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first_imgThe Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, has a “Hindu” pizza on its menu containing “chicken tikka masala with yogurt, cilantro and mint,” and this has upset some Hindus.In a statement, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, President of the Universal Society of Hinduism, termed it as a trivialization of the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about 1.1 billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought.Read it at NewsIndiaTimes Related Itemslast_img read more

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first_imgJaspal Singh Gill, face hidden, being escorted to courtIn New Delhi’s concentric social circles, Frank and Kenneth Larkins were considered relatively “active” and upwardly mobile. Both had retired from the services pretty high up the ladder: Frank as a major-general in 1972 and Kenneth as an air vice-marshal in 1980.Most,Jaspal Singh Gill, face hidden, being escorted to courtIn New Delhi’s concentric social circles, Frank and Kenneth Larkins were considered relatively “active” and upwardly mobile. Both had retired from the services pretty high up the ladder: Frank as a major-general in 1972 and Kenneth as an air vice-marshal in 1980. Most Sundays, the two brothers were familiar figures at the Delhi Golf Club or could be seen enjoying the company of fellow Anglo-Indians at the Dhaula Kuan Defence Institute’s popular beer-and-biryani lunches. Even then, it was obvious that the brothers were leading double lives.In the company of fellow servicemen, the conversation was mainly reminiscences about service life and the progress of their progeny. “Frank and Kenneth were typical ex-servicemen. We all knew Frank was vaguely involved in peddling arms but his integrity was never in question,” says a serving officer who was part of the clique. At the golf club, however, their circle of acquaintances was far wider, embracing senior bureaucrats, defence officers and diplomats.Frank in particular seemed to have cultivated a wide range of friends obviously connected to his last serving posting as director, weapons and equipment (DWE) at Army Headquarters in New Delhi, a post that put him in direct control of major weapons development projects and purchases for the army.Civvy Street: Three years ago their lifestyle changed dramatically. Frank Larkins was obviously doing well as an agent for Fabrique Nationale (FN) of Belgium, one of the world’s leading gun manufacturers. He moved into a first-floor flat in Delhi’s plush Vasant Vihar colony where he entertained quite regularly.advertisement Kenneth, meanwhile, had joined Usha Service Consultants, a firm officed in the New Delhi commercial complex at Nehru Place, which deals in defence supplies and has a number of senior retired service officers on its pay-roll.Usha Consultants carries a lot of clout. It is owned by Kulwant Rai, a close relative of the Jit Paul-Swraj Paul family and the company has bagged some major defence contracts in recent years including the sale of anti-submarine sonar equipment to be fitted into the navy’s Sea King helicopters. Kenneth, like Frank, was obviously destined for a successful career in civvy street.Quiet Arrest: Then, the bomb dropped. On November 3, a posse of officers from the Special Branch of Delhi Police accompanied by Intelligence Bureau (IB) sleuths quietly arrested Frank Larkins from his Vasant Vihar house.Frank LarkinsKenneth Larkins was picked up simultaneously from his home town of Lucknow just one week before he was scheduled to emigrate to Australia where his daughter lives.The two brothers were charged under the Official Secrets Act for selling classified information to Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) agents operating under diplomatic cover in the US Embassy in New Delhi.Larkins’s impending departure for Australia had obviously forced the IB’S hand. Both brothers had been under surveillance since 1981 when their diplomatic contacts and frequent trips abroad started generating suspicion.The IB surveillance team had at least seven opportunities since then to arrest the Larkinses in the act of clandestinely meeting US diplomats but each time their attempts were thwarted by the fact that the diplomats were driving souped-up Fiats belonging to the US Embassy which easily outpaced the IB’s Ambassadors.The Larkins brothers must have known that they were under suspicion but greed soon got the better of caution. In March, the IB finally had the proof they wanted. Group Captain Jasjit Singh, an air force intelligence officer, had been planted in the office of the Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Operations), Air Vice-Marshal S. Raghavendran, a likely target for any espionage activity. Singh was attractive bait. He was a top-rated fighter pilot who had served under Air Vice-Marshal Larkins and he made it discreetly known that he was frustrated at a desk job and disgruntled with the air force.First Approach: Sure enough, the bait proved too tempting to resist. Singh was approached by Kenneth Larkins on March 20 and asked whether he would consider passing on classified manuals of Soviet MiGs in the Indian Air Force (IAF) inventory. On March 24, Singh informed Raghavendran that the approach had been made and that Larkins had promised him Rs 30,000 for each manual.Immediately, the matter was referred to the prime minister and the cabinet secretary. Singh was instructed to pass on a classified manual on electronic equipment for the MiG-23 aircraft which he did when Larkins visited him in his office at Air Headquarters on April 3. On April 5, Larkins returned the manual along with a preliminary payment of Rs 10,000.advertisementIt was then decided to increase surveillance and pounce only when the manuals were in the process of being passed on to the CIA personnel. But Larkins’s intended flight to Australia last month forced the IB to act earlier. But even so, they had enough evidence to nail the two. When shown the details of the surveillance, Frank Larkins quickly confessed. His 10-page confession led to the arrest of two more members of the spy ring, Jaspal Singh Gill, a Delhi-based businessman and his employee, Lt-Colonel Jasbir Singh (retd).Gill, a former employee of Hindustan Lever, had started dealing in sugar, fertilisers and condiments from 1972 – he was involved in a multi-crore sugar deal scandal concerning a Swiss firm in 1976 – and later became an agent for a number of western arms merchants after Jasbir Singh, a well connected former Armoured Corps officer joined him. Gill’s company was registered under the name of EMGEE International.A smiling Jasbir Singh: Double livesHigh Connections: Gill was a product of the exclusive Doon School which, through the old boy network, gave him access to some well-placed people. Jasbir Singh was married to the daughter of Lt-General Harnarain Singh and was a course-mate of the present deputy chief of the army, Lt-General Hirday Kaul. His intimate knowledge of tanks and his social and army connections made him an ideal candidate for the job of ‘liaison officer’, the euphemistic title sported by others of his ilk who are to be seen haunting the corridors of the ministries. India Today had met both Gill and Singh last year in the course of investigations into the Centurion tank deal when the tanks got to South Africa.Defence Ministry sources had indicated that Gill had been involved in the deal and though he denied it to India Today, he admitted that hewas negotiating for various defence contracts. He along with Lt-ColonelJasbir Singh had also been under IB surveillance at his posh SunderNagar house.His American connections went deeper than merecommercial ones. He was divorced from his German wife and at the time of his arrest, had been living with an American woman. His daughter livesin the US and Gill has made frequent trips there in the past few years.Though the Larkins’ confession is being kept a close secret, it is learnt that the spy ring was much bigger and included another air vice-marshal wholeft India five months ago and has obviously slipped out of the net. Itwas said that he was recruited by a CIA operative who was an attache atthe US Embassy.He in turn recruited the Larkins brothers whowere asked to recruit more people. The original CIA operative had leftIndia in 1982 and handed over the network to Harry L. Weatherbee, theCIA man named in Larkins’ confession who was given 24 hours to leave the country after the spy ring was busted in late November. A thirdCIA official whom the IB has implicated in the case is still in Delhiand IB sources say that he will also be told to get out once there ismore proof of his involvement.advertisementFrank Larkins has also been charged under the Excise Act and the Firearms Act. When the arrest took place,the investigating officers discovered 16 bottles of Scotch whisky andone bottle of champagne in his house along with an unlicensed 12-boreshotgun.The officers thoughtfully left behind thebottle of champagne because Mrs Larkins was celebrating her birthday onthe day of her husband’s arrest. In Frank Larkins’s bank account, theofficers seized Rs 7 lakh. In his confession, Larkins had stated that he was being paid Rs 5,000 a month by Fabrique Nationale and another $500(Rs 5,000) a month by the Americans.In the Larkins case, what the Americans had asked them to obtain related to the electronic, avionics and other fittings, including surveillance cameras, inside the MiG-25 and the specialised equipment installed in the T-72 tanks.Vital Areas: But whatever the ramifications of the latest spy scandal – the biggest since the Samba spy case of 1979 – it has succeeded in focussing attention on two vital areas. One is the nature of the material that the Larkinses and their associates were passing on to the Americans.Traditionally, the Americans have only been interested in onespecific aspect of defence-related espionage in India – details of theSoviet equipment in the armed forces.India is one of the fewcountries outside the Iron Curtain that gets comparatively recent Soviet weaponry and is therefore a logical target. And, as the latestscandal reveals, it is probably easier to bribe people with access herethan it would be in other countries with comparable equipment.Inthe Larkins case, what the Americans had asked them to obtain was not as damaging as it is made out to be. Essentially it related to theelectronic, avionics and other fittings, including surveillance cameras, inside the MiG-25 and the specialised equipment installed in the T-72tanks.Both the MiG-25 and T-72 have been in operation for quitesome time and it is unlikely that the CIA or American defenceintelligence does not possess that information. Essentially, therefore,the material being obtained was only to confirm information already intheir possession or to plug gaps, if any, in their intelligence.Similarly, Gill and Lt-Colonel Singh were passing on information on Sovietequipment gleaned from the defence library. In fact, during hisconfession, Frank Larkins said that at no time did he feel he wasbetraying the country and that he would never have dreamt of indulgingin espionage if the contact had been a Pakistani.Frank Larkins’s flat in Vasant ViharIn the last 25 years, every single air attache posted inWashington in the Indian Embassy has been regularly cultivated by theCIA and then offered either money or permanent settlement in the US inexchange for information about Soviet equipment being inducted into theIAF.It speaks highly of the calibre of officers sent that so faronly one, Air Commodore M. Khanna, succumbed to temptation. He wascourt-martialled in absentia and is still living in the US.Embarrassing Revelations: But the situation seems to have changed quite dramatically in recentyears, which is why the second area that the current case focusses on -the increasing involvement of ex-servicemen in arms dealing – acquiresadded importance. There are at present around 70 companies orrepresentatives involved in India’s arms trade and almost all of themhave senior retired defence personnel in key positions.UshaConsultants, which employed Kenneth Larkins at a salary of Rs 2,500 amonth plus commission on deals, also employs a lieutenant-general, anair vice-marshal, an air commiodore and a naval captain.Thereason why so many retired defence officers are being snapped up bycompanies dealing in weaponry is obvious: to use their contacts in theservices and their intimate knowledge of weapons for commercialadvantage. The Larkins ring was an exception in that they were armspeddlers who were moonlighting as minor spies.A vast majority of the ex-servicemen currently in the trade have been genuinely shocked and saddened by the Larkins affair since it reflectsbadly on them and, inevitably, also puts them immediately under a cloudof suspicion. Unfortunately, the burgeoning Indian arms bazaarputs them in a paradoxical situation. Because of their knowledge andexperience, many of them feel that they are ideally suited to sellweaponry to India. After all, their career in the services offers themscope for little else. The dramatic change in their lives afterretirement is, of course, an added inducement. From living in rent-freebungalows with orderlies at hand and official cars for mobility topaying their own rent, petrol and maintaining a house on a pension of Rs 1,400 a month is for a senior officer a trauma that proves difficult to handle.Sensitive Points: Given that situation, theproliferation of high-ranking former service officers in the arms tradewas predictable. Equally predictable was something like the Larkinscase. Arms dealers hiring ex-servicemen as liaison men clearly rendersthe situation fertile for foreign governments to indulge in espionagegames.For one, they have both the knowledge and the access toinformation that is classified. Being in the kind of trade they are,there is a constant flow of information to their principals aboutimpending negotiations and purchases.In many cases, theirprincipals are closely connected to the governments of variouscountries. One of the leading arms dealers in the country is, forinstance, an agent for at least seven leading western armsmanufacturers. He is also the sole agent for Soviet and East Europeanarms companies. The fact that he is a civilian with access to classified material only proves how vulnerable the entire bureaucratic-militaryset-up is to foreign intervention.Gill’s residence in Sunder Nagar: Complex connectionsThe other weak point is themoney involved. India’s arms bazaar is worth an estimated Rs 500 crore a year in contracts, a figure that has been steadily rising since 1977when India began to wriggle out of its dependence on Soviet equipmentand shop in the western market-place. With competition gettingincreasingly cutthroat, the threshold of resistance to corruption in the form of kickbacks on the part of bureaucrats and politicians has become virtually non-existent. In such a scenario, the threat of succumbing to temptations by foreign spies is an ever-present one.What isworrying the Government more is the kind of influence that agents andtheir employees now exert on the course of major defence deals, often at great loss to the country. Their influence is extended further by thefact that the situation is tailor-made for such a situation.India is an arms dealer’s paradise because of the unnatural secrecy that surrounds all defence deals, the abnormal delay in their procurementand the increasingly vested interests of key people in defence researchand development organisations. A number of employees of arms dealers are former employees of major defence establishments like HindustanAeronautics Limited (HAL).Recently, a brigadier who retired asdirector of the Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment(CVRDE) has been employed by Kirloskars who are bidding for theinstallation of their engines in the army’s Vijayanta tanks beingmanufactured by the CVRDE.The engines are being sold incompetition to the L-60 engines being manufactured by the Heavy VehicleFactory, a public sector unit. The brigadier was also in charge of themain battle tank (MBT) project. In another case,a major-general whoretired as director of Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (EME) hasbeen employed by Leyland of the UK which is currently trying to sellIndia the L-60 engines directly as replacement for the L-60s beingproduced under licence here.Purchase Mix-up: Similarly,the proposed purchase of a heavy machine-gun (HMG) is another example of manipulation by arms agents. The search for the gun started in 1977-78under an expert committee headed by former army chief General K. V.Krishna Rao. The committee found that only Belgium and the USmanufactured the type they were looking for.In 1978, theBelgians brought the FN heavy machine-gun for trials in Mhow and, thanks to the secrecy the Government maintains on deals, discovered that whatthe Indian Government wanted was dispersion and not accuracy. Theywithdrew and the deal was then negotiated with Remo, anothermanufacturer.Meanwhile, the Government changed and after a gap of 18 months, when the Rs 89 crore deal was about to be finalised, it wasdiscovered that Remo did not make the barrels for the HMG which weremanufactured by Maremont Corporation in the US. Immediately, there was a tussle among Indian agents to try and get the agency for Maremont while the Indian Government thoughtfully obliged them by taking its own timeto decide.One of the people bidding for Maremont’s agency wasJaspal Singh Gill. Maremont, however, decided to give it to a companycalled Inter-trade. In 1981, it was decided to conduct retrials of thegun. Three contenders remained in the fray, FN, Maremont and a Frenchcompany.Finally only FN and Maremont showed up. Maremont’s bidwas objected to by the Ministry of External Affairs. On the HMG file is a noting by a senior ministry official that the US Government would notbe reliable in guaranteeing supply of the system. At the bottom of thenoting is written “Not Recommended”.Despite that the deal wassigned under pressure with Maremont early this year, subject toratification by the US Government. The US Congress predictably addedcertain amendments to the contract which the Indian Government objectedto and the contract was cancelled.Finally, the only people leftin the field were FN, the original contenders who had bid for thecontract in 1979. The HMG file is still lying with the defence ministerfor the past 60 days and nothing further has been heard about the case.In fact, before he relinquished office, Krishna Rao sent a confidentialletter to the prime minister in which he clearly states that the HMGproject was started