Zinedine Zidane insists he did not disrespect Gareth Bale when he said it would be good if he left Real Madrid sooner rather than later.Zidane caused a stir when he stated last weekend that he hoped Wales star Bale would leave the La Liga club soon, adding: “It would be best for everyone.”Bale’s agent, Jonathan Barnett, branded the Madrid head coach “a disgrace” for his remarks, as talk of an imminent move to the Chinese Super League gathered pace. Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Zidane has now hit back at such suggestions and claims Bale himself declined to play in the 3-1 International Champions Cup defeat to Bayern Munich on Sunday because the club was trying to arrange his transfer. “I’ll try to be very clear with this, with Gareth,” he told a news conference on Monday.”Firstly, I have not disrespected anyone, least of all a player because I always said the same thing, that players are the most important thing and every time there is a player here I am always with them.”Secondly, I said the club was trying to get him out. Period.”Thirdly, the other day Gareth didn’t play because he didn’t want to. He said the club was trying to negotiate his departure he and didn’t want to play because of that.”So far, Bale hasn’t asked not to play tomorrow.When the subject of Bale was brought up again, he said: “You keep asking about this situation. Nothing will change today – he’s going to go and train now. The club is doing what it has to do.”He will train normally, and we’ll see what happens tomorrow.”Bale has been linked with Chinese Super League clubs Jiangsu Suning and Beijing Guoan, who are reportedly considering offering wages of £1million per week.Madrid face Arsenal in Maryland on Tuesday.
Update On Notre Dame QB Ian Book’s Availability For The Syracuse GameUpdate On Notre Dame QB Ian Book’s Availability For The Syracuse Game
October 26, 2019October 26, 2019
CHAPEL HILL, NC – OCTOBER 07: Ian Book #12 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish rolls out against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the game at Kenan Stadium on October 7, 2017 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)Notre Dame, with backup quarterback Brandon Wimbush at the helm, handled Florida State on Saturday night – prevailing 42-13 – to keep its undefeated campaign alive. But the Fighting Irish have a much tougher opponent this coming Saturday in Syracuse, and fans are wondering if they’ve have their starting signal-caller – Ian Book – back in the fold.In short, it’s looking good.Pete Sampson of The Athletic reports that “all signs” point to Book being ready for the game against the Orange. That’d be big news for a team looking to make the College Football Playoff for the first time.Book is dealing with an “upper body injury” – the school hasn’t offered much more on the exact nature of it.Asked Brian Kelly about Ian Book’s status for Syracuse. Offers a non-answer. So, we’ll see. Will be an ongoing question this week, obviously.— Pete Sampson (@PeteSampson_) November 11, 2018Follow up on Ian Book from @timprister and Brian Kelly clarifies.All signs point to Book being ready for Syracuse, per Kelly.— Pete Sampson (@PeteSampson_) November 11, 2018Notre Dame, with a 10-0 record, has just two games left on its schedule – against Syracuse at Yankee Stadium and on the road at rival USC. It’s a solid bet that if the Fighting Irish win those two games, they’ll be afforded a chance to play for it all in the College Football Playoff.Syracuse, meanwhile, is in the midst of a resurgent season under head coach Dino Babers. The Orange are 8-2 and will likely be ranked No. 12 in the country when the two squads meet.Book’s status will likely be a hot topic as the game gets closer. We’ll keep you updated.
October 22, 2019October 22, 2019
The province’s independent Serious Incident Response Team (SIRT) released two investigative summary reports today, Nov. 7. One report deals with an incident referred on June 28, of a domestic violence allegation against a member of the Northeast Nova Scotia District RCMP. The second report concerns a member of the Bridgewater Police Service who the SIRT charged in August with two offences of assault, alleged to have happened in July. Both reports are available at www.gov.ns.ca/just/sirt.asp. In the first report, an investigation into a Northeast Nova Scotia RCMP member describes how the RCMP received information that created reasonable suspicion a domestic assault had occurred, including the fact that an RCMP member’s spouse had signs of a lower leg injury. The RCMP referred the matter to the SIRT. After the SIRT obtained evidence from the spouse, her son, and the person who provided the original information, the director, Ron MacDonald, concluded: “In the end, available evidence indicated that the woman fell accidentally, therefore removing any reasonable and probable grounds to proceed with any criminal charge.” The second report investigated Bridgewater Police Service Cst. Christine Bonnell. The case was referred by the Bridgewater Police Service on Aug. 1. The SIRT laid two charges of common assault against Cst. Bonnell on Aug. 24. A trial is scheduled for March 22 and 25, 2013. SIRT is responsible for investigating all serious incidents involving police in Nova Scotia, whether or not there is an allegation of wrongdoing. Investigations are under the direction and control of the independent civilian director. SIRT can independently launch an investigation or begin an investigation after a referral from a chief of police, the head of the RCMP in Nova Scotia or the Minister of Justice. It can also investigate after a public complaint. The Police Act requires the director to file a public report summarizing the results of the investigation within three months after it is finished. A copy of the summary is also to be provided to the Minister of Justice and the police agency involved.
