Kolkata a major tourist hub during Durga Puja state keen to promote

first_imgKolkata: Kolkata has emerged as a major tourist hub during the Durga Puja for the past few years as has been indicated by the occupancy rate in Kolkata’s hotels.On Wednesday, during the 35th annual convention of the Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO), state Tourism minister Goutam Deb and Tourism Secretary Atri Bhattacharya stated that it has been observed that for the past few years, the hotel occupancy rate during Durga Puja has increased by 8-9 percent, which indicates that the measures taken to popularise Bengal’s famous festival across the globe have been quite successful. Many people from other countries visit Kolkata during the Puja days. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaApart from this, Deb also announced that the state government is emphasising on promoting homestays in North Bengal. For several years now, the state government has developed many unconventional tourist destinations in North Bengal and started a new concept of homestays. According to the minister, at present, around 3,000 homestays exist in North Bengal. However, the state government wants to promote such unconventional tourist spots as it would help to create more jobs in those areas. “Our government is supporting the homestay industry to develop their destination points,” said Deb. The minister also informed that the state government is mulling to create a tourist destination at Piyali in the Sunderbans soon.last_img read more

President confers Padma awards on 47 inspiring personalities

first_imgNew Delhi: Forty-seven prominent personalities, including Malayalam actor Mohanlal, former foreign secretary S Jaishankar, Akali Dal leader Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and renowned journalist Kuldip Nayar (posthumous), were conferred the Padma awards by President Ram Nath Kovind here on Monday.Bihar leader Hukumdev Narayan Yadav (Padma Bhushan), former CEO of multinational techno giant Cisco systems John Chambers (Padma Bhushan) and renowned dancer and filmmaker Prabhu Deva (Padma Shri) were also honoured at a special function held at Rashtrapati Bhavan which was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, among others. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity!While Viswanathan Mohanlal, Dhindsa and Nayar (posthumous) were conferred the Padma Bhushan, Jaishankar was honoured with the Padma Shri. Nayar’s wife received the award from the President. The Padma Awards – one of the highest civilian awards of the country — are conferred in three categories: the Padma Vibhushan, the Padma Bhushan and the Padma Shri. As many as 112 “inspiring” personalities were selected for this year’s Padma awards and their names were announced on the eve of Republic Day this year. The remaining awardees are likely to be conferred the honour at another function to be held on March 16, a Home Ministry official said. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killedOther notable awardees include renowned singer Shankar Mahadevan Narayan (Padma Shri), former Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha Karia Munda (Padma Bhushan), physicians Sandeep Guleria and Ilias Ali (both Padma Shri) and wrestler Bajrang Punia (Padma Shri). This year’s awardees are from across the nation, all segments of society and the government has gone beyond excellence alone, recognising larger impact and their selfless service, an official said. The nomination process for Padma awards was made online in 2016 and a simple, accessible and secure platform was put in place to encourage citizens at large to participate. Erstwhile ‘Government Awards’ transformed into ‘Peoples Awards’, another official said. A record 50,000 nominations were received for the 2019 awards, over 20 times more than 2014, when there were just 2,200 nominations.last_img read more

Spurs star Sons brother details tough path to top

first_imgChuncheon (South Korea): The South Korean star leading Tottenham Hotspur’s charge for a place in the Champions League final had a unique football upbringing. But that was only one component of his success, his brother said. Striker Son Heung-min, 26, has been instrumental in Spurs’ run to the semi-finals of Europe’s top club competition, scoring three times over two legs against Manchester City to reach the last four. But he was suspended for the first leg of the semi, a 1-0 home defeat to Ajax, and will be crucial to their efforts in the Netherlands on Wednesday, despite picking up a petulant Premier League red card at the weekend. Around 8,500 kilometres (5,300 miles) away, his elder brother and fellow striker Son Heung-yun — three years his senior — will be watching closely. For years, the two boys were trained by their father, Son Woong-jung, a former professional footballer who aimed to take his sons to the top with a strict and disciplined regimen. “Everything we did revolved around football,” said Heung-yun. “Our father told us we had to go to bed early to play football and that we had to eat well to play football. “He always said that life was short and we should do things we liked and when we did, we should pursue it to the point of going a little bit crazy about it.” Renowned for concentrating on ball skills and not allowing them to shoot or join a team — where they might be distracted by trying too hard to win games — their father laid a foundation for the rising Son. The brothers would exchange glances as they endured the tough daily sessions. Heung-yun remembers training one New Year’s Day on a snow-covered lot in bitter cold as a 13-year-old. Before he knew it, he covered his ears with his hands, only for his father — who was showing his sons how to dribble — to turn back and immediately berate him, as he often did when he felt they were not trying their best. “We were raised very tough,” said Heung-yun, who as a player only reached the fifth tier of German club competition but now coaches at the SON Football Academy.last_img read more

