Friday, September 19, 2014

Roadside bombs kills 5 UN peacekeepers in Mali

Roadside bombs kills 5 UN peacekeepers in Mali
A roadside bomb in northern Mali has killed five UN peacekeepers and wounded several others, a spokesman said of the latest in a string of deadly attacks on the force.
A car carrying Chadian troops hit the explosive north of Aguel’hoc, which is near the embattled city of Kidal, said Olivier Salgado on Thursday.Earlier this month, four UN peacekeepers were killed and several were wounded when their convoy hit a mine in the same region.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility and Salgado did not speculate on who was responsible for the bomb.

Indonesia will host 2018 Asian Games: OCA

Indonesia will host 2018 Asian Games: OCA
The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) executive board on Friday approved Indonesia as hosts for the 2018 Asian Games which faces a growing battle to find venues because of the cost.
The continent’s sports leaders had to find a quick replacement after Vietnam said in April that it could no longer afford to stage the next Asian Games.
“Today it has been approved by the EB (executive board) that in 2018 will be the next Asian Games in Jakarta in Indonesia,” said council president Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah.
“The body’s general assembly should rubber stamp the decision on Saturday. But Sheikh Amad stressed that an earlier special assembly had given him “the authority to decide and find the replacement to Vietnam,”he added.
Ade Lukman, an Indonesian Olympic Committee official, said the country was delighted. “Being selected to host the Asian Games is an honour for the Indonesian people,” he said.
The OCA executive met in Incheon ahead of the opening of the 17th Asian Games later on Friday. The world’s biggest multi-sport event after the Olympics will this year feature 13,000 athletes, coaches and officials from 45 nations across 36 sports.
Vietnam had originally been picked to host the 18th Games in 2019, but withdrew blaming fallout from an economic crisis. Indonesia immediately became favourites to take on the showpiece event with no other serious candidate.
The OCA initially scheduled the event for 2019 to avoid any clash with the Olympics. The 2018 Winter Olympics are in South Korea and the 2020 Olympics are in Tokyo.
But Jakarta told the OCA that if they were to host the Asiad, it would have to be a year earlier, in 2018, because presidential elections are scheduled for 2019.
In its original bid for the event, Indonesia put forward the country’s second-biggest city, Surabaya, as the host.
However officials have now decided to make the capital Jakarta the main host city, with events also planned for other cities, including Palembang and Bandung.
Indonesia last staged the Asian Games in 1962 in Jakarta.
“These cities already have international-standard stadiums and facilities…. they are well-equipped,” said Lukman, adding there were also plans for new facilities.
Indonesia staged the 2011 Southeast Asian Games but ran into problems, with some venues not ready on time and the death of two people in a stampede at the football final.
But Lukman insisted: “We are better prepared and we are confident we won’t have the same problems we saw during the Southeast Asian Games.”
Indonesian boxing star Chris John, who retired in 2013 after being dethroned as the world featherweight champion, said it was “great news” Indonesia would host the event.
“I think it will help raise Indonesia’s profile around the world, and I’m sure it will give our home team more confidence when they compete,” he added.
Sheikh Ahmad said no decision has been taken on whether the 19th Games would revert to it’s original slot of 2023 or come a year earlier in 2022 following the Indonesia switch.
He also refused to be drawn on the exact number of sports in Indonesia, but said the OCA would not revert to the 42 disciplines disputed in Guangzhou, China four years ago.
Surabaya was in November 2012 pipped by Hanoi to be the host of the next Asian Games after Dubai pulled out just before the vote.
The victory sparked celebrations among Vietnamese officials, who said the decision would unlock millions of dollars in infrastructure investment.
But with its economy in crisis, a decaying sports infrastructure and an uninspiring athletics record, public sentiment never swung behind the official campaign.
Officials said hosting the Asian Games could cost Vietnam some $150 million and would require the construction of new sporting stadiums and an athletes’ village.
Experts have said the real cost of the two week games would have been far higher.

