The first Supplementary Estimates of Expenditure for fiscal year 2012/2013 was tabled in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, February 5, by Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips.It reveals that the budget has been revised downwards from $612.4 billion to $602 billion, a reduction of $9.89 billion.The Estimates show a decrease in the recurrent, or housekeeping, expenditure from $374.7 billion to $367.7 billion, with savings of $7.03 billion, and reduction in both Capital A and Capital B from a total of $237.6 billion to $234.8 billion, reflecting $2.85 billion in savings.In the 2012/2013 Estimates of Expenditure tabled in the House on May 10, 2012, it was outlined that $374 billion was allocated for recurrent expenses and $237.6 billion for capital, or development, expenses. The first Supplementary Estimates will be discussed by the Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC) on Wednesday, February 6 and Thursday, February 7.The report will be considered by the Standing Finance Committee of the House, which will deliberate on February 12, before the House is asked to approve the revised budget in the afternoon.
For years, stories of infamous northern courtroom conditions have made the rounds in legal circles. It prompted the Quebec bar association to undertake a two-year study. It recently issued a report to the Quebec government decrying the state of the justice system in Nunavik. They found that more than just infrastructure was lacking.“People do not understand how the court works, who are the representatives of justice and the role of each,” wrote Nicolas Plourde, the former Chair of the Quebec bar association, said in the bar’s June 2013 newsletter.Plamondon’s experience backs up Plourde’s observations.“For a newcomer (Inuk defendant), something as simple as “do you plead guilty, do you plead not guilty” you have to explain what it means,” she says, adding she chalks part of it up to cultural differences.“Some of my colleagues do not agree with me, but I still believe that Inuit, if something happened, they will say it happened. That’s it. They will not contest just to contest,” says Plamondon, who then pauses to shake her head, a smile at the corner of her mouth. “I even learned the word in Inuktitut to say ‘don’t talk’!”The Quebec bar report emphasizes that more measures needs to be taken to better explain the criminal justice system to the Inuit, and that justice in Nunavik as a whole needs to be rendered faster.“We must find a way to overcome the slowness of justice which undermines the confidence of Inuit in the system we have imposed. And because we have imposed it on them, we have an obligation to ensure that it adequately addresses their needs,” said Plourde.Plourde says the most upsetting thing he saw in Puvirnituq were the four holding cells at the police station. Designed to detain no more than 12 people, they were overflowing with 22 detainees. Some had been there for four days, when the maximum is supposed to be two. Plourde has described the unsanitary conditions in the cells as “disgusting and third world” because the 22 men were sharing two toilets with little to no access to showers.Wanting to see if there were still overcrowding issues, I asked for a tour of the Puvirnituq police station and was refused because it was “court week”.“The way that detainees are kept when they are here (Puvirnituq), this has to be changed.” Angèle Tommasel, defence lawyer“The way that detainees are kept when they are here (Puvirnituq), this has to be changed, that’s for sure,” says defence attorney Angèle Tommasel, a 22-year veteran of the circuit court who corroborates Plourde’s description of the conditions. Back at the courthouse, I strike up a conversation with an amiable Inuk man at the coffee machine during a recess. We made small talk about local soap stone deposits and the tribulations of being a black Arctic fox in the Arctic during winter hunting season.“There’s not much to eat, but they’re easy to spot in the snow,” he says with a wicked smile. He has a good job in the community which helps him support his large family. Assuming he was at court to see a family member, I asked him why he was here.“Well,” he says, his eyes dropping to the floor “I assaulted a police officer.”A lot of the defendants come across as sheepish. Many say they don’t remember what happened because they drank to the point of blacking out. One corrections officer told me in confidence “So many of them (detained Inuit) are nice, polite people when they’re sober. But when they drink…”While Puvirnituq has more than its fair share of impaired driving and assault charges, a lot of cases clogging up the court can be seen as self-inflicted. These cases are called “breaches”, court shorthand for “failure to comply with conditions” and “probation violations.” The week that I’m there in February they make up about 31 per cent of the charges on the docket.“The number of files have greatly increased, dramatically increased,” says Plamondon when asked what’s changed since she started in the early 2000s. “For sure, there’s a lot of breaches.”One condition that is often on the list is not to drink says St-Louis.“We know that a lot of people have drinking issues, so to me, it’s almost setting them up for failure,” said says St-Louis.Instead, St-Louis would rather have what she sees as more attainable conditions.