Number of unemployed women to soar amid economic crisis warns UN agency

The International Labour Office (ILO) launched its annual Global Employment Trends for Women (GET) report in advance of International Women’s Day on 8 March, calling for “creative solutions” to close the gender gap.“Gender inequality in the world of work has long been with us, but it is likely that it will be exacerbated by the crisis,” warned the agency’s Director-General Juan Somavia.“In times of economic upheaval, women often experience the negative consequences more rapidly and are slower to enjoy the benefits of recovery,” he said, adding that “before the crisis, the majority of working women were in the informal economy with lower earnings and less social protection.”The GET report noted that of the 3 billion employed people across the world, slightly over a 40 per cent are women, and that the global unemployment rate for women could reach 7.4 per cent in 2009, compared to 7 per cent for men.The biggest difference in unemployment rates between men and women due to the economic meltdown will be felt by women in Latin America and the Caribbean, according to the ILO report. The new publication also projected that the ratio of women pushed into insecure jobs this year would be greater than men, with the global vulnerability employment rate ranging from 50.5 to 54.7 per cent for women and 47.2 to 51.8 per cent for men.“Women’s lower employment rates, weaker control over property and resources, concentration in informal and vulnerable forms of employment with lower earnings, and less social protection, all place women in a weaker position than men to weather the crises,” said Jane Hodges, ILO Bureau for Gender Equality Director. 5 March 2009The global economic crisis will plunge a further 22 million women into unemployment and make decent work for women increasingly more difficult to find in 2009, predicted a new United Nations report issued today. read more

Somalia Security Council calls for inclusive and comprehensive peace strategy

24 June 2011The Security Council today reiterated the need for a comprehensive and inclusive strategy to encourage the restoration of peace and stability in Somalia, stressing that a peace agreement signed in neighbouring Djibouti in 2008 remains the basis for resolving conflict in the Horn of Africa country. Under the Djibouti Peace Agreement, the Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and the opposition Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS) agreed to end conflict and form an inclusive government to end two decades of factional warfare and instability in the country.After a Security Council meeting on the situation in Somalia today, the UN body, in a presidential statement, reaffirmed “its support for the Djibouti Agreement and peace process in Somalia.”It also reiterated the need for “a comprehensive strategy to encourage the establishment of peace and stability in Somalia through the collaborative efforts of all stakeholders.”The Council welcomed the signing on 9 June of the Kampala Accord, which provides for the extension by one year of the tenure of the current president, the term of Parliament, and the appointment of a new prime minister.The Council urged signatories to the Kampala Accord to honour their obligations. It took note of the naming of a new Prime Minister, Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, adding that it looked forward to a prompt appointment of a new cabinet.It called for cohesion, unity and focus on the completion of the transitional tasks set out under the Djibouti Agreement and Somalia’s Transitional Charter. The Council urged the country’s Transitional Federal Institutions (TFIs) to build broad-based representative institutions through an inclusive political process, taking into account the need to ensure the participation of women in public life.Members of the Council welcomed the upcoming consultative meeting, with the participation of the TFIs and all Somali stakeholders, they said should agree on a roadmap of key tasks and priorities to be delivered over the next 12 months, with clear timelines and benchmarks, to be implemented by the TFIs.In a related development, the international Joint Security Committee on Somalia (JSC) also recognized the major territorial gains made by TFG security forces, with the support of AMISOM and commended the support of all international partners actively engaged in the so-called Somali Security Sector Development initiative.At the end of its meeting in Entebbe, Uganda, yesterday, the JSC stressed the need for the TFG to improve its security partnership with regional administrations and friendly forces, and urged all partners to provide the necessary support, including logistical, technical and financial, to the security sector development efforts in Somalia.A JSC communiqué issue after the meeting noted that there are still a number of outstanding tasks requiring support, including support for the ministries of defence, interior and national security, justice and religious affairs, parliamentary oversight and civil society.It also called on the TFG to take further steps in address the presence of children in the armed forces.Meanwhile, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) today voiced alarm at the dramatic rise in the number of new refugee arrivals from Somalia into Kenya, saying more than 20,000 had arrived in the Dadaab camps in Kenya’s northeast over the past two weeks.The new arrivals are mostly farmers and livestock herders from Somalia’s Lower Juba region and the city of Dhobley, UNHCR spokesperson Melissa Fleming told reporters in Geneva.Last year the three camps in Dadaab received an average of 6,000 to 8,000 Somalis every month. This year the monthly average has risen to 10,000 refugees, with more than 55,000 new arrivals since the beginning of the year.“The physical condition of these people is a matter of significant concern to us. Many families have walked for days, and are exhausted and desperate for food and water,” said Ms. Fleming.Inside Somalia, the number of people in need of emergency humanitarian assistance has risen to 2.5 million, a 25 per cent increase since the middle of last year, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported, adding that the new figures mean one in every three Somalis needs help.Global rates of acute malnutrition among the new Somali refugees in Kenya and Ethiopia are as high as 45 per cent, exceeding all emergency thresholds. read more

