi, police said on Wednesday. Imran was killed by unidentified motorcycle-borne assailants at Durgapuri Chowk on the intervening night of Tuesday and Wednesday, they said. The deceased was a resident of Shahdra and worked in an iron shop, police said. A case has been registered and an investigation is underway, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Northeast) Atul Kumar Thakur said. Police said they are trying to collect CCTV footage of the incident to ascertain the sequence of events and identify those involved in the incident.
Canada’s top Catholic bishop says he hopes to emphasize the importance of believing victims when he discusses sexual abuse with his international counterparts during a gathering at the Vatican this week.Advocates and survivors of sexual abuse worry, however, that the meeting is unlikely to produce the sort of tangible results they’d like to see.The first-ever Vatican summit on clergy abuse of minors is meant as a “catechesis,” Pope Francis has said — a teaching session intended in part to raise awareness of the issue, decades after it first came to public light. Bishop Lionel Gendron, of Saint-Jean-Longueuil, Que., who is president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, is among more than 100 Episcopal conference heads attending the gathering that runs from Thursday to Sunday.In an interview ahead of his trip, Gendron said he was looking forward to sharing what Canadians have gleaned about clergy sexual abuse over the past three decades with counterparts who are just beginning to acknowledge the problem.“People want to be listened to, and they want to be believed,” he said. “This was one of the things maybe in the past which was not perfect. We would not always believe the people.”He noted that his organization developed a new guide for dealing with clergy abuse that was released last year, updating previous versions of the document created in the 1980s and 1990s in the wake of a sexual abuse scandal at Mount Cashel orphanage in St. John’s, N.L. The document emphasizes the importance of listening to victims and their families, and supporting them through the healing process.Gendron said Canada’s history of tackling sexual abuse puts him in a slightly different position than his counterparts in some other countries, who may just be starting to acknowledge that the problem exists outside of North America.“The one who’s now the archbishop in France — he himself not long ago said that at the beginning, he was one of many people thinking that the problem of sexual abuse was from English-speaking countries. But now they discover it’s also in France, and it’s all over the world,” Gendron said.He added that while he has met with survivors of clergy sexual abuse many times throughout his career, he had not spoken at length with any since receiving word of the Vatican summit last September. But he noted that he has met with family members of survivors in that time who asked that he stress the effects such abuse has on victims’ loved ones.“It’s not only the person, the victim, but there is also the family of the victim and the community,” he said. “The victims are larger than the person.”But survivors and advocates say those sorts of general philosophies — believing and supporting victims — are just the first step in tackling the issue.Gemma Hickey, a Canadian clergy abuse survivor who is headed to the Vatican to protest during the summit, would like to see something more concrete than general platitudes — be it new policies or an external investigation.“The church has been handling this problem behind closed doors for far too long, and clearly they’re not capable of handling it appropriately,” said Hickey, who uses gender-neutral pronouns. “There needs to be other elements into a further investigation.”Hickey, who founded the Pathways Foundation for survivors of abuse in religious institutions, said they’re particularly concerned that the summit doesn’t not allow for public participation and has no sessions dedicated to hearing stories from survivors.The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, a North American advocacy group with chapters in Canada, has demanded five things of Pope Francis at the summit, including that he compel bishops and cardinals to turn files related to alleged sexual abuse over to law enforcement so an independent investigation can be carried out.David Deane, an associate professor at the Atlantic School of Theology in Halifax, said the disconnect between the Catholic hierarchy’s priorities and those of abuse survivors is stark.“Who would want to say, ‘Please investigate me. Please assess and analyze every decision I’ve made?’” he said. “That’s what’s needed and that’s what they don’t want to happen.”As for Canada’s role, he said existing policies in the country’s Catholic churches are good, but there is still an overall lack of transparency about what happened in the past and who was involved.“Even though the Canadian bishops are quite progressive on this, the fact that it’s still an all-bishops response illustrates its problems,” Deane said. “No matter who you are, if you’re a bishop, it is very, very difficult for you to say, ‘Let’s be transparent. Let’s have every single decision I’ve made, every response that I made to accusations, be they credible or far-fetched, let’s have all those exposed to investigation.’”Considering how the summit has been organized, with Pope Francis’s favourite clerics scheduled to speak, Deane said he doubts the meeting will produce the kinds of results survivors and advocates are calling for.“What will come out of this summit in the Vatican right now will be well-meaning soundbites, which are designed not to bring about real change but to placate the masses,” Deane said.Nicole Thompson, The Canadian Press
