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India unveils Pratyush, its fastest supercomputer yet

first_imgIndia’s supercomputing prowess moved up several notches Monday after it unveiled Pratyush, an array of computers that can deliver a peak power of 6.8 petaflops. One petaflop is a million billion floating point operations per second and is a reflection of the computing capacity of a system.According to a statement by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pratyush is the fourth fastest supercomputer in the world dedicated for weather and climate research, and follows machines in Japan, USA and the United Kingdom. It will also move an Indian supercomputer from the 300s to the 30s in the Top500 list, a respected international tracker of the world’s fastest supercomputers.Read it at The Hindu Related Itemslast_img read more

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Dilshan, Upul create history at 2011 World Cup

first_imgTillakaratne Dilshan and Tharanga starred in a record 282-run opening stand to guide Sri Lanka to a mammoth 327 for six against Zimbabwe in a group A match of the World Cup at Pallekele International Stadium in Sri Lanka on Thursday.Dilshan was elected Man of the Match.Dilshan smashed 144 before taking 4-4 to help Lanka beat Zimbabwe by 139 runs and reach the World Cup quarter-finals on Thursday.Dilshan blasted 16 fours and a six to score a 131-ball 144, while Tharanga plundered 17 fours en route to his 133, to guide the 1996 winners to a mammoth 327 for six in a group A encounter at the Pellekele stadium here.Dilshan also missed the record for the highest runs in an innings by a Sri Lankan in a World Cup by a whisker as he finished one short of Aravinda de Silva’s 145 against Kenya in 1996 World Cup.last_img read more

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IPL 2016: Kings XI Punjab not willing to play in Dharamsala, says HPCA

first_imgHimachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) on Friday said Kings XI Punjab are not willing to play in Dharamsala as they have not received any positive response from the state government.HPCA public relations officer Sanjay Sharma said that after waiting for HP government’s reply for the last nine days, Kings XI Punjab wrote a letter yesterday to Rajeev Shukla and said they want their three matches to be played in Mohali now and not Dharamsala.Sharma said, “The government did not give any security assurance in 2014, as a result the matches went to Cuttack.Kings XI made Cuttack their home ground. And in 2015 they had to choose Pune as their home ground. Now when Pune has its own team, Kings XI faced problem with the ground and had opted for Nagpur as their second ground. Due to water scarcity, matches were shifted outside Maharashtra and they approached us.”They wanted Dharamsala to be their venue for the next three matches. On behalf of HPCA, we wrote a letter to the CM of Himachal on April 21, asking for his written consent.But no reply came from the government till date.”Sharma further said, “Yesterday Kings XI Punjab team owners called up Rajeev Shukla that they want their three matches to play in Mohali and not Dharamshala.”last_img read more

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Adani strikes deal on royalties payments with Queensland govt

first_img(Eds: Updating with additional inputs)By Natasha ChakuMelbourne, May 30 (PTI) Indian energy giant Adani Group said today that it has struck a deal on royalties payments with the Queensland government for its 21.7billion dollars coal mine project in Australia, a major breakthrough for the controversy-hit Carmichael venture which was stuck in limbo.According to the company statement, the deal with the statehas met Adanis expectations and requirements and the move would mean that the project was back on track to generate 10,000 direct and indirect jobs in the regional state.”This shows a strong commitment by the State government to the project and is a benchmark decision to take this project forward,” the statement said.”I thank the Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, and the elected members of the State for their continued support to make this happen. I also wish to thank Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten for their support for the changes to the Native Title Bill,” said Gautam Adani, Adani GroupChairman.The company will consider the final investment decision at the next board meeting, it said.The project, which is the most advanced in the Galilee Basin, involves a phase one mine production of 25 million tonnes per annum, and construction of a 388-kilometre standard gauge open access common user rail line.Peak mine production in later phases will rise to 60 million tonnes per annum.To accommodate that later stage mine production, Adani will also expand the port capacity from 50 million tonnes per annum to 120 million tonnes per annum of its owned and operated bulk coal port facility at Abbot Point near Bowen in North.advertisementThe future of the so calledbiggest mine in the world and largest inAustralia was put on hold recently after the state cabinets split on theroyalties payment.Adani wanted the Queensland government to delay the start of royalty obligations on the coal mine it hopes to build in Queenslands Galilee Basin.Earlier,statePremier Annastacia Palaszczuk hadsaid the Indian mining giant would have to pay “every cent” of royalties for the proposed mine that was followed byAdanis announcement to defer its final investment plan on the project.The project has been mired in several controversies in the past. It came understrong criticismfrom environmentalists and alsofaced several legal challengesfrom time to time.Adani Group have for more than five years battled opposition from green groups who are opposed to any expansion of the port, saying it will cut into the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.Australian cricket legends Ian and Greg Chappell and scores of other prominent Aussies urged Adani to abandon the project.In an open letter, dated on March 16, they cited public opposition, risks to miners health, climate change and potential impact on the fragile Great Barrier Reef as reasons for their request not to proceed with the project in the Galilee Basin.The letter warned that the project could hit the bilateral relationships, especially on the sporting and trade front.The company, however, rejected the demand as “a motivated attempt by a very small group of 76 misled people.”The Carmichael coal mine and port-cum-railhead project are said to be one of the worlds largest and has already received the green light from the federal and Queensland governments.The project involves dredging 1.1 million cubic metres of soil near the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which will then be disposed of on land. PTI AK MRJ AKJ MRJlast_img read more

