Deaf Driver Shot Dead By US Police During Traffic Stop

Deaf Driver Shot Dead By US Police During Traffic Stop

MIAMI:  Authorities in the southern US state of North Carolina said on Monday they are investigating the death of a deaf man who was fatally shot after a trooper tried to pull him over for speeding.

Daniel Harris, 29, who used sign language to communicate, led trooper Jermaine Saunders on an eight-mile (13-kilometer) chase on Thursday that started on an interstate highway and ended outside his home in Charlotte, local television station WSOC reported.

The driver exited his vehicle in the neighbourhood and an “encounter took place” that led to a shot being fired, North Carolina State Highway Patrol spokesman Sergeant Michael Baker said in a statement.

The driver died at the scene, Baker said. No weapon was recovered from Harris, the State Bureau of Investigation told WSOC.

Saunders has been placed on administrative leave while investigators review evidence, including dashboard and body camera videos.

A neighbour called the shooting “totally unacceptable.”

“He didn’t even hear the siren, he didn’t hear anything… You’re pulling someone over who is deaf, they are handicapped,” Mark Barringer told WSOC.

Harris’s family has launched an online fundraiser to pay for funeral expenses.

Leftover money “will be used to set up a foundation in his name to educate and provide law enforcement proper training on how to confront Deaf people,” the family’s YouCaring.com fundraising page said.

They hoped to change drivers’ registration systems so that a “deaf” alert will show up when police look up a car’s license plate.

“With this change, Daniel will be a hero in our deaf community,” the family said.

 

[Source  NSTV]

Maine Town Transfixed By ‘Wessie,’ A 10-Foot Python Reportedly On The Loose

Maine Town Transfixed By 'Wessie,' A 10-Foot Python Reportedly On The Loose

To Maine police, a large snake on the loose is no joking matter.

Like the opening act of a B-movie creature feature, the sightings of the snake now known as “Wessie” have played out in glimpses. The first report, toward the end of June, was that a snake as long as a truck with the head the size of a softball slithered past a children’s playground in Westbrook, Maine. It disappeared into the nearby Presumpscot River. Only one witness said he saw the creature.

The police warned people to stay away, though the sighting attracted a handful of inquisitive souls to the playground.

Not all Westbrook locals were completely convinced. “That person may have seen something, but I doubt it was a big snake. You never know, though, people have crazy pets today,” Michael Diemond told WCSH 6. “A pet could have gotten away or abandoned down here.”

A few days later, two officers with the Westbrook Police Department also spotted a snake of unusual size. “The snake,” as the police department wrote on its Facebook page, “was eating a large mammal, possibly a beaver (not joking).” As it swam away, the officers estimated it to be 10 feet in length. It was 3:30 a.m., the darkness foiling the officers’ attempt to take a video.

Given the 10-foot-long estimate, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife biologist Derek Yorks concluded it was likely a python or constrictor, neither of which are native to the area. “We don’t have anything big enough to eat beavers, that’s for sure,” Yorks told the Bangor Daily News. His theory was that the animal was a pet that had outgrown its owner’s ability to keep it.

Interest in Wessie hit a fever pitch. City officials called in an unnamed animal tracker, though the self-proclaimed cryptozoologist rescheduled twice and has yet to appear.

Like many wild critters that end up in the spotlight, the snake enjoyed a healthy fandom on social media (what isn’t set in stone is a last name: it’s Wessie P. Thon on Twitter or Wessie the Presumpscot Python on Facebook). Wessie buffs took to the animal with a zeal usually reserved for sasquatches, goat-men and other cryptids. Wessie earned itself a folk song as well as a locally-brewed IPA in its name.

After a flurry of activity in June, Wessie seemed to have vanished. There had been no sign of Wessie since the police report. Some people began questioning that the police had seen a snake at all – perhaps it had been a beaver with a log in tow, rather than a snake feasting on the animal. But Saturday, evidence of a large snake appeared yet again. This time, it took the form of a giant snake skin, discarded near the boat launch by the Presumpscot River.

