Man Sentenced to Jail for Forging Mother’s Will in UK

first_imgA man of Indian origin found guilty of forging his dead mother’s will has been sentenced to a prison term of one year in the United Kingdom.Girish Dahyabhai Patel, a 65-year-old accountant based in London, was found guilty of lying under oath on Dec. 8. Patel had earlier this year used a blank sheet of paper, which had the signatures of his deceased mother, and printed a document around it that claimed that she had left him a stake in the family’s business. He said that the will left him a £40 million stake in the £160 million palm oil plantation business in Malaysia.Patel, who sits as an arbitrator in disputes, was left facing legal costs estimated at £1.3 million.Justice Marcus Smith held him in contempt of court and sent him to Pentonville Prison in London for 12 months on Dec.8, The Times reported. “Girish is a chartered accountant and sits as an arbitrator. I would, in the normal course of events, expect such a witness to be reliable and trustworthy,” the judge said.He added: “However, Girish is a self-confessed liar and even when accepting that he had lied to the court, there was a certain insouciance in his responses which increased rather than allayed my concerns as to his reliability generally.”The judge said that Patel had confessed that the “detailed factual account” of his mother signing the will that he gave under oath “was false.”Patel’s claim was challenged in court by his brother Yashwant, a New York-based doctor. Detailed forensic analysis revealed that the document was forged. Earlier, at the High Court in London in February, Judge Andrew Simmonds found the will to be a forgery. He had instead upheld a previous will, made in 1986, which left everything to Yashwant.The judge said that Patel had “exercised influence” over important witnesses in the trial, and had supported a lying case with affidavits, witness statements and oral evidence.Patel has agreed to pay £450,000 of his brother’s legal costs, while his own are estimated at up to £750,000.Yashwant has inherited everything from Prabhavati Dahyabhai Patel, their mother, who died at the age of 88 in 2011.The brothers had fallen out in 2009 over the family’s Malaysian business. After their mother’s death, Yashwant produced the will. But Patel produced another will that he claimed was signed by his mother in 2005, on a visit to London from her home in Singapore, in a bid to overturn the will produced by his brother.However, Patel’s account was dismissed by the court after it emerged that the signature came before the rest of the text in the document. Related ItemsFraudLondonUnited Kingdomlast_img read more

"Man Sentenced to Jail for Forging Mother’s Will in UK"

India and Britain spar over who will open CWG

first_imgThe Indian government and the office of Britain’s Prince Charles are reportedly sparring over New Delhi’s plans for a “joint inauguration” of the Commonwealth Games (CWG) which will not give the prince a solo role at the October 3 ceremony.The government has reportedly drawn up plans for President Pratibha Patil to declare the sporting event open. Charles, representing Queen Elizabeth who is skipping the event because of the ” sheer volume” of her engagements, will have a similarly important but not singular duty at the ceremony.This has resulted in diplomatic differences between India and Charles’s office even though there is no formal word on the matter yet.Traditionally, the British monarch who heads the Commonwealth of former British colonies, declares these Games open. The role can also be given to her representative.Clarence House, the official residence of the Prince of Wales in London, insisted that Charles will fulfill the duties originally intended for the queen.A spokesperson for Clarence House said, ” The queen has asked the prince to represent her in Delhi, and carry out the same duties she would perform if she was there. He will officially declare the Games open.”Sources in Rashtrapati Bhawan, meanwhile, said that so far they had no intimation about the President inaugurating the Games.New Delhi believes that with the queen not attending the Games, there is a qualitative change in the situation. Sources in the government, who confirmed the development over the ” joint inauguration” issue, said had Elizabeth attended the event, she alone would have received the Queen’s Relay Baton, read out the message to the athletes and declared the Games open. But, it is different now that she will not be in Delhi for the October 3 opening.advertisementDuring the discussions in the government on the opening ceremony, the possibility of a ” joint inauguration” was put on the table. It was reportedly suggested that Patil could be handed over the Queen’s Baton, followed by Charles reading out the Queen’s message and then the President declaring the Games open, the sources said.Another possibility of a “joint inauguration” by the President and Charles was also reportedly discussed.The Queen’s Relay Baton – which is now on its way to Delhi after being carried through Commonwealth countries across the world – also carries the monarch’s message to participating athletes.Speculation among senior government sources is that the last line of the message is ” I declare the Games open”. While Charles is expected to read the message, including this line, President Patil could also declare the Games open, said the sources who did not want to be named. The details of this option are being worked out.Well- placed sources said that the matter is still being negotiated at the highest levels of the two governments to find a way out of the impasse. The discussions have reportedly also included the Commonwealth Games Federation and the CWG Organising Committee. A final decision is expected early this week.This is not the first time that a member of Britain’s royal family – the monarch or her representative – will not inaugurate the Games. There is already a precedent.The 1998 Games at Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia were inaugurated by the Malaysian King. On that occasion Edward, the Queen’s third son represented her at the opening ceremony.Diplomats have supported the move for an inauguration of the Games by the President.Former foreign secretary Salman Haider said, “It would be gratifying if the President inaugurates the Commonwealth Games. It will be a matter of pride for the entire country.Prince Charles’s presence on the occasion will be an added dimension.” According to him, Charles has often visited India and his position will not be downgraded in any way if Patil inaugurates the Games.Another top diplomat, former foreign secretary Shashank said the President in her capacity as head of state in the queen’s absence should ” ideally inaugurate” the event.” This will be an honour for India. It is most likely that both governments will work out a formula for a role for Charles that will be acceptable to the British royalty.” The British High Commission in the Capital had earlier said that it was ” delighted” that Charles would represent the queen at the opening ceremony.The implication was that he would take on her full role.Charles will be accompanied by his wife, Camilla Parker Bowles. The Prince of Wales is expected to arrive on October 1. He is likely to visit Rajasthan and Punjab during his India visit.advertisementWith input from agencieslast_img read more

"India and Britain spar over who will open CWG"

Centre to distribute 600 CWG Village flats to govt depts

first_imgThe Centre has decided to distribute around 600 flats in the Commonwealth Games Village among various government departments and PSUs while 100 flats will be sold off to the general public at market rates.Replying to a written question in Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Urban Development today said that out of the DDA’s share of 711 flats, around 100 flats will be auctioned while the remaining flats will be given to Government departments and PSU.A total of 1,168 flats were constructed at the Village under PPP mode by Emmar MGF and DDA’s share of 711 flats include 333 flats which were bought from the private developer by the government agency under a buy back arrangement.DDA had paid Rs 760 crore to Emaar-MGF under the buy back arrangement.Roy said DDA, at a meeting last month, had decided to allot over 600 flats to government departments and PSUs by issuing a circular.On auctioning the flats to the general public, he said a committee will be set up to ascertain the reserve price for the flats.Last month, the government had decided to confiscate Rs 183 crore bank guarantee furnished by the builder after DDA found “irregularities” and deficiencies in the Games Village.last_img read more

"Centre to distribute 600 CWG Village flats to govt depts"


first_imgKolkata, Mar 16 (PTI) Scoreboard in the World Twenty20 Kolkata, Mar 16 (PTI) Scoreboard in the World Twenty20 Super 10 Group 2 match between Pakistan and Bangladesh here today. Pakistan Innings: Sharjeel Khan b Arafat Sunny 18 Ahmed Shehzad c Mahmudullah b Sabbir Rahman 52 Mohammad Hafeez c Soumya Sarkar b Arafat Sunny 64 Shahid Afridi c Mahmudullah b Taskin Ahmed 49 Umar Akmal c Shakib Al Hasan b Taskin Ahmed 0 Shoaib Malik not out 15 Imad Wasim not out 0 Extras (LB-1, W-1, NB-1) 3 Total (5 wickets; 20 overs) 201 Fall of wickets: 1-26, 2-121, 3-163, 4-175, 5-198 Bowling: Taskin Ahmed 4-0-32-2, Al-Amin Hossain 3-0-43-0, Arafat Sunny 4-0-34-2, Shakib Al Hasan 4-0-39-0, Mashrafe Mortaza 3-0-41-0, Sabbir Rahman 2-0-11-1. More PTI PM PMlast_img read more


From oversized clothing to handcrafted textiles, these 12 fashion trends defy the norm