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Sony Xperia XZ Premium review: Pixel perfect

first_imgSony, it seems, is all about challenging the status quo. At a time when rivals are stretching their screens left, right and center; Sony is busy cramming extra pixels for a 4K display. At a time when rivals are punching extra holes to fit a dual-camera system, Sony is busy adding a three-layer stacked CMOS sensor for theoretically mind-boggling slow-motion videos. The result, the Xperia XZ Premium, may chart a different course altogether, but, at the end of the day, it’s the course that could lead Sony on to the hallowed ground. It was about time.Sony’s new Xperia XZ Premium is the world’s first 4K HDR10-ready smartphone, a technology that was until now, limited to high-end TVs. It is also the world’s first smartphone to incorporate an extra memory buffer layer in a high-resolution sensor, a technology that was until now, limited to high-end point-and-shooters.The list, however, doesn’t end there. The Xperia XZ Premium, being Sony’s top-tier flagship phone for 2017, packs in the very latest in hardware and software as well. Even though it doesn’t have an edge-to-edge screen like the Samsung Galaxy S8, or a dual-camera system like the LG G6, Sony’s new Xperia XZ Premium, has enough gimmicks and fire-power under the hood to stand toe-to-toe with them. And give them quite a run for their money while at it.Design: Smart, suave and sophisticatedTheoretically,the Xperia XZ Premium is follow-up to last year’s Xperia X Performance. Spiritually however the Xperia XZ Premium succeeds 2015’s Xperia Z5 Premium. The Xperia Z5 Premium, if you haven’t heard already, was the world’s first 4K smartphone. Not only does the Xperia XZ Premium carry forward the Xperia Z5 Premium’s pixel-perfect display legacy, also its design is a thoughtful extension of its spiritual predecessor.advertisementThe Xperia XZ Premium comes with what Sony calls loop surface design. The phone is essentially carved out of Corning’s Gorilla Glass 5, but, uses healthy doses of metal and plastic as well. While the sides of the phone are plastic, the top and bottom ends are all-metal. There’s also a side-mounted home button that doubles as a fingerprint scanner on-board the device. The fingerprint scanner, in the case of the Xperia XZ Premium is fast and very accurate despite its deep-seated positioning. Once you get used to it, that is.Even though it doesn’t have an edge-to-edge screen like the Samsung Galaxy S8, or a dual-camera system like the LG G6, Sony’s new Xperia XZ Premium, has enough gimmicks and fire-power under the hood to stand toe-to-toe with themOver the years, Sony — although it hasn’t changed much of its deign scheme — has gradually gone on to make OmniBalance — now called Loop Surface — really stand out and likable. The Xperia XZ Premium, it’s safe to say, doesn’t look like any other smartphone. It looks like it belongs in the boardroom rather than the shop floor, and if I were Sony, I’d say that we have hit bull’s eye.The Xperia XZ Premium is very smart and sophisticated in a very minimalistic sort of way, the kind that business-men (and women) would likely appreciate. They would appreciate it some more, once they hold it in their hands. It’s very utilitarian, the Xperia XZ Premium. It’s very thought-out too. The plastic sides really help absorb shock in case of accidental drops, while, the diamond-cut edges along the top and bottom contribute to some fancy light-bending effects. It’s a design that’s both eye-catching and yet very practical, a combination that’s hard to get in this day and age even at premium pricing.Also Read: Sony Xperia XZ Premium quick review: A return to formThe Xperia XZ Premium is also IP68-certified for dust and water resistance and uses USB Type-C for charging and data syncing. The right edge houses the power button and a dedicated two-stage camera shutter button, while on the left edge lie slots for two different SIM cards and a micro-SD covered by a protective flap. The phone ships with a 3.5mm audio jack and a pair of stereo speakers.Although there’s a lot to love about the Xperia XZ Premium’s design language, it is certainly not perfect. The Xperia XZ Premium — especially the Chrome variant — is glossy and accumulates fingerprints by the millisecond. Also, the phone ships with rather chunky bezels and glossy ones at that which could play spoilsport when you’re using the phone — especially watching content — on the go.Display: Eight million pixels and countingThe Xperia XZ Premium, much like the Xperia Z5 Premium, has a 5.5-inch (IPS LCD) screen with a 3840×2160 pixel resolution which roughly translates to a mammoth 806ppi. That’s way too many pixels on a phone. That, ladies and gentlemen, is what they call 4K. That’s the kind of stuff you get on high-end TVs. But then because the Xperia XZ Premium is a smartphone, it is expected to have some limitations. It does.advertisementThe Xperia XZ Premium, much like the Xperia Z5 Premium, renders images mostly — a good 9.5 out of 10 times — in full-HD (1080p), not even in Quad-HD (2K), as a measure to save battery life. A majority of stuff that you’ll view on the Xperia XZ Premium’s 4K screen will actually be in full-HD. The reason being the phone doesn’t support 4K natively. Rather it upscales content (which isn’t 4K) to that resolution when the need arises. Actual 4K content is untouched during playback.If you were thinking that you’ll be treated with eye-popping 4K detail the very moment you power up the phone, that’s not happening. The “numbered” times it does do 4K, it does beautifully. This includes 4K content you’ve captured using your device or third-party 4K content from streaming services like Amazon Prime and Netflix,as well as from YouTube. But while the Xperia Z5 Premium was launched at a time when 4K was just beginning to hold its ground, the Xperia XZ Premium comes during better circumstances.Sony’s upscaling algorithm is meanwhile extended and limited to the phone’s gallery (album and video) app. The Xperia XZ Premium, much like the Xperia Z5 Premium, boosts all content that’s available in the gallery to 4K automatically. This can be best seen while viewing images.The Xperia XZ Premium is HDR 10-ready as well. Although the LG G6 was the first smartphone to support HDR10, the Sony Xperia XZ Premium is the first (and only) smartphone to be 4K HDR10-compliant by default. Sadly, HDR 10 content — ala Netflix and Amazon Prime — is limited right now just like 4K was once upon a time.Also Read: Sony Xperia XZ Premium with 4K HDR display, Motion Eye camera now available at Rs 59,990Moving on, the Xperia XZ Premium, may have trouble deciding whether to 4K or not to 4K most of the time, but the display on-board is quite good actually. It feels almost like an AMOLED panel, with its near over-saturated colours, high contrast ratio and pleasantly sharp viewing angles. There’s also an option to manually correct colour temperature — which works really well — in case you’re not impressed. While the standard RGB mode gives you — more or less — true to life colours, the Triluminous and super-vivid modes result in brighter, more vivid colours. X-Reality for mobile, meanwhile, helps enhance video colour output.Performance: Fast, runs cool as a cucumberThe Xperia XZ Premium is powered by a 2.45GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor clubbed with 4 gigs of RAM and 64GB of internal memory which is further expandable by up to 256GB via a dedicated micro-SD card slot. The dual-SIM Xperia XZ Premium runs Android 7.1.1 Nougat-based Xperia UI and supports 4G LTE (VoLTE-ready).advertisementAs expected, this is a fast phone. There’s not a lot really to complain about Sony’s new phone as far as all-round performance is concerned. A combination of high-end hardware and slick, bloat-free software ensures the Xperia XZ Premium smooth as butter, and has absolutely no trouble whatsoever in dealing with tasks, both basic and hard-grinding. Graphical games are handled well, with no lag at all, even at maxed out settings. Most importantly, unlike Sony’s past phones, the Xperia XZ Premium doesn’t get hot unless you’re really pushing it to the edge, recording extended 4K videos for instance. It runs mostly cool as a cucumber.The Xperia XZ Premium also boast of front-firing stereo speakers which get really loud and punchy with little or no distortion at peak volume. It’s again one area where the phone really stands out. The phone, in addition, also supports High-res audio via compatible headphones.Phone calls made with the phone are of excellent quality and we did not encounter any odd call drop issues with our review unit. The phone supports dual-SIM, 4G LTE (VoLTE-ready), USB Type-C (v 3.1), NFC and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity options.The Xperia XZ Premium is further backed by a 3,230mAh battery and supports Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0. Battery life is good. In our battery benchmark, we subjected the device to an hour of 1080p video playback, half an hour of GPU-intensive gaming, 45 minutes of basic games, phone calls (to the tune of one hour), some music streaming and YouTube video playback along with web browsing, and we were able to get almost 14 hours out of the device. Not the best, but, no slouch either.Sony’s new phone also uses intelligent charging to prevent battery decline, according to the company. It learns your charging patterns and adapts to them, resulting in up to twice the battery lifespan, it claims. The phone ships with a Quick Charger UCH-12 in the box which is claimed to charge the phone by up to 60 per cent in 45 minutes.Camera: Too fancy for its own goodSony’s Xperia XZ Premium can theoretically shoot slow-motion clips at a mind-boggling 960-frames-per-second. For your reference, the slowest slow-mos available in a commercially available phone right now can’t exceed 240 fps. Sony’s new phone can record videos 4X times slower than the slowest in the trade.Sony has been able to achieve this by using a three-layer stacked CMOS sensor — as opposed to using a conventional two-layer sensor — that allows the system to accommodate a 128MB DRAM layer of memory in between the pixel section and the circuitry. It’s actually the DRAM layer that does all the heavy-duty stuff storing all the visual information the sensor takes in until it’s ready to be used by the rest of the phone, primarily the image processor. Since the system has been designed for speed Sony calls it Motion Eye. XPreviousNextThe 960 fps slow-motion mode is activated via a dedicated toggle inside the camera app. There are two ways in which you can record a super slow-mo with the Xperia XZ Premium. You can either record a regular video interrupted by short spats of slow-mos or a full-scale slow-mo depending on the situation at hand. Since, 9 out of 10 times, your subject would be in some sort of motion (because, that’s the whole point of recording a slow-mo) you’ll have to be quick to make that decision. While the latter is quite straight-forward, the former would be a little more adventurous.You begin by pushing the super slow-mo toggle that sits next to the standard video recording toggle. Once enabled, the process begins with a standard recording. You then wait for that perfect moment you want to freeze in time and push the same toggle again. The sensor would then capture a super slow-motion 960 fps video for a period of 0.182 seconds (only because that’s all the time it takes to fill up the 128MB DRAM layer of memory) before going standard again. Pushing the toggle once again would capture one more freeze-frame. So on and so forth. The recording — when played — would then play as standard video interrupted by 6 seconds of dramatic slow-mo depending on how many you recorded.Sony’s Motion Eye camera system, on-board the Xperia XZ Premium, also supports Predictive Capture. The phone’s rear camera apparently has a knack for moving objects. As soon as you fire up the camera app and should there be some sort of motion in view the phone’s sensor is able to predict the same. The sensor then captures three random shots of the object in motion before you actually press the shutter key. The focus is on getting the best possible — blur-free — result out of the given scenario.Once you’ve taken the picture, the camera app would show you four different cases of the same photo — three taken automatically by the sensor and one taken by you — and you can then chose to keep either all of them or select the best possible outcome.The Xperia XZ Premium sports a 19-megapixel camera on the rear — f/2.0 aperture — assisted with predictive phase detection and laser autofocus, but no Optical Image Stabilisation. There is EIS for videos though. But, more importantly, for the first time in a long time, Sony has favoured larger individual pixels that should technically increase light sensitivity resulting in better low-light photos. The Xperia XZ Performance is resultantly a better camera phone than previous Sony phones.Photos clicked with the XZ Premium are (still) a mixed bag though with mostly well-to-do results in good lighting. The phone is able to hold and retain plausible dynamic range with little or no metering issues. Also, unlike most Sony flagship phones, the Xperia XZ Premium’s photos are less susceptible to digital noise even in tricky light.If you’ve ever been searching for the complete package, vis-a-vis Sony, the Xperia XZ Premium is that smartphoneLow-light is where the Xperia XZ Premium makes a strong case for itself bringing it in line with top-tier flagships of the year.The 13-megapixel front camera in the Xperia XZ Premium, meanwhile comes with autofocus, and is a boon for selfie lovers. The wide angles lens on-board ensures it can cover a larger area while still managing to retain lots of detail and mostly accurate colours even in tricky light situations.Should you buy it?The Sony Xperia XZ Premium has been launched in India at a price of Rs 59,990. You can say that it is expensive, but, come to think of it: it ought to be expensive because it has all the goodies. And, it’s safe to say that it is an excellent performer too, at the same time. Now Sony has always been in the habit of launching super-gimmicky phones that look fantastic but don’t serve any real-world purpose. No wonder it hasn’t been able to translate them into encouraging sales figures.The Xperia XZ Premium, however, looks and feels different. It may not look as good as Samsung’s Galaxy S8, but, that’s not really what Sony’s phone is going after. For the first time in a very long time, Sony seems to be chasing practicality. With the Xperia XZ Premium it seems to have achieved most of it. Without compromising on gimmicks.It looks great, has a great screen that can do 4K and HDR when required, metes out great performance, comes with great camera credentials and a camera that performs quite well while at it, and stereo speakers that are at par if not better than competition. It is water-resistant and crams in separate slots for two SIM cards and a micro-SD. If you’ve ever been searching for the complete package, vis-a-vis Sony, the Xperia XZ Premium is that smartphone.Xperia XZ Premium7.5/10Good stuffWorld’s only 4K HDR-ready smartphoneShoots super slow-mosGood all-round performanceGreat build qualityBad stuffGlossy, fingerprint magnetThick bezelsDoesn’t support 4K nativelylast_img read more

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Kontron: 3U CP3005-SA CPU board works in extended temperature range of -40 to +70°C

first_imgKontron is introducing CP3005-SA, a new generation of 3U CompactPCI CPU boards. The blade features 4-core or 6-core 8th-gen Intel processors or an Intel Xeon E-2176 processor. The Intel Xeon processor is specifically suitable for server applications and applications requiring error correcting code memory. Thanks to the integrated Intel UHD Graphics P630 graphics controller, the CP3005-SA CPU board ensures powerful display performance in graphics-intensive applications. Beyond these features, the latest member of the CompactPCI family presents a robust design according to VITA47 EAC3 and works even in the extended temperature range of -40 to +70°C. Based on the guaranteed product availability of at least ten years, the CP3005-SA CPU board is devised for long-term use.The new blade delivers optimized energy efficiency: 4-core or 6-core 8th-gen Intel processors achieve higher performance-per-watt values than their predecessors. Depending on the ambient temperature and CPU load, they dynamically adjust their thermal design power to avoid exceeding the maximum permissible temperature. The enhanced graphics performance of the new CP3005-SA is a unique feature. The integrated graphics controller Intel UHD Graphics P630 provides sufficient performance to support three independent graphics outputs. The Intel UHD Graphics P630 graphics card specifically supports the COM-based programming interfaces DirectX 12 for multimedia-intensive applications and the OpenGL 4.5 standard. 4K video facilitates UHD streaming and is the perfect solution for video applications like digital signage and monitoring systems.Up to 32 GigaByte SDRAM at speeds of 2666 DDR4 provide enough capacity even for applications with high storage requirements. Error Correcting Code is supported in conjunction with the Intel Xeon processor. A SATA flash memory module can be used as a memory unit for onboard and operating system data. Usually, 32 GByte are sufficient for this purpose, however, based on the new form factor M.2, 42 mm modules provide higher flash capacities of up to 1 terabyte. The flash modules can also be used as mass storage devices.Key features include multiple USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports, three Gigabit-Ethernet ports with Wake-over-LAN (WOL) option, SATA 6 Gb/s and PCI Express. Optionally, the CP3005-SA can be expanded to 8HP using expansion cards with 1 slot/4HP width: users benefit from additional I/O options and slots for 2.5-inch mass storage, for XMC modules and additional M.2 modules with 80 mm length. The CP3005-SA CPU board is designed for challenging and harsh environments and its reliability makes it extremely attractive for a variety of markets.The CP3005-SA CompacPCI board comes standard with Kontron’s APPROTECT security solution. Based on the integrated security chip from Wibu-Systems in conjunction with an appropriate software framework it ensures protection of IP rights and fends off copy and reverse engineering attempts.Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Boards & Modules Continue Reading Previous ADLINK: “quad” core i3 value processor on COM ExpressNext Which electronic calculators do you like?last_img read more

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Kremlin regiment breaks away from tradition for World Cup 2018

first_imgFootball fever gripped Russia much before the start of the FIFA World Cup 2018 and it has only grown since the stars descended in the country to compete at the highest level and lay their hands on the most prestigious trophy in the world of sports.Russia has been successful so far in dishing out one of the most memorable World Cups in recent memory thanks to the action on the pitch and the amazing hospitality off it.Just one game in the group stage ended in a goalless draw as the 48-game round provided some incredible football from the 32 teams.2018 FIFA WORLD CUP: FULL COVERAGEAn average of 2.5 goals were scored per game with the ball finding the back of the net 122 times which certainly helped increase the viewership and interest in this edition as scepticism towards Russia made way for praise and respect for the host nation.President Vladimir Putin wanted to provide the highest level of organisation both for athletes and guests of the tournament and it can be said now that he has been successful in living up to his promises.World Cup 2018: Russian women play the beautiful game dressed as bridesThe whole country is dedicating all its attention towards playing the perfect hosts with even the Kremlin military regiment doing their bit to entertain the fans and tourists.The Kremlin’s military regiment surprised World Cup fans in Moscow on Saturday by marching through Red Square with two members showing off their football skills. A member of the Guard of Honour of the Presidential Regiment plays with a ball with a conductor of the Presidential Band (Reuters Photo)The regiment, which usually marches inside the Kremlin’s walls, changed its usual itinerary and crossed Red Square in front of a crowd of locals and foreign tourists.advertisementUndeterred by heavy rain, two members of the regiment in ceremonial uniform passed around a football ball on Red Square’s cobblestones while members of the cavalry followed marching guards. A member of the Guard of Honour of the Presidential Regiment plays with a ball during the Changing of the Guard ceremony in Red Square (Reuters Photo)Founded in 1936, the Kremlin regiment guards the Kremlin and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier outside its walls, among other tasks.Russia is hosting the football World Cup for the first time, holding matches in 11 cities including Moscow, St Petersburg and Sochi.(With Reuters inputs)last_img read more

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DCW busts online sex racket in Nand Nagri

first_imgNew Delhi: The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) on Thursday said that they have busted an online sex racket in Nand Nagri and has rescued a girl and a woman aged 15 years and 30years. According to DCW, their 181 Women Helpline received a call from a woman on August 14 who informed that her 20-year-old daughter is missing from Krishna Nagar. A DCW team then assisted the lady in filing a missing report in the police station. “On Wednesday, when a DCW team went and met the family to follow up the matter, the sister of the missing girl informed that she had a friend who used to work with her and may know her whereabouts. It was informed that this friend was refusing to divulge any details about the missing girl to the family,” a DCW press statement Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murdersaid. The women commission stated that they immediately met with the friend of the missing girl who was only 16 years of age. Upon counselling, she informed the team that there is an online sex racket operating in Nand Nagri where 15 to 20 girls are being forced into prostitution. She stated that she was there for 15 to 20 days and had to make nude video calls at night between 10 to 6 pm on a social media platform IMO. DCW further added that they found a 15-year-old and 30-year-old girl hidden on the terrace who informed that they were being forced to make nude video calls. The owner, his brother and his wife were arrested on the spot by the police.last_img read more

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Clark says if her government toppled it shows BC legislature cant function

first_imgVICTORIA – Premier Christy Clark says she ready to tell the lieutenant-governor British Columbia’s legislature can’t work if her Liberal minority government is defeated in a confidence vote on Thursday.If Lt.-Gov. Judith Guichon asks her opinion, Clark said Wednesday she will reply she hasn’t seen any evidence the house can function with the NDP and Greens holding a one-seat advantage in the 87-seat legislature.It will then be up to Guichon to decide whether to dissolve the legislature and trigger an election or ask the New Democrats to form a minority government.The NDP and Greens have an agreement to defeat the Liberals in a bid to put the New Democrats in power.But a debate over who will serve as Speaker has raised questions about how long an NDP government might survive as the Liberals have not committed to allowing one of their members to serve in the position.If a New Democrat or Green member serves in the post, the house is deadlocked with votes likely to end in 43-43 outcomes, leaving the Speaker to decide whether to break the tie.Clark said the Liberals have tried to work with the opposition parties by adopting parts of their platforms in last week’s throne speech.But at the first opportunity, they chose not to back her government: voting against proposals they support that would have banned political donations by unions and corporations, and given the Greens official party status in the legislature.Clark said the message from last month’s election — which saw the Liberals win 43 seats, the NDP 41 and the Greens three — was voters want the three parties to co-operate.“That’s why we decided the throne speech reflected priorities from all parties and all members because we want to make our legislature work,” she said.“None of us should want to take the risk that an election could be called.”She said if Guichon asks her opinion on the chances of the house working, she will give a frank answer.“I’ve got to be honest. … It isn’t working,” she said.“I haven’t seen any evidence that it could work. I know that they have the numbers to topple the government and to take power, but I haven’t seen any evidence that they have the numbers they need to govern.”NDP Leader John Horgan set the wheels in motion by introducing the non-confidence motion in the legislature on Wednesday during the throne speech debate.After 16 years in power, he asked why the Liberals didn’t act before on the concerns expressed by the opposition parties.“We expected the B.C. Liberal party … to deliver a throne speech that represented the values that they have put forward in election after election after election,” he said in a draft transcript of Hansard.“Instead, we had the bizarre phenomenon of hearing Green platform planks being put forward and New Democrat platform planks being put forward as if they were now all of a sudden the best ideas that the government could find.”last_img read more

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Dalhousie Student Union says women of colour are under attack issues 10

first_imgHALIFAX – The Dalhousie Student Union says women of colour are under attack and the university is failing to support them.In a statement on systemic racism endorsed by the council Wednesday night, the student executive says Indigenous, Muslim and other racialized women are under attack and the university has failed to adequately support marginalized students.The statement lists 10 demands, including calling on the Halifax university to issue an apology to two students they say were subjected to “bureaucratic processes that uphold racist and colonial institutional policies.”Masuma Khan, a Muslim student leader who wears a hijab, and Kati George-Jim, an Indigenous student and member of Dalhousie’s board of governors, have both been embroiled in high-profile disputes with the university’s administration.Khan was threatened with sanctions over a profane social media post that criticized white fragility while George-Jim took on the board of governors for what she called institutionalized racism and the silencing of Indigenous women.“Recent events demonstrate the backlash that women of colour receive for speaking out about their lived experiences,” the statement said. “Repercussions for public advocacy are amplified for racialized and Indigenous women, based on the intersecting identities they hold.”It adds: “We write to express love and concern for them and all marginalized people on our campus, in a time when our university is failing us and needs to better support students.”The student union’s demands also include launching an external investigation into Dalhousie’s disciplinary process against Khan, and publicly releasing the demographic data of students investigated by the senate discipline committee.The council also voted to draft an issues policy document based on the statement, which is expected to lay out the student union’s position on systemic racism at the university.For the first time in its history, the majority of the student union executive are people of colour.In issuing a clear stance on institutionalized racism, the executive appears to be making what they call the dismantling of “systemic oppression and marginalization” a top priority.“We are committed to prioritizing issues of racism and colonialism on campus,” the five executive student leaders said in the statement. “These conversations are difficult, but they are not new.”Amina Abawajy, president of the Dal student union, said Thursday the current executive ran on a platform of supporting Indigenous and racialized students.“It is a priority for us to create an equitable campus,” the computer science student said. “With the lived experiences of a majority-racialized executive, it’s an opportunity for us to combat these issues.”Dalhousie student Mehak Saini said she attended Wednesday’s council meeting to share her thoughts on the statement.The second-year physics student said she supported asking the Dalhousie administration for an apology, but argued that the student body also deserved an apology from Khan.“If they are asking the university for an apology for the threats or intimidation they have received, our council should also ask our vice-president of academic and external to apologize to the student body for the fear of labels and intimidation that she has caused,” Saini said.She argued that Khan’s social media comments, including using the hashtag “whitefragilitycankissmyass,” intimidated students from disagreeing with her out of fear of being labelled racist.However, Saini was not able to speak at the council meeting.“I totally felt silenced,” she said. “We need an environment where our voices are welcomed and we don’t feel fearful to talk.”Abawajy said Saini couldn’t speak because of a “procedural issue” as someone had called for the question on the motion, but that the council “welcomes feedback from all students.”Two council members voted against the motion on systemic racism, including Mary MacDonald, who represents students with disabilities.“It contains a lot of opinions and the facts are not well established. We can’t pass a motion impugning the university administration without hearing the other side of the story,” she said. “Before approving such a damning statement, I believe at a minimum we should hear from those who are under fire.”MacDonald said the motion would give “special treatment” to two student leaders, and creates a “hierarchy of marginalized women.”While she conceded that there are “valid concerns” about racism, she said she has been treated disrespectfully as a disabled woman and has never received an apology.In response to a request for comment, a Dalhousie spokesman pointed to a university statement posted Monday on the Dal News website.“The past two weeks at Dalhousie University have sparked many conversations about respect, inclusion, community and freedom of expression,” the university said.The Dal News post highlights the next steps the university is taking to “improve campus climate and enhance intergroup relations,” such as launching a working group to support an inclusive environment and reviewing the code of student conduct.last_img read more

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Prince Harry Announces Florida Will Host Next Invictus Games

first_imgPrince Harry, Patron of the Invictus Games Foundation, has announced that the second Invictus Games have been awarded to Orlando, Florida.Video: Prince Harry announces host city for next Invictus Games in 2016The 2016 Games will take place from 8 – 12 May at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.Making the announcement via video message, Prince Harry says that following the success of the inaugural Invictus Games in 2014 he always hoped that they would be just the beginning of the Invictus story.Prince Harry said: “As I’ve continued to work with wounded servicemen and women, I regularly see the power of the soldiers’ stories to inspire others. For every competitor last September, there are hundreds of others around the world who would benefit from having the same opportunity. I wanted other cities and countries to look at the competition – what it meant to those taking part and those who saw it – and take up the challenge for the next Invictus Games. I am absolutely delighted that the United States has taken up that challenge and will host the next Invictus Games in 2016. I have no doubt that the USA will set the bar even higher than London did and put on a great show.”Following the success of the 2014 Invictus Games, the Invictus Games Foundation has been established to develop and pursue the event’s legacy. It manages the selection of the hosts for future games and oversees their delivery.The Foundation set out desired requirements for future host cities to ensure the next Invictus Games meet stringent quality standards. This includes a mandatory minimum of 10 participating nations, 250 competitors and five sports; a strong families programme; appropriate venues and sport infrastructure; extensive broadcast and media coverage and access to the Games for spectators and media.Since the end of the 2014 Games, The Invictus Games Foundation has received a number of bids from potential countries and cities wishing to host the Invictus Games over the coming years. The US bid for Orlando won the rights to the 2016 Games thanks to the city’s outstanding sporting facilities and great tourist infrastructure, which make it an ideal host city for both competitors and spectators.Last month, Lewis Hamilton was announced as the first ambassador for the Invictus Games.last_img read more

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Imperial reviews oilsands project approvals as heavy oil price discounts persist

first_imgCALGARY – Two new oilsands projects with the combined capacity to produce up to 200,000 barrels per day have been approved by the Alberta Energy Regulator but proponent Imperial Oil Ltd. isn’t saying when or if it will build them.Company experts are scouring the “guts and feathers” of the decisions on its 50,000-bpd Cold Lake expansion and 150,000-bpd Aspen projects, both of which would use solvent and steam to recover bitumen from wells, said CEO Rich Kruger on a conference call to discuss third-quarter results on Friday.The prospect of producing more heavy oil comes at a difficult time as discounts being paid for Western Canadian Select bitumen blend crude versus New York-traded West Texas Intermediate are hovering near US$40 per barrel, about three times typical differences.Light oil discounts have also widened recently as Canadian oil production exceeds export pipeline capacity — although lower-priced Alberta light oil actually weighs in Imperial’s favour because its Edmonton-area refinery consumes primarily light oil, Kruger pointed out.The Calgary-based company has grown its crude-by-rail exports from 80,000 barrels per day of diluted bitumen six months ago to about 100,000 bpd now and plans to increase that to as much as 130,000 bpd by year-end, he said.The rail-loading terminal Imperial co-owns near its Edmonton refinery has capacity to ship 210,000 bpd.“As we get into 2019, we’re going to continue to work to ramp it up … I’d like to use every bit of that capacity because that allows us to get into the highest value markets (on the U.S. Gulf Coast),” Kruger said.Imperial earned $749 million in the third quarter, more than double its profit of $371 million in the same period last year, thanks to strong upstream production and downstream profits.Analysts applauded the report that Imperial’s Kearl oilsands mining projects, which has previously been dogged by reliability problems, posted record gross production of 244,000 barrels per day, about 4,000 bpd higher than its nameplate capacity.The project is 30 per cent owned by Imperial’s U.S. parent company, Exxon Mobil Corp.Overall upstream production was 393,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, up slightly from the third quarter of 2017, resulting in earnings of $222 million, the highest level in four years.Imperial’s refining and sales division, meanwhile, pulled in earnings of $502 million compared with $292 million for the third quarter last year.Downstream profits were up despite a $33-million impairment charge related to the Ontario government’s revocation of its cap and trade carbon emission regulations.Partners in the Syncrude oilsands mining consortium are working to finalize commercial agreements for a plan to improve reliability by integrating certain operations with the nearby Suncor Energy Inc. base processing plant, Kruger said on the call.On Thursday, Suncor CEO Steve Williams said the partners have agreed in principle on the main terms and he expects two pipelines between the two plants will be completed by late 2020.Suncor owns about 49 per cent and Imperial owns 25 per cent of Syncrude.Follow @HealingSlowly on Twitter.Companies in this story: (TSX:IMO, TSX:SU)last_img read more

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AC Milan Willing to Sell Moroccos Hachim Mastour This Summer

Rabat- Although Moroccan star Hachim Mastour had some brilliant moments in the friendly match against Legnano, scoring a stunning goal, AC Milan is said to be willing to sell him this summer.Multiple Italian media reports suggest that the 17-year-old attacking midfielder is on top of the list of players who will leave Italian giant this summer.Hachim Mastour, who made his Morocco debut with the national team on June 12 and became the nation’s youngest ever player, is regarded as one of the most promising stars in the in world of football. Although media reports say that Rossoneri’s new coach Sinisa Mihajlovic is fascinated with Mastour’s talent and skills, AC Milan expressed its intention to let him go for around €5 million.Earlier this month, a report by the Italian Sports Website Corriere dello Sport said the French giant Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) is interested in signing the Moroccan prodigy, adding that AC Milan is waiting for a serious offer from PSG.Real Madrid is reportedly interested in Mastour, who is under contract with the Italian side until 2017. read more

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Minister Says He Will Intervene in Case of Moroccan Journalist Banned

Rabat – Justice Minister Mustapha Ramid has allegedly promised to intervene in the case of Moroccan historian and journalist Maati Monjib, who is on hunger strike to protest a travel ban.Mustapha Ramid reportedly told the Solidarity Committee for Maati Monjib during a meeting on Wednesday that he has no authority over the case, which concerns the Interior Ministry.Meanwhile, he promised to amicably intervene in solving the journalist’s situation, reported daily Al-Ayam news website. This promise comes at a time after which Maati Monjib, who runs an institute for investigative journalism and was a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution, collapsed last Tuesday night while on hunger strike.The Moroccan historian and journalist, who has been on hunger strike since October 6, was hospitalized in Rabat’s Ibn Sina Hospital after his blood pressure dropped sharply.Monjib was notified of the travel ban in late August when he landed in Casablanca on his return from France, over an ongoing investigation into “financial irregularities.”On September 14, 2015, the journalist was interrogated and accused of “tarnishing Morocco’s image abroad, using foreign funds to promote a foreign agenda and destabilizing citizens’ allegiance to their institutions.” His associates have also been questioned.Two days later, he began a hunger strike for the first time, in protest of being barred from leaving Morocco for a conference in Barcelona.On October 6, he went on hunger strike for the second time, condemning the restrictions against his freedom of movement and his academic freedom. read more

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Casablanca Police Officers Withdraw Complaints Against Detained Street Musicians

Rabat- The trial of street artists Badr Mouataz, 25, and Mehdi Achataoui, 28, began today. The young men’s lawyer, Youssef Chehbi, announced that the officers all withdrew their complaints and the court is set to issue its judgement later in the day.Several activists and people on social media called on authorities in Casablanca to release the young musicians, considering their arrest a “violations of their rights as artists.” On November 13, the Casablanca police arrested Mouataz and Atachatoui, who were performing at the United Nations. Both  artists are known for various street performances, andthey face charges for “practising violence against civil security forces on duty.”The two musicians reportedly lost their cool after the police officers tried to seize their musical instruments.Read Also: Moroccans Denounce Casablanca Ban on Street Performance at UN SquareThe musicians were caught off guard when the wali (governor) of Casablanca, Abdelkebir Zahoud, decided to ban street art performances in the area. The decision came after residents complained about loud music causing a disturbance.A number of musicians  organized a sit-in last week at the square, where they held  banners that read, “The ban is not a solution” and “Street art in silence?”Hashtags, namely “#FreeMusiciens” and “#Free_Lfen” (Free art), have emerged online to denounce both the ban on street performances and the arrest of the musicians. Many Moroccans also opposed how the authorities and complaining residents described music as “noise,” noting that street performances bring fun and many streets around the world are stages for young, talented performers.Read Also: Video of Bus Driver in Casablanca Holding Umbrella Goes Viral read more

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Closing Bell TSX moves higher as World Bank sees global economy picking

TORONTO — The Toronto stock market closed with a solid gain Wednesday as a positive forecast on the global economy helped boost oil and metal prices.Here are the closing numbersTSX — 13,772.58 +80.20 0.59%S&P 500 — 1,848.38 +9.50 0.52%Dow — 16,481.94 +108.08 0.66%Nasdaq — 4,214.88 +31.87 0.76%The S&P/TSX composite index gained 80.2 points to 13,772.58 while the Canadian dollar edged up 0.03 of a cent to 91.37 cents US.The World Bank’s Global Economics Prospects report said global growth is expected to rise from 2.4% in 2013 to 3.2% this year and 3.4% in 2015.“This should be the first year of synchronous global growth we’ve seen since the credit crisis,” said Bob Gorman, chief portfolio strategist at TD Waterhouse.“Europe isn’t going to be great, but our view is we have had a couple of quarters in which they have inched out of negative territory on the economic side.” Meanwhile, U.S. indexes were higher after a strong earnings report from Bank of America and a much better than expected reading on manufacturing in the U.S. Northeast.The Empire manufacturing survey beat expectations, rising to 12.5 in January from a revised 2.2 in December. The survey showed significant improvements in balances for new orders, shipments and employee numbers.The Dow Jones industrials jumped 108.08 points to 16,481.94, the Nasdaq advanced 31.86 points to 4,214.88 and the S&P 500 index rose 9.5 points to 1,848.38.Bank of America, the second-largest U.S. bank, earned US$3.44 billion or 29 cents a share in the October-to-December period, up from $732 million a year earlier. The showing beat forecasts by two cents amid a big improvement in loan loss provisions. It shares were up 38 cents to US$17.15.Also supporting markets was a positive read on the economy by the U.S. Federal Reserve. Its latest regional survey, known as the Beige Book, said the American economy expanded at a moderate pace in December and retail sales gained in most of the 12 Fed districts.The Fed added that there was some weather effect seen in retail sales.The Beige Book also said that the U.S. real estate markets continued to improve, with price increases in seven of 12 Fed districts.The Fed continued to be an overhang on markets as the central bank has started to reduce its bond purchasing program to $75 billion a month, down from $85 billion. But it has also said that further tapering would depend on economic performance, particularly jobs data.Uncertainty about Fed intentions took off again after December jobs data released last Friday came in far below expectations.Corporate earnings were the other big issue for markets as fourth- quarter data starts to come in. The S&P 500 rocketed about 30% last year, helped in large measure by Fed stimulus. Investors now want to see if strong earnings and revenue can justify that gain and push stock prices higher.The base metals component was the leading TSX advancer, up 3.7% as the March copper contract added two cents to US$3.35 a pound. Teck Resources (TSX:TCK.B) was $1.03 higher at C$27.32 and Thompson Creek Metals jumped 12% to $3.16, on top of an 18-per cent gain Tuesday in the wake of an upgrade by Bank of America/Merrill Lynch.Rail stocks moved up alongside miners as Canadian National Railways (TSX:CNR) gained $1.44 to $59.73.The tech sector gained 1.48% with Open Text (TSX:OTC) ahead $2.19 to $99.23 while BlackBerry (TSX:BB) climbed 26 cents to $9.36.The gold sector moved into positive territory, up 1% even as the February bullion contract lost $7.10 to US$1,238.30 an ounce. Barrick Gold (TSX:ABX) climbed 29 cents to C$19.78.Osisko Mining Corp. (TSX:OSK) says a hostile takeover bid for the company by Goldcorp Inc. (TSX:G) is “very low” and urged shareholders to hold off accepting the $2.6-billion offer until the board makes a recommendation.Osisko shares have traded well above the $5.95 per share implied value of the Goldcorp offer since the stock-and-cash proposal was first announced Monday. On Wednesday, Osisko shares inched up two cents to C$6.25 while Goldcorp was six cents lower at $24.28.Financials climbed 0.56% with Power Corp. of Canada (TSX:POW) ahead 60 cents to $31.37 and Manulife Financial (TSX:MFC) up 38 cents at $21.96.The February crude oil contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange gained $1.58 to US$94.17 a barrel amid data showing a much bigger than expected 7.7-million barrel drop in supplies and the energy sector was up 0.39%.The consumer discretionary group was up 0.3% and shares in Magna International Inc. (TSX:MG) were up 98 cents to $93.12 as the auto parts maker forecast between US$33.8 billion and US$35.5 billion of total sales this year, with about half of that generated from North America.The company also said that investors could expect that Magna’s now established pattern of annual dividend increases would continue.TOP STORIESLoonie is world’s worst performing currency as it drops 3.1% in first two weeks of 2014World Bank: Global economy at ‘turning point’ as rich nations seen bouncing back in 2014Canada’s housing markets shows new signs of cooling as existing home sales plunge in DecemberGoogle broke Canadian privacy law by using search data to target users with adsWHAT’S ON DECK THURSDAYECONOMIC NEWSUNITED STATES8:30 a.m.Consumer Price Index (Dec): Economists expect 0.3% rise from the month before, 1.5% year over year 10 a.m.Philadelphia Fed Index (Jan): Economists expect a reading of 8.5, up from last month CANADA8:30 a.m.International Securities Transactions (Nov) CORPORATE NEWSUNITED STATESAmerican Express Company Q4 earnings: Analysts expect US$1.25 a share BlackRock, Inc. Q4 earnings: Analysts expect US$4.35 a share Citigroup Inc. Q4 earnings: Analysts expect US$1.01 a share Capital One Financial Corp. Q4 earnings: Analysts expect US$1.55 a share Goldman Sachs Q4 earnings: Analysts expect US$4.11 a share Intel Corp. Q4 earnings: Analysts expect 52¢ a share read more

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Markets update at midmorning

On the markets at midmorning (ET):The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 94.93 points to 15,171.11, after 90 minutes of trading.In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 2.77 points to 21,526.22. The S&P 500 index shed 6.99 points to 2,446.47, and the Nasdaq composite index was down 12.89 points to 6,226.12.The Canadian dollar was trading at 75.34 cents US, down from Monday’s average price of 75.64 cents US.The August crude contract was down $1.38 at US$43.05 per barrel and the July natural gas contract was unchanged at US$2.89 per mmBTU.The August gold contract was down $2.90 to US$1,243.80 an ounce and the July copper contract was down three cents at US$2.55 a pound. read more

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Petition to be handed over to President on Panama land

A gathering of Paanama community members, civil society representatives, journalists and activists will convene outside the Presidential Secretariat office tomorrow (June 14th) to hand over the aforementioned petition in demand of justice, calling for the release of Paanama lands.#LandRightsNow – The global call to action on indigenous and community land rights was launched as a joint effort of Oxfam International, International Land Coalition (ILC) and Rights and Resources Institute (RRI) in March 2016. This global effort supported a series of public campaigning spikes in 3 selected countries: Sri Lanka, Peru and Australia. The campaign in Sri Lanka was spearheaded by PARL and Oxfam in Sri Lanka. The Peoples’ Alliance for Right to Land (PARL), in continuation of a global campaign #LandRightsNow launched in calling for the release of Paanama lands back to its people, is to hand over a petition of over 20,000 local and international signatures to the Presidential Secretariat office tomorrow.In 2010, 350 families of farmers and fisher folk living in Paanama, a coastal village in the east of Sri Lanka, were forcibly and violently evicted from lands they had cultivated and lived on for over forty years. These lands were taken over by the military to establish camps, and they are now being used to promote tourism. PARL called on the Government of Sri Lanka to immediately act on the decision to release these lands back to the community who depend on them for their livelihoods and food. The Peoples’ Alliance for Right to Land (PARL) is a voluntary coalition of civil society organizations and individuals, working together against land grabbing and for housing, land and property rights of poor and marginalized communities since 2011. Undeterred by threats, intimidation and legal action taken against them, the people of Paanama have worked together in unison in the struggle to win their lands back. Despite these dangers, the community refuses to give up. In 2015, the Government finally agreed to return the land, recognising the community’s rights. But the Government has yet to keep its promise. The community is still waiting for their land and their home back. read more

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Australia to deport asylum seeker family to Sri Lanka next year

“Mr Dutton had the power to end this family’s ordeal on day one and he still has that power now,” Ms Fredericks said. But they and their Australian-born daughters were removed from their home in March and placed in a Melbourne detention centre, after Priya’s bridging visa expired.The family was issued deportation notices in June after the federal government ruled they couldn’t stay. The judge ordered the deportation of Nadesalingam, Priya and their two daughters, but not before 1 February 2019. A Tamil asylum seeker family who made their home in a small Queensland town will be deported to Sri Lanka, after the Federal Court on Friday rejected their bid to stay in Australia, SBS Australia reported.Nadesalingam, Priya and their two daughters made an eleventh-hour appeal to the Federal Court in August after they were taken into detention in March, but their appeal was rejected on Friday. “Please, Mr Dutton: listen to the 140,000 Australians that are standing with these two little Queenslanders and their loving mum and dad. Bring them home to Biloela.” (Colombo Gazette) But their removal from Australia has been on hold while the Federal Court appeal was considered.Family friend and Biloela resident Angela Fredericks said the two young girls should be flying to their hometown for Christmas, not being kept in detention.More than 140,000 Australians have signed a petition urging Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton to return the family to Biloela. They settled in the small Queensland town of Biloela, where they have become ingrained in the local community. read more

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