HC stays order that ACs cant be ground to raise school fees

first_img(Eds: Correcting name in second para)New Delhi, Apr 21 (PTI) The Delhi High Court today stayed its single judge order which has held that installation of air conditioners (AC) in schools of the national capital cannot be a ground to hike tuition fees to pay electricity charges.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Anu Malhotra, however, was of the view that 15 per cent hike in tuition fees by school towards power charges and running of the AC system they had installed, was not appropriate.”There may be many parents who cannot afford to even pay one per cent of the enhanced fees by the schools,” the bench orally observed.It asked two city-based schools, challenging the single judge order declining their decision to hike tuition fees to pay electricity charges, whether they wanted to force the parents out of the schools.It, however, said that till the next date, it will stay the verdict of the single judge who had said that providing AC facilities in the school cannot be connected with the curricular or co-curricular activities.The division bench also directed the schools that it will not insist on parents to pay any enhanced fees till pending of the appeal before it.To this, the counsel for the two schools submitted that they have not enhanced any fees since 2015-16 academic year.The bench issued notice to the Delhi government on the schools appeal and sought their stand in this regard.The single judge ruling had come while dismissing the plea of the schools against a June 16, 2016, order of the Delhi governments Directorate of Education (DoE) holding that the 15 per cent hike in tuition fees was illegal.advertisementThe schools had challenged the order before the single judge saying, they hiked the tuition fee to meet the expenses incurred in maintaining and running the AC system and in paying electricity bills for the same, which are all recurring expenses in the nature of revenue expenses.The schools had also claimed that AC have been installed for an academic purpose, the running cost for the same is thus a revenue expense for improvement of curricular facilities.Disagreeing with the schools, the court said the DoEs order “rightly held” that the charges for the electricity bill cannot be included in tuition fees and overheads, nor it is expenses on play-ground, sports equipment, cultural activities etc. and also on co-curricular activities.The electricity bills can only be claimed under the head annual charges.The schools had also contended that if the charges can be claimed under annual charges and not tuition fees, then they have not done anything illegal.Rejecting the argument, the single judge had said, “The same does not appeal to this court, more so when there is a finding in the impugned order (of DoE) that the schools have already increased annual charges in the session 2015-2016. The school could not have further claimed the electricity charges under the head annual charges.” PTI PPS HMP ARC TIRlast_img read more

Faf du Plessis asks ICC for harsher ball tampering punishments

first_imgSouth Africa captain Faf du Plessis has called on the International Cricket Council (ICC) for harsher punishments towards players found guilty of ball tampering.The entire debate over ball tampering began when Cameron Bancroft and Australia captain Steve Smith sensationally accepted to an orchestrated ball tampering during the Cape Town Test against South Africa.While Bancroft was caught on camera tampering with the ball, he and Smith accepted it in the press conference after the end of the day’s play.Following the sensational developments and the reactions from world over, Smith, Bancroft and vice-captain David Warner received suspensions from Cricket Australia (CA).While Cricket Australia’s punishments were long and harsh, according to ICC’s rule book, Smith was suspended just for a month and 100 per cent of his match fees was deducted. For Bancroft, only 75 per cent of his match fees was cut.Also read – ‘We are good mates’: David Warner denies talk of rift with Steve SmithDu Plessis, who was a part of that fateful match, had said that the punishments given to Smith and Warner by CA were too harsh but he has now called for tougher punishments and rules from ICC.”I know they (ICC) met a while ago but it doesn’t look like anything has changed. It’s still the same rules and stuff, so they need to change that,” Du Plessis, who has twice been found guilty of ball tampering, told reporters ahead of South Africa’s tour of Sri Lanka.”The penalties needs to be harsher for ball tampering.”advertisementAlso read – Ball-tampering saga: Smith, Warner ‘paid a heavy price’, says WatsonBall tampering incidents have rocked the sport this year, prompting the ICC to contemplate stricter punishments after admitting that fines were not enough to serve as a deterrent.”I have probably said it too much but there are too many grey areas when it comes to the ICC and the rules,” the 33-year-old right handed batsman added.”One, you want clarity and, two, you want consistency and that’s definitely something that’s not been part of that body of laws for a while now.”Currently both Smith and Warner are part of the Global T20 Canada tournament. While Smith scored 61 runs on his return to help his team Toronto Nationals beat Vancouver Knights by 6 wickets, Warner was bowled out in the second ball he faced.(With Reuters inputs)last_img read more