first_imgFashion is a craft of response; the perfect canvas to escape-from tedium, tradition and tenet. It is this escapism that finds a voice in Gucci’s Alessandro Michele’s version of colourful, “floridly embroidered, eminently wearable clothing” where “applique animals, butterflies, and snakes and tigers, everything is opening its mouth to scream”,,Fashion is a craft of response; the perfect canvas to escape-from tedium, tradition and tenet. It is this escapism that finds a voice in Gucci’s Alessandro Michele’s version of colourful, “floridly embroidered, eminently wearable clothing” where “applique animals, butterflies, and snakes and tigers, everything is opening its mouth to scream”, where he is daring to venture out; to scream; to be adventurous. Others, like Aneeth Arora, have followed suit with Forbidden Garden, a collection where she has embroidered flowers in satin and used beads and threads to make them look surreal. Samant Chauhan’s clothes, inspired by train journeys and what lies beyond, flirt with balloon sleeves that contest the limitation of gathers and use gold embroidery to make dresses where maize and barley take other forms when embroidered on to garments. As bugs, bees and Gothic elements suggest the unreal; non-places, non-flowers and non-real mark a galactic shift in fashion. But fashion’s other response is the urban, gritty street wear running riot on the ramps, promoted by Vetements and Balenciaga, that celebrates counter cultures and sub cultures. The make up is either grunge with eyes that look like they came from the netherworld or dewy with a palette of colours hitherto forbidden for the lips and eyes, like yellow, blue and green. You can choose to escape to a world of fantasy or stay put on the streets and be the revolution.Dress by Pero FashionPunk rockPunks wore safety pins, sported tattoos and everything in their persona symbolised their reaction against organised government. Punk is back and it is that courage to court ugly, with menacing dark eyes and anarchy in the face that are outlining trends in makeup.advertisementNarnia reimaginedHere, the fantasy is “morally loathsome” as Philip Pullman once said about CS Lewis’ seven fantasy worlds. When iconic streetwear label Supreme collaborated with Louis Vuitton, the lines between street wear and luxury were completely obliterated.One size fits allOversized clothing and unusual cuts that pay no heed to the ‘sacred’ contours of the body or vanity are reshaping body politics that have ruled the roost for long.Gender bender”Sexuality is in sex, not elsewhere”. Fashion’s biggest obsession continues to be androgyny, with men wearing flowers and frills and skirts and women sporting waist coats and laced-up military boots. The momentum is gathering towards a space where gender-which is naturally assigned-can be fixed manually, but can’t define fashion.The art of fashionFashion has always maintained that it is about business and art is more about existentialism. Now, boundaries have blurred with designers choosing to express themselves in tandem with artistic freedom. A case in point is Rahul Mishra’s Infinity, a collection inspired by Van Gogh’s paintings, that was recently showcased in Paris.Maximising Indian minimalismDesigners are increasingly harnessing the tradition of using bright colours to create a distinctive definition of Indian minimalism that defies the western monopoly of black and grey.Jute and brocade skirt by Abraham & Thakore; Asymmetrical shirt by Rishta by Arjun Saluja Handcrafted traditionThis trend glorifies everything handmade and hand-woven to pay homage to India’s rich textile heritage. Designers are reinventing and reinterpreting traditional textiles and crafts to create a new vocabulary.Six-yard canvasThe sari remains the biggest mover and shaker in fashion after having proved that it can be as contemporary as a kimono, which Yohji Yamamato has elevated to a symbol of power. The sari unwraps itself in a new avatar.Gothic mystiqueThe Gothic look with chains and black roses and everything that is “conspicuously dark and mysterious” hinting at almost morbid fashion with black lips and black clothes.Alice in WonderlandEscapism is a political statement with non-places and non-real becoming the ultimate escape fantasy. On the runway, travel conjures mystery lands with gigantic flowers and speaking tigers.Kurta by Rishta by Arjun Saluja; Bandi, pants and loafers by Abraham & Thakore; Shawl and leather clutch by Samant Chauhan Anti-prettyWith designers celebrating Comme des Garcons and Yohji Yamamato, fashion is now more anti-pretty than ever before, with imperfections as highlights and freckles in demand.Pink eyes and gold lipsThe makeup is breaking stereotypes with colour palettes that are changing the “purpose” of makeup. Highlighting is now dissolving with everything becoming solvent.last_img read more

"From oversized clothing to handcrafted textiles, these 12 fashion trends defy the norm"

I will continue to work hard and bring more medals for India: Hima Das promises PM Modi

first_imgAce Indian sprinter Hima Das, who has been on a golden roll in July, has assured Prime Minister Narendra Modi that she will continue to work hard and bring more medals for the country.On Sunday, Modi took to Twitter to congratulate Hima and said: “India is very proud of Hima Das’ phenomenal achievements over the last few days. Everyone is absolutely delighted that she has brought home five medals in various tournaments. Congratulations to her and best wishes for her future endeavours.”To this, Hima responded: “Thank you Narendra Modi sir for your kind wishes. I will continue to work hard and bring more medals for our country.”Thank you @narendramodi sir for your kind wishes. I will continue to work hard and bring more medals for our country. MON JAI (@HimaDas8) July 21, 2019Earlier, President Ram Nath Kovind, legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and various other politicians and personalities showered praise on the 19-year-old after she won her fifth gold medal inside three weeks in Europe.The “Dhing Express” had revealed she got a congratulatory call from Tendulkar on Sunday evening. “Today evening was like a dream come true for me, have got a call from the god of cricket and my inspiration Sachin Tendulkar sir. Thank you sir for your good wishes and inspirational words. I will leave no stone unturned for my mission.”Sure sir. Will definately come and take your blessings whenever i am back in India. MON JAI (@HimaDas8) July 21, 2019Hima’s fifth gold of the month came on July 20 in Czech Republic where she clocked a season-best time of 52.09 seconds to win the gold in 400m at the Nove Mesto nad Metuji Grand Prix.On July 17, she won her fourth gold in 200m at the Tabor Athletics Meet. Before that on July 13, she won her third 200m gold at the Kladno Athletics Meet in Czech Republic with a time of 23.43 seconds.On July 8, she won her second 200m gold at the Kutno Athletics Meet in Poland. And in her first competitive 200m race of the year on July 2, Hima clocked 23.65 seconds to win gold at the Poznan Athletics Grand Prix in Poland.Also Read | Salaam boss: Rishabh Pant congratulates Hima Das after 5 gold medals in 19 daysAlso Read | PM Modi, Sachin Tendulkar congratulate Hima Das for dream run in EuropeAlso Read | Hima Das wins 5th gold of the month after successful return to 400mlast_img read more

"I will continue to work hard and bring more medals for India: Hima Das promises PM Modi"

a day agoPhelan admits he was reluctant to return to Man Utd

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Phelan admits he was reluctant to return to Man Utdby Paul Vegasa day agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United assistant Mike Phelan has admitted he was reluctant to return to the club.Phelan left the club in 2013 but was offered a role in Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s backroom staff last December.He told The Athletic: “I was down at Burnley College doing a coaching day and out on the pitch. About 3 o’clock, I finish and turn my phone on.”There is a call from Ole and another from Ed Woodward. Ole offered me the job and there was no real discussion. ‘Yeah, I’ll do it.'”Going back into Carrington, I was really, really nervous. We’d won the league by a canter when I left. But I didn’t know what to expect.”I had heard a lot of things in my time out about how it was operating. I just thought, ‘I’ll be myself.”And it was like I’d never been away. Surreal. We just brought back a bit of a feelgood factor.” last_img read more

"a day agoPhelan admits he was reluctant to return to Man Utd"

Men between 19 and 59 new focus of BCs deadly overdose epidemic

first_imgVANCOUVER – Too many men working in trades are overdosing on opioids, says a chief medical health officer in British Columbia who wants the industry to be involved in identifying interventions that could save lives.Dr. Victoria Lee of Fraser Health said men between the ages of 19 and 59 are disproportionately affected by a hidden epidemic that’s shrouded in secrecy among those too ashamed to get help.She said men who are injured on the job may be ensnared into dependence on illicit substances after being prescribed pain medication.“Some people start to self-medicate. It can be for physical and emotional reasons as well,” Lee said in an interview.“There’s a huge amount of stigma around using (illicit) substances so when you combine that with the fact that it’s not socially acceptable for men to be vulnerable it makes it very difficult for men in those situations to ask for help.”Men are also unlikely to use health services unless absolutely necessary so can’t access resources and often end up dying alone, said Lee, who works for a health authority that provides services to more than 1.8 million people in communities across a large area stretching from Burnaby to White Rock to Hope.Fraser Health is planning a workshop next month for employees, employers and trades representatives to explore interventions that would help men who don’t reach out when they’re struggling with substance-use issues, she said.The B.C. Coroners Service said nearly 82 per cent of the 780 people who fatally overdosed in the province between January and June were men. The opioid painkiller fentanyl was detected in nearly 80 per cent of overdose deaths between January and May.Tom Sigurdson, executive director of the BC Building Trades Council, said he was especially troubled by the death of an ironworker who was injured on the job and died after buying street drugs.“It was late, it was a weekend, it was easier to go to the street and, unfortunately, the drug that he purchased wasn’t clean and he was found a day or two later. He was found dead,” said Sigurdson, who speaks for the council that represents unionized construction workers.Sigurdson said the ironworker was in his 20s and had returned to work.“I don’t know if the young fellow ever was aware of the emotional crisis that he was going through. He was physically addicted and in constant discomfort from his injury.”Sigurdson said the council would participate in the Fraser Health workshop with other industry representatives in order to assist trades workers.Leslie McBain, founder of Moms Stop the Harm, a support group for families struggling with an addicted relative or an overdose death, said stigma is a huge issue among illicit drug users but families have also carried the burden of shame.McBain, whose 25-year-old son Jordan died of an opioid overdose in 2014, is an advocate for policy change and has spoken out about the decriminalization of drugs.She said the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions contacted her last week to participate in a public awareness campaign.“I’m hoping that it’s around stigma,” she said.McBain, who was recently hired by the B.C. Centre on Substance Use to support families as they navigate the medical and mental health system, said she expects to head the group’s first meeting next week.“Stigma is definitely one of the pillars of what our work will be,” she said, adding she spoke with former federal health minister Jane Philpott several months ago about the importance of addressing stigma because the opioid crisis is “tearing families apart.”“I was saying we need a federal strategy to combat stigma because until we educate the Canadian population on what addiction is, how it presents, why it’s happening, then we’re not going to get sympathetic or courageous legislators,” McBain said.“You have to normalize the conversation and also help people to understand that addiction is a health issue. It is not a moral failing.”— Follow @CamilleBains1 on Twitter.last_img read more

"Men between 19 and 59 new focus of BCs deadly overdose epidemic"

Beyonce Helps Transform Lives Through Work

first_imgGoodwill Industries International is pleased to announce that Beyonce will lend her voice to help raise awareness about Goodwill’s mission of transforming lives through the power of work.Beyonce helps raise awareness about Goodwill’s mission of transforming lives through the power of workThe announcement comes just as Beyonce gets ready to kick off The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour in Serbia.“Goodwill helps people get back to work by providing education, job training and placement. I wanted to team up with an organization that puts people first and works every day to help them improve and re-establish their lives,” said Beyonce.Beyonce will encourage fans to support Goodwill by promoting donation drives at her North American concerts beginning on Friday, June 28, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Goodwill will host a mobile donation center onsite at 28 tour venues in 24 North American cities, collecting clothing, electronics and small household goods. The revenue from the sale of these donations will directly benefit local Goodwill agencies in their work to help people with disabilities and disadvantages, and anyone facing challenges to finding employment.Beyonce will also help build awareness of Goodwill’s mission through in-concert education, social media and online ticket auctions. Global charity auction site will auction special ticket packages for The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour, with the revenue benefitting Goodwill.Every 38 seconds of every business day, a person served by Goodwill is placed in employment. Goodwill promotes independence and dignity for people who need support to provide for themselves and their families. When people donate to their local Goodwill, they play a vital role in fulfilling this mission. Financial donations and the revenue generated from the sale of used goods helps to sustain skills training, career placement services and job opportunities, and support services such as career counseling, access to free tax preparation and financial coaching. Members of the public can do their part to support Beyonce’s efforts by giving goods, giving financially, or giving their voice to increase awareness of Goodwill’s mission of transforming lives through the power of work.Beyonce will also support and advocate on behalf of other local charitable agencies involved in job creation and employment services during the overseas portion of her tour, to bring to light the importance of economic independence and an increased quality of life for those in need around the globe.“We face a jobs crisis in the U.S. and around the world that threatens the future and the potential of our families and communities. Through Beyonce’s platform, we will be able to increase knowledge of the positive impact Goodwill has on communities, the environment and the lives of the millions of people we serve each year through education and skills training, many of whom have been unemployed or underemployed for long periods of time,” said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. “We cannot begin to express our sincere gratitude to Beyonce for her generous support of Goodwill and for showcasing Goodwill’s far-reaching programs and services that change lives each day.”last_img read more

"Beyonce Helps Transform Lives Through Work"

Spanish unionists find their voice in huge Barcelona rally

first_imgBARCELONA, Spain – Spanish unionists in Catalonia finally found their voice on Sunday, resurrecting Spain’s flag as a symbol of patriotism after decades of it being associated with the Franco dictatorship.In a defiant challenge to plans by Catalonia’s regional government to unilaterally declare independence, hundreds of thousands of people flooded the streets of Barcelona in a surprising outpouring of Spanish unity.They chanted “Don’t be fooled, Catalonia is Spain” and called for regional president Carles Puigdemont to go to prison for holding an illegal referendum last week. Some of the demonstrators took to rooftops, including families with children, and leaned over ledges from their perches overlooking the streets below to wave giant Spanish flags in a city accustomed to the prevalence of the Catalan pro-independence “estelada.”Spain’s red-and-yellow flag has long been taboo here in Catalonia and throughout the country because it has been linked to groups supportive of Gen. Francisco Franco’s dictatorship. But on Sunday, a sea of Spanish flags, interspersed with some Catalan and European Union flags, dominated Barcelona’s boulevards.Barcelona police said 350,000 people participated, while march organizers Societat Civil Catalana said that 930,000 people turned out. The march was peaceful and no major incidents were reported.Puigdemont has pledged to push ahead for independence and is set to address the regional parliament on Tuesday “to report on the current political situation.” In the days after the Oct. 1 referendum, the momentum appeared to be on his side. Pro-independence protests were attracting large numbers and he benefited politically from a violent crackdown by Spanish police during the referendum voting.But now the tide seems to be turning. Catalonia’s top two banks announced they were relocating their headquarters to other parts of Spain because of financial uncertainty if there is an independence declaration. Other companies are reportedly considering leaving Catalonia to avoid being cast out of the EU and its common market in the case of secession.And Sunday’s mass demonstration by pro-unity Catalans, under the slogan of “Let’s recover our common sense!” will put further pressure on Puigdemont. The march was the largest pro-unionist showing since the rise of separatist sentiment in the prosperous northeastern region that has pushed Spain to the brink of a national crisis.The rally comes a week after the Catalan government went ahead and held a referendum on secession that Spain’s top court had suspended and the Spanish government said was illegal.Catalan authorities say the “Yes” side won the referendum with 90 per cent of the vote, though only 43 per cent of the region’s 5.3 million eligible voters turned out in polling that was marred by police raids of polling stations on orders to confiscate ballot boxes.Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy vows that his government will not allow Catalonia, which represents a fifth of Spain’s economy, to break away from the rest of the country.In an interview with the Spanish newspaper El Pais published Sunday, Rajoy said that he will consider employing any measure “allowed by the law” to stop the region’s separatists.Rajoy said that includes the application of Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution, which would allow the central government to take control of the governance of a region “if the regional government does not comply with the obligations of the Constitution.”“The ideal situation would be that I don’t have to find drastic solutions, but for that to happen there will have to be some rectifications (by Catalan leaders),” Rajoy said.Rallies were held Saturday in Madrid, Barcelona and other cities to demand that Rajoy and Puigdemont negotiate to find a solution to Spain’s worst political crisis in nearly four decades.“I hope that nothing will happen. Because (Catalonia) is going to lose more than (Spain) because businesses are fleeing from here already,” said protester Juliana Prats, a Barcelona resident. “I hope it will remain like it has been up until now, 40 years of peace.”The rally drew Spaniards from outside the northeastern region to the Catalan capital. One group held a large banner boasting “Marbella,” a town on Spain’s southern coast. An AP reporter spoke with another man who had come from the northern Basque Country region.Nobel Literature Prize laureate Mario Vargas Llosa and former president of the European Parliament Josep Borrell addressed the rally.“Besides Catalans, there are thousands of men and women from all corners of Spain who have come to tell their Catalan companions that they are not alone,” said Llosa, who took on Spanish citizenship in addition to that of his native Peru in 1993. “We want Barcelona to once again be the capital of Spanish culture.”Borrell added that: “Catalonia is not a state like Kosovo where rights were systematically violated.”The most recent polls taken before the referendum showed that Catalonia’s 7.5 million residents were roughly split over secession, while a majority would support an official referendum on independence if it were condoned by Spanish authoritiesRajoy’s government has repeatedly refused to grant Catalonia permission to hold a referendum on grounds that it is unconstitutional since it would only poll a portion of Spain’s 46 million residents.Catalonia’s separatists camp has grown in recent years, strengthened by Spain’s recent economic crisis and by Madrid’s rejection of attempts to increase self-rule in the region.___Frank Griffiths contributed from London.last_img read more

"Spanish unionists find their voice in huge Barcelona rally"

MR says one law for all

President Mahinda Rajapaksa says the law is equal to all and no one has a right to take the law into their own hands.The President said this while speaking after declaring open the renovated Jumma Masjid Mosque in Beruwala today. He said there were also elements who were trying to create unrest within the country at times using false propaganda to create a wrong impression in the minds of the people. The President stressed that these were only tactics by some petty minded political elements who were seeking cheap mileage.He noted that from within the hallowed premises of the Mosque, he hoped that once the motives about those elements making false and malicious accusations against the country is revealed, everything will be put to rest once and for all. However, the President noted that despite these efforts, there were some hostile forces who were trying to create the impression that there was religious tensions and violence in the country through some foreign media and news websites. The President noted that his government had always acted to ensure religious co-existence with firm determination and a clear commitment to national unity. President Rajapaksa added that his government has ensured that the country cannot be divided on ethnic or religious grounds and that there should be no room for racism and extremism to surface again.The President further said he considered it as an honour to declare open the renovated Mosque which is 1,200 years old and considered the second Mosque to be established in Sri Lanka. He also recalled the opening of a new building for a Mosque in Nuwara eliya in 2012, considered as the first such religious facility to be opened by a Head of State in Sri Lanka.  (Colombo Gazette) read more

"MR says one law for all"