Sania, Cara reach semis of Tokyo Open

Sania, Cara reach semis of Tokyo Open
Putting up yet another dominating performance, defending champions Sania Mirza and Cara Black outclassed Jelena Jankovic and Arantxa Parra Santonja 6-3 6-2 to reach the summit clash of the WTA Toray Pan Pacific Open, in Tokyo on Friday.
The top seeded Indo-Zimbabwean pair took only 63 minutes to overcome the unseeded Serbian-Spanish combo in the semifinals of the USD 1,000,000 hard court event.Sania and Cara played tremendous service games, winning 24 of the 30 first service points. They surrendered serve only one time while saved four break chances.
Jelena and Arantxa could capitalise on only one of the five chances they got in the contest.
Sania and Cara will now taken on the winners of the other semifinal match between the second seeded American pair of Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears and fourth seeds Spaniards Garbie Muguruza and Carla Suarez Navarro.
From Tokyo, Sania will fly straight to Incheon in Korea to compete in the Asian Games.

Asian Games open with spectacular show

Asian Games open with spectacular show
Pop sensation Psy brought the house down ‘Gangnam Style’ as Incheon laid out the red carpet for over 13,000 competitors from 45 countries with an exhilarating opening ceremony to launch the 17th Asian Games at the main stadium in Incheon on Friday.Psy’s performance was the high point of the spectacular show as the world’s second-biggest multi-sports spectacle after the Olympic Games was kickstarted with customary fanfare, including fireworks and breathtaking visual effects.Korean President Park Geun-hye declared the Games open amid thunderous cheers from a capacity crowd as dazzling fireworks lit up the evening sky.
The competing teams marched into the stadium in the final act of the evening. The Indian athletes trooped in after Iran with hockey skipper Sardar Singh leading out the smartly-dressed contingent.
The Indians were attired in black blazers with the women athletes dressed in blue sarees. The smiling athletes walked in waving the tri-colour. India have sent a nearly 700-strong contingent for the event and will take part in 28 disciplines.
The flame was lit up by celebrated Korean actress Lee Young-ae, setting the stage for two weeks of action in the city — the second Korean venue for the Games in the last 12 years.
As is the custom, the event was divided into the informal and formal parts.
It began with a welcoming performance, lasting close to 80 minutes, to greet the spectators at the 60,000-capacity stadium that was filled to the brim.
It included a cultural heritage performance of Pungmul Play, performance by a cheering squad, a congratulatory video of celebrities, and K-Pop boy group EXO’s performance to get the spectators revved up for the main event.
The session was divided into three parts — “Incheon, the magnet of dreams,” “Incheon, where all of us become friends,” and “Tomorrow, dreamed by all of us.”
Initially a video introducing the 17th Asian Games and a promotion video introducing the major facilities was displayed on the big screen.
This was followed by a display of Korea’s traditional drums and cymbal-type instruments before emcees Kim Sung-ju and Youn Soo-young came on stage.
Then, a cheering team formed by the city’s children, including the squads Impact, Rainbow Air and K Sungsuk Jumping Angels took centrestage, performing to a remix of songs from past sports events held in Korea, including the theme song of the 1988 Seoul Olympics, and the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

Centre joins hands with Gates for universal sanitation

Centre joins hands with Gates for universal sanitation
With the objective of addressing sanitation related health concerns, the Urban Development Ministry and the Bill & Milinda Gates Foundation have agreed on a partnership to promote user friendly toilets to ensure universal sanitation in the country.During a meeting with Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu in New Delhi, Bill Gates enquired about the government’s sanitation initiatives.Naidu apprised Gates about the government’s initiatives to ensure housing for all by 2022 and that ‘Swachchh Bharat Mission’ would be launched on October 2 this year, under which every household is to be enabled with toilet facility by 2019.
Naidu said that under the new housing initiative, every affordable house to be constructed in urban areas would be provided with toilet facilities.
He said at present about 12 million urban households do not have toilet facilities.
Naidu said the government would like to benefit from the initiatives and experience of the Gates Foundation, since about three crore new houses are to be constructed in urban areas alone to address housing shortage, particularly for the economically weaker sections and low income groups.
He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has accorded top priority to ensuring universal sanitation in the country.
Appreciating India’s focus on improving sanitation in the country, Gates said the Foundation’s core competency is research and technology promotion, and it would like to share them with the government.
Gates stressed on promoting quality and user friendly toilets to ensure their proper use.
Further to the discussions, it has been agreed that the Ministry and the Gates Foundation would cooperate in four areas – innovative technology demonstration in respect of toilets and sewage management, promoting decentralised sewerage systems that enable disposal of sewage at habitation level rather than pooling of sewage, capacity building in sanitation sector, and promoting use of toilets.
Naidu has complimented Gates for his philanthropic initiatives seeking primarily to address basic needs of the people across the world.
“Acquiring wealth through hard work and enterprise is noteworthy but serving humanity using it is nobler and you are a shining example in this regard,” Naidu told Gates.