Formula One: Ferrari say wheel rim issue caused Sebastian Vettel’s testing crash

first_imgA wheel rim issue caused Sebastian Vettel’s crash in pre-season testing, Ferrari said on Thursday.The crash at turn three of the Circuit de Catalunya on Wednesday morning was the first setback for the 2018 runners-up with a new SF90 car that has otherwise looked impressively quick and reliable.”After thorough checks we found that Seb’s off yesterday was due to a rim issue,” a Ferrari spokeswoman said.”The rim had been damaged a few seconds before by an impact with a foreign object.”Vettel’s young Monegasque team mate Charles Leclerc was testing the car on Thursday with the four-times world champion German, who was not hurt in Wednesday’s incident, due to return for the final day on Friday.The season-opening race in Australia is on March 17.Also Read | Sebastian Vettel crashes, Carlos Sainz goes fastest in pre-season testingAlso Read | Fernando Alonso to test for McLaren F1 team and assist drivers in ambassadorial roleAlso Read | Renault appoint Sergey Sirotkin as F1 reserve driverlast_img read more

Gianni Infantino re-elected as FIFA President until 2023

first_imgGianni Infantino was re-elected FIFA president unopposed at the congress of world football’s governing body in Paris on Wednesday as he claimed to have turned the organisation from being toxic and almost criminal back to its core values.Infantino’s re-election was marked by a round of applause from the congress after the statutes were changed earlier in the day to no longer require a vote if there was only one candidate for the position.The 49-year-old Swiss-Italian lawyer now has a four year mandate to try and accomplish his grandiose plans for football which were partly frustrated in his first term.He has been in charge of FIFA since February 2016, after succeeding Sepp Blatter in the wake of a damaging corruption scandal that Infantino claimed the body had now shaken off.”Nobody talks about crisis at FIFA any more or rebuilding it from scratch. Nobody talks about scandals or corruption, we talk about football. We can say that we’ve turned the situation around,” he told the congress in a lengthy speech at Paris Expo.”This organisation has gone from being toxic, almost criminal, to being what it should be an organisation that develops football and is now synonymous with transparency, integrity.””Today everything is open and transparent. It is not possible at FIFA to make hidden payments of do anything unethical with our money. There is no more place for corruption,” he claimed.Infantino said FIFA’s previously precarious financial situation was now looking rosy with the organisation’s budget increased from $5 billion to $6.4bn and reserves up from $1bn to $2.75bn.advertisementThis was despite increased spending on development projects in FIFA’s 211 member associations. FIFA spent $1.1bn in the period 2015-18 and will increase the sum to $1.75bn from 2019-2022, he added.Infantino claimed 11 areas of progress during his tenure, from financial health, women’s development, the fight against racism and a scandal-free 2026 World Cup bidding process. However, he said the implementation of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system had been his major triumph.”It’s the biggest success story. It has become an integral part of football inside one year. It doesn’t change the game, but it helps and cleans the game. It brings justice to the game. It’s not perfect but it’s very close to perfection,” he said.Infantino also used the opportunity to promote the new-look 24-team Club World Cup, which starts in two years’ time but is under threat of a boycott from Europe’s top clubs due to concerns over fixture congestion.”We know that clubs are the heartbeat of the game, they train the players. We need to offer clubs a chance to shine on a world stage and to challenge for a World Cup,” he added.Also Read | Rape case against Cristiano Ronaldo droppedAlso Watch:last_img read more

DNV GL, SDARI Introduce New Green Dolphin Bulk Carrier …

first_imgzoom DNV GL and Shanghai Merchant Ship Design & Research Institute (SDARI) have introduced the Green Dolphin 575 concept design for a handymax bulk carrier. This second design builds on the success of the handysize Green Dolphin 38 for which around 80 orders have been placed with the major share to DNV GL class.Green Dolphin 575 aims to be fuel and energy efficient, robust and reliable, operationally flexible and able to meet current and future environmental regulations. It uses technologies that are already available for commercial use, so it can meet ship owners’ current needs in tight market conditions.The Green Dolphin 575 is a 190m long Common Structural Rules (CSR) compliant handymax bulk carrier with five cargo holds. It is available in single hull standard or double-hull (open hatch) configurations.Similar to the Green Dolphin 38, the hull is designed to achieve optimal fuel efficiency without compromising on strength and operational flexibility. New for this project is that the hull’s performance in waves has also been addressed through model testing and calculations of the added resistance on a given trade route. An operating profile consisting of full load and ballast conditions at service and slow-steaming speeds was evaluated.“These design imperatives were chosen based on an extensive market analysis together with input from many ship owners and ship operators,” says Michael Aasland, Segment Director Bulk carriers, DNV GL. “We have achieved a design that has an EEDI rating 20 per cent below the IMO reference line for bulk carriers, and in keeping with IMO imperatives, the vessel is prepared for shaft torque and fuel consumption monitoring systems that support SEEMP and EEOI requirements.”Engine configuration and emission-reduction technologies have been carefully evaluated, says Mr Aasland. The Green Dolphin 575 is designed to comply with current and future expected local and global emission regulations through several different alternatives: a switch to low-sulphur fuels, the installation of exhaust-gas cleaning systems or dual-fuel operation with LNG. The core design has an efficient Tier II long-stroke, low-speed main engine and a large-diameter slow-rotating propeller. As a result, main engine fuel consumption is about 22.8 t/day at CSR condition with a 15 per cent sea margin.The vessel is prepared for cold ironing, and cargo handling operations are performed by four energy efficient electric deck cranes with variable frequency drives that reduce energy consumption, are non-polluting and maintenance-friendly. Other features include a citadel for crew protection and compliance with the revised code on noise levels on board ships.SDARI and DNV GL have used their combined and complementary expertise to deliver the Green Dolphin 575 concept design. Next, SDARI will carry out basic and detailed design to move the concept towards production. DNV GL will carry out approval in principle.DNV GL, December 3, 2013last_img read more

