Beirut: A suspected Russian airstrike has hit a displaced people’s gathering in a town in Syria’s last rebel enclave, killing at least 13, including a number of children, activists and a war monitor said. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the strike, suspected to have been carried out by Russian aircraft on Friday, hit in the town of Hass south of Idlib province, where peopled displaced by the violence had congregated. The monitoring group said the attack killed at least four children. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US Other activist-operated networks, including the Thiqa news agency, reported the attack and also put the death toll at 13. Syrian troops have been on the offensive in Idlib and its surroundings, the last major rebel stronghold in Syria, since April 30 in a Russia-backed campaign. Fighting has picked up in recent days, after a collapsed short-lived cease-fire and government troops have been seizing territory on the enclave’s edge. Idlib and the surrounding rebel-held area is home to some 3 million people, many of them displaced in other battles around the war-torn country. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls In recent weeks, more than 450,000 have been displaced within the area while more than 500 civilians were killed. The violence continued despite pleas from the United Nations and aid groups. The fighting over the past days has been concentrated on two fronts as government forces march toward the town of Khan Sheikhoun. Separately, Syrian state media reported that the country’s air defences have responded to a “hostile target” and destroyed the missile before it reached a central Syrian town. The SANA news agency said on Friday that the projectile had entered the Syrian airspace overnight from Lebanon’s airspace, heading toward the town of Masyaf in Hama province. The report suggested, without saying outright, that the missile was fired by Israel. SANA says the incoming projectile was destroyed before it reached its target. There was no immediate comment from Israel.
OTTAWA – Federal agencies expect to refuse to process an estimated 275 Access to Information requests from Canadians annually — less than one per cent of the total received — under proposed new powers to reject overly broad or vexatious applications, internal number-crunching suggests.A federal spokesman acknowledges the Treasury Board Secretariat analysis — based on the experiences of provinces with such provisions — reveals that “only a very small percentage of requests” are turned down.Transparency advocates wonder why the Liberal government is even bothering to usher in the new refusal powers in a federal bill currently before the Senate.“The problem with the Access to Information system isn’t the requesters. It’s the responders — in other words, government,” said Sean Holman, an associate professor of journalism at Mount Royal University in Calgary.The Access to Information Act, which took effect in 1983, allows applicants who pay $5 to ask for federal documents, but it has been widely denounced as slow and antiquated.The federal bill — one of the few attempts to revise the law — would require applicants to state the type of record being sought, the subject matter and the time-frame in which the documents were created.The legislation would give agencies the power, with permission from the information commissioner, to decline to act on requests considered overly broad, vexatious, made in bad faith or otherwise an abuse of the process.The Canadian Press used the access law to obtain the Treasury Board’s statistical projections, which draw on figures in the various provinces that have “decline to act” provisions in their laws.Officials multiplied a mean provincial refusal figure of 0.30 per cent by the total number of federal requests in 2016-17, concluding 275 would be declined.“The work confirmed that, in the provinces that have an authority to do so, only a very small percentage of requests are declined as being frivolous or vexatious,” said Treasury Board spokesman Martin Potvin.The “extremely low rate” of frivolous and vexatious access requests at the provincial level shows the refusal power should be stripped from the federal bill, said Duff Conacher, co-founder of the group Democracy Watch and an adjunct professor of law and politics at the University of Ottawa.If the authority “is not taken away then the information commissioner must be given the power to fine officials who try to abuse this power,” he added.Requesters have to go through a maze-like process to get sometimes even the most basic information from government, said Holman, who is writing a history of the Access to Information Act.“Yet I don’t see government proposing any measures to actually deal with that problem. Where’s the punishment for officials who are overly broad in their use of the Act’s loopholes, censoring information that shouldn’t be censored?” he asked.“Where’s the punishment for officials who are vexatious when Canadians exercise their supposed right to information?”Information commissioner Caroline Maynard told a House of Commons committee this week her office plans to assemble a special team that could quickly tell agencies whether they have permission to refuse to act on requests or not.Maynard will also look at practices in the provinces with such provisions to help develop her own tests and tools for making the decisions.— Follow @JimBronskill on Twitter
MONTREAL – A pro-gun lobby that was criticized for planning a rally at a memorial site for the 14 women killed at Ecole polytechnique has a new location for the event: a sugar shack.The group says Saturday’s protest will be held in the Portneuf area near Quebec City.Originally, it wanted to stage the event at Montreal’s Place du 6 decembre.That idea was quickly and roundly blasted earlier this week by politicians of all stripes, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante.Guy Morin, president of the pro-gun lobby, repeated Thursday his group did not realize the plan would generate such widespread denunciation.Saturday’s protest will be held four days before the 28th anniversary of the deadliest mass shooting in Canadian history.It is not clear how many people belong to the pro-gun group, which is called Tous contre un registre quebecois des armes a feu (All Against a Quebec Gun Registry).