Police tagged and bagged the skin, a sample of which will be examined to determine the snake’s species. “Until the type of snake is determined and we can assess the safety risk,” said a Westbrook Police Facebook post, “we caution people who recreate along the Presumpscot River to remain alert, maintain a safe distance from any wildlife.”

Still, snake experts see something wrong with the picture. “It’s very suspicious to find a shed that’s laid out like this that wasn’t laid out by someone,” Rob Christian, president of the Maine Herpetological Society, told Portland’s WCSH 6.

Auburn University herpetologist David Steen is also skeptical. On Twitter, he wrote that “it looks like the skin was just placed there by someone,” later comparing how neatly the snakeskin was displayed to a limbless person setting out a jacket and pants.

Unfortunately for Wessie, if the animal does exist, its chances of making it through a subzero Maine winter are not good. Exotic Burmese pythons have established themselves in Florida; some evidence suggests that the snakes could survive year-round as far north as Washington, D.C. (if they can learn to hibernate, a behavior practiced by some North American snakes but unusual for the Southeast Asian pythons).

But unless someone – even a cryptozoologist tracker – can catch Wessie, Maine will turn out to be too chilly for the truck-length snake.

 

[Source  NDTV]

Nitish Kumar To Meet PM Modi As Flood Situation Worsens In Bihar

Nitish Kumar To Meet PM Modi As Flood Situation Worsens In Bihar

NEW DELHI:  Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi today as the flood situation worsened in the state. More than five lakh people have been affected and over 2 lakh people have reportedly lost their homes in flood-ravaged Bihar.
Here are the latest developments:
  1. In Bihar, even as water in river Sone and Ganga is receding but both continue to flow above danger mark in almost all the twelve flood-affected districts. At least 19 people have lost their life in the last three days.
  2. The Centre on Monday night rushed 10 NDRF teams to flood-hit areas of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh in order to launch massive relief and rescue operations to help those marooned in these states.
  3. “These fresh teams will be launched into operation by early on Tuesday,” a senior official said, adding they would be equipped with boats and essential items like medicines and food.
  4. “So far, the NDRF teams have evacuated more than 26,400 people from various flood-prone areas in the country. Besides the rescue work, these teams have provided medical care to the more than 9,100 people in these States,” the NDRF said.
  5. In Uttar Pradesh, the situation is no better as the river Ganga and Yamuna have crossed the danger mark. Over two lakh people are affected and the schools in Allahabad and Varanasi have been closed for 2 days.
  6. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday promised the centre’s total support to five flood-hit states in rescue and relief operations.
  7. Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who is closely monitoring the situation, spoke to chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh to take stock of the situation and assured them full support from the centre.
  8. In Madhya Pradesh, where over five lakh people are affected due to floods, water has receded in all the six affected districts.  Most of the displaced have come back to their homes.
  9. However, the Met department has today issued a heavy rain alert for Rewa, Satna, Panna, Katni, Jabalpur. So far there has been no rain. At least 17 people have lost their lives due to floods in Madhya Pradesh.
  10. The situation is improving in Rajasthan as water has receded in almost all flood-affected areas. Last week, at least eight people were killed and 56 villages inundated after heavy rain in three areas of Baran district.

[Source  NDTV]

Donald Trump Just Went Page Six On Joe Scarborough And Mika Brzezinski

Donald Trump Just Went Page Six On Joe Scarborough And Mika Brzezinski

Donald Trump escalated his feud with the hosts of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Monday, repeating a rumor straight off Page Six that Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski are romantically involved. He tweeted:

“Some day, when things calm down, I’ll tell the real story of @JoeNBC and his very insecure long-time girlfriend, @morningmika. Two clowns!”
The New York Post’s popular gossip page speculated in June that Scarborough and Brzezinski “could soon go public as a couple” following Brzezinski’s divorce from her husband of 23 years. Scarborough and his wife divorced in 2013. Page Six’s Emily Smith quoted an “NBC insider” who claimed “everybody at 30 Rock knows they are a couple.”