Indian fishermen begin fast in protest over Lanka

“This is a dark period as far as the fishermen are concerned. The government should act and take steps to get the fishermen released,” he said. About 250 fishermen began an indefinite fast in front of the bus stand in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu today, demanding the release of 14 fishermen arrested by the Sri Lankan navy since June 2, and also their boats, the Press Trust of India reported.N J Bose, president of the Tamil Nadu and Puducherry Fishermen’s Association, told reporters that 19 boats in the custody of the Sri Lankan government had been totally damaged as they had been anchored and not maintained. He charged the BJP government with not fulfilling its election promises like retrieving Katchathivu islet, allowing fishermen to fish in traditional areas, creating a separate Ministry for the fisheries department and taking steps to prevent attacks on Indian fishermen. read more

Mississippi Valley State beats Rust of the NAIA 10262

ITTA BENA, Miss. — Dante Scott scored 15 points and Mississippi Valley State rolled to a 102-61 victory over Rust of the NAIA on Wednesday night.The Delta Devils (2-6) have won two of their last three games since opening the season losing five straight, four by double digits.Scott was 7-of-14 shooting. Jordan Evans added 11 points and Aleksa Koracin had 10 for Mississippi Valley State, which had 16 players get minutes with 14 scoring.Kortez Wade made 8 of 13 shots, six from long range, and scored 22 points to lead Rust. Jordan Jackson chipped in with 11 points.The Delta Devils built a 39-20 halftime advantage on 45 per cent shooting, and outscored Rust 63-42 in the second half on 23-of-43 shooting (54 per cent). Scott scored 11 and Torico Simmons chipped in all nine of his points in the second half.The Associated Press read more

Duchess of Sussex reveals her wedding day something blue was taken from

The Duchess, who married in a simple Givenchy gown, has disclosed that she had a blue ribbon sewn inside the dress, made from the fabric of the outfit she wore on her very first date with Prince Harry. The blue dress is known to have had quite the effect on the Prince, who has said he was “beautifully surprised” when he first saw his future bride in…–– ADVERTISEMENT –– When Meghan Markle walked up the aisle of St George’s Chapel with an enigmatic smile, the watching world could only guess what was running through her mind. Four months on, as she takes part in her first television interview as a member of the Royal family, she has shared one of the secrets she carried with her: a very romantic “something blue”.  read more

Hand database could be used to catch child abusers says leading forensics

Scientists believe developing a hand database could help track down and convict child abusers.Leading experts are appealing to the public to submit photographs of their hands in the hope of developing powerful new tools to help police and the Crown Prosecution Service identify criminals.They aim to create a database of images which will allow computers to identify individuals by the features of the back of their hand, in the same way as is done with fingerprints.Suspects have already been identified by matching features like the patterns of veins, tendons and freckles on their hands with those seen in images of abuse.But the process is very slow, requiring close study of shocking images by scientists and police officers.Forensic anthropologist Professor Dame Sue Black of Lancaster University believes it will be possible to develop computer algorithms to speed up the process of identification.”A lot of the photographs we look at when it involves child abuse, it’s the back of the hand we see, not the front of the hand,” she told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.”There are so many anatomical features in there that we’ve been able to use those to help the police in the past to compare images between suspects and offenders. “We know that it works, but it takes a very long time to do. We need to be able to train machines to do the machine learning that extracts the information we see from the photographs and creates an algorithm that will allow us to search databases that the police hold and perhaps be able to link cases that they’ve not been able to in the past.”So if you’ve got a perpetrator who might be working out of Malaysia and moves to Germany or the UK, different police forces see these images but can’t necessarily connect them to the same perpetrator.”We believe that if we can use machine learning to speed up the process and to be able to trawl through millions of images, not only do you have the opportunity to make those connections, but you are also saving the officers and scientists who have to be exposed to these photographs.”Prof Black added: “We want to be able to get a large enough database of hand images that we can start to train the machines. We are looking for about 5,000 volunteers who will take photographs of their own hands using their mobile phones and submit us those photographs. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. “We will strip out all the information that will identify somebody, so we won’t be able to link that photograph back to somebody’s email or name. We just want the images so that we can start to train the machines.” read more