because Pakistan had acquired it and the Indian army desperately needed a counter system.He states that he would not like to leave office without recording the fact that the HMG is stillnot in use by the army and he would not like to be held responsible forit later. That only illustrates the kind of manipulation rampant in thearms trade and its vulnerability to outside interference and espionage.While the Larkins episode brought into sharp focus the unhealthy aspects ofthe retired defence officers’ involvement in the tricky arms business,on the intelligence front it underlined the fact that despite thephenomenal growth in the size of India’s intelligence agencies in therecent past the country’s security umbrella remains prone to leakages. Arms dealers hiring ex-servicemen as liaison men clearly renders the situation fertile for foreign governments to indulge in espionage games. For one, they have both the knowledge and the access to information that is classified.It is not much better than at any time during the past two decadeswhen, time and again, foreign intelligence outfits have penetrated itwith success.Beginning with the KGB in the late ’50s, every major intelligence agency of the world has taken increasing interest inIndia. The following are the more significant examples:In thelate ’50s the KGB photographed an Indian Embassy employee in Moscow in a drunken orgy and blackmailed him into spying for them on his return toIndia. Harry Rositzke, the CIA station chief in New Delhi from 1957 to1962 describes this graphically in his KGB: The Eyes of Russia. The IBcaught the ‘mole’.Around the same time Rositzke was running’moles’ in the Indian army headquarters. According to John D. Smith, aCIA colleague of Rositzke’s who later defected to the Soviet Union, theearly CIA successes included the alleged enrolment of a former Indianarmy chief for spying.During the Bangladesh campaign the CIAsucceeded in hiring none else than Khondakar Mushtaque Ahmed, a memberof the Bangladesh Cabinet in exile operating from Mujibnagar (8, Theatre Road, Calcutta). The RAW sleuths tracked him down and even used him toplant disinformation on the CIA.A few months later, afterBangladesh’s liberation, RAW’s joint director Phany Banerjee who hadheaded the operation was found dead in a room of Dhaka’s HotelIntercontinental. His associates believe that he was killed.In1979 the Morarji government had to send away two Soviet diplomats oncharges of spying on the eve of Kosygin’s visit. It is now believed that while the diplomats had been spying for some time India was tipped offby the CIA at the “right” time, for obvious reasons.In 1976 theIB arrested F. D’Souza, a deputy principal information officer with thePress Information Bureau (PIB) for trading secret documents with theBritish Secret Intelligence Service (SIS). It later turned out that thedocuments were forged but the incident confirmed the SIS’s interest inIndia.Just when Prince Charles was being ceremonially taken round the Mazagon Dockyard alert navymen caught two SIS frogmen flappingaround, trying to get information on the powerful Kashin classdestroyers just acquired by the navy.The Samba spy scandal whenpractically the entire officer corps of an Indian army brigade based atSamba was suspected to be spying for Pakistan. The arrest in 1979of Mahabir Prasad, personal assistant to Y. B. Chavan, home and deputyprime minister in the Charan Singh cabinet, on charges of spying for the KGB.The list only includes the more prominent cases which wereeither cracked by the Indian agencies or reported in the press.Nevertheless, it confirms the sieve-like nature of the country’ssecurity system.The spying efforts of the Pakistanis, for whomIndia is a front line state, belong to a slightly different, relativelylow-grade variety. Says a top-flight intelligence operative: “Theproblem with the Pakistanis is that not many Indians who would make adeal with the western agencies would do so with them. Possibly even the Larkinses would have hesitated from working for them.”Modus Operandi: The Pakistani intelligence agencies have been basically banking onPakistani visitors to India, now around a lakh every year, who mergewith the local population. Often they have also hired peons, clerks andcouriers in sensitive ministries and departments.The arrest in1979 of Tikka Ram, a clerk in the Defence Ministry who had apparentlybeen on the Pakistani pay-roll for over two decades for as little as athousand rupees a month is an example. Says a senior RAW official: “Afavourite Pakistani trick is planting agents disguised as cobblers,barbers and newspaper vendors in cantonment towns and around the key IAF bases.” In 1977 Indian sleuths captured a barber near thesensitive Uttarlai airbase in Rajasthan. The barber was a seniorPakistani agent keeping an eye on the aircraft moving in and out of thebase.Mysteriously, not very much is heard of Chinese activity.Intelligence men believe that they operate through sympathisers in theleft-of-centre political parties and through friendly hillmen in theborder regions. The use of Tibetan graziers to keep tab on the Indiantroop movements is a common tactic.With so much to keep under watch the build-up on the Indian sideseems quite obviously inadequate. The IB, under the Union Home Ministry, looks after internal security and counter-espionage within the country. RAW handles external espionage and the special bureaus run by all state police forces which, besides doing the dirty work for the politicalbosses also maintain counter-intelligence wings, including the foreigner registration bureaus.In addition the three wings of the armedforces, the Border Security Force (BSF), the Central Reserve PoliceForce (CRPF) and other paramilitary groups like the Assam Rifles andIndo-Tibetan Border Police have their own intelligence wings.Painstaking Job: But counter-espionage is the responsibility of the IB. Its headquarters in New Delhi contains a fairly sizeable counter-espionage network. Italso maintains officers in sensitive border areas and towns where largedefence installations or ordnance factories are located. IB operativessay their job is more painstaking than sensational.Normally IBoperations consist of keeping watch on foreign missions, particularlythose of Pakistan, China, the US, the Soviet Union and the UnitedKingdom besides those of the two Koreas, Iraq and Iran.The lastfour are relatively recent additions and the IB’S main concern is toprevent them from planning and carrying out operations against eachother. Said a raw officer: “At least in this field we have coordinatedwell. That is why we were able to send back planes loaded with Irani and Iraqi guerrillas, out to kill each other, on the eve of NAM.”IB sleuths also keep in regular touch with the Delhi Police Special Branch which too runs a counter-espionage wing. In any case the IB has nopowers to arrest and prosecute and once a suspect is identified the case is handed over to the police.Normal Strategy: Sourcesexplain that the IB style of functioning is based on the conventionalstrategy of keeping as wide a surveillance as possible and then filingand analysing every small bit of information. Specific operations arelaunched only when information points to someone, as was the case withLarkins.Then begins the even slower process of collectingevidence and trapping the suspect with planted material. Said a retiredpolice officer: “We are often handicapped by the loopholes in theOfficial Secrets Act and the conventional attitude of Indian judges.Thus months and months have to be put in to collect evidence worthy ofsecuring conviction.”From this point of view one of the IB’S andDelhi Police’s more successful cases was the conviction in May of Robert John, a Pakistani spy, for 27 years running on various charges ofspying and smuggling. Often, the IB men have to resort to old-fashionedgimmicks like stationing agents as paniwallas or ice-cream sellers in front of the missions of target countries.Said an operative: “We try to be as discreet as possible, but in some cases, like perhaps with Pakistan where it is considered useful to even causesome harassment, we even resort to bumper-to-bumper chases. Give the man a run for his money.”But, tragically, bureaucratic inefficiencyand politics has not left even this vital aspect of security untouched.As such, in the IB just one deputy director (with the rank of a deputyinspector general of police) runs the desk looking after Pakistan, theGulf and practically all the Islamic countries.The deputydirector looking after China has almost all socialist countries in hischarge. In fact, just four deputy directors look after the entire world. Interestingly, of the two posts of joint directors (with the rank ofinspector general of police) leading the counter-intelligence effort,one has been lying vacant for nearly six months now.But whatmakes the whole system so weak and vulnerable is not just the inadequacy of the IB. Over the years, new intelligence agencies have mushroomedhaphazardly with overlapping charters. The result is confusion. In factthe decline of the IB, like that of RAW and the other agencies began inright earnest with the Emergency when all of them got involved in thequagmire of political intrigue and carrying out extra-professionalerrands for the ruling party.Falling Standards: WhileMorarji’s moralistic doubts had a role to play the post-Emergencydecline of the Indian intelligence agencies is more a tale of fallingstandards among the officer cadre, careeristic intrigue and confusionwith every agency stepping into the other’s domain.Theone-upmanship in which the leaders of the various agencies began toincreasingly indulge in the post-Emergency period to please theirrespective bosses often led to undercutting much to the detriment of the national interest. Said a retired Home Ministry official: “Therot set in when RAW was allowed to set up bureaus inside the countryeven though the IB charter clearly included counter-espionage.” Thisresulted in a total free-for-all with RAW, given its better financialresources, trying to lure sources cultivated by the IB for years.As such the state police special bureaus and the IB’S state units, thesubsidiary intelligence bureaus are always locked in competition overthese. Alongside, with the increase in the authority of theCabinet Secretariat that runs RAW and fall in the standards of its ownleadership the IB found itself playing a truly subsidiary role, confined to domestic political intelligence and reducing itself, in the bargain, to some kind of an information bureau, competing with uni and PTI intrying to be the first to inform the Home Ministry of a majordevelopment.Says an IB officer: “The problem is, we are anagency that no longer strives to predict an event and then take creditfor having done so correctly. We are happy now only if we can tell Delhi five minutes ahead of others of a bomb explosion, derailment, air crash or political defection. A consequence was the bungle over JP’s deaththat never was.” Quipped another: “At this rate we should beginemploying professional news agency men.”Increasingly, the IB came to be used for all kinds of things including collecting weekly reportson the price situation in all parts of the country. T. V. Rajeshwar, the last director of the IB, even employed officers with economicsbackgrounds to “analyse” these reports and present “assessments” for the user economic ministries. Said an IB officer: “What hard intelligencework can we do when we are always under pressure for keeping track ofthe dal prices?”The “newsy” orientation of theintelligence agencies was reflected most ridiculously when, followingthe Ershad coup in Bangladesh last year, each agency claimed to havebeen the first to have informed Delhi of the coup. In fact at ahigh-level meeting in Delhi, officials of some of the agencies openlyclashed, contesting each other’s claim. Each one’s, source wasBangladesh television, monitored by the outposts in the North-east.Confused Agencies: It is in disturbed areas like the North-east and Punjab that suchunnecessary competition and duplication manifest themselves with telling effect. Said a high-ranking police officer in the insurgent-infestedImphal: “Very often a third-rate source takes Rs 50 from us for somethird-rate information and twice as much from the SIB.Then heprobably gathers two bottles of rum from the army, an imported watchfrom the BSF, a couple of hundred rupees from the richer RAW and morerum from the Assam Rifles, Manipur Rifles, CRPF and the SSB (SpecialServices Bureau) for the same information. In our zeal to guard oursources we never take each other into confidence. But the army launchesan operation based on this piece of information as everyone seems toconfirm it, and hits thin air.” The same syndrome now affectsintelligence-gathering in Punjab.In fact RAW’s larger budgetmakes every other agency feel like a poor cousin. Said an armyintelligence officer: “RAW may not have the licence to kill. But theycertainly have the licence to bill as much as they like.” The referenceis kr RAW’s annual, unaudited budget of Rs 70 crore for clandestineoperations. Besicdes, RAW continues to meddle with internal operations. A tell-tale example was its operatives’ help to Cabinet Secretary C. R. Krishnaswamy Rao Sahib in parrying out a secret dialogue with AASUReaders. At one point an aircraft of the Aviation Research Centre (ARC)even flew some agitation leaders to its headquarters at Charbatia fortalks much to the chagrin of other wings of the Government dealing withthe agitation.In the IB, just one deputy director runs the desk looking after Pakistan, the Gulf and practically all the Islamic countries.The domestic intelligence free-for-all has also lately been joined by the defence forces which, in the panic that followed the Samba spy case, set up Liaison Units (LU’S) all over the country. These were headed by their officers in civvies and reported directly to Delhi. The units’ function was counterespionage to ensure that another Samba did not take place.But over the years even these units have begun to function as the civilian eyes and ears of the forces, often writing out commentaries on the political situation or even sending in summaries of the state assembly proceedings. The clearest example of the confusion came again in the North-east when army intelligence men in Gauhati proudly told everyone that they had captured a ranking officer of the Salvation Army, only to retreat shamefacedly when told that it was no insurgent outfit.Early Days: Much of the weakness of the Indian intelligence system is due to the fact that it had a late and faltering start under B. N. Malik, the mercurial policeman put in charge of the incipient intelligence bureau in 1950 who left 15 years later after building a strong, widespread, if sometimes erratic and autocratic outfit. In fact when Malik first approached Nehru he initially argued that India could not join such an unethical free-for-all.To Nehru’s mind the very idea of using diplomats as spies was abhorrent. But he was persuaded into changing his mind later by Girija Shankar Bajpayee, the then foreign secretary who told Nehru: “In all my visits abroad I have not seen one embassy that can be called Caesar’s wife.I know ambassadors Who are spies.” The formation of the Indian intelligence network in the early ’50s coincided with the increased American interest in Tibet. The first IB operatives were sent to the CIA for training.The IB’s early operations were concentrated in Tibet and Pakistan and it succeeded in informing the Government in time of the Chinese occupation of Aksai Chin and the building of a highway through the virgin barren territory. The scope of operations widened later with the increasing Chinese hostility as the CIA became a full-fledged partner of the IB which grew phenomenally in the post-1962 period.Up came the SSB under which almost the entire border population along Tibet in Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Assam was armed, indoctrinated and trained to fight against the Chinese in case the latter again broke through the main Indian army defences.In the thickly wooded hills at Chakrata near Mussoorie came up the headquarters of the Special Frontier Force (SFF) where, led by Major-General Sujan Singh Uban, Indian and US experts trained over 10,000 Tibetan youths in guerrilla warfare. Close on its heels came the most hush-hush of all the secret outfits, the arc, once again an ambiguously named organisation meant to carry out spy flights over Tibet (see box).New Set-up: The first director of the ARC was a tall Kashmiri from Allahabad called Rameshwar Nath Kao whom Malik considered a promising prospect. And, shortly after his exit it was Kao who persuaded the Government that the IB had become burdened with too many responsibilities and carved out RAW, meant exclusively for external intelligence. For Kao it was not just a move from one deceptively-named organisation to another as he set about selecting the best in the land, buying the most expensive spy equipment all over the world and, in a short while, built up a classy outfit that proved its mettle in the Bangladesh war.But it was the haphazard growth in the latter stages, politicisation of the agencies during and after the Emergency and the sudden advent of trade unionism during the Janata Party rule that put Indian intelligence into reverse; ear.Kao (left) and Nair: Veteran RAW handsToday, besides the confusion, overlapping and politicisation they are also plagued by widespread frustration among the employees over pay, promotions and postings besides the never-ending tussle between officers on deputation from the Indian Police Service and the direct recruits. In spite of stringent action the agencies have been unable to contain trade-unionism. Significantly, the various agencies’ overlapping charters render it impossible, in case of a blunder, to fix the responsibility on any one agency.It is these gaps that make our security armour so porous to the Larkinses and the resourceful foreign powers employing them. And with the relative vulnerability of the former defence officers in the murky arms business to manipulation India becomes even easier prey to the machinations of foreign spies.Fortunately, the Government seems aware of it and awaits the recommendations of K. Sankaran Nair, the high-profile former director of RAW who is now conducting a thorough cadre review of the intelligence organisations to remove frustration among the operatives.He will also say how these should be reorganised to function without overlapping or confusion. But till that happens India will remain, to borrow from Le Carre, a veritable playground for the “traitor, smuggler, soldier, spy”.last_img read more

