Passionate about footballRamadan hasn’t stopped people following the contest on big screens in the Gulf.In Kuwait, whose national team was banned by FIFA in October from taking part in World Cup qualifying matches because of alleged government interference in sports, fans take consolation in the Euros.“Kuwaitis are passionate about football. It’s their favourite sport. But with the local championship being dull, football fans are passionate about the Euros,” said Salman Awad, former coach of the local Al-Salmiya team.Germany, the reigning world champions, are the most supported team in Kuwait and in many other Arab countries, exceeding defending European champions Spain.“Germany will win against Spain” in the final, was the prediction of Abbas Sistani as he sat in a restaurant in Kuwait City.In Dubai, one restaurant has erected a huge tent on the beach with big screens to show the games.Wafts of aromatic smoke fill the air as diners puff on flavoured tobaccos from hookahs, the water pipes that are a popular social pastime across the region.In another restaurant, an excited Jamie, sporting a white England shirt, said the cosmopolitan city state was a great venue to follow the tournament.“I don’t think we’re going to win it. I don’t think we’re close to being favourites,” he said.But “when it’s a decent game, this place is jam-packed… you can’t get that atmosphere at home… It’s as good as it gets.”Share on: WhatsApp Kuwait City, Kuwait | AFP |From Dubai to Tunis, Euro 2016 football fever is sweeping the Arab world, filling cafes and restaurants and overshadowing the nightly television soap operas that normally dominate Ramadan viewing.Every year, during the Muslim fasting month, television audiences soar as families gather in front of their sets after breaking the daytime fast.Usually the ratings are dominated by the dozens of rival soaps that are aired by state and private channels. But this year, Ramadan coincides with the Euros which are another massive draw.“The Euro championship is a high season for us,” said Mohammed Saeed, who runs a cafe in an upmarket area of Cairo. “We wait for it every four years to guarantee a full house.”Cafes in the Egyptian capital have draped the flags of competing countries over their entrances to attract fans.Some games are played during the day, when devout Muslims are fasting, while others clash with the iftar meal which breaks the daily fast at sunset.In Tunisia, where most cafes are closed during daylight hours in Ramadan, the venue moves to people’s homes.Evening games begin a few minutes after Muslims break their fast, a time most Tunisians spend with their families watching television.“No doubt there will be disputes in homes between those wanting to watch the soaps and others who want to watch the Euro matches,” said the head of a major television channel in Tunisia.Television viewing in the region peaks during Ramadan with ratings remaining high well into the night and advertisers devote large chunks of their budget to the small screen’s high season.With most games showing on foreign satellite channels, the main Tunisian channels have scheduled daily analysis programmes on the matches.
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! A federal grand jury indicted Ralphs Grocery Co. on Thursday on charges that it hired hundreds of workers under false names during the crippling 139-day strike in 2003-04. Federal prosecutors said the chain knowingly rehired key employees who used false names and Social Security numbers, then obstructed the two-year investigation that led to the 106-page indictment. “The company’s actions constitute intentional identity fraud on a large scale by a major company,” said David F. Butler of the Social Security Administration’s Office of Inspector General. While the case is rooted in labor laws restricting “selective lockouts,” the 53-count indictment focuses on Ralphs’ conduct during and after the largest grocery strike in U.S. history. The charges include identity fraud, money laundering and obstruction of justice. If convicted, the company could be fined more than $100 million, plus back pay and other restitution. Ralphs’ parent company, Cincinnati-based Kroger Co., acknowledged some improper hiring but said such conduct was limited to low-level managers who have since been disciplined. “We strongly dispute the claim that the behavior of some store managers reflected a corporate plan devised to further the company’s position during the prolonged labor negotiations,” Paul Heldman, Kroger’s senior vice president, said in a statement. But the top federal prosecutor in Los Angeles countered that investigators found evidence high-level company officials were involved. “It appears this was much more widespread on a much more organized basis,” U.S. Attorney Debra Wong Yang said at a news conference. “There was a tacit acknowledgment this was going on.” Ralphs noted that the National Labor Relations Board investigated similar allegations and dismissed the claims. Thursday’s indictment, however, accuses the company of making false statements to the labor board. The indictment also accuses the company of attempting to obstruct the grand jury investigation, which began in January 2004, by concealing documents. While the indictment names only Ralphs as a defendant, and not its corporate parent, Kroger, or any individuals, prosecutors said their investigation is ongoing and more charges are possible. The indictment bolsters accusations made by unions during the 139-day strike and lockout that affected nearly 70,000 workers across Southern