Chinas ecommerce king Alibaba prepares for blockbuster US share sale

FILE – In this file photo taken Tuesday March 26, 2013, a worker performs shadow boxing during an open day at the Alibaba Group office in Hangzhou in east China’s Zhejiang province. Alibaba Group is aiming to raise $1 billion in a long-awaited IPO likely to have ripple effects across the Internet. The Tuesday, May 6, 2014 filing sets the stage for the technology industry’s biggest initial public offering since short messaging service Twitter and its early investors collected $1.8 billion in its stock market debut last fall. (AP Photo) CHINA OUT China’s e-commerce king Alibaba prepares for blockbuster US share sale. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Michael Liedtke, The Associated Press Posted May 7, 2014 2:20 am MDT SAN FRANCISCO – Alibaba Group, the king of e-commerce in China, is dangling a deal that could turn into one of the biggest IPOs in history.In a long-awaited move Tuesday, Alibaba filed for an initial public offering of stock in the U.S. that could surpass the $16 billion that Facebook and its early investors raised in the social networking company’s IPO two years ago.Alibaba’s paperwork says it will raise at least $1 billion, but finance professionals believe that is a notional figure to get the IPO process rolling and say that the Chinese company’s ambitions for the share sale are much richer.“This is going to be the granddaddy of all IPOs,” predicted Sam Hamedah, CEO of PrivCo, which researches privately held corporations.Although it’s not well-known in the United States, Alibaba is an e-commerce powerhouse that makes more money than Inc. and eBay Inc. combined. It has helped drive the rise of e-commerce in China, a transformation that has given millions of households greater access to clothes, books and consumer electronics in a society that in the 1980s still required ration tickets for some supermarket items.Shopping online has become even more popular as smartphones give more Chinese easy access to a computer. Alibaba’s launch of an online payment system, Alipay, filled the gap for the shoppers who lacked credit cards. Still growing at an explosive rate, online shopping is forecast by consulting firm McKinsey to triple from 2011 levels to $400 billion a year by 2015.Alibaba is also expanding at a rapid clip as its network of online services, including Taobao, Tmall and Alipay mine a Chinese Internet market that already has 618 million Web surfers, roughly twice the size of the U.S. population. Taobao is an online shopping bazaar similar to eBay while Tmall serves as an online outlet for brands sold by major retailers.Last year, 231 million customers bought $248 billion in merchandise on Alibaba’s e-commerce sites, according to the IPO documents. About $37 billion, or 15 per cent, of that was through mobile devices.For now, Alibaba isn’t specifying how much stock will be sold in the IPO, or setting a price range or saying which U.S. exchange its stock will trade on. Those details will emerge as the IPO progresses. The process is likely to take three to four months before Alibaba’s shares begin trading.One of the reasons Alibaba may set a new IPO fundraising bar is because one of its major shareholders, Yahoo Inc., is supposed to sell about 208 million shares, too.Credit and debit card processor Visa Inc. holds the record for the richest IPO in the U.S. at nearly $18 billion. State-owned Agricultural Bank of China’s IPO in 2010 on exchanges in Hong Kong and Shanghai is the world’s biggest at $22 billion in final proceeds.Most of Alibaba is currently owned by four shareholders: Japan’s SoftBank Corp., with a 34 per cent stake; Yahoo, with 23 per cent; former CEO and co-founder Jack Ma with 8.9 per cent; and vice chairman and co-founder Joseph Tsai with 3.6 per cent.Alibaba didn’t choose an optimal time to go public. Several Internet company stocks that soared last year amid high hopes have plummeted this year as investors reassess their prospects. Twitter Inc. has been among the hardest hit. Since hitting a peak of $74.73 late last year, the company’s shares have lost more than half their value. They closed Tuesday at $31.85, just slightly above their $26 IPO price.Despite the skittish conditions for Internet stocks, most analysts expect Alibaba’s IPO to bring in at least $10 billion. Hamadeh predicts the IPO shares will be sold at a price that gives Alibaba a market value of $195 billion. That would eclipse Facebook’s current market value of $150 billion.The IPO casts a spotlight on Alibaba’s extraordinary rise, which has drawn comparisons with some of Silicon Valley’s famous success stories.The company was started in 1999 with just $60,000 in the apartment of Jack Ma, a former English school teacher with no previous experience in business or technology.Alibaba has since blossomed, echoing China’s growing economic might, with earnings of $2.9 billion through the first nine months of its last fiscal year ending in March. That topped the combined earnings of $2.4 billion posted for the same April-December stretch by eBay and Amazon.With Ma at the helm, Alibaba rebuffed a competitive threat after eBay entered China in 2002 and also lined up a Yahoo investment that fortified the Chinese company’s position. Ebay abandoned the Chinese market in 2006.Ma, 49, stepped down as Alibaba’s CEO a year ago when he was succeeded by Jonathan Lu. But Ma remains Alibaba’s executive chairman and still shapes the company’s strategy and entertains customers and employees with songs and jokes when he takes the stage at the company’s annual “Alifest.” He is also a multibillionaire, based on his stake in the company.Alibaba’s success has also provided a financial crutch for Yahoo, whose stake in the company is the main reason Yahoo’s stock price has more than doubled in the past two years.As big as Alibaba has become in e-commerce, its leadership is far from secure because China’s consumers have proven to be extremely fickle as they hop from one trendy service to the next, said Forrester Research analyst Kelland Willis.She thinks WeChat, a mobile messaging service owned by Alibaba rival Tencent, is already emerging as a potentially formidable threat.“Consumer behaviour could change on a dime,” Willis said.__AP Business Writer Joe McDonald in Beijing contributed. read more

"Chinas ecommerce king Alibaba prepares for blockbuster US share sale"