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first_imgThe India U-17 football team went down 0-3 to Portuguese club SL Benfica in a friendly match as part of their their .Luis Pinheiro (26th minute), Umero Embalo (51st) and Matos (70th) hit the target for the hosts.The young colts went down to Benfica last night. #ColtsInEurope #BackTheBlue #IndianFootball pic.twitter.com/jWkTAeR9Mz- Indian Football Team (@IndianFootball) May 6, 2017The match was part of the exposure trip to Europe for the Indian boys who will take part in the U-17 World Cup later this year.The Indians had claimed a 2-2 draw against the same club on April 27.The Indian boys started on a positive note and came very close to scoring in the first 15 minutes.Sanjeev put in an accurate pass for Aniket but the striker narrowly missed the target.Just before the half-hour mark, the hosts drew first blood from a well-taken corner. Luis Pinheiro collected the long ball and rattled the back of the net to put his team in the driver’s seat.For India, Amarjit played a long ball down the right flank but Komal, having received it, couldn’t penetrate the gutsy Benfica defence line. On the rebound, Aniket tried his luck but the Benfica goalkeeper had no problem collecting the ball.Five minutes before the break, Rahul dribbled past several Benfica defenders but his long-ranger sailed over the crossbar.Benfica doubled the lead just six minutes into the second half when Umero Embalo’s shot got a heavy deflection off Rahul and hit the back of the net.advertisementMatos netted the third goal for the hosts in the 70th minute to add to the visitors’ woes.last_img read more

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first_img Editors’ Recommendations Ask any athlete — be it professional, collegiate, or otherwise — about their experience buying dress shirts and you’re likely to get the same, sigh-backed response from almost all of them.Though the wording may differ, the general consensus is most off-the-rack dress shirts fail to offer ample room in the shoulders, chest, and arms while offering a particularly poor cut in the midsection. Due in part to how frustrating this is for people all over the word, two University of Michigan athletes decided to just make the very thing they yearned for: a professional looking dress shirt for an athletic body. After a brief bout of experimentation, the two launched State & Liberty.For State & Liberty co-founders Steve Fisher and Lee Moffie, a recent surge in companies trying their hand at athletically cut dress attire intrigued them to take a crack at it themselves. Despite many of these new brands toying with performance fabric in pants and shirts, the duo still felt as though there just wasn’t a true athletically tailored fit available to them. So instead of continuing to purchase clothing that wasn’t completely up to snuff, Fisher and Moffie set out to do one better and started their own company.“In the Fall of 2015, we started experimenting with prototypes and eventually made some shirts that we were proud of and launched our website in January of ’16,” Moffie told The Manual. “For the first eight months, we worked on the company on a part-time basis selling to friends and family while I played my second year of professional hockey and [Fisher] worked data analytics for the Detroit Tigers.”Available only via State & Liberty’s website, Moffie and Fisher’s clothing line draws business inspiration from Bonobos and Warby Parker, two prolific e-commerce companies. Aesthetically speaking, Moffie admits that while the patterns and styles of the shirts aren’t necessarily groundbreaking, the fact they offer a uniquely tailored fit should allow them to stand out from the competition.After spending a few days with a State & Liberty shirt of our own, we’re confident in saying no dress shirt boasts as clean of a cut for an athletic build. Couple this with the fact the brand offers a variety of fashionable patterns and the stress of shopping for a great fitting (and great looking) dress shirt lowers significantly with State & Liberty.“Typically, off the rack dress shirts aren’t made for the athletically fit because they are not the masses and we set out to change that,” Moffie continued. “Our fabric is great for guys because it is extremely comfortable (stretchy and moisture wicking) and extremely low maintenance (wrinkle-free and machine washable).”Moving forward, the brand has its sights set on launching four new shirts this fall before unveiling a couple new designs in early November in preparation for the holiday season. To get a look at the entire State & Liberty collection, head on over to the brand’s website. How to Shave With a Straight Razor The Best Black Jeans to Have You Stepping Out in Style 14 Scandinavian Clothing Brands You Need to Know Madewell Men’s Fall Collection Has All Your New Favorites 15 Best Subscription Boxes for Men Who Love Gifts last_img read more