TORONTO – The fiancee of former Ottawa Senators winger Mike Hoffman has made a legal request to see all evidence related to allegations that she harassed and cyberbullied the wife of Senators captain Erik Karlsson.Melinda Karlsson filed an application for a peace bond against Monika Caryk in May, claiming Hoffman’s partner had posted over 1,000 “negative and derogatory” comments about her on social media.“(Caryk) uttered that she wished I was dead and that someone should ‘take out’ my husband’s legs to ‘end his career,’” Melinda Karlsson said in a sworn statement at the time of her application, which contained allegations that have not been proven in court.“Monika Caryk has uttered numerous statements wishing my unborn child dead.”The Karlssons were subjected to several trolling posts on Erik’s Instagram account after their first child was stillborn in March.Caryk has denied she had anything to do with the posts, as has Hoffman.On Tuesday, Caryk filed an application in a Toronto court requesting that Melinda Karlsson turn over “any and all information and knowledge that is in any way relevant” to the allegations.Melinda Karlsson has said she has information that “forms the basis” of her allegations, but has refused to share that information with Caryk, the application claims.“(Caryk) believes that she is being framed for cyberbullying by one or more anonymous third parties,” the application said. “(She) seeks to clear her name from these false accusations.”Hoffman was traded last month to the San Jose Sharks, who then immediately flipped him to the Florida Panthers.“Trading Mike Hoffman was something that we needed to do … Our dressing room was broken,” Ottawa general manager Pierre Dorion said at the time of the deal, adding that he had heard a rumour about the alleged cyberbullying around the end of the season.“No rooms in the NHL are perfect… but this wasn’t an indictment on Mike Hoffman. This was just the direction that we needed to go.”
EDMONTON — Some of Alberta’s NDP members say the party has changed the province for the better and believe it will be an effective Opposition.On Tuesday, Albertans elected Jason Kenney and his United Conservative Party to a majority government after taking back many of the breakthrough NDP wins in the 2015 election.Outgoing premier Rachel Notley said she would stay on as NDP leader.An advisor who helped run the NDP’s campaign said Notley and the party changed the shape of Alberta politics after their surprise rise to power four years ago.“It ended a 44-year dynastic political climate that you have in Alberta,” said Sally Hausser.“Even this election showed — obviously not the result we would have liked to have seen — but it’s very much that the NDP is here to stay, which is very much a positive.”Hausser said the NDP was able to raise more money, bring out more volunteers, place more election signs and grow the party.“Going forward, you will see the NDP continue to fight for exactly the same things they were fighting beforehand.”Hausser listed economic diversification, climate leadership, reduction in child poverty and a strong education system as some of the improvements by Notley’s government.“One thing that’s been clear in the campaign and during her time in government — she’s a fighter and that’s always a fun thing to have in opposition,” said Hausser.Other NDP members who were re-elected Tuesday said they will also continue to fight for the Alberta they believe in.“Many Albertans gave us a very strong direction that they want us to fight for things that Rachel ran for in her platform,” said Sarah Hoffman, the NDP’s former health minister, who held onto her Edmonton seat.“I have a feeling it will be one of the most effective oppositions we’ve ever seen in Alberta’s history,” she said.Former education minister David Eggen, who has served as a legislature member in Edmonton off and on since 2004, said he’s proud of the NDP’s record.“It’s difficult during an economic downturn for any government. But we chose to continue to build — build schools, build infrastructure and build the social infrastructure that we need to reflect a modern society here in Alberta,” he said.“I am very, very proud of what we’ve achieved.”Eggen said the NDP will now hold the government to account.“The UCP must know that to govern responsibly, they have to represent and reflect what we are and who we are as Albertans in 2019,” Eggen told reporters after Notley’s concession speech.“I will hold that expectation to them every day.”Eggen said he continues to support Notley as leader of the party.“Notley is the best thing that’s hit leadership and governance in this province for 100 years, quite frankly,” he said. “I’ve never worked with anyone so competent and with such vision and leadership.”Colette Derworiz, The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — Canada’s national annualized inflation rate was 1.3 per cent in May, Statistics Canada says. Here’s what happened in the provinces and territories (previous month in brackets):— Newfoundland and Labrador: 3.0 per cent (3.6)— Prince Edward Island: 1.4 (1.6)— Nova Scotia: 0.5 (0.8)— New Brunswick: 2.4 (2.7)— Quebec: 0.7 (0.8)— Ontario: 1.4 (1.9)— Manitoba: 1.0 (1.6)— Saskatchewan: 0.9 (1.4)— Alberta: 1.2 (1.7)— British Columbia: 1.9 (2.1)— Whitehorse, Yukon: 2.1 (2.6)— Yellowknife, N.W.T.: 1.2 (1.2)