JNU admin should retract letter to Romila Thapar and others apologise JNUTAJNU admin should retract letter to Romila Thapar and others apologise JNUTA
October 18, 2019October 18, 2019
New Delhi: The Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers’ Association on Tuesday accused the varsity administration of spreading “blatant falsehood” on its letter to historian Romila Thapar asking her to submit her CV and demanded that it immediately retract such letters sent to 12 professors emeriti, besides tendering personal apology.The JNU administration’s decision to ask historian Romila Thapar to submit her CV for assessment for her continuation as professor emerita had drawn sharp criticism from various quarters with JNUTA terming it “politically motivated”, following which the university registrar on Monday said that there are 11 others who have also been asked to submit their CVs. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderThe university had said it was done with the objective of ascertaining Thapar’s availability and willingness to continue her association with the University and not to assess her for continuation. The JNUTA on Tuesday released the letter sent by the varsity to Thapar, saying it was doing so to counter “such blatant falsehood”. It noted that the the subject line of the “offensive letter” read, ‘Assessment of Past Work of Professor Emeritus in Jawaharlal Nehru University for the committee to decide on continuation’. This “is all the evidence needed to expose the true intentions of the JNU administration”, the JNUTA said in a letter Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchings”The JNUTA finds it laughable that the current JNU administration thinks that confessing to an insult on a larger scale counts as a defence. …by casting its net wide across several Professors Emeriti, the JNU Registrar has initiated a process of bringing JNU’s past before its Executive Council, so that it can proceed to undo it entirely,” the JNUTA said. The body demanded that all such letters to Professors Emeriti issued by the JNU Registrar be immediately retracted, any review of their performance put to an end, and a personal apology be tendered to each of them. JNU registrar Pramod Kumar had said on Monday that Professors H S Gill, C K Varshney, SD Muni, Ashok Sanjay Guha, Asis Datta, R Rajaraman, Romila Thapar, Yogendra Singh, D Banerji, T K Oommen, Amit Bhaduri and Shiela Bhalla had been sent letters by the varsity administration as they attained the age of 75 before March 31, 2019.
Acquittal of stepfather on sex assault charges based on stereotypes Appeal CourtAcquittal of stepfather on sex assault charges based on stereotypes Appeal Court
October 17, 2019October 17, 2019
MONTREAL — The Quebec Court of Appeal has overturned a man’s acquittal on eight charges of sexually assaulting his stepdaughter, ruling that the trial judge was too quick to dismiss the testimony of the alleged victim.Asserting that “nobody saw anything” to assess the credibility of a young complainant is not in keeping with the law, the Appeal Court concluded in a unanimous decision released Thursday.“Certain comments of the judge suggest a stereotypical attitude concerning sexual assaults of children,” Justice Simon Ruel wrote for the three-judge appeal panel.Ruel said the trial judge, Denise Descoteaux of Quebec court, was wrong to imply the testimony of the alleged victim had to be corroborated to be credible. The assaults are alleged to have taken place over a period of six years when the girl was aged between six and 12. She was 15 when she testified at the trial in 2017.In her ruling, Descoteaux was skeptical of the stepfather’s claim that he was never alone with the child because he spent the entire day on his land cutting wood, year-round. The judge called his testimony “not transparent, not reliable, not sincere and not credible.”Yet she acquitted him, finding a reasonable doubt because of the limited reliability of the testimony of the girl, who had been unable to provide many details of the alleged assaults. The judge also questioned how the abuse could have gone on for so long without anyone noticing.The Appeal Court said the trial judge evaluated the complainant’s testimony as if she were an adult. It noted that it is understandable that a young child would not have the words to describe what she had suffered. And it said sexual abuse is a crime committed away from the view of others, often in the context of a relationship of trust or authority.It has ordered a new trial for the accused, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the alleged victim.Stephanie Marin, The Canadian Press
Symposium revisits Royal Commissions Marshall recommendationsSymposium revisits Royal Commissions Marshall recommendations
October 14, 2019October 14, 2019
APTN National NewsDonald Marshall spent 11 years in jail for a murder he didn’t commit.The Royal Commission that followed came up with a long list of recommendations.Many of them were aimed at ridding Canada’s justice system of racism. Now, 25 years later, leaders are gathering in Nova Scotia to see what worked and what still needs to be done.APTN’s Trina Roache has this story.
More funds available to fight AIDS in developing countries than ever beforeMore funds available to fight AIDS in developing countries than ever before
October 11, 2019October 11, 2019
Resources to tackle the AIDS epidemic reached an all-time high in 2008, with funds available reaching nearly $8 billion worldwide, according to a new report issued by the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).The actual resources available to combat the virus surged 56 per cent from 2007, reaching $7.7 billion, while commitments from developed countries climbed from $6.6 billion in 2007 to $8.7 billion last year.The United States provided the bulk of the funding at $4 billion, followed by the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Norway and Sweden, the new report – jointly issued by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a non-governmental organization (NGO) – said.Commitments and disbursements made by wealthier nations increased five-fold between 2002 and 2008, it found.As a portion of a country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the Netherlands contributes most to fighting AIDS, followed by the United Kingdom and the US.But a press released issued by UNAIDS, the data in the new study was gathered before the acceleration of the current global and economic crisis, which could threaten future funding for the global effort to fight the epidemic. 13 July 2009Resources to tackle the AIDS epidemic reached an all-time high in 2008, with funds available reaching nearly $8 billion worldwide, according to a new report issued by the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).
Value of building permits falls in June first decrease in six monthsValue of building permits falls in June first decrease in six months
October 8, 2019October 8, 2019
OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says municipalities issued $6.6 billion worth of building permits in June, down 10.3% from May.The federal agency says it’s the first decrease in six months, and came mainly from the non-residential sector in Quebec and the residential sector in Ontario.Nationally, residential sector permit values fell 12.9% to $4-billion in June.The building permits are seen as an indicator of future construction activity.The value of residential building permits was down in seven provinces in June, led mostly by Ontario and Quebec with Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories showing the only gains.In the non-residential sector, the value of building permits fell 9.5% to $1.4-billion. Quebec, Ontario and Saskatchewan were behind most of the decline, while British Columbia posted the largest gain.Canadian Press
September 28, 2019September 28, 2019
Junior guard Shannon Scott (left) guards an opposing player during a game against North Dakota State Dec. 14 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won, 79-62.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorAs former Alabama football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant once said: “Offense sells tickets. Defense wins championships.”If that is to be believed, then the No. 3 Ohio State men’s basketball team is a lock for a deep run in the NCAA Tournament this season.A year after losing one of the most prolific scorers in Buckeye basketball history, forward Deshaun Thomas, to the 2013 NBA Draft, the Buckeyes have built a winning start to this season on defense.Despite falling in their most recent game, a 72-68 defeat in overtime against No. 5 Michigan State in East Lansing, Mich., the Buckeyes are still allowing only an even 56 points per game. The 72 put up by the Spartans was the highest total against OSU this season.The Spartans struggled at times against OSU’s defense, turning over the ball over 17 times. After the game, MSU coach Tom Izzo was complimentary of the Buckeye defense.“Everybody knows they’re the best defensive team in the country,” Izzo said. “Everybody knows those guards are leading the country in steals. They get after you. You just have to man up.”Two of OSU’s starting guards, senior Aaron Craft and junior Shannon Scott, are in the top 35 in the country in steals per game, with Craft tied for 20th.Scott, who tallied three steals against the Spartans, has been improving consistently on defense despite still making mistakes, OSU coach Thad Matta said.“He got out of position one time and they made us pay for it, but Shannon is quick,” Matta said after the game Tuesday. “He is difficult to guard and he hit some big free throws, some big shots down the stretch.”The 56 points per game is best in the Big Ten, with second place and No. 4-ranked Wisconsin allowing 60.5 a contest.OSU freshman forward Marc Loving said Dec. 17 that having such a strong defensive team makes every practice tougher than the games.“The game’s are a lot easier compared to practice … we have one of the best defense in the country,” Loving said. “So when we practice with great defenders like (senior guard) Lenzelle (Smith Jr.), Aaron (Craft) and (junior forward) Sam (Thompson) … they’re lock down defenders so the game will just be 10 times easier when you get on the court.”Since Big Ten play began, the Buckeyes are allowing 64.7 points per game, but their defense continues to impress.Nebraska coach Tim Miles said after his team lost to OSU, 84-53, Jan. 4 that it’s hard to get things going against such a talented defensive team.“Ohio State’s really good … their defensive quickness really causes problems. They have the ability to switch a lot of things,” Miles said.Before the Big Ten opener against Purdue, Scott said the team is enjoying the way it plays defense.“I think as a team standpoint, we’re taking pride in our defense now,” Scott said Dec. 30. “It’s not just me and Aaron … it’s everybody now. The fact that we’re all taking pride in that makes it a lot of fun for us to play defense and hopefully we can keep doing it in the Big Ten and keep going from there.”The Buckeyes will need a stout defensive performance in their next game to prevent a second consecutive loss. The 20th ranked Iowa Hawkeyes (12-3, 1-1) are scheduled to visit Columbus to take on the Buckeyes, and come in sporting the conference’s top offense, scoring an average 86.1 points per game.Scott said Dec. 13 the goal for the Buckeyes is to make teams fear playing against the defense.“Coach Matta talks about it a lot, about every game, that we’re the best defense in the country,” Scott said. “We really want to have that in our heads that nobody should be able to score on us … From a viewpoint of other teams speaking of us as a problem on defense, we really want that to happen. We want them to be scared to play against us. As long as we can keep doing that, it’s going to make our game a lot easier.”
September 25, 2019September 25, 2019
GPs are under pressure to provide emergency home visits to ease the crisis in overstretched A&E departments, NHS documents reveal.Local doctors groups are being asked to establish “A&E Delivery Boards” and to draw up rotas of medics able to respond to 111 requests for urgent care at home.The boards are ostensibly responsible for easing winter pressures, but the new NHS England best practice guidelines state the measures should remain in place all year round because of the unprecedented demand on hospitals. The Government is trying to put a sticking plaster on the fact that the ambulance service is not responding in a timely fashionRichard Vautrey Last month a Daily Telegraph investigation revealed that patients are being forced to wait for up to nine hours in ambulances because of the gridlock in A&E departments.In the past, 111 operators have been criticised for too frequently advising callers to go to A&E.The new guidance says: “Early and effective assessment of frail and vulnerable adults can enable general practice to plan alternatives to hospital admissions or arrange for early specialist review”.It adds that swift action would help to avoid “default admission” to hospital.But the idea has been ridiculed by GPs representatives who say doctors are themselves under such pressure that stepping up the number of home visits is not feasible.Chair of the Family Doctor Association, Dr Peter Swinyard, said: “I think the Government is trying to put a sticking plaster on the fact that the ambulance service is not responding in a timely fashion and they are trying to dump the problem onto general practice.“If you’re working in the surgery during the day, you are absolutely chock-a-block and you don’t have time to rush out and do an emergency home visit.“If you do that you have four patients sitting in the waiting room who are not going to be seen.”NHS England said it will be for “local systems” to determine exactly how the new models, which should be implemented by June next year, should work.The guidance comes as the NHS undertakes a series of complex service restructures, known as Sustainability and Transformation Plans, in response to last year’s record £2.45 billion deficit in the hospital sector.Dr Richard Vautrey, of the British Medical Association, said the new initiative was a symptom of fundamental problems.“The reality now is that the health and social care system is under severe pressure 12 months of the year, and needs additional support throughout the year,” he said.“It’s important that all such schemes are properly resourced and don’t just have narrow focus on A&E activity and hospital admission but also recognise the significant pressure that general practices are under as well.”Most GP practices currently refuse home visits to all except those who are housebound and whose medical condition prevents them being transported to a surgery.This week the Chancellor Philip Hammond was criticised by politicians and the health community for failing to deliver any new funding for the NHS or social care sector. 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.
Next Crysis will be freetoplay wont be called Crysis 4Next Crysis will be freetoplay wont be called Crysis 4
September 21, 2019September 21, 2019
Crysis 3 isn’t out until February next year but Crytek are already thinking about what the future holds. Apparently, the future of Crytek is free-to-play as back in June they announced all future games after Crysis 3 and Homefront 2 would be F2P.They’ve also said the next Crysis will not be called Crysis 4, although they do plan to continue the series in some way, even though the story of Crysis is concluded in the third game. Putting a “4” at the end of the next game’s title would insinuate the same story is being continued, which is not what Crytek want to do at all. If you are looking for a sequel to Crysis 3, it won’t be made for some time, says Crytek CEO, Cevat Yerli.Crytek cannot decide what they’re doing next, whether the next game will be a fourth game or a free-to-play, but it seems they plan to make a title that is both F2P and full-price retail. Maybe they’re waiting for a better time period to release such a game as the F2P market, for consoles at least, hasn’t been great recently. Crytek says that both gamers and publishers need to change the way they think about and approach F2P titles on every platform before they can create a F2P Crysis, but they are at least planning to release a game that takes advantage of it.Crytek thinks that all kinds of F2P could work for a new FPS, whether that be co-op, competitive multiplayer, or story based (single-player?). Most gamers for now will struggle to see how F2P could work for a Crysis game, which is probably part of the reason why Crytek is going to keep us waiting.More at Eurogamer, via GameSpot
September 21, 2019September 21, 2019
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The parents and friends association of Oakleigh Greek Orthodox College will be hosting their annual college ball on Saturday 3 September. This annual event gives the parents and friends a chance to let their hair down. The aim of the parents and friends association is simple – to raise as much money as possible to assist the college to help our children and help grow the college’s resources. The association has already raised much necessary funds for the college. In 2009, the association raised over $23,000, enabling the college to install air conditioning units through out the college. Last year they raised over $36,000, helping the college purchase over 53 new computers in the primary school. At this year’s event, the association aims to raise more money and welcome more members of the Greek community to the event. The funds raised this year will go towards electronic boards, stadium seating for the gymnasium and upgrading the science laboratories within the junior and senior schools. At the ball, guests will enjoy a five course meal from the award winning reception centre Grand Star Receptions (Corner Grieve Parade and Dohertys Road, Altona North). Entertainment will be provided by the college’s dance groups, live music Alpha band, Periklis from Fame Story will be performing and the college’s own year 11 student DJ Michael T will play some of the latest top 40 English hits. The event will cost $75 per adult, $55 per secondary student / seniors and $35 per child (under 12 years old). This will be a sold out event so be sure to get your tickets early. For all ticket and table enquires, please call your OGOC Parents’ Association Ball Representatives: Pette Liacopoulos on 0447 344 008, Fotini Sklavenitis on 0408 549 807, Helen Smirnakos on 0412 581 831, Tina Koutsoulis on 0413 239 071, or Zoey Karbos on 0430 493 393.
Mesut Ozil is a doubt for Arsenals trip to Man UnitedMesut Ozil is a doubt for Arsenals trip to Man United
September 17, 2019September 17, 2019
Arsenal manager Unai Emery admits Mesut Ozil remains an uncertainty ahead of Wednesday’s showdown with Manchester UnitedThe Gunners will take the trip to Old Trafford on the back of their stunning 4-2 derby comeback win over rivals Tottenham on Sunday.One notable absentee in the North London derby was Ozil due to back spasms pains.The German playmaker didn’t show up in training on Monday with his teammates and looks set to miss another big fixture for Arsenal.Maguire says United need to build on today’s win George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Harry Maguire wants his United teammates to build on the victory over Leicester City.During the summer, Harry Maguire was referred to as the ultimate…“I said on Sunday that he’s had a backache since last Tuesday,” Emery told reporters on Arsenal.com. “He couldn’t play in Kiev or on Sunday.“At the moment, I don’t know if he can play in Manchester. Today he was working alone, I don’t know if he’s OK for Wednesday.”Ozil hasn’t featured for Arsenal since their 1-1 draw with Wolves on November 11 after starting 10 of their opening 12 Premier League fixtures.Arsenal will also be without the suspended Granit Xhaka on Wednesday with Danny Welbeck, Nacho Monreal, Laurent Koscielny and Konstantinos Mavropanos all still sidelined with injuries.
Alia Bhatt has less scope in RRR Did she commit a mistakeAlia Bhatt has less scope in RRR Did she commit a mistake
September 5, 2019September 5, 2019
Alia Bhatt.TwitterFilmmakers make a beeline to work with Alia Bhatt and they have every reason to approach the actress. Her ability to pick the right scripts and doing justice to her roles have been the hallmark of her success in Bollywood. After becoming one of the top actresses in Hindi film industry, she has now headed down south to conquer more hearts through SS Rajamouli’s multilingual RRR, which has Ram Charan Teja and Jr NTR in the leads.It was based on Karan Johar’s recommendation that Alia Bhatt got the offer to work in RRR. Let’s not forget it has been her dream to work with SS Rajamouli and when the project came her way she grabbed it with both hands with some Telugu media claiming that she agreed to work without a second thought.But the latest rumours indicate that she might repent signing the project and might end up as her bigger blunder in her career. A report on Deccan Chronicle claims that her role has “no substance” and the 28-year old appears just in a couple of scenes and a song.”Alia was very keen to work with Rajamouli, but it turns out that the heroine’s role could have been done by any Telugu actress. It has no substance. The film is all about the two heroes, Ramcharan Teja and NTR Jr. If a Bollywood star of Alia’s stature came on board, it is only natural that the feminine dynamics would improve for the better. They didn’t. Alia is just a prop in RRR,” the daily quotes a source as saying.It might also end up becoming more like a guest appearance role, the report adds. If it turns out to be true, RRR holds no value to her career despite giving bulk dates for the SS Rajamouli’s creation. However, looking at the recent past movies of SS Rajamouli, one wonders whether there is any truth in the reports as the director had written strong roles for his heroines. Anushka Shetty’s character in Baahubali series is a classic example of it.
September 3, 2019September 3, 2019
Chief justice Surendra Kumar SinhaChief justice Surendra Kumar Sinha, whose one-month leave on health grounds sparked speculations, and his wife Sushma Sinha have obtained Australian visas for three years.A court source confirmed this to Prothom Alo on Saturday.On 5 October, Surendra Kumar Sinha and his wife Sushma Sinha went to the Australian visa centre at Gulshan-2 to apply for the visa.Australian visa centre officials approved their visa applications on the same day with validity until 2020. CJ Sinha’s eldest daughter Suchana Sinha lives in Australia.On 2 October, the chief justice went on one-month leave on health grounds.The chief justice was vehemently criticised by ministers and ruling party leaders for his observations made in the verdict that had annulled the 16th amendment to the constitution.Sinha assumed office on 17 January, 2015 as the country’s 21st chief justice. He is scheduled to go on retirement on 31 January next year.Read more:CJ’s one hour outside his residenceSK Sinha applies for Australian visa
Early settlement discovered in Sundarbans revealing rich civilisationEarly settlement discovered in Sundarbans revealing rich civilisation
September 3, 2019September 3, 2019
Archaeologist Mohammad Sohrabuddin of Comilla University is busy excavating settlement traces in the Sundarbans that might be around 1,500 years old. Photo: Ehsan-ud-DaulaTraces that indicate settlement dating back to around 1,500 years ago, have been discovered in five places of the Sundarbans. Various utensils and tools used by the then people have been found in different places of the world’s largest mangrove forest.This archaeological discovery was made through personal and dedicated search of a researcher named Isme Azam.He said these installations, earlier covered by forest land, emerged into the open following soil erosion. “This was probably a seaport of ancient times, ruined over the ages,” the amateur archaeologist told Prothom Alo.According to the findings, the largest structures were located around 83 kilometres away from Shyamnagar of Satkhira, along the coast of the Bay of Bengal, in Khejurdana, Arpangashia and Shekhertek.More structures were discovered along the bank of the river Kholpatua in the Satkhira part of the Sundarbans and in Katka, in the Khulna part of the forest.Explorers say as the river erodes the banks, the soil has washed away, gradually revealing these structures.Previously in 1998, the surveys of archeology department and the archeological surveys of the forest department, Khulna University and three universities of Malaysia also pointed to evidence of certain structures.Professor Humayun Akhter of Dhaka University’s geology department and professor Badrul Islam of Rajshahi University’s geology and mining department have been researching on the geological formation of the Sundarbans and the extinct salt industry. Their research has also brought to light quite a few old structures and items.However, exact data concerning the time and usage of the items could not be determined in these research works. There was no mention of human settlement either.A research team from Germany and the US, involved in research concerning the Sundarbans’ geological changes and rise of the sea level, estimate that about 1,000 years ago there had been a large industrial town and trading centre in there, centred on the salt industry. They find evidence of a port there too.How old?Prothom Alo’s investigation into the ancient structures found in the Sundarbans were joined by professor Sufi Mostafizur Rahman of Jahangirnagar University’s archeology department, renowned for his Wari-Bateswhar discoveries, and assistant professor of archeology at Comilla University, Mohammad Sohrabuddin.They assume that these sites are between 1000 to 1200 years old. Examining the sites and their formation, Sufi Mostafizur Rahman said that the shape and size of the bricks indicate these date back to the time of the Pala dynasty. That would mean the structures are around 1,000 to 1200 years old. Though these structures were built for trade and industry, he guesses, there were permanent human settlements there as well.Isme Azam has been visiting remote areas of the Sundarbans for around seven years now, working on the census and protection of tigers. While working in the forest, he stumbled across these ruins and ancient utensils and tools. Later, when the upper layer of the area along the Sundarbans was washed away, he saw these structures emerge. With the avid interest of an archeologist, he conserved these items and began collecting data and evidence of these sites.The Indian side of the Sundarbans begins after Shyamnagar of Satkhira. In January, this correspondent saw ancient structures of the Indian Sundarbans on the Sagar island, Mousuni island and Hamilton island. Indian archeologists think that these will be between 1000 to 2500 years old.Indian historians and researchers are of the opinion that the Gangaridai kingdom of the Bengal region spread up till the Sundarbans in the pre-Christian era. They feel that the Satkhina zone was the part and trading hub of the kingdom.Indian archeological researcher and senior fellow at India’s Centre for Archeological Studies and Training (East India), Sharmi Chakrabarty, talked to Prothom Alo on the matter. After examining the data and pictures of these sites and items from the Bangladesh side of the Sundarbans, Chakraborty found these had similarity with those on the Indian side and estimated the square installations and wharf-like areas probably dated back to 600 AD to 700 AD. The other archeological findings and items were probably of mediaeval times. But overall, human settlement in the Sundarbans is at least 1500 years old.Another professor of Jahangirnagar University’s archeology department Sagar Sen, a researcher on archeological findings in Bangladesh’s rivers, said that these settlements and items would probably date back of around 1000 to 1200 years ago. He feels human settlements grew up there over time due to trade and salt production. There were destroyed time and again by natural calamities and attacks by outsiders, but were built up again.Signs of settlement deep in the forestEarly in the morning on 23 January, a seven-member team, at the initiative of Prothom Alo, started off on an investigative journey early to the Sundarbans. Their speedboat headed out for Shyamnagar, Satkhira, a little before sunrise. The structures were 83 km away, and the going was not easy. Before they could land, the speedboat got stuck midway. They saw in the distance, fallen along the edge of the forest, a pile of bricks.There is no settlement in this remote area of the forest. Amateur archeologist Isme Azam pointed out where the boat should dock and everyone alighted. There were bricks underfoot. They followed this for around 200 metres and finally reached the pile of bricks.Managing to calm the excitement which had bubbled up, Sufi Mostafiz and Sohrabuddin began looking into the enigma behind these bricks. The covering layer of broken bricks and tree roots were removed.Below all of these an amazing sight was revealed of a square structure, apparently the roof of a room.Sohrab and Isme Azam took the measurements of the bricks. Sufi Mostafiz picked up a brick and examined its size and composition. He said that such bricks, 32 inches by 28 inches in size, were used during the Pala empire.That would mean the structure was at least 1000 to 1200 years old. “The construction style of the structure indicates that there was permanent human settlement here,” he said.There were identical structures after every 50 to 80 metres. The way was slippery and the team proceeded along the precarious path with difficulty. Removal of bricks revealed similar installations.Isme Azam said there was round four or five more such structures there. The areas would be around 5 sq km. From his seven years of experience working in the area, he said this had all been forest land but over the past five or six years the soil had been eroded and these installations emerged into the open. Another brick structure had emerged by the river Kholpotua. He thinks this was probably a seaport of ancient times, ruined over the ages.It took about half an hour to reach that port-like structure by speedboat. The composition of the bricks here too prompted Sufi Mostafiz to measure the age of the structure as 1000 to 1200 years old. From his research experience he pointed out that there were very specific differences between the bricks of the Pala, Sultani and Mughal eras. The Pala era bricks were large slabs. As time went by, the size of the bricks grew smaller and narrower. The use of Pala era bricks gradually died out.Is it possible to determine that an area is thousand years old simply based on the opinion of archeologists?Sohrabuddin replied to this question, saying he had been involved with Germany’s Bremen University in researching the geological formation and composition of the Sundarbans. He said they had discovered quite a number of furnaces and utensils for salt production in Sundarbans’ Katka. The German team’s carbon and temperature tests specified the age of these.The team leader of the Bangladesh part of this research was Dhaka University’s archeological department’s professor Humayun Akhter. His research revealed that three of the salt factories at Katka were 250 to 300 years old, two were 600 years old and one was a thousand years old.These researchers found a hillock, Tiger Hill, at Katka where they discovered a water strainer and drains for the emission of waste water. They feel this was quite a technologically developed salt factory. Around 250 to 1000 years ago, salt produced here was exported to East Asia and Europe.Humayun Akhter elaborated, “We feel that there probably was a vast salt factory where the Sundarbans now stands. At least 1,000 years ago this salt was exported from some nearby port. The ruins of this ancient port are probably around Khejurdana and adjacent areas.”Rajshahi University’s geology and mining department’s professor Badrul Islam told Prothom Alo, high grade salt used to be produced along an expansive areas spreading from Patuakhali’s Kuakata to the Sundarbans. With the sea receding, the land depressing and the vagaries of time, this could have gradually been destroyed. Over the centuries, layers of silt covered it and the Sundarbans emerged.Sufi Mostafizur Rahman sees this archeological discovery as a new chapter in the history of Bangladesh. He said, “If more detailed research is carried out on those structures, we may find some startling revelations concerning the Sundarbans and the history of that area.”He went on to say, “Western history regards Bengal a symbol of a rich civilisation from pre-Christian times. The discovery of salt production, ancient settlements along the coast will establish this further.”*This report, originally published in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Ayesha Kabir
Tarique denies Bangladeshi citizenship Law ministerTarique denies Bangladeshi citizenship Law minister
September 3, 2019September 3, 2019
Law minister Anisul HuqLaw minister Anisul Huq is confident BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman can be brought back even if his Bangladeshi citizenship is ‘void’.The lawyer-turned-ruling-party-politician pointed out that Tarique could be brought back under ‘Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty’ with the United Kingdom.Addressing newsmen at Secretariat on Thursday, Anisul said, in line with state minister for foreign affairs Shahriar Alam, that Tarique had denied Bangladeshi citizenship by seeking political asylum in UK.Shahriar earlier said that Tarique has relinquished his nationality by surrendering Bangladeshi passport.Opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) challenged his position and said Tarique submitted his passport to the Brisish authorities while seeking valid documents for his stay there.Also on Thursday, the director general of the Department of Immigration and Passport, major general Masud Rezwan, said there is no correlation between one’s surrendering passport and citizenship.The law minister said so far he came to know that Tarique has submitted his Bangladeshi passport for political asylum in the United Kingdom.“It means Tarique said he no more wants to be a citizen of Bangladesh. The present status of Tarique is: he has sought political asylum in the United Kingdom. It means he [Tarique] right at this moment has denied Bangladeshi citizenship,” said the law minister.However, he thinks, he can reinstate his citizenship should he want it in future.Anisul also said the government is trying to sign an extradition treaty with the UK, a legal arrangement that allows two signatory countries to exchange fugitives of crimes committed in the country of origin.Tarique Rahman has been staying in the UK since 2008.Read more:No correlation between surrendering passport, citizenship: DGTarique returned passport, stresses Shahriar
Govt rewarding officials for vote robbery Oikya FrontGovt rewarding officials for vote robbery Oikya Front
September 3, 2019September 3, 2019
Muslim Day At Capitol Takes On New Meaning Following Trumps Executive OrdersMuslim Day At Capitol Takes On New Meaning Following Trumps Executive Orders
September 2, 2019September 2, 2019
Copyright 2017 KSTX-FM. To see more, visit KSTX-FM. AARON SCHRANK / TEXAS PUBLIC RADIOCouncil on American Islamic Relations President Sarwat Hussein of San Antonio meets with Speaker of the House Joe Straus’ policy aide during Muslim Day at the Capitol.Hundreds attended ‘Muslim Capitol Day’ in Austin on Tuesday. The regular event encourages Muslim Texans to meet with their state representatives. The event was scheduled months ago, but takes on new meaning following Friday’s executive order by President Donald Trump restricting U.S. immigration from seven majority-Muslim countries.More than a thousand people flooded the south steps of the Capitol for the event organized by The Council on Islamic Relations, or CAIR. CAIR San Antonio President Sarwat Husain says it’s been her duty to come here every other year and make her voice heard.“Lately we have seen some demonstrations against us,” Husain says. “That is not going to stop us at all. We are Americans.”Two years ago, the Muslim Day rally was interrupted by protesters. Today, hundreds of non-Muslims formed a human chain to keep any protesters away from participants. Rashad Sharaf was one of at least 30 Muslims who came to Tuesday’s event from San Antonio. He says the display made him feel proud to be an American.“After the elections, I was slowly beginning to lose faith, but now, really, when I see–around the country–how people have spontaneously risen to protest. And what I see in San Antonio, what I see over here, it really is heartwarming,” Sharaf says.He and others visited the offices of several state lawmakers–including House Speaker Joe Strauss. The group brought up issues including immigrant rights, bullying and police body cameras. Muslim groups also came from Houston and Dallas. Share Last week, Rep. Kyle Biedermann from Fredericksburg drew criticism from Muslim groups after he sent a survey to Texas mosques asking them to renounce Sharia law.Tuesday’s Muslimay rally and visits happened as Gov. Greg Abbott gave his State-of-the-State speech. The governor has not responded to Trump’s so-called Muslim ban, but he did withdraw the state from the U.S. Refugee Resettlement program last year.