This is hardly Trump’s first foray into tabloid-style rumor and innuendo. In May, he linked Ted Cruz’s father to John F. Kennedy’s assassin, based on a story in the National Enquirer, which he said “should be very respected.” He previously tweeted a vague threat to “spill the beans” about the Texas senator’s wife, Heidi, and last month tweeted a cryptic message in which he claimed to “know more about (Sen.) Cory (Booker, D-N.J.) than he knows about himself.” Leading theories are that the Republican presidential nominee was suggesting Booker is gay and referring to Heidi Cruz’s battle against depression.

No need to guess what Trump was talking about this time.
It is also no surprise that Trump would engage in Page Six gossip (which has circulated elsewhere, too), given that his list of go-to news sources includes the National Enquirer, Infowars and World Net Daily.Anyway, Trump did not stop his “Morning Joe” attack at a single tweet. Neither did Scarborough, a contributor to The Washington Post opinion section, who responded.

Trump: “Tried watching low-rated @Morning_Joe this morning, unwatchable! @morningmika is off the wall, a neurotic and not very bright mess!”

The back-and-forth illustrates once again just how badly the relationship between Trump and “Morning Joe” has deteriorated over the course of the election. Six months ago, in the early stages of the Republican primary, Scarborough and Brzezinski were widely viewed as being too cozy with the business executive, who was a frequent guest on their show. The co-hosts were quick to take Trump’s candidacy seriously – last year, Brzezinski bet colleague Mike Barnicle that Trump would win the Republican nomination – and the billionaire even thanked the duo for being “supporters” after winning the New Hampshire primary in February.

Scarborough and Brzezinski always maintained they were not supporters but merely believers in Trump’s political prospects. When Scarborough said on the air in May that he could never vote for Trump, the dynamic changed dramatically.

Despite saying he “won’t do or watch the show anymore,” Trump did appear on “Morning Joe” in May. The interview was awkward, with neither side acknowledging any tension. Brzezinski’s wrap-up summarized things perfectly: “Donald Trump, thank you so much for joining us – I think.”
By June, the fight was raging again.

Trump: “I don’t watch or do @Morning_Joe anymore. Small audience, low ratings! I hear Mika has gone wild with hate. Joe is Joe. They lost their way!”

Ratings represent a common thread throughout Trump’s broadsides, but he took things to a new, more personal level Monday by amplifying the dating rumor. “Morning Joe” will be worth watching this week to see if the hosts respond in kind.

Recall that earlier this month, Scarborough shared a conversation he said he had with a “foreign policy expert” who claimed Trump asked multiple times during a briefing session why the United States can’t use nuclear weapons. Scarborough later told the New York Times’ Jim Rutenberg that he hadn’t planned to mention the conversation on the air but did so on impulse because “that was something I thought Americans needed to know.”

It appears both parties are now willing to talk publicly about things they have been keeping private.

[Source  NDTV]

‘I Wasn’t Crazy.’ A Homeless Woman Proves The Feds Owe Her $100,000.

'I Wasn't Crazy.' A Homeless Woman Proves The Feds Owe Her $100,000.

WASHINGTON:  If you’ve spent any time in downtown D.C., you’ve likely seen 80-year-old Wanda Witter.

Shock white hair, a determined, unsmiling set to her mouth, jeans. She may have asked you for some change and probably didn’t smile if you gave her some. This month you may have also been taken aback by the black eye and stitches across her face.

For years, Witter bedded down for the night at 13th and G streets in Northwest Washington, on the cement in her blue sleeping bag, pulled up tight to keep the rats and cockroaches out. Her tower of three suitcases was stacked on her hand cart and bike-locked to the patio chairs next to her.

She may have even told you that inside those bags is all the paperwork to prove the government owes her more than $100,000. And she was right.

“They kept thinking I was crazy, telling me to get rid of the suitcases,” said Witter, a former machinist from Corning, N.Y., who is divorced and the mother of four adult children.

“I knew, when I committed to homelessness, I had to be very careful about what I did. ‘Don’t do anything stupid,’ I told myself. Because they’ll think I’m a mental case,” she said.

She was right about that, too.