Hence for the security of detainees it was decided to amend the Act to make provisions to obtain a remand order without presenting detainees before a Magistrate. (Colombo Gazette) Cabinet has approved a proposal to amend the Criminal Procedure Code for the safety of detainees.Justice Minister Thalatha Athukorala had sought approval for the amendment of the Criminal Procedure Code Act No. 15 of 1979 in order to remove the requirement of presenting a suspect or accused before a court in identified, determined situations. In her proposal the Justice Minister noted that any suspect who is arrested should be presented before a Magistrate within 24 hours and in case of remanding they should be present once in two weeks to extend the remand order.
These include possible cases of unauthorized acquisition, provision, possession, use, transfer or disposal of nuclear material and other radioactive material.Participants to the 48th International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) General Conference being held in Vienna this week have received an overview of how the Agency’s Illicit Trafficking Database, comprising information confirmed by states on illicit trafficking in nuclear and other radioactive materials, helps strengthen nuclear security. In a report to the Agency’s Board of Governors last week, IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei warned that although preventive efforts continue to accelerate and expand, “clearly, the circumstances that first led to a plan for protection against nuclear and radiological terrorism have not diminished.” Some 540 illicit incidents spanning the past decade were reported through December 2003, but “as of today, the number is closer to 600, subject to fuller review and confirmation,” the IAEA said in a news release. Several hundred additional incidents, reported in open sources but not confirmed by states, are also tracked in the IAEA database but not included in the confirmed statistics. Of the 540 confirmed cases as of December, 182 involved nuclear material, 330 radioactive material other than nuclear, 23 both nuclear and other radioactive material, and five other material. The database includes reported incidents from the 80 participating Member States. Non-participating States are urged to join the Database in order to enhance the programme.
For the longest time, Apple’s greatest weapon was iTunes. In the early days, you didn’t have a choice but to have it installed when you owned an iPod or an early iPhone. Now, with iTunes carrying the App Store, iBooks, and of course the video and music catalog, the service is in one way or another embedded into the lives of iDevice users. With all the changes going on in the Apple ecosystem, including Mountain Lion and iOS 6, it only made sense that iTunes itself would see a well deserved refresh.When you first look at the new iTunes, there’s not a whole lot different going on. Many of the changes are just to the overall polish of the design itself. Things like the search function, for example, have been significantly improved. In Album view, more information is provided to the users in line. When you click on an Album, instead of being taken to another screen the album information just unfolds in front of you. The operation itself feels very similar to how folders work in iOS.There’s a new “in the store” function that provides you with additional information from the artist you have selected, like top songs and other albums from the same artists. Finally, the artists themselves will be able to share additional content with those who have purchased their albums, such as additional artwork. All of the information in your iTunes account is also available from anywhere, now that your iCloud account is connected directly to iTunes.The iTunes mini player has been overhauled to offer you a floating widget that shows you album art and track information until you go to interact with the player. When you float your mouse over the player you gain access to the player controls. If you are using this on a Mac or compatible Windows machine, the media controls built in to the machine will make it so you never even need to interact with the widget like that.At any point in iTunes now if you decide you want to see what songs are up next on your playlist, you will be able to do so without leaving the screen you are on. The currently playing window now offers a dropdown that will show you the next couple of tracks, and allow you to skip around if you select those tracks.The new iTunes will be available in October, and many of the changes being offered here demonstrate a desire to offer a great level of polish to the service. iTunes is the binding agent for all of Apple’s devices now, and the iOS stylings that have been embedded into the new design show that Apple is trying very hard to give all of their services a unified look and feel. They are far from the only company working on this right now, but the service update is plain and simple a welcome push in that direction.
Découverte : un système planétaire ressemblant étrangement au nôtreUne équipe internationale d’astronomes a découvert une quatrième planète géante située hors de notre système solaire. Ce système planétaire présente une incroyable ressemblance avec le nôtre.La revue Nature a publié hier les résultats d’une recherche menée par des astronomes. Ceux-ci ont découvert un système planétaire ressemblant à notre propre système solaire.”En plus de quatre planètes géantes, les deux systèmes contiennent tous deux des ceintures d’astéroïdes ou de débris gelés et de nombreuses particules de poussièreminuscules”. Pour établir la comparaison, il faut rappeler que les quatre planètes géantes du système solaire sont Jupiter, Saturne, Uranus et Neptune. Quant aux ceintures d’astéroïdes, elles se situent en orbite de Mars, de Jupiter et de Neptune.La quatrième planète qui vient tout juste d’être découverte est située dans l’orbite d’une étoile (HR 8799) située à 129 années-lumière de la Terre et qui est à peine visible à l’œil nu. Le système planétaire auquel elle appartient est pourtant bien plus important que le système solaire. Les astronomes estiment que la masse des quatre planètes équivaut à 20 fois la masse totale de l’ensemble des planètes du système solaire réunies !À lire aussiLe grand “boom” entendu par les New-Yorkais proviendrait d’une météoriteCette quatrième planète est découverte après que les trois autres ont été observées en 2008. A l’époque, il s’agissait des premières images jamais obtenues de planètes en orbite autour d’une étoile autre que le Soleil. Les quatre planètes ont toutes une taille similaire, soit entre cinq et sept fois supérieure à celle de Jupiter. La quatrième venue, en revanche, se situe beaucoup plus près de HR 8799.Malgré toutes ces découvertes il se pourrait encore que ce système planétaire contienne de nombreuses autres planètes plus proches encore de l’étoile. Ces planètes seraient probablement semblables à la Terre. Cependant, de telles planètes sont très difficiles à observer.Le 9 décembre 2010 à 14:54 • Emmanuel Perrin
Another drenching June rainstorm will arrive late Thursday evening, punctuating the 19th straight day of measurable rainfall in Vancouver.“It’s not your typical pattern for late spring,” said Steve Starmer, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Portland. “We’ve had a very active, moist jet stream coming across the Pacific.”Forecasters say we may get a break in the onslaught of rain by Saturday. Even then, forecasters say the sky will be “mostly cloudy” with a high temperature of about 70 degrees in the Portland-Vancouver area.Beyond that, forecasters are hedging their bets.The weather service’s seven-day outlook, updated Wednesday afternoon, uses the exact same verbiage to describe the forecast for Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in Portland-Vancouver:“Partly cloudy with a slight chance of showers.”If it rains again on Friday, it will mark the longest consecutive string of rainy days in Vancouver since we experienced 27 consecutive days of measurable precipitation from Dec. 17, 2008, through Jan. 12, 2009. Much of that fell as snow.Vancouver totaled almost three-quarters of an inch of rain through 5 p.m. Wednesday.At Cougar, nestled in the foothills of the Cascade Range, the weather service reported 3.69 inches of rain had fallen over 30 hours concluding at 4 p.m. For perspective, that nearly equals Vancouver’s rainfall for the entire month of May.“It’s been pouring nonstop,” said Lindsey Campbell, a bartender at the Cougar Bar and Grill.