California. “We’ve been vindicated,” said Rick Icaza, president of United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 770. “We felt from the very start they were illegally hiring these people back.” Workers at Vons went on strike in October 2003, and Ralphs and Albertsons employees were locked out hours later as the industry united. The companies used temporary replacement workers to keep most stores open, but suffered some $2 billion in losses. Unions unexpectedly stopped picketing Ralphs stores in late October, increasing the chain’s business and creating a need for reliable workers, according to the indictment. Ralphs proceeded to recruit locked-out employees with needed skills to return as replacement workers, the indictment said. To conceal its actions, the company hired the workers under fictitious or other peoples’ names and Social Security numbers, the indictment said. Ralphs then allegedly filed false government tax and employment forms and benefits records and cashed payroll checks with the incorrect names. Prosecutors say nearly 1,000 workers were re-hired under such circumstances, while Ralphs put the number at closer to 200. The company allegedly placed the employees at far-flung locations and moved them around so they would not be recognized. U.S. Attorney Yang contrasted Ralphs’ actions with those of Vons and Albertsons, which she said developed “clear-cut policies” prohibiting bringing back locked out workers as temporary labor. Ralphs senior management adopted a looser policy, the indictment said, and encouraged such hiring when talking to local managers. The improper hiring strengthened Ralphs financially and helped it survive the lengthy lockout while the unions saw their resources drained, prosecutors said. Ralphs later disclosed that it paid Albertsons and Vons’ parent company about $147 million as part of a secret agreement the firms entered into in response to the strike. That profit-sharing deal prompted California’s Attorney General to sue the companies for anti-trust violations in a separate case that still is pending. [email protected] (213) 978-0390
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Whether it’s a latte on the way to work or an espresso to get through the afternoon slump, coffee has become a routine formula for several youths. However, think twice before sipping on it as it can also have some side effects.Health guidelines recommend a maximum of 400 mg of caffeine per day, but as there is caffeine in tea, chocolate and fizzy drinks as well as coffee, the intake often turns out to be more than required, reports femalefirst.co.uk.Sally Norton, consultant surgeon and weight loss expert at Spire, The Glen Hospital Bristol, weighs up the pros and cons of consuming caffeine:Cons:It can be bad for your heart: Some studies show it can reduce blood flow in your coronary arteries when you need it most – during exercise, as well as cause palpitations or irregular heartbeat and may possibly increase your blood pressure over time.It disturbs your sleep: People who drink more than three cups of coffee per day are scientifically proven to have less than restful sleep. One study showed a difference of 79 minutes of sleep between drinkers of caffeinated vs decaffeinated drinks. If you struggle to get to sleep, then caffeine should definitely be a no-no.It’s often linked with sugar: Even if we don’t add sugar to our coffee, we are often tempted to accompany it with a biscuit, cake or a breakfast muffin. In addition, there can be 11 teaspoons of sugar in some varieties. The calorie count of these specialist coffees can be huge too, so it’s not good if you are watching your weight.advertisementIt’s bad for your mood: Caffeine increases catecholamines such as adrenaline, known as the “fight or flight” hormone. No surprise then that caffeine can make you tense and jittery in high quantities.Coffee can impact your infertility and can also disturb your sleep patternIt can impact your fertility: Drinking more than five cups of coffee a day can be linked with lower fertility. If you’re trying to get pregnant, it’s certainly worth cutting down on coffee, and once you are pregnant you’ll want to quit caffeine altogether or certainly cut back to less than 200 mg per day as it may increase the risk of birth defects or reduce fetal growth.Pros:It can improve sports performance: Drinking a caffeinated drink before a sport is associated with improved endurance and other sporting measures. It seems that caffeine increases heart rate but reduces the pain felt during exertion, encouraging us to push it that bit further.It can increase mental alertness: Studies performed on people in stressful conditions showed improved concentration, learning and reaction time after 200 mg caffeine. In addition, there is some evidence that it can delay onset of Alzheimer’s disease.It may reduce risk of some diseases: Drinking coffee, though apparently of both caffeinated and decaffeinated types, is associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. It is also associated with a reduced risk of some types of cancer.It may protect the liver: Fatty liver disease is becoming an increasing problem due to the combination of alcohol and obesity. Excess fat in the liver can cause inflammation and lead to cirrhosis. Some studies show that caffeine intake may be associated with a lower risk of fatty liver.Caffeine can cheer you up: Even just the smell of coffee can make you feel better and drinking it too is related to lower rates of depression. Not to mention the social element of relaxing with friends over a cuppa!
NEW YORK, N.Y. – Fox News Channel’s Laura Ingraham returned to work with defiance Monday, denouncing a “Stalinist” effort by liberals to stifle the free speech of conservatives and promising to make fighting it her new cause.She made no mention of the advertisers who had abandoned her own program after she tweeted that a survivor of the Parkland, Florida school shooting had “whined” about not getting in to some colleges he had applied for.That high school senior, David Hogg, responded by suggesting that people offended by Ingraham’s remark contact her advertisers. Some 19 companies responded by saying they wouldn’t air commercials on Ingraham’s show.Ingraham was on vacation for a week after apologizing via social media for her tweet. She hasn’t discussed that episode with her viewers specifically, but it didn’t take much reading between the lines to realize it was on her mind Monday. Ingraham even played a video clip of Bill Maher saying some liberals have defended free speech; Maher last week came out against a boycott of Ingraham’s program.She said that “left wing retaliatory hit squads” respond to speech that makes them uncomfortable by trying to evict opponents from the public square instead of debating their ideas.“The free speech clause to our Constitution doesn’t just apply to speech our elites deem acceptable,” she said.Hogg has been among the most vocal of the Parkland students arguing in favour of stricter laws on gun safety; Ingraham has resisted stricter gun laws.Ingraham’s show was light on advertisements Monday. But some sponsors stuck with her, with ads running for a visiting nurse service, a floor covering company, a debt relief company, a weight reduction drink, a knife sharpener and a pillow manufacturer.Ingraham said she would feature stories in coming weeks about conservatives who she says are fighting attempts to silence them.“We will never relent and we will never give in,” she said. “Never.”
Wheat for Dec. was up 1 cent at 4.9975 a bushel; Dec. corn fell 2.75 cents at 3.5900 a bushel; Dec. oats lost 5.25 cent at $2.8625 a bushel; while Jan. soybeans dropped 2.25 cents at $8.8075 a bushel.Beef and pork were higher on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Dec. live cattle was up .92 cent at $1.1732 a pound; Jan. feeder cattle rose .70 cent at $1.4932 a pound; while Dec. lean hogs gained .78 cent at $.5905 a pound.The Associated Press
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Prince George artists Leanna Carlson and Karin Heathman made a pit stop with their exhibit “Road Trip” at the Peace Gallery North this past Friday.The exhibition will be running until March 31st at the gallery, featuring both of the artists’ ceramic work. The show features nearly a fifty-fifty split of both Carlson’s and Heathman’s works. Although both artists have vastly different styles, they both say that the theme of road trips suits the combination.Heathman said that when the pair were discussing the possible show, they decided on the theme of a road trip as it gave them a broad subject to work within. “Often when you are on a road trip, you might be going to Thanksgiving dinner, the beach or maybe something else! Road trips take you anywhere and gave us endless possibilities as artists”.Gallery Coordinator Catherine Ruddell said she’s excited to have the exhibit in the gallery for the month. Although Ruddell has only been with the gallery since January, she has enjoyed returning to the Peace Region and working in the local community space.“although the gallery is booked at a minimum one and a half to two years ahead of schedule, I have truly enjoyed getting to know the artists that are currently booked and what they plan to bring.”Carlson, who has been practising her ceramic work for over 26 years, said regardless of her experience, pre-show pressure always kicks in.“I knew coming into this show that I had nearly enough pieces built up, but as the show approached my artist’s brain kicked in. So I made multiple pieces for the show specifically to push my artistic envelope further.”The opening night of the Road Trip exhibit was Friday from 7 pm to 9 pm and featured live music. The exhibit will be available for viewing at Peace Gallery North until March 31st.
New Delhi: Bangladesh High Commission in New Delhi observed on Monday ‘Genocide Day’ marking the atrocities and massacres committed by the Pakistani military on the unarmed civilians in 1971.A panel discussion, screening of a documentary on the 1971 genocide by Pakistan army and reading out messages from President Md. Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina were the main highlights of the programme. High Commissioner Syed Muazzem Ali, on the occasion, urged the UN to declare March 25 as the Genocide Day. He recalled that three million innocent civilians were killed, 200,000 women raped and 10 million people were forced to leave their homes by the Pakistani troops during nine-month Bangladesh War of Liberation. Moderated by Farid Hossain, Minister (Press) the panel discussion was participated by Durbar Ganguly, Editor-in-Chief of the Millennium Post newspaper and Mohua Chatterjee, Assist Political Editor of the Times of India. The panelists said the perpetrators of the 1971 carnage should be tried on charges of crime against humanity.
Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Tuesday bought $5 billion through long-term forex swap auction in a bid to ease liquidity ahead of elections. RBI successfully concluded the forex swap auction, buying the targeted $5 billion as part of the long term dollar/rupee swap with a three-year tenor, it said in a statement. In turn, Rs 34,561 crore was infused into the Indian banking system. The RBI said it received $16.31 billion in bids for the auction for which the cut-off was set at 776 paise. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalThe central bank accepted $5.02 billion of dollars tendered. This formed part of RBI’s announcement earlier this month that it would buy dollars from banks for three years and offer them rupees in return. The swap will bulk up India’s foreign exchange reserves while injecting liquidity into the financial system to ease a cash crunch typically seen before the beginning of a financial year. It is meant to give RBI greater flexibility in managing banking system cash while helping soak up any potential large dollar inflows, such as from the Rs 42,000 crore purchase of Essar Steel by ArcelorMittal which could make the rupee rise sharply. India’s new fiscal year begins on April 1. The central bank has bought Rs 3 lakh crore of bonds this fiscal to support the market at a time when a record $100 billion borrowing plan of the government had cooled demand for debt.
One of the spoilt dynasts of Indian politics, Omar Abdullah, has made the demand of taking the state of Jammu & Kashmir to the pre-1953 status and has called for having a separate prime minister and president for the state. This separatist call must be unreservedly condemned. The Abdullah family of Kashmir have treated the state as their personal fief; they have exploited the people and have based their politics on threat, coercion, violence and have made repeated calls for dismembering India. They have pandered to terrorism and separatism; they have peddled the narrative of Pakistan on Kashmir and have presided over one of the most gruesome episodes of ethnic cleansing that has taken place post-Independence. They come across as parasitic political elements who have no allegiance to the Indian Union, have no commitment to India’s freedom and her future. It was the same family which had tricked Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee into entering Kashmir and had then incarcerated him, subjected him to great pressure, physical pain and mental trauma ultimately leading to his sudden death while Nehru looked the other way. This subversive and mischievous demand is, as Arun Jaitley has argued, “intended to create a separatists psyche.” Also Read – A special kind of bondPrime Minister Modi has rightly asked Congress and the “Federal Front” parties to clarify their stand on this demand made by Omar Abdullah, since National Conference is an inseparable ally of the Rahul Gandhi-led Congress and is, at the same time, defying logic, a fundamental constituent of the Federal Front. The theatrical Farooq Abdullah was a star attraction at the January 19 Brigade Rally organised by Trinamool Congress. Let Congress and the other parties make their position clear on Omar’s demand – do they support a separate existence for Kashmir, do they support his call for separating Kashmir from the Constitutional framework of India, do they adhere to this divisive call, is it the agenda they wish to fulfil, if, by chance of fate, they ever come to power at the Centre? Will the separation of Kashmir be their objective, will their foreign policy be directed towards that end? These are questions that these parties, especially Congress and the lead party of the Federal Front, Trinamool Congress, have to answer to the people who are in no mood to tolerate separatism. Also Read – Insider threat managementBut the Abdullah family’s tryst with separatism goes back a long time, as exposed first by Dr Mookerjee while participating in a debate on Kashmir in the first Lok Sabha on 7 August 1952. Dr Mookerjee pointed at how Sheikh Abdullah, Omar Abdullah’s grandfather had increasingly resorted to the language of separatism, “Since when did the trouble start? Let us look at it dispassionately. Since Sheikh Abdullah’s return from Paris some time ago statements started to be made by him which disturbed us. Even then we did not speak out. His first statement he made in an interview which he gave when he was abroad, about his vision of an independent Kashmir. And then when he came back he amplified it, then again retracted from it and gave an explanation, and then speeches which he has made during the last few months were of a disturbing character. If he feels that his safety lies in remaining out of India, well, let him say so; we will be sorry for it, but it may become inevitable…” Sheikh Abdullah’s call for an “independent Kashmir” was first made on foreign soil. We remind Omar of these words and throw these back at him. If he and his family feel that their safety lies in remaining out of India, let them articulate it so, but they cannot pass off their urge to be separate from India as the wishes of the people of Kashmir! He would, Dr Mookerjee said, “give whole-hearted support to the scheme (separate provision) as an interim measure” only if Sheikh Abdullah accepted the sovereignty of the Indian Parliament. “Let Sheikh Abdullah declare that he accepts the Sovereignty of this Parliament. There cannot be two Sovereign Parliaments in India. You talk of Kashmir being part of India, and Sheikh Abdullah talks of a Sovereign Parliament for Kashmir. It is inconsistent, it is contradictory. This Parliament does not mean a few of us who are opposing this. This Parliament includes a majority of people who will not be swayed by any small considerations. And why should he be afraid of accepting the Sovereignty of this Parliament of Free India?” The New India of today has no interest in pampering separatism; it has no patience with sentiments and attitudes that challenge the Sovereignty of India. But the Abdullahs of Kashmir have a history of flashing the card of separatism while living off the Constitution of India and all the largesse that comes with it. Their politics has always promoted internal and communal conflict while fanning the flames of separatism. Their approach is best described in the words of the legendary and sagacious former Governor of Jammu & Kashmir and one of the most respected administrators of our times, Jagmohan. His words are worth recalling, one should keep these in circulation in our collective mind. In his opus, “My Frozen Turbulence in Kashmir”, Jagmohan writes how as he was battling “against heavy odds and dealing with the manifold problems of internal subversion and external conspiracy, Dr Farooq Abdullah and his partymen were playing a highly destructive, even unpatriotic, role…” The National Conference and its leaders, records Jagmohan, “did not enjoy any respect at all. They were not in a position to do anything positive. But they could inflict damage. They could float rumours; they could incite public through unscrupulous means. They could even pose as collaborators of the subversionists. They could whisper into their ears: “Please don’t misunderstand. What you have been doing from outside, we have been doing from inside.” They could even champion the cause of terrorists.” Jagmohan pointed out how Farooq Abdullah’s MLAs and former ministers openly celebrated “Maqbool Bhatt” Day, with one of his trusted MLAs Abdul Rashid Dar, “calling upon his party, the National Conference, to join the freedom struggle. He declared that he was placing his services at the disposal of the J&K Liberation Front (JKLF). What do these statements reveal, asks Jagmohan, “do they not show that the commitment of the National Conference to India is only a ruse, a stance, to secure power and rule? As soon as the power goes, loyalty to the Indian ideal goes.” They never utter a single word “against terrorists and their crimes”, and keep abusing our security forces instead. On February 15, 1990, Farooq Abdullah himself called for international intervention in J&K, keeping alive the legacy of his late father. In a statement released to the press, he said that the “entire Kashmir is writhing in pain due to continuous acts of barbarism and brutality by the army and para-military forces.” He said the Valley and Srinagar had been “converted into Nazi camps”, he said that the “Kashmiris are witnessing their beloved country being converted into a vast graveyard” and appealed “to the national and international upholders of humanity to intervene in Kashmir and have an international inquiry made into the general slaughter of Kashmiris at the hands of the army and para-military forces.” Sheikh Abdullah was the original proponent of “Tukde Tukde” politics; Farooq Abdullah ably succeeded and exceeded him in pushing the contours of that “Tukde Tukde” politics. Today, Omar Abdullah, the third generation of the dynasty, has emerged as one of the most vocal and articulate proponents of the legacy of that “Tukde Tukde” politics. The Abdullah’s cannot think and act otherwise, for them to accept India’s unity and sovereignty is anathema. They are essentially history-sheeters of separatism. The only answer to their cancerous politics is to decisively and democratically reject them while asserting and endorsing Narendra Modi’s vision of a “New India.” (The author is Director, Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation, New Delhi. Views expressed are strictly personal)