News April 9, 2003 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Bombing of journalists “may have been a war crime” IraqMiddle East – North Africa Help by sharing this information to go further RSF_en Organisation Iraq : Wave of arrests of journalists covering protests in Iraqi Kurdistan Reporters Without Borders called today on the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission to urgently investigate the bombing of journalists in Iraq which it said may have been a war crime under international law. Follow the news on Iraq December 16, 2020 Find out more News Three jailed reporters charged with “undermining national security” News February 15, 2021 Find out more December 28, 2020 Find out more IraqMiddle East – North Africa Reporters Without Borders calls for an impartial, objective and independent enquiry by the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission.It said the “unsatisfactory” explanations given by US officials for attacks on journalists in Baghdad this week underlined the need for the Commission to look into such violations of the Geneva Conventions on treatment of civilians in wartime.”We asked you on 1 April to investigate the bombing of Iraqi TV headquarters but we received no reply,” said Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard in a letter to the Commission’s president, Sir Kenneth Keith.”We are now approaching you again to urge you to carry out your duty to investigate these attacks and others on journalists and media covering the war in Iraq. Attacks on civilians, which include journalists, and on civilian property are war crimes and serious violations of the Geneva Conventions,” he said.”The neighbouring Baghdad offices of the Arab TV stations Al-Jazeera and Abu Dhabi TV, as well as the Palestine Hotel – both known to US forces as places where journalists were living and working – were attacked deliberately and without warning by US forces on 8 April, killing three journalists.”The bombing of the TV station offices could not have been an error. Al-Jazeera has told US forces where all its offices in Iraq are and has hung large banners outside them marked “TV.””US officials said a US tank fired on the Palestine Hotel because rockets were being fired from it. None of the journalists there saw any such thing and said that in fact things were very quiet in the area when the tank took several minutes to adjust its gun and then fired. Film by the French TV station France 3 confirmed this version of events.”These conflicting versions require an impartial, objective and independent enquiry by the Commission you head,” Ménard told Sir Keith. “These events are too serious to be left solely in the hands of an investigation by US officials, who have already refused to give any details about the killing of a British TV journalist under British-US gunfire in Basra on 22 March and the disappearance of two of his colleagues caught in the incident.”US Col. David Perkins, commander of the 2nd Brigade of the Third Infantry Division, said yesterday US troops had now been told not to fire on the hotel, even if shots came from it.A spokesman for the Spanish defence ministry (one of the dead journalists was Spanish) said US-British forces had declared the hotel a military target on 6 April on grounds that Iraqi leaders were meeting there. He said US-British forces had told journalists at the hotel about this.No media or journalist appears to have been warned of the attack, contrary to the obligation set out in the Geneva Conventions to give due and effective warning.The International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission was set up in 1991 (based in Bern, Switzerland) under the First Additional Protocol of the Geneva Conventions and has the job of investigating any alleged serious violation of international humanitarian law. To date it has received no cases to investigate.To have jurisdiction, it has to be petitioned by one of the parties to a conflict or by one of the countries that have recognised its jurisdiction. To conduct an investigation, all the belligerents must accept its authority. Among the countries involved in the Iraq war, only Australia and the United Kingdom have formally recognised it, allowing an investigation to go ahead as far as they are concerned. The United States and Iraq have not yet accepted the principle of such an enquiry. Receive email alerts RSF’s 2020 Round-up: 50 journalists killed, two-thirds in countries “at peace” News
Make a comment Name (required) Mail (required) (not be published) Website CITY NEWS SERVICE/STAFF REPORT Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday Top of the News More Cool Stuff Community News Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m. Business News Property owners and landlords with 15 or fewer units can access help to avoid foreclosure through the Los Angeles County Disaster Help Center, county representatives announced Tuesday.