OLYMPIA — Heavy weekend snow has closed three Washington mountain passes that typically close for the winter because of deep snow and avalanche danger. The Washington Transportation Department closed the North Cascades Highway on Sunday and Chinook and Cayuse passes on Monday. The North Cascades Highway closure is a 37-mile stretch of Highway 20. Chinook is on Highway 410 and Cayuse on Highway 123, both on the east side of Mount Rainier National Park.The department plans to reopen the passes in the spring when crews clear the snow.
Employees value having a convenient office location (75%) and flexible working hours (71%) as their top workplace benefits, according to research by YouGov.Its Success in the modern workplace report, which surveyed 2,027 employees, 1,029 employers and 976 retirees aged 50 or over, further found that 62% of employees value the ability to work from home, 49% enjoy the opportunity to challenge themselves and 47% list having assurance of career progression as important.Other benefits that rank highly with current members of the workforce include free snacks (28%), gym memberships (21%) and a discount scheme membership (17%).Employers, on the other hand, stated that staff value flexible hours (63%), a convenient office location (62%) and the ability to work from home (62%), as well as opportunities to challenge themselves (57%) and assurances around career progression (44%).Retirees also maintain similar views on the most desired employee benefits, with 53% having valued a good office location, 51% approving of flexible working hours and 49% agreeing that opportunities for employees to challenge themselves were important. Furthermore, 48% cite assurance of career progression as a top benefit, although 45% also define more responsibility in the workplace as something they would value.Rudy Sooprayen (pictured), director of business-to-business research at YouGov, said: “It’s interesting how low down the list of workplace benefits classic office perks, such as free food, discounts and social clubs, are for both employees and bosses, considering how often they are offered as job extras.“Our data clearly shows that when it comes down to it, the benefits that matter most to [employees] are the ones that provide flexibility in working and offer the option to work around commitments, such as family life.”
The 2012 Border Security Expo, held March 6-7 at the Phoenix Convention Center, drew 1,800 attendees from 10 countries—an increase of 21 percent from the year prior, as previously reported by FOLIO: sister publication EXPO. The 25,200 net-square-foot exhibit hall sold out to accommodate 200-plus exhibitors, a 24 percent increase from the space booked in 2011. With the acquisition of Border Security Expo from E.J. Krause & Associates, events industry veteran Paul Mackler has launched Eagle Eye Expositions, the two companies announced Wednesday. Price and terms of the deal were not disclosed.A nearly 30-year veteran of the expositions industry, Mackler was previously president and CEO of Cygnus Business Media and president of Reed Exhibitions North America.“We like the fact that border security is a large, growing, multi-billion-dollar and sustainable marketplace of critical importance not just to the U.S., but internationally, as well. All countries are interested in securing their borders,” Mackler tells EXPO magazine. “We will be working with U.S. Customs & Border Protection, our advisory board and exhibitors to continue to grow the show.”Asked why he decided to launch Eagle Eye Expositions with the acquisition of the Border Security Expo, and whether he has previous experience in border security, Mackler points to his experience with law enforcement and civil service. “My career over 28 years has enabled me to touch 50 to 60 markets and industries related to security, including first-responder groups, law enforcement, fire safety and emergency medical services,” Mackler tells EXPO. “These are just among the nearly 60 industries I have had the benefit of working with at companies like Reed and Cygnus.”At Eagle Eye Expositions, Mackler will serve as president and CEO and is backed by “a group of accomplished former tradeshow and media entrepreneur angel investors,” according to the two companies’ joint press release.Edward J. Krause III, president and CEO of E.J. Krause & Associates, tells EXPO the company has “no plans on selling other events” but decided to sell Border Security Expo as part of an effort to “support an aggressive growth program with our core industries both internationally and in the U.S.” E.J. Krause & Associates was founded in 1984 and produces more than 80 events in 16 countries around the world each year.