Man beaten up by family members of paramour

first_imgKolkata: A youth was allegedly beaten up by the family members of a girl , who reportedly had a relationship with the man.The incident happened on Friday morning at Bahadurpur of Tehatta in Nadia. According to sources, the youth alleged that the girl was in a relationship with him since the past few years. But recently the girl started avoiding him. On Friday morning, the youth went to the girl’s house and sat on a dharna with posters. Seeing him creating a scene, the girl’s family members tried to force him to leave the place. But when he refused and claimed that the girl is trying to avoid him despite they were in a relationship, the girl was questioned. The girl said she had no relationship with the youth. Later, the youth was allegedly beaten up by the girl’s family. Some locals rescued the youth and rushed him to Nazirpur primary health centre. Tehatta police station was also informed about the incident. Cops are probing the case. Till Friday night no one was arrested.last_img read more

To make police stations peoplefriendly operation Mitra to be revived in Ggn

first_imgGurugram: Announced in 2017 by Chief Minister ML Khattar, operation Mitra will be revived again in Gurugram.Under this drive, there will be special booths that will have police officers in civilian clothes and will primarily provide a total of 16 non-policing services, including issuance of character certificate, hotel registration, verification of address, passport, employee, tenant and domestic help, as well as permission for organising public events. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderMitra kaksh will be set up in DLF-1, Sohna City, Farrukhnagar, Bilaspur, Manesar, Sadar, Pataudi and Palam Vihar police stations, among others. “The main idea behind this initiative is to make people more comfortable while visiting police stations for non-policing works,” said Gurugram police commissioner Muhammad Akil. The Haryana director general of police has asked the police housing corporation for a plan on the development of the mitra kakshs. The government plans to set up 39 such booths in the city. Out of these, 10 will be developed in the first phase in around year-and-a-half. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsTo present a friendly image of itself the 2500 strong Gurugram police have begun training sessions where the emphasis is being paid on Soft skills, communication skills and etiquette training. The first of such sessions titled Operation Shriman was organised on February 28. The event was organised by DCP east, Sulochna Gajraj, Karan Goel (ACP DLF) and Usha Devi (ACP Women police station). It was attended by the SHOs of all the police stations in East Gurugram. The trainers Shveta Gupta and Prachi Batra emphasised on the advantages and importance of good and polite behaviour. The police personnel were encouraged to address the public with respect and courtesy, as this would help in improving the public’s perception of the police, resulting in a better relationship between the two. “The programmes were conceptualised by the Chief Minister who felt that the police must have present an image by which the complaint feel at easy to come to them and lodge their complaints. We want to make sure that at the end our efficiency is demonstrated not only through our work but also with our conduct and attitude,” said a senior police official from Gurugram police. The district police under this initiative had earlier unveiled Operation Namaskar in January. In this session, more than 1000 traffic cops were trained to greet violator with folded hands before levying the fine.last_img read more

Dawson Creek officials win this round against rising floodwater

first_imgDAWSON CREEK, B.C. – Officials with the City of Dawson Creek say they’ve managed to stem the rise of floodwaters in the creek at bear’s the city’s name.The City’s General Manager of Development Services Kevin Henderson said that the 17th St. Bridge has reopened after workers were able to divert some of the creek’s water. He said that maintenance workers brought in pumps to divert the flow of water over the culverts where Dawson Creek passes underneath 102nd Ave.Henderson said that the action of the pumps along with a smaller amount of snow melt that travelled downstream into the city yesterday meant crews were able to keep the flow of water from cresting any of the roads in the city. Henderson said he suspects the reason for the so-far intense snow melt is due to the higher than normal snow pack in the Peace Region this year, and because the region didn’t see a mid-winter similar to the past three winters. Henderson added that just because crews beat Mother Nature this time around, that doesn’t mean the city will be getting complacent, as there is still some time before all of the snow still blanketing the Northern Rockies is completely melted.last_img read more

