Bill Clinton has written an essay to mark the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act.“The right to vote is both fundamental to individual liberty and to the proper functioning of representative democracy,” he wrote in the Yale Law & Policy Review. “When voting rights are denied, diluted, or restricted, the ability of government to respond to our challenges and increase our opportunities is impaired, and its legitimacy in doing so is diminished.“A major theme of American history is the steady expansion of the right to vote. Once restricted to white male property owners, the franchise has been extended to include all citizens from their eighteenth birthday on. Fifty years ago, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 sought to end practices like literacy tests that made it more difficult for African Americans to vote.“The Voting Rights Act was the result of years of struggle, paid for with the blood, sweat, and tears of Americans black and white, young and old.“America’s tremendous diversity can make us the world’s leading force for peace and prosperity for generations to come. But in order to give our children and grandchildren the future they deserve, we must remove barriers to participation and opportunity, not erect them. As a nation, we owe it to the many heroes of the Civil Rights Movement who made our past progress possible, and to all those whose future progress depends on it.”To read Clinton’s full essay, click here.
The Sri Lankan had been arrested in relation to the alleged assassination attempt against President Yaameen Abdul Qayyoom in 2015. Sri Lanka has not made any request to extradite a sniper in Maldivian custody, Maldives Attorney General Mohamed Anil said today.He said that there is a system in place between Sri Lanka and the Maldives when dealing with criminals but so far Sri Lanka has not asked for the sniper to be deported to Sri Lanka. While the Maldivian Police have said that the Sri Lankan national in custody was a “sniper”, Sri Lanka had at the time dismissed the claims saying that the man identified as Lahiru Madushanka was a dry fish seller. (Colombo Gazette)Report by Easwaran Rutnam The Maldives Police arrested the Sri Lankan sniper in the Maldives in 2015 days after a sniper rifle bullet was found in the biggest weapons bust in country’s history at the time.
OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says the average cost of a gram of cannabis from the illicit market continues to drop as legal prices rise — with authorized retailers charging as much as 80 per cent more.The government agency says the average price of an illegal gram of pot was $5.93 in the second quarter, down from $6.23 in the previous quarter.The cost of a legal gram of weed, however, was $10.65, up from $10.21 in the previous quarter and nearly 80 per cent more than the average price of illicit weed during the second quarter.Statistics Canada based these conclusions on price quotes gathered using its StatsCannabis crowdsourcing application between April 1 and June 30, 572 of which were deemed plausible.Overall, based on the voluntary submissions, the average price per gram of cannabis fell to $7.87 from $8.03 in the previous quarter, largely attributed to lower illegal prices.The share of StatsCannabis respondents purchasing pot illegally rose to 59 per cent during the quarter, up from 55 per cent in the first quarter.Statistics Canada urged caution when interpreting the data, as the quotes are self-submitted and the number of responses are limited. The Canadian Press
The second UN Secretary-General, Dag Hammarskjöld, was killed in a plane crash in 1961. “I think he should also be remembered as the person who, to some extent, put the UN on the map as an organization that could actually take action in crises, one that didn’t just pass resolutions, but actually got into the field and did things,” Sir Brian has said of him. In this footage, Sir Brian can be seen – at the end of the clip – with other mourners awaiting the return of his remains. Credit: UNTV Archives On a visit to the Middle East to meet with the leaders of Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt and Jordan, Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim addresses staff at the UN Development Programme office in Amman, Jordan. At Mr. Waldheim’s left is the Assistant Secretary-General for Special Political Affairs, Brian Urquhart. (3 September 1973) UN Photo/G. Nehmeh “The violent interaction between the Belgian troops and the Congolese destroyed all hope of restoring calm and normality… We also had to help the new and totally inexperienced Congolese administration to take hold of the reins of government in a chaotic situation,” Sir Brian wrote of this perion in his autobiography. UN News: Your thoughts on Kurt Waldheim? Sir Brian Urquhart: Not my favourite Secretary-General, I have to say, but I also have to say that he was a dedicated worker – he worked like hell. I was running the peacekeeping business then and I must say that he was very supportive of what we did, and if you suggested a good idea to him, he would do his level-best to carry it out. And I think he got a very bad rap for all this business of denying he was in the German Army. It was a great pity. It did nobody any good. It was ridiculous. He didn’t need to do it. Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld (second from right) holds an informal conference with some high officials of his Executive Office. Amongst those taking part is Sir Brian Urquhart (right), in his role as Secretary of the International Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy. (12 April 1955) UN News: Your thoughts on Kofi Annan? Sir Brian Urquhart: Kofi, you know, came from the Secretariat, like me. I think he did a remarkable job and he became quite an important public personality – which was important. He was very articulate. He had very, very good people working for him. He started quite a few ideas, notably the responsibility to protect, which he actually introduced in a speech in the General Assembly long before it became a sort of a fashionable thing. And that led to all these people studying it and it actually being endorsed by the Millennium Summit. I think he did a wonderful job. I think he had a terrible time over Iraq, where he was honest. That was very difficult and he managed to run right into Washington, DC. Service in the Republic of the Congo was a hazardous assignment for UN staff. During the life of the United Nations Operation in the Congo (ONUC), there were 250 civilian and military fatalities.Sir Brian’s first service in the African country was in 1960 as an assistant to Ralph Bunche, who was then serving as the Secretary-General’s Special Representative in the Congo.Ireland’s Conor Cruise O’Brien was then serving as the UN Representative in Katanga, but eventually left, partly due to threats against his life. In late 1961, Sir Brian replaced Mr. Cruise O’Brien in the sensitive position in the secessionist province.Soon after his arrival in Elizabethville, as the capital of Katanga province was then known, Sir Brian was kidnapped and beaten by disaffected Katangese troops, coming close to being killed.Thousands of soldiers from more than ten countries served with the UN Force in the Republic of the Congo, helping to restore order and calm in the country in relation to the breakaway province of Katanga. Here, a Swedish Army carrier crosses a bridge built by UN peacekeepers. (3 September 1963) UN Photo/BZ Secretary-General Kofi Annan (right) meets with Sir Brian Urquhart. (4 April 2002) UN Photo/Evan Schneider Sir Brian Urquhart: This is very serious. You used to get shot at quite bit, but at least you weren’t officially targeted by a highly effective terrorist organization. I think this is a disastrous thing – I don’t know what can be done about that… If you fortify all the UN headquarters, the UN people have less and less contact with the people they’re trying to help and then their performance will go down. For what it’s worth, our great good fortune was that you could walk out the door, wander down the street and talk to people. You can’t do that now and that, I think, is a very, very serious problem for anyone trying to help.On the Security Council, Sir Brian wrote that “… as one who had watched the Security Council from the beginning I sometimes felt that only an invasion from outer space would be a sufficiently non-controversial disaster to bring the Council back to the great power unanimity that the Charter required in order to make the United Nations effective.”UN News: What is your view on calls to reform the Security Council, on the grounds that it no longer represents the world we live in?Sir Brian Urquhart: I think it’s terrible, but this is the problem of regional identity, isn’t it? Because if you’re going to have the Security Council more representative, you’re going to have to possibly have a permanent regional representative for each region, but who is the top [one] in each region? Nobody knows. Not in Latin America, not in Africa. For Asia, they’ve already got China but then there’s Japan. It’s a very complicated problem and unless they make it much, much larger, which I think would be probably very inefficient… I don’t know who is going to solve that. I don’t know what the solution to that is. People have suggested all sorts of complicated solutions, but they’re too complicated. What you have to hang on to is the Council’s feeling that it has a serious mission which is over and above what nationality you are. If you can only get that – and I think to some extent it does have that now – I think a lot of the give or take on these recent so-called Arab Spring problems and problems in Cote d’Ivoire have had the makings of a kind of corporate responsibility in the Council itself, for actually trying to do something. That’s good. You couldn’t do that in the Cold War. It was impossible.UN News: What role do you see for the UN in the 21st century, especially compared to when it first began in the late 1940s?Sir Brian Urquhart: I would like to see it as a much more international organization than it is now. I mean, I think it’s nice for governments to be taking the initiative in the Security Council, for example, that’s fine. And they’re actually doing some very interesting stuff now with the responsibility to protect and everything. I would like to see a much more solid international leadership, which would really look at problems which are going to affect the future completely. I already mentioned the so-called global problems like climate change and global warming, and certainly some of the effects of the population and communications revolution. I think the UN does have a huge role to play there, quite apart from its role in peace and security which I think it is making progress on. I still think that the UN needs to have a standing establishment to do emergency things – at least a core establishment for peacekeeping, a core establishment for humanitarian rescue and so on. It’s beginning to get there but hasn’t gotten there and until it does that, it’s going to be regarded as second-rate, which