Nathan Carter leads tributes as Donegal says sad farewell to Áine Friel

first_imgThe people of Fanad will say goodbye to a dear friend today as Áine Friel is laid to rest.Ms Friel passed away on Sunday at the age of 28.She has been fondly remembered as an inspirational community leader and a positive presence with a contagious zest for life. Large crowds are expected at the funeral of Ms Friel this Wednesday morning, with Requiem Mass taking place at St. Columba’s Church from 11am.Ms Friel was well-known for her determination to overcome the challenges she faced in her short life. Born with brittle bone disease, she was passionate about promoting equal rights for people with disabilities and was a much-loved former colleague of the Donegal Centre for Independent Living.Tributes have poured in from across Donegal and beyond following the shocking and heartbreaking news of Aine’s passing.Irish Country Music star Nathan Carter, who counted Áine has one of his biggest fans, posted a touching message online in her honour. Carter said: “Áine was a lovely girl who loved her music & supported me since I started out! RIP Áine you will be sadly missed!!”Gaeil Fhánada CLG offered their condolences to Áine’s large circle of family and friends, saying: “Áine, from Cashelprehan in Portsalon was one of Fanad’s best-known citizens. Áine took on all of life’s challenges with a steely determination and a positive attitude and lived life to the fullest at every opportunity.“Áine truly was a member of her community, she knew everybody, and was known by everybody. She was a member of Gaeil Fhánada for many years, and a former committee member for a time as well, helping with PR duties – involved in the social media end of things.“She will be sadly missed by many people, not only in our parish, but across the county and beyond.”Áine was also a fantastic tourism ambassador for her home area. Through her beautiful photography and community outreach, she always promoted the beauty of Fanad.Local organisations such as Fanad Lighthouse, Fanad Coastal Group and Portsalon Luxury Camping have also celebrated Áine’s endeavours this week.Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam dílis Nathan Carter leads tributes as Donegal says sad farewell to Áine Friel was last modified: April 4th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:aine friel riplast_img read more

Industry Interview: DJ Stipsen, DP of “What We Do in the Shadows”