APTN National NewsIndigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett gave her department a deadline of July 1, 2017, to deliver concrete progress on reconciliation with the Indigenous peoples of the country.Bennett set the deadline in a speech delivered during a department event introducing the new minister to the civil service held Tuesday.July 1, 2017, will mark Canada’s 150th anniversary as a nation.“At the core of our work is reconciliation. As our prime minister said, reconciliation is the unfinished business of Confederation. It must be central to all we do,” said Bennett, according to video of the speech released by the department. “Before July 1, 2017, we have to show we have accomplished something so we can go forward with our heads held high in a way that we can embark on the next 150 years of Canada in the way we can all feel proud.”Department officials whooped and clapped when Bennett was introduced as their new boss.Bennett said the department will now follow the lead of Indigenous peoples and the role of officials will be to implement solutions and changes called for by Indigenous communities.“It is going to be a hugely exciting journey together as we go forward,” said Bennett. “To really show in our four years we have been able to really make a difference in the lives of the people who were here first and who want to work with us and help us show the way. It is the time for their leadership and for us to facilitate what it is they know needs to happen in their communities.”Bennett told department officials they would be responsible for pushing the reconciliation agenda within the federal government.“You should feel absolutely deputized that your job is part of this reconciliation, friend to friend, colleague to colleague, and you are now empowered to correct people and to be part of what we need to do,” said Bennett.Bennett said just as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he would be bringing “sunny ways” to governing, she would also be bringing a new approach.“I have committed to what I call, ‘Going forward in a good way.’ For all of us, going forward in a good way means we all must once again learn from first peoples, their voices and wise practices,” said Bennett. “I believe this is central to reconciliation and it is the only way we are going to get this right.”firstname.lastname@example.org@APTNNews
Major North American indices fell after the Federal Reserve said it will raise interest rates this year more times than initially expected.The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index fell 23.16 points to 16,265.82.In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average shed 119.53 points to 25,201.20. The S&P 500 index retreated by 11.22 points to 2,775.63 and the Nasdaq composite index lost 8.09 points to 7,695.70.The fall came after the Federal Reserve issued a statement saying it was raising its benchmark interest rate 25 basis points to two per cent — the second rate hike this year.The Fed also announced it would raise rates another two times this year, bringing the 2018 total to four when many investors expected three.“There’s going to be a lot more pressure on the Canadians right now if we’re seeing four rate hikes from the States to do at least one … if not two this year,” said Michael Currie, vice-president and advisor at TD Wealth.The Bank of Canada is expected to raise rates in July, said Currie, but now the likelihood that it will do so again before the end of 2018 has gone up. The Bank of Canada will have three more interest rate announcements after July 11.Foreign investors look for the best rates in stable countries for their money, he said, and often choose between Canada and the U.S.People moving their money out of Canada into the States, he said, pushes down the loonie.“The best way to defend the dollar is to keep raising rates.”The Canadian dollar averaged 76.99 cents US, up 0.09 of a US cent.The July crude contract gained 28 cents to US$66.64 per barrel and the July natural gas contract advanced about two cents to US$2.96 per mmBTU.The August gold contract rose US$1.90 to US$1,301.30 an ounce and the July copper contract moved up about a penny to US$3.25 a pound.Follow @AleksSagan on Twitter.
Rabat – The challenges that the African continent faces cannot be overcome without the help of Morocco, says Moussa Faki Mahamat, the President of African Union Commission (AUC).In an interview with Moroccan news agency MAP on Thursday June 22 ahead of the 29th African Union Summit, which is scheduled from 27 June to 4 July in Addis Ababa, Mahamat said that the AU relies on Morocco to further strengthen Africa’s position in the concert of nations. Mahamat added that Morocco is a “very important” African state whose return to the pan-African organization had been welcomed by many countries.Morocco “is one of the countries where the African Union is based” noted Mahamat. He continued that the African Union relied on Morocco “to further strengthen the position of the African continent in the concert of nations.” Faki went on to underline Morocco’s “remarkable” economic progress in Africa and its “cooperation with other countries throughout the continent, particularly in the economic, financial, banking and telecommunication fields.”Strengthening AfricaBased on the 2063 agenda, the ultimate goal is to make Africa “an integrated, prosperous and peaceful continent,” he said. “We are waiting for Morocco to participate actively in the life of the Pan-African Organization Commission and help boost the African economies to face the globalization that requires more solidarity from this continent.”During the interview, Mahamat said that following the return of Morocco to the AU in late January after a 33-year long absence, emphasis had been placed on the need to further involve the Regional Economic Communities (REC) as the pillars of the integration of the continent to aid the ongoing reform of Africa.The President of the AU Commission went on to say that the RECs are capable of further integration in the economies of African countries, but that African countries need to pool together and cooperate ‘to benefit from the demographic dividend,” especially given that 60 percent of the population in Africa is classified as “young.”Mahamat said that Morocco has a “real economic base, experience to share, and investments to be made in other countries.”