Paralympian labelled sad lonely man by restaurant boss after writing negative TripAdvisor

Tuk Tuk restaurant in Eastbourne Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Mr Hussain wrote back: “You sad, pathetic, lonely man. You came on a Friday night and as we were not that busy you told the waiting staff your life story and respectfully, we listened even though we could not care less that you are a Paralympian.”You returned Saturday night, we were very busy and I could see from the kitchen you kept wanting to talk to our waiter but he was busy serving and making drinks for other customers so could not give you his full attention.”You were sat next to the bar and all night all your demands were met like ordering three times. When you finished you had a hissy fit that we didn’t treat you special.”Do yourself a favour mate go on a dating website find a girlfriend or a boyfriend and go to dinner with them. We are not your friend, we don’t want to hear your sad life story and I really don’t appreciate you giving us a bad review and ruining our business simply out of retaliation.” A Paralympian was accused of being a ‘sad, lonely man who thinks waiters are his friends’ by a restaurant boss after writing a scathing TripAdvisor review complaining about slow service.Tim Challinor, 52, received a barrage of abuse when he shared his thoughts on family-run Tuk Tuk, which serves Indian street food in Eastbourne.He criticised staff for not speaking to him enough and failing to serve him drinks, and said he would never go back.But the eatery’s owner, Nobi Hussain, took exception to the comments and fired back, accusing Mr Challinor of having a “hissy fit” and giving waiters his “life story” when they were busy working.He also suggested that Mr Challinor go on a dating website to find someone to go to dinner with instead of “ruining” his business by writing a negative review.Mr Challinor, who has won a para cycling British Championship, took up the sport following a motorcycle accident almost 20 years ago.He collided with a pedestrian and was impaled on a fence post for an hour and a half, leaving him with partial paralysis in his arm.After visiting the restaurant alone, he wrote on TripAdvisor: “Ate here two nights on the run as it was ok the first night. Novel idea with taster curries in little pots. The mutton was quite tasty. “On the second night I ordered a lot of food but was totally let down by the service. I was there for 1 hour 45 mins and only spoken to twice. I couldn’t get any drinks. Just because I was there on my own it’s no excuse. I won’t go again!” Tuk Tuk restaurant in Eastbourne read more

PSG DEFEATED IN DUNKERQUE Butto scores in the last second

Baptiste Butto was the key person for the another defeat of PSG Handball in domestic Championship! Left wing of the current champions US Dunkerque, scored the winning goal only four seconds before the end of the derby match – 27:26. That was his ninth, but at the end he was more happy than his rival from PSG Handball, Mikkel Hansen, who had another fantastic evenning with 14 goals in total.STANDINGS: 14.Istres8116219:2473 2.Dunkerque8602211:20112 13.Selestat8206221:2524 6.Chambery Savoie8413220:2269 5.Paris SG8503258:21510 12.Aix8125211:2344 BUTTO HANDBALLDunkerquePSG Handball 8.Cesson Rennes8323193:2078 4.St. Raphael8512250:24011 10.Creteil8215236:2445 1.Montpellier8620251:20914 3.Nantes8512221:21211 9.Toulouse8314246:2307 7.Tremblay8413206:2149 11.Nimes8215225:2375 ← Previous Story Boris Denić leads RK Maribor Branik Next Story → Bahrain and UAE refuse to come to Qatar 2015 – New chance for losers? read more

Swedish Play Off Kristianstad extend winning strike

Swedish Play Off began with two wins of the reigning champions from Kristianstad.IFK Kristianstad – Redbergslids IK 2:0 (29:25, 27:25, 21.04., 26.04., 28.04.)Alingsås HK – Eskilstuna Guif 1:1 (23:18, 24:26, 20.04., 25.04., 29.04.)Lugi Lund – IK Sävehof 1:1 (28:29, 29:26, 21.04., 25.04., 29.04.)Ystads IF HF – HK Malmö 2:0 (29:26, 33:31, 20.04., 26.04., 29.04.) IFK Kristianstad ← Previous Story RK Celje Pivovarna Laško win 19th domestic Cup trophy Next Story → Slovenian TOP teams to play SEHA GAZPROM league read more