first_imgPremiumBeat sat down with DJ Stipsen to discuss his unique approach to lighting the dark world of FX’s “What We Do in the Shadows.”As the director of photography for FX’s What We Do in the Shadows, DJ Stipsen faces some unique cinematography challenges. We sat down for some insight into his process and how he got to where he is today.PremiumBeat: What’s your background and how did you get into cinematography?DJ Stipsen: My dad works in the industry, so I grew up going to the film sets and I ended up getting a job as a film trainee at the state broadcaster, here in New Zealand. Through that, I met other young people who were starting out in the industry. We did lots of music videos together. One of the guys that I worked with, we ended up doing quite a lot of documentaries together and carried on making music videos.From there, I got into doing television drama as an operator and then moved my way up through that world to become a DOP. Still, I do quite a lot of television dramas, as well as, obviously, also doing film at the same time. It is a long road and still going.PB: I assume your background in documentary filmmaking helped out a lot with the mockumentary style of What We Do in the Shadows?  DJS: Yes, definitely. It is a hyper-real form of documentary. I sort of feel it is verging more on the reality style than it is on a documentary style. It feels to me it is a bit more like that television series Cops. There is a lot of running around. We introduced the onboard camera lights because it was a real signal to the audience that it was a camera crew. We really wanted to separate it from drama. We felt like the onboard light was a really good idea — to tell the audience there is a crew who are documenting what is happening in front of them and it is neither drama, it is reality right in front of them.What We Do in the Shadows – BTS – Pictured: Kayvan Novak as Nandor. CR: Russ Martin/FXPB: You were also the DP on the 2014 film What We Do in the Shadows that this series is based upon. How was the adjustment, moving from the feature version to the episodic version?DJS: It was a bit of a transition, in some ways, because episodic means you can do more storytelling. Whereas in television, you can keep most of the really good stuff because you’ve got ten episodes to explore the story. I find it a little bit more rewarding, in some ways. Television gives more than film, anyway, to be honest. It is long-form filmmaking now, as opposed to fast turnaround.The difference between the film was pretty anarchic. There was a script and we shot the film chronologically. The feature was a script, but only the shooting crew and Taika and Jemaine were allowed to see the script, so no other actors were allowed to see the script at all.Image via FX/Russ Martin.PB: I love the energy that you captured with the camera. What was your process to making it feel organic and energetic?DJS: I didn’t get to operate on the TV series because of Union rules in Canada. I had to find two camera operators who were intuitive, and who were able to basically adapt and pull focus with no rehearsal, because the actors should be able to go anywhere they want. Each room was already lit and if the actors wanted to leave the scene and go anywhere they wanted, we had to follow them. That was the rule. So basically, what that means is that the operators are not putting down two pieces of tape and go, “Okay, well, this is position A, this is position B, and you are going to push the dolly.” It was really like they know what’s happening on that day and we would plot the scene with the actors and they would go, “I am going to do this, I am going to talk over here.”Then, we had to divide the scene up between the two cameras because of the impromptu nature of the show. All the characters had to be on camera all the time, or at least have the cameras have the ability to pan to that person. So, we really lean quickly on the operators to find the focus point; they were the crew storytellers.I was really blessed they were so good. I mean the first week, we worked out our roles and how we were going to do it, and all that. After that, it was really good. PB: You said that you had to light the whole world so the actors could move throughout the scenes, freely. So, what was your broad-stroke approach to the lighting plan?DJS: It’s interesting because it had to look like there was just existing fixtures in the house. The house probably had the least restrictions out of anywhere. With the house, we should really be able to go anywhere anyone wanted to. We have the added complexity that the series is full of wire work and VFX and the whole ceiling of the house was removable in sections. We had to do that so that we could fly the actors or get them to climb walls (or whatever) with wires. We had to add the ability to shoot that kind of a snippet of the dialogue scene; but in the dialogue scene, one of the vampires starts flying around in a rage, or something like that, so we had to have the ability to not change the lighting in the theme for the wire work.What we ended up doing was I had a prototype that I built from New Zealand, of our own lights, I call the cube light. It’s a square box made of aluminum frame and it has removable panels that you can pull on and off. And, in each of these boxes is a light bulb (an LED light bulb), we can send it up and down and change the color. And, on the four sides of the