“We recognize the COVID-19 health emergency has resulted in significant job loss and loss of income for thousands of L.A. County property owners,” said Joseph M. Nicchitta, director of the county Department of Consumer and Business Affairs. “As a result, the number of property owners seeking foreclosure avoidance will increase. Los Angeles County is rising to meet that challenge and provide property owners with some much-needed relief by offering expanded foreclosure prevention services.”Free one-on-one counseling and support is available for property owners who have been adversely affected by the ongoing coronavirus emergency. Borrowers with loans owned by the government, a national or state charter bank or private institutions may be eligible for temporary relief.Counselors fluent in multiple languages are available to help property owners work with lenders to:— temporarily reduce or delay payments;— modify loans to decrease payments, drop the interest rate or extend the length of the loan; and— agree to a short sale to sell the home for less than you owe and settle the debt.Some lenders have programs of their own in place and others may be restricted from initiating foreclosure proceedings during the health emergency.Counselors can assist in filing complaints for violations of various city, state, county and federal foreclosure moratoriums.More information is available by calling the L.A. County Disaster Help Center at 833-238-4450, emailing [email protected] or at LACountyHelpCenter.org Herbeauty12 Most Breathtaking Trends In Fashion HistoryHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyInstall These Measures To Keep Your Household Safe From Covid19HerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyYou Can’t Go Past Our Healthy Quick RecipesHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty10 Secrets That Eastern Women Swear By To Stay Young LongerHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty10 Vietnamese Stunners That Will Take Your Breath AwayHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyHe Is Totally In Love With You If He Does These 7 ThingsHerbeautyHerbeauty EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS 27 recommended0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it Subscribe Community News Help Available for L.A. County Property Owners Facing Foreclosure CITY NEWS SERVICE Published on Tuesday, April 14, 2020 | 4:35 pm STAFF REPORT First Heatwave Expected Next Week STAFF REPORT Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Donald CommunityPCC- COMMUNITYVirtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyPasadena Public WorksPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes Community News Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadena
Jose Maria Marin, former head of Brazil’s Football ConfederationNew York, United States | AFP | A US jury convicted two South American ex-soccer bosses of corruption on Friday but will return after Christmas to deliberate on the fate of a third defendant in the FIFA trial in New York.The panel returned guilty verdicts against Jose Maria Marin, former head of Brazil’s Football Confederation and Juan Angel Napout, former head of Paraguayan football, on the sixth day of deliberations following an extraordinary seven-week trial.Marin, 85, was convicted on six of seven counts, and Napout, 59, on three out of five, in connection with bestowing television and marketing rights to soccer matches.But the jury said they had not yet reached consensus on former Peru boss Manuel Burga, who faces one count of racketeering conspiracy. They will return to resume deliberations on Tuesday, after the Christmas holiday.The trial in a Brooklyn federal court exposed systemic criminal activity at the heart of the world’s most popular sport, two and a half years after the United States unveiled the largest graft scandal in the history of world soccer.Government prosecutors indicted 42 officials and marketing executives, and the sports company Traffic detailed 92 alleged crimes to the tune of more than $200 million, but so far only these three defendants have faced trial.Marin and Napout were convicted of racketeering conspiracy under US law penalizing criminal organization — charges that have jailed mafia bosses — for accepting bribes in exchange for bestowing television and marketing rights to matches.They betrayed no emotion as they heard the verdicts. Napout’s family and wife, visibly nervous, were the only relatives of the defendants in court Friday.Prosecutors said they were blinded by greed into accepting more than $17 million in bribes — Napout $10.5 million, Marin $6.55 million.Juan Angel Napout, former head of Paraguayan football– Sentences pending –In damning evidence, Marin, was recorded talking about taking bribes by associate turned US government cooperating witness, businessman Jose Hawilla, who wore a wire. The Brazilian was acquitted only of one count of money laundering conspiracy, in relation to the Brazil Cup. He was convicted on two others, as well as of wire fraud and racketeering conspiracies.Napout was convicted on one count of racketeering conspiracy and two counts each of wire fraud conspiracy. He was acquitted on two counts of money laundering conspiracy.The US government told jurors that Burga, 60, agreed to receive bribes but never received them because he was under investigation at home in Peru for money laundering.Judge Pamela Chen will now have to determine the sentences. Each count faces a maximum penalty of 20 years behind bars.The defense has the right to appeal.Proceedings lifted the lid on the life of privilege, luxury and excess enjoyed by members of FIFA’s executive committee — of personal chauffeurs, private jets and “presidential treatment,” luxury hotels, meetings