“We know that a lot of people have drinking issues, so to me, it’s almost setting them up for failure. ” Lyne St-Louis, Makivik CorporationThe Inuit name for the justice committee is Sungirtuijuit, and Anna Alasuak is its coordinator in Puvirnituq. Puvirnituq’s justice committee is a loose group of up to eight Inuit who are tasked with serving as a liaison between the community and the imported Quebec legal system. The justice committee’s undertakings are varied and many, but their goals are straightforward: improve the efficacy of how justice is dispensed in Puvirnituq and prevent community members from reoffending.“Sungirtuijuit means you still have hope, you still can do it, you still can stand up,” says Alasuak.When the court is in town, Alasuak is lucky to have five minutes to herself. Defendants, witnesses, lawyers, victims or just about anyone in the courthouse is pulling her aside to talk. Her seemingly endless supply of patience for everyone and everything, makes it easy to see why she was chosen for the job.The justice committee will recommend sentences to the court, write Gladue reports and even go pick up a community member running late for a court date. For them, no job is too small if it means making the system work better, even if just for a little while. For their part, the court workers are grateful to have them there. “I could’ve met someone last month as a victim, and this week he can be an accused.” Jonathan Carignan, Crown prosecutor“Many people are coming back all the time. There’s very few who don’t come back, most people who we see in court are people who tend to get in trouble often”, says Qumaaleuk.Crown prosecutor Jonathan Carignan adds, “I could’ve met someone last month as a victim, and this week he can be an accused.”Some of the highest rates of sexual and domestic assault in Quebec are in this region. The courthouse in Puvirnituq serves four Inuit communities on the Hudson Bay coast in northern Quebec. Together, the population totals only about 4,000.The 181 charges on the docket are described as a quiet week. This isn’t just a problem endemic to the northern Hudson Bay coast, but in all of Quebec’s “Grand Nord”, or as the 12,000 Inuit call their California sized Arctic homeland, Nunavik. Like their cousins in Nunavut, Northwest Territories and Labrador, the Inuit in Quebec are best known for soapstone carving and throat singing. Many of them still hunt and Inuktitut is the mother tongue for most. Their culture is strong, but so is the spectre of post-colonial trauma. Forced displacement, residential schools and devastating imported illnesses are just some of the all too familiar legacies which have led many Inuit to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol. Couple the high crime rate in Nunavik with the crawling pace of justice here and cracks in the legal system begin to show.“Here we’re just extinguishing fires, that’s what we do,” says Sarah Plamondon, who’s been a circuit court defence lawyer for 12 years.In order to service the 14 fly-in Nunavik communities, an entire functioning court from the south criss-crosses the region by plane dispensing justice, or at least, it tries to.“We must find a way to overcome the slowness of justice which undermines the confidence of Inuit in the system we have imposed.” Nicolas Plourde, former president Quebec Bar AssociationAfter landing in a community, the Crown prosecutors, defence lawyers and court workers, including the judge, help unload the plane before heading to the courthouse in the afternoon. The cases range from routine, probation violations, threats, simple assault, to serious, sexual assault, assault with a weapon and one murder. A typical trip goes like this; on a Monday morning, the travelling court pile onto a charter plane with up to 12 handcuffed and shackled Inuit prisoners accompanied by guards at the Val d’Or airport. Because there’s no detention centre in Nunavik, people accused of serious crimes who are awaiting trial must be held in the south. Men have to be bussed one hour away from jail in Amos to Val D’or then take the 1,300 km flight to a community such as Puvirnituq. If a case goes all the way to trial, some of them will make this trip five, six – even seven times.Many cases will be postponed. In order to get through the entire docket, the circuit court will spend 10-hours a day from Tuesday to Thursday, leaving Friday as an emergency “clean up” day for left over cases. This doesn’t include the one to two hours a day they spend negotiating plea bargains, something they’ll do at night back at the hotel if they have to. Lyne St-Louis is the Nunavik justice officer for Makivik Corporation, the governing body for Quebec’s Inuit. Without blaming the court, she says the amount of cases they pack into five days affects the quality of their work.“Lawyers, Crown prosecutors and judges are human beings, they have also that need to concentrate on what they’re doing,” she says. “How it’s run at this time can increase the possibility of making a mistake, or not paying attention or not seeing a little detail that they would’ve seen maybe if they had the time.” Puvirnituq is an Inuit community that sits on the shores of Hudson’s Bay, just north of the 60th parallel.A year ago, Leah Unaluk was one of those faces in the prisoner’s box. Today, she’s free.“Being in jail was so hard. I had to leave my community and go to a very different place,” says Unaluk.