box are panels of fabric, unbleached muslin. Then, on top of those panels, you could put duvetyne, so you can have just one side of the box exposed to have light coming out of one side, or you could expose all sides. So, we made a few of those.They were really good because we made small ones and big ones. The small ones you could hide on the floor below frame, and under chairs and behind tables, and all those things which we needed to do to get light. Then, we would run LED strips on the back of chairs or on the back of the table, where I knew the camera wasn’t going to go or wasn’t going to tilt down there. In the practicals, we put flicker bulbs, so we bought a whole bunch of LED bulbs that flicker. It’s the first time, actually, that I found domestic LED bulbs that didn’t pulse on camera and do bad things. They shoot really good things and they look like firelight.PB: The cube light sounds fascinating. It just seems like it would speed up the production process, too.DJS: Yes, absolutely. And because there are cubes, you can just either rig them or just put on another flat surface. As opposed to the round china ball, which is really hard to rig and they’re annoying.PB: And easy to control, too. DJS: Yes. It’s really good. We use them all the time. We hang them on the chandeliers, if we knew the chandelier wasn’t being shot. We also had light in the grid, which would punch through. The ceilings were canvas — stretched canvas across wooden frames — but they were light and easy to lift out. We had top light in each room. Really, I am not a big fan of top light, but we had it as insurance.PB: I assume a very soft top light?DJS: Yes, very soft. It is a Skypanel. It’s controlled back to a board and is in a box and has a frame underneath and it will go through the canvas, as well, so it is softer again. We had, in the foyer, four S-60s — two were green because it was a green chandelier above the staircase.The other problem that I knew I was going to encounter in the house was that everything is old, so everything has that yellow, warm feel. When you get into the grade, you have got no color separation. The actors are vampires, and they are wearing black, some deep green, so everything’s down that end of the spectrum. So, I knew I had possibly three colors all throughout the house. A good example, we had a green glass chandelier in the foyer. Above that, we hung two S-60 soft boxes and we dyed them a matching green. So, always in the foyer we had this green top light. Then, also in the foyer, we had this skylight and through that we would push — on the rare occasions that we shot the house in the daylight — daylight through very soft. Then, mostly at night, we would dye sky panels.On location, we would put lavender gels on the lamps, that was our moon for the show. The reason for the lavender is that on camera, it is quite an odd color. So, you can separate it later on the color timing and either enhance the color or drag it out and make it white. That’s a really good thing in a house full of yellow. We want to have some white in the picture so that you can move your eyes on the piece of white in the picture and appreciate the color again — that was the idea.PB: What was your camera and lens package? DJS: The pilot was shot on ALEXA-Mini by Christian Sprenger. By the time the series was picked up by FX, I think it was almost nine months. During that time, I did quite a lot on the Sony VENICE Beta and ALEXA-Mini. I love the Arri cameras and so the Sony VENICE was, I think, a departure. But what set the Sony VENICE apart was the dual ISO. It has two basic settings. They have a 500 ISO and a 2500 ISO, and it’s the same sensor but you are just switching different capacitors on and off, I believe. It’s a pretty amazing camera. I was blown away. It is so noiseless in the shadows, there is just no other grain in there at all, to the point that you are adding grain in because it is too clean.So, we did a test in a supermarket car park at night in Toronto of just people walking around, with the VENICE and ALEXA-Mini. We rated the Sony at the base of 500 ISO and we put it up to 800 ISO. The ALEXA-Mini stayed at the base recommended setting of 800 ISO. We shot them side by side and then switched the Sony VENICE to base ISO 2500. I shot it at that, and then I dropped the ISO down to 1600, to feed a little bit more detail in the shadows. It was pretty amazing actually seeing it.Color-wise, there was no difference between the Arri and the Sony. The Sony VENICE, whatever they’re doing inside that thing is pretty spectacular, so that was kind of a winner. The downside is that it’s a reasonably heavy camera for handheld and we had a 6K recorder on the back for our VFX work. So that was just the downside, it was a heavy camera package for a handheld show. I did check with the operators and said, “This is really the camera we want to shoot on but it’s going to be tough to you guys.” And they said, “We will be alright.”For lenses, we shot with the Angenieux Optimo zooms and Master Primes. Cover image via FX/Russ Martin.Looking for more industry interviews? Check these out.The Sun is Also a Star Film Composer Herdís StefánsdóttirIndustry Interview: Miles Hankins — The Composer Behind “Long Shot”Industry Interview: CW Costume Designer Catherine AshtonIndustry Interview: “Whiplash” Production Designer Melanie JonesInterview: “My Dinner with Herve” Composer David Norlandlast_img read more