Pakistan notes importance of relations with Sri Lanka

The High Commissioner highlighted that the state visit of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to Sri Lanka in January 2016, is a testimony to the fact that both countries attach great importance to this mutually beneficial relationship. He elaborated that during the visit both sides agreed to expand cooperation in the areas like higher education, industrial development, shipping, disaster management, peaceful use of nuclear technology and exchange of expertise in various areas of mutual interests.  The leadership’s decisions are being followed up vigorously with exchange of high level delegations, he added. The Chief Justice of the Islamic Republic Pakistan Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali who is currently visiting Sri Lanka, said that Pakistan attaches great importance to its relations with Sri Lanka, in both bilateral and regional context.Justice Jamali said there is a strong desire in Pakistan to further develop and promote the bilateral relationship between the two friendly countries. He also commended the government of Sri Lanka for taking admirable initiatives to promote interfaith harmony, reconciliation and national unity between all the segments of society. Justice Jamali was the chief guest at the 70th Pakistan Independence Day event held at the Pakistan High Commission in Colombo. The High Commissioner also hoisted the national flag of Pakistan and jointly cut Independence Day Cake along with the Chief guest and Children. Later, the messages of the President and Prime Minister of Pakistan were read out to the participants.The Flag hoisting ceremony was attended by a large number of participants from various walks of life including members of the Sri Lanka Pakistan Friendship Trade and Investment Association, Pakistan Sri Lanka Business Council, prominent Sri Lankan personalities, Pakistani community, High Commission officials and wide section of media. (Colombo Gazette) The High Commissioner of Pakistan in Sri Lanka, Major General (R) Syed Shakeel Hussain said that economic cooperation coupled with peaceful resolution of disputes will pave the way for a promising future for not just the south Asian region but also for the world at large.The High Commissioner said this while delivering his message on the occasion of the 70th Independence Day of Pakistan today in Colombo, says a press release from the High Commission. Shakeel Hussain said that the Government of Pakistan is actively engaged with all neighboring countries in an effort to create a peaceful neighborhood and at the same time intensifying economic engagement with all friendly countries.He underlined that Pakistan is entering into a new era of development, prosperity, peace and political stability as the Government and people are unanimous in their resolve to make Pakistan truly democratic, welfare and prosperous state.On Pakistan-Sri Lanka relations, he explained that historical and cultural links between our two peoples date back to the time when the Indus Valley and Gandhara Civilizations prospered in what is now Pakistan. He further said that Pakistan and Sri Lankan are continuing to nurture their mutually beneficial relations in diverse fields.  He added that both countries are exploring ways to broaden and deepen the economic ties, through enhancement of trade and bilateral investments, within the framework of the Free Trade Agreement as our top most priority. read more

GMOA accused of behaving worse than criminals

Sumanthiran said that the GMOA often holds the country to ransom by engaging in trade union action. The Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) was today accused of behaving worse than criminals.Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran said that the doctors in the GMOA have violated their oaths by engaging in trade union action. “If you deny medical attention to those who require it then that it criminal negligence. And when you do it to achieve your own selfish objectives I would say it is worse than criminal,” he told Parliament today. The Parliamentarian also noted that there have been instances where people have died as a result of lack of medical attention during a strike by the GMOA. (Colombo Gazette) read more

Annan condemns attack on Christian church in Islamabad as vicious terrorism

Appalled by Sunday’s grenade attack on a Christian church in Islamabad that had left several people dead and many wounded, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan strongly condemned the bombing as a “vicious act of terrorism.” A spokesperson for Mr. Annan said today that the heartless and indiscriminate killing of innocent worshipers was a “crime against humanity and religion.” “The Secretary-General offers his deepest condolences to the bereaved families of the victims,” the spokesperson said in a statement released at UN Headquarters in New York. read more

Journalists conviction in Myanmar a message that press cannot operate fearlessly –

In a statement on Monday, Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said that the convictions “send a message to all journalists in Myanmar that they cannot operate fearlessly, but must rather make a choice to either self-censor or risk prosecution.”Earlier in the day, Kyaw Soe Oo (also known as Moe Aung) and Thet Oo Maung (also known as Wa Lone) were sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment on charges of violating, according to the High Commissioner’s Office (OHCHR), the “ill-defined” Official Secrets Act.Their coverage of the Inn Din massacre by the military […] was clearly in the public interest as it may otherwise never have come to light – UN rights chief Michelle BacheletIn the statement, Ms. Bachelet also said that the two journalists’ coverage of the Inn Din massacre by the military – for which the military subsequently admitted responsibility – “was clearly in the public interest as it may otherwise never have come to light.”“I call for their conviction to be quashed and for them to be released, along with all other journalists currently in detention for their legitimate exercise of the right to freedom of expression,” underscored the UN human rights chief.Ms. Bachelet assumed her functions as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on 1 September. She succeeds Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, who held the position since September 2014.Journalists’ sentencing ‘a dark moment for Myanmar’ – UN rights expertsAlso on Monday, UN independent human rights experts on the right to freedom of expression and on the rights situation in Myanmar denounced Mr. Oo and Mr. Maung’s convictions, calling it “a dark moment for Myanmar.”“This is yet another clear signal of Myanmar’s distancing from international human rights law,” said David Kaye, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression; and Yanghee Lee, the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in the country, in a news release issued by OHCHR.“We regret that the court failed to recognise the importance of independent journalism, freedom of expression and the public’s right to know.”The experts also said that they have previously expressed their grave concerns, and urged greater press freedom after the journalists’ detention.“We urge the President to pardon the journalists, and if the case is appealed, for the court to take into account Myanmar’s human rights obligations and order their release,” they said.UN Special Rapporteurs and independent experts are appointed by the Geneva-based Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a specific human rights theme or a country situation. The positions are honorary and the experts are not UN staff, nor are they paid for their work. read more