is bad. UN News: Your thoughts on U Thant? Sir Brian Urquhart: U Thant was, in one way, the opposite to Hammarskjöld, but in a funny way, he was very courageous. It was U Thant who, during the India-Pakistan war – which was extremely serious because you had China, Russia and the United States involved – went there, and got it sort of put on hold. He took a very important initiative in the Cuban missile crisis, which I think greatly helped in the resolution of it. He never told anybody about it. But he also did something which nobody else did in the Cuban missile crisis, which was actually go to Cuba and sit on Castro’s head before Castro got something going, which really would have got the thing off to a nuclear start. I had a huge regard for U Thant. He was a Buddhist. He was a very highly moral person. He believed that it was more important than politics, which didn’t go down too well with diplomats. He was excellent. A good man. UN News: You have had a very unique position in being able to observe Secretaries-General, from up close and afar, for all of the United Nations’ 66 years. In brief, your thoughts on Trgve Lie, the UN’s first Secretary-General? Sir Brian Urquhart: Well, Trygve Lie, you know, actually says in his memoirs, “Why has this horrible job fallen to a labour lawyer from Oslo?” He was absolutely right. He didn’t want to be Secretary-General. He didn’t run for it. He wanted to be President of the General Assembly. I liked Trygve very much. He was a very decent guy and if you think he did nothing, you’re now sitting in something he did do, which was to get the Headquarters. I mean, we were like the Flying Dutchman when we got to the United States; we were always moving from the gym in Hunter College to the gyroscope plant at Lake Success on Long Island, it was terrible. He got the UN settled in New York, which was absolutely essential. If we had gone and settled in some of those resort places that were offered, this organization would be dead. This is very important place to be. It’s a very abrasive hub of world affairs and that’s good for everybody. In his role as Secretary to the General Assembly’s Negotiating Committee for Extra-Budgetary Funds, Sir Brian (seated far left) takes part in a meeting on the financial situation of the UN Korean Reconstruction Agency. Seated near him is Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld (second from right). (15 February 1955) UN Photo/AF During a brief visit to the Middle East to discuss with the implementation of a Security Council resolution, Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim holds talks with Israeli Prime Minister Menahem Begin. Seated to his right is Sir Brian Urquhart, then serving as the UN Under-Secretary-General for Special Political Affairs. (18 April 1978) UN Photo/John Isaac Trygve Lie. UN Photo Throughout the first decades of the UN’s existence, Sir Brian worked very closely with Ralph Bunche, an academic who had been active in the US civil rights movement and had been working in the US State Department when Secretary-General Trygve Lie had him come to the UN to oversee the Department of Trusteeship. He was awarded the 1950 Nobel Peace Prize for his mediation work in the Middle East. The two colleagues became close friends over the years. In addition to penning a biography of the UN’s second Secretary-General, Dag Hammarskjöld, Sir Brian also wrote a biography of Mr. Bunche.UN News: Your link to Dag Hammarskjöld is quite well known, perhaps more so than your ties to Ralph Bunche. Can you tell us about Mr. Bunche and his impact on the UN?Sir Brian Urquhart: I first met Ralph Bunche just when I got into the Preparatory Commission in London in 1945. I was still in uniform because I didn’t have any civilian clothes. I remember my wife and I took him to the London Zoo on a Sunday because he didn’t have anything to do. I didn’t know it, but he was already a famous figure in the United States. He was the original writer for what is now the civil rights movement. He had conducted, along with a few other people, a number of very successful, original civil rights demonstrations. He had written the first draft of An American Dilemma [full title: An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy] which is still the classic work on the problem of the negro in the United States. He was very modest, so he would never tell you he’d done anything. He was incapable of blowing his own horn, which is terrible. So I didn’t know any of this. And then, time went by and when [the UN’s second Secretary-General Dag] Hammarskjöld arrived, he took Ralph into his own office. Major General E.L.M. Burns of Canada – the head of the UN Emergency International Force which was set up in relation to the Suez Crisis – holds a meeting with military representatives from various nations at UN Headquarters concerning the organization of the force. Those present include Sir Brian Urquhart on behalf of the Secretary-General’s office. (16 November 1956) In this archival film clip, Sir Brian is shown with Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld and his colleague and friend, Ralph Bunche, while on mission in Africa. “It took Ralph three years to get used to anybody and that three years were spent in testing you, by giving you really impossible things to do and then tearing up whatever you wrote or said or suggested as a result, and starting all over again. And if you got through that, you were in!,” Sir Brian said of Mr. Bunche. Credit: UNTV Archives Ahead of a Security Council meeting on its role in the pacific settlement of disputes, Council members heard from Secretary-General Kofi Annan and three eminent persons – one of those was Sir Brian Urquhart, seen here delivering his speech. (13 May 2003) UN Photo/Evan Schneider Kurt Waldheim. UN Photo/D. Burnett The issue of Cyprus was and is of major concern to the United Nations. In this footage from the 1970s, Sir Brian, then serving as Under-Secretary-General for Special Political Affairs, accompanies Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim on a mission to the divided Mediterranean island. Credit: UNTV Archives UN News: Your thoughts on Boutros Boutros-Ghali? Sir Brian Urquhart: You know, Boutros Boutros-Ghali is somebody I knew very well before [he became the UN’s sixth Secretary-General]. He’s a brilliant, extremely likable, brilliant man – perhaps too brilliant for his own good in this kind of job. I don’t know how it was that he managed to become a factor in American electoral politics, but he did. They were determined to get rid of him. I think it was a shame, but I think he was a little too much of a prima donna to do this kind of job – and I say that as somebody who likes him very much. If you were going in to a competition on who you’d like to spend an evening talking with, then Boutros-Ghali would be right at the very top. Sir Brian Urquhart: Peacekeeping was never…a peaceful conclusion, it was for making the conditions for a peaceful conclusion. And if you had something like Cyprus, where the Cyprus problem is sort of national industry and sport by now, on both sides, it’s very difficult to do. The question is whether it’s better to have Cyprus held in a state of more or less equilibrium but not solve the problem, or just getting out of there and letting the two sides fight it out, in which case the Greeks will lose. And I think that it’s no question, we have to stay there. The most amazing example of this is the [UN] observers in Kashmir, who the Indians would like to get rid of, [and] the Pakistanis will never allow to, because they indicate the problem is not settled.UN News: You have described a UN peacekeeping force “like a family friend who has moved into a household stricken by disaster. It must conciliate, console and discreetly run the household without ever appearing to dominate or usurp the natural rights of those it is helping.” Do you think peacekeeping has maintained that incarnation today?Sir Brian Urquhart: This is what it was like in the Cold War, when we would try to stop regional conflicts from setting fire to the east-west nuclear conflict, which was very important, particularly in places like the Middle East and Africa. It is changing now because the UN now does much more complicated civilian-military operations inside countries. We used to be on the borders, stopping conflicts between nations. They were mostly border conflicts from the period of decolonization . Now we’re inside countries dealing with political, human rights, humanitarian problems of all kinds, including… I mean in the Congo, we were virtually running the government of the Congo in 1960; something we’d never done before. And I think that this is the form that peacekeeping is taking. Kofi Annan once said that the United Nations is the only fire brigade in the world which only buys a fire engine after the fire has stared. Think about it. It’s a good point. UN News: Like many who have followed in your steps, you have experienced violence during your service as a UN civilian peacekeeper. What do you make of the growing targeting of UN peacekeepers whereas once they were widely considered neutral players in a conflict? Following his interview with UN News, Sir Brian Urquhart is stopped by a member of the UN press corps for some questions. (16 September 2011) UN Photo/A. Gaitanis Dag Hammarskjöld. UN Photo/ES Sir Brian Urquhart listen as Secretary-General Kofi Annan speaks at the first in a series of lectures and conversations – entitled ‘Dag Hammarskjöld’s Legacy and its Relevance to the UN Today” – to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of one of the world body’s second leader. (4 April 2005) UN Photo/Evan Schneider In Jerusalem as part of a Middle East visit, and accompanied by the Under-Secretary-General for Special Political Affairs, Sir Brian Urquhart (third from left) and others, Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim, pays a courtesy call on the President of Israel, Ephraim Katzir. (5 June 1974) UN Photo/Yutaka Nagata UN staff are often exposed to danger in the course of their work. Here, Sir Brian reflects on his own experience with violence while serving in the Congo’s breakaway province of Katanga in the early 1960s. Credit: UNTV Archives Accompanied by the Editor of UN News, Ari Gaitanis (right), Sir Brian Urquhart is walked through the UN Headquarters complex, which was still-under renovations at the time. (16 September 2011) UN Photo/J. Jiji Mr. Pearson proposed and sponsored a resolution which created the United Nations Emergency Force – the UN’s first deployment of peacekeepers – to police the area involved. Sir Brian, one of the few people with extensive military experience within the UN Secretariat’s political offices, was heavily involved in assembling this first ever UN peacekeeping deployment and its subsequent development as a tool in international relations.In his autobiography, he wrote that “the real strength of a UN peacekeeping operation lies not in its capacity to use force, but precisely in its not using force and thereby remaining above the conflict and preserving its unique position and prestige. The moment a peacekeeping force starts killing people it becomes a part of the conflict it is supposed to be controlling, and therefore, part of the problem. It loses the one quality which distinguishes it from, and sets it above, the people it is dealing with.” In 1988, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the 1988 Nobel Peace Prize to UN Peacekeeping Forces, noting that through their efforts they have made important contributions towards the realization of one of the fundamental tenets of the United Nations.In addition, peacekeeping was the part of his job that Sir Brian loved more than any other and he felt a strong rapport with the ‘blue helmets,’ as UN peacekeepers became popularly known.“Although, as their civilian chief, I had often had to prod or to restrain them, we had had, on the whole, the happiest of relationships, and I was very sad to leave them,” he wrote in his autobiography.UN News: You were there for the birth and later development of UN peacekeeping operations in various locations. Some of those – like in Lebanon and Cyprus – are still there, decades after they started. What do you say to criticism that these are examples of how peacekeeping is not bringing about a peaceful conclusion to conflict? I think that it’s absolutely essential to have at the top of the organization – and after all, the Secretary-General is the only person chosen by all the members – you really need to have someone who is not only a leader, but an intellectual leader. And if governments don’t like that, they’ll get used to it. I mean, to look back to Hammarskjöld: Hammarskjöld’s first objection was to the American CIA coup in Guatemala – that was the first brush he had with a great power when he came to the office. The United States was furious. John Foster Dulles and Eisenhower: they were livid. But then they discovered that if you had somebody independent like that, he could go to China – with which they had no relations with – and negotiate 17 American airmen out of captivity because people in China knew the guy was independent! This is what I would like to see … but we’re in different times now. And I think it would be a very great pity if the UN doesn’t play a much more active role in really getting after these long-term problems which governments often can’t face because they’re so busy with the short-term rigmarole that they don’t get ‘round to it.Sir Brian was appointed Under-Secretary-General for Special Political Affairs in 1974. The post had been vacant since the death of its previous holder – Sir Brian’s close friend and colleague, Dr. Ralph Bunche – in 1971. Javier Perez de Cuellar. UN Photo/Backrach UN News: In the wake of Conor Cruise O’Brien’s departure from the post of UN Representative in Katanga, you said that it was a job that no one in their right mind would have wanted. Yet you took it. Why?Sir Brian Urquhart: Well, there wasn’t any way that I wouldn’t take it! I was asked to take it by Ralph Bunche, who was my boss and in whom I had enormous confidence. We were in a hopeless mess at that time. The morale of that whole force had completely gone to bits. And we’d had to take Conor Cruise O’Brien out because he was in physical danger of being seriously damaged – and there wasn’t any way that you could say no. I wouldn’t have dreamt of saying no. I got kidnapped the second night I was there, actually, which was unfortunate.UN News: In your kidnapping, you were alone and far from any help. How did you save yourself? Did that experience shake your faith and dedication to the UN?Sir Brian Urquhart: Not at all! On the contrary, it made me anxious to get back and try to fix the situation. I was lucky because the colonel of the Gurkhas [serving as UN peacekeepers], S.S. Maitra, who was my great friend, was a fantastic soldier. The Gurkhas had this unbelievable reputation in Katanga. They were supposed to be able to cut people’s limbs off in mid-air with their kukris [a machete-like knife used by the Gurkhas], this kind of thing, but they were wonderful soldiers. So I really survived by saying, “You can kill me – but don’t think the Gurkhas will not come and get you if you do it.” Actually, since nobody had the foggiest idea where I was, it wasn’t true, but nonetheless it worked. And I really think it’s what saved me.A view of some of the refugees and the make-shift living quarters outside the city Elizabethville. (8 September 1961) UN Photo/BZ Serving as the Under-Secretary-General for Special Political Affairs, Sir Brian Urquhart (left), accompanied Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar on an official visit to Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. Here, Mr. Perez de Cuellar and Sir Brian meet with Jordan’s King Hussein in Amman. (11 June 1984) UN Photo/John Isaac Ari Gaitanis of UN News listens as Sir Brian Urquhart shares his experiences and views during an interview. (16 September 2011) UN Photo/Mark Garten Following his retirement, Sir Brian has devoted himself to writing on international affairs, including the United Nations. In an editorial earlier this year, The Guardian newspaper described Sir Brian as “one whose life is an allegory of international co-operation…He was the anti-bureaucrat: plain-speaking and even once criticised for keeping too small a staff… He is a rare argument for the unity of the virtues and a mark of what the UN could and should be. He says sovereignty needs to be reconciled ‘with the demands of human survival and decency in the astonishingly dangerous world we have absentmindedly created.’ Governments should listen.” “It meant a great deal to me to follow in Bunche’s footsteps, and I was also proud to have got to the top in the Secretariat under my own steam, instead of being a political appointee as most of my senior colleagues had been,” Sir Brian wrote in his autobiography. “What followed were busy years, particularly with events in Lebanon, Cyprus, the Middle East and Namibia.”In the wake of the UN’s 40th anniversary in 1985, Sir Brian decided it was time to retire. “Much as I loved the work and was dedicated to the organization, I had 40 years of fairly continuous pressure and enforced discretion, and I wanted a little freedom of action and speech before I got too old to enjoy it. I was also anxious to hand over in an orderly fashion to a properly designated successor,” he wrote. UN News: Your thoughts on Dag Hammarskjöld? Sir Brian Urquhart: I think Hammarskjöld was the most impressive international leader so far anywhere. He was quite remarkable and he was genuinely international and I think he was a person of some genius which has created this flame which is still running, more or less. Some roles in the UN system can be demanding. Here, Sir Brian shares his views on the personal toll that serving with the world body can have. Credit: UNTV Archives I would say that, in his own way, Ralph was one of the most extraordinary people I have ever met and he taught me everything I know about politics and international affairs. He was absolutely remarkable and I wish that he was more remembered than he is. But that was hopeless. For example, Ralph wouldn’t allow anybody to publish that he’d written the first draft of An American Dilemma. He tried to turn down the Nobel Peace Prize, which upset the Norwegians, but then they got Trgve Lie to order him to take it. I mean, he thought this all interfered with doing the job – the job was it. It wasn’t you. And everything you had went into that and anything that distracted was out, like good public relations or flattery or anything like that. He was a very remarkable person and also, personally, one of the most delightful, funny… he was a marvellous fellow.Sir Brian was instrumental to the development of UN peacekeeping. As the Suez crisis of 1956 unfolded, the idea of a UN force was discussed by Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld and Lester Pearson of Canada, who headed the Canadian delegation to the UN from 1946 to 1956, and served as President of the General Assembly’s seventh session. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (centre) shakes hands with Sir Brian Urquhart at a special dedication ceremony of the ‘Brian Urquhart Room,’ at UN Headquarters in New York City. (12 March 2009) UN Photo/Evan Schneider On a visit to Egypt In his role as the Assistant Secretary-General for Special Political Affairs, Brian Urquhart (second from left), confers with senior officers from the UN Emergency Force in Suez City. (13 January 1974) UN Photo/Yutaka Nagata UN News: Your thoughts on Ban Ki-moon? Sir Brian Urquhart: I’ve always made a principle of never publicly commenting on the serving Secretary-General. The serving Secretary-General has enough to do anyway without jokers like me making neat remarks about them, so I’m not going to do that! Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe UN News: Your thoughts on Javier Perez de Cuellar? Sir Brian Urquhart: Javier, I think was much more effective than people ever realized. Like U Thant, he was a very quiet man at a very key period – after all, this was the end of the Cold War. It was very tricky. He was a cerebral person, he had very good people working for him. He was very, very good in dealing with the nightmare situation going on in the late 80s, and I think he will, in history, come out extremely well. All of these easily amount to a front-row seat on history. But Sir Brian’s links to history go even further. As a youth, his experiences include attending a lecture given by Indian independence leader Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi while in primary school and taking part in the coronation of King George VI.I think I’d like to be remembered as an exemplary international civil servant – if there is such a thing. No, take out exemplary. As a good international civil servant, because I think it’s very important.As a soldier in World War II, he was involved in the surrender of German scientists working in nuclear research; he was one of the first Allied troops to liberate the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp; and he even helped Danish author Karen Blixen, of ‘Out of Africa’ fame, out of a predicament at the end of the war. To top it off, his role in ‘Operation Market Garden’ – one of the most well-known military actions of the later stages of the war – was immortalized in an epic film.As Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a tribute message on the occasion of Sir Brian’s 90th birthday four years ago, “You have had an enormous influence on every Secretary-General. Even today, staffers everywhere seek to live up to your example. And you remain one of our wisest and staunchest advocates.”Here, in the second installment of a two-part feature, UN News spotlights the experiences and views of Sir Brian throughout his decades of service with the world. The then-Belgian Congo became an independent state on 30 June 1960, under the name of Republic of the Congo. Post-independence chaos, including an attempt at secession by the mineral-rich province of Katanga, led to a request for UN intervention, which the Security Council authorized over 13-14 July 1960. Boutros Boutros-Ghali. UN Photo/Milton Grant Sir Brian Urquhart. (16 September 2011) UN Photo/Mark Garten Kofi Annan. UN Photo/John Isaac U Thant. UN Photo/Yutaka Nagata In the Syrian capital of Damascus, Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim and the-then Assistant Secretary-General for Special Political Affairs, Sir Brian Urquhart, take part in a group with colleagues from the UN Truce Supervision Organization in Palestine (UNTSO). (28 August 1973) UN Photo/George Nehmeh UN Photo/Marvin Bolotsky When I joined Ralph, I became his chief assistant. He was what was called the Under-Secretary-General for Special Political Affairs [one of two officials in that role]. At that time, he had just got the Nobel Peace Prize for the armistice agreements in Israel and the five Arab states. He was a very, very famous person and he didn’t like it. He wanted to go back to Harvard where he was a professor and kept on saying he was going to do it, but had just one more thing to do. And then Israel declared statehood and he was immediately sent to the Middle East to try to umpire the 1948 war between the Arabs and Israel. He became – when [Swedish UN mediator Count Folke] Bernadotte was assassinated – the mediator and produced this fantastic result. Ralph was a really, absolutely remarkable person, and he became my closest friend, as a matter of fact. That is the difference between him and Hammarskjöld… It took Ralph three years to get used to anybody and those three years were spent in testing you, by giving you really impossible things to do and then tearing up whatever you wrote or said or suggested as a result, and starting all over again. And if you got through that, you were in! And I realized this, fortunately, so I enjoyed it. And I must say that we had a wonderful 20 years. Ralph, after Hammarskjöld, probably deserves more than anyone else for establishing a standard of international [civil] service. He minded passionately about [the role of] an international civil servant, to the extent that the United States said that Ralph was always much more resistant to anything they suggested, more than that from any other country. And it was probably true. He was determined to be independent. He was, like Hammarskjöld, an intellectual with a fantastic capacity for seeing round corners into the future, for having alternative courses of action, for never being caught flat-footed. And he was also totally honest. He would never, ever tell anyone something that wasn’t true, which annoyed people at first but then they discovered that it was quite good, because it worked both ways. ‹ Previous Next › UN PhotoUN News: In years to come, how would you like to be remembered? Sir Brian Urquhart: I think I’d like to be remembered as an exemplary international civil servant – if there is such a thing. No, take out exemplary. As a good international civil servant, because I think it’s very important. Sooner or later, we’re going to have to develop it.UN News: Looking back at your time at the UN, do you have any regrets about things that could have been done better? Sir Brian Urquhart: If you were brought up as a Unitarian like me, you always have regrets! Of course, I think we could have done things better. But I’m not sure one needs to dwell on that too much. I think one has to dwell, when one gets old, first of all, on trying to leave something behind that’s of some use to other people. And I’ve tried to do that in by writing about Hammarskjöld, Bunche and indeed about myself, and also in a whole number of books on trying to reform the UN – which nobody has ever read, but that’s alright. I think one needs to do that. It’s like what you say to people; you always think [afterwards] of something you might have said which was infinitely smarter. It’s the same in life. After the fuss has died [down] and you’ve somehow managed to muddle your way through some problem; you think, “God damn it, if only I’d thought of… !” or “If I’d just thought of so and so, he would have been just the person.” But it doesn’t happen like that.UN News: What’s it like to be considered a living legend in international affairs and a link to a different time, or so many different times, in the UN’s history?Sir Brian Urquhart: Well, in the first place, I’m very sceptical of remarks like this “living legend” business. Everybody’s a living legend to somebody! I mean, come on! I don’t want to be thought of as just a relic from an ancient time – although, I must say, sometimes I slightly feel that – but I think we all put our little footprint in the sand, and sometimes we push forward a plank to build a bridge to whatever it is in the future and all this stuff that people say in obituaries. You know, that’s nice, if you can do that. I would have loved to have been Picasso or something like that, but I wasn’t. I had a wonderful time working for the UN. It was quite difficult sometimes, but it was what I wanted to do. I was incredibly lucky in who I worked for and I was incredibly lucky in the jobs that I was given. You can’t really fault that. I don’t know that I had much to do with that, I was just very lucky. I loved the job, I believed in it. I still believe in it. What’s more fun than serving an organization like the UN?► See also Character Sketches by Brian Urquhart
‹ › Participants at the ministerial meeting of the Group of Friends of the Syrian people during the opening of the 68th session of the General Assembly. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine “The Coalition has a key and central role to play in making Geneva II a success,” the group was told concerning the peace conference now under discussion, in a message to the Ministerial Meeting of the Friends of the Syrian People which was delivered by Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, UN Assistant-Secretary-General for Political Affairs.“It also has a fundamental duty to ensure that Syria does not break apart, and that its people are served by a state that remains stable and cohesive but that also reflects its citizens’ democratic aspirations,” Mr. Fernandez-Taranco said, adding, “The alternative is chaos.”Reaffirming Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s position that the only way out of the devastating crisis was through dialogue and political compromise, he said that the Geneva Conference on Syria, which the UN has been working to bring about for months, is meant to launch such a dialogue.He said that yesterday ministers of the five permanent members of the Security Council agreed to work together and separately to make sure that the Syrian participants come to the Conference to negotiate in good faith.Tomorrow, he said, the Secretary-General and Joint Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi will continue this dialogue to see if, on the basis of all the consultations that have taken place these past few days, a date can be set for the Conference. He said no one was naïve to the challenges of ending the conflict peacefully, given that some in Syria did not share the vision of a unified and democratic country that protected the diversity of its people and rejected extremism. In the face of such challenges, leaders must make tough choices, he said. “The Syrian people have suffered enough. It is time to put aside our differences and take diplomatic action,” he told the meeting, which was held on the sidelines of the high-level debate of the 68th session of the General Assembly.
Quterbacks Stephen Collier (13), J.T. Barrett (16) and Cardale Jones (12) get work in at the first day of camp on August 10 at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. Photo Credit: Giustino Bovenzi / Lantern ReporterThe quarterback battle between redshirt sophomore J.T. Barrett and redshirt junior Cardale Jones is underway as the defending national champion Ohio State Buckeyes returned to practice Monday with the opening of fall camp at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.For months, speculation of who will be under center for the Buckeyes has been the topic of discussion, and OSU coach Urban Meyer said on Monday he is still not leaning in either direction as to who will be starting Sept. 7 in Blacksburg, Va.“They’re both established guys,” Meyer said. “Cardale’s been here a long time now — what’s it, his eighth year here? J.T. has played a lot of football. We won’t announce anything until the first guy takes the field at Virginia Tech.”Meyer said he plans on splitting the practice reps at quarterback “50-50,” at least throughout the initial days of practice. Determining who got the first-team reps on Monday was a lot simpler, however, as Barrett and Jones flipped a coin. Jones won the toss and got the first crack at the starting offense.Barrett said no matter who starts, he knows the decision will come down to which quarterback gives the team the best chance to win.“The main thing is that we want the best for this team, and I said that whether that be myself, Cardale or (redshirt senior) Braxton (Miller), when he was playing (quarterback), it was who is going to put our position in the best chance to win,” he said. Barrett said it would mean a lot for him to get the starting nod against Virginia Tech, especially after falling to the Hokies 35-21 in his second collegiate start last season.“You could say I had that one marked on the calendar,” Barrett said. “So, it does mean a lot to me personally, being that I did play a game that we lost. I just wasn’t prepared. So with that, it means a lot.”Jones said his focus would be entirely on football while camp is underway. One piece of evidence for his commitment to the sport, he said, is taking a two-week hiatus from his popular Twitter account.“It’s all fun and games when we’re not on the field, but when we get on the field, it’s strictly business,” Jones said. “Whoever is going to win the battle, it’s going to be bittersweet — because you definitely want to see your friend or your teammate succeed — but only one guy can play.”Jones said OSU’s offense has the potential to be one of the most dynamic offenses in college football history.“My personal opinion, yes, hands down,” Jones said. “Because of the playmakers we got, because of the youth we got, the depth we got and because of the experience we have.”Last year, both Jones and Barrett made cases to be considered the best man for the job heading into the 2015 season.Barrett started 12 games for the Buckeyes as a redshirt freshman last season after being thrust into the starting role when Miller injured his shoulder shortly before the season. After a shaky start to the year, Barrett settled down and threw for 2,834 yards and 34 touchdowns before his season ended due to an ankle injury suffered in the regular-season finale against Michigan.He was then replaced by Jones, who excelled in OSU’s three postseason games by throwing for 742 yards and five touchdowns, leading the Buckeyes to victories in the Big Ten Championship Game, Sugar Bowl and National Championship Game.OSU’s fall camp is set to continue through Aug. 24, leading up to the season opener in Blacksburg, Va., on Sept. 7. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.
Image: via DieselDemon/ FlickrYou’re probably the worst person ever. Desist.Pictures of your wedding/holidayImage: via epsode/FlickrSince no one in your life is brave enough to tell you, allow us. NO ONE wants to keep hearing about your feckin’ wedding or holiday, let alone see feckin’ pictures. Let it go.Brand logoYeah, cool. Why not get it tattooed on your forehead while you’re at it?The preset backgroundImage: via Rottman.netThis either says “I’m too busy and important to think of such petty things” or “I’m super boring”. Can’t decide.Your phone hasn’t got a background functionImage: via Ian B-M/FlickrYou’re still rocking a brick and can’t set a picture as a background. We’ve got grudging respect for your lack of interest in material things, but c’mon it’s 2013.Artsy shotIt’s bad enough that we have to look at your poor amateur photography on Instagram. Don’t be that guy.What’s your phone background?Read: The burning question: Do you listen to voicemails on your mobile? > FORGET YOUR HOROSCOPE. It’s actually your phone background that reveals your true personality.What picture you choose to display the world tells us a lot. How well do you know yourself? What’s your phone background?Your other halfImage: via gaglia/FlickrYou selected a photo of your partner as your phone background? Pass us the sick bucket.Sure, don’t you see them enough at home without seeing their mug every time you send a text?A cherished petFiona Hyde/dailyedge.ieAww.Having a picture of your pet is totally acceptable. Indeed, it is infinitely better than one of your partner.Animal from the internet doing a cute thingImage: via Pleated JeansYou’re probably the best person ever. Proceed.Yourself
The PlayStation VR is one of the hottest items in gaming right now and is sure to be one of the most sought-after items. For those looking to purchase the PSVR for themselves or a loved one, though, it’s a bit more complicated than the usual affair of buying a platform. This gift guide will help show you the must-have items needed to set up a PlayStation VR, and some of our favorite games and accessories for it to make your experience the best it can be.PlayStation VR HeadsetTo get cracking with your PlayStation VR experience you’ll need a PlayStation 4 console and the headset itself. This is the unit containing the screen and lenses you’ll look through, the co-processor unit for the PlayStation 4, and the headphone jack that outputs 3D audio. This is one sleek looking product and with an adjustable headband and the ability to slide the lens and display unit forward and backward, everyone in the family can find a comfort zone to jump into the world of VR.$399.99 at Best Buy. Buy It Here.PlayStation CameraThis is the second piece of hardware required for the base PlayStation VR experience. The camera sets on top of your television or monitor and tracks the movements of the lights placed about the headset. This translates the movement of your head into action in the game. The head tracking is one of the things that makes the feel of the PSVR so immersive. You can also use the PlayStation Camera to auto log-in to your PSN account when you start your system, or to include a video of yourself if you’re streaming live.$41.99 at Amazon. Buy It Here.PlayStation MoveThe PlayStation Move isn’t required for most PlayStation VR compatible games, but if a game offers an option to use the Move, your experience will almost always be better for it. Like the lights mounted on the PSVR headset translate your head movement into the game, the glowing orbs on the top of each PlayStation Move controller translate your hand movements into actions in-game. Simple actions like shooting a gun, or picking up objects in games are endlessly fascinating when using the Move controllers, and they complete the experience for me.2-Pack for $99.99 at Amazon. Buy It Here.Power A Charge and Display StandThe Power A Charge and Display Stand is officially licensed by Sony and is a perfect place to display your PSVR instead of leaving it awkwardly lying around somewhere. Once you find a right place for your stand, you can charge a PlayStation 4 DUALSHOCK 4 controller and two PlayStation Move controllers with the base, and feel confident that your PlayStation VR is in a safe and secure place.$39.09 at Amazon. Buy It Here.PlayStation 4 Platinum Wireless HeadsetThe earbuds included in the PlayStation VR base package are adequate, but for those times when you really want to be fully immersed in a game, over-the-ear headphones are the way to go. The PlayStation VR at first glance might seem like it would get in the way of a big set of headphones, but even large sets fit over your ears well without awkwardly fitting over the headset. Sony’s upcoming PlayStation 4 Platinum Wireless Headset not only connects via Bluetooth to any compatible device, but the included 3.5mm cord also allows you to connect them to the PSVR for superb 3D sound.$159.99 at Amazon. Buy it Here.PlayStation 4 ProIf you haven’t pulled the trigger on PlayStation 4 yet, or you’re looking to upgrade your current PS4 for 4K gaming, better textures and framerates in games, more hard drive space, and better VR performance, the PlayStation Pro is the product for you. While the base PlayStation 4 works just fine with the PlayStation VR, the PlayStation 4 Pro is ideal for those who want to commit a lot of time to VR releases or those that have upgraded their TV to a 4K model.$429.99 at Amazon. Buy It Here.Until Dawn: Rush of BloodThis game emphasizes some of the coolest things the PSVR is capable of. This on-rails shooter has you traveling through a very creepy, very deadly carnival, and gives you a great chance to use the PlayStation Move to control the gameplay. Plenty of jump scares, bizarre creatures, and carnage await you in Until Dawn: Rush of Blood and it’s a must-play launch title.$19.00 at Amazon. Buy It Here.PlayStation VR WorldsPlayStation VR Worlds gives you access to five different VR experiences that act as an excellent introduction to the PSVR platform. You’ll trade gunfire with crooks during “London Heist,” descend to the ocean depths in “Ocean Decent,” street luge at perilous speeds in “VR Luge,” explore a nebula filled with ancient starship wrecks in “Scavengers Odyssey,” and play the future of sports in “Danger Ball.” Each of these experiences is a great way to jump into the world of VR, and are an extraordinary experience for someone trying VR for the first time.$34.95 on Amazon. Buy It Here.Job SimulatorIn a future where robots do all the manual labor, the idea of a job will be a mysterious and intriguing thing for humanity. Job Simulator by OWLCHEMY LABS, INC. gives you, as a future human, a way to experience the ancient idea of the job without actually getting your hands dirty, or at least a robot’s interpretation of what jobs used to be like. You can work in an office, a convenience store, as an auto mechanic, and more, and with the PlayStation Move, stacking, throwing, and generally creating chaos with mundane items has never been so fun!$29.99 on PlayStation Network. Buy It Here.Rez InfiniteRez is a cult classic on-rails shooter/music/rhythm game that was a no-brainer for conversion to VR. The trippy visuals are meant to portray diving into a computer system, and the excellent soundtrack is complimented by the sound effects made each time you fire your weapon and take down an enemy. Rez Infinite not only converts the entire original game to VR, but it also adds a new level, Area X, that takes the game off the rails and lets you freely explore and take down enemies in an entirely new world.$29.99 on PlayStation Network. Buy It Here.
SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Law enforcement officials today were asking for the public’s help in locating and identifying the suspect involved in two separate armed robberies this month. San Diego County Crime Stoppers was offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information on the man, who’s believed to have robbed a Game Stop in Serra Mesa on Dec. 19 and a Subway in Kearny Mesa four days later, according to the organization.The man is also believed to have been spotted at another Game Stop on the same day as the Subway robbery.Around 10:30 a.m. on Dec. 19, the suspect entered the Game Stop store on Murphy Canyon Road south of Aero Drive, where he lifted his shirt to display a silver revolver in his waistband and demanded money from the register, according to the Crime Stoppers news release.The clerk complied, and the man left the store on foot. Around 9:20 a.m. on Dec. 23, a man believed to be the same suspect entered the Game Stop on University Avenue east of 44th Street. An employee recognized the man from the earlier robbery and told another worker to call security.The suspect escaped from the store on foot. The same day, at about 11:20 a.m., it’s believed that the same suspect entered a Subway restaurant near the intersection of Clairemont Mesa Boulevard and Mercury Street.He “simulated” that he had a gun in his waistband and demanded money from the register. The clerk complied, and the man again escaped on foot.The suspect was described as a Hispanic man in his early 30s, about 5-feet-7-inches to 5-feet-9-inches tall and 180 to 200 pounds.In the first case, he was wearing a white construction hat, construction glasses, a dark-blue or black bandana on his head underneath the hat, black pants and black tennis shoes with white soles, Crime Stoppers said.During the second and third cases, the suspect was wearing an Anaheim Angels baseball cap, sunglasses, a dark-colored shirt, black pants and gray tennis shoes. He was also wearing an orange construction vest in the first and third robberies. Crime Stoppers in search of robbery suspect, offers reward for info December 27, 2018 KUSI Newsroom Categories: KUSI, Local San Diego News Images provided by Crime Stoppers. Posted: December 27, 2018 KUSI Newsroom, FacebookTwitter
Wednesday, May 2Thursday, May 3 Monday, April 30Tuesday, May 1 Friday, May 4Saturday, May 5(NOTE: The above information is from Big Teams.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email email@example.com. WILMINGTON, MA — Below is the Wilmington High School Sports Schedule for the week of April 29, 2018.Sunday, April 29 Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedWilmington High School Varsity Sports Schedule (Week of April 24)In “Sports”Wilmington High School Varsity Sports Schedule (Week of April 10)In “Sports”Wilmington High School Varsity Sports Schedule (Week of May 2)In “Sports”
Hyderabad: As the Working Committee of the All India Congress Committee would be meeting in next week to select the successor for outgoing president Rahul Gandhi, the State Congress leaders are engaged in a guessing game over the new president and the changes to come. Ending the month-long uncertainty over his continuation as president of AICC, Rahul Gandhi has resigned to his post officially on Wednesday and asked the CWC to select his successor. Also Read – Kolkata artists giving final touches to 24 ft clay Ganesh idol Advertise With Us State Congress leaders who expected that Rahul would withdraw his resignation and continue in his post are shocked with his decision to resign and are getting ready to adapt to the new regime. As the CWC is going to select the new president, they are speculating on the future leader of the party. Several leaders of Congress are speculating that one of the senior leaders including former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, veteran leader Motilal Vora, former Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and former leader of opposition in Lok Sabha Mallikarjuna Kharge may become the new president. Also Read – Hyderabad: Cloth bags, anyone? Advertise With Us Some leaders are not denouncing the chances of selecting Ghulam Nabi Azad as president. It is also speculated in that a presidium like arrangement may be made at the helm of the affairs of the party. However, they are getting ready for the regime change and speculating on the possible changes to come under the new president or new leadership arrangement. Advertise With Us All India Congress Committee (AICC) official spokesperson Dasoju Sravan told The Hans India that the new president would have to face several issues of the party. He said there was a need to establish an effective communication system in the party. The messages should be transmitted from the top to the bottom and vice versa. There should be a clearly defined organisational structure in the party. Since the Congress is the largest political entity in the world, an effective human resource management system is required, he said. The party personnel should be trained to meet the challenges, he added. Sravan said the party should have good contact with the people to explain the need of the Congress in the present circumstances.
The government on Monday launched a dedicated website for the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna (PMJDY) available both in English and Hindi versions.As on Oct 22, a total of 6.47 crore accounts have been opened with a deposit of Rs.4,813.59 crore under the scheme.G.S. Sandhu, secretary in the department of financial services (DFS) in the finance ministry, Monday launched the dedicated website — www.pmjdy.gov.in.It consists information on administrative structure with contact details of central, state, district-level mission directors, nodal officers monitoring implementation of the PMJDY, information of latest events, latest circulars issued under the scheme, links with social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter, said an official press release.Till now, the details and other related information regarding the PMJDY were being disseminated through a link provided on the DFS website.The mission document, account opening forms in Hindi and English, progress reports on account opening, RuPay cards issued etc. bank-wise, state-wise, as well as national and state-wise toll free numbers are available on the website.The PMJDY, an ambitious programme on financial inclusion to cover all unbanked households in India by Jan 26, 2015 was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi Aug 28.On an average, 1,15,000 bank accounts are being opened every day.
Deutsche Bank will pay $425 million fine to settle charges that it allowed traders to engage in a money laundering scheme using “mirror trades” that improperly shifted $10 billion out of Russia.Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse settle multi-billion dollar lawsuits over US mortgage probeAfter violations of New York anti-money laundering laws involving a “mirror trading” scheme among the bank’s Moscow, London and New York offices, Deutsche Bank will now be forced to hire an independent monitor for compliance-related issues.Mirror trading entails the concept of copying somebody else’s trades and strategies and profiting from that. Once a strategy by a pro is linked with a client’s account, all the signals sent by the strategy will be automatically applied to the client’s brokerage account. No intervention is required by the client as all the account activity is controlled by the platform. The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) said its investigation found that the bank missed numerous opportunities to detect, investigate and stop the scheme due to extensive compliance failures, allowing the scheme to continue for years. Separately, the US Department of Justice is also investigating the matter. ReutersFinancial services superintendent Maria Vullo said: “In today’s interconnected financial network, global financial institutions must be ever vigilant in the war against money laundering and other activities that can contribute to cyber crime and international terrorism.” The DFS found that operating through the equities desk at the Moscow branch, certain clients of the bank purchased Russian blue chip stocks, always paying in rubles. Shortly thereafter, a related counterparty would sell the identical Russian blue chip stock in the same quantity and at the same price through Deutsche Bank’s London branch. The selling counterparty was typically registered in an offshore territory and would be paid for its shares in US dollars. At least 12 entities were involved, and none of the trades demonstrated any legitimate economic rationale. The New York regulator said this Russian mirror-trading scheme occurred while the bank was on clear notice of serious and widespread compliance issues dating back a decade.”The offsetting trades here lacked economic purpose and could have been used to facilitate money laundering or enable other illicit conduct, and today’s action sends a clear message that DFS will not tolerate such conduct,” it said.
In this file photo taken on 5 August 2018, drought-displaced Afghan children look out from their tent at a camp for internally displaced people in the Injil district of Herat province. Photo: AFPAfter a year of record bloodshed, Afghans are bracing for an even deadlier 2019 with the threat of a US drawdown and a looming presidential vote likely to fuel violence.President Donald Trump’s plan to slash the number of US soldiers in Afghanistan before negotiators have struck a peace deal with the Taliban has crushed hopes among many Afghans for an end to the 17-year conflict.The news, which the White House has not confirmed, capped an annus horribilis for the war-weary country which by some estimates has overtaken Syria as the world’s deadliest conflict zone this year.Ordinary Afghans, who have long borne the brunt of the relentless fighting, told AFP they felt increasingly despondent about the future as the Taliban and the Islamic State group adapt to ramped up security to carry out almost daily attacks on civilians and security forces.”It is getting worse every day,” said electrical engineering student Mohammad Hussain in Kabul, one of the deadliest places in the country for civilians.”The security we had four or five years back was better than now. Even when we don’t have attacks in Kabul, we are waiting for something to happen.”Zabihullah Shirzad, who owns a garbage collecting company in the Afghan capital, said he could not remember a bloodier year than 2018 and predicted 2019 would be even deadlier.”We will see more killing and bloodshed,” the 42 year old said.”I am not optimistic about the peace talks.”Their gloomy comments reflect the findings of a Gallup poll published in October, which showed an unprecedented level of pessimism among Afghans.And an Asia Foundation study in December suggested more than 60 per cent of Afghans thought the country was moving in the wrong direction — unchanged from a year earlier.’Very bad year’Several key indicators show Afghan security locked in a downward spiral, underscoring their negativity.Civilian deaths hit a record high in the first half of the year, while the Taliban are slaughtering Afghan forces in greater numbers than ever before.This year was also marked by some of the deadliest suicide attacks since the start of the war in 2001, including an ambulance bomb blast that targeted a crowded street in Kabul in January, killing more than 100 people and wounding hundreds more.The bloodshed was exacerbated by Trump’s more aggressive strategy for Afghanistan, which he reluctantly announced in August 2017, putting thousands more US boots on the ground and giving its air units greater leeway to go after the Taliban and IS.One estimate puts the number of conflict-related deaths at more than 40,000 this year — almost equal to the combined total for Syria and Yemen — according to data compiled by the US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project.Afghanistan also took the unenviable title of deadliest country in the world for journalists, with 15 media workers killed, including AFP chief photographer Shah Marai and AFP driver Mohammad Akhtar.Adding to the misery was the worst drought in recent history, which forced more than 250,000 people to abandon their homes, overwhelming humanitarian agencies as they struggled to provide enough food and shelter.Thousands of displaced families have set up makeshift tents on the edge of cities, and some are even selling their young daughters into marriage to repay debt or buy food.”It was a very bad year — the situation has not improved at all,” said Thomas Ruttig, co-director of Afghanistan Analysts Network.Pain of warSome observers saw positive signs that, if the circumstances are right, could translate into good news in 2019.An unprecedented three-day ceasefire in June was widely celebrated by Afghans taking selfies and sharing ice cream with Taliban fighters, seemingly underscoring the desire for peace on both sides.And the insurgents’ apparent willingness to meet with US officials as part of a push for peace talks in recent months could bode well for a deal, said Lotfullah Najafizada, director of Afghanistan’s largest private broadcaster Tolo News.”I think Afghanistan will pass 2019 with some success. I hope it will be a historic year,” Najafizada said.But slashing US troop numbers — which many fear would be a harbinger for a full withdrawal — before any deal is struck could trigger a civil war “with a regional dimension”, warned Davood Moradian, director general of the Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies.Ruttig said Washington should put Afghanistan’s need for peace ahead of its own desire to pull out troops and save money.”They are as much a part of the problem as they could be the solution,” he said, describing US policy in Afghanistan as “dysfunctional”.Another spoiler in 2019 could be Afghanistan’s presidential election, originally scheduled for 20 April but now likely to be pushed back to the summer.The vote, which president Ashraf Ghani plans to contest, could unleash a similar wave of violence that marred October’s shambolic and bloody parliamentary election.But after so many years of war, Afghans are “more resilient” and the country would survive, Moradian said.”Many Afghans have learned to live with the chronic pain of war,” he said.”That pain does not stop them pursuing a normal life.”
Kolkata: Bengali film ‘Abyakto’ focusing on the complex relationship between a mother and son has been selected for the Indian Language Competition Section of 24th Kolkata International Film Festival, the producers said in a statement Wednesday. The Indian Language Competition Section is one of the sections in the Competition Category of 24th KIFF 2018 with the other categories being International Competition, Innovation in Moving Images, Competition on Indian Language’s Films, Asian Select (NETPAC Award) and Competition on Indian Documentary Films. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life This edition of KIFF will be held from November 10 – 17 in the state-run auditorium Nandan and some other theatres across the city. Directed by young film maker Arjunn Dutta, ‘Abyakto’ has an ensemble cast of Arpita Chatterjee, Adil Hussain, Anubhav Kanjilal, Samontak Dyuti Maitra and others, the statement said. Besides being screened in KIFF’s competition category, ‘Abyakto’ has also been selected in the Indian Panorama section of the 49th International Film Festival of India, the producers said in a statement Wednesday. The film to be commercially released this year is focused on the complex relationship between a mother and son.