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first_img “We firmly believe that the conversation about violence against children must be on the agenda of every household across the island,” she said. Story Highlights The Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Branch (C-TOC) of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) has also assisted children in understanding the dangers of posting locations and other identifying information online. Children are being warned to desist from oversharing personal information on social media platforms, as a worrying trend has emerged of them going missing after making face-to-face contact with strangers they met online.State Minister for Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Floyd Green, issued the caution to students at the National Missing Children’s Forum, held at the Jamaica Conference Centre in Kingston on May 25.Mr. Green urged the children to be careful, “as social media profiles tell the world a lot about you”.“Some of you are leaving profiles that you think will go away (but) they will follow you for your entire life. You have to take significant note of that,” he added.The State Minister recalled an incident in which a child residing in Montego Bay, St. James, went missing and was found dead after leaving home to meet an individual she had met through social media.Meanwhile, Director of Safety and Security in Schools, Assistant Superintendent of Police, Coleridge Minto, told JIS News that he continues to ramp up public education by speaking to students about the dangers of social media.The Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Branch (C-TOC) of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) has also assisted children in understanding the dangers of posting locations and other identifying information online.“C-TOC has been going into the schools to ensure we promote the message of responsible use of social media, and we find that it is working to an extent, but we still have more work to do in terms of making our parents empowered to understand social media in a responsible way,” Mr. Minto said.Aimed at bringing together a wide cross section of individuals to discuss the ongoing issue of missing and exploited children, the forum was held under the theme ‘Be the Change! Help us bring our children home’.Held against the observance of International Missing Children’s Day, the forum was intended to strengthen the local legislative policy framework that governs missing children and to educate them on how to better protect themselves.Meanwhile, data provided by the Ananda Alert Secretariat show continued decline in the number of children reported missing annually.In 2017, a total of 1,674 children were reported missing, which shows a three per cent decline when compared to the corresponding period in 2016.Of those children, a total of 1,476 were returned home, maintaining a nine out of 10 return or rate of recovery.For her part, Chief Executive Officer of the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA), Rosalee Gage-Grey, said that “one child lost is a missed opportunity in the furtherance of a prosperous Jamaica”.She emphasised that the agency remains committed to reuniting families with their loved ones and will be continuing to explore ways to tackle violence against children.This is to be done through an improved National Plan of Action for Violence against Children, which includes the roll-out of a public education campaign in coming months.“We firmly believe that the conversation about violence against children must be on the agenda of every household across the island,” she said.During the forum, four schools selected in the Ananda Alert Safe Schools Competition presented on tangible projects within their schools aimed at fostering a safer school community and building awareness around the Ananda Alert System.The schools are Frome Technical High in Westmoreland, Greater Portmore High in St. Catherine, Glenmuir High in Clarendon and Westwood High in Trelawny. Children are being warned to desist from oversharing personal information on social media platforms, as a worrying trend has emerged of them going missing after making face-to-face contact with strangers they met online.last_img read more

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first_imgGondia: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday said the opposition parties were heading for a “historic defeat” in the forthcoming state Assembly polls. Criticising the opposition parties, he said they have joined hands against the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) in elections to make an excuse for their own losses. Raising alarm over EVMs ahead of the state polls due in September-October, key opposition parties, including the Congress, NCP and MNS, on Friday pitched for reverting to the use of ballot papers and announced a protest march on August 21 over the issue. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ Reacting to it, Fadnavis, while addressing a press conference on Sunday in Gondia district during his ongoing ‘Maha Janadesh Yatra’, said those opposing the EVMs have realised they cannot win. “They have accepted their defeat and hence, are using the EVMs as a ‘covering fire’. The ‘maha morcha’ against EVMs later this month will result in ‘maha defeat’ of the opposition. The opposition parties know that they are heading for a historic defeat,” he said. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K In an apparent reference to the Congress and NCP, the chief minister said both the opposition parties have become “directionless” and are unable to find issues to take on the BJP-led state government. “Both the parties should introspect why their own people are leaving them,” he said without naming any party. “They organised several protests, but people did not support them. When people organised protests, we took note of it and resolved their problems,” he asserted. Fadnavis said many leaders from other parties were eager to join the BJP, but “we are inducting only those who have a good mass base and a clean track record”. He claimed people have made up their mind to give his government a fresh mandate. “I see pro-incumbency wherever I am going during the yatra. People want a government which supports Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he said. Fadnavis said during his ongoing mass outreach campaign, he was highlighting his government’s achievements and seeking a fresh mandate based on his ‘report card’. The state government was expediting the distribution of agriculture pumps to farmers in Vidarbha region, he said. “All irrigation projects are being expedited and there is no dearth of funds,” he added.last_img read more