Medchal: District Collector M V Reddy on Tuesday directed the RDO to send Independence Day invitations to Minister Ch Malla Reddy, local MP, MLAs and MLCs, besides freedom fighters and other public representatives.Addressing a review meeting on the Independence Day arrangements, he asked the civil supplies department staff to provide snacks and drinking water to guests at the I-Day celebrations. Reddy directed the DPO to ensure sanitation, fixing of tree guards and clean surroundings at the parade. He asked DCO to arrange stalls, besides those of the various departments, on the collectorate premises to mark the I-Day. Among those present were DRO Madhukar Reddy, RDO Lachhi Reddy, officials of the departments concerned.
Sheikh Hasina & Ruhul Kabir RizviBangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi alleged on Tuesday prime minister and Bangladesh Awami League (AL) president Sheikh Hasina is the main barrier to holding fair and credible elections.Addressing a human chain programme in front of the National Press Club, the BNP leader also said the people of the country would not allow the ruling AL party to hold another lopsided election like 5-Januray one.“The next polls must be held under a supportive government.”BNP’s cultural wing Jatiyatabadi Samajik Sangskritik Sangstha (Jasas) organised the human chain programme protesting at the arrest warrants against its chairperson Khaleda Zia.Rizvi said it would not be possible to demoralise their chairperson Khaleda Zia by issuing warrants for her arrest in the cases filed against her.”Our leader Khaleda Zia is returning tomorrow [Wednesday] belying your false campaign and falsehood. She’s coming back to her people. You had thought you would be able to deject her through the warrants for her arrest as you’re living in a fool’s paradise,” he said.Khaleda has long been leading the country’s people enduring immense sufferings and repressions, and she will continue to do so in the days to come.Rizvi said though Khaleda Zia went to London for treatment, the ruling party men spreads propaganda that she would not return home as she has indulged in conspiracy there.”Khaleda Zia has no history of fleeing the country. She couldn’t be sent abroad by force, even after jailing her two sons.”After her three-month visit to the United Kingdom, Khaleda Zia is returning home on Wednesday afternoon by an Emirates Airlines flight.Meanwhile, a court in Comilla and two others here issued warrants for Khaleda Zia’s arrest last week in three separate cases.Rizvi alleged that the arrest warrants were issued in a planned way just a few days before her homecoming to make her frightened and weaken.
Awami League general secretary and road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader a procession in front of the Awami League’s central office at Bangabandhu Avenue marking cleanliness campaign to control dengue outbreak on Friday. Photo: BSSAwami League general secretary and road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader today on Friday upon all to work together to control the dengue outbreak, reports BSS.“Now the dengue situation is in a bad condition in the country. We are worried about dengue. Prime minister Sheikh Hasina, now on an official visit in London, is also worried about the country’s dengue situation,” he said.Inaugurating a procession in front of the Awami League’s central office at Bangabandhu Avenue here marking cleanliness campaign to control dengue outbreak, Quader said the government has taken the dengue outbreak as a challenge.“The dengue situation is not out of control. We have strength to control the situation. It is possible to control it through united efforts of all,” he said.The AL general secretary said there is no way to deny that dengue has spread all over the country.He said the health ministry, the local government ministry and the city corporations are working in a coordinated way as per the directive of prime minister Sheikh Hasina to destroy the breeding grounds of aedes mosquitoes and control the dengue outbreak.Along with the government, Quader said, Awami League also has taken programmes to engage people in tackling the dengue situation.He said concerned divisions of the government are examining the medicine used in killing mosquitoes. Works are going on to use effective medicine to this end, he added.The minister said there is no dearth in medicare facilities as people are receiving treatment round the clock at hospitals.AL joint general secretary Jahangir Kabir Nanak, organizing secretaries — deputy minister for water resources AKM Enamul Hoque Shamim, deputy minister for education Mohibul Hasan Chowdhury Nowfel, BM Mozammel Haque and AFM Bahauddin Nasim– AL science and technology affairs secretary Abdus Sabur, relief and social welfare secretary Sujit Roy Nandi, information and research secretary Afjal Hossain, Dhaka City South AL president Abul Hasnat and general secretary Shahe Alam Murad were present on the occasion.