More than a dozen years passed before Witter finally met someone who didn’t think she was a nut job, who finally believed her – a social worker named Julie Turner.

Turner, who works for the Downtown Cluster of Congregations, got a call a nine months ago from the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless asking if she could work with Witter.

Wanda Witter beds down at 13th and G streets in Washington, where she was attacked last week.

In fact, Turner had tried to help Witter once before when they met at a soup kitchen. Witter rejected her. This time, though, Turner, who also counsels the homeless vendors who sell the newspaper Street Sense, persuaded Witter to talk to her. Instead of dismissing the hard-edged homeless woman as crazy, Turner patiently waded through the contents of her bags with her.

“She had all the paperwork there, neatly organized, in order. She was right all along. They did owe her all that money,” the 56-year-old social worker marveled.

Witter should be getting her check from Social Security for $99,999 in the next few days, said her new attorney, Daniela de la Piedra, who specializes in Social Security disputes. That’s the largest amount that the Social Security Administration can cut to get her the money fast. She might be owed even more, which would be paid out later, once all the paperwork is done.

It will be the end of a long quest. Witter wandered the streets of Washington for about 16 years, calling the Social Security’s 800-number, sending them letters and trying to get someone to listen to her predicament.

It started after she lost her job as a machinist at Ingersoll-Rand plant in Corning, N.Y., where she made turbine and engine parts.

So Witter moved in with one of her four daughters who lived in Fort Carson, Colo., and started taking classes at Pikes Peak Community College. She graduated in three years and then went to paralegal school, where she earned her certificate.

She thought she could find work in the nation’s capital so she moved to D.C. around 1999.

“Washington was where all the lawyers were supposed to be,” she said.

But finding work wasn’t easy. Who wanted an unsmiling woman on her way to 70 who still carried herself like a machinist in their office? No one, it turned out. She got odd jobs stuffing envelopes or working in offices and ran out of money.

Wanda Witter draws the blinds in her new apartment in Southeast Washington.

Meanwhile, the Social Security benefits Witter finally decided to draw in 2006 were all over the place. The amounts ranged from $900 to $300 a month, Witter said. And she wanted to know why. She called the agency’s 800 number and asked. No one had an answer.

Sick of the imprecision, she wrote “VOID” across the checks and mailed them back, refusing to cash checks that she knew weren’t right.

Most folks running low on cash would have deposited those checks anyhow. But Witter is stubborn.

“If I just cashed them, who would believe me that they were wrong?” she explained.

When her daughters finally located her – she didn’t tell anyone where she was going – one of them drove to D.C. and tried to get her to move in with her family.

“I told her I had business here, and I couldn’t leave until it was finished. I wasn’t going anywhere without the money they owe me,” she said. Eventually, the daughter bought her mom a cellphone and made her promise to stay in touch.

Too proud to tell them how dire her situation really was, Witter moved into a shelter, joining the approximately 3,600 homeless, single adults in Washington.

When she tried to resume getting the Social Security checks – even the ones that weren’t for the right amount – it didn’t work.

When you’re homeless, getting mail is difficult. The checks were returned to Social Security before they even got to Witter, said her lawyer, de la Piedra.

“She returned all these checks in ’06, returned all her checks in ’07, in ’08,” de la Piedra said. “Several checks came back as undeliverable, with no current address and no bank account. So by October, Social Security stopped sending checks to her. . . . They stopped contacting her.”

A spokeswoman from the Social Security Administration said they cannot comment on individual cases.

At the shelters all those years, Witter tried to get someone to listen to her. She explained at different offices that provide homeless services that those suitcases, stacked high and always with her, had the evidence. She was owed money, lots of money, she could prove it.

Witter is not a particularly warm or outgoing person. She isn’t rude, just direct. And suspicious of just about everyone. And obsessed with Social Security.

“They kept sending me to mental counselors. I wasn’t crazy. I wasn’t mentally ill,” she said.

After all those years, Turner listened.

“She needed economic help, not mental help,” Turner said. “That’s part of the problem with homelessness in D.C. So many cases are written off as being about mental illness. A lot of times, homelessness really is simply about economics.”

