The last Dogra monarch Maharaja Hari Singh is emerging as a new rallying point in Jammu, with both the Congress and the BJP pushing for declaration of a State holiday on his 125th birth anniversary on September 23.Congress Member Parliament (MP) Karan Singh, who is the son of the late Dogra king, on September 20 said there was a strong demand to declare the birthday of the Maharaja as a public holiday, and made an appeal to Governor Satya Pal Malik.“It is due to Maharaja Hari Singh that J&K became a part of India when he signed the Instrument of Accession on October 26, 1947. Apart from that, he was a progressive and far sighted ruler who instituted many social and economic reforms. For example, as far back as 1929 he had declared all temples in the State to be open for Dalits. I urge the Governor to declare this day as a pubic holiday,” said Mr. Singh.Mr. Singh’s two sons, in the past, had moved a resolution in the State’s Legislative Council on the issue. However, J&K’s main regional parties, the National Conference (NC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have been averse to the idea. Both the parties accuse the Maharaja of “anti-Muslims measures” and blame him for the killing of 22 civilians in Srinagar on July 13, 1931 outside the Srinagar Central Jail in an incident of firing. In fact, to commemorate the “sacrifices” of the 22 civilians, J&K observes a State holiday on July 13 every year.The BJP is equally supporting the initiative. The BJP’s new initiative, ‘Jan Jagran Abhiban’, will see the party hosting a number of rallies in the Jammu and Kashmir regions to highlight “the contribution of the Maharaja to the State”.“We expect senior BJP leaders to arrive in Jammu on September 22 during a Jan Jagran Abhiman rally on eve of the Maharaja’s birthday. The leaders will pay tributes to the Maharaja on the occasion. An exhibition will also be held,” said BJP leader Thakur Narayan Singh.The Jammu Bar Association has also thrown its weight behind the case for declaring a State holiday in J&K.
Banned Australian cricketer David Warner’s wife Candice has confirmed that he walked off the field while batting in a Sydney club game on Saturday after he was sledged by the brother of his dead former team mate Phillip Hughes.Warner, who is serving a 12-month ban from first class and international cricket for his role in a ball-tampering scandal, returned to the crease after a short break and then scored 157 not out for his Randwick-Petersham club.”David was taken aback by the comments and decided they went a little bit too far so he decided to remove himself from the game,” former professional ironwoman Candice Warner said on Channel Nine TV on Sunday.Also Read – David Warner joins Sylhet Sixers for Bangladesh Premier League 2019″Everyone has their opinion but I think there is a difference between sledging and abuse. What was said yesterday went too far.”It’s just a shame that this is taking from his great knock yesterday, he got 157 and he got a century a few rounds ago and he’s really enjoying playing for Randwick.”The match against Western Suburbs at Pratten Park was held up for about two minutes when Warner left the field but he returned to resume his innings by agreement with the opposition.Opener Warner was on 35 when he walked off and returned to complete a century off 179 balls before going on to make an unbeaten 157 with 12 fours and two sixes.The Western Suburbs team included Jason Hughes, whose Test playing brother was a team mate of Warner’s for Australia and New South Wales before his death as the result of being struck by a ball at Sydney Cricket Ground four years ago.advertisementCandice Warner confirmed that it was Hughes who directed the comments at her husband.Then Australia Test vice captain Warner was banned for 12 months along with his skipper Steve Smith by Cricket Australia in March for their part in the ball-tampering scandal during a Test series against South Africa.Warner, angered at apparent references to his wife’s previous relationship with another prominent sportsman, had already been involved in a series of incidents with South African players and fans before the scandal broke.For much of his international career, Warner was renowned for his own juvenile sledging and famously described as the “attack dog” of the Australia team.”David is very passionate and he is an aggressive player, that’s why he is one of the best players in the world in his position,” his wife added.”David will have to be careful when he gets back, but he won’t change his style of playing.”(With Reuters inputs)
OTTAWA — A Liberal MP says Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer should eject colleague Michael Cooper from the Tory caucus over things the MP said about online hate in a parliamentary hearing last week.Randy Boissonnault says Scheer’s refusal to boot Cooper from caucus shows there’s a “revolving door” for bigots into the Conservative party.During a May 28 meeting on the topic of online hate, Cooper quoted from the manifesto of the man charged with the mass murder in Christchurch, New Zealand in March.Cooper was arguing with a Muslim witness that conservatism should not be linked to extremist attacks like those on the two mosques in that city, which left 51 dead.On Saturday, Scheer released a statement on Twitter saying he had stripped Cooper of his place on the justice committee but considered the matter closed.Cooper’s actions in committee came the same day Scheer gave a speech in which he said bigots are not welcome in the Conservative party, saying “there’s the door” to anyone who believes race, religion, gender or sexual orientation makes them superior.The Canadian Press
APTN National NewsA new exhibit is now on display to the public at the university of Regina.The Witness Blanket is a unique display of artififacts and memories of people who were forced to attend residential schools.APTN’s Larissa Burnouf reports.