Government under pressure after NHS crippled in global cyber attack as weekend

first_imgUS multinational courier service FedEx appears to have been hit hard, according to an online security journalist.Employees have reportedly been instructed to switch off all non-essential Windows systems. #nhscyberattack— gigi.h (@fendifille) May 12, 2017 6:42PMFedEx the latest victim NHS trusts are supposed to regularly back up their files.But yesterday doctors and nurses were left treating patients without any access to their medical histories, with lost access to X-rays, blood tests and details such as allergies to medication.It raises the possibility that recent changes to medical records – such as a cancer diagnosis, or the results of a blood test – could be lost, if hackers delete the files. Hacking tool stolen from NSAThe mysterious Shadow Brokers claimed last month it had stolen a “cyber weapon” from the NSA that gives unprecedented access to all computers using Microsoft Windows. The hacking tool had been developed by the NSA, to gain access to computers used by terrorists and enemy states.  FLASH: FedEx USA employees instructed to turn off all non-critical Windows systems on network after WCry compromise starts in UK offices— ZeroTayExploit (@SwiftOnSecurity) May 12, 2017 5:17PMNot just a British problem? The following hospital trusts have confirmed they have been attacked by the malware:George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust (Nuneaten)Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation TrustHull and East Yorkshire HospitalsJames Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (Great Yarmouth)Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust 4:53PMShocking and Unprecedented 4:44AMTeams ‘working round the clock’ A screen shot circulated by medical staff shows a warning flashing on screen which reads:“What happened to my computer?” and states that many documents, photos, vidos and databases and other files are no longer accessible.Warning “nobody can recover your files without our decryption service” it then demands payments of $300 dollars – stating that the price will be doubled in three days. 8:43PMHospital conditions described as ‘primitive’ 7:58PMExtremely Worrying The reach of the WannaCry attack 10:12PMHow to protect yourself from ransomware Taiwan has been put on high alert after it was reportedly one of the top targets of the cyber attack that rocked the world on Friday, writes Nicola Smith. While government departments and hospital systems had so far been spared the chaos that struck Britain’s NHS, there were fears the full impact of the attack may only emerge after the weekend.Ross Feingold, a Taiwan-based political analyst who advises on Taiwan and Hong Kong political affairs, warned that full picture may not be known until Monday morning when officials returned to work.Read the full article here.  7:20PMThe NHS toll: an update Rozina Sabur reports:One nurse, who did not want to be named, said: “I work in one of the assessment clinics, we had to write everything by paper but it was ok, in our section we didn’t turn anyone away”.  Another, a stroke specialist nurse, said: “We’ve been directing patients to Luton Hospital all day where they have a  specialist stroke department. It started around 11:30/12 so I’d seen 4-5 patients before that.”Patients could be seen leaving the hospital with handwritten medical notes scrawled on pieces of paper.  Some described how their relatives had been told to attend their nearest alternative hospitals. 6:25PMFive more trusts confirmed 6:01PMWannaCry: part of a wider attack of 3:58AM’They will try again’ The attack was apparently halted in the afternoon in the UK when a researcher took control of an Internet domain that acted as a kill switch for the worm’s propagation, according to Ars Technica.The researcher, who uses the Twitter name @MalwareTechBlog, said:”I will confess that I was unaware registering the domain would stop the malware until after I registered it, so initially it was accidental. So long as the domain isn’t revoked, this particular strain will no longer cause harm, but patch your systems ASAP as they will try again.” 5:02PMAintree University Hospital ‘down’  The real-world impacts of today’s massive cyber attack on the NHS are beginning to filter through. 9:30PMFedEx reports malware interference in global cyberattack The US Department of Homeland Security has said it is aware of reports of the ransomware. It says it is sharing information with domestic and foreign partners and was ready to lend technical support.The global cyber attack renewed concerns about whether the NSA and other countries’ intelligence services too often hoard software vulnerabilities for offensive purposes, rather than quickly alerting technology companies to such flaws.Patrick Toomey, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, said in a statement:”These attacks underscore the fact that vulnerabilities will be exploited not just by our security agencies, but by hackers and criminals around the world.” The ransomware attack has affected people and businesses across the world 6:15PMBack to the Stone Age God damn. Looks like @MalwareTechBlog stopped the spread of this global ransomware attack— Joseph Cox (@josephfcox) May 12, 2017 Trust staff: we are aware of the national cyber attack – DO NOT open any emails that have “Clinical Results” in the title or similar.— East Kent Hospitals (@EKHUFT) May 12, 2017 Taiwan is among the world’s biggest targets for ransomware attacks Top radiologist Rashid Akhtar reports that one of Liverpool’s big hospitals is affected. 7:34PMScenes of desolation  Read the full article here.  Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said the attack was “terrible news and a real worry for patients” and urged the Government to be “clear about what’s happened”.Ross Anderson, professor of security engineering at Cambridge University’s computer lab, said the incident is the “sort of thing for which the secretary of state should get roasted in Parliament.”If large numbers of NHS organisations failed to act on a critical notice from Microsoft two months ago, then whose fault is that?” Mr Anderson told The Guardian.May: ‘This was international attack’The hack is thought to be part of a wider attack, which has affected the Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica, which also owns 02, where the same message was presented.The ransomware attack was orchestrated using malware called Wanna Decryptor, also known as WannaCry, which demands each user affected pay $300 (£232) in the internet currency Bitcoin, to have files restored. Thousands of NHS computers have been affected so the ransom could potentially cost taxpayers millions.The attack was described by Theresa May as “intentional”.The Prime Minister said: “We are aware that a number of NHS organisations have reported that they have suffered from a ransomware attack. This is not targeted at the NHS, it’s an international attack and a number of countries and organisations have been affected. Theresa May said the Government is not aware of any evidence that patient records have been compromised in the massive cyber attack on the NHS.The Prime Minister said the ransomware hit was “not targeted” at the health service but was part of a wider assault on organisations across a number of countries.The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is working to support the NHS. She said: We are aware that a number of NHS organisations have reported that they have suffered from a ransomware attack.This is not targeted at the NHS, it’s an international attack and a number of countries and organisations have been affected.The National Cyber Security Centre is working closely with NHS digital to ensure that they support the organisations concerned and that they protect patient safety.And, we are not aware of any evidence that patient data has been compromised.Of course it is important that we have set up the National Cyber Security Centre and they are able to work with the NHS organisations concerned and to ensure that they are supported and patient safety is protected. 6:07PMSpreading worldwide We are aware of cyber incident and we are working with @NHSDigital and the @NCA_UK to investigate— NCSC UK (@ncsc) May 12, 2017 5:42PMLike something out of the movies This map gives a snapshot of the sheer breadth of this ransomware attack.Although the NHS has been badly affected, it shows the health service wasn’t the only target. Liver patient Anthony Brett is turned away from a London hospitalCredit:Paul Grover/Telegraph 12:51AMIs this how the spread of the virus was halted?  The National Cyber Security Centre are on the case.Sources said officials from the National Cyber Security Centre, a branch of the GCHQ electronic spy agency, said they are working with the NCA, dubbed Britain’s FBI, to help health managers.The attack comes only weeks after the NCSC warned that so-called ransomware attacks, where hackers lock up data and demand money to release it, have become one the biggest cyber threats Aintree hospital down— Rashid Akhtar (@TheRadiologyReg) May 12, 2017 A screen shot circulated by medical staff showed that users were alerted to their system being compromised by a flashing warning on screen which reads: “What happened to my computer?” and states that many documents, photos, videos and databases and other files are no longer accessible. Blackpool Victoria HospitalCredit:Warren Smith/Telegraph Rozina Sabur reports:Two general surgery ward nurse described the conditions today as “primitive”. One said: “the usual notes that we do on the computer we had to do by hand. It’s gone back to primitive times.”The other described the rudimentary systems that the hospital pharmacy have been reduced to using. “I observed the pharmacy, instead they of the usual computer forms they had to write the medication name and dosage by hand. “We had to use forms from ten years ago because we couldn’t use them online. We then had to call people to bring the medicine requests because when we do it online it registers automatically.”He said the main things affected were laboratory forms and pharmacy forms. Back up your files The greatest damage people suffer from a ransomware attack is the loss of files, including pictures and documents. The best protection against ransomware is to back up all of the information and files on your devices in a completely separate system. A good place to do this is on an external hard drive that isn’t connected to the internet. This means that if you suffer an attack you won’t lost any information to the hackers.Businesses often save copies of their data to external servers that won’t be affected if their main network is attacked. Be suspicious of emails, websites and appsFor ransomware to work hackers need to download malicious software onto a victims computer. This is then used to launch the attack and encrypt files. The most common ways for the software to be installed on a victim’s device is through phishing emails, malicious adverts on websites, and questionable apps and programs. People should always exercise caution when opening unsolicited emails or visiting websites they are unfamiliar with. Never download an app that hasn’t been verified by an official store, and read reviews before installing programs. Read our full guide. As well as the NHS, the ransomware had struck telecoms companies, and electric utilities companies.Thousands of dollars was already rolling into Internet accounts set up to handle the ransom payments.Adam Meyers, from cyber security firm CrowdStrike advised against paying.We advise people not to pay, because if people do pay, it emboldens these criminal actors.Instead organisations were encouraged to make sure their data was backed up and copies were kept off networks.Employees had to be educated about which sort of emails to beware of and the latest patches and security updates installed.  RomaniaRomania’s intelligence service says it has intercepted an attempted cyberattack on a government institution which it said likely came from cybercriminal group APT28 also known as Fancy Bear.Cyberint, subordinated to the Romanian Intelligence Service, said on Friday it thwarted a cyberattack to a government institution, without saying when it occurred, following notification from NATO and the Romanian foreign intelligence agency.RussiaA top Russian mobile operator says it has come under cyberattacks that appeared similar to those that have crippled some U.K. hospitals.Pyotr Lidov, a spokesman for Megafon, said Friday’s attacks froze computers in company’s offices across Russia. He said that mobile communications haven’t been affected. Lidov said that the attack involved demands of payment of $300 worth to free up the system.He added that the company managed to restore the work of its call center but closed most of its offices for the day.Some Russian media also have reported cyberattacks on the Interior Ministry and the Investigative Committee. The committee, the nation’s top investigative agency, has rejected the claim. Warning “nobody can recover your files without our decryption service” it then demands payments of $300 – stating that the price will be doubled in three days.An NHS spokesman said: “At this stage we do not have any evidence that patient data has been accessed.”Colchester A&E was among several yesterday urging the public to stay away, unless in the most severe need tweeting: “Our A&E is open for critical or life-threatening situations requiring medical attention, such as loss of consciousness, heavy blood loss.”A ‘miracle if no one comes to harm’At Lister Hospital in Stevenage, the telephone and computer system was fully disabled in an attempt to fend off the attack, with all non-urgent appointments and operations cancelled and patients told to keep away from A&E if at all possible. The loss of computer systems meant doctors and nurses lost access to X-rays, blood test results and booking systems, rendering a normal day’s work impossible.A worker at Colchester General Hospital described how her office’s computers were “wiped out, one by one”. Dominic Marley, a hospital doctor in the Manchester area, said it would be a “miracle if no one comes to harm”.Barts Health NHS Trust, which runs The Royal London, St Bartholomew’s, Whipps Cross and Newham hospitals in London, said it had implemented its major incident plan to cope with disruption. Our A&E is open for critical or life-threatening situations requiring medical attention, such as loss of consciousness, heavy blood loss…— Colchester Hospitals (@ColchesterNHSFT) May 12, 2017 Major Spanish companies have been hit by a cyber attack bearing striking similarities with the onslaught against that has crippled the NHS, according to Madrid journalist James Babcock.Firms such as Telefónica, Spain’s leading telecoms company, were targeted by malware around midday, causing operators’ computer screens to turn blue.Access to files became impossible and a demand for a ransom to be paid in bitcoins flashed up on screens at Telefónica’s headquarters in northern Madrid.Spain’s National Cryptology Centre (CCN), part of the country’s secret security services, conformed in a press release that a “massive ransomware attack affecting Windows systems” had affected “a large number of organisations”. The head of the NHS in London, Dr Anne Rainsberry, says patients who are seriously ill should go to accident and emergency as usual, despite a huge cyber attack on hospitals.  If NSA builds a weapon to attack Windows XP—which Microsoft refuses to patches—and it falls into enemy hands, should NSA write a patch?— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) May 12, 2017 Relatives of NHS patients speak about their fears. 