ExBrighton star wary of Eden Hazard threat

first_imgGary Chivers believes it’s essential that Brighton & Hove Albion find a way to stop the ever impressive Eden Hazard ahead of today’s game against ChelseaThe Seagulls will host Chelsea at the Amex Stadium looking to bounce back from last weekend’s 1-0 defeat at Burnley.The last time Brighton faced Chelsea at home came in January, where they lost 4-0 after Hazard’s brace.And Chivers, who played for both teams in his playing career, warned Brighton they must find a way to stop the Belgian superstar this time around.“From Brighton’s perspective it’ll be a tough one because although Chelsea are a side who’ve been a bit indifferent in recent weeks, their last performance in the league against Manchester City was a great one,” Chivers told the club website.Jose Mourinho is sold on Lampard succeeding at Chelsea Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho wanted to give his two cents on Frank Lampard’s odds as the new Chelsea FC manager, he thinks he will succeed.There really…“The side took their chances last weekend – Eden Hazard playing up front was their trump card in many ways because not many people expected that.“Most would assume that either Olivier Giroud or Alvaro Morata would play as a striker, but Hazard went into that role. He had pace either side of him and when they had the ball it really looked dangerous.“Hazard drifts into spaces between the back four and middle four, you don’t want him running at you with the ball because he’s one of the best players in the Premier League – if Albion are to get a result then they’ll have to stop him as well as being solid overall defensively.”The Brighton-Chelsea match will begin at 14:30 (CET) today.last_img read more

Massachusetts Agency Launches Economic Diversification Study

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR The Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MassMEP) has launched an economic diversification study to help the state cope with cutbacks in DOD spending by becoming less dependent on defense contracting.The organization recently was awarded a $400,000 grant from MassDevelopment, a state agency that received a $1.5 million grant from DOD’s Office of Economic Adjustment. MassMEP will help companies reposition toward commercial markets, Jack Healy, its president, told the Telegram. A large number of manufacturers providing critical systems to the defense industry will have a difficulty surviving when their customers diminish.The grant also will expand an initiative allowing undergraduates from Worcester Polytechnic Institute to teach a training curriculum to the University of Massachusetts at Lowell.Of the about 87,000 jobs in the state supported by the defense industry, 43,000 are direct jobs, Healy said. The 87,000 positions do not include research and development or Small Business Innovation Research grant jobs. The study is expected to be completed in March 2016.last_img read more