BAHAMAS PM Minnis Says Zorbas Owners Show Confidence in GBs Economy

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, November 28, 2017 – Grand Bahama – Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert Minnis noted Friday that it is unusual for a restaurant to retain all of its employees during a time of recession and economic hard times, and that the owners of Zorba’s Restaurant must be commended for not only maintaining the employment status quo, but also expanding their business and making a significant contribution to the economy of Grand Bahama.“What is being demonstrated is the confidence that the owners of this business have in the Bahamian economy,” added Prime Minister Minnis.   “Under ordinary circumstances, if a restaurant or business suffers from something as devastating as a fire, in many instances that business would close especially knowing the economy of the entire country was experiencing great difficulty.“But Nick and Noelle, not only remained opened, they renovated and expanded.   That demonstrates true confidence in this society.”The Prime Minister’s remarks came during the re-opening ceremony of Zorba’s Restaurant and the launch of Zsa Zsa Mojito Bar in Port Lucaya Marketplace on Friday, November 24, 2017.    Also attending the event were Minister of State for Grand Bahama, Senator the Hon. Kwasi Thompson and Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, the Hon. Michael Pintard.The event was a celebration of commitment, tenacity and faith in Grand Bahama. Like many businesses in Grand Bahama, Zorba’s Restaurant and Agave Restaurant both suffered damage from recent hurricanes as well as the effects of the downturn in the Grand Bahamian economy.   In addition, two months ago Zorba’s Restaurant was damaged by fire, forcing part of the restaurant to close.In the midst of all of these trials, owners of Zorba’s and Agave Restaurant did not let go any of their 100 staff members.   This, according to the Prime Minister, says a lot about the owners of the restaurants.“We, the government did all we could during these times to try and stimulate business in the Marketplace area, and the Prime Minister’s office here in Grand Bahama held certain events in this Marketplace to help keep the businesses afloat,” said Prime Minister Minnis.“Earlier today we launched an entrepreneurship program for young people, who will be given monies to start their respective businesses; and it is our hope that as those businesses grow, they will employ more people who in turn will have money to further support the Grand Bahama economy.”As far as the re-opening of the Grand Lucayan resort is concerned, Prime Minister Minnis told the audience that they are even closer to a resolution and the sale of that hotel, during which time the resort would be renovated and re-opened.“So, Grand Bahama is on the move,” said Prime Minister Minnis.  “We will continue to work to stimulate the economy of Grand Bahama.”Continuing, he said: “So, again, I want to congratulate the owners of these restaurants and thank them for their confidence in the Bahamian economy. I am certain that just as God blessed them in their business during hard times, God will continue to bless them and their staff in this new venture.”By: Andrew Coakley (BIS)Photo credit:Header: HELPS CUT RIBBON – Prime Minister Hubert Minnis gets a hand in the cutting of the ribbon to Zsa Zsa Mojito Bar from the daughter of one of the owners of the bar, as well as a hand from Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, the Hon. Michael Pintard (right), during official opening ceremonies on Friday, November 24, 2017.  (BIS Photo/Lisa Davis)Insert: PM RE-OPENS ZORBAS – Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert Minnis was the keynote speaker during the re-opening of Zorba’s restaurant in Port Lucaya Marketplace on Friday, November 24, 2017.   (BIS Photo/Lisa Davis) Related Items:last_img read more

Camas to discuss pricier Lacamas Lodge

first_imgClick to enlarge While construction bids for Camas’ new community center are $200,000 more than the city budgeted, officials say the project will likely move ahead on schedule.The city had budgeted $1.65 million in state loans for the project, a 5,000-square-foot building that will take shape on the shores of Lacamas Lake. But when bids came back last month, they were higher than expected. With most of the up-front money for the $2.2 million project coming from state-backed low-interest loans, the city was forced to amend its original loan request.Another $350,000 will come from the Friends of the Camas Community Center.The state approved the higher loan on Thursday, so now it’s up to city officials to decide whether they want to approve the 12 percent loan increase or take the project out to bid again. That decision will be made at the next City Council meeting June 17.Camas expects to move the project forward on time, Mayor Scott Higgins said, because the city completed its shoreline master program for the Washington State Department of Ecology last year.The shoreline program will guide development on land adjacent to the city’s waterways and limit some construction.The new regulations will not affect the Lacamas Lake Lodge project, at the former home of the Moose Lodge, because the city has received permits under the shoreline program.last_img read more

CES Responded To A Structure Fire On Spinnaker Street On Saturday

first_imgTwo family pets were lost in the fire, but none of the residents were in need of medical care at the time of the fire. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Central Emergency Services and Red Cross disaster action team members responded a structure fire off of Spinnaker Street in Soldotna, on February 16. Thirteen firefighters were on scene for over 5 hours working on the fire. Red Cross volunteers Beth Odom and Pam & Dave LaForest assisted a family of 2 with comfort, phone communication with the family doctor, financial aid for temporary housing, and other immediate emergency needs.center_img The Red Cross would like to extend a big thanks to the clerk at Marydale Tesoro for getting 18 cups of coffee ready in less than 10 minutes, and to the Soldotna Subway for getting 17 foot long subs ready in less than 30 minutes.last_img read more