4:29PMFiles held to ransom NHS Digital said: “We’re aware that a number of trusts that have reported potential issues to the CareCERT team. We believe it to be ransomware.” The Prime Minister took a break from the election campaign trail to respond to the truly massive global ransomware attack which has done so much damage to the NHS. All shut down in Yorkshire-even in GP practice. Back to handwriting notes while seeing patients without full histories! #nhscyberattack— Chris Maguire (@chris_magz) May 12, 2017 Nigel Inkster, Director of transnational threats and political risk at the International Institute for Strategic Studies and former MI6 Director for operations and intelligence, says ransomware attacks like the one inflicted on the NHS today have become ‘increasingly common’. Doctors across the country have seen this message – what appears to be ransomware – flash up on their screens 9:07PMRussia’s Interior Ministry targeted 7:24PMTheresa May: NHS not the target A pharmacist in Yorkshire says it’s back to paper notes and no patient histories Why would you cyber attack a hospital and hold it for ransom? The state of the world 😂— If.ra (@asystoly) May 12, 2017 The Telegraph’s Jamie Bartlett explains how today’s strike is a classic example of a ransomware attack.He says that the online purchase of ransomware is one of the fastest growing trades on the internet.Insiders reckon the trade is worth millions of dollars a year.Individual attacks are for sale on the dark net for as little as $39. Latest news from GEH Update: Suspected cyber attack at GEH – We are currently dealing with a suspected cyber at…— George Eliot NHS (@GEHNHSnews) May 12, 2017 Anthony Brett was about to have a stent put in his liver to treat his cancer when he was told the procedure could not happen.  The 50-year-old from Bow, east London, said: “To do it to the NHS that does so much good for people, it’s just disgusting. They should be hung, drawn and quartered.” The ransomware attack has affected people and businesses across the worldCredit:Malware Tec In light of today’s attack, Congress needs to be asking @NSAgov if it knows of any other vulnerabilities in software used in our hospitals.— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) May 12, 2017center_img Relatives of a patient affected by NHS cyber attack say it is ‘extremely worrying as he is seriously ill’ #NHScyberattack— Sky News (@SkyNews) May 12, 2017 Jamie Moles, Principal Security Consultant at Lastline said: While security remains a low priority for NHS management, they will increasingly fall victim to these kinds of attacks, which will cause serious problems as it results in the cancellation of treatments whilst the affected systems are investigated and cleaned up. The National Health Service is one of the largest organisations in the United Kingdom. With an annual budget in the region of £116 billion, it is a massive target for cyber-attacks and currently, it’s a poorly defended target. There are a number of trusts in deficit and spending on the NHS has dropped in real terms since the recession. Priorities for all NHS trusts are unsurprisingly targeted at medical needs over and above admin and operational needs, but of course this includes IT Security. Interestingly, the NHS takes a very strict and sanitary approach to dealing with these attacks, shutting down almost all of its IT capabilities while it triages and treats the problem. Why would we expect any different from a medical organization? Moving forward if we are to prevent these attacks causing delays to treatment and potentially deaths, NHS trusts are going to have to invest in technology to deal with cyber-threats. There are plenty of good technologies available to assist in this issue and they can be scaled effectively and cost efficiently to cope with massive organisations like the NHS. A ransomware spreading in the lab at the university— 12B (@dodicin) May 12, 2017 Hospitals across the country hit badly by attackNearly 100 countries affectedFears of chaos over weekendEdward Snowden blames NSA for attackCyber attack hits German train stations as hackers target Deutsche BahnRussian-linked cyber gang Shadow Brokers blamed ​Everything you need to know about global attackNHS bosses and the government are facing questions over why hospitals had been left vulnerable to the global cyber attack that crippled services on Friday.The health service faces a weekend of chaos after hackers demanding a ransom infiltrated the health service’s antiquated computer system.Operations and appointments were cancelled and ambulances diverted as up to 40 hospital trusts became infected by a “ransomware” attack demanding payment to regain access to vital medical records.Doctors warned that the infiltration – the largest cyber attack in NHS history – could cost lives.Medics described how computer screens were “wiped out one by one” by the attack, which spread to companies and institutions worldwide, including international shipper FedEx Corp in the US, and Germany’s rail operator.’Biggest ransomware attack in history’Researchers with security software maker Avast said they had observed 57,000 infections in 99 countries with Russia, Ukraine and Taiwan the top targets.Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at the Helsinki-based cybersecurity company F-Secure, called the attack “the biggest ransomware outbreak in history”.The NHS said there was no evidence that patients’ medical records had been accessed, but it was unable to say whether the hackers – who are threatening to delete information unless payment is received within a week – had the ability to destroy such records. The attack has been declared a major incident, and has spread to Scotland, where crisis meetings were also being held last night.A computer hacking group known as Shadow Brokers was at least partly responsible. It is claimed the group, which has links to Russia, stole US National Security Agency cyber tools designed to access Microsoft Windows systems, then dumped the technology on a publicly-accessible website where online criminals could access it – possibly in retaliation for America’s attack on Syria.Questions over NHS vulnerabilityMicrosoft had provided free software to protect computers in March, raising questions about why the NHS was still vulnerable. Last night the technology giant said it was pushing out automatic Windows updates to defend clients from WannaCry.Cyber experts said the health service appeared susceptible to attack because many trusts were using obsolete systems, while others have failed to apply recent security updates which would have protected them.This week it was suggested that 90 per cent of NHS trusts in the UK were using Windows XP – a 16-year-old operating system. Security experts said that computers using operating software introduced before 2007 were particularly vulnerable, leaving many NHS systems at risk. 5:21PM”One by one, the screens were locking down” Experts at GCHQ’s national cyber security centre were helping NHS teams fight the attack. The US Department of Homeland Security said late on Friday that it was aware of reports of the ransomware, was sharing information with domestic and foreign partners and was ready to lend technical support. 4:58PM’Miracle’ if on one comes to harm It’s very important everyone understands that all they need to do is change some code and start again. Patch your systems now!— MalwareTech (@MalwareTechBlog) May 13, 2017 Cyber crime experts Databarracks say victims of ransomware attacks have got two options:You can either recover the information from a previous backup or pay the ransom.However, even if you pay the ransom, there is no guarantee that you will actually get your data back, so the only way to stay fully protected is to have historic copies of your data.When recovering from ransomware, your two aims are to minimise the amount of data loss and to minimise the amount of IT downtime.  Dominic Marley, a hospital doctor in the Manchester area, gives a grim perspective on the likely consequences of today’s attack. Doctors have seen this message on screens across the countryCredit:PA Taiwan is among the world’s biggest targets for ransomware attacksCredit:EPA 6:21PMSpanish companies hit hard 4:45PMCyber Spooks 8:21PMFormer MI6 director: ransomware attacks are ‘increasingly common’ 8:57PMWe didn’t turn anyone away A shocked worker at Colchester General Hospital described how her office’s computers were “wiped out, one by one”.She said the effects of a hack on modern NHS hospitals could be ‘catastrophic’.My computer locked at about 3pm and I couldn’t get anything to work. Then my colleague sat next to me said her computer was down. It swept through the office and everyone was effected and didn’t know what was going on. One by one the computers were wiped out. Nothing was working and switching them off and on did not solve the problems.  11:21PMEdward Snowden: Are any other vulnerabilities in software? Intelligence sources said the attack appeared to have been carried out by criminals rather than a hostile state and the ransomware had rapidly spread through companies and organisations in Europe and the Middle East. Russia’s interior ministry said last night it had come under cyber attack.Patients have operations cancelledIn the UK the only affected organisation appeared to be the NHS.Patients awaiting heart surgery were among those who had operations cancelled, with doctors telling how staff were frantically ordering computers to be shut down. New parents were left stuck on wards with their newborns as administrative systems failed.Doctors at dozens of trusts resorted to pen and paper, with no access to medical records that could alert them to medical histories or allergies. Handwritten signs in the entrance of the Royal London’s A&E read: “The emergency department has no IT facilities, there are significant delays occurring.” No x-rays/bloods/bleeps/phones/notes. This is unprecedented. It will be a miracle if no-one comes to harm #NHS #CyberAttack attack— Dominic Marley (@DominicMarley) May 12, 2017 6:39AMTaiwan on alert Others, using newer systems, may have failed to apply recent security updates, which would have protected them, experts said. 8:22PMNHS ‘will increasingly fall victim to these kinds of attacks’ NHS Digital’s head of security Dan Taylor the NHS “must ensure it has good cyber crime hygiene”.In a hand-washing analogy, he added: “Think of this as washing your hands before going on to a ward to prevent infection, where cyber hygiene prevents digital viruses such as ransomware.”Describing ransomware as a situation where data is “digitally locked” and a ransom is asked for for the unlocking key, Mr Taylor said “health has never paid a ransom”.He added: “Instead, organisations have restored systems from back-ups after clearing the infection. But as we have seen recently, this can still lead to days of cancellations to patient facing services.” 5:08PM’Double in three days’ – the demand Chris Hopson, Chief Executive of NHS Providers, says trusts are working to limit the impact of the cyber attack: 4:42PMDark Currency 5:37PMMother and son turned away 5:30PMNo guarantee of recovery The latest tweets from Colchester Hospital make grim reading.. 5:53PMHacking the NHS ‘is easy’ Ciaran Martin, the body’s chief executive, said teams were “working round the clock” with UK and international partners and with private sector experts to lead the response.”We are very aware that attacks on critical services such as the NHS have a massive impact on individuals and their families, and we are doing everything in our power to help them restore these vital services.”The attack has left hospitals and GP surgeries with a backlog of postponed appointments to contend with, including operations, once the crisis is brought under control. This tweet from East Kent Hospitals appears to suggest that the ransomware infiltrated their IT systems in emails with ‘Clinical Results’ in the subject The hack on the NHS appeared to be a part of a wider attack of WannaCry ransomware which is spreading rapidly across Europe, security experts have told the Telegraph.Adam Meyers, vice president of intelligence at the cyber security firm CrowdStrike said it was being spread by people clicking on emails infected with fake invoices and job adverts.Mr Meyers said the ransomware appeared to be relatively new and it was unclear who was behind it. 2:47AMUS offers help to tackle crisis 6:51PMWorld-wide reach…it makes you WannaCry The main reception at Blackpool Victoria Hospital lies abandoned after the ransomware attack hamstrung the operation of the trust. A Milan-based Twitter user has Tweeted a picture of what appears to be a similar ransomware message at what is described as a university. Anthony Brett turned up to St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London today for an operation on his liver, but was turned away due to the chaos.A spokesman for the trust said:We are very sorry that we have to cancel routine appointments, and would ask members of the public to use other NHS services wherever possible One Twitter posts a conversation between hospital staff. One said: We got a message saying your computers are now under their control and pay certain amount of money. Five more hospital trusts have confirmed they have been attacked, in addition to the list of 18 we brought you earlier. They are:Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation TrustBurton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Birmingham Community Healthcare TrustAintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust 9:12PM’Emergency care is operating as normal,’ says NHS London Director 8:52PMNHS Digital’s head of security: ‘health has never paid a ransom’ 8:26PMHacking attacks reported in Romania and Russia 5:24PMCritical or life-threatening only Blackpool Victoria Hospital 2/… suspected broken bones, persistent chest pain, difficulty breathing, overdoses, signs of a stroke, ingestion or poisoning.— Colchester Hospitals (@ColchesterNHSFT) May 12, 2017 7:07PMThe human cost 5:04PMThe list gets bigger 11:32PMChief Executive of NHS Providers speaks out on cyber attack Liver patient Anthony Brett is turned away from a London hospital Hospitals and GP surgeries appear to have been told to pay $300 dollars – £233 – in order to regain access to their files.The hackers are demanding this is paid in Bitcoins, an unregulated internet currency that authorities find it difficult to trace.1 Bitcoin is currently equivalent to £1,381. Peter Warren, Cyber Security Research Institute said the NHS tends to be ‘quite leaky’ when it comes to security:This is shocking and unprecedented.It is a historical moment, proving how important cyber security is.It hasn’t been taken seriously enough for years,Cyber security is not a priority. The NHS is under pressure on many fronts. They tend to be quite leaky when it comes to cyber security. It is no surprise that this has happened. “The National Cyber Security Centre is working closely with NHS digital to ensure that they support the organisations concerned and that they protect patient safety. And, we are not aware of any evidence that patient data has been compromised.” The situation is moving very fast. The Health Service Journal has a list of the hospitals and organisations known to have been hit. malware message 8:38PMTechnology writer Kate Bevan explains how ransomware works A list of NHS organisations who have fallen victims to today’s nationwide ransomware attack:— Shaun Lintern (@ShaunLintern) May 12, 2017 The reach of the WannaCry attackCredit:@Malware Tec Russia’s Interior Ministry says it has come under cyberattack. Two security companies tell AP that more than 70 countries have been affected by the cyberattack, with Russia the hardest hit. Russian police computers were also affected by the attack. Chris Hopson,  who represents NHS hospital bosses, said trusts will be supporting each other to get through the crisis.The scale and scope of what looks to be an extensive malware attack on the NHS is not yet clear.Given the potential impact, NHS trusts take this type of attack very seriously. They have detailed and well rehearsed contingency plans in place to deal with incidents of this type and these plans have worked effectively when they have been triggered on an individual trust basis in the past. Trusts will rally round support each other to cope with the disruption and early feedback suggests that this is already happening in this case. However, it is likely that some services will be affected, at least in the short term.The trusts affected will now be doing all they can to minimise the impact on patients, and to get their services back to normal as quickly as possible. FedEx has said it is experiencing issues with some of its Microsoft Corp Windows systems.”Like many other companies, FedEx is experiencing interference with some of our Windows-based systems caused by malware,” a spokeswoman said in a statement. “We are implementing remediation steps as quickly as possible.” 4:34PMHospital super boss says everyone has to muck in 7:46PMTheresa May reacts 4:24PMNHS confirms it is under attack 6:34PMStay away from ‘Clinical Results’ 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.last_img read more