India, China need to align their development strategies: Xi

India, China need to align their development strategies: Xi
Xi, along with his wife Peng Liyuan, arrived at Rajghat at 9:30 AM and spent 10 minutes inside the memorial dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi.
He laid a wreath and paid floral tributes at his granite memorial.
Xi, who was accompanied by HRD Minister Smriti Irani, was presented a charkha, a bust of Mahatma Gandhi, and three books on his life during his visit to Rajghat.
The Chinese President wrote in Mandarin his comments on the visit to the memorial in the visitor’s book.

India and China share the same development goals and need to take their strategic partnership to higher levels, visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping said in New Delhi on Thursday.
Speaking to journalists at Rashtrapati Bhavan where he was accorded a ceremonial reception, Xi said both countries should deepen their economic and strategic cooperation.
“India and China can create opportunities for the world. We need to take our strategic partnership to higher levels,” Xi said.
“We have common development goals, it is important that we deepen the alignment of our development strategies,” he said.
“The first goal is to carry forward our friendship. We admire and respect each other’s civilization; it is important that we deepen our mutual respect and friendship,” the Chinese president said.
He said the second goal is to deepen mutual cooperation and tap the enormous potential in their bilateral ties and third is to align their development strategies.
“We have common development goals, it is important that we deepen the alignment of our development strategies,” he said.
Xi and his wife, Peng Liyuan, also visited Rajghat to pay homage at the samadhi of Mahatma Gandhi.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj later called on the Chinese president. Xi then held talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Hyderabad House during which all substantive issues, including the latest incursion by Chinese troops, are likely to figure.
Trade and investment would also top the agenda of talks with several agreements set to be inked, including in the infrastructure and railways sector.
Xi arrived in India Wednesday on a three-day visit. The first leg of his visit was in Ahmedabad Wednesday.
“Keep working hard so you can contribute to your country,” this was the message by China’s First Lady Peng Liyuan to the students in New Delhi as she interacted with the children, even humming a song with them.
During her 45-minute visit to a school in South Delhi, 51-year-old Peng, who is also a renowned singer, shared with the students some personal glimpses of her life, leaving a lasting impression on the young minds.
“I started learning calligraphy when I was young and as little as 5 years old. I was instructed by my father,” she said while applauding the lessons on yoga imparted by the school.
Peng also had words of appreciation for Indian women. “She (Peng) told me that she had a lot of respect for Indian women. They are beautiful, hard-working and can keep the family together,” Meenakshi Sen, Principal of Tagore International School, said quoting Peng.
Peng left a handwritten message for students with her stamp on it. “It is my genuine wish that our dear students who are here today should keep learning and working hard so you can contribute to your country. It is important to lay a solid foundation in terms of knowledge base since one is young,” she said.
But what floored everyone was the First Lady joining the students as they sang a popular Chinese folk song. “While we were singing, she joined us and started humming,” said a student Pihu Bharadwaj. “She said that she knew the song and it was very popular back in China,” said Sen.
The visit saw students of Tagore International School and its partner school Jinyuan Senior High School in Shanghai jointly performing Tai-chi, a traditional Chinese martial art, and yoga through video-link.
The First Lady also gave the schools gifts that included some Chinese story books. The school presented Peng her portrait done by Class XI student Aradhika Chakraborty.
“She is so pretty,” said the 16-year-old girl about Peng, who is known to be style icon in China. The other students too gushed over the visiting First Lady including 11-year-old Prabhjot Singh who could not stop smiling after getting a peck on the cheek from her.
“Mam, I gave three interviews because of the peck on the cheek,” the kid told his principal, blushing. “So do not wash your cheek,” the principal said in a lighter vein.
“The interaction which she (Peng) had with us has left a very good impression on us. Both nations should work together and have cordial relations,” said Prateek Arora (17), a Class XII student.
“We have been practising with the Chinese students over the last two weeks for this visit,” said Fabian Makhdoomi (13), a class VII student.