201516 NBA Preview The Raptors Are Lucky They Play In An Awful

And here’s what’s in store for the key Raptors in 2015-16 (and beyond): If he can keep taking so many threes, and hitting them, Patrick Patterson will be a valuable kickout option. Jonas Valanciunas is just 23 and has improved his scoring rate each year he has been in the league, but the careers of some of his most comparable big men never really took off. The team’s offseason upgrades could cost Terrence Ross playing time if he doesn’t show big improvement in his fourth season. In a league enamored with dunks, layups and 3-pointers, DeMar DeRozan is a throwback — and not in a good way. He took 57 percent of his shots between 10 feet from the basket and the 3-point line last season — a career high — and hit a career-low 36 percent of them. He was Toronto’s only player to average 20 points per game, but also the least efficient scorer of any 20-point guy in the league. The Raptors need him to take better shots and share more of the offensive burden. Kyle Lowry followed up an excellent 2013-14 season with a better showing to begin last season, as the Raptors started 24-7. But his production fell off dramatically in the second half of the season, and he shot dreadfully in the playoffs. Many of the guards CARMELO sees as most similar to Lowry had already peaked by his age. DeMarre Carroll is the priciest new Raptor, at $60 million over four years. His defense and efficient shooting should help. But none of his previous five NBA teams have asked him to take many shots, and those he has taken usually have been created for him. It’s unclear whether he’ll generate the kind of offense commensurate with a $15 million average annual salary. We’re inaugurating our NBA player projection system, CARMELO, with 2015-16 season previews for every team in the league. Check out the teams we’ve already previewed here. Learn more about CARMELO here. Last season’s Toronto Raptors set a franchise record for wins for the second successive season — then exited the playoffs in the first round for the second successive season, leaving the franchise stuck at just one playoff series win in its 20-year history. So while standing pat this year might have sufficed to win the putrid Atlantic Division for the third straight season, Raptors management instead shook things up, adding new talent to complement a core of 20-somethings that includes Kyle Lowry and Patrick Patterson. The new Raptors, including DeMarre Carroll and Bismack Biyombo, should be particularly valuable in shoring up the team’s shaky defense, which was by far the worst in the postseason at preventing opponents from hitting shots. Toronto’s offense will remain its strength, though it’s not clear who leads the O and who will take the biggest shots: DeMar DeRozan, Toronto’s leading scorer last year, hits too low a percentage of his shots to be the star of a playoff team.FiveThirtyEight’s CARMELO thinks the Raptors will clear .500, but not by much, projecting them to go 44-38: Bismack Biyombo should improve Toronto’s shot-blocking, which ranked near the bottom of the NBA last season.Read more: 2015-16 NBA Previews read more