in idyllic resorts in the Bahamas or Mauritius, and even cruises on the Danube for wives, children and grandchildren.The defendants mounted little case, leaving their lawyers to claim that while there was indisputable corruption at FIFA, nothing suggested their clients were directly involved. None of the defendants took the stand in their own defense.The government amassed 30 million pages of evidence and cut plea deals with a string of culprits, including Argentinian-Italian marketing executive Alejandro Burzaco, who testified during the trial, after pleading guilty and agreeing to forfeit $21 million.Of the 42 individuals indicted, 24 have pleaded guilty — two of whom have already been sentenced by Chen. Fifteen remain in their own countries, including Brazilian football confederation president Marco Polo Del Nero, who was last week banned from soccer for 90 days as part of FIFA’s own investigation into corruption.Share on: WhatsApp
— Enda (@EndaSportswear) June 30, 2016Kenyan entrepreneur Navalayo Osembo, together with American investor Weldon Kennedy, have created Kenya’s first running shoe company. Enda, which is the Swahili word for ‘go’ is inspired by the country’s global dominance in long-distance running. This proud legacy has, over the last four decades, earned Kenyan runners over 50 Olympic medals, piqued the interest of sport science and created a worldwide fan base for endurance sport.“[We want] to create a way through which Kenya can economically benefit from the running industry, given its reputation on distance running,” Osembo said in an interview with Nigeria’s Signal newspaper. She grew up in Eldoret in the Rift Valley area, a highland region that also produced some of the country’s best long-distance athletes, including two-time Olympic gold medallist Kip Keino.Co-Founder @NavalayoOsembo sharing the Enda story again today pic.twitter.com/BgdriCyGR3— Enda (@EndaSportswear) July 19, 2016DevelopmentEnda raised over $75 000 (R1.1-million) in start-up capital with a kick-starter campaign ahead of its production launch in September 2015. Through its detailed designs and its use of Kenyan culture and sport, the world is starting to take notice of Enda.The company’s first fully developed product – called Iten – is a lightweight trainer with a low heels-to-toe-drop, for use by both professional and amateur runners. It is currently available to purchase via the Enda’s website, with the company hoping to get the product in US and African stores in 2017.According to 2015 market research by the National Purchase Diary group, Enda is targeting the highly competitive $17.2-billion (R246-billion) American sport shoe market with retail prices that are almost 50% less than major name brands. It is also aiming to capture African consumers, including South Africans, who have recently become interested in running competitively or as amateurs.DesignThe company has worked with some of the world’s top designers and consulted with some of the best Kenyan and international runners to create a shoe that is both practical and eye-catching.“What our logo means to me” – @NavalayoOsembo https://t.co/N7lCtr2ZGv pic.twitter.com/TlX5lfj3yf— Enda (@EndaSportswear) September 14, 2015Enda’s logo is a minimalist Maasai spearhead that pays tribute to the company’s origins and fits comfortably among familiar global branding like the Nike swoosh and Adidas’ trefoil.The US product design firm Birdhaus that has worked with Reebok, helped develop the first Enda designs. The shoe parts are manufactured by Jones & Vining, the world’s leading maker of outsoles, inserts, and other advanced components.“We wanted [the shoe] to look contemporary and urbane anywhere in the world, but whisper a Kenyan feel,” Kennedy told Fast Company magazine in June 2016.The parts are all assembled in Kenya, but the company is aiming to make the entire design, manufacturing and marketing processes a fully Kenyan operation.The shoes are currently being tested in the Rift Valley region, at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF’s) High Altitude Training Centre, by up-and-coming Kenyan runners Justin Lagat and Joan Cherop.Despite being the least popular shoe color, when it comes to T-shirts, black is the color of choice pic.twitter.com/Clx9y7A68a— Enda (@EndaSportswear) July 18, 2016FutureWhile the more decorated runners have sponsorships from famous running shoe brands, Enda hopes to make an impact on the next generation of professional runners, particularly from Africa, as well as the casual consumer market.Ultimately, the company wants to connect runners in the West to Kenya’s running culture, leveraging it to create domestic jobs and economic growth rather than benefit global corporations.“We wanted to channel the energy around running into something that can have much more of an impact on the people of Kenya,” Osembo told Fast Company. “If you think about the magnitude of the industry worldwide, and if you think about how Kenya is used for marketing, this is low-lying fruit.”Enda’s social enterprise efforts are small, but growing, with plans to invest part of the company’s profits in local and regional community initiatives that focus on sanitation, education and healthcare.According to the company’s kick-starter page “working with experts, we’ll identify a handful of the most effective projects that could use some extra support every six months. Anyone who buys a pair of Enda shoes and registers their purchase will get one vote to help us determine which projects will receive money from the pool.”“Through this, we will link Enda runners across the globe to local communities in Kenya and vice versa, and encourage sympathy, creativity and innovation.”Source: AFKInsiderWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SouthAfrica.info material