TORONTO — The Toronto stock market was higher at the open amid strong bank earnings and an easing of concerns over a U.S.-led military intervention in Syria.The S&P/TSX composite index gained 21.21 points to 12,628.43 as TD Bank (TSX:TD), CIBC (TSX:CM) and Royal Bank (TSX:RY) all beat earnings expectations and TD and Royal also boosted their dividends. The Canadian dollar was down 0.2 of a cent to 95.17 cents US.U.S. indexes were mainly lower despite indications that a U.S.-led military intervention in Syria may not be happening imminently.The latest reading on growth showed that the U.S. economy grew at a higher than expected pace of 2.5% in the second quarter. And that raised concerns that the U.S. Federal Reserve will start to wind up a key stimulus measure later this year, perhaps as soon as next month.The Dow Jones industrials slipped 9.91 points to 14,814.6, the Nasdaq was 2.38 points higher at 3,595.73 while the S&P 500 index was down points 2.05 at 1,632.91.Oil fell 64 cents to US$109.46 a barrel after surging earlier this week on supply disruption worries.
by The Canadian Press Posted Oct 8, 2013 2:35 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email TORONTO – Ontario’s new auditor general, Bonnie Lysyk, released a report Tuesday on the cost of cancelling a gas plant in Oakville. List of key events:September 2009: Ontario Power Authority announces it has accepted TransCanada’s bid to build a 900-megawatt natural gas-fired power generation facility in southeast Oakville.Dec. 11, 2009: Fast-growing Citizens for Clean Air coalition in Oakville steps up opposition to the project with campaign slogan: ‘It just doesn’t make sense.’October 1, 2010: Opponents of proposed Oakville gas plant bring in famed American environmental activist Erin Brockovich to speak against building the project so close to homes and schools.October 7, 2010: Ontario Government announces cancellation of the proposed Oakville Generating Station.Sept 28, 2011: In middle of the Ontario election campaign, Liberal candidate Charles Sousa quietly announces plan to scrap a partially built gas plant in Mississauga, but construction continues on the project for another two months.Oct. 6, 2011: Liberals fall one seat short of third majority government, but save all their seats in the Mississauga-Oakville area where two gas plants were cancelled.Nov. 21, 2011: The government announces Greenfield South Power would stop construction on the Mississauga gas plant, which was 30 per cent complete by then.July 16, 2012: Liberals announce decision to stop construction on the Mississauga gas plant project and relocate it to Sarnia area will cost $190 million.Sept. 13, 2012: Speaker Dave Levac issues preliminary ruling that Energy Minister Chris Bentley was in contempt of parliament for refusing to produce all documents on the cancelled gas plants to a legislative committee.Sept. 14, 2012: Premier Dalton McGuinty tells legislature the government doesn’t want to release all the gas plant documents until it completes negotiations to compensate developers of the cancelled projects.Sept 24, 2012: Energy Minister Chris Bentley announces deal with TransCanada Energy to relocate the proposed natural gas plant from Oakville to an Ontario Power Generation site in Bath, near Kingston. He claims total cost of cancelling Oakville plant is $40 million.Sept 24, 2012: Liberals release 36,000 documents on the two cancelled gas plants. McGuinty and Bentley say that’s all the documents that exist.Sept. 25, 2012: Progressive Conservatives introduce contempt of parliament motion asking that the prima facie case against Bentley go to a committee for public hearings.Sept. 26, 2012: Contempt motion starts nasty and, at times, personal debate that grinds all other legislative business to a halt for over a week.Sept. 27, 2012: Ontario Power Authority advises government it is searching out more gas plant documents.Oct. 2, 2012: Conservatives and New Democrats ignore plea from McGuinty and send contempt motion against Bentley to a legislative committee for public hearings.Oct. 12, 2012: About 20,000 more pages of documents on cancelled gas plants are released.Oct 15, 2012: McGuinty suddenly announces plan to resign as premier and prorogues the legislature until February to allow for a cooling off period after the bitter contempt debate, and to give the Liberals time to pick a new leader.Nov. 1, 2012: Energy industry analyst Tom Adams predicts final cost of cancelling both gas plants will be $1 billion higher than Liberals were claiming. McGuinty says all documents have been released and total cost will be $230 million.Jan. 26, 2013: Kathleen Wynne wins Liberal leadership race.Feb. 7, 2013: Premier-designate Wynne asks auditor general to investigate costs of cancelling Oakville gas plant in addition to looking into Mississauga project.Feb. 8, 2013: Bentley announces his resignation from politics.Feb. 19, 2013: Legislature resumes sitting. Progressive Conservatives revive contempt of Parliament charge against the Liberals over cancelled gas plants, which died when McGuinty prorogued the legislature in October.Feb. 21, 2013: Government announces third batch of documents on the cancelled gas plants has been unearthed.Feb. 28, 2013: Premier Wynne expands mandate of justice committee “to look at the tendering, planning, commissioning, cancellation, and relocation of the Mississauga and Oakville gas plants.”March 8, 2013: Justice committee hearings resume into cancelled gas plants and contempt motion against Liberal government.April 15, 2013: Auditor General Jim McCarter reports decision to scrap gas plant in