Why longlost folklore still matters today

first_img Tags Kirsty Logan on a tale that inspired her”One of my favourite [Scottish folk stories] was ‘Kate Crackernuts’, a Scottish fairytale about a girl who isn’t pretty or demure, but who gets her happy ending by being clever and resourceful. I particularly liked it because Kate’s goal is not to marry a prince but to save her sister who’s been enchanted by a fairy to have a sheep’s head instead of her own (fairytale logic right there). In the end, Kate and her sister both end up with princes, but that’s merely an extra bonus – the main goal is for sisters to help one another.” How old stories can clash with modern sensibilities “In general, so much of folk tales’ content is still relevant and timely. But I do feel that some elements should be updated, depending on the tale. Social and cultural mores change (usually for the better). Some tales are ableist, sexist or dismissive of particular races or backgrounds. This can be good for a writer, as these issues can be explored in a retelling and considered in an intelligent way. But I don’t feel that outdated prejudices should ever just be regurgitated without comment. The racism in the books of, say, Agatha Christie or HP Lovecraft (or dozens of other writers) grates to a modern reader. But those books are of their time; we read them for their plots or world-building or prose, and modern readers can struggle with the prejudices of the time — I know that I struggle to see past those things at times. I’m sure it will be the same a hundred years in the future. If anyone is still reading my work then, I’m sure it will seem very dated in its treatment of sexuality and gender, for example. But I find that reassuring, to think how the world changes so fast and continues to change.”Why adults need bedtime stories too”I’d encourage everyone out there to try reading aloud to the adults in their lives. A partner, a friend, a parent. It’s considered natural to read bedtime stories to children, but then for some reason we think we grow out of it. But the rising popularity of audiobooks and podcasts shows that we love being told stories, and we never get too old for it. Give it a try tonight. It might feel strange at first, but keep at it. Try something short and easy to follow, but not too simplistic or childish. I’d recommend starting with one of the lesser known folk or fairy tales — perhaps from your own country, or from somewhere you’ve never been. Folk tales began as oral stories, so they’re ideal to read aloud. You don’t even have to follow the text that closely if you don’t want to: it’s fine to read the story, get the general gist of it, then retell it in your own words. Add, subtract, change, improve. It’s like a recipe: you don’t have to follow it exactly These stories belong to us all. Take them, use them, love them.”What to listen to next”For people interested in the themes of Hag (and the interviews at the end in particular), I’d recommend the podcasts Feminist Folklore and Singing Bones. Jen Campbell also has a great series on YouTube about the history of fairy tales.I love podcasts and audiobooks — I always have something playing during the day when I’m replying to emails, travelling or doing housework. When it comes to audiobooks I mostly listen to non-fiction. On Audible I’m listening to Lowborn by Kerry Hudson and White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo. I’ve also really enjoyed all of Jon Ronson’s Audible Originals.When it comes to podcasts, for fiction I love Mabel, The Magnus Archives and Alice Isn’t Dead. I listen to a lot of true crime — my favourites are Criminal Broads and All Killa No Filla. I also really like Song Exploder. They’re 15-minute episodes where a musician breaks down their process of creating a single song. And of course I have to recommend my own podcast, Teenage Scream: We read 90s trash horror like Point Horror and Goosebumps and fondly dissect them. It’s very sweary and silly, but we also discuss more serious stuff like gender roles and queer subtext.”Clarification at 8:45 a.m. PT: The podcast’s US release is coming by year’s end. 19 Photos Although we associate folk tales with childhood, she says that part of their appeal is the way a simple tale can resonate with us in different ways throughout our lives. “The same story will have different relevance depending on what age you are when you read it, whether you’re recently bereaved, whether you have children or not, how you’re feeling about your life and career, your mood, the season, and so much more,” she says.Even the term “fairy tale” can be misleading, Logan says. We may talk about “fairy tale weddings” or describe a good outcome as a “fairy tale ending,” but not everyone in these stories lives happily ever after. Consider the fate of Cinderella’s stepsisters, who hack off pieces of their feet before having their eyes pecked out by birds in the Grimm Brothers’ retelling.”Fairy tales and folk tales are darker, stranger, messier and more satisfying than people might remember,” Logan tells me. “They’re not just about being pretty or winning princes; they’re about loss and betrayal, regret and confusion, joy and fulfilment. They’re about us.”Hag launches Thursday and is free for Audible subscribers in the UK. 33 Photos A tour of Cité de Carcassonne: The real-life castle from video and board games (pictures) Share your voice Pod people: CNET’s favourite podcastscenter_img Between Sea & Sky began as a short paragraph, retelling the ballad of the Great Selkie of Sule Skerry. As Logan expanded it into a new narrative, a tale grew that touched on the pressures felt by single parents and women in academia. These were all Logan’s own additions. She notes that although those themes weren’t explicit in the original narrative, they felt like a logical progression of the tale as she expanded it.What was explicit was that the story revolved around a woman being shamed for her sexual behavior. In the original ballad, the selkie man emerges from the sea to claim his child and pays the mother off for nursing it. The narrative goes on to punish the mother as the selkie and her child are murdered and she herself dies of grief. Logan says she couldn’t bring herself to perpetuate that narrative, choosing instead to confront it by having characters comment on the mystery of the child’s parentage.Hag follows a long literary tradition of women reinterpreting folk tales and Logan is no stranger to the genre. She’s previously published books based on similar legends, including A Portable Shelter and The Gloaming, a “queer mermaid love story set on a remote Scottish island that turns people to stone.” Her next book, Things We Say in the Dark, will be published in October 2019. Post a comment Culture Online Your browser does not support the audio element. Kirsty Logan, author of Between Sea & Sky. Audible It’s not easy being an outsider in a small town. It’s harder if you’re a single mother and no one knows who the father is. It’s even worse if the father is a mythological creature who turns up on your doorstep demanding custody of his son.These are just a few of the challenges faced by the main character of Kirsty Logan’s Between Sea & Sky. Her retelling of the ancient story is one of the eight tales from across Britain and Ireland that appear on Hag, a new Audible Original podcast for UK subscribers. (The US release is coming by year’s end.)  For Logan, who I interviewed by email, folk tales have been a lifelong inspiration. Her father spent part of his childhood in Nigeria. He, along with her Scottish grandparents and Buddhist uncle, passed on fables that expanded her understanding of the world.”Although I was raised in a fairly monotone culture, in a small town in the English Midlands (and then later in a small town just outside Glasgow), I was always aware that culture was a lot wider, more complex and more interesting,” she says. “All of that knowledge came through the stories I read and was told.”Read more: Audible’s Hag podcast unearths forgotten folk tales about defiant womenThe 76-minute tale is narrated by its heroine, Sky, and her son, Muir, whose unlikely parentage makes him unusually perceptive for a baby. The boy’s father is a selkie, one of the shape-shifting “seal folk” who sometimes appear in Scottish folklore. When Sky insists on keeping Muir’s parentage a secret, she soon finds herself isolated in the small Orkney community. Selkie stories generally involve selkie women being coerced into relationships with men who steal their skin and leave them pining for the sea. Oxford Professor Carolyne Larrington, who specializes in Old Norse and British fairy tales, chose this tale specifically for the collection because it was a rare version of the myth that involved a male selkie and a human woman.  Hag: Exclusive excerpt from Between Sea & Sky 0last_img read more