We slow down time and take a look at how different camera shutters work.There’s nothing like the sound of a professional camera shutter. It’s become so synonymous with photography that digital cameras and phone cameras often have a fake sound effect to make the photography experience more authentic.But have you ever wondered about the process behind that magical sound effect?How do DSLR shutters work?When it comes to a DSLR camera shutter there are 3 basic mechanisms: the mirrorbox, the bottom door, and the top door. When you look through a DSLR view finder you are essentially looking through a series of mirrors that get their light directly from the lens. When you click the shutter button that system of mirrors flips upwards to allow light to pass to the sensor. This is why the viewfinder goes black for a short amount of time when taking photos.Once the mirror is flipped upwards a small door will move from top to bottom exposing the sensor beneath. After that another door will fall down, covering up the entire sensor. This process can vary in time depending on the length of your shutter speed. Sometimes a shutter speed can be so fast that your camera sensor won’t be entirely exposed at any one time.After the second door closes your mirror will fall back into place. The doors will then reset to their original positions underneath. This entire process from mirror up to mirror down is known as an actuation. A typical DSLR can withstand over 100,000 actuations in its lifetime. The following is a graphic example of 1 full actuation: How do mirrorless camera shutters work?Unlike DSLRs, mirrorless cameras don’t use a mirror box or pentaprism to project light directly into the viewfinder. Instead, when using a mirrorless camera the sensor is perpetually exposed to incoming light by default with nothing in-between. This is why mirrorless cameras use either an LCD screen or an electronic viewfinder to monitor what is coming through the lens.As soon as the user hits the shutter button a door will swing up to cover the sensor. Once covered up the sensor will begin exposing. The door will then swing down to expose the sensor to light. After that another door will swing down to cover the sensor. The sensor will then stop exposure and the doors will reset.Here’s an example of how a mirrorless camera works:Why do cameras have mechanical shutters anymore?Before the existence of digital sensors it was vital your camera have a mechanical shutter. This is because you can’t simply turn film on or off like a digital sensor. Pre-developed film is light sensitive, meaning any exposure to outside light would severely damage your images. However, in the age of digital photography the landscape is certainly different. Modern sensors are fully capable of taking photographs without a mechanical shutter.Image from ShutterstockSmaller consumer cameras like point-and-shoots and phone cameras are all examples of shutterless cameras. Shutterless cameras tend to have more image noise in the image than their traditional shuttered counterparts. This is because shutterless cameras constantly send power to the sensor. When a user hits the shutter button the sensor is flooded with more power and the image is captured and if you’re familiar with ISO you know that more power equals more noise.We will likely see professional shutterless cameras in the future, but for now they simply are too grainy/noisy for most high-end professional photography.How do shutters work when capturing video?When shooting video on a the shutter process is much different. Because a typical still camera can only activate it’s shutter mechanism about 6 times per second, the physical shutter doors are far too slow to shoot video (which is typically shot in 24 or 30 fps). Instead, when shooting video or in the live-view mode your shutter doors and mirror are left open, leaving your sensor perpetually exposed. Instead of relying on mechanical processes, the ‘shutter speed’ when shooting video is only a reference to a timed amount of power that goes through the sensor. This is known as an electronic shutter. After each frame is captured the electronic shutter resets.What is a global shutter?Although the name would insinuate that it is simply a type of shutter process, a global shutter is more a camera sensor related feature. When it comes to camera sensors there are two main categories that you need to know CMOS and CCD.CMOS sensors are more common among consumer to pro-sumer cameras, but they are also more problematic. This is because CMOS sensors read pixel information from the top left of the sensor to the bottom right. This is a problem because if your subject is incredibly fast and moves position during capture you will get warped images. This is known as rolling shutter and it can produce some pretty annoying ‘jello’ effects, especially when shooting video.Image from Andor.comOn the other hand CCD sensors, or