In May, Turner took Witter to the Legal Counsel for the Elderly, which is affiliated with AARP. And there, de la Piedra sat down and went through all her paperwork, just as Turner had done.

Yup, de la Piedra concluded, this homeless woman is owed a bundle of money.

Witter didn’t smile.

It’s no secret that the Social Security Administration is understaffed. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said in a report that the administration’s budget has shrunk by 10 percent since 2010, while aging baby boomers have swollen its workload.

Last year the administration got 37 million phone calls for help and 41 million office visits. The average appointment wait time was three weeks while more than a million cases for disability payments were backlogged, according to the report.

Taking on a behemoth organization like Social Security is a formidable task, even for someone as dogged as Witter. She would call the 800-number, write letters, haul her luggage-cart rig with all the paperwork inside. The bureaucracy was impenetrable.

While Witter slept on cots and cement, the amount she was owed grew to six figures, de la Piedra estimated.

In June, a Social Security official finally acknowledged the severity of her case and wrote Witter a check for $999 – the maximum allowed if it’s written on the spot, de la Piedra said.

Witter didn’t smile.

Witter opened up an account and deposited it. It was enough to get a good meal, some clothes. But Witter insisted on returning to her spot at 13th and G streets, too frugal to blow her new stash on a hotel. “You never know that the next check will come,” she said. “I don’t believe it.”

And then it happened. Years of being on the street, and she was attacked.

That block where donuts cost $30 a dozen is a different world after nightfall. The homeless women who take up the space across from Astro Doughnuts look out for each other. They bed down, claim their plot, then use the bathroom two blocks up at McDonald’s, one at a time, while guarding each other’s worldly goods. This is how Witter has kept her suitcases safe all those years.

Two weeks ago, she confronted a homeless man digging through another woman’s belongings. He picked up the cafe chairs outside the Au Bon Pain and slammed the stack into Witter’s face, giving her the black eye and cutting her face open.

“That money is coming,” she told herself, while the doctor at the emergency room stitched her up.

The first full payment – the amount Witter was truly owed after all those years in the machine shop and, before that, behind a grocery store cash register – finally arrived last week. She got $1,464.

Turner found her an apartment, a studio efficiency on Capitol Hill for $500 a month. Witter signed the lease and moved in with her little hand cart on Aug. 16.

She didn’t want to unpack those bags, and she wasn’t sure where she would sleep. On the floor under the window? Or on the floor by the closet?

Turner solved that, pulling up in front of the apartment building and unloading her car, packed with donations and things she brought from her own home.

A down comforter, fresh from the dry cleaner. Cups, glasses, a fuzzy bathmat. “Look, Wanda, real silverware,” she said, waving a fork at her before putting it into a drawer.

Witter didn’t smile.

Turner brought an extra blow-up mattress, the high-end kind with plush covering and its own pump.

“I don’t want this,” Witter said. “Years on the streets, my bones hurt. I want a real bed.”

“We’re going to get you a real bed, Wanda, but this is just a baby step,” Turner explained, on her hands and knees, blowing the bed up.

She took Witter to Wal-Mart, where she used donated money from a church to buy a small television and rabbit ear antennas. “Five channels, Wanda!” No smile.

Witter spent $77 of her own money. She was most excited about the pillow she carefully chose for its firmness. A little smile.

She won’t buy a window unit air conditioner or a hot plate or anything more indulgent than that pillow and some necessities. She still has a hard time believing that the $100,000 will come.

The money is coming, de la Piedra tells Witter, almost daily.

Witter closed the shades on her little room, ready to spend her first night in a place she couldn’t comfortably call her own.

“I need my privacy now,” she said, before her entourage of helpers left. No smile yet. Because she’s still waiting.

 

[Source  NDTV]

A Huge Crack Is Spreading Across One Of Antarctica’s Biggest Ice Shelves

A Huge Crack Is Spreading Across One Of Antarctica's Biggest Ice Shelves

For some time, scientists who focus on Antarctica have been watching the progression of a large crack in one of the world’s great ice shelves – Larsen C, the most northern major ice shelf of the Antarctic peninsula, and the fourth largest Antarctic ice shelf overall.