reading • President Trump wants social media to catch shooters before they strike. It’s going to be hard Aug 6 • Trump says he’s watching Google ‘very closely,’ slams CEO Sundar Pichai President Donald Trump delivered remarks on the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio Monday. Getty Images Some of the most horrific mass shootings have followed a chillingly similar script: Angry white men, driven to extremism in online forums like 8chan and Gab, post manifestos railing against minorities. When they begin to shoot, members of the message boards post responses that encourage them to kill more.President Donald Trump says it needs to stop.In a speech after two shootings left at least 31 people dead, Trump called on social media companies to identify mass shooters before they open fire.”I am directing the Department of Justice to work in partnership with local state and federal agencies, as well as social media companies, to develop tools that can detect mass shooters before they strike,” he said.In theory, predictive policing online should be possible. Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have increasingly harnessed artificial intelligence and other technology to identify and act on bad behavior as they sift through billions of posts. They’ve been able to pull down terrorist propaganda from ISIS, for example, and they have programs that can often identify child pornorgraphy automatically.People gather near white handmade crosses memorializing the victims of a mass shooting which left at least 22 people dead in El Paso, Texas. Getty Images The challenge, experts say, is that correctly identifying these lone wolves is tougher than finding overt terrorist propaganda. One reason, for example, is it’s hard to determine when a post may be preparation for a terrorist act, or merely someone spouting off.Another problem is that message boards have changed the way extremists recruit to their causes. Many of these attackers know each other only online. Some may not interact directly.”In the past, there would be a more terrestrial component to how hate groups would organize and recruit,” said Brian Levin, who runs the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino. That means they’d meet somewhere in the real world to chat or exchange propaganda.Manifestos online have taken the place of those real world connections. Manifestos reference other manifestos, effectively writing a new chapter in an expanding meta-book of hate. The writers almost always post anonymously. They rarely post overt threats because those would break the rules of most social media sites, which could get them kicked off and deprive them of a platform.”The issue is can we get to these folks who while stealth, are delivering clues, oftentimes the last of which is right before their attack,” Levin added.Not always rightOf course, Facebook and Twitter have taken action, primarily against propaganda supporting ISIS and Al-Qaeda. The social media companies have occasionally identified takedowns of white supremacist material, but haven’t provided macro data on the topic.Twitter says it suspended 166,513 unique accounts for promoting terrorism during the second half of 2018. The company credited its internal tools for flagging 91% of the accounts.”In the majority of cases, we take action at the account setup stage — before the account even Tweets,” Twitter said earlier this year.Meanwhile, Facebook said it found more than 99% of ISIS and Al-Qaeda content before it was reported by the community in the six months between April and September 2018.But experts say propaganda that lionizes terrorists is easier to identify as dangerous than an angry person spouting off about politics. And reading motive into hyperbolic tweets raises knotty questions about free speech. We can’t get to actual solutions if we keep blaming the virtual world. Brittan Heller, a fellow at Harvard’s Carr Center for Human Rights Politics Tech Industry Digital Media 33 Share your voice Tags Aug 7 • Trump’s emissions and fuel economy rollbacks will cost Americans money, study says US Tech Policy See All • Comments Jul 28 • Apple’s Q3 earnings are all about the iPhone 11 hints “When we look at what predictive policing looks like, it always results in over-policing, arrests and prosecution of communities of color,” said Brittan Heller, a fellow at Harvard’s Carr Center for Human Rights, who previously worked for the Anti-Defamation League, the US Department of Justice, and International Criminal Court. “Whenever I hear people trying to predict criminality, as a former prosecutor, it makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up,” she said.Aside from the potentially thorny civil rights issues, the technology at Facebook, Twitter and YouTube is far from perfect. Their automated computer programs have screwed up plenty of times.When Facebook put a computer in charge of selecting trending topics, it began sharing hoaxes and conspiracy theories instead of actual news stories. After a shooter killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the top trending video on YouTube accused David Hogg, a survivor, of being a “crisis actor.”AI may eventually get better at understanding hate-riddled posts. But Heller says Trump and other politicians need to look beyond technology for an answer to this growing domestic threat.”It’s less a question about the internet, and it’s more a question about gun-based violence,” Heller said. “We can’t get to actual solutions if we keep blaming the virtual world.”CNET’s Queenie Wong contributed to this report. US Tech Policy
Volkswagen, German automaker and its labour unions have agreed to layoff 30,000 people over the next five years at its VW brand. The aim of cutting the jobs is part of a plan to boost profitability and to provide funding for electric and self-driven cars post the disastrous carbon-emission scandal. Europe’s largest auto manufacturing company is trying to increase savings in its home-country, where costs are high. Volkswagen also has to shell out billions of euros in payments for the cleanup related to its carbon emission scandal, Reuters reported.The company is expected to make the announcement later during the day during a press conference, which would take place at the company’s headquarters in Wolfsburg. The unanimous decision of going ahead with job cuts follows eight months of intense negotiations and the works council and the trade union.Sources quoted by the news agency said the labour union leaders have agreed to the job cuts on a prior managment’s pledge to create new jobs and the VW’s investment in electronic cars (mainly at factories in Germany). The firm also plans to create additional 9,000 jobs by investing in electric car technology. According to a previous report in German newspaper Handelsblatt, about 30,000 jobs would be axed by 2020 in a bid to save about 4 billion euros. It also said that Volkswagen would cut 10,000 jobs outside Germany (focusing in North and South America).