Windows 10 updates: KB4489894, KB4489890, KB4489888 and KB4489889 by Martin Brinkmann on March 20, 2019 in Windows – Last Update: March 20, 2019 – 10 commentsYesterday was the third Tuesday of the month and that means, usually, that Microsoft releases another batch of cumulative updates for various versions of Windows 10.Microsoft released the updates KB4489894, KB4489890, KB4489888 and KB4489889 yesterday for Windows 10 version 1803, 1709, 1703, and 1607 respectively. The update for the current version of Windows 10, Windows 10 version 1809, is delayed as usually.The updates share most of the improvements and fixes. The updates can be downloaded manually from the Microsoft Update Catalog website or installed by running a manual check for updates. It is recommended to sit them out unless you are affected by the issues that they fix.Windows 10 version 1803 — KB4489894New version: OS Build 17134.677Support link: KB4489894Windows Update Catalog link: KB4489894The update includes the following fixes and improvements:Time zone information update for Kazakhstan, Buenos Aires, Argentina, São Tomé and Príncipe.Fixed an issue that prevented Microsoft Office updates from downloading from the Microsoft Store.Additional Japan New Era fixes.Fixed an Access 97 database issue if tables or columns have custom properties (stops the operation).Addressed an issue that caused devices to stop sporadically if East Asian languages were used.Fixed an issue that caused laptop screens to remain black when resuming from sleep.Fixed the Group Policy “Turn off app notifications on the lock screen”.Addresses an issue that may prevent users from signing in and cause account lockouts when using the App-V client to start applications. Fix involves changing a Registry Key:Setting: UseDcForGetUserInfoPath: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\AppV\Shared\Type: REG_DWORDValue: Setting the following DWORD to nonzero will enable the solution.Fixed an unlocking issue using smart cards that prevented users from unlocking the device under certain circumstances.Fixed an issue that caused the authentication credentials dialog from appearing in Enterprise environments.Fixed a server or client restart issue when attempting to log in using a smart card.Addressed an issue that listed multiple device entries for a single hybrid domain joined device.Addresses an issue that removes the ALLOWCLSIDS policy from the policy XML file when you run the Add-SignerRule for Windows Defender Application Control.Fixed an issue that prevented smart cards from working properly in conjunction with Citrix 7.15.2000 Workstation VDA software.Fixed an authentication issue that caused Windows Account Manager to fail.Fixed an issue that caused certification renewals to fail.Added new Group Policy “Enable Windows to soft-disconnect a computer from a network” which determines how Windows should disconnect from a network when it determines that the computer should not be connected to the network anymore.Path: Computer Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\Network\Windows Connection ManagerEnabled: Windows will soft-disconnect.Disabled: Windows disconnects immediately.Not configured: Same as Enabled.Fixed issue for “Stop 0x133″ in NTFS.sys.Fixed an issue that made Windows reuse an expired Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) lease if the lease expired during shutdown.Fixed an issue with Virtual Machine Management Service to stop working.Fixed an issue in which the graphics device interface (GDI) DeleteObject() caused the calling process to stop working.”Seamless” integration with Microsoft Cloud App Security (MCAS) for Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection customers.Enhances automated investigation and remediation, including memory forensics, for Windows Defender ATP customers.Addresses minor issues with unknown options (unknown OPT) in the Extension Mechanisms for DNS (EDNS) for the Windows DNS Server role.Known issues:MSXML6 may cause applications to stop responding if “an exception was thrown during node operations”.Microsoft is working on a solution.Custom URI Schemes for Application Protocol handlers may not start the corresponding application.Enable Protected Mode in Internet Explorer for local Intranet and trusted sites.Go to Tools > Internet Options > Security.Select “Local Intranet” and “Trusted Sites”Enable Protected Mode.Stop error may be thrown when using Secure Shell from Windows Subsystem for Linux with agent forwarding using -A or configuration settings.Disable forwarding of the authentication agent connection.After installing this update, there may be issues using the Preboot Execution Environment (PXE) to start a device from a Windows Deployment Services (WDS) server configured to use Variable Window Extension.Run from an elevated command prompt: Wdsutil /Set-TransportServer /EnableTftpVariableWindowExtension:NoOpen Windows Deployment Services, expand servers, right-click WDS server and open properties, clear Enable Variable Windows Extension on TFTP tab.Set the Registry key HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\WDSServer\Providers\WDSTFTP\EnableVariableWindowExtension to 0.Restart.If you enable per font end-user-defined characters (EUDC), the system will stop working and a blue screen will appear at startupWindows 10 version 1709 — KB4489890New version: OS Build 16299.1059Support link: KB4489890 Windows Update Catalog link: KB4489890The improvements, fixes and known issues match those of KB4489894 for the most part.The following improvements are unique to this update:Addressed an issue that causes the “Windows created a temporary warning.” message to appear if you create a page file on a drive with FILE_PORTABLE_DEVICE characteristics.Addressed an issue that causes the user interface (UI) to stop responding for several seconds when you scroll a window while many child windows are open.Addressed an issue with Microsoft Outlook profiles on devices that are domain joined and workplace joined. Creation of new Microsoft Outlook profile may fail, or created Microsoft Outlook profiles may fail to work later.The update shares known issues with KB4489894. Issue 3 is not listed, the rest are.Windows 10 version 1703 — KB4489888New version: OS Build 15063.1716Support link: KB4489888Windows Update Catalog link: KB4489888Improvements are shared for the most part (but fewer). Microsoft lists three known issues for this update (MSXML6, Custom URI Schemes, and EUDC).Windows 10 version 1607 — KB4489889New version: OS Build 15063.1716Support link: KB4489889 Windows Update Catalog link: KB4489889 The update shares fixes with the other updates. There are some unique ones, however:Addressed a reliability issue in dxgkrnl.sys.Addressed an issue that caused a yellow exclamation mark to appear in Windows Device Manager on human interface devices (HID).Addressed an issue that caused the touch screen to stop working after a restart.Addressed an issue that prevented App-V applications from starting and generated the error “0xc0000225”.Setting the value of HKLM\Software\Microsoft\AppV\\MAV\Configuration\MaxAttachWaitTimeInMilliseconds to a non-zero value resolves the issue. The max is 10,000.Addressed an issue that caused certificate renewal to fail when using CERT_RENEWAL_PROP_ID with the ICertPropertyRenewal interface.Addressed an issue that prevented users from receiving all the available Windows updates using the Unified Write Filter (UWF) servicing mode while UWF is enabled.Addressed an issue in the Microsoft Service Control Manager (SCM) component that caused a system to stop responding at startup.Addressed an issue in Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS) that caused a duplicate relying party trust to appear in the AD FS management console.Fixed an issue with previous versions of files becoming unavailable.Fixed an issue that caused a long delay when resuming from hybrid sleep.Addressed an issue in a Storage Spaces Direct environment that led to an error at shutdown during a “restart in a loop” scenario.Addressed an issue that caused a cluster to stop working when a file share witness became read-only.Addressed an issue that occured when updating cluster nodes one by one. If you restarted a node at a lower patched level, the node at a higher patched level became unexpectedly quarantined.Addressed a high Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) Web Application Proxy (WAP) latency issue (over 10,000ms) that occured while Extranet Smart Lockout (ESL) was enabled on ADFS.Enables activation of insider builds of Windows 10 Enterprise for Virtual Desktops in Microsoft Azure.Addressed an issue in which the Policy Replication Status report in the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC) consistently displayed one less domain controller than was present in the entire domain or a specific Group Policy.Addressed a character limit issue in the “Settings Page Visibility” Group Policy in the following policy path: “User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Control Panel”.The update shares the known issues MSXML6, CustomURI Schemes, Preboot Execution Environment (PXE), and EUDC. Microsoft lists the following unique issues:For hosts managed by System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM), SCVMM cannot enumerate and manage logical switches deployed on the host after installing the update.Run mofcomp on Scvmmswitchportsettings.mof and VMMDHCPSvr.mof.Follow the best practices while patching to avoid a stop error in vfpext.sys in an SDN v2 environment (NC managed hosts).Cluster service may fail to start with the error “2245 (NERR_PasswordTooShort)” if the group policy “Minimum Password Length” is configured with greater than 14 characters.Internet Explorer 11 may have authentication issues.Now You: Did you install any of these updates?SummaryArticle NameWindows 10 updates: KB4489894, KB4489890, KB4489888 and KB4489889 DescriptionMicrosoft released the updates KB4489894, KB4489890, KB4489888 and KB4489889 yesterday for Windows 10 version 1803, 1709, 1703, and 1607 respectively.Author Martin BrinkmannPublisher Ghacks Technology NewsLogo Advertisement