Scientists find new clue in Steller sea lion decline

first_imgSea lion pups rest on an Aleutian Beach. (Photo courtesy NOAA)Scientists have finished another research season without solving the 40-year-old mystery of the Steller sea lion decline in the Aleutian Islands.Listen nowBut this summer, a team from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration may have found a new clue.NOAA biologist Katie Sweeney is trying to solve the mystery of two sea lion stocks.In the 1970s, the number of Aleutian Stellers crashed. 15 years ago, those on the eastern side of the Chain started recovering, albeit slowly. But those on the western side did not.“We have field logs from biologists from the ’70s,” Sweeney said. “They talk about there being 13,000 sea lions on Attu at Cape Wrangell. We were just out there, and there were maybe 150.”Why are western Stellers still declining? In its annual search for answers, NOAA sent Sweeney and her team to remote rookeries armed with a $25,000 drone.After capturing half a million images, the reason behind the decline is still unclear.Sweeney said the drone data is some of the best NOAA has collected and it’s helping them to rule out some causes and come up with new theories for the population decrease. Her team uses the pictures to track individual sea lions over decades, monitoring patterns of death and survival.The data doesn’t indicate that more western sea lions are dying from disease, toxins, starvation or predation by orca whales. But they do illustrate something else: Birth rates are declining for western Stellers.“Adult females aren’t having pups as often as they can,” Sweeney said. “They’re capable of having one pup per year, but we’re seeing them have one pup every other year, maybe.”Sweeney isn’t sure why. She said every bit of information is helpful, since the stakes are so high.Western Stellers could go extinct in the next 50 years, and their decline is a warning for other fish and mammals that live in Aleutian waters.“If you start seeing a problem with Steller sea lions, that’s an indication that something’s not entirely right with the ecosystem,” Sweeney said. “It’s kind of a canary in the coal mine.”Sweeney will be back next summer to look for more clues that might explain low pup production.last_img read more