global shutters, will record the entire frame at once, very similar to a film camera. This eliminates warping, leaving you with a more pleasing image.What is a rotary disk shutter?Rotary disk shutter only pertains to actual film (movie) cameras. As you probably already know, a film camera works by exposing 24 individual film frames to light per second. The result is fluid motion that gives the illusion of movement. As you can imagine, the mechanical processes already covered in this article, known as focal-plane shutters, are far too complex and time consuming to be performed 24 times per second. Instead a film camera uses a rotary disk shutter.This shutter looks very similar to a fan. In short, the Rotary Disk rotate on the inside of the camera body, exposing the film to light then covering it up again with the blade of the disk. The rotary disk process works in 3 steps: under the cover of the disk the camera film would move into place, the disk would allow light in, and the disk would cover the frame. Repeat this process 24 times per second and you have yourself a moving picture.Image from WikipediaThe thing that makes rotary disk shutters truly unique is the way in which the shutter speed is calculated. In modern cameras you can select the exact shutter speed you want for your image, but in traditional film (movie) cameras you have to calculate your shutter speed yourself. Rotary disks have the shutter angle, or the size of the pizza slice (see chart), listed on their blades. DP’s can then go in and determine what the shutter speed is by calculating the shutter angle with the frame rate.For example, if you were shooting a film at 24 fps and had a rotary disk with a shutter angle of 180 degrees your shutter speed would be 1/48 or double 24 fps. The following diagram may help you get a good idea of how this process works.If you are looking to shoot on film in the near future there are a lot of really good online resources to help you figure out your shutter speed. It’s also not uncommon to see shutter speed displayed by shutter angle when shooting on high-end cinematography cameras.What in the heck is a leaf shutter?A leaf shutter is a shutter that functions inside of a lens. Instead of acting like a door or a fan, a leaf shutter works a lot like a lens aperture.Image from KernPhotoYou won’t find leaf shutters in everyday cameras. Typically they are only found in medium format high-end photography cameras. They can function at higher flash sync speeds (up to 1/1600) making them great for anyone who wants to shoot outdoors at a low f-stop with a strobe. Because these lenses are hand crafted, not manufactured on an assembly line, they tend to be incredibly expensive.Shutters In-ActionThe following videos showcase various camera shutters in slow motion. Note how violent the process is on the photography equipment. It’s amazing that the camera shutters don’t break more often.Nikon D4 (DSLR)Canon 7D (DSLR)Fujifilm x-PRO1 (Mirrorless)Note how this Fujifilm mirrorless camera doesn’t have a mirror or pentaprism. It is just a constantly exposed sensor that is covered up only during the photo capturing process.Want to learn more about camera shutters? Check out a few of the following resources:How Shutter Works – C.R.I.S. Camera ServicesHow Shutter Speed Works – How Stuff WorksHow Does Shutter Work When Shooting Video – Photo Stack ExchangeGlobal Shutters – Digital BolexWhy Leaf Shutter Lenses Matter – Kern PhotoDo you think mechanical shutters are here to stay? Share in the comments below.
World Harmony Productions has announced the artist line-up for the ONE WORLD CONCERT—a historic celebration of peace, music and common ground—coming to the Carrier Dome at Syracuse University on Tuesday, October 9th, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.Expected to be one of the largest gatherings of international artists ever to travel to the region, this special benefit concert immediately follows a public talk by the Dalai Lama and features an original song written and performed by multiple artists, especially for His Holiness.The all-star lineup for the ONE WORLD CONCERT includes: Host band Don Was and his All-Star Band, Dave Matthews, Counting Crows, Phillip Phillips, Nas, A.R. Rahman, Andy Grammer, Matisyahu, Natasha Bedingfield, Swiss Beatz, Cyndi Lauper, Bebe Winans, Angelique Kidjo, Voices of Afghanistan, Souad Massi, Engelbert Humperdink, Roberta Flack, David Sanborn, Joanne Shenandoah, David Crosby and Nelly Furtado. Special guests include Whoopi Goldberg, the evening’s emcee, and NBC News’ Ann Curry.“After discussions with thought leaders throughout the world and with His Holiness, it became clear to me that a peace movement can only be realized when we engage the public in conversations about common ground and understanding,” explains Samuel Nappi, founder of One World Community Foundation and president of World Harmony Productions. “As music is the universal language of our soul, we are thrilled to be partnering with Syracuse University and such a talented group of artists and intellectuals to help enliven the conversation.”Musician David Crosby says, “This event has such important chemistry. His Holiness the Dalai Lama seeks peace and compassion for the whole human race, and the diversity of musicians and speakers on the panels is also important. Since Dave Matthews first appeared in the music world he has been trying to go for the high ground. He’s also a very powerful presence.”Crosby adds, “There’s a chance for magic to happen here.”Tickets to the ONE WORLD CONCERT include admission to the combined public talk by the Dalai Lama and the musical performances. Prices range from $35-$55, with a limited number of Gold Circle tickets available. Tickets will be sold via Ticketmaster, the Carrier Dome Box Office or 888-DOMETIX. Presale tickets will be sold starting on Saturday, September 8, 2012 at 10:00 AM EDT. The Public on-sale will begin Monday, September 10 at 10:00 AM EDT.A special online only presale for SU and ESF full-time students will begin on Friday, September 7, 2012 at 2:00pm EDT. SU and ESF students will be sent instructions to their school email address. Proceeds from the concert will be used to advance international relief efforts and fund a new scholarship named for Bassel Al Shahade, the SU graduate student killed earlier this year in Syria while making a documentary film on the violence in his homeland.The October 9 appearance of His Holiness and the ONE WORLD CONCERT in the Carrier Dome will follow a panel discussion to be held at Syracuse University on October 8. While the panel discussion will have extremely limited seating, the ONE WORLD CONCERT event will offer greater opportunity for members of the public to see and hear His Holiness in person, while witnessing the gathering of world-renowned artists all performing for peace.For more information, visit oneworld.syr.edu.Source:PR Newswire
TORONTO – Hydro One Ltd. and Avista Corp. say their proposed merger has cleared another hurdle in the U.S.The two companies say the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States has completed a review of the deal and found no unresolved national security concerns.The friendly deal announced last summer for the Ontario-based utility to acquire the U.S. energy company received antitrust clearance in the United States in early April and consent from the Federal Communications Commission on May 4.Avista shareholders had previously approved the deal on Nov. 21, 2017.The transaction still requires several other approvals, including from utility commissions in the states of Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana and Alaska.The companies say they anticipate closing the transaction in the second half of the year.Avista Corp. is involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy as well as other energy-related businesses.Companies in this story: (TSX:H)
Due to the poor air quality, the city is urging residents to use the walking track at their own risk.The city apologized for any inconvenience this will cause residents. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Pomeroy Sport Centre will soon begin the process of putting the ice back in the arena.Ice Maintenance will commence on August 3rd and finish on the 16th.The City of Fort St. John Recreation explained in a post on Facebook that many machines will be operated at various times in the Pomeroy during the maintenance which could cause poor air quality.
Both Congress and BJP have finalised the lists of candidates for the 29 seats of Lok Sabha. After the final list, BJP is facing rebellion in at least four constituencies. The four constituencies are Khajuraho, Balaghat, Shadol, and Indore. It was a tough job to select party candidate for Indore which is being represented by Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan from 1989. Despite many attempts by party stalwarts like Kailash Vijayvargiya earlier she could not be dislodged. She gained tremendous influence in the party and was awarded the top job of the speaker. The party was trying to find her replacement. After marathon consultations, the party selected Shankar Lalwani for the Indore seat. Also Read – A special kind of bondHe is not a very popular well-known face in Indore. Despite this he was chosen. His choice came as a surprise to many BJP members. His choice has also been opposed by another Sindhi leader. BJP’s choice for Balaghat resulted in a major revolt. The party chose new candidate by dropping the sitting MP Bodh Singh Bhagat. Bhagat publicly opposed denial of ticket to him. Ultimately BJP expelled him from the party. Gyan Singh, sitting MP from Shahdol was also replaced. Surprisingly he was replaced by a leader who contested by election against Gyan Singh as a Congress candidate. Also Read – Insider threat managementFormer Vidyarthi Parishad activist V.D. Sharma was imposed on Khajuraho constituency. Local BJP workers are angry because Sharma was selected despite the fact that he was a rank outsider. Meanwhile, Bhopal constituency has attracted entire nation’s attention. Pragya Thakur was made party member a few hours before the announcement of her name as the party candidate. She filed her nomination on Monday. Before filling her nomination she was vehemently criticised for making highly objectionable remarks against Hemant Karkare, Maharashtra cadre IPS officer who was killed by a terrorist. Pragya claimed that he was killed because she cursed him. After her remarks she was served a notice by the Election Commission asking her to explain her conduct. She did submit her explanation which was not found to be satisfactory. Her remark was criticised by the IPS association and several