DEAL OF THE DAY Close Microtektites mounted on micropaleontology slides. Researchers found microtektites perfectly preserved inside fossilized clams that were recovered from a quarry in Florida. According to analysis, the microtektites were formed from a powerful meteorite impact millions of years ago. ( Meyer, et al. | In Meteoritics And Planetary Science ) Researchers analyzing fossilized clams unearthed from a quarry in Sarasota County in Florida made an unusual discovery: dozens of tiny, silica-based glass beads.These glass beads are forged under extreme heat, typically through volcanic or industrial activity. However, the researchers suggested that these ancient spheres were produced by a powerful meteorite impact.They are called microtektites: particles that form when an object from space slams into the Earth, sending molten debris into the atmosphere where it cools and recrystallizes before falling into the ground. The researchers said that these are the first documented microtektites in Florida and possibly the first to be found inside a fossilized clam. Ads by Amazon All ⓒ 2018 TECHTIMES.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission. Bestseller ENDS IN Ads by Amazon AllVideo On Demand: Rent or BuyClothing & AccessoriesMajor AppliancesArts, Crafts & SewingAutomotiveBaby & NurseryBeauty & GroomingBooks & TextbooksCollectible CoinsCamera & PhotoCell Phones & AccessoriesClassical MusicComputers, Tablets & ComponentsBlu-Ray & DVDElectronic Components & Home AudioEntertainment CollectiblesVideo GamesOther Gift Card BrandsGrocery & Gourmet FoodPatio, Lawn & GardenHealth & HouseholdBusiness & Industrial SuppliesJewelryKindle StoreKitchen & DiningMagazinesMiscellaneousDigital MusicCDs & VinylMusical InstrumentsOffice & School SuppliesPet Food & SuppliesPatio, Lawn & GardenShoes, Handbags, Wallets, SunglassesSoftwareSports CollectiblesSports & FitnessHome ImprovementToys & GamesVHSVideo GamesWatches Search Unusual Glass Beads Trapped In Fossilized ClamsThe microtektites were discovered by Mike Meyers from the University of South Florida in 2006. He and other students were sent to collect fossils from the quarry. He pried open fossil clams, washed the sediment trapped inside, and found the glass balls.”They really stood out,” he said in a press release. “Sand grains are kind of lumpy, potato-shaped things. But I kept finding these tiny, perfect spheres.”Meyer found a total of 83 glass balls, all of which are smaller than a grain of salt. He kept the objects inside a box for more than a decade, but his curiosity persisted. A couple of years ago, he began investigating what these glass balls actually were and where they came from.He analyzed the elemental makeup and the physical features of the glass balls. He compared them to other microtektites, volcanic rock, coal ash byproducts of industrial processes. Meyer concluded that the glass balls had extraterrestrial origins.Ancient Cosmic PearlsFurther analysis revealed that the glass balls have traces of “exotic metals” further supporting the claim that the objects were forged from a meteorite impact.Roger Portell, who was also involved in the project, explained how the microtektites likely ended up inside the fossilized clams. He said that as clams die, fine sediment and particles settle inside. As time passes by and more sediments settle on top of the clam, they close, trapping the objects inside it to be preserved.Inside the fossilized clams, the researchers also found crabs and fish skeletons.The researchers plan to date the microtektites. Portell estimated that the glass balls are around 2 to 3 million years old.Details of the discovery were published in the Meteoritics and Planetary Science. TAG fossilized clam, Meteorite, microtektites
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Drew Stanton (5) scrambles from San Francisco 49ers defensive end DeForest Buckner (99) during the second half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact While he got his Pythagoreans confused, ESPN New York radio host Don Le Greca would likely wince at ESPN writer Bill Barnwell’s piece about what Pythagorean expectation statistics say about NFL teams midway through the season.Arizona Cardinals fans might as well.The Pythagorean expectation — not the basic geometric formula called the Pythagorean theorem that Le Greca cites — says Arizona’s 4-4 record is the second-highest above the projections in the NFL, trailing the Miami Dolphins. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires … since 2001, no team has averaged fewer than four points per red zone trip, which leaves the Cardinals in danger of becoming part of the historical record with Drew Stanton taking over at quarterback.Can the Cardinals buck the gulp-worthy projections moving forward? The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo 0 Comments Share Top Stories Miami’s four wins are 1.9 more than the Pythagorean-projected 2.1 wins, while the Cardinals’ four are 1.6 wins more than the 2.4 predicted by the formula.Eight or nine games don’t sound like much, but when you consider that we’ve seen more than 1,000 total snaps from most NFL teams, the sample is bigger than it seems on the surface. Stats aren’t going to tell the whole story, but by using the right stats, we can gain some meaningful insight into what has happened this season. More important, we might even be able to muster up an idea of what’s going to happen next.…Biggest takeaway: The Dolphins and Cardinals aren’t as good as their .500 records …Looking at other statistics might explain why the Cardinals overachieved relative to the analytics.Despite continued special teams woes, Bruce Arians’ crew is tied with the Washington Redskins for a league-best 3-0 record in games decided by a touchdown or less.Going further down Barnwell’s list of key statistics at the mid-point of 2017, Arizona ranks second-worst with 3.83 points scored per red zone trip. That’s a bit better than the league-worst Cleveland Browns (3.58) and far from the league-best Green Bay Packers (5.77).
A recent poll conducted by the insurance company InsureandGo suggests around 200,000 bags are lost or misplaced each month at UK airports. Meanwhile globally, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), 42 million pieces of luggage are mishandled. Presumably the debacle at Heathrow’s T5 has not helped these statistics and lost bags are becoming a significant issue for travellers. T5 has been so poor in fact, that some insurance companies are now adding exclusions to their policies if you’re planning on flying from T5, so compensation will be even harder to claim.As such, you should read the terms of your insurance policy carefully since you may well find that luggage and personal items inside are not covered. For example, I’ve just bought a yearly travel policy with, coincidentally, Insureandgo who offered very reasonable rates. But the wording of the policy (which I read just prior to starting this piece thereby ignoring my own advice) is a bit vague: I think my luggage is covered, but I wouldn’t swear to it. What I am certain of however, is that the total compensation pay-out which insurance companies offer for a lost piece of luggage tends to be comparatively low, so a decent set of clothes (not mine obviously) could well exceed the limit. Additionally, individual items within luggage are usually limited to a few hundred pounds – in my policy £200 – so do not pack cameras, laptops and other valuables into checked-in bags. Indeed, on closer inspection of my policy, they say they will not cover “Loss, theft or damage to valuables not carried in [my] hand luggage while [I am] travelling.” This presumably means I can only put complete rubbish in my suitcase – which is fine, because my clothes are. At this point, you might be thinking you can claim compensation from the airline instead. Under the terms of the Warsaw Convention you can, but not if the airline can show they took all reasonable measures to secure the arrival of your bag – though how they would do this is unclear. The compensation is around £15 per kilo of luggage so in a lightly packed bag, you might not even get the cost of the case back. Policies differ amongst airlines: I can think of one couple I know who have funded a couple of holidays with the hundreds of pounds British Airways have given to them after losing their bags for days on end. On the other hand, getting compensation out of one particular budget airline is, in my experience, well-nigh impossible – an expression springs to mind involving blood and stones.So how can you avoid the lost luggage scenario? You can’t. The answer is, don’t check your luggage in. This really is the only solution though with heavy restrictions on the size and weight of your take-on bags, you will end up travelling pretty light. Clearly this is not an option for a two week holiday, so checking your bags in, unfortunately is a “case” of entering the luggage lottery and hoping you don’t lose.According to IATA calculations, lost bags cost the airline industry around US$3.8 billion per year. Even with today’s exchange rates, this is an extremely sizeable sum and airlines are keen to cut this cost. Unsurprisingly, a techie solution seems to be the answer and companies like Siemens has been trialling Radio Frequency IDentification (RFID) technology. This has been around for years, but until recently has not been a commercially viable solution on the scale that is needed for baggage handling. Essentially Siemens describe them as “an integrated radio chip with antenna, microprocessor and a memory to record all the relevant information”. Each bag would be tagged with one of these just as barcode strips are added now. The difference is that line of sight or optical contact is not needed to identify the luggage for routing purposes, so an awkwardly placed tag would not result in a failure of identification. Tests have shown this system to be 99.9 per cent effective and for example RFID technology has been used in Hong Kong International Airport for several years now with great success. Until this system is adopted globally though, the fiasco witnessed at T5 over recent weeks will continue – with lost luggage figures spiking during the summer holidays. I do have one final idea though: a number of small auction houses round the UK sell luggage after the airports have given up trying to find the correct owners. This morally dubious practice means that potentially you could find your own lost luggage and then suffer the ignominy of having to buy back what was yours in the first place. The chances of finding your bag are slim in the extreme of course and if you were unfortunate enough to lose your things in the first place, it’s optimistic to think your luck is going to change.You may also like to readHands Free Travel – personal baggage couriers Luggage Costs – weighing you down? ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map Related10 holiday commandments you should never forgetInsurance, luggage labels, foreign currency and travel adaptors:10 holiday and travel rules you must remember .10 ways to deal with lost luggageIt can happen to anyone, even airline bosses. So following the admission by Alaska Airlines CEO, Brad Tilden, that his own airline failed to get his luggage to the same airport as him, Skyscanner offers 10 top airline luggage tips.BA introduces new bag chargesBA introduces new bag charges