Jeremy Corbyn would be a problem for security says historian to MI5

But would the Americans share sensitive intelligence under a Corbyn administration? “I can’t imagine the special relationship being the same. But it would be part of a broader problem. Does he believe in Nato? So it’s the whole of Western defence, and not just the intelligence angle of it, that would be the problem. Nothing I have heard him say gives me any confidence – whether about his understanding of the Cold War, or of Venezuela. It is a deeply eccentric view of international relations.” For a profession whose purpose is to find out information, spies know surprisingly little about their own past. But secret agents now have no excuse not to know about their antecedents.Professor Christopher Andrew, the official historian of MI5, has charted the evolution of espionage from the Old Testament in a new book.“There was no profession that knew so little about its own history as the intelligence community did,” he says.The role of Britain’s security services is evolving, with GCHQ coming out of the shadows to defend us against cyber-hackers attempting to shut down our power stations or disrupt our markets.And were a Labour government elected, the relationship between Prime Minister and Britain’s spy agencies could become very different. Professor Christopher Andrew pictured at his house, Cambridge, UK. His book: The Secret World, a history of intelligence is published by Allen LaneCredit:Rii Schroer Prof Andrew feels there is a wide misunderstanding of what spies do. “Because espionage is the only profession in which a fictional character is many, many, many times better known than any real member of it, we have acquired a novelist’s idea that there is a constant accretion of information, rather than moments that irrevocably change history.” But there are such moments – the failure of the Armada was one. “But then two KGB assassins defected amid huge global publicity, and so in the Brezhnev era there was a period of caution, though plans continued to be drawn up but are only authorised when it looks as though they can get away with it – notably Georgi Markov” – the Bulgarian dissident killed in London by a poison-tipped umbrella in 1978.“But as soon as Putin took over he revived the tactic. He was not bothered. He mocks us in a most unusual way – in 2007 he announced that one of his atomic spies would be made a hero of Russia. It was the spy who provided the intelligence on the initiator used to explode the first US atomic bomb, and the first Russian one. That initiator was Polonium 210; and he feted this man just before Litvinenko was poisoned by Polonium 210. It just doesn’t bother him.”Putin “isn’t going to change. And the problem in dealing with him is the irreversible decline of Russia. Many bright young Russians are leaving the country – you find a lot of them at Eton – and will make their lives in the West. He is completely unreformable. They can’t make anything for the rest of the world, and their oil and gas industries are declining in importance.” “From the 1920s to the present day the Russian state has undertaken assassination out of area. Killing traitors abroad was a standard operation, mainly during the Stalinist era before the Second World War – Trotsky most famously. After the war they tried to kill Tito. Khruschev went after Ukrainian nationalist leaders in exile in Germany. To Prof Andrew, the historical perspective is essential for improving the art of intelligence. “It’s not uncommon to find people managing intelligence who have so little knowledge of the past that they don’t realise that they aren’t as good as people were a couple of hundred years before. Antoine Rossignol [who developed a system of coding] was so appreciated by Cardinal Richelieu that he was given enough money to buy a chateau at Juvisy, where he was visited by Louis XIII and Louis XIV.”He found that the French, like the British, for a long time denied the existence of such dark arts. “When I wanted to write about décryptage – breaking the codes – I was simply told that décryptage was a concept that doesn’t exist.”In England, Elizabeth I came to depend on spies – “no monarch was ever at such risk of assassination” – and valued them because “our chances of thwarting the Spanish Armada seemed, we thought, to depend on knowing when it would sail; and the Queen’s survival depended on our knowing about plots to kill her.” Her codebreaker, however, got a pension rather than a chateau. I ask him what was the most significant change espionage has wrought in history. “The Cuban Missile Crisis. It comes pretty close to thermonuclear war. If the Americans hadn’t discovered the existence of the bases until they were operational – which was what Khruschev intended – then it is likely there would have been an air strike. And it is hard to imagine how a conventional war could have been stopped from turning into a nuclear war at that point.”We discuss more recent lessons. Dodgy dossiers, he points out, have been produced on the orders of a state since time immemorial. “Stalin was very good it: it was absolutely a standard procedure.” But the mess made by Tony Blair during the Iraq War “was cock-up rather than conspiracy. American intelligence by 2003 was not a patch on how it had been in the Second World War”.Quoting the Chilcot report – of which “I do not have a high view” – he mentions a senior SIS officer who said “if we had ventilated views on Iraq’s political geography, and the impact of its history on it today, people would have told us to shut up”.Prof Andrew observes: “There was absolutely no question of learning from experience. This repeats itself more in intelligence than in any other area because the experience is less well known, and much of it classified. That is why you get major policymakers whose abilities are adequate in other ways who do so badly in matters of intelligence.” I ask him if he thinks Mr Blair knew the American intelligence was defective. “No. It just didn’t occur to them that there were no WMD. There was no doubt at all they would discover them. You just have to make a case – and once you discover them, the case is irrelevant.”He thinks the nature of the threat from Islamic fundamentalists “is far better understood than it was” but that the secularisation of western society made it hard for intelligence operatives to foresee 9/11 and some of the subsequent outrages. “Introductory lectures in history at this university have to begin by explaining basic Christian doctrine. There are so many people now for whom Christian belief is just an aberration. And so when you’re explaining why people do things, religion just doesn’t come into it. Just before the Iranian revolution no one paid any attention to Khomeini – the idea there could be a religious revolution was just unthinkable. They attempted to explain terrorism in secular terms – which was an absolutely key failure.“Bin Laden was the most homicidal poet of modern times, expressing himself in verse, as many jihadists do. No one grasped his opposition to Saudi Arabia because he expressed it in verse.” Professor Christopher Andrew pictured at his house, Cambridge, UK. His book: The Secret World, a history of intelligence is published by Allen Lane Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Now he fears a “step change” – he remembers Bin Laden’s phrase that it was a “religious duty to acquire weapons of mass destruction”.“In 2004 Islamists tried to get a dirty bomb together but they failed: but recently there have been one or two close calls. At Mosul they had a large cache of radioactive cobalt used in cancer treatment; luckily it was found intact when they were thrown out. But Islamic State won’t make that mistake again. And now the Germans have discovered the early stages of biological warfare using ricin.“My feeling is that at a tactical level we aren’t doing too badly, but strategically something is inevitable. The most likely outcome is a dirty bomb, which doesn’t take too much expertise to put together.”He feels the history of the Cold War should teach something about how to handle the Russians. “Putin is absolutely par for the course. What is crazy is the extent of embarrassment we felt initially in investigating the murder of Alexander Litvinenko. If it hadn’t been for Marina Litvinenko it would never have been examined. Prof Andrew’s interest was stirred by a Victorian children’s illustrated bible. “Until the 20th century the most popular image of espionage was of two of Moses’s spies struggling back from their mission to the promised land, reporting that it was indeed flowing with milk and honey, but carrying a bunch of grapes so big it took two people to carry them,” he says.The fascination was compounded by his PhD research, when he realised the France of Richelieu was better at breaking codes than the nation was at understanding German signals during the Great War.When he arrived at Cambridge in the early 1960s it was “full of Bletchley Park veterans, many of them historians” – none of whom would acknowledge that part of their past. “They had two separate lives: in one compartment they were researching, writing and teaching history, in another – which for some of them was the most interesting thing they ever did – was something they weren’t allowed to talk about.” But they also exemplified the lack of knowledge about the history of their profession. “The men and women at Bletchley had no idea that in the Napoleonic Wars we had broken the French ciphers, any more than those people knew how ciphers had been cracked when we faced the threat from the Armada.” Should the intelligence services have realised the threat to the Skripals? “MI6 should have entertained it as a possibility. But spotting the target isn’t straightforward.“There are many sitting targets. Putin’s view is that traitors kick the bucket.”The Secret World: A History of Intelligence, by Christopher Andrew (Allen Lane, £35), is out now, To order your copy for £30, call 0844 871 1514 or visit books.telegraph.co.uk I ask Prof Andrew, a fellow at Corpus Christi, Cambridge, for more than half a century and Emeritus Professor of Modern and Contemporary History, whether he thinks MI5 and MI6 would be reluctant to tell Jeremy Corbyn, should he become prime minister, all he ought to know.“I simply think that however unfortunate it is, the constitution has it that if the prime minister wishes to be informed, the prime minister is informed. One question is how far Corbyn would wish to be informed. It doesn’t seem a subject that engages his attention. There are some people in the shadow cabinet who have called for the closing-down of MI5.” read more