Day after getting best employee award constable caught taking

first_imgA day after receiving best employee award on the Independence Day, a constable attached to the one-town police station in Mahbubnagar caught taking bribe by the Anti-Corruption Bureau on Friday. The constable Tirupati Reddy was caught taking a bribe of Rs 17,000 from one Ramesh, who does sand business. Ramesh said that in spite of having all the documents pertaining to the sand transport, the constable demanded the bribe. Ramesh then approached ACB officials who laid a trap and caught the constable while accepting the bribe.last_img read more

Kalki controversy This is what KHV convener BVS Ravi says about Karthikeyas

first_imgDr Rajasekhar in KalkiPR HandoutBVS Ravi, who is the convener of Katha Hakkula Vedhika (KHV), says there are no similarities between the stories of Karthikeya and Dr Rajasekhar’s upcoming movie Kalki, which is set for release on June 28.A writer named Karthikeya (alias Prasad) has approached the Telugu Cine Writers’ Association, claiming that the film’s story is his. In this regard, Katha Hakkula Vedhika convener BVS Ravi has reacted on the complaint.In a statement to media, BVS Ravi said, “About one and half years ago, we had set up a Katha Hakkula Vedhika and its main aim is to address the issues faced by those who are members of the directors’ association, but not the writers’ association. We have been resolving differences between individuals in an amicable manner without the outside world getting to know. The disputes have been resolved to the satisfaction of both sides in all instances.”BVS Ravi added, “Many come to us with complaints after watching the trailer of movies. They say that the film’s story is theirs. We then go through the story submitted by such individuals and compare the story of the film under consideration. If there are any similarities, we bring them out in the open. We follow the standards set by the Copyright Act rules envisioned by Bollywood writer Javed Akhtar.”Talking about Kalki controversy, BVS Ravi said, “These don’t have statutory backing. Our main focus is to resolve disputes. At times, we advise the parties to seek the court’s intervention. After going through the scripts of Karthikeya and Kalki, we have concluded that there are no primary similarities whatsoever. We are making it clear to the world only because Karthikeya earlier made his point in front of the media.” KalkiPR HandoutBVS Ravi added, “Further discussions will be made if any need arises. As of now, we see no similarities between the two scripts. In cases where there are similarities, the original writer will be given credit and also paid remuneration. In other cases, we just tell the complainant that there are no similarities. We don’t make a fuss as our Association doesn’t like such behaviour. We take collective decisions with our leader N Shankar and secretary Ram Prasad.”Rajasekhar is playing an investigative officer in Kalki, which is presented by Shivani and Shivathmika. Producer C Kalyan is producing the action entertainer under his banner Happy Movies. AWE fame Prasanth Varma is wielding the megaphone for this promising investigative thriller. The film will hit the screens worldwide on June 28 in a grand way.last_img read more

AL man held over Sunamganj dam construction graft

first_imgKhairul Huda aka ChapalSunamganj district Juba League convener Khairul Huda aka Chapal has been detained in a case filed over corruption in constructing dams in Sunamganj haors and subsequently damage of crops worth millions of taka.Khairul Huda, also the president of the district Chamber of Commerce and Industry, is one of the top contractors for constructing dams in Sunamganj haor.Juba League is the youth wing of ruling Bangladesh Awami League (AL).Over 166,612 hectares of cropland were washed away when dams in 154 haors collapsed last April, affecting as many as 325,990 farmer families in Sunamganj district.On 2 July, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) filed a case against 61 people, including dam contractors and 15 officials of Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB), for their alleged involvement in irregularities in implementing haor embankment projects in Sunamganj.An ACC team arrested Chapal at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka around 11:45pm Tuesday.Chapal, also a director of the country’s apex trade body Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), is the former general secretary of Sunamganj district AL.He is also the younger brother of Sunamganj district council chairman Nurul Huda Mukut.ACC deputy director (public relations) Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya confirmed the arrest of Chapal to Prothom Alo.The ACC on the day of filing the case arrested suspended executive engineer of Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) Md Afsar Uddin and local contactor Bachchu Mia from the city’s Motijheel area.They are now behind bars.Apart from the ACC case, Sunamganj District Bar Association general secretary Abdul Haque on 3 July filed another case on behalf of the association, accusing 78 of the Project Implementation Committee which also included names of 61 accused in the ACC case.The ACC is also investigating the case.last_img read more