"Government under pressure after NHS crippled in global cyber attack as weekend"

Dozens killed as US opens Jerusalem embassy

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedJerusalem is Israel’s capital, says Donald TrumpDecember 6, 2017In “World”PPP condemns killing of 55 Palestinians by occupying Israeli forcesMay 14, 2018In “latest news”Trump shuns warnings, vows to move embassy to JerusalemDecember 5, 2017In “World” President Trump’s decision last year to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital broke with decades of US neutrality on the issue and put it at odds with most of the international community. (AFP Image)At least 41 Palestinians have been killed and 1,800 wounded by Israeli troops in clashes on the Gaza border, Palestinian officials say.The violence came as the US opened its embassy in Jerusalem, a controversial move that has infuriated Palestinians.They see it as clear US backing for Israeli rule over the whole city, whose eastern part Palestinians lay claim to.President Donald Trump told the opening ceremony via videolink the Jerusalem move had been a “long time coming”.He said: “Israel is a sovereign nation with the right to determine its own capital, but for many years we failed to recognise the obvious.”He also said the US remained “committed to facilitating a lasting peace agreement”.Palestinians hurled stones and incendiary devices while the Israeli military used snipers, as black smoke poured from burning tyres.The Hamas-run health ministry said children were among those killed on Monday.The mass demonstrations, led by Gaza’s Islamist rulers, Hamas, are part of a six-week protest dubbed the “Great March of Return”.Israel’s army said 35,000 Palestinians were taking part in “violent riots” along the security fence and that its troops were operating “in accordance with standard procedures”.Israel says the protests are aimed at breaching the border and attacking Israeli communities nearby.The Israeli military said it had killed three people trying to plant explosives near the security fence in Rafah.It said aircraft had also “targeted Hamas military posts near the Jabalia area after troops were fired upon”.There have also been violent clashes between Israeli police and protesters who raised Palestinian flags outside the new embassy. Several protesters were detained.Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem is not recognised internationally and, according to the 1993 Israel-Palestinian peace accords, the final status of Jerusalem is meant to be discussed in the latter stages of peace talks.Israel has occupied East Jerusalem since the 1967 Middle East war. It effectively annexed the sector, though this was not recognised by any countries until Mr Trump’s declaration in December 2017. (Excerpts from BBC) read more

"Dozens killed as US opens Jerusalem embassy"

Manolo Cadenas to lead Argentina until Tokyo 2020

← Previous Story BUGOJNO 2017: Rivera’s message and six interesting matches Next Story → TATRAN Presov sign Croatian right back Bruno Butorac Spanish coach Manolo Cadenas has become the new commander of the Argentina men’s national team, the Gladiadores. The former Spain coach will take over the team after a 9 year term of Argentinian Eduardo Gallardo. The former Spain NT coach will land in Argentina in May and will determine his staff upon his arrival to the country. The born in León will be in charge of the Argentinian squad in the current Olympic cycle, in which the main goal will be set for the Pan American Games of Lima 2019, which will grant the only spot for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.Cadenas takes over Argentina as a replacement of Eduardo Gallardo, who has completed a total of 9 years as the head coach of a team that has reached unsuspected heights since his designation. Gallardo’s accomplishments include two Olympic participations, a gold in Pan American Games, three Pan American championships, a 12th place in Sweden 2011 (with a historic win over the host nation), a 12th place in Qatar 2015, and most importantly, a global recognition and respect for its continued growth.The former Ademar León and FC Barcelona coach (among a long list of clubs) is not new to challenges. In his last experience as the Spain national team, he drove his squad to a 3rd place in the 2014 EHF Euro in Denmark 2014, a 4th place in the Qatar 2015 IHF World Championship and a silver medal in the EHF Euro in Poland 2016. Cadenas will be the second Spaniard in charge of the Argentinian national team after the 2004-2005 stint of Spain’s current coach, Jordi Ribera.TEXT: Laura Agena read more

"Manolo Cadenas to lead Argentina until Tokyo 2020"

Steve Jobs Appearing at Tomorrows Apple Event Rumor

first_imgWe’ve pretty much got the whole iPad 2 thing figured out by now, right? Steve Jobs, it seems, is the real mystery surrounding tomorrow’s Apple event in San Francisco. Will he show? Will he skip? Will he be making a cameo via FaceTime, when the company shows off the built-in camera we’re all expecting on the new tablet? Is there any validity to that sensationalistic report from The National Enquirer?The rumor just ahead of the event has Jobs showing up at the event in the flesh, in spite of his much publicized sick leave. Word comes, not surprisingly, from anonymous sources first reported on an Italian site called setteB.IT, of all places. The site (via Google Translate) calls this insight “reassuring information.”At the moment, we’ll have to chalk it up to wishful thinking.last_img read more

"Steve Jobs Appearing at Tomorrows Apple Event Rumor"

Galaxy Tab 70 Plus now shipping doesnt stand a chance

first_imgLast holiday season, the tablet market was a two-horse race between the iPad and the first Samsung Galaxy Tab. It wasn’t much of a race, as the iPad cemented its status as Apple’s latest iconic product, and the overpriced Tab collected dust. After releasing two larger Galaxy Tabs during the last year, Samsung is now returning to its roots with a souped-up version of the seven incher. The Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus, which is now listed as shipping from Amazon, may have an even harder time selling than its predecessor did.We like to write about things like tablet market share, but really it isn’t a winner-take-all race. A company may know full well that a product won’t get any sizable market share. But as long as they can find some way to profit off of it, they’re content. For Samsung’s sake, I hope that’s the case with the 7.0 Plus, because it doesn’t have much of a chance this holiday season.How could it? It’s an upgraded version of the same tablet that couldn’t get any traction last year, when it was the only real Android tablet available. Sure, the Nook Color was there, but it was much less of a tablet then than it is now, with extremely limited third-party app support. Other options, like the Archos 101 and Viewsonic G-Tab, weren’t significant enough to be on most customers’ radars.Stiff competitionThis year, in addition to the dominant iPad 2, the 7″ Tab will be going up against a host of other Android tablets that have also spent the year sitting on store shelves. But the biggest reason it’s probably doomed from the start can be described with two words: ‘Kindle’ and ‘Fire.’ Amazon’s content-subsidized tablet is selling for half the price of the 7.0 Plus. It has already racked up over a quarter of a million pre-orders (and counting). Those not sold on the Fire will be able to buy the Nook Color’s sequel, the Nook Tablet, for $250.It’s true that neither of those tablets has the Android Market installed, so that is one thing that Samsung can hang their hat on. But the Amazon AppStore is on the Kindle Fire, and–aside from missing Google apps, Dropbox, Netflix, and Hulu Plus–it has most of the quality Market apps. Amazon also has its own alternatives to these apps.If the Android Market is really that big of a priority for you, you will probably soon be able to root the Fire and install a custom Gingerbread or Ice Cream Sandwich ROM on it–as well as the Market. There’s no need to pay $200 more just to get a more traditional Android experience.About the only other perk that the new Tab has over the Kindle Fire is that it has cameras. As tablet cameras are usually mediocre (at best) anyway, this won’t likely sway too many customers.So what we have with the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus is a device tailored for someone who: insists on a seven inch size, must have Google apps, demands cameras, refuses to hack, and wants to pay $200 extra. That should rack up at least a couple of thousand sales for Samsung.last_img read more

"Galaxy Tab 70 Plus now shipping doesnt stand a chance"