Mississauga will cost at least $275 million, $85 million more than the Liberals had been claiming.May 7, 2013: McGuinty tells legislature’s justice committee he made the decisions to scrap the Oakville and Mississauga gas plants, and did so without knowing what it would ultimately cost.May 15, 2013: Wynne apologizes for way the government cancelled the gas plants, admitting mistakes were made.June 5, 2013: Ontario’s privacy commissioner rules top Liberal staff in McGuinty’s office broke the law by deleting all emails related to the cancellation of the two gas plants.June 7, 2013: Ontario Provincial Police launch criminal investigation into the destruction of emails involving the cancellation of two gas plants by senior Liberal staff.July 29, 2013: New Democrats say new batch of emails on cancelled gas plants shows unelected officials in McGuinty’s office tried to pressure the Speaker into changing his ruling on contempt of Parliament.Aug. 20, 2013: Privacy commissioner Ann Cavoukian says staff in Premier Kathleen Wynne’s cabinet “misled the public”‘ about ability to recover deleted emails related to the cancelled gas plants.Oct. 8, 2013: Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk estimates cost of cancelling the Oakville gas plant at between $675 million and $815 million. Total cost of cancelling plants in Oakville and Mississauga rises to between $950 million and almost $1.1 billion. Key events related to the cancellation of two energy projects in Ontario
UNAMA/PSYoung activist Zabihulla Majidi talks about the prospects for peace in Afghanistan.The running conflict and constant uncertainty about the future has led to growing social problems, including a rash of drug addiction among the city’s youth, according to locals.“For the last three years we have lived under the constant fear that the city’s defenses will collapse again,” said Zabihulla Majidi, who advocates for peace along with Mr. Rahmani. “Recently, the situation has improved a bit, but there are not many new jobs, and young people are confused about their future and they are longing for peace.”As Habiba holds her daughter, she nods in agreement. Many young men in the region have tried to avoid the inevitability of fighting by fleeing as refugees through expensive and perilous human smuggling rackets. For women, such an escape from the realities of war is rarely an option.“For the most part, women and girls don’t have the possibility to leave – and that is why we are seeking a greater role in the peace effort.”UNAMA has a mandate to support the Government of Afghanistan and its citizens in a shared goal of becoming a stable, open, and peaceful nation. This feature piece is meant to tell a human interest story related to how Afghanistan and the UN are working together to overcome the many challenges to achieving this goal. UNAMA/PSHabiba Gulustani and her daughter are anxious for peace.Habiba recently spent several weeks with her group “Equality for Peace and Democracy,” interviewing “reconciled insurgents” who took up past offers to drop their armed struggle and return to their families and government-controlled territory.“Local peace for them is essential, but I must say that most of the families we spoke to this past year, including to former insurgents, remain disappointed by the process thus far. They require more help with transitioning and also need to know they are safe from reprisals after they turn in their arms.”For Habiba, the interviews she conducted highlighted the longer-term reconciliation needs that will have to be addressed as an Afghan peace deal with international backing takes shape. The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has advocated for peace and reconciliation through events and media forums, including in Kunduz. More recently, President Ghani welcomed the UN role in future peace efforts, and 2018 is a year flush with fresh initiatives for peace.In the last five years, our hopes for peace have been dashed by war – Habiba GulustaniResidents here in Kunduz distinguish between “political peace,” which they see as a national priority, and a “social peace,” on a local level, which can address issues like women’s participation, long-term justice, and broader reunification efforts after years of conflict.“Seven years ago, when I first took a seat on the provincial peace committee, we worked on harmonizing peace on our own, and there wasn’t much international interest at all,” said Wahidullah Rahmani, 32, an activist, who this year launched a new peace initiative called the Kunduz Rescue Movement.“During my work with the provincial peace committee, we helped take 500 fighters off the battlefield, but the whole effort fell apart over time. Our overall security in Kunduz has suffered as fighters have returned to the battle. Because Kunduz has been at the centre of the struggle, we fear that – if work for peace is not done now – we’ll be facing a much greater conflict in a year or two.”Outside the city centre the conflict grinds on: Insurgents sustain themselves by taxing electricity lines and taking a cut from civil servant salaries, according to residents and local officials.The Kunduz Rescue Movement is concentrating its efforts now on work that needs to be done to secure a lasting peace. “We want security improvements but also development, including new links to the outside world – as in a new airport. Peace will be a ‘local reality’ when we help to reduce the distance between people and the government. We can do this on our own but we also want and need more international support.” “In the last five years, our hopes for peace have been dashed by war,” said Habiba, 32. “Earlier we had some optimism because of the dialogue established between local elders and insurgents. But right now, there is less talk of peace and not nearly enough security for making peace.”Even with that, Habiba and a group of fellow activists in Kunduz say they are willing to continue to work for peace at a local level in a city often described by residents as a “Mini-Afghanistan” because of its diverse ethnic mix of Pashtun, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Tajik, Hazara, Arab, Uzbek, and Turkmen, among others. It is a city today that is at the centre of an incessant war, but one that is collectively searching for peace on every street corner.In February, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani made an unprecedented and direct offer of peace talks with the largest anti-government force, the Taliban, who ruled the country until 2001. The offer – put forth at the “Kabul Process II” conference and discussed further by regional and international parties in Tashkent – raised hopes that peace has become not only a global concern, but also a top national priority, particularly in regions that have experienced the brunt of the conflict.Peace activists and common citizens in Kunduz city, however, see the nation’s hopes for peace less on a national level and more through a local prism, including through their own steady efforts to reconcile and make peace from day to day.
Royce White, the Houston Rockets’ first-round draft pick, is away from the team and says the club has been ”inconsistent” in its agreement to help him cope with his anxiety disorder.The 6-foot-8 White, the 16th overall pick in the 2012 draft, made a deal with the team to travel by bus to some games this season, so he could confront his fear of flying and obsessive compulsive disorder over the long term. He flew with the team to its season opener in Detroit, then traveled by bus to games at Atlanta and Memphis.He was not with the team for Monday’s home game against Miami and also missed Tuesday’s practice.”In hindsight, perhaps it was not a good idea to be open and honest about my anxiety disorder – due to the current situations at hand that involve the nature of actions from the Houston Rockets,” White said in a statement released by his publicist Tuesday night. ”As a rookie, I want to settle into a team and make progress; but since preseason, the Rockets have been inconsistent with their agreement to proactively create a healthy and successful relationship.”Houston general manager Daryl Morey also released a statement on Tuesday night, saying White ”is not available right now. We are committed to his long term success and we will continue to support him now and going forward.”White’s off-the-court issues were never a secret, but the Rockets felt as though he was worth the risks. In one spectacular season at Iowa State, he became the only Division I player to lead his team in scoring (13.4 points per game), rebounds (9.3 per game), assists (five per game), steals (1.2 per game) and blocks (0.9 per game) and led the Cyclones to their first NCAA tournament appearance in seven years.He missed the first week of training camp, though, to meet with the Rockets about creating an arrangement that he felt would help him balance his anxiety disorder with the demands of the NBA schedule. White said on his Twitter account Tuesday that he is ”most defiantly not AWOL” and that the team is aware of the reason for his current absence.”Any other response is inaccurate,” he said in his statement. ”This is important to me, it is a health issue. I must advocate for my rights, it is a player-commodity league – the failure to meet my requests for support will end with me being unhealthy and that is not a consequence that I am willing to accept to play any sport.”The Rockets play New Orleans on Wednesday night at the Toyota Center. Coach Kevin McHale has also been away from the team since taking a leave of absence on Saturday to return home to Minnesota and deal with a family matter.http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=espn:8460068
October brings falling leaves, great postseason pitching and hitting, and painfully long baseball games. Look no further than Game 2 of the World Series: On the game’s biggest national stage, the Cubs and Indians played a 5-1 game Wednesday night that took four hours and four minutes to complete. Interminable games like Wednesday’s contest are the norm for the MLB postseason — but even by that standard, this year has been by far the slowest in recent memory.Baseball usually reserves its longest games for October, with the average game length jumping precipitously in the final month of each of the past five seasons. But even keeping that in mind, this year has been extraordinary: The last 27 games have featured an average game length of three hours and 24 minutes, the highest average for any continuous block of 27 games in the past five years (and far above the overall 2016 season average of three hours, two minutes). The only block of games that even comes close to the one we’re in now came in 2014 — and 2014 was before baseball commissioner Rob Manfred announced new rules designed to speed up the games. That this year’s games are surpassing the heights of 2014 even with those pace-of-play rules in place is extraordinary.There are a number of contributors to baseball’s recent sluggishness, including instant replay reviews, reliever usage and pitcher pace. Managers are using replay-review challenges more aggressively in the postseason, averaging more than one per game, in comparison with the regular season average of 0.6 per game. Replay challenges take about 96 seconds each1According to data from Retrosheet on regular-season replay challenges., so the additional challenges are probably only adding a little less than a minute to the bloated postseason average.Reliever usage is probably a larger factor. As I documented in a recent piece, managers are asking more relievers to chew up a greater fraction of the innings this postseason than ever before. So far this postseason, there have been 4.06 relief appearances per game, compared with a regular season average of 3.14 per game. Each pitching change can take up to two minutes and 30 seconds, so pitcher usage accounts for another two- to three-minute chunk of the sluggish pace.Relievers themselves also slow the pace of the game. Relief pitchers take much more time between pitches — about 1.7 seconds more per throw — than starters do. Combine that leisurely tempo with the fact that relievers are being used more so far this postseason — about 14 more pitches are thrown by the bullpen per game — and we’ve accounted for another 25 or so extra seconds per game.Speaking of slow pitching pace, by far the worst offender this year was the Los Angeles Dodgers’ bullpen. At 25.9 seconds per pitch, Dodgers relievers were 0.3 seconds slower between pitches than the second-place team (the Boston Red Sox, who also made it to the playoffs), 3.3 seconds slower — per pitch, mind you! — than their NLCS opponent, the Cubs, and 2.2 seconds slower than the AL champion Indians.2A significant fraction of that was probably due to L.A. middle reliever Pedro Baez, whose astounding 30.2 seconds per pitch pace was highest in the league. Fans and announcers complain about replay challenges and pitching changes, but combined they probably have less impact on game length than specific teams (like the Dodgers) do.So after the Cubs advanced over L.A. in the NLCS, it was fair to think that the strongest influence on this postseason’s slow games was out of the race, and that we might see snappier baseball in the World Series as a result. But despite the Cubs and Indians being two relatively fast-paced teams, the World Series has featured two of the longest games of the postseason, each with relatively little offense and only nine innings. There’s a big chunk of this postseason slowdown that doesn’t seem to be due to relievers, or replay, or pace. Maybe it’s the drama of the moment or the potential to break a title drought, but baseball games now take longer than at any point in recent memory.
Ohio State redshirt sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins runs around a Northwestern defender in the Big Ten Championship game on Dec. 1 in Indianapolis. Ohio State won the game 45-24. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorINDIANAPOLIS — No. 5 Ohio State had the momentum heading into the Big Ten Championship.Coming off a 62-39 win against then-No. 4 Michigan, the Buckeyes were clicking on all cylinders, with redshirt sophomore Dwayne Haskins leading the No. 2 pass offense in the country, with redshirt junior defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones and the defensive line providing consistent pressure, limiting success for opposing quarterbacks. But in the way of Ohio State’s 37th Big Ten championship was No. 21 Northwestern, a team that survived by playing opponents close, never winning or losing a game by more than 14 points, that limited opponents’ success in the passing game by playing a zone base defense, keeping pass plays in front of them. Ohio State became one of the victims of Northwestern football on Saturday, but came out with the largest win differential of any opponent the Wildcats have faced this season, recording the 45-24 victory and winning their 37th Big Ten title. Even without knowing what the College Football Playoff committee will decide for the Buckeyes moving forward, head coach Urban Meyer said the first focus was to get to the Big Ten Championship in the first place. “The ultimate prize is a National Championship. But you certainly can’t be in that discussion unless you win your conference,” Meyer said. “So our objective is to get to Indy, win in Indy, win the conference championship.”The Buckeyes never lost its lead in the entirety of the game, securing the victory on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Haskins to sophomore running back J.K. Dobbins in the fourth quarter. Haskins finished the game with 499 passing yards, breaking his own school record for single-game passing yards, while completing 82.9 percent of his passes. The redshirt sophomore quarterback threw five touchdowns with one interception, his eighth of the season. Haskins said that the players around him, whether it’s the offensive line or the wide receivers, provided him the opportunities to succeed. “The biggest thing was execution,” Haskins said. “And the thing I had to do was give the ball to playmakers and let them make the plays. I’m just the distributor. And we did a great job tonight.” After Ohio State had held a 24-7 halftime lead, Northwestern surged back, recording 14 unanswered points in the third quarter, bringing its deficit to three points after a 18-yard touchdown run for redshirt senior quarterback Clayton Thorson and a 2-yard pass from Thorson to junior super back Cameron Green. But sophomore defensive end Chase Young batted a pass up at the line of scrimmage in the third quarter, landing in the arms of redshirt junior cornerback Damon Arnette for one of three turnovers by the Ohio State defense, seemingly giving the game back to the Buckeyes. Even after a 29-yard touchdown pass from Haskins to freshman wide receiver Chris Olave bringing the Buckeyes’ lead to 10 heading into the fourth quarter, the Wildcats continued to stay in the game, with Thorson leading Northwestern on a 7-play, 76-yard drive ending with a 21-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter. Ohio State extended its lead on a 9-yard pass from Haskins to redshirt senior Johnnie Dixon, who led the team with seven catches for 129 yards. Even with the late game success defensively, Ohio State looked more like the defense that played against Maryland in the first quarter. After recording a three-and-out in its first drive, Northwestern junior running back John Moten IV found running room on the right side of the Ohio State defense, taking the ball 77 yards for the Wildcats’ first score of the game, the seventh play of 70 yards or more the Buckeyes have allowed this season. It seemed to click for the defensive line later in the game, with Ohio State recording eight tackles for loss, including five sacks. Young finished the game with three sacks and a forced fumble. Facing a quarterback that he considered to be an NFL pro-style quarterback, Young said he and the rest of the line got its game plan from defensive coordinator Greg Schiano. “Coach Schiano said we have to get after him. Ran certain blitzes to block the storm press,” Young said. “And today, we just won. And we followed what Coach Schiano said and we got the win.” Pressure in the backfield led to turnovers in the first half. As he was hurried by junior linebacker Malik Harrison, Thorson heaved a ball down the sideline, testing Ohio State’s man coverage and one-on-one ability as many opponents have done prior. Redshirt freshman defensive back Shaun Wade brought in the ball for his third interception of the season. Wade said pressure, whether it’s from the linebackers or from the defensive line, is vital to the success of the pass defense as a whole. “When they do that, as DB’s, we should be getting picks or just going to get the ball to be honest,” Wade said. “Because they provide that for us, that pressure for us all the time.” Young also recorded a strip sack, easily moving through Northwestern senior left tackle Blake Hance and bringing Thorson down on his blind side. After breaking former Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson’s Big Ten record for most total yards in a single season in the first quarter, Haskins found redshirt senior wide receiver Terry McLaurin twice in the first half, recording a 16-yard score and a 42-yard score, breaking former Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett’s record for the most touchdowns in a single season. After a 2017 Big Ten Championship in which McLaurin brought in two catches for 92 yards, recording a touchdown, Haskins knew, with where they were playing, that the redshirt senior wide receiver would be an impact on Saturday. “This is where Terry grew up,” Haskins said. “Whenever he has an opportunity to come back and play in this stadium, he does it for his family, for each other, for our teammates. And he shows out and he did a great job today.” Dobbins, recording his ninth rushing touchdown of the season in the first quarter, led the Buckeyes in rushing with 68 yards on 17 carries, averaging four yards per rush. Haskins said the win against Northwestern in the Big Ten Championship is a perfect example of what he wants to remember about Ohio State and the season he’s had. “What’s so fantastic about this game is that I looked to my left, my right, and we’re all ready to go out there, make a play together and be trusting one another, trusting the coaches when they put us in that situation,” Haskins said. “And what better way to go out on a win today.” Ohio State’s postseason fate will be decided when the College Football Playoff selection committee releases its final rankings on Sunday at noon.Updated on Dec. 2 at 1:46 a.m. with quotes from players and coaches after Ohio State’s 45-24 win against Northwestern.
America’s National Mining association (NMA) has just recently welcomed four new members – W.S. Tyler, REMA TIP TOP, Putzmeister America and Maintainer Corp. The latter, based in Iowa, has been manufacturing custom-built mechanics service truck bodies, lube truck bodies and cranes since 1976. The company, located in Sheldon, is currently expanding its manufacturing capacity by 30% and expects the expansion to be completed in 2015.W.S. Tyler is a leading manufacturer, systems provider and specialist in screening, washing and pelletising. It focuses on all aspects of the screening circle, from particle analysis and screen media to vibrating screens and processing technology as well as screening services. It is a member of the German-based Haver & Tyler, Processing Technology Alliance.REMA TIP TOP is a global market leader in high-quality conveyor belt maintenance, wear protection and corrosion protection. Augmented by state-of-the-art technology and pioneering innovations, the company is complimented by a team of experts to ensure that the business constantly maintains its position at the forefront of our industry. Putzmeister America is a leader in concrete and material placing equipment. It provides technology, longevity and support for all of its product lines including: truck-mounted concrete boom pumps, track-mounted telescopic belt conveyors, ready mix trucks, separate placing booms, trailer-mounted concrete pumps, truck-mounted line pumps, mortar, grout, concrete, plaster and fireproofing, tunneling machinery, shotcrete technology, pipe technology and industrial technology.
Last week saw Daniel Andrews visit Greece. During his visit the Victorian Premier toured the Benaki Museum, announcing a new partnership, which will also see Melbourne’s Hellenic Museum receive from the Benaki Museum an exhibition of works by legendary Greek photographer Elli Sougioultzoglou-Seraidari, known as Nelly’s. The collaboration will also see and leading Australian artist Sam Jinks show a new major commission inspired by the Parthenon in Athens. “This unique partnership between our own Hellenic Museum and the internationally renowned Benaki Museum will combine the ancient with the contemporary through the exchange of collections, ideas and expertise,” the Premier said on Wednesday.(L-R): Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Terence Quick, Labor MP Steve Dimopoulos, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Minister for Families and Children, Early Childhood Education and Youth Affairs Jenny Mikakos MP and Nick Staikos MP.Meanwhile, Mr Andrews laid a wreath at the Athens War Memorial to commemorate the fallen Australian soldiers buried at the Phaleron War Cemetery, and all soldiers who lost their lives during the World Wars.He also announced that to mark the 100 year anniversary of the end of World War One – a one off special delegation of Premier’s Spirit of Anzac Prize alumni will travel to Greece, the Western Front and London in 2018. The tour encourages young Victorians to study Australia’s wartime history by sending secondary students on a study tour of sites where Australians have served in war. In 2018, 10 participants from the first 10 years of the Premier’s Spirit of Anzac Program travel to Greece to witness the signing of the Armistice of Mudros to recognise the 100 year anniversary since hostilities ceased in the region on October 30, 1918.The Government will provide $150,000 towards the tour for the party to visit significant sites on the Western Front and London where they will attend commemorative events on 11 November 2018 to celebrate the end of World War One and a book to tell the story of Victorians who served their country in Lemnos during wartime will be commissioned.Alexis Tsipras, Jenny Mikakos and Terence Quick.Another $5,000 will be allocated to Mudros High School in Lemnos to further strengthen the ties between Victorian and Lemnos school students developed over previous Premier’s Spirit of Anzac Prize Tours.A further contribution of $2,000 is being made to the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee – a Victorian organisation raising awareness of Lemnos’s role in the Gallipoli campaign – to support their work in formally recognising the significance of Australia Pier in Lemnos.“I’m proud to pay homage to Lemnos’ special place in Australia’s wartime story,” the Premier said.“The special delegation to mark 100 years since the Mudros Armistice and the end of the war in November 1918 is a wonderful opportunity for our best and brightest Spirit of Anzac Prize alumni to return to Greece and reflect on the Australians who gave their lives at war.”“It’s so important for our kids to learn about this time in our history and the sacrifices our veterans made – by supporting schools and organisations connected to Lemnos we’re ensuring they can,” he continued.Alexis Tsipras, Daniel Andrews and Terence Quick.The following day Mr Andrews climbed the Acropolis and took a candid photo on the holy rock which he posted on social media with this caption: “Britain must return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece. These monuments to culture, democracy and society must be made whole again. This is not just my opinion. This is the position of the Victorian Government. And given our state’s unique relationship with both Britain and Greece, I believe we have a powerful role to play in righting this injustice.”Wrapping up his Athenian trip the Premier caught up with both President Pavlopoulos and Prime Minister Tsipras, describing the meetings as “very warm”.“Our discussions focussed on strengthening our economic and trade ties and our cultural links,” he explained.“The relationship between Victoria and Greece can only get stronger and I know there are great things to come in the future”.Daniel Andrews, Jenny Mikakos and President of the Greek Democracy Prokopis Pavlopoulos.On Friday, the Premier announced a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Greek and the Victorian Governments that will bolster the delivery of Greek language programs in schools and kinders. The foundations for the agreement were set during Minister Jenny Mikakos’ visit to Athens in July where she met with Minister Zouraris.“Our government will now fund some Greek language and culture programs in our kindergartens for the first time. Until now there has been no Victorian Government funding for language programs in kindergartens,” Mikakos told Neos Kosmos.“We have only a small number of kindergarten programs that currently offer Greek language programs which I have visited and been impressed with. (…) If we are to retain a strong connection to our language and culture it is important that children make that connection as early as possible.” Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram