Athletes prepare for 2012 Summer Paralympics at the Paralympic Fitness Centre

Monday, August 27, 2012

London, England — As Paralympians ready for the Games which are set to open later this week, they have access to a world class fitness center inside the Paralympic Village which is designed to maximise their pre-Game preparations.

According to volunteers staffing the center, instead of being a single large room, as in Beijing, the building has numerous rooms. It, along with the adjacent Village Services Centre, is designed to be converted into a school after the games conclude. Rooms have been structured as a gym, an auditorium, and science laboratories.

Gym equipment is supplied by Technogym, an Italian firm that has supplied gym equipment for the Olympics since 2000. Equipment has been provided not just for for the Fitness Centre, but for gyms at all the Olympic venues. The newest equipment is oriented toward maximum flexibility, allowing athletes to exercise the particular muscles that they most require for their sport.

In addition to the equipment, the Fitness Centre also provides instructors trained in the use of the equipment, the likes of which athletes from many countries have never seen before. There are also a number of instructors available to provide motivational training.

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Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Provincial Assembly votes to merge with Pakistani Federally Administered Tribal Areas

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

On Sunday, the assembly of Pakistan’s north-west province Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) passed a bill to merge the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) with the province. The bill was passed with 92–7 votes, achieving more than the mandatory two-thirds majority.

The “Federally Administered Tribal Areas Reforms Bill, 2018”, which seeks to end the colonial-era rules which are applicable to the five million people living in FATA, was approved by the federal lower house, the National Assembly, on Thursday, and by the upper house — the Senate — on Friday. In the Provincial Assembly, Imtiaz Shahid Qureshi, who serves as Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, tabled the bill. Out of 124 total votes, the bill required at least 83 votes for a two-thirds majority. Only seven members of the opposition Jamiat Ulema-e Islam (F) (JUI-F) voted against the bill.

Since Pakistani independence from British rule in 1947, the Pakistani President has appointed “Political Agents” to govern FATA, who exercise near-complete autonomous control over the areas. These agents are responsible for providing government and judicial services under Article 247 of the Pakistani Constitution. Before January 12, when a bill extended the writ of both the Pakistani Supreme Court and Peshawar High Court to FATA, the tribal areas were outside the jurisdiction of the Pakistani courts. Instead, the Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR) were the applicable law of FATA. Per the regulations dating back to the colonial era, collective punishment of a tribe could be declared and FATA citizens do not enjoy all the rights under the Constitution of Pakistan that other Pakistanis are entitled to.

KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak said, “Under the FCR, the tribal people had suffered a lot, now, they would have the same rights that are being enjoyed by the people of the other parts of the country.”

This bill, which now requires the approval of the Pakistani President, is expected to abolish Article 247 of the Pakistani Constitution which lays down directions for administering the federally and the provincially administered tribal areas of the country. If removed, Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (PATA) citizens would lose certain privileges and incentives. Members of KP Provincial Assembly from the Malakand division (the PATA) including Inayatullah Khan, Sardar Babak, Dr Haider Ali, and Muhammad Ali Shah expressed their dissatisfaction with the purging of incentives for PATA. Those assembly members also asked for exemption of taxes for PATA citizens. Chief Minister Pervez Khattak said he would raise the concerns with the Federal Government, requesting a ten-year tax exemption for PATA citizens.

About a hundred protesters protested in the morning in front of the Assembly building. Police officer Kamal Hussein said six police officials were injured in the clash as JUI-F members and supporters threw stones towards the policeman. Hussein added they used tear gas to disperse the crowd. A dozen JUI-F members were arrested in the clash. Some protestors were saying, “We will not let the FATA merger bill be approved”. JUI-F’s Maulana Lutfur Rehman said the tribal people should be given the chance to decide about the merger. According to the police report, the protestors also threatened to lock the gates of the Assembly building to prevent the assembly scheduled for 2 PM, local time. Lawmaker Shaukat Yousafzai condemned the protests.

Chief Minister Khattak said he “wondered why PkhMAP [Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party] chairman Mahmood Khan Achakzai, whose party is just limited to certain districts of Balochistan, is opposing the merger of FATA into KP”. The provincial assembly voted for the bill before the assembly was scheduled to dissolve on May 29 at 12 AM, local time, with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf administration reaching completion of its five-year term.

Per the Bill, the five million citizens of FATA, which consists of seven main tribal agencies and six smaller Frontier Regions, will gain the right to vote for representatives in the KP Provincial Assembly and the National Assembly.

The bill, which is expected to be the 31st amendment to the Pakistani Constitution, now requires the President’s signature to pass. It was first cleared by the Provincial Assembly due to article 239 (4) of the Pakistani Constitution, which states that any bill which may lead to a constitutional amendment and alter provincial boundaries requires at least a two-thirds majority from the affected provincial assembly before it is presented to the President.

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Denmark withdraws troops from Iraq

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

On Tuesday, Denmark formally withdrew its forces from Iraq. Responsibilities were turned over to British in a ceremony. Defense minister Søren Gade was there, having secretly flown into Iraq for the event. During the ceremony, there was a rocket attack, causing everyone to hit the deck.

“I was told today by the British chief [commanding officer], General Jonathan Shaw, that there are also demonstrations against the attacks, and that the locals have kidnapped some of those, who fire upon coalition forces,” Søren Gade told Berlingske Tidende.

“The formal transfer takes place today (Tuesday) in Iraq,” spokesperson for Army Operational Command, Kim Grynberger, told AFP. “A small ceremony will be held with a parade in Basra.”

The 460 members of the army has already been reduced to 50 soldiers. Denmark’s contribution to the Multinational force in Iraq will now consist of a small air force unit of four helicopters and 55 airmen that will work with the British.

On July 20, Denmark said that it had airlifted translators and other Iraqi employees with their families. In total it was about 200 people that by cooperating with MNF may be in danger of reprisals from insurgents.

“Out of concern for the interpreters and their families’ security as well as the security of the Danish base in Iraq, the Defence Ministry has chosen to inform the public after the interpreters and others had left Iraq,” the Danish Defence Ministry said in a statement.

“They had been working for us for about four years, and those who felt their security in Iraq was threatened have been granted visas to go to Denmark” where they can apply for asylum, the Danish ambassador to Iraq, Bo Eric Weber told Reuters.

Denmark announced in February that it would withdraw by August of this year.

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How To Find Luxury Apartments In Nyc For Sale


Luxury apartments in NYC for sale present an amazing opportunity to live in New York City, but still be certain that one is living as safely as possible. New York City is a booming place, filled with culture, nightlife, and convenient access to just about everything a person could want, but some people feel a bit of anxiety about living in such a busy city. Luxury apartments are the perfect solution to this problem, as they provide a safe place to live but are still within easy access of all the perks NYC living has to offer.

What Are Luxury Apartments?

Luxury apartments can typically be found in safe and convenient areas of NYC. Most have additional security features, and will have a number of amenities not typically found in basic properties. Luxury apartments are often sold by reputable realtors or dealers, who will work with the buyer to locate the perfect one for them.

Ask For Advice

An ideal place to start is by asking friends and family who live in a luxury apartment for recommendations. Not all places are created equally and some will have hidden benefits that aren’t well popularized, such as proximity to a favorite store or eatery.

Another source of information is a reputable realtor. Realtors will know the ins and outs of luxury apartment purchasing, and can help buyers determine which areas are best suited to their needs. While some realtors are often paid by luxury apartment providers, or work closely with them, they are still held to high ethical standards.

Make A List

Before proceeding to the next step, buyers should make a list of things that are essential to the luxury apartment. This list could include how many bedrooms, what type of amenities are available, the neighborhood, and what is close by. This list will help a buyer focus on only those apartments that interest them, saving buyers and relators valuable time.

Use The Internet

The internet holds a wealth of information. Once buyers have narrowed their search down to an ideal neighborhood or a list of amenities that are important to them, turning to the internet to narrow down the search even further is a brilliant idea. This also allows buyers to look at prospective luxury apartments in NYC for sale from the comfort of their current home, before spending valuable time looking in person. A quick look at the vendor’s website can help a buyer ascertain if the luxury apartment indeed has the amenities they desire, giving them an opportunity to narrow down the scope even further.

For more information about locating luxury apartments in NYC for sale, contact Carnegie Park Condominium at 212-777-9494.

New Zealand recalls squid boats

Sunday, May 8, 2005

In order to save the lives of seabirds, the government of New Zealand has ordered the recall from sub-Antarctic waters of the entire fleet of New Zealand’s 35 squid fishing boats. Once at port, the boats are to take on independent observers to ensure that they follow codes of practice. Violators of the new rules face a fine of up to NZ$100,000.

Fisheries Minister David Benson-Pope said that “blatant bad behaviour” on the part of the boats, flouting a voluntary code of practice set up a year ago, demanded immediate action.

An Air Force aeroplane was sent on a tour of inspection last month. Benson-Pope reported that observations from the inspection revealed that, contrary to the agreed code of practice:

  • 46% of the fishing fleet were not using equipment to scare sea birds away from vessels, with a further 8% only using it intermittently.
  • 30% of the fishing fleet were discharging offal (which attracts seabirds) while trawling or hauling nets, with a further 25% doing so intermittently.
  • Only 30% of the fishing fleet actually complied with both mitigation and offal management requirements.

Mr Benson-Pope referred to a voluntary code of practice adopted in the tuna fishing industry which he said had reduced death of seabirds by 95%.

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News briefs:May 12, 2006

The time is 18:00 (UTC) on May 12th, 2006, and this is Audio Wikinews News Briefs.

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Nigeria’s cabinet dissolved by acting president

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Nigeria’s acting president, Goodluck Jonathan, has announced the dissolution of the country’s cabinet.

In a statement after a cabinet meeting, Nigeria’s information minister, Dora Akunyili, said that “the acting president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, dissolved the Federal Executive Council [cabinet].” In the same statement, Akunyili said that Jonathan had provided no reason for the move, although analysts said that it was due to the impediment of the cabinet to Jonathan’s efforts to put his own mark on the office.

According to Akunyili, the move would not lead to a power vacuum, as the permanent secretaries will step up to take the positions vacated. Jonathan had taken over the role of acting president in February after President Umaru Yar’Adua temporarily stepped down due to sickness, and the cabinet had been entirely appointed by Yar’Adua.

In Akunyili’s statement, she said that an official statement from Jonathan as to the future of the cabinet would be released soon. Additionally, at some time in the future, Jonathan will submit to the National Assembly a list of his submissions for the next incarnation of the cabinet.

In a statement released from the president’s office, a spokesman said that it was “the prerogative of the president to change the cabinet whenever he feels the need to inject new blood, reinvigorate the cabinet and give it a new focus.” According to another, unnamed, government official, the cabinet had become paralyzed by infighting, impeding attempts of governance on major issues.

Yar’Adua has recently returned to Nigeria after being treated for a heart ailment in Saudi Arabia, but has made no public appearances. As a reflection of his impaired condition, Nigeria’s election next year has been brought forward three months, and the ruling People’s Democratic Party, of which both Yar’Adua and Jonathan belong to, has announced that its candidate in those elections will be a Muslim, preventing Jonathan, a Christian, from running. The decision follows a tradition of alternating between Muslim and Christian candidates, allowing each two four-year terms.

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