लव जिहाद की शिकार बनी लड़की

लव जिहाद की शिकार बनी लड़की को वापिस लाने की मांग को लेकर 
राष्ट्रवादी शिवसेना का सीलमपुर थाने पर विरोध प्रदर्षन
पूर्वी दिल्ली, 19 सितम्बर। जिला उत्तरी पूर्वी के सीलमपुर क्षेत्र अंतर्गत गौतमपुरी में रहने वाली एक नाबालिक हिन्दू लड़की को एक मुस्लिम युवक द्वारा बहला फुसलाकर भगा ले जाने की घटना के विरोध में राष्ट्रवादी शिवसेना ने आज पीडि़त लड़की के परिजनों के साथ सीलमपुर थाने पर जोरदार प्रदर्शन करके लड़की की सकुशल बरामदगी व आरोपी युवक व उसके सभी सहयोगियों की तत्काल गिरफ्तारी की मांग की।
प्रदर्शनकारी हाथों में तखतियां पकड़े हुए थे जिन पर “दिल्ली पुलिस हाय-हाय“, “लव जिहाद में लगे मुस्लिम युवकों को बचाने वाली पुलिस हाय-हाय“ “आरोपियों को तत्काल गिरफ्तार कर कड़ी कार्रवाई करे पुलिस“, “हिन्दुओं की बहन-बेटियों को बहला-फुसलाकर ले जाने वालों को शरण देने वाली पुलिस हाय-हाय“ आदि नारे लिखे हुए थे जिन्हें वे बार-बार दोहरा रहे थे। प्रदर्शनकारियों का नेतृत्व संगठन के राष्ट्रीय उपाध्यक्ष श्री देवेन्द्र कुमार सिंह एवं दिल्ली प्रदेश अध्यक्ष चै. ईश्वर पाल सिंह तेवतियां संयुक्त रूप से कर रहे थे।
इस मौके पर उपस्थित प्रदर्शनकारियों को संबोधित करते हुए संगठन के राष्ट्रीय उपाध्यक्ष श्री देवेन्द्र कुमार सिंह ने कहा कि इस मामले में पुलिस ने 10 सितंबर को एफ.आई.आर दर्ज की थी पर आरोपियों का एक धर्म विशेष से संबंध होने के कारण हाथ पर हाथ धरे बैठी हुई है। उन्होंने कहा कि पीडि़त परिवार ने आरोपियों की तत्काल गिरफ्तारी व लड़की की सकुशल वापसी की मांग सभी उच्च अधिकारियों से कर चुके हैं मगर पुलिस ले-देकर इस मामले को सुलझाने में लगी हुई है। उन्होंने कहा कि यह लव-जिहाद से जुड़ा हुआ मामला है और पुलिस इस पर कोई कार्रवाई नहीं करना चाहती मगर राष्ट्रवादी शिवसेना चुप नहीं बैठेगी और ऐसे तत्वों को सबक सिखाकर ही दम लेगी। उन्होंने कहा कि लव जिहाद के बढ़ते मामलो को लेकर संगठन चिंतित है और इस पर तत्काल कड़ा कानून बनाए जाने की मांग को लेकर 23 सितंबर को जंतर मंतर पर धरना व विरोध प्रदर्शन करेगा।
इस मौके पर प्रदर्शनकारियों को संबोधित करते हुए संगठन के दिल्ली प्रदेश अध्यक्ष चै. ईश्वर पाल सिंह ने कहा कि यह लव-जिहाद से जुड़ा हुआ मामला है और मुसलमानोें द्वारा हिन्दू लड़कियों को बहला फुसलाकर ले जाने की साजिश का ही एक हिस्सा है। उन्होंने कहा कि लव-जिहाद चलाने वाले तत्वों द्वारा जो हिन्दू, जैन, सिख आदि समुदायों के संबंध में रेट-लिस्ट जारी की गई है उसी के कारण ही लालच में मुस्लिम युवकों द्वारा इन घिनौनी हरकतों को अंजाम दिया जा रहा है जिसे लेकर प्रशासन चुप्पी साधे हुए है। उन्होंने कहा कि अगर जल्द ही आरोपी और उसके सभी सहयोगियों की गिरफ्तारी नहीं की गई तो मजबूरन हमें पुलिस आयुक्त कार्यालय पर धरना प्रदर्शन करना पड़ेगा।
इस मौके पर सर्वश्री बलदेवराज मनचंदा, दीपक शर्मा, पप्पू बंसल, हीरालाल, अनिल चैधरी, किशन राठौड़ आदि पदाधिकारी मौजूद रहे।
भरतलाल शर्मा
कