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first_img“This has happened four times over the past five years and I have never been charged. Over the last 20 years, I have had only one conviction for organising a demonstration in Trafalgar Square in 2006, which was – of the 100 I have organised – one that I actually did not.”Choudary has previously been associated with the recruitment and radicalisation of British Muslims who have in turn been charged with terror offenses in the UK.He is thought to have played a role in the radicalisation of Brusthom Ziamamni, who was found guilty of plotting to behead a British soldier.The invitation appears to contradict a recent bid by the Home Office to crack down on the problem of Islamic extremism, particularly at universities.A spokesperson from the Home Office said, “This Government has been clear that hate speech and extremism have no place in our society. The Oxford Union, like higher education institutions and student unions, should give due consideration to the public benefit and risks when they invite speakers to address students.“We would also firmly encourage consideration of wider social responsibility and an understanding of how they will manage the risk should a speaker break the law at an event. Anjem Choudary often presents himself as a representative of British Muslims. That is an insult to the vast majority who consider his views abhorrent.”James Shaw, a Law finalist at St Hugh’s, commented, “I guess my main problem with inviting him is that his appearance would be a direct threat to Shia members of the Oxford community, who are already pretty marginalised within the UK Muslim community (let alone Oxford, where Muslims are already marginalised).“Choudary has some horrible views on Shias (that they’re kaffirs and need to be destroyed, and so on) and has actually appeared in court before for attacking (or being a part of an attack on) Shias on Edgware Road in London where so many Shias and Sunnis live side by side. Inviting him to speak somewhere where there are Shia muslims living and studying is pretty threatening, given his past conduct.”Undergraduate Jake Smales was also concerned with the invitation and commented, “Free speech is imperative, but at the same time there seems to be a line that we should be careful to cross. Considering that Choudary is currently on bail and has been criticised for his attempts to radicalise young Muslims, it seems fair enough to question whether legally and ethically he should be given another platform to preach from.“I understand that could be useful to argue with him, but surely someone who refuses to condone atrocities like the Charlie Hebdo attack doesn’t merit the privilege of this sort of invitation?”Fresher Jess Smith argued, “If you are going to remove the platform, then you must understand the connotations, chiefly that one is assuming that the students who will listen to controversial speakers at the union are not intelligent enough to make value judgments on whether they agree with there ideas.“You also remove the opportunity to vocally condemn the ideas that these people support. You can’t be selective about freedom of speech, it is fundamentally counter-intuitive.”The Oxford Union caused controversy last term when they invited Marine Le Pen to speak, provoking protests both for and against her invitation.   The Union declined to comment on its invitation to Choudary. The radical Islamist preacher Anjem Choudary has been invited to speak at the Oxford Union, despite being on bail on suspicion of being a member of a proscribed terror organisation.The invitation, which Choudary exclusively read to Cherwell, says that it would be “a great privilege” for the Union to host the preacher as a guest and that it would “be delighted” if Choudary honours the invite.The panel discussion he is invited to appear in will be debating the motion, ‘This house believes that radicalism is born at home’.The letter also explained the reason behind the debate, describing how “the Western world has suffered” due to radicalism in light of recent events, including the Charlie Hebdo attacks and murder of soldier Lee Rigby. Choudary was offered a number of dates on which the discussion could take place; the evenings of 28th May, 4th June or 11th June.Choudary told Cherwell, “This is not the first time I’ve been invited to talk at a university. One of the most high profile was at Trinity College, Dublin, and these visits have proved very successful.“Students at universities have more open minds and this will be a good opportunity to present my opinion on radicalism. It will be a very interesting evening.”Choudary is currently on bail after his arrest in September 2014. He was one of nine men held on suspicion of being members or supporters of banned terrorist group, Al-Muhajiroun.His alleged offences carry a maximum penalty of seven years’ imprisonment and he is due to attend a police station on 29th April, when police will choose to charge him, release him or extend his bail. He commented, “The police are currently looking for evidence regarding my arrest on 26th September. However, it is not a crime to be raided and I believe the police are under pressure from the Home Office.last_img read more

first_imgThis was the 1975 OCBP swim team: from left, Dennis Carey, Ed Welsh, Lee Cummins, Matt Glenn, Ralph Clayton, Bob Krotee, Rob Ehinger, Mike DeSalis, and Pat Lavin. Tim Broderick and Chuck Wight missed the picture.Last summer, the OCBP swim team won its sixth straight South Jersey Lifeguard Swim Meet. The following were on the championship team:  Bryan Mattingly, Graham Parker, Sean McCaffrey, Ryan Clark, Steve Buzby, James Brown, Lexi Santer, Nolan Coyle, Erin Curry, Sarah Westly and Holly Berenotto.The 73rd annual South Jersey Lifeguard Swim Meet will be held Sunday, July 26, at 6:30 p.m. in the Ocean City Aquatic and Fitness Center.— By Fred Miller, historian and former OCBP lieutenantlast_img read more

first_imgUniversity of Georgia Cooperative Extension recently welcomed eight water educators to the organization. Formerly part of the Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission, the positions were transferred to UGA Extension by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal.“The governor’s plan was to streamline program services so the Environmental Protection Division handles regulatory issues and the Soil and Water Conservation Commission handles sediment and soil erosion and (watershed) dams,” said Associate Dean for Extension Laura Perry Johnson. “We now have more resources in Extension to address water issues, there will be fewer duplications of efforts, and services will be enhanced at the local level. The more I learn about the experience these gentlemen have, the more excited I am about the skills and talents they bring to us.”These new Georgia water educators and their bases of operation include:David Hall, Bleckley County Extension officeAndy Dyar, J. Phil Campbell Sr. Research and Education Center, WatkinsvilleJohn Loughridge, Gordon County Extension officeDustin Rushing, Southeast District Extension office, StatesboroTony Black and Luke Crosson, Hooks-Hanner Environmental Resource Center, Terrell CountyTwo additional positions have been advertised for educators who will be based on the UGA Griffin and UGA Tifton campuses. The UGA-Griffin educator will focus on urban water use, and the UGA-Tifton educator will focus on traditional row crop agriculture water use. The UGA-Tifton educator will also support the UGA Water Resource Team, a group of researchers, Extension specialists, social scientists, economists and program development specialists focused on improving water management in Georgia.On the job in Watkinsville, Georgia, Dyar is making the shift back to working with farmers instead of focusing on dams and flood control. Dyar has worked for the Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission since 2006.“It’s good to be back working with farmers on projects,” said Dyar, who, along with the rest of the educators, brings a wealth of water resource knowledge and leadership skills to UGA Extension. At the commission, he was first a grant administrator, then a technician in the watershed dam program, a resource specialist in the regional office in Athens, Georgia, and, of late, was the regional representative in the commission’s Milledgeville, Georgia, office.The UGA Extension water educators will continue to support farmers, green industry representatives and homeowners by performing water audits, duties they bring with them from the commission.“In south Georgia, especially, we provided a mobile irrigation lab and we will continue to do so. We will go to farms that have center pivot irrigation and test to make sure those are performing correctly and uniformly,” Dyar said. “We will also continue to work with those who have a contract with USDA for cost-share funding. As part of the requirement, an irrigation audit must be prepared and, as Extension water educators, we will prepare those.”There is no fee for irrigation audits.In north Georgia, the Extension water educators will focus on other educational opportunities, like assisting farmers with the implementation of natural resource conservation best management practices, teaching Georgians how to maintain drip irrigation, and sharing information about homeowner irrigation systems.The new UGA Extension educators are currently reviewing water education needs across the state and developing programs to deliver.“I have some upcoming meetings where I will talk with garden clubs about ways to conserve water. We will be working on everything from homeowner conservation to on-farm conservation,” Dyar said. “After all, water affects everyone and everybody has the opportunity to save water. It’s just a matter of delivering education to get the message across.”For more information on UGA Extension programs, go to extension.uga.edu.last_img read more

first_img“This is a social health movement that promotes healthy lifestyles,” said Ana Treasure, a representative of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), which is a proponent of Honduras Actívate. “We hope other nations follow this pioneer approach that Honduras has taken. We would like a Guatemala Actívate, a Costa Rica Actívate, a Panamá Actívate. We want all Central America active.” Besides the government’s support, business sponsors donate t-shirts, beverages and some of the awards for the winners, who receive medals but also mountain bikes, sports equipment, free hotel stays and gym memberships. Honduras Actívate, a new program spearheaded by the country’s government and Armed Forces to improve the civilian population’s health, “began as a small initiative to promote tourism and healthy entertainment opportunities to the residents of focused areas,” according to Artillery Colonel Jorge Fuentes, the effort’s National Coordinator. The program’s success has led Military officials to evaluate its scope and frequency. Col. Fuentes is considering launching a Honduras Actívate Extreme event in the northern Department of Atlántida, after the rainy season, when the Cangrejal River is optimal for rafting. Latin music with upbeat rhythms grows louder as thousands of adults, teenagers and children wearing brightly colored t-shirts and caps fill Honduras’ streets during the early hours. In addition to bringing business to host cities, the initiative has also helped Military and law enforcement authorities improve public safety in local neighborhoods where criminals had been operating. “Through this program we have recovered spaces, some of which had been damaged by drug traffickers and other delinquents,” Col. Fuentes said. Still, promoting fitness and tourism are its primary aims. “The goals of Honduras Actívate are geared towards the prevention of nontransmissible diseases, like hypertension and obesity, which lead to other illnesses; but we also want to stimulate tourism and we want to create the conditions that result in economic growth for the communities where the events take place. If people have a positive experience, they will return on their own.” Col. Fuentes and his team, which is supported by members from each branch of the Armed Forces, are responsible for scouting areas where exercise programs are held. Military officials register participants, provide security the day of the event and even run, walk or bicycle with some of the participants to build enthusiasm. The Armed Forces officials also transport some participants to events and administer emergency medical care, if needed. “We want 20 points activated to begin with, but we hope to have these mini exercise sessions in all the 298 municipalities of Honduras eventually,” Col. Fuentes said. “We are establishing new platforms because we want this to be a system, rather than a sporadic occurrence.” By Dialogo July 20, 2015 I would like to find the link about the boat that sunk with the oxen in Pará. “We want everyone to find an activity that suits them,” Col. Fuentes said. “We have high-intensity options for professional athletes, but we want to encourage everyone to engage someway, whether it’s 18 kilometers on a bike, a 30-minute walk or something lighter.” The next event, in May, was a success, with about 3,500 people showing up to Gracias, Lempira to trek through its cloud-forest mountains and for the bike and distance-running competitions. Armed Forces officials held it at Celaque National Park, a main source of water for the western part of the country and home to its highest peak, Las Minas – 2,870 meters above sea level. They chose the area, known for its colonial architecture and history, because Honduras Actívate “wanted to highlight the zone as a premium destination for ecological and adventure tourism as well.” Some families and groups of friends made it a weekend affair, filling the town’s hotels and restaurants, providing a significant boost to local businesses. center_img In July, Armed Forces officials are planning to host at least an hour of Zumba on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at different points in the nation’s two largest cities, Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula. A wide array of activities “I like the initiative. I like that it’s a family environment. I am happy sports are promoted because a person with these habits is healthier and keeps stress at bay.” The program is also expanding into the workplace, where government employees will use part of their day to exercise, developing routines that address occupational health problems. The program has expanded to include other sports, with community members leading activities like Zumba, karate and boxing lessons; organizers are also offering table tennis and chess to those seeking less strenuous activities, while young children play in inflated bounce houses at Honduras Actívate events. But since then, the initiative has grown, hosting an event every two weeks, including activities in Lake Yojoa, in La Tigra (close to Tegucigalpa); in Tela; in San Pedro Sula; and most recently, in July in La Ceiba in the Honduran Caribbean. It’s also gaining popularity, as the number of attendees rose from 7,000 for the fourth event to a record 20,000 for the sixth event, in San Pedro Sula. Its first event occurred in April, when the Navy organized a series of athletic competitions, such as bike races and distance running, on the island of Amapala in the Pacific Ocean. Attendance was modest, but Military officials saw the program’s potential. Sabrina Estrada, a two-time participant of the intermediate cycling competition, told Honduras National Television she is very pleased with the program. Plans to expand the program Because the program focuses on improving the civil population’s health, it’s popular with various government agencies and private businesses. “Different sectors have seen the value of what is being done and have decided to partner,” Col. Fuentes explained. last_img read more

first_imgA major question mark hangs over the athletes’ village, which occupies some prime real estate overlooking Tokyo Bay with a view of the city skyline and its famous Rainbow Bridge.It will have 21 towers of between 14 and 18 floors with a total capacity of 18,000 beds during the Olympics and 8,000 for the Paralympics.The plan was to renovate and convert the village into thousands of luxury condos, which are being sold off or put up for rent.According to the website of the Harumi Flag developers, some 4,145 units were to be put up for sale. Viewings and sales of a first batch of 940 apartments began in summer 2019 and the vast majority have already been snapped up, according to Japanese media.Postponement would mean delaying the renovation process and huge uncertainty for those who have already signed contracts — including whether force majeure clauses would be triggered.– Hotels –Among the “many, many” challenges the IOC mentioned, it highlighted that “the situations with millions of nights already booked in hotels is extremely difficult to handle”.In fact, one of the concerns before the coronavirus hit was a possible dearth of hotel rooms. One idea was to park a cruise ship offshore for emergency accommodation — now surely a non-starter given the experience with cruise ships and the virus.Hotel rooms have been block-booked in advance for many months. Many have paid a large deposit in advance and could face losing this, in addition to having to re-book quickly for a postponed date.The hotel industry would also face huge uncertainty if the Games are delayed, adding to the headache already posed by a catastrophic drop in tourism.– Any silver linings? –A postponement by a few months to later in 2020 might solve what had previously been the biggest concern over the Tokyo Olympics: the sweltering heat of the Japanese summer.It could even be conceivable to move the marathon back to Tokyo after it was shifted to the northern city of Sapporo amid fears over athletes’ safety in the summer heat and humidity of the Japanese capital.However, going ahead in the autumn would also put the Olympics in prime typhoon season — as the Rugby World Cup found out to its cost last year.A delay could also give sporting federations more time to prepare qualifying events, addressing one of the main concerns voiced by athletes. Tokyo, Japan | AFP | The Tokyo Olympics appears to be creeping towards a postponement, an unprecedented and costly exercise that involves ripping up years of planning.As International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach told Germany’s SWR: “Postponing the Olympic Games is not like moving a football game to next Saturday.”Here are just some of the challenges:– Competition scheduling –As specialist website Inside the Games put it, the Olympics “gravitate around… a four-year cycle. If you wake up and the sun is in a completely different place, there are going to be consequences”.Much depends on the length of any postponement but shoehorning an Olympics into what is already a packed sporting calendar in 2021, for example, will be a logistical nightmare for both athletes, administrators and broadcasters.One potential clash is the World Athletics Championships, currently scheduled for August 2021 in the United States — a lucrative pay-day for athletes and TV networks.Swimming is also scheduled to hold its World Championships in Japan from July 16 to August 1, 2021.Adding to the crowded schedule is football’s European Championships, already postponed from 2020 to 2021.Olympic legend Carl Lewis has put the case for holding the Summer Games in 2022 alongside that year’s Winter Games in Beijing, creating a “celebratory Olympic year”.– Venues –There are 43 Olympic sites — some temporary, some purpose-built, others repurposed for the Tokyo 2020 Games — and all of them present difficulties in the event of a postponement.The IOC highlighted this as one of the main concerns, warning: “A number of critical venues needed for the Games could potentially not be available anymore.”For example, one of the main selling points of the brand new 68,000-seater Olympic Stadium was that it would hold “cultural and sporting events” after the Games were over. Any such event would now need to be moved if it clashes with a rescheduled Games.And it’s not just sporting venues. Organisers have block-booked the enormous Tokyo Big Sight exhibition centre to host the thousands of international journalists covering the Games.This is one of Asia’s premier venues for hosting large-scale conferences, and is booked many months in advance. Finding a suitable slot or persuading others to move could also be a challenge.– Athletes’ village – Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more