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first_imgAir France is putting a woman in charge of the airline, a first for the French carrier and a rarity in the male-dominated industry.Air France’s parent company said Wednesday that Anne Rigail will take charge of the airline on Monday. She is currently executive vice-president.The airline has been led on an interim basis by Benjamin Smith, an Air Canada veteran who was hired this year as CEO of parent Air France-KLM Group.Air France faces contentious wage negotiations with pilots and flight attendants and has been hit by a series of damaging strikes.Rigail, a 27-year veteran of the airline, says she is extremely honoured by the promotion. Smith says Rigail has always paid special attention to employees, and he expresses confidence that the airline can meet its challenges.An Air France spokeswoman confirmed that Rigail is the first female CEO in the airline’s history, which dates to the 1933 merger of five French carriers.Women have led other large airlines. Carolyn McCall was CEO of British low-cost carrier EasyJet for seven years until leaving this year to run British broadcaster ITV. But in recent years, only about 5 per cent of all airline CEOs were women, mostly in developing countries.The Associated Presslast_img read more

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first_imgOTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recommends any Canadians worried about his government’s deficits to look at the country’s strong standing with international credit-rating agencies for reassurance.Speaking to The Canadian Press in a wide-ranging interview, Trudeau says Canada’s triple-A rating with agencies like Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s should provide comfort to taxpayers who fear his government has been accumulating too much debt.Trudeau says Canada’s long-running triple-A rating means experts have confidence in his government’s approach to the economy — even though many critics, and especially the Conservatives, warn Ottawa should be curbing deficit-spending in a stronger-than-expected economy.Asked about the next inevitable downturn or recession, Trudeau argues his government’s moves to boost immigration and to make investments in areas like skills training, public transit and a lower-carbon economy have made Canada more resilient against future shocks.The Trudeau Liberals were elected in 2015 on a pledge to run modest annual shortfalls of no more than $10 billion and to balance the books by 2019. Instead, they have posted yearly deficits almost double that size and no longer have a timetable to return to balance.After taking office, the Trudeau government shifted its focus to keeping the government’s debt burden on a downward track — and Trudeau says Ottawa will stick to that benchmark in the future.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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first_imgHetherington’s idea of installing a roundabout is not a new one. Global News is reporting that calls to install the traffic control device are increasing in Saskatchewan, citing a 2013 crash along the Trans-Canada Highway east of Regina that killed 17-year-old boy.This Saturday, Hetherington will also be raising money for the town Humboldt at her store, Marcy’s Bright Ideas. She says that everything in the store will be 25 percent off, with 10 percent of sales being sent directly to the Mayor of Humboldt, along with a letter of support.With files from CBC News and Global Regina:http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/scene-of-broncos-crash-haunted-sask-truckers-for-decades-1.4612253 In June 1997, Hetherington’s sister, Terri Lynne Fiddler, her husband Rod Fiddler, their three children; 4-year-old Jocelyn, 3-year-old Jasmine, and four-week-old Kassandre, were traveling eastbound on Highway 335 with Rod’s 26-year-old sister Wendy Lou on their way to Carrot River, southeast of Nipawin, Saskatchewan. While approaching the intersection with Highway 35, the pickup truck they were travelling in ran through a stop sign and collided with a southbound semi, before ending up in the ditch and bursting into flames. Rod Fiddler with his children, left to right, Jocelyn and Jasmine, and wife Terri. Kassandre, who was one month old in the crash, is not pictured. Photo by CBC NewsHetherington said that after the crash, in which the driver of the semi was found not at fault, her mother was told by a member of the Saskatchewan government of the day that safety improvements including rumble strips would be installed along Highway 335 to warn motorists of the upcoming stop sign. She added that while a flashing red light was installed above the stop sign, those rumble strips were never put in. After finding out several years ago and asking why the rumble strips weren’t installed, Hetherington said she got an explanation that she says isn’t good enough. “They said that because what they pave the road with, when the snowplows plow in the winter it will ruin the rumble strips, which I do not believe” said Hetherington. “Aren’t rumble strips dug in?”Hetherington explained that since she found out about the April 6th crash which killed 16 members of the Humboldt Broncos, she’s decided to take action to help ensure the intersection is made safer and claims no more lives.“I’m speaking out now because those people should’ve never gone through this. When I heard about this accident, I’m like ‘that’s it.’ That’s negligence by the Saskatchewan government. That is total neglect. I ask, ‘Why is this not done?’ They don’t give an answer. But I am going to hound them until this gets done.”Footage from Global Regina of a collision reconstruction that was conducted at the intersection of Highway 35 and Highway 335 in Sakatchewen. Photo by Global Regina.Hetherington pointed out footage shot by Global News at the scene of the April 6th crash which shows a number of road signs cluttering the same field of view as the stop sign, which she says is unsafe. She also wants to see the speed limit lowered on Highway 335 since it is a secondary road, and added that the best solution would be to turn the intersection into a roundabout.  FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Though it’s been nearly 21 years since a crash at a rural Saskatchewan intersection involving a pickup truck and tractor-trailer claimed the lives of six members of her family, Marcy Hetherington says she still remembers the sadness to this day.Her sadness, however, turned to anger two weeks ago when a crash involving a semi-truck and a bus claimed the lives of 16 members of the Humboldt Broncos Junior hockey – anger that’s now fuelling a crusade against the government she says could have done more to prevent the second tragedy.The wreckage of a fatal crash outside of Tisdale, Sask. A bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos hockey team crashed into a truck en route to a game. Photo by Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Presscenter_img https://globalnews.ca/news/4156114/highway-roundabouts-alberta-humboldt-broncos-bus-crash/last_img read more

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Marrakech- The Moroccan royal gendarmerie arrested, Tuesday in Marrakech, a soldier suspected of having a relationship with the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), according to Al Sabah in its weekend edition.The authorities arrested the soldier, who works for the Ibn Guerir military base, during the ongoing military exercises known as “Mount Desert,” conducted by the Royal Armed Forces and its British counterpart in Bermram in the outskirts of Marrakech.The soldier was an officer participating in the “Mount Desert” military exercise, added the daily news. The daily said that, before taking part in the military exercise, the suspect suffered from mental problems, which pushed his hierarchy to authorize him to have leave.But, he authorities were informed that, while the soldier was on leave, he appeared in Afghan clothes with a beard.As soon as he allegedly recovered and returned to work, his superiors watched him closely, and then caught him making contact with ISIS.According to Al Sabah, the soldier was caught making a phone call to ISIS. He was arrested and taken to the regional headquarters of the Royal Gendarmerie in Marrakech for an investigation into the circumstances behind the call.Edited by Timothy Filla read more