Sindhi Academy and Department of Art, Culture and Languages, Government of Delhi will present Sindhi Sufi Music and Sindhi Food festival 2015 on March 21 and 22 at Palika Services Officers Institute Lawn, Vinay Marg, Chanakya Puri in the capital. The Sindhi Academy, the festival will bring together some eminent Sindhi singers, and roll out a culinary Sindhi delight for the people of the capital. The evenings will include Sindhi Sufi Kalam by Indiara Naik, Dushyant Ahuja and Sadhna Bhatia on Day one and performances by Pankaj Jeswani and Mohit Lalwani followed by a special documentary screening on Sindhis of India on March 22. The documentary is scripted by Suresh Khatri. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, Manish Sisiodia will inaugurate the festival on March 21 while Minister for Women and Child, Social Welfare and Languages, Sandeep Kumar, will be the Chief Guest. A land where the Sufi strain of Islam spawned a highly tolerant and vibrant mysticism, the saints and poets left an indelible mark on the culture. Sindhi way of life has been deeply influenced by Sufi doctrines and principles. Sufi masters such as Shah Abdul Latif and Lal Shahbaz Qalandar are among the most prominent cultural icons of this land. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix“The contributions that the region of Sindh made to the composite culture and shared heritage of India and Pakistan cannot and should not be undermined. In a world where many cultures and languages are fighting for survival, it is pertinent that we propagate the richness of Sindhi language, its lyrical beauty and musical heritage to keep its charm intact with the young generation,” says eminent singer artist Indira Naik.“Art and food are among the most important components of a cultural tradition. In India where the people of Sindhi ethnic origin are scattered around with little contact with the land of their origin, some community members worry about their younger generation losing touch with their past. In this light, it is very important to showcase the culture and legacy of Sindh to inform our youngsters about its richness and resilience. We should all know that Dama Dam Mast Qalandar, the ecstasy-inducing Sufi rendition that everyone loves has its origins in Sindh,” says much popular young singer Mohit Lalwani.The rich and delicious Sindhi cuisine will be at full flow at the food festival where visitors’ taste buds will be given a delectable treat with many Sindhi delicacies.
A transgender woman in Pakistan learning to drive. | Photo: Facebook/Directorate General Information & PRs, KPLong-time transgender activist, Farzana Jan, received the first drivers license. Jan was also the first transgender person to receive a passport with the gender ‘X’.Speaking at a media conference after receiving her license, Jan said driving would liberate trans people to find more employment outside of the typical options such as, dancing.Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the trans communityKhyber Pakhtunkhwa and its trans community are often in the news for all the wrong reasons.Transgender women there face extreme levels of violence, torture and murder there. They often struggle to get appropriate medical treatment and police protection.In January this year, nine people allegedly kidnapped and gang raped an 18-year-old trans activist. Local police in Peshawar admitted it did not file a report on the incident.Got a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us . The province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) has become the first in Pakistan to issue drivers licences to transgender people. eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) Peshawar Traffic Police Head Yasir Khan Afridi and trans activist Farzana Jan. | Photo: Facebook/Directorate General Information & PRs, KP Pakistan held a sports day for trans people and the photos are amazingThousands of trans people turned away from voting in Pakistan’s electionsPakistan’s trans and intersex groups release political manifestoRead the full article on Gaystarnews: :https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/15-transgender-women-make-history-as-first-to-get-drivers-licenses-in-pakistan/ KP is one of four administrative provinces in Pakistan and has a prominent transgender population.It has just started a program that would make it easier for transgender people to get drivers licenses.In its first wave of the program, 300 applied for a license, and 15 were awarded their license. The remaining would receive their licenses gradually, said SSP Traffic Yasir Khan Afridi in Peshawar.Trans women line up to get the drivers licenses. | Photo: Facebook/Directorate General Information & PRs, KP‘There would be special driving classes for transgender persons by KP traffic police. The fee would be reduced to minimal. We encourage transgender community to reclaim their social spaces,’ said SSP Traffic Yasir Khan Afridi.Even though trans people can register as a ‘third gender’ on passports, and soon national ID cards, laws allowing them to do so on drivers licences are still waiting approval from parliament. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… GAYSTARNEWS-
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