5 nation joint Activity Alert Report finds most threat actors use publicly5 nation joint Activity Alert Report finds most threat actors use publicly
August 26, 2019August 26, 2019
NCCIC, in collaboration with cybersecurity authorities of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States has released a joint ‘Activity Alert Report’. This report highlights five publicly available tools frequently observed in cyber attacks worldwide. Today, malicious tools are available free for use and can be misused by cybercriminals to endanger public security and privacy. There are numerous cyber incidents encountered on a daily basis that challenge even the most secure network and exploit confidential information across finance, government, health sectors. What’s surprising is that a majority of these exploits are caused by freely available tools that find loopholes in security systems to achieve an attacker’s objectives. The report highlights the five most frequently used tools that are used by cybercriminals all over the globe to perform cyber crimes. These fall into five categories: #1 Remote Access Trojan: JBiFrost Once the RAT program is installed on a victim’s machine, it allows remote administrative control of the system. It can then be used to exploit the system as per the hacker’s objectives. For example, installing malicious backdoors to obtain confidential data. These are often difficult to detect because they are designed to not appear in lists of running programs and to mimic the behavior of legitimate applications. RATs also disable network analysis tools (e.g., Wireshark) on the victim’s system. Operating systems Windows, Linux, MAC OS X, and Android are susceptible to this threat. Hackers spammed companies with emails to infiltrate their systems with the Adwind RAT into their systems. The entire story can be found on Symantec’s blog. #2 Webshell: China Chopper The China Chopper is being used widely since 2012. These webshells are malicious scripts which are uploaded to a target system to grant the hacker remote access to administrative capabilities on the system. The hackers can then pivot to additional hosts within a network. China Chopper consists of the client-side, which is run by the attacker, and the server, which is installed on the victim server and is also attacker-controlled. The client can issue terminal commands and manage files on the victim server. It can then upload and download files to and from the victim using wget. They can then either modify or delete the existing files. #3 Credential Stealer: Mimikatz Mimikatz is mainly used by attackers to access the memory within a targeted Windows system and collect the credentials of logged in users. These credentials can be then used to give access to other machines on a network. Besides obtaining credentials, the tool can obtain Local Area Network Manager and NT LAN Manager hashes, certificates, and long-term keys on Windows XP (2003) through Windows 8.1 (2012r2). When the “Invoke-Mimikatz” PowerShell script is used to operate Mimikatz, its activity is difficult to isolate and identify. In 2017, this tool was used in combination with NotPetya infected hundreds of computers in Russia and Ukraine. The attack paralysed systems and disabled the subway payment systems. The good news is that Mimikatz can be detected by most up-to-date antivirus tools. That being said, hackers can modify Mimikatz code to go undetected by antivirus. # 4 Lateral Movement Framework: PowerShell Empire PowerShell Empire is a post-exploitation or lateral movement tool. It allows an attacker to move around a network after gaining initial access. This tool can be used to generate executables for social engineering access to networks. The tool consists of a a threat actor that can escalate privileges, harvest credentials, exfiltrate information, and move laterally across a network. Traditional antivirus tools fail to detect PowerShell Empire. In 2018, the tool was used by hackers sending out Winter Olympics-themed socially engineered emails and malicious attachments in a spear-phishing campaign targeting several South Korean organizations. # 5 C2 Obfuscation and Exfiltration: HUC Packet Transmitter HUC Packet Transmitter (HTran) is a proxy tool used by attackers to obfuscate their location. The tool intercepts and redirects the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) connections from the local host to a remote host. This makes it possible to detect an attacker’s communications with victim networks. HTran uses a threat actor to facilitate TCP connections between the victim and a hop point. Threat actors can then redirect their packets through multiple compromised hosts running HTran to gain greater access to hosts in a network. The research encourages everyone to use the report to stay informed about the potential network threats due to these malicious tools. They also provide a complete list of detection and prevention measures for each tool in detail. You can head over to the official site of the US-CERT for more information on this research. Read Next 6 artificial intelligence cybersecurity tools you need to know How will AI impact job roles in Cybersecurity New cybersecurity threats posed by artificial intelligence