“I couldn’t see my kids and they couldn’t visit me there.” Leah UnalukShe has a strong gaze, the sort one would attribute to an analytical mind. It’s hard to picture the soft spoken 31-year-old mother of four in jail. But that’s where she spent 70 days last year after severely injuring a person while driving her snowmobile drunk. Like all Inuit offenders, she was sent to jail more than a 1,000 km to the south.“I couldn’t see my kids, and they couldn’t just visit me there, it was hard for me to just talk to them through the phone,” she says.When pressed about the circumstances of her case, her stoic front is momentarily compromised by a flash of guilt. “I had a drinking problem in the past,” she admits. “With the justice committee, they are so implicated, they are at the court, they’re here and I‘m using them as much as I can, every time it’s possible, I do it. And I ask even their advice,” says Plamondon.For the justice committee, the biggest challenge is keeping newly released prisoners from ending up back in jail. According to St-Louis, who oversees the committees all over Nunavik, one major hurdle is that Inuit are not getting the help they need when they are in prison.“There’s not many services, especially when you’re at that level of preventive custody. To me, (it’s) a waste of time sometimes. Okay, we’re safer, because what the person has done is dangerous, but the person is not getting any help,” says St-Louis.What services that are available in detention are in French, which most Inuit don’t speak.“They have a need to see their family, they have a need to continue in their tradition, they have a need to speak their language and that to me is really, really missing,” says St-Louis.Anna Alasuak thinks that a jail should be built up north to help with rehabilitation and cut down on travel for inmates and relatives who want to visit. “Here we’re just extinguishing fires, that’s what we do.” Sarah Plamondon, defence lawyerAlcoholism is a plague in this community of about 1,400. When asked to give a rough percentage of criminal cases that involve alcohol or drugs, defence lawyer Michel Solomon says without hesitation “about 99 per cent”.After watching four days of cases, Solomon’s estimate seems about right. Listening to the prosecution recite the facts behind a case, “the defendant was intoxicated” is among the first sentences spoken in nearly every instance.And the cases just keep coming.One accused stands for his sentence. The judge gives him 11-months, minus time served, for heating a butter knife on the stove and burning his partner with it multiple times. A repeat offender, he shouts something in Inuktitut to family and friends in the precious few moments before guards haul him back to detention. Another case is cut short when a woman declines to testify against her partner for assaulting her, stating simply “I don’t want to talk about it.” Another man on trial for assault is described by a witness as looking at his blood covered hands and asking himself “what have I done?” after beating another man senseless.Criminal court is dramatic by its very nature. Spend enough time in one and you’ll likely hear similar tales of violence and despair. But what’s shocking here is the frequency with which Quebec’s circuit court hears these cases in Nunavik. As an Inuktitut translator who has worked for the court for the last 14 years, Aipili Qumaaleuk has a unique perspective as both an Inuk man and a court worker. By Tom Fennario APTN National NewsPUVIRNITUQ, QC – Flanked by a guard on each side, a man in his mid-20s fidgets in the prisoner’s box when a witness begins to testify against him. This is not his first time in court. Judging from the cringe on his face, it’s not getting any easier for him. Despite the fact he’s just been sentenced to 11-months for assault with a weapon, he seems relieved when it’s over and the bailiffs take him away.Over the course of the day, a parade of defendants cycle through. Their faces an assortment of thousand yard stares, clenched jaws and nervous expressions. Some narrow their eyes and stare straight at the judge for sentencing while others look defeated, hiding their faces in their handcuffed hands. This is the courthouse in Puvirnituq, Que. “There’s quite a bit of postponement, we just don’t have the time to deal with everybody who has to appear in court.” Aipili Qumaaleuk, translatorThe hours might be long in Puvirnituq for the circuit court, but at least the conditions are decent. Most in Quebec’s northern communities don’t have a courthouse. Many make do with makeshift locations such as hockey arenas, high school gyms or church basements. Some of the scenes described to me are hard to imagine. Judges and lawyers decked out in black robes with toques and mittens because the heating is on the fritz or lawyers meeting with clients in the only place where they have privacy, the stall of a bathroom.“Sometimes I was meeting the clients in the hockey player’s (locker) room,” says Sarah Plamondon. “I put my parka under my robe because it was so cold.”Speaking in her office during a short lunch break, Plamondon punctuates her comments with dynamic hand movements and often uses papers on her desk as props.“Some people would say ‘you should not accept those conditions,’ and some people even criticized me that I have accepted that, but I say to myself, when someone is waiting so long to have their case done, at one point, they need to have closure,” she says.The sheer quantity of the charges, translation needs, travel and even weather conditions all conspire to make the court fall behind. Sometimes cases take years to resolve.“There’s quite a bit of postponement, we just don’t have the time to deal with everybody who has to appear in court,” says court translator Aipili Qumaaleuk. “Sungirtuijuit means you still have hope, you still can do it, you still can stand up.” Anna AlasuakAsk anyone on the justice committee for one of its success stories, and they’ll point to Leah Unaluk. Despite the serious nature of her crime, she was granted parole early under the conditions that she receive treatment for alcoholism and that she participate in the justice committee’s restorative justice program. Restorative justice can involve apologizing to the victim of the crime via a healing circle, volunteering to help out elders in the community, as well as day trips that focus around traditional Inuit activities such as sewing, hunting and soapstone carving.“The organizations (social services) would be more available for the prisoners if there was a prison here up north. It’s difficult for them being in the south, it would be a lot easier for them, they would have a lot more help,” says Alasuak.”When I went to see the justice committee I felt comfortable to talk to them about my problems and my short comings and they help me and they listen to me,” says Unaluk.Unaluk speaks purposefully, weighing her words. English is her second language and she’s adamant about expressing exactly how she feels.“I enjoyed being out to the land, it helped me a lot to soothe my feelings,” she explains. “We can have a better life – go hunting, fishing sewing, do the activities and be a good role model to the children, because it’s our future.”Unaluk was identified by both the Quebec court and the justice committee almost immediately as someone who would benefit from the limited programs being offered. Not only is she doing well, she’s working to make amends in Puvirnituq by speaking with high school students about impaired driving as well as counselling for an Inuit version of an alcohol addiction program.But so far her story is the exception to the rule. During my week in the community, Puvirnituq’s young demographics were brought up ominously by both court workers and members of the justice committee. According to the 2011 Canadian census, 79 per cent of Puvirnituq is under the age of 30 and 60 per cent are 28 or younger. This makes for a sense of urgency, because if social services and the justice system continue to tread water battling crime and social issues, an ever increasing rate of incarceration looms large.Court and social workers are already alarmed by the rate of released Inuit who end up reoffending, and for those who do want help, there’s only one addiction treatment centre for all of Nunavik. It can only accommodate nine clients every six-week cycle.“There’s more people, there’s more crime,” says court translator Aipili Qumaaleuk. “There’s a lot of young people who are in court more than older people are.”St-Louis says cases like Unaluk’s proves that they can reach some people, but there’s plenty that fall through the cracks. She’s haunted by one case in particular, where a woman’s defence attorney forgot to refer her for treatment that could have led to an early parole.“It breaks my heart when we could’ve done something to help this woman when she was ready and because of this lack of services, lack of continuity, lack of funding she is now in the penitentiary,” says St-Louis.Plamondon feels strongly that the court can’t do much more to help and that money conceivably spent on a prison would be better put towards more social services.“Imagine if we don’t do something right now. We cannot wait, it cannot wait, we need to help them, we don’t need to judge them,” she says.I put the question to Unaluk: Are things getting better or worse? The inhale she takes before answering is sharp, the hesitation that follows reveals more than her answer.“It’s hard to tell,” she says finally. “It’s hard to tell.”The sun begins to sink below the horizon, washing the white Arctic outside the window into a blazing orange. My week at court is nearing its end. Before I leave I speak with an older Inuk man, the father of the young man who had been sentenced to 11-months of jail time down south. I ask him an obvious question, is it hard knowing he won’t see his son for months?“Even one day is hard,” he [email protected]@tfennario
FiveThirtyEight’s model calls Monday night’s NCAA men’s basketball championship game between Kentucky and Connecticut a tossup. If it’s as close as each team’s win probabilities are, the game will probably come down to free throws. If it does, advantage, UConn.The Huskies have hit 77.4 percent of their free throws this season, good for fifth out of the 351 teams in Division I. That’s the highest free-throw percentage ranking for a Final Four team since Michigan State ranked third in the nation in 2005. And if UConn shoots well at the line and beats Kentucky, the Huskies will have the highest free-throw percentage ranking of any champion since before the 1998 Final Four, the earliest for which stats are available. Kentucky is hitting 68.4 percent of its free throws, just 228th overall.Hitting lots of free throws is, not surprisingly, helpful for winning college basketball games, and in Storrs, Conn., free-throw shooting has become a key part of success. During the 2010-2011 season, current UConn associate coach Glen Miller found and shared a video of Steve Nash shooting from the free-throw line (Nash is a career 90.4 percent shooter in the NBA). That year, the Jim Calhoun-coached Huskies won the championship while finishing 11th nationally in free-throw shooting. UConn hit 82 percent of its free throws in the tournament. It was a big improvement from the Huskies’ No. 312 ranking the prior time they won the title under Calhoun, in 2004. (That was the lowest ranking in free-throw accuracy for a champion on record.)Last season, its first under coach Kevin Ollie, UConn ranked 31st. During his four years as a Husky in the 1990s, Ollie improved his accuracy from the line, going from 71.8 percent his freshman year to 80.6 percent in his senior year. And under Ollie, UConn has improved, too. All three players to shoot at least 80 free throws last year and this year for UConn have a higher percentage this season.Even if you don’t appreciate the aesthetic value of Shabazz Napier’s free-throw shooting as much our Grantland colleague Louisa Thomas does, you should appreciate its value to the Huskies. Napier has hit 86.9 percent of his free throws this season, up from 81.9 percent last year. He’s also taken 64 percent more foul shots. He’s been even better in the tournament, missing just twice on 31 tries.To approximate the importance of free-throw accuracy for the Huskies’ success, I checked a few simple what-if scenarios. If they’d shot free throws in each game this season at the rate they shot last year (74.3 percent), or the national average rate this season (69.8 percent), the Huskies would have lost two more games during the season and been forced into overtime in a third. A loss in that overtime game could have jeopardized their tournament berth.At the national average rate, UConn would have hit just 15 of 22 free throws in both its Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight games — instead of hitting 20 and 21, respectively. Both games would have gone into overtime, which would have jeopardized its Final Four berth. And if the Huskies had shot in each game at the same rate as their opponent in that game, they would have lost their Sweet Sixteen game against Iowa State.Of course, these are overly simplified scenarios; games probably wouldn’t have played out exactly the same way with different free-throw results. But that could cut both ways: Perhaps a team of Huskies who were weaker from the line would have done even worse because they wouldn’t have gotten to shoot the back end of one-and-ones, or because opponents would have fouled them more often and prevented more field goals. Then again, the record of recent Final Fours shows plenty of teams can succeed while laying lots of bricks from the free-throw line. One conclusion is clear: UConn almost certainly wouldn’t have gotten this far without Napier’s deadeye accuracy with the clock stopped, or without that Steve Nash video. Oklahoma2002Final Four7 Ohio State1999Final Four297 Florida2014Final Four275 Butler2011Final69 Butler2010Final27 Duke1999Final76 Duke2010Champion8 Connecticut2009Final Four207 Syracuse2003Champion163 Marquette2003Final Four6 West Virginia2010Final Four121 Florida2006Champion33 Syracuse2013Final Four235 Memphis2008Final318 Michigan State2005Final Four3 Ohio State2007Final134 Villanova2009Final Four17 Kentucky1998Champion148 Ohio State2012Final Four107 Michigan State2010Final Four185 Wichita State2013Final Four167 Michigan State2001Final Four55 Duke2001Champion127 George Mason2006Final Four249 Michigan State2000Champion28 Connecticut1999Champion26 Kansas2002Final Four71 Kentucky2011Final Four108 UCLA2008Final Four55 Florida2007Champion168 Louisville2005Final Four62 Georgetown2007Final Four105 UCLA2007Final Four252 Illinois2005Final45 North Carolina2000Final Four102 North Carolina2009Champion18 Kansas2003Final276 North Carolina2005Champion53 Connecticut2004Champion312 Kansas2008Champion131 North Carolina1998Final Four54 Duke2004Final Four26 Michigan2013Final158 Georgia Tech2004Final157 Oklahoma State2004Final Four150 Connecticut2014TBD5 Louisville2013Champion118 Arizona2001Final17 Michigan State1999Final Four24 Kentucky2012Champion63 Indiana2002Final135 UCLA2006Final168 Final Four TeamYearFinishFT% rank Michigan State2009Final138 Texas2003Final Four79 Maryland2001Final Four128 Louisville2012Final Four191 Louisiana State2006Final Four170 Wisconsin2014Final Four26 Kansas2012Final169 Wisconsin2000Final Four169 Utah1998Final28 North Carolina2008Final Four13 Virginia Commonwealth2011Final Four97 Florida2000Final64 Kentucky2014TBD228 Connecticut2011Champion11 Maryland2002Champion56 Stanford1998Final Four14
Penton Media has folded Digital Content Producer magazine into millimeter, its other video industry magazine. The merger is effective with the April issue.The decision to fold Digital Content Producer into millimeter will “better serve the entire video production industry,” a Penton spokesperson told FOLIO:. No layoffs were associated with the merger, she said.Millimeter’s frequency will increase from bimonthly to monthly and its circulation will jump from 30,000 to 60,000. Digital Content Producer, a monthly, carried a circulation of 57,000. Penton plans to relaunch millimeter’s Web site in July, the company said.
President and the general secretary of the Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL)The extravagant lifestyle of the president and the general secretary of the Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), and the lack of transparency in disbursing funds, have not gone down well with the BCL leaders and activists.They are also unhappy about the anomalies regarding control of tenders and the tenure of the central committee.In Wednesday’s general meeting of the BCL, its joint general secretary Sayem Khan demanded an explanation regarding the allegations and a heated debate ensued.To make things worse for the ruling party’s student wing, two factions of its Sylhet MC College unit swooped down on each other on Thursday, forcing the authorities to close the institute sine die.BCL president Saifur Rahman told Prothom Alo that Sayem Khan has apologised to him for his remarks, but the latter has denied this. “I was asked to apologise, but what I said was right. I just demanded that the funds be utilised in a systematic way. Why will only the president and the GS have all the fun? They have to look after the other leaders as well,” Sayem said.BCL president Saifur and general secretary SM Zakir Hossain came under fire from a number of senior leaders of the wing at the general meeting. They alleged the duo have an extravagant lifestyle and misappropriate BCL funds.When asked, Saifur said, “It does not really matter if one or two people say things like that.”BCL leaders present at the meeting told Prothom Alo that Saifur had said they receive the money from the prime minister. Zakir said they get Tk 230,000 from the PM.Sayem then retorted that he should get a share of that money as well.Besides Sayem, vice-president Mehedi Hasan, Aditya Nandi and Maksud Rana also brought a number of allegations against the two top leaders.On 13 January, Saifur came under severe criticism for flying to a convention in Ishwardi, Pabna by helicopter.Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader also slammed the BCL president for this.The present BCL committee will expire on 26 July. The questioned was raised at the BCL general meeting as to whether there will be a general meeting and whether the tenure will be extended.Saifur told Prothom Alo, “The convention will be held the day the honourable PM wants.”Following a meeting of the AL’s presidium members on Thursday, Obaidul said, “The country has been hit by floods. It won’t be that long before the convention is held.”A number of BCL leaders also asked the meeting why steps would not be taken against leaders for their unethical actions.Clash, infighting across the countryThe year did not start well for BCL as there were infighting at Sylhet University of Science and Technology (SUST) and Comilla Medical College units.The ruling party’s student wing made newspaper headlines in the next six months for their involvement in 37 incidents, including clash over controlling tenders, mugging, beating cops, abusing teachers, infighting and murders.Of those, 12 were related to establishing supremacy and financial affairs. Infighting killed three in Chittagong, Comilla and Chuadanga in the last six months.In a meeting with BCL men on 11 June, AL general secretary Obaidul Quader said, “You must not be part of any misdeeds for the want of money. Come to me if you need money. I shall talk to the party president [Sheikh Hasina].”On 21 January, BCL men fought among themselves to take control of the extorted money from business outlets around Dhaka College. The central committee expelled 19 including Nur Alam Bhuiyan, convener of then Dhaka College BCL committee. Nur Alam, however, went to visit Laxmipur with central committee president in March.Dhaka (South) unit BCL general secretary Sabbir Hossain and Wari Thana unit general secretary Ashiqur Rahman were expelled after they were seen firing gunshots in newspapers photos during eviction of hawkers from footpaths at Gulistan on 9 February.Three leaders of Begum Rokeya University unit BCL were excluded for confining varsity’s vice chancellor AKM Nur-Un-Nabi for 14 hours on 3 May for not giving jobs to the party activists.On 11 February, infighting over taking control of drug peddling killed BCL activist Yasin Arafat at Reajuddin Bazar in Chittagong. Eight were injured as the supporters of Chittagong University unit BCL president and general secretaries locked in a clash on 4 May. Besides, they were reported to be involved with many other crimes.A clash with cops left 25 BCL men injured after they had opted for vandalism to stop the construction work of a swimming pool at Chittagong Outer Stadium on 18 April.Besides, BCL leaders were reported to have been involved with several crimes at Rajshahi University, Keraniganj of Dhaka and Dhaka University dormitories.Regarding these incidents, the BCL president told Prothom Alo, “We have taken organisational actions against those found involved with such misdeeds. We haven’t supported them.”*The article originally published in Prothom Alo print edition has been rewritten in English by Quamrul Hassan and Shameem Reza
A cancer patient and a driver of an ambulance died in a road accident on Dhaka-Chittagong highway in Sitakunda upazila of Chittagong early Thursday.The deceased are Akkas Mia, 65, a resident of Agrabad area in Chittagong city and ambulance driver Sanaullah, 34, of Itbaria village of Patuakhali sadar upazila.The Chittagong-bound ambulance carrying cancer patient Akkas Mia along with his relatives hit a vehicle in Chhoto Darogarhat area of the upazila leaving six people in the ambulance injured, said Sitakunda fire service station official Owasi Azad.Members of Sitakunda fire service rushed to the spot and took the injured to the local upazila health complex where physicians declared Akkas Mia and Sanaullah dead.Other injured — Rani Begum, wife of Akkas Mia, his son Zahid, his relatives Halima Begum and Ismail — were later transferred to Chittagong Medical College and Hospital.
Rajib HasanFormer actor Ananta Jalil has expressed his willingness to bear the educational expenses of the two younger brothers of Rajib Hossain who died following a tragic road accident in Dhaka, reports UNB.In a Facebook post on the day of his birthday on Tuesday Ananta, once known as an action hero in Bangla cinema, expressed his shock over the death of Rajib.”The future of his two younger brothers is at risk due to Rajib’s untimely death. Therefore, on the day of my birthday I want to take the responsibility of education of the two children who has no family,” he said in the post.Later, Ananta’s post was praised highly by his followers as well as other Facebook users.Ananta, chairman and managing director of AJI Group, submitted his post from Makkah in Saudi Arabia.On 3 April, Rajib Hossain, an undergraduate student of Govt Titumir College, was going to attend his classes by a double-decker bus of Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BTRC). He was standing on the rear gate dangling his right hand outside as the bus was overcrowded.When the bus got stranded at the Sonargaon crossing near Panthakunja park, a ‘Sajan Paribahan’ bus tried to make its way through the narrow space in between the BRTC bus and the footpath. However, Rajib’s right hand was pressed in between the two buses and got severed from the elbow.Later on Tuesday, Rajib lost his battle at Dhaka Medical College Hospital.Rajib had been both elder brother and guardian to 14-year-old Abdullah Hridoy and 15-year-old Mehedi Hasan Bappi after their father died in 2007.Their mother had died when Rajib was only eight years old and the youngest brother was just 10 months. They had all been looked after by extended family members.
Members of Parliament react as the deputy speaker Lindsay Hoyle announces the results of the main vote on the EU Notification of Withdrawl Bill to the members of parliament in the House of Commons in central London. Photo: AFPBritish MPs overwhelmingly backed a bill on Wednesday empowering Prime Minister Theresa May to start negotiations on leaving the European Union, bringing Brexit a significant step closer.Members of the House of Commons voted by 494 votes to 122 for a law enabling May to trigger Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty, which begins two years of talks on pulling out of the 28-nation bloc.“We’ve seen a historic vote tonight—a big majority for getting on with negotiating our exit from the EU and a strong, new partnership with its member states,” said Brexit minister David Davis.The unamended two-clause bill now moves to the House of Lords, where there may be more opposition from unelected peers—and where May’s Conservative party does not have a majority.But its passage through the Commons, where two-thirds of MPs had campaigned against Brexit ahead of the June referendum, puts May on course to begin the withdrawal process by the end of March, as she has vowed.Labour headachesThe referendum result sent shockwaves around Europe, spooking investors and raising fears for the future of the EU itself.In the early weeks, there was speculation that pro-European lawmakers might try to delay or even stop the Brexit process.May initially sought to bypass parliament, prompting an appeal to the Supreme Court that last month ruled she must obtain their approval to trigger Article 50.But during five days of debate on the resulting government bill, it became clear that most MPs would not stop the process—even if some warned that leaving Europe’s single market could be disastrous.The opposition Labour party and the smaller Scottish National Party (SNP) tabled amendments demanding guarantees on market access, workers’ rights and those of EU citizens in Britain.Each was defeated, although during the process the government was forced to promise lawmakers a vote on the final Brexit deal before it is concluded.Labour imposed a “three-line whip,” a tough disciplinary measure ordering its MPs not to oppose the legislation, ensuring it would pass.But some 52 Labour MPs rebelled in Wednesday’s vote, including business spokesman Clive Lewis who resigned shortly beforehand, bringing a fresh headache for embattled leftist leader Jeremy Corbyn.After two-thirds of Labour voters backed Brexit, many of them driven by concerns over mass immigration from the rest of the EU, Corbyn decided his party could not block the process.“Real fight starts now. Over next two years Labour will use every opportunity to ensure Brexit protects jobs, living standards & the economy,” Corbyn wrote on Twitter following the vote.But he was swiftly reprimanded in a reply by SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon: “How? You’ve just handed the Tories a blank cheque. You didn’t win a single concession but still voted for the bill. Pathetic.”‘Ode to Joy’SNP lawmakers voiced their frustration during Wednesday’s vote by singing Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”, the EU’s anthem, before being told off by Deputy Speaker Lindsay Hoyle.But the outcome was celebrated by Brexiteers such as Nigel Farage, former leader of the UK Independence Party.“I never thought I’d see the day where the House of Commons overwhelmingly voted for Britain to Leave the European Union,” he wrote on Twitter.Liberal Democrat lawmaker Nick Clegg, the former deputy prime minister, said the vote would allow the government to pursue its aim of a hard Brexit, which will see Britain pull out of the single market.“There is no mandate for the hardest of hard Brexits the government favours, which risks leaving us poorer, weaker and more isolated,” he said.May has promised to prioritise controlling migration in the Brexit negotiations, even if that comes at the expense of giving up membership of Europe’s single market and its 500 million customers.
Kit Doyle Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,About the authorView All Posts Tagshomepage featured photos photos of the week Top Story,You may also like Catholicism Share This! Future of decades-old CBS religion documentary program in doubt By: Kit Doyle As Amazon burns, Vatican prepares for summit on region’s faith and sustainabilit … August 30, 2019 Kit Doyle,Load Comments,Comments about ‘whiteness’ prompt controversy at Sparrow Women conference Share This! By: Kit Doyle Share This! Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Photos of the Week August 30, 2019 Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,(RNS) — Each week Religion News Service presents a gallery of photos of religious expression around the world. This week’s gallery includes several Muslim commemorations, Pope Francis visiting Morocco, and more.A Kashmiri Muslim woman with her face covered prays as the head cleric displays a relic at the Hazratbal shrine on the occasion of Mehraj-u-Alam, believed to mark the ascension of Prophet Muhammad to heaven, in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, on April 4, 2019. Thousands of Kashmiri Muslims gathered at the Hazratbal shrine, which houses a relic believed to contain hair from the beard of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)Visitors look at a columbarium at the Babaoshan Revolutionary Cemetery during the Qingming festival in Beijing, on April 5, 2019. Qingming festival, also known as Tomb Sweeping Day, is a day when Chinese around the world remember their dearly departed and take time off to clean up the tombs and place flowers and offerings. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)Religious students listen to a speech by Pope Francis and King Mohammed VI, at the Mohammed VI Institute, a school for imams, in Rabat, Morocco, on March 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Mosa’ab Elshamy)Shiite pilgrims beat themselves as a sign of grief outside the golden-domed shrine of Imam Moussa al-Kadhim, who died at the end of the 8th century, during the annual commemoration of his death, in Baghdad, Iraq, on April 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)A pile of necklaces and crucifixes belonging to some of those slaughtered during the 1994 genocide at the Catholic church in Nyamata, Rwanda, as they sought refuge inside the church. The necklaces were piled on the altar as a memorial to the thousands who were killed on April 4, 2019. On Sunday, April 7, 2019, Rwanda will commemorate the 25th anniversary of the country’s descent into an orgy of violence in which some 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were massacred by the majority Hutu population over a 100-day period, the worst genocide in recent history. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)A girl waits to perform a dance with other children for Pope Francis at the diocesan Caritas center in Rabat, Morocco, on March 30, 2019. Francis’s weekend trip to Morocco aimed to highlight the North African nation’s tradition of Christian-Muslim ties, while also letting Francis show solidarity with migrants at Europe’s door and tend to a tiny Catholic flock on the peripheries. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)Baryshevsky Victor, Bishop of the Kiev Monastery of the Caves, holds his ballot at a polling station, during the presidential elections in Kiev, Ukraine, on March. 31, 2019. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)Pakistani civil society activists call for protection of Hindu girls at a protest in Hyderabad, Pakistan, on April 5, 2019. A court in Islamabad has ordered protection for two teenage sisters from the minority Hindu community as investigators widen a probe to determine whether the girls were abducted and forced to convert and marry two Muslims. (AP Photo/Pervez Masih)Portraits of Holocaust survivors are displayed at New York City’s Museum of Jewish Heritage as a vintage German train car, like those used to transport people to Auschwitz and other death camps, is uncovered on tracks outside the museum, on March 31, 2019. The train car joins hundreds of artifacts from Auschwitz at the museum for an exhibit entitled “Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away,” that opens to the public on May 8. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)Shiite worshippers carry a symbolic coffin at the golden-domed shrine of Imam Moussa al-Kadhim, who died at the end of the 8th century, during the annual commemoration of the his death, in Baghdad, Iraq, on April 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban) Instagram apostasy stirs controversy over Christian ‘influencers’ August 30, 2019 By: Kit Doyle News Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Share This! Share This! News • Photos of the Week
On Wednesday’s Houston Matters: From another federal government budget deadline, to Gov. Abbott’s primary endorsements, our group of local experts discusses the latest political stories with an eye for how they might affect Houston.Also this hour: Valentine’s Day is just a week away. Our group of Houston food writers discusses their favorite restaurants to which to take a date. And we examine the development of West Houston as told in historian Dan Worrall’s book Pleasant Bend: Upper Buffalo Bayou and the San Felipe Trail in the Nineteenth Century.WATCH: Today’s Houston Matters 360-Degree Facebook Live Video We offer a free daily, downloadable podcast here, on iTunes, Stitcher and various other podcasting apps. This article is part of the Houston Matters podcast Share