Google Trips app heads into the sunset

first_img Google Nest Hub: $59 (save $70) Formerly known as the Google Home Hub, Google’s Nest Hub packs a wealth of Google Assistant goodness into a 7-inch screen. At $59, this is within a buck of the best price we’ve seen. It lists for $129 and sells elsewhere in the $89-to-$99 range.This is one item of many available as part of eBay’s Labor Day Sale (which, at this writing, doesn’t specifically mention Labor Day, but that’s how it was pitched to us). 0 Mobile Apps Phones DJI’s answer to GoPro’s action cameras is rugged little model that’s shockproof, dustproof and waterproof down to 11 meters. It normally runs $350, but this deal drops it to $261 when you apply promo code 19LABOR10 at checkout. Recently updated to include digital-photo-frame capabilities, the Lenovo Smart Clock brings Google Assistant goodness to your nightstand. It’s a little smaller than the Amazon Echo Show 5, but also a full $30 less (and tied with Prime Day pricing) during this Best Buy Labor Day sale. See It Share your voice Free Echo Dot with an Insignia or Toshiba TV (save $50) Boost Mobile HP Laptop 15t Value: $520 (save $780) Other Labor Day sales you should check out Best Buy: In addition to some pretty solid MacBook deals that have been running for about a week already, Best Buy is offering up to 40% off major appliances like washers, dryers and stoves. There are also gift cards available with the purchase of select appliances. See it at Best BuyDell: Through Aug. 28, Dell is offering an extra 12% off various laptops, desktops and electronics. And check back starting Aug. 29 for a big batch of Labor Day doorbusters. See it at DellGlassesUSA: Aug. 29 – Sept. 3 only, you can save 65% on all frames with promo code labor65. See it at GlassesUSALenovo: The tech company is offering a large assortment of deals and doorbusters through Labor Day, with the promise of up to 56% off certain items — including, at this writing, the IdeaPad 730S laptop for $700 (save $300).See it at LenovoLensabl: Want to keep the frames you already love and paid for? Lensabl lets you mail them in for new lenses, based on your prescription. From now through Sept. 2 only, you can save 20% on the blue light-blocking lens option with promo code BLOCKBLUE. See it at LensablSears: Between now and Sept. 7, you can save up to 40% on appliances (plus an additional 10% if you shop online), up to 60% on mattresses, up to 50% on Craftsman products and more. The store is also offering some fairly hefty cashback bonuses. See it at SearsNote: This post was published previously and is continuously updated with new information.CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page, and find more great buys on the CNET Deals page. $6 at Tidal Lenovo Smart Clock: $59.99 (save $20) TVs Speakers Mobile Accessories Cameras Laptops Automobiles Smart Speakers & Displays Rylo Read DJI Osmo Action preview See It DJI Osmo Action camera: $261 (save $89) JBL Soundgear wearable speaker: $90 (save $160) The Cheapskate Comments $60 at Best Buy Read Lenovo Smart Clock review See at Amazon Use promo code 19LABOR10 to get an unusually good deal on JBL’s interesting hybrid product — not quite headphones, and not quite a traditional speaker, but something you wear like neckphones to listen to music on the go. Sarah Tew/CNET Turo is kind of like Uber meets Airbnb: You borrow someone’s car, but you do all the driving. I’ve used it many times and found it a great alternative to traditional car-rental services — in part because you get to choose exactly the vehicle you want (not just, say, “midsize”) and in part because you can often do pickup and dropoff right outside baggage claim.Between now and Sept. 1, the first 300 people to check out can get $30 off any Turo rental with promo code LDW30. Sprint $210 at Best Buy $59 at eBay Apple iPhone XS Turo: Save $30 on any car rental Tidal 3-month family subscription: $5.99 (save $54) $155 at Google Express Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case: $155 (save $45) Sarah Tew/CNET $520 at HP Amazon Share your voicecenter_img Rylo 5.8K 360 Video Camera: $250 (save $250) $90 at Daily Steals via Google Express $999 What’s cooler: A snapshot of a firework exploding in front of you, or full 360-degree video of all the fireworks and all the reactions to seeing them? Oooh, ahhh, indeed. At $250, the compact Rylo dual-lens camera is selling for its lowest price yet. And for an extra $50, you can get the bundle that includes the waterproof housing.This deal runs through Sept. 3; it usually costs $500. See at Turo The problem with most entry-level laptops: They come with mechanical hard drives. That makes for a mighty slow Windows experience. This Lenovo model features a 128GB solid-state drive, so it should be pretty quick to boot and load software, even with its basic processor. Plus, it has a DVD-burner! That’s not something you see in many modern laptops, especially at this price. Tags $299 at Amazon Read the Rylo camera preview Read Google Home Hub review Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone X Lenovo 130-15AST 15.6-inch laptop: $210 (save $90) $261 at Daily Steals via Google Express Spotify and most other streaming services rely on compressed audio, which robs the listener of full fidelity. Enter Tidal, the only “major” service that delivers lossless audio — meaning at least on par with CD quality, if not better. Want to see (er, hear) the difference for yourself? Grab this excellent extended trial while you can. It’s just $6 for three months, and it’s good for up to six listeners. Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR See It Best Buy Sarah Tew/CNET Chris Monroe/CNET Tags Angela Lang/CNET Sarah Tew/CNET $999 7 $999 Though not technically a Labor Day sale, it’s happening during Labor Day sale season — and it’s too good not to share. Nationwide Distributors, via Google Express, has just about the best AirPods deal we’ve seen (when you apply promo code ZBEDWZ at checkout). This is for the second-gen AirPods with the wireless charging case. Can’t imagine these will last long at this price, so if you’re interested, act fast. See it CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Google,I’m shocked — shocked! — to learn that stores are turning Labor Day into an excuse to sell stuff. Wait — no, I’m not. As much as I respect the original intent of the holiday (which became official back in 1894), to most of us, it’s just a bonus day off — one that’s blissfully tacked onto a weekend. So, yeah, stores; go ahead, run your sales. I’m listening. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Labor Day doesn’t bring out bargains to compete with the likes of Black Friday (which will be here before you know it), but there are definitely some sales worth your time.For example:We’ve rounded up the best Labor Day mattress deals.We’ve also gathered the best Labor Day laptop deals at Best Buy.The 2019 Vizio P Series Quantum is back under $999.Be sure to check out Amazon’s roughly three dozen Labor Day deals on TVs and audio. Google Express is having a big sale as well, one that includes deals on game consoles, AirPods, iPhones, laptops and more.Below I’ve rounded up a handful of individual items I consider to be the cream of the crop, followed by a handy reference guide to other Labor Day sales. Keep in mind, of course, that products may sell out at any time, even if the sale itself is still running. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. An Echo Dot makes a fine match for any Fire edition TV, because you can use the latter to say things like, “Alexa, turn on the TV.” Right now, the 24-inch Insignia Fire TV Edition starts at just $100, while the 32-inch Toshiba Fire TV Editions is on sale for $130. Just add any Fire TV Edition to your cart, then add a third-gen Echo Dot, and presto: The latter is free. Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. Post a comment Google Trips was designed to take care of all your travel needs, including itineraries. Juan Garzón/CNET It’s the end of the road for Google Trips.The internet giant announced this week that it would discontinue support for the Android travel-planning app in two months. The app debuted in 2016, promising to help users organize their travel arrangements via phones and other devices, even when offline. The app would guide users to particular places of interest and restaurants, as well as consolidate their reservations and tickets.It also let you customize a daily itinerary, laying out how to get to places and figuring out how long your route would take. And if you didn’t have an itinerary in mind, the app could generate one for you.Several travel services already offered this kind of planning, but Trips took advantage of Google’s wide geographical database as well as Gmail, which is where you could send reservations and ticket confirmations. Speculation that Google Trips’ days were numbered began in May when Google announced plans to revamp the Trips web service, making the Trips information more accessible at Google Travel, Google Maps and Google Search. Google said on a support page that it’ll end support for Google Trips on Aug. 5, but users will still be able to access email and trip information until then. I thought this might be a mistake, but, no, the weirdly named HP Laptop 15t Value is indeed quite the value at this price. Specs include an Intel Core i7 processor, 12GB of RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive and a 15.6-inch display. However, I strongly recommend paying an extra $50 to upgrade that display to FHD (1,920×1,080), because you’re not likely to be happy with the native 1,366×768 resolution. $999 Read the AirPods review Turo Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray)last_img read more

Monty Panesar makes shocking revelation Describes organised balltampering in English team

first_imgMonty Panesar reveals England’s tactics to get reverse swingTwitter/FOX SPORTS CricketThe entire cricket world was left shell-shocked by the ball-tampering scandal last year which led to Australia’s Test captain and vice-captain getting banned for one year. Universal condemnation poured in from the entire world for the ignoble way in which the Aussies were trying to tamper with the condition of the ball. The English were as forthright in their criticism as anyone else.But now, an English bowler, Monty Panesar, has come out with revelations in his book, ‘The Full Monty’ which suggest that the English team were as keen on altering the condition of the ball through external substances as any. In the passages of the book published by the Daily Mail newspaper, Monty gives a candid account of how certain methods were used to make the ball more likely to reverse-swing.”We all tried to change the condition of the ball, because reverse swing has such a huge impact. When I came into the England side, my job was to prepare the ball for the seamers. Whether we broke the laws depends on how you interpret them. We found that mints and sun cream had an effect on the saliva, and that helped the ball to reverse. I might also have ‘accidentally’ caught the ball on the zip of my trouser pocket to rough it up a little,” the spinner wrote in his book. 2018’s ball-tampering scandal became a huge issuePETER PARKS/AFP/Getty ImagesA veteran of 50 Tests, Panesar was also open enough to accept that in the use of this tactic, they may have been tilting towards an iota of unethical conduct. “That was probably a hairline fracture of the spirit of the game, even if the laws said you were allowed to ‘use your uniform,” the star of his team’s famous 2012 Test series win in India admitted.This is not the first time that an English cricketer has talked about the use of a certain substance that supposedly makes their saliva more effective in inducing reverse swing of the ball. Marcus Trescothick too, had mentioned in his autobiography that he found that when he was consuming Murray Mints – a mint-flavoured candy – while being the official shiner of the ball, it would swing more.This calls into question the conduct of the English team and also raises questions about the honesty of cricket teams around the world. Is everyone guilty, to some extent, of trying to use external substances for making the ball move more? Should there be greater vigilance of this aspect of the game? However, one must hand it to Monty for daring to speak the truth. Maybe the Australians getting caught was just the tip of the iceberg.last_img read more

ECs dialogues with political parties begin Thursday

first_imgElection Commission logo. File PhotoThe election commission starts its dialogues with 40 registered political parties on Thursday to take their opinions over its preparation for the next parliamentary elections.The commission will first sit in talks with Sangskritik Muktijote at 3:00pm at the conference room of Nirbachan Bhaban in the capital city.Earlier, a 10-member delegation of Muktijote was invited to join the dialogue to be held with chief election commission KM Nurul Huda in the chair.As per the EC’s schedule, the EC was supposed to sit in the first dialogue with Bangladesh Nationalist Front (BNF) at 11:00am on Thursday, but BNF has asked the EC to reschedule its dialogue saying that it would not be able to join the dialogue in the next one month due to the ongoing flood situation in different parts of the country.BNF president SM Abul Kalam Azad, MP said his party leaders are scheduled to visit the flood-hit areas in Jamalpur on Thursday and they would distribute relief items among flood victims there.“We’ve informed the EC that we cannot join the dialogue halting our relief activities for flood victims. We asked the EC to delay the talks with us at least by one month,” he told UNB.Director (PR) at the EC secretariat SM Asaduzzaman said the commission has yet to take any decision whether the talks with BNF will be rescheduled.“So far, 12 political parties have been invited to join the EC’s dialogue. Separate dialogues with two parties will be held in a day. The first talks will be held at 11:00am, while the second one at 3:00pm everyday,” he told UNB.As per the schedule, the EC will also sit with Bangladesh Muslim League (BML) and Khelafat Majlish on 28 August, Bangladesher Biplobi Workers Party and Jagpa on 30 August, Bangladesh Islami Front and Islami Andolan Bangladesh on 10 September, Bangladesh Khelafat Majlish and Islami Oikya Jote on 12 September, and Bangladesh Kalyan Party and Islamic Front Bangladesh on 14 September.The commission will seek opinions from the political parties over different issues, including electoral law reform and delimitation of constituencies, updating voter list, fixation of polling stations and awarding registration to new political parties.Earlier, the commission held talks with civil society members on 31 July, media representatives on 16 and 17 August as part of taking opinions of its different stakeholders over preparation of the 11th national election likely to be held in late December 2018.The constitutional body will also sit with election observers, women leaders and election experts.last_img read more