Bel Air businessman apologizes for Go Invest Elsewhere ad

A Bel Air, Georgetown, businessman has written Government, apologizing for the controversial “Go Invest Elsewhere” advertisement that was published in two local dailies earlier this month.This is according to State Minister Joseph Harmon, who revealed at the post Cabinet press briefing earlier today that businessmen Siri Persaud of Bel Air Gardens, has taken responsibility for the advertisement published on February 7 last, urging investors in Guyana to go elsewhere.In a letter addressed to President David Granger, the businessman, according to Harmon, said he was only trying to highlight his frustration with the Guyana Office for Investment (Go-invest), whom he noted failed to fairly represent him as an investor in Guyana.Minister of State Joseph Harmon“It was never meant to dissuade any investors, local or foreign, from investing in Guyana but rather to highlight shortcomings and encourage discussions concerning improvements to that investment agency,” the letter stated.The advertisement was published on the opening of the inaugural petroleum summit GIPEX which had scores of investors in attendance to explore local investment opportunities. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedSpecial Purpose Unit begins process of selling GuySuCo assets, EstatesOctober 5, 2017In “Business”THE PIPER: Advisors and PragmatismApril 3, 2016In “The Piper”Brazilian investors meet with State Minister on Oil and Gas, Public Infrastructure sectorsJuly 12, 2018In “Business” read more

Woodland unveils new names for two schools

first_imgWOODLAND — The Woodland Public Schools board announced the new names for Woodland Primary School and Woodland Intermediate School at its meeting Monday night. Starting in the 2019-2020 school year, Woodland Primary will go by Columbia Elementary School and the intermediate school will be named North Fork Elementary School.The board renamed the schools due to reconfiguration in the district starting at the same time. Woodland Primary School, a K-1 school, and Woodland Intermediate School, which houses grades 2 to 4, will both become K-4 schools next school year. That will give the district three K-4 schools, along with Yale Elementary School, while Woodland Middle School will continue to serve fifth- through eighth-graders and Woodland High School will continue as a traditional 9-12 school.last_img read more

Gavaskars criticism to Gangulys strong message Virat Kohli responds about frequent changes

first_imgVirat Kohli does not mind making changes to his playing XI on a regular basis and he does not even hesitate in tweaking personnel around even after a win. While this method is not an established one, the skipper is confident that the benefits of the side should take precedence.”We have a group discussion and then we decide what’s best for the team. There will always be opinions about the XI, but people will know that it’s in the interest of the team,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony.Kohli made few brave calls in Antigua Virat KohliBCCI TwitterWhen the skipper announced his side after the toss, there was huge surprise when R Ashwin was benched and Ravindra Jadeja was included as the lone spinner in the team. However, the left-hander vindicated the decision with a superb half-century in the first innings. He was also extremely frugal with the ball and also picked up a wicket for his efforts.India also went in with Hanuma Vihari instead of the experienced Rohit Sharma and the right-hander looked extremely solid in both the innings. This pleased the skipper who was chuffed to see all his calls bearing fruits.Kohli was also asked about the workload of Indian pacers and the skipper conceded that managing the faster bowlers was the biggest priority for him as the skipper of the side. He also said that this was the main reason why Jasprit Bumrah was rested for the limited-overs leg of the tour. File image of Indian cricket teamIANS”Bumrah’s workload is most important which is why he didn’t play any white-ball games (vs WI) after the World Cup. He will be a key factor for us as long as the World Test Championship continues,” Kohli said. “Shami is the same and Ishant is a banker, always reliable. Umesh is there too and Navdeep is waiting in the wings. We are settled as our bowling options, but managing workloads will be important,” the captain further added.He always keeps the interests of the team above any individual and the captain said that as a leader of the side, it gives him great satisfaction that all his decisions bear fruit as the players are putting their hands up and making the opportunities count.”It’s a blessing that I am in a position where I can contribute to the team in more than one way, but nothing is possible without your team. I don’t think the credit can be taken away from the team at all,” Kohli said.last_img read more