Larsen C, according to the British Antarctic Survey, is “slightly smaller than Scotland.” It’s called an ice “shelf” because the entirety of this country-sized area is covered by 350 meter thick ice that is floating on top of deep ocean waters.

The crack in Larsen C grew around 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) in length between 2011 and 2015. And as it grew, also became wider – by 2015, yawning some 200 meters in length. Since then, growth has only continued – and now, a team of researchers monitoring Larsen C say that with the intense winter polar night over Antarctica coming to an end, they’ve been able to catch of glimpse of what happened to the crack during the time when it could not be observed by satellite.
The result was astonishing.

The rift had grown another 22 kilometers (13.67 miles) since it was last observed in March 2016, and has widened to about 350 meters, report researchers from Project MIDAS, a British Antarctic Survey funded collaboration of researchers from Swansea and Aberystwyth Universities in Wales, and other institutions. The full length of the rift is now 130 km, or over 80 miles.

What this means is that it may be only a matter of time before we see the loss of an enormous chunk of Larsen C – an historic event that would bring to mind the losses of the Larsen A ice shelf in 1995 and the sudden breakup of Larsen B in 2002.

When that last event happened, the National Snow and Ice Data Center remarked that the Earth had lost a major feature that had “likely existed since the end of the last major glaciation 12,000 years ago.”

“We previously showed that this will remove between nine and twelve percent of the ice shelf area and leave the ice front at its most retreated position ever,” write Adrian Luckman, Daniela Jansen, Martin O’Leary and members of the Project MIDAS team.

“The trajectory of the rift now implies that the higher of these two estimates is more likely.”

The amount of ice that could be lost would be around 6,000 square kilometers, or 2,316 square miles – nearly the size of Delaware, said O’Leary, a glaciologist at Swansea University and one of the team’s members, by email.

“It’s hard to tell how soon it could break – we really don’t have a good handle on the processes which control the timing of the crack propagation,” O’Leary said. “It’s a lot like predicting an earthquake – exact timings are hard to come by. Probably not tomorrow, probably not more than a few years.”

So in sum, we’re talking about a possible ice island in the Southern Ocean that is as large as one of the smallest U.S. states. Moreover, researchers studying the widening crack in a 2015 paper – many of whom overlap with the MIDAS team – predict that after the loss of this ice, the remaining shelf could be unstable and continue to lose more mass.

“If this will calve off in the next, say two orthree years, the calving front will be retreated very far back, further than we’ve seen it since we were able to monitor this,” says Daniela Jansen, a researcher with the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research in Germany.

“And our theory in this paper was basically that the calving front might become unstable. Once the iceberg has calved off completely, there might be a tendency for the ice front to crumble backwards.” That could be further enhanced, she said, if warmer air temperatures cause the formation of large numbers of meltwater lakes atop the shelf.

The fear is that something could then happen with Larsen C analogous to the loss of the smaller Larsen B ice shelf, which proceeded slowly – at least until it didn’t.

In the 1980s, said Jansen, the Larsen B ice shelf underwent a large iceberg calving event much like what’s expected in the coming years at Larsen C, setting off a series of similar episodes until eventually the whole shelf disappeared.

“That took a while, but we think it might actually happen here as well,” Jansen said.

This is what the Larsen B ice shelf looked like right after it shattered in 2002:

The Larsen C ice shelf is the fourth largest in Antarctica, but all of the continent’s shelves pale in comparison to the Ross and Ronne-Filchner ice shelves, each of which is over 400,000 square kilometers in area.

When ice shelves lose large chunks, it does not raise sea level because these bodies are already afloat. However, the loss of an ice shelf can speed up the seaward flow of the non-floating glacial ice behind it, and this ice can in turn contribute to sea-level rise. Researchers have estimated that the loss of all the ice that the Larsen C ice shelf currently holds back would raise global sea levels by 10 centimeters, or just under 4 inches.