Donald TrumpUS president Donald Trump on Monday promised a “historic” increase in the US defense budget as he met with state governors at the White House.“This budget follows through on my promise on keeping Americans safe,” he said.“It will include a historic increase in defense spending.”His comments come a day before he addresses a joint session of Congress, an important agenda setting event for new presidents.The New York Times reported that Trump will instruct the government agencies Monday to put together the outlines of a budget that will include deep cuts in domestic spending.Trump will need to make those cuts to pay for a military buildup and to preserve pensions and health insurance for the elderly as he promised during the campaign.
Road accident LogoTwo people were killed and seven others injured when a truck rammed a human-hauler on Lalmonirhat-Burimari highway in Aditmari upazila on Monday morning, reports UNB.The deceased Alamgir Hossain, 19, was a garment worker from Duhuli village in Kaliganj upazila, and Abdul Khaleque, was human-hauler driver and son of Rahmat Ali of the same upazila.Quoting witnesses, police said the Burimari land port-bound truck hit the human-hauler coming from the opposite direction near Palli Bidyut substation, leaving two people killed on the spot and seven others injured, said Masud Rana, officer-in-charge of Aditmari police station.The injured were taken to Sadar hospital.Police seized the truck and arrested its driver.
Del. Jill P. Carter (D) and Sen. Christopher Shank (R) . (Courtesy Photos)The Maryland General Assembly is on the precipice of passing stronger shielding protections for persons with misdemeanor criminal records. Sen. Christopher Shank (R) and Del. Jill P. Carter (D) shared this news with an audience during a recent forum on shielding and expungement protections.At the forum, “How Long Is Too Long,” held at the University of Baltimore School of Law on Jan. 12, a panel of experts, including Shank and Carter, discussed the pros and cons of shielding and expungement protections for persons with criminal convictions. Shielding laws hide past criminal convictions from persons conducting background checks, while expungement wipes the convictions from their record.The Maryland Second Chance Act, which would shield certain misdemeanor criminal convictions from background checks after a specified period, comes before the legislature this session. Shank and Carter expressed optimism about its passage in the 2015 General Assembly.Marc Mauer, executive director of the Sentencing Project, spoke at the forum about the consequences of a criminal conviction that go beyond any court ordered sentence. “When the judge says, ‘I’m sentencing you to do five years in prison,’ he or she doesn’t say that I’m going to limit your right to receive public benefits, or live in public housing, or your right to vote for periods of time, or anything like that. Nobody in the courtroom talks about that, but that in fact is what’s happening,” Mauer said.Mauer called these consequences a “life-long sentence,” and noted that communities of color and the poor are disproportionately affected.Shank said, explaining his support for the Second Chance Act, we have to rethink our approaches to criminal justice, citing high costs to the state with limited results. “We spend over a billion dollars a year [on corrections in Maryland]. That is a lot of money. That is more money than we spend on higher education in this state, it’s crowding out a lot of other spending, and our recidivism rate is still hovering around 40 to 45 percent in this state. So if I am true to my [fiscal conservative] principles . . . I would say that continuing to spend a billion dollars and then seeing this rate of recidivism means that we should be doing some things a little bit differently,” Shank said.Shank said a study showed that the risk a convicted person will commit certain crimes again matches the risk of the general population after a certain amount of time. He said this information drives his support for shielding protections for those crimes after an allotted period.Carter said while the General Assembly prides itself for being a progressive institution, it has not been progressive on criminal justice matters. This is why she believes it is important to support an incremental change – like the one the Second Chance Act represents – when one might prefer a bill, for example, that did not require a waiting period before records eligible for shielding or expungement.“We’re talking about a legislature that still has not allowed persons to expunge non-convictions [arrests not resulting in convictions]. Given that, I think we have to push forward very forcefully, but I think we have to consider some kind of a wait-period. I know how far we have been from expanding expungement and how difficult it’s been to even get [the Second Chance Act] passed, which [shields] minor, misdemeanor convictions, of little to no consequence that really probably shouldn’t be convictions that bar people from opportunities anyway,” said Carter.