Doing the impossible

first_img“I’m sorry sir, you are a quadriplegic and will never walk again,” said the doctor to Harris Zachariou, three years ago. The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do, thought Harry. His first reaction was to tell his doctor that he had no intention of being stuck in a wheelchair, and that he would prove him wrong by walking out of hospital when released. The Greek Australian dad from Reservoir was employed with Australian Post and was cycling to work, when he was hit by a van in Melbourne’s CBD. After the accident that caused what is called an incomplete spinal cord injury, Harry Zachariou was confined to a wheelchair as a quadriplegic. This was the moment when he decided to set himself four goals – to walk again, to work full-time again, to finish the ride he had started that fateful morning, and to play one last game at Footscray Hockey Club, where he is a life member. In September 2009, only two months after the accident, he was walking again. However, the goal to return to work within six months has proved to be a lot harder than actually walking. After nine months, Harry was able to return to work on a part time basis, and started full time work in October 2011. On the 3rd anniversary of his accident, 8 July 2012, Harry Zachariou finally returned to the accident scene and with the help of family, friends, work colleagues and total strangers, he completed that fateful ride in to the city, which was interrupted by the accident. There were around 200 people there on that cold morning, to see Harry set off to achieve his goal. “80 people joined on the ride and after a 45 minute ride I had finally achieved what I set out to do three years earlier. About 120 people were at the finish line, to see me complete my goal which helped cap off a huge achievement. “To cross the finish line felt like a huge burden was lifted from my shoulders,” Harry told to Neos Kosmos, “I felt like I was 20kg lighter.” There were plenty of tears, but mostly huge smiles as people mingled and congratulated him on this achievement. “I was truly touched that so many people felt so strongly about my recovery that they were willing to sacrifice a Sunday morning, and come out and support me,” he describes. The recovery from incomplete spinal injury is wholly dependent on the mental and physical state of the patient. In Harry Zachariou’s case, it was his physical fitness before the accident and a positive mental attitude that played the biggest part. “I believe that the fact that I am as stubborn as an old mule was more likely the case,” says Harry. But, first of all, it was the help of his family that made it possible. “My family was my main motivator to push through and fight to defy the doctors and leave the wheelchair behind, because I felt I would be letting them down if I were to just accept the diagnosis, stay in a wheelchair my whole life and be a quadriplegic. It was not easy but with the help of the rehabilitation and nursing staff at Austin Hospital and Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Centre, I was able to push my body and start to learn to walk again,” says Australian born Harry Zachariou. Supporter of people with spinal chord injury When Harry decided that he would make his first ride after the accident – a fundraiser for the spinal injury patients at Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Centre, his aim was to purchase four TV’s and four mini fridges (worth around $2,000), for the patients to use in their rooms, that normally have minimal furnishings. His expectations were not only met, but were exceeded more than three fold. The final figure is yet to be determined as people and organisations are still contacting Harry and offering donations, but as we speak, the total stands at in excess of $7,000. “We have already delivered the TV’s and fridges to Royal Talbot as well as a much needed special air mattress, which is used to prevent and treat bed sores in paralysed patients,” he says. The balance will be donated in cash for the Royal Talbot to use to fund other required items which the Victorian Health system does not provide. “I will also be making a $1,500 cash donation to an organisation called Project Walk Melbourne, which is in the process of setting up a new exercise based rehabilitation program for spinal cord injury patients. This program is based on a US model which has had a lot of success in helping people with spinal injuries regain some, or all of their mobility,” explains Harry, who is planning to stay involved in helping people living with spinal cord injury, and promoting awareness of spinal cord injury and road safety. “I visit the staff and patients of the Spinal Unit at the Austin Hospital as often as I can. I also visit the Royal Talbot to chat with the staff, but also to try and connect with the patients and try to encourage them to try hard in their rehab as they themselves are responsible for their future outcome. Not everyone is as lucky as I am and I certainly do not go there to say to people that they will all walk, but what I try to achieve is give them encouragement and reassure them that the dark clouds will lift as long as they work hard and set themselves goals which will stretch them to achieve a better outcome. “I am also involved with an organisation called Independence Australia where we have a group meeting on a monthly basis of people living with paralysis but have some walking function. We call ourselves The Walkers Group and meet to discuss and compare notes to support each other.” Roads have become a battlefield, so everyone should take their fair share of responsibility “I had been riding to work for nearly 10 years when my accident happened. In that time the riding conditions and traffic have increased at least by 50 per cent. There are now 1000’s more riders and traffic has increased as well. Everyone on the road has to take responsibility and be aware of their surroundings, not just drivers but riders as well. “People over the past 10 years have become very selfish on the road and only care about what they are trying to achieve and that is why I was hit, someone in a hurry rushed through a stop sign! In trying to save seconds, he cost me and my family years of pain and anguish. The most disappointing part of this whole experience is the fact that the driver who caused my injuries was only fined for not stopping at a stop sign. I don’t feel angry at the person, I feel angry at the system that allows people to make such stupid errors and then let them walk away free. My injury has probably cost the taxpayers of Victoria hundreds of thousands of dollars and yet no one has seemingly learnt anything from the experience,” warns Harry Zachariou. Planning is now underway for Harry to reach and tick off the fourth goal that he has assigned to himself – to play a game of Hockey at the Footscray Hockey Club. “I am planning on getting back on the hockey field in late April or early May in 2013. I am trying to make the day a fun day for everyone, it will be a celebration of what I have been able to achieve with the help of my family, my wife Annette, daughter Jessica and son Michael, as well as my mother Chrystalla, sister Helen and brother Zack and their families.” With the help of Transport Accident Commission, that will provide Harry with extra physiotherapy and also fund a gym and pool membership until June 2013, he is certain that he will achieve his goal. “I hope that this is the first of many games rather than my last game of hockey. I think this will be game number 479, so maybe the next goal will be to reach 500 games,” concludes Harry. Every time Harry Zachariou visits the Spinal Ward at the Austin or Royal Talbot, the beds are all full with more patients there either through misfortune, ill health or accident. He believes his time can be best spent speaking with patients in Talbot and trying to get them to set goals like he did, and work at getting the best outcome from the bad situation they have unfortunately landed in. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

"Doing the impossible"

Cygnus Hires Digital Head Brings on ConsumerMinded Creative Consultant

first_imgCygnus Business Media has added two new positions to its roster, expanding its digital and creative departments. Former Associated Press strategic consultant Tom Kohn has been appointed to the newly-created position of executive vice president of digital. Before working with the AP, Kohn launched the e-commerce division of, started online auction site Bid4Assets and co-founded billing service Transactis. At Cygnus, Kohn will be responsible for overseeing the company’s digital strategy. According to Kohn, one of his objectives will be to “find products and functionality to engage our users so that they use our platforms multiple times a day, whether we pull them back to our platforms or push information to their platform of choice.” “Cygnus is investing in all areas of the company, including digital,” CEO John French says. “We are fortunate to have talented people already working in that area who are creating some very innovative opportunities for our company.”Cygnus also has enlisted the services of J.C. Suares as a creative consultant. Suares has worked with titles ranging from Fast Company to Variety to ESPN. “J.C.’s experience crosses both consumer and b-to-b, but his consumer work probably has given him more exposure and accolades,” says French. “We are not on newsstand [like consumer titles] but being on the desk of our subscribers is the same as a newsstand. J.C. will help ensure that our magazines are the first to be picked up and the first to be read.”last_img read more

"Cygnus Hires Digital Head Brings on ConsumerMinded Creative Consultant"

United Arab Emirates Gives Houston 65 Million For Harvey Recovery Efforts

first_img Share Courtesy of The Mayor’s OfficeThe United Arab Emirates Consul General in Houston, Saeed Al Mehairi, and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, exchange gifts.The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is giving Houston $6.5 million for Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts, with a focus on homelessness relief, community revitalization, library services and public health expansion.The Greater Houston Community Foundation, which administered the Hurricane Harvey Relief fund, will oversee the distribution and management of the funds from the UAE, according to a press release from the Mayor’s office. Of the total funding, $2.6 million will go towards the construction of a new community center in Near Northside. The three-story center will be run by nonprofit Avenue CDC, and feature space for both a health clinic and early childhood education center. “This funding will allow Avenue to develop a new community resource hub in Houston’s Near Northside which will provide residents, especially low-income families, with supportive services including homebuyer education and counseling, disaster recovery assistance and early childhood education, which is urgently needed, as neighborhood families face a shortage of early childhood education capacity,” said Mary Lawler, Avenue’s Executive Director. Another $2 million will be used to create and operate a short-term housing facility for the Homeless Navigation Center, while the Flores Neighborhood Library in Houston’s Second Ward will receive $800,000 for restoration works and upgrades. The library has been closed since Harvey due to damage.The final program to receive funds is the Houston Health Department, which will be given $1.1 million to expand its services, including launching mobile health clinics and testing children for blood lead poisoning. “The UAE has long-standing ties to Houston and the State of Texas, and we are proud to help this great city,” said Saeed Al Mehairi, the UAE Consul General in Houston. “We hope these projects will lead to meaningful and measurable changes that improve people’s lives.”The money is part of a larger $10 million donation the UAE made to Texas for Harvey recovery. Neighboring Qatar also gifted $30 million to Texas for the Qatar Harvey Fund. Part of the money from the Qatar Harvey Fund has gone towards initiatives in Houston to reduce homelessness and reopen the city’s Riverside General Hospital.last_img read more

"United Arab Emirates Gives Houston 65 Million For Harvey Recovery Efforts"