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Rabat – Low- and medium-high technology products make up 80 percent of Moroccan manufacturing exports, says the Directorate of Financial Studies and Forecasting (DEPF), based on statistics produced over the past 15 years.Technological development is being seen as a key factor in improving a country’s productivity, competitiveness, and growth. Since the 1980s, the increase in technological innovations, along with the influx of new entrants into world markets, has exacerbated competition between  economies. From now on, the position of any country in the world economy depends on its capacity to innovate and invent.Faced with this new global economic environment, Morocco has embarked on a process of structural transformation in order to support its technological competitiveness, implementing appropriate sectoral policies and promoting of internationally oriented professions. These ambitious sectoral strategies have reinforced the emergence of growth-oriented businesses which, moreover, have contributed significantly to the modernization of the national industrial fabric and to the strengthening of the technological content of its exports. According to the DEFP, the technological content of Moroccan manufacturing exports has improved considerably over the last fifteen years, following their structural transformation.“The share of the former has fallen by 22.4 percent to 37 percent in 2015, against 59.5 percent in 2000, in favor of the share of medium-high-tech second-hand which increased, continuously over the period by 28 percent, reaching 46.2 percent at the end of 2015, compared with 18.2 percent in 2000,” noted the DEPF in a recent publication on “The technological content of Morocco’s manufacturing exports: evolution and comparative analysis.”According to the DEPF, which operates under the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the share of manufactured products with medium-high technology has increased from 23 percent on average over the period 2000-2007 to 40.7 percent over the 2008-2015 period, thus exceeding the world average which is establish at 34.4 percent.This change was mainly due to the increase in the share of phosphate exports, from 11 percent of Morocco’s total exports to 17 percent between the two periods, as well as that of vehicles from 0 to 5 percent and electric appliances equipment from 6 to 11 percent, explained the DEPF, noting that Morocco’s market share of medium-high-tech products has doubled from 0.08 to 0.16 percent.In the case of exports of high-tech manufactured goods, the share of imports declined from an average of 10.2 percent between 2000 and 2007 to 6.1 percent in the second period, compared with 24.9 percent and 22.4 percent worldwide. However, the DEPF asserted that, despite a downward trend, the share of low-tech products remained high, standing at around 41.3 percent on average between 2008 and 2015, compared with 16 percent at the global level.This decline, the publication explains, is attributed to a 20 percent decline in the manufactured clothing sector of total Moroccan exports on average over the period 2000-2007, to 11 percent on average over the period 2008-2015.For medium- and low-technology products, consisting mainly of residual petroleum products and miscellaneous iron and steel products, their share remained relatively low compared to the world average, with only 11.9 percent compared with 27.2 percent at the global level between 2008 and 2015. The DEPF reports concludes by noting that exports from the manufacturing sector account for 64.4 percent of the total Moroccan exports. In 2015, this sector generated an added value of more than MAD 154 billion at current prices, which constitutes more than 15.7 percent of the GDP. read more

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BALTIMORE — Attorneys for the Pimlico Race Course owners say the city of Baltimore is trying to gain control of the racetrack and the signature Preakness Stakes race through eminent domain.The Stronach Group attorneys say there’s no “good ground” supporting the lawsuit filed last week by Mayor Catherine Pugh to keep the race in Baltimore. WBAL-TV reports the attorneys sent a letter Wednesday to a judge overseeing the lawsuit, saying Maryland has exclusive authority over all aspects of racing — not Baltimore.The letter says the lawsuit is a “transparent ploy to gain some sort of negotiating leverage over the owners of the Maryland Jockey Club and the Preakness Stakes.” Proposed legislation would make state funds available for The Stronach Group to revamp another site, possibly moving the race.___Information from: WBAL-TV, http://www.wbaltv.comThe Associated Press read more

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WATERFORD — Coun. Kim Huffman would like to figure out a way to build a large pavilion at the east end of Shadow Lake Park in Waterford.There has been talk in the community of doing so for nearly three years.If Huffman could at least have the greenlight for one by 2022, she would consider it a major achievement as representative of Ward 7.A pavilion, Huffman said Wednesday, could be Waterford’s answer to the question of downtown revitalization in Norfolk County.Huffman sees it becoming a community focal point where families and organizations could stage events with a high degree of confidence in spring, summer and fall.It would also, Huffman said, even out the weather extremes Waterford’s Farmers Market has to contend with in the open-air park.The market opened for its fourth season Wednesday afternoon with five vendors. More will follow as Norfolk’s bounty presents itself according to its season.“This is a soft opening, to get people to come out,” Huffman, a founder of the market and co-manager with chef Tracey Winkworth, said. “There’s not a lot of produce at this time of year but we have about 15, 20 vendors lined up.”Waterford’s is a “twilight market” running from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. The hours were chosen to accommodate local residents with day jobs.Between now and its closure for the season Sept. 27, the market will feature buskers and live music along with a vast selection of fresh fruits, vegetables and locally-produced, value-added products.Huffman recalls how the organizing committee left nothing to chance when the market began in 2016. There were lots of rules that have since been relaxed to make the event more casual and “user friendly.”A pavilion is attractive not only as a focal point for the community but also to provide vendors and shoppers a more predictable market experience.There aren’t a lot of Wednesdays in summer that were as pleasant as this week’s market opening. A cool breeze was blowing in off the Waterford ponds while the sky was clear, bright and sunny.A pavilion, Huffman said, would provide shade from the scorching sun and a workable shopping environment when it’s raining.“It would make a big difference,” she said.The five vendors on site Wednesday were prepared for a slow day. Four of the five have been there since the beginning while the Cravings food truck has returned for a third season.Phil Ryan of Villa Nova Estates Winery says he’s there through thick and thin because that’s what’s needed to keep these day-experiences going.“We’re part of this community,” Ryan said. “It’s the ‘Waterford’ market. We feel we have to be here. If we’re not here, it might fade.”Huffman and Winkworth have capped the number of vendors at 25 due to insurance regulations. There is room for a few more whose focus is local, artisanal and healthy. To learn more email farmersmarketwaterford@gmail.com .MSonnenberg@postmedia.com read more

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AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Christopher S. Rugaber, The Associated Press Posted Feb 21, 2013 8:49 am MDT Weekly applications for US unemployment benefits jump to 362K, a sign hiring may remain modest WASHINGTON – The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits jumped 20,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 362,000, though it remains at a level that suggests slow but steady improvement in the job market.The Labor Department said Thursday that the four-week average, a less volatile measure, rose 8,000 to 360,750, the highest in six weeks. A department spokesman said heavy snowstorms in the Northeast didn’t affect the total.Applications for unemployment benefits are a proxy for layoffs. Even with last week’s jump, they have trended downward recently. The four-week average has declined 7.5 per cent since mid-November and fell to a five-year low three weeks ago.Weekly applications “continue to show no sign of trending up,” Jim O’Sullivan, an economist at High Frequency Economics, wrote in a research note. “That is a good sign … consistent with the recent pace in employment growth at least being maintained.”Employers added an average of 200,000 jobs a month from November through January. That was up from about 150,000 in the previous three months.Last week’s increase puts applications for unemployment benefits back in the 360,000-to-390,000 range, where they have fluctuated since early last year. Since then, employers have added an average of 181,000 jobs a month.In January, the economy added 157,000 jobs. The unemployment rate ticked up to 7.9 per cent from 7.8 per cent in December. Economists think the rate will slowly decline if hiring continues at last year’s monthly pace of 180,000. The unemployment rate fell 0.7 percentage point in 2012.A total of 5.6 million people received unemployment benefits in the week that ended Feb. 2, the latest period for which figures are available. That’s about 300,000 fewer than in the previous week. Some of those no longer receiving unemployment aid may now be employed. But many others have exhausted the benefits available to them.The economy shrank at an annual rate of 0.1 per cent in the October-December quarter, hurt by a sharp cut in defence spending, fewer exports and sluggish growth in company stockpiles. That was much worse than the 3.1 per cent growth recorded in the July-September period.But economists predict that the October-December growth figure will be revised in coming months to show a small increase, after more positive data about last quarter has been reported. Economists now estimate that the economy expanded at an annual rate of about 0.4 per cent in the fourth quarter.Growth will likely pick up a bit in the January-March quarter to an annual rate of 1.5 per cent, analysts forecast. That’s better than the fourth quarter but below last year’s expansion of 2.2 per cent. read more

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The UN organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women (UN Women), today announced that it has tapped British actress Emma Watson as Goodwill Ambassador.“We are thrilled and honoured to work with Emma, whom we believe embodies the values of UN Women” said Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.Known for playing the leading role of “Hermione Granger” in the Harry Potter saga, Ms. Watson has been involved with the promotion of girls’ education for several years, and previously visited Bangladesh and Zambia as part of her humanitarian efforts.“The engagement of young people is critical for the advancement of gender equality in the 21st century and I am convinced that Emma’s intellect and passion will enable UN Women’s messages to reach the hearts and minds of young people globally” stressed Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka.The role of the Goodwill Ambassador is to promote the empowerment of young women and to serve as an advocate for UN Women’s HeForShe campaign in fostering gender equality That campaign is a solidarity movement which brings women and men together to fight against gender inequalities faced by women and girls globally.“Being asked to serve as UN Women’s Goodwill Ambassador is truly humbling. The chance to make a real difference is not an opportunity that everyone is given and is one I have no intention of taking lightly” said Ms. Watson. “Women’s rights are something so inextricably linked with who I am, so deeply personal and rooted in my life that I can’t imagine an opportunity more exciting” she concluded. read more

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Helping farmers adapt to the impacts of climate change can also significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, finds a new study released today by one of the agricultural agencies of the United Nations system. “What this report shows is that smallholder farmers are a key part of the solution to the climate change challenge,” said Michel Mordasini, Vice President of International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). “With the right investments, smallholders can feed a growing planet while at the same time restoring degraded ecosystems and reducing agriculture’s carbon footprint.” IFAD chose UNESCO’s Our Common Future under Climate Change Science Conference in Paris to release details of its latest research with the Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). The study finds reducing emissions may not be as big a burden as some may believe and could be another benefit of adaptation activities. The study, released today, examines IFAD’s portfolio of projects focused on making smallholder agriculture more resilient to climate change. The Mitigation Advantage Report shows that thirteen IFAD-supported adaptation projects could reduce CO2e emissions by 30 million tons. This represents about 38 per cent of IFAD’s target to reduce 80 million tons of CO2e by 2020 under its Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme. Launched in 2012, this program has become the largest global financing source dedicated to supporting the adaptation of poor smallholder farmers to climate change. Whilst IFAD’s investments are focusing on the key priorities of rural poverty reduction, climate change adaptation and food security, the mitigation target set by the organisation shows how resilient, climate-smart agriculture can make a substantive contribution to the global fight to curb greenhouse gas emissions. IFAD’s climate change adaptation initiatives include improved agronomic practices, afforestation and rehabilitation of degraded lands. These practices help address farmers’ immediate needs, like dealing with unpredictable rains, and gradual shifts in crop suitability. If smallholder adaptation can help reduce global emissions, there could be new opportunities, according to Sonja Vermeulen, Head of research at the CGIAR program. “Currently over 90 per cent of public and private climate funds go to mitigation, not adaptation. For future food security it would be very helpful if the majority of the world’s farmers, who are smallholders, could access those funds,” she said. read more

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first_imgSantasalo recently announced the expansion of its service portfolio in Sweden. The company has invested in a new service workshop in Northern Sweden which is fully equipped to meet the increasing demand of the local gearbox service market for both Santasalo and third party gear units, especially in mining.The 600 square metre workshop which opened in January 2016 is located in the town of Gällivare in the Northern part of Sweden, ideally located to meet the needs of various industries, namely mining. The workshop consists of a full strip and inspection area, single stage cleaning, fabrication and light machine shop, spin test equipment, root cause analysis and reverse engineering capability for third party gear units.Santasalo has extensive experience and knowledge of ring gear technology. From the Gällivare Service Centre service solutions for ring gear technology including repair and replacement of the complete ring gear application will be offered. Field service capabilities which include endoscope inspection, induction heater and jacking, porter power equipment, are supported by Santasalo’s Man&Van service bringing Santasalo’s service technician right to the customer’s doorstep.Madeleine Ingle, General Manager of Santasalo Sweden, comments: “In close dialog with our customers in northern Sweden we have identified a clear need for a local Santasalo service workshop. We will be where our customers need our support and see our new workshop in Gällivare as an important step in demonstrating the company’s commitment as a long-term player in the market.”last_img read more

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← Previous Story Argentinian girls qualify for Rio 2016! Next Story → Junior WCh 2015 (DAY 5): Four teams qualify for TOP 16 Zvonimir Noka Serdarusic has left the “game of the big guys” in summer 2010 after failure in the qualifications for the World Championship 2011 when his team, Slovenia, lost the battle against Hungary.  Heathly problems, accusations about the EHF CL final 2007 in which THW Kiel won the first ever EHF CL trophy, average results with Slovenian team and RK Celje Pivovarna Laško, forced the man who was one of the makers of fantastic handball team in Kiel in the last 20 years, to withdraw from the handball court.However, in “up and down” story typical for every life and professional career, five years after he left Slovenia, Croatian coach from Bosnian city of Mostar is again in the saddle. After only average season with Aix Provence, the solid French team, but nothing more than that and some speculations about job in Croatia national team, Serdarusic overtook the most ambitious project in the handball world – Paris Saint Germain.Will he succeed in the country which language doesn’t know, with the team who is under pressure in every single match of the season, but with amazing roster consisted of some of the best of the best players on the Planet?We will see. The first training session was held earlier this week. You can see that in VIDEO…Le premier entraînement de la saison by ParisSaintGermainHandball read more

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first_imgCHELSEA GOALS FROM Eden Hazard and Samuel Eto’o were enough to give the home side a 2-1 win over Liverpool at Stamford Bridge.The visitors hit the front after just five minutes when Martin Skrtel poked home from close range after Luis Suarez got ahead of Branislav Ivanovic at the front post. The Merseyside club held the lead for less than 20 minutes after Eden Hazard curled home this beauty to give Simon Mignolet no chance.YouTube credit: DakiHighlightsHaving led the league on Christmas Day, Liverpool will finish the year in fifth place, six points below leaders Arsenal, with Chelsea two points off the pace in third place behind Manchester City.Beaten 2-1 by City on Boxing Day, Liverpool have now lost successive league games for the first time since April 2012, while top scorer Luis Suarez has gone two games without scoring after amassing 10 in his previous four outings.However, it was difficult not to have some sympathy for the Uruguayan after he was bundled to the ground by Eto’o in the second half only to receive a shake of the head from referee Howard Webb and a chorus of boos from the home fans.It looked a clear penalty and just one of a number of decisions Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers will feel went against his team.Former Liverpool striker Fernando Torres threatened to seal victory at the death after coming on from the bench, but having taken Sakho out of the game, he saw his shot saved by Mignolet.LIVE: Chelsea v Liverpool, Premier LeagueSeamus Coleman hits the net again to help Everton defeat Southamptonlast_img read more

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first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppTurks and Caicos, April 13, 2017 – Providenciales – A 30 year old member of the Royal Turks and Caicos police is now formally charged in the Sunny Foods armed robbery of last year almost one year to the day of the brazen crime, where a retired police officer was also shot while on security duty for the grocery store.Clarry Morency was slammed with conspiracy to rob in the Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday (April 11) and was granted bail.  Morency, who claims he is innocent, was not allowed to enter a plea and must return to court for a sufficiency hearing on July 7, 2017.   Some believe the officer was set up.   Morency is on suspended duty.#MagneticMediaNews#officerchargedinApril2016robbery#Policechargedinarmedrobbery Related Items:#magneticmedianews, #officerchargedinApril2016robbery, #Policechargedinarmedrobbery Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApplast_img read more