Granted, there is at least an argument to be made that even a large loss of ice from Larsen C would not be immediately bad news for the global sea level. A study earlier this year in Nature Climate Change looked at ice shelves around Antarctica to determine how much area they could lose without ceasing to form their crucial function of buttressing glaciers and holding them in back, and found that Larsen C actually has a lot of “passive” ice that it can lose without major consequences.

The MIDAS researchers, though, think the consequences could be considerably more severe. If the crack continues on its current pace, we may soon learn who is correct.

While the major worry outside of Antarctica is sea-level rise from the glaciers behind Larsen C, “it will also be a shame if the Larsen C ice shelf disappears as well,” said Jansen. “I have spent so much time now looking at the satellite images, and I really love this ice shelf, it would be such a tragic thing to see this thing go.”

 

[Source  NDTV]

 

Pune Workers Made To Do Sit-Ups For Not Paying Festival Donation

Pune Workers Made To Do Sit-Ups For Not Paying Festival Donation

PUNE:  Workers at a bakery in Pune were made to do sit-ups allegedly by members of a local Ganesh Mandal for refusing to pay them donation for the upcoming festival, police said today.

A purported video of the incident, which occurred at a bakery in Bhosari area on August 15, has gone viral, while the three accused have been arrested, police said.

According to an official of Bhosari police station, the accused went to the bakery and demanded ‘vargani’ (donation) of Rs. 151 from the workers for the Ganesh festival. The workers, who are non-Maharashtrians, said the owner of the shop was not there and hence they did not give the donation, the official said.

Following the denial for donation, the accused, identified as Prakash Landage (30), Ganesh Landage (30) and Mahesh Mare (31), abused the workers and later made them to do sit-ups, the official said.

A complaint was filed by one of the workers, Irshad Mommammed Ayub Khan, and a case under IPC sections 294 (obscene act or words in public), 341 (wrongful confinement), 385 (extortion) and 506 (criminal intimidation) was registered, the official said, adding investigations are underway.

 

[Source  NDTV]

Sindhu Celebrations Part Deux: After Hyderabad, A Vijayawada Victory Rally

Sindhu Celebrations Part Deux: After Hyderabad, A Vijayawada Victory Rally

VIJAYAWADA:  PV Sindhu and her coach Pullela Gopichand landed in Vijayawada thismorning by a special flight, where celebrations for her silver Olympic medal will continue.

Because Andhra Pradesh must put up a bigger and better show than neighbour Telangana in the Sindhu Tug-of-War, the state has claimed that one lakh people will participate in the badminton ace’s victory rally from the Vijayawada airport to Indira Gandhi Stadium, where Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu will greet her.

Thousands had showed up in Hyderabad yesterday, lining the 30-km route from the airport to the Gachibowli stadium that Sindhu travelled in an open double-decker bus, specially driven in from Mumbai.

Vijayawada member of parliament, Kesineni Nani of the Telugu Desam Party, who is making arrangements for the rally today, arranged for the special flight and is travelling with Sindhu, her coach and their families, who are reportedly keen to also take a holy dip in the Krishna river and visit a temple.

The Krishna Pushkar festival, held every 12 years and which draws lakhs of devotees to the river in Vijaywada, is currently on and the administration is bracing for a hard day in managing security at two big gatherings.

Both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, born out of a bifurcation two years ago, claim that 21-year-old Sindhu belongs to them and so the star athlete has to participate in double celebrations. Coach Gopichand yesterday said that “Sindhu belongs to India,” which her parents have endorsed.

Sindhu’s father PV Ramana is from what is now Telangana and her mother, P Vijaya, is from Andhra Pradesh.

After a 33-hour-long journey back home from Rio in Brazil where this year’s Olympics were held, Sindhu and Gopichand went straight from the Hyderabad airport to the city stadium, where they spent hours at the celebrations organised by the Telangana government. The day stretched and ended late with a meeting with Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao or KCR.

Both states have announced big cash rewards and prime residential land and have offered Sindhu government jobs.