retired Director Generals of Police. Controversy over Karkare had not yet subsided she made yet another highly provocative comment. Her comment was so serious and objectionable that an FIR was registered on Monday against her. Her comment was “I climbed atop the structure in Ayodhya and am proud to have demolished it”. Bhopal district election officer Sudama Khade said, “The reply filed by Pragya Singh Thakur regarding her remarks about the Ayodhya structure was not found satisfactory. An FIR has been registered against her under Section 188 IPC for poll code violation”. Conviction on this charge can lead to six months in jail or a fine or both. After the back-to-back EC notices, Pragya was advised by her party leaders on Sunday to exercise restraint and not speak on sensitive issues. Sources said that in her reply on the Babri remark, Pragya said that she made the statement when she was “not yet a candidate”. In her reply, she asks: “Whether the (EC) media certification and media monitoring committee is authorised to take cognisance of the statements given by me when I had not filed my nomination. And it should also be apprised that I have not given any statement with the intention of hurting the feelings or instigating rift between people belonging to any caste, religion or community but it expresses the voice of my conscience. Hence I request you to dispose the notice at this level only”. Clearly the district election officer wasn’t convinced. Pragya’s reply to the other EC notice – on her ‘death curse’ remark has been sent to chief electoral officer V L Kantha Rao. She blamed the media for “negatively” presenting her statement. This will be forwarded to the EC office in Delhi. Pragya’s reply on the “karkare curse’ says “I have spoken nothing wrong that could flare communal tension. I did not take any name, nor did I attack anybody on personal issues or raised slogans against anybody. But, the notice served by EC demanded explanation. I would request the EC to append sensitive pamphlets, if any, or any complaint by a political worker against me, with the notice”. She insists she hasn’t said “anything derogatory regarding the martyrdom of any martyr” and urges the EC not to judge her statement “on the basis of one single line”. “The entire statement should be considered for evaluation, I have only narrated the torture that I faced on the instructions of the then Congress government and it is my right to inform people what I had suffered. My statement was reported negatively by media and I also withdrew my statement in respect of public sentiments, hence no action should be taken against me” Pragya said. There is a section of observers who feel that her claim regarding Babri Mosque is false. There are some documents in which 1988 is mentioned as her birth year. If that is so she must have been only four year old in 1992 – the year in which Babri Mosque was demolished.(The views expressed are strictly personal)
Convicted child sex abuser Jerry Sandusky maintains he is innocent of all charges and remains determined to clear his name, insisting he has always been faithful to his wife, Dottie, his defense lawyer said.Sandusky, the 68-year-old former Penn State assistant coach, was convicted Friday on 45 counts of child sex abuse charges in a case that reverberated college football for the graphic nature of the victims’ testimony.Sandusky has been confined to jail since then to await sentencing, while his attorneys vow to appeal the verdict.Sandusky faces a maximum penalty of more than 400 years in prison when he is sentenced.“He would like to be exonerated,” Sandusky attorney Karl Rominger said Monday after visiting his client in a Pennsylvania jail.“The main reason is he wants the public to know he’s not guilty, but the most important reason is he wants to maintain his innocence for his family’s sake,” Rominger told Reuters. “He really feels that (the conviction) is an insult to his wife, who he has loved and been faithful to all these years.”Dottie Sandusky posted bail for her husband when he was arrested last fall, accompanied him to court and testified on his behalf.Victims testified that some of the sexual abuse took place in the Sandusky home, but Dottie Sandusky testified that she never saw or heard any inappropriate conduct between her husband and the young boys who came over to the house.Sandusky’s attorneys have said they plan to appeal on a number of grounds, including their assertion that they lacked adequate time to prepare for the case, and because prosecutors were allowed to present as evidence an inaccurate version of a television interview Sandusky gave to NBC News before the trial.Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly said on Monday that contrary to issues raised by the defense, the former coach received a fair trial and prosecutors expect to prevail on any appeal.“As far as the timing, the judge made it clear from the beginning to all the parties that he intended to move this case along quickly,” Kelly said on CNN.“We were anxious to have this case brought to a conclusion so that the defendant who was not in custody during the process … so we could move to have his bond revoked.”Rominger also said Sandusky was not suicidal and is anxious for a psychiatric evaluation to determine him mentally healthy enough to receive visits from family and friends.