Otto Warmbiers Parents Sue North Korea Alleging Torture Of Their Son

first_img Share Photo by Reuters/PBS NewsHourThe parents of U.S. college student Otto Warmbier have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against North Korea, saying its government tortured and killed their son.Updated at 5:45 p.m. ETThe parents of an American college student who died after more than a year in North Korean custody have sued North Korea, accusing the regime of torture and mistreatment.Otto Warmbier was returned to the U.S. last June in a coma. He died soon afterward. A coroner concluded that his death was “due to an unknown insult more than a year prior to death.”North Korea has denied torturing Warmbier, whom they accused of trying to steal a poster and sentenced to 15 years hard labor. Pyongyang says the student’s coma was caused by botulism.Cynthia and Fred Warmbier, his parents, say that’s a lie.In the lawsuit, filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for Washington, D.C., they say North Korea “brutally tortured and murdered” their 22-year-old son.The Cincinnati couple accuses the regime of hostage-taking, torture, extrajudicial killing, wrongful death, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and assault and battery.“North Korea’s conduct was willful, outrageous, extreme and dangerous to human life, and violates applicable criminal law and all international standards of civilized human conduct and common decency,” the lawsuit states.The Warmbiers are asking for punitive damages. The lawsuit comes just weeks before President Trump is due to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, an extraordinary and unprecedented meeting. And it was filed just days after the administration announced that Mike Pompeo — then CIA director, now secretary of state — met with North Korea earlier this month.In general, countries are immune from lawsuits in other countries. “We prefer that disputes between sovereigns really be resolved at the diplomatic stage, as opposed to the private civil litigation stage,” law professor Stephen Vladeck of the University of Texas explained to NPR in 2016. And then there’s the question of reciprocity, he said: “Otherwise you’d have a race to the bottom where countries would hail each other into each other’s courts.”But there are exceptions — including, in the U.S., an exception for countries designated as state sponsors of terrorism. That’s what allowed Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian to sue Iran for torture in 2016.North Korea was on that list until 2008, when it was removed by the George W. Bush administration. But Trump put Pyongyang back on it in November, making the Warmbiers’ lawsuit possible.Theirs is not the first lawsuit against North Korea. Several U.S. citizens sued in the 2000s — and won default judgments, after Pyongyang declined to show up to defend the cases.The brother and son of Kim Dong Shik, a U.S. permanent resident who was abducted in China and disappeared, sued, alleging that North Korea was responsible. The U.S. District Court in D.C. ordered North Korea to pay $330 million.Relatives of two Americans who were killed in a 1972 terrorist attack in Tel Aviv sued North Korea for providing material support to the terrorist group behind the attack. The U.S. District Court for Puerto Rico awarded a judgment of $378 million.Thirty American citizens injured in or affected by a Hezbollah strike in northern Israel sued North Korea and other entities over the attack, receiving a total judgment for some $169 million.Members of the USS Pueblo and their families sued North Korea over the 1968 torture of the crew, receiving a $65 million judgment.Of course, getting a judgment is one thing. Getting money is another. Federal courts would have the right to seize North Korean assets to pay the judgments — if there were any North Korean assets on U.S. soil not already frozen.The crew of the Pueblo never managed to collect their money from Pyongyang, but they ultimately received $9 million from the U.S. Victims of State-Sponsored Terrorism fund. The relatives of the victims in Tel Aviv have attempted to collect that money by seizing North Korean assets related to the registration of Internet domains; so far, that has been unsuccessful.As for the family of Kim Dong Shik, the last entry in that case’s court docket is an attempt to mail a notice of default judgment to North Korea.The envelope was returned as undeliverable.Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

Political Roundup Second Senate Debate And HISD Leadership Changes

first_img Share To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: From Tuesday’s Senate debate between Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke, to the disappearance of a Saudi journalist, to the rescheduled debate between Congressman John Culberson and challenger Lizzie Pannill Fletcher, to the HISD Board playing politics with the interim Superintendent position, our experts break down the latest political stories with an eye for how they might affect Houston and Texas.Joining host Craig Cohen for this week’s discussion are David Branham, professor of political science at the UH-Downtown, and Mark Jones from Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. X Listen 00:00 /25:43last_img read more