 

[Source  NDTV]

Actor-Politician Ramya Accused Of Sedition For ‘Pakistan Not Hell’ Comment

Actor-Politician Ramya Accused Of Sedition For 'Pakistan Not Hell' Comment

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. “Pakistan is not hell. People there are just like us,” actor Ramya said
  2. Her remarks were in reference to the Defence Minister’s comment on Pak
  3. Ramya visited Islamabad for a SAARC event recently

BENGALURU: Actor-politician Ramya has been accused of sedition for praising Pakistan after visiting the country for a SAARC event recently.

Ramya, 33, had referred to Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s statement that “going to Pakistan is like going to hell” and said: “Pakistan is not hell. People there are just like us. They treated us very well.”

The Kannada actor, whose real name is Divya Spandana, has been targeted by political activists as “anti-national” and a lawyer has filed a sedition case against her in a court in Kodagu in southern Karnataka, around 250 km from state capital Bengaluru.

The lawyer, Katnamane Vittal Gowda, has been quoted by reports as saying that he is “appalled” that Ramya praised Pakistanis.

The case will be heard on Saturday.

Ramya visited Islamabad for a meeting of young parliamentarians from SAARC or the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, a grouping of eight countries.

A member of the Congress since 2011 and a former lawmaker from Mandya, the actor has also been trolled on twitter for her comments.

“Sedition” has been a hotly debated keyword in Karnataka after a police case was filed against Amnesty International over a Kashmir-related event last week where slogans of “Azadi” (freedom) were raised.

A sedition and rioting case was filed after the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad, an organisation linked to the BJP, went to the police. There have been no arrests.

The state’s ruling Congress, facing criticism, has betrayed a divide over whether the sedition case is justified.

 

[Source  NDTV]

‘Why Would I Lie?’ Jaisha, Who Collapsed In Rio, Takes On Officials

'Why Would I Lie?' Jaisha, Who Collapsed In Rio, Takes On Officials

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. OP Jaisha from Bengaluru ran the marathon at Olympics
  2. She collapsed after finishing, doctors say she’s unwell
  3. Jaisha said she ran the 42-km race without support from Indian officials

BENGALURU: Athlete OP Jaisha says there must be an investigation into the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) allegation that she refused energy drinks as she ran the marathon at the Rio Olympics.

Jaisha, 33, collapsed at the finish line and has said that she ran the gruelling 42-km race without support from Indian officials who were missing at desks placed by countries a few kilometres apart so that their competitors can be offered refreshments.

But CK Valson, a top AFI official has said it is untrue that officials were missing. He said that Jaisha and her coach had refused the offer to have refreshments served at the counters that Indian officials could have manned, though he promised to investigate whether there was “negligence of any sort.”

“Why would I say such a huge lie, when I have never complained even once in my entire sports career? I can’t fight against the government or AFI, but God and I know the truth, and I owe that to sports,” said the Kerala long-distance runner, who has also complained that she was compelled to run the marathon at the Olympics though she did not want to, having trained for the 1500-metre race.

“There needs to be an inquiry…I am sure that had something grave happened to me, AFI would have still said that OP Jaisha didn’t avail refreshment,” she told news agency ANI today.

During a marathon, competitors’ countries are entitled to place a desk every 2.5 km to offer them liquids. Instead, it was official Olympics counters – placed about 8 km apart – that Jaisha had to rely on, the athlete has alleged.

“Running that distance, in that heat, you need so much water. There is a common water point after 8 km, but you need water after each kilometre. Other athletes were getting food along the way. I got nothing,” she told NDTV on Monday.

Jaisha, who placed 89th in the marathon, has said that while she struggled, Indian officials had no idea about her condition. “After three hours, they came looking for me to the medical centre,” she said.

But the AFI has said that when Jaisha collapsed in Rio, organisers acted swiftly and “within no time the Indian team manager and deputy chief coach of the Indian athletics team accompanied her to the hospital.”

The federation has also said that Jaisha had qualified only for the marathon at the Rio Games and hence she was not eligible to run in the 1500m race.

 

[Source  NDTV]