Rohingya men stab 2 Bangladesh coast guards

first_imgNaikhangchhari Rohingya campTwo members of Bangladesh Coast Guard suffered injuries in an attack by Rohingya men at Noyapara Rohingya camp in Teknaf upazila of Cox’s Bazar on Wednesday evening, reports UNB.The injured are Md Faruk, 30, and Md Joynal, 28.Tipped off that yaba tablets were being sold, a team of plainclothes Coast Guard went to the room of Sadek at block-H of the camp to arrest the drug traders, said Lt commander Faizul Islam, commanding officer of Coast Guard’s Teknaf station.Noticing their presence, the Rohingya men swooped on the Coast Guard men and stabbed them, leaving two of them injured.The injured were first taken to the Upazila Health Complex and later shifted to Cox’s Bazar Sadar Hospital.A deep injury mark was found in the chest of one of the injured while one ear of the other was almost severed, said duty doctor Shovan Das at the hospital.last_img read more

City Council Supports Mayors Proposal To Reform Houstons Pension System

first_imgListen Al OrtizAt the end of the Council’s meeting, Mayor Sylvester Turner thanked the City Council for supporting his plan to reform the pension system and said it means “a great deal to the people in this city and to every single employee.”The Houston City Council passed a resolution of support for Mayor Sylvester Turner’s proposal to reform the city’s pensions system.The debate on Turner’s proposal began with Council Member Michael Kubosh saying he wanted to delay the vote by using a procedure called tagging.Turner emphatically addressed Kubosh, saying that all members of the council had been thoroughly briefed on the plan.He added that credit rating agencies, the Greater Houston Partnership and others had also been properly informed.Turner also made a point of the fact that no Houstonian has spoken against the proposal at the council’s public sessions.After he heard those arguments, Kubosh decided not to tag the vote.During the rest of the debate, several council members praised the way Turner has approached the pension reform.“It’s been transparent, it’s been thorough. If you don’t have the information, ask the questions, because everybody is open and honest. I’ll be proud to vote for you on this, I’ll be proud to support you three years from now ’cause no one, no one, could have gotten this done,” said Council Member Dave Martin, who represents District E.However, Council Member Mike Knox, who holds the At Large-Position 1, was not on board.“This is in fact political theater. It’s not necessary for you to have this resolution to carry this legislation to Austin,” noted Knox, who elaborated on why he is critical of the process the mayor used to design the pension reform.“We’ve not been a participant in the negotiations or any other aspect of this plan,” Knox added “and so we must rely on a proposed piece of legislation that has yet to be written.”Knox was the only council member that voted against the plan.After the council’s meeting Turner expressed his gratitude saying “it was a very strong vote and on a very tough, complicated issue that means a great deal to the people in this city and to every single employee.”The next step is that members of the Texas Legislature introduce bills based on the plan supported by the council.The mayor says he is optimistic the proposal will pass in Austin.However, State Sen. Paul Bettencourt remains skeptical.He insists that he wants more information about how the city and its employees would negotiate adjustments to the pension system if the annual costs are higher than the limits they had agreed on.“There’s going to be a huge question mark.  I mean, at this point in time, without those key events, you know, the data points, I couldn’t vote for it at this point because I don’t even know what I’m voting on,” Bettencourt said.The legislative session will start next January. To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: X 00:00 /02:33 Sharelast_img read more

Houston Real Estate Icon Turns 90

first_imgFlorian MartinWelcome Wilson Sr., a long-time Houston real estate developer, turns 90 on March 17. Listen Share X 00:00 /03:33center_img Welcome Wilson Sr. turns 90 years old on March 17.The iconic Houston real estate developer was a long-time chairman of the University of Houston Board of Regents.Many buildings across the region bear his signature.Among Wilson’s first developments in the region were Jamaica Beach and Tiki Island near Galveston. Both are now incorporated cities.His firm, Welcome Group, now develops industrial facilities.Wilson’s impressive resume also includes government positions. He served in the Executive Office of the President under Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy and was named Special Ambassador to Nicaragua under Lyndon B. Johnson.We sat down with Wilson to talk about how Houston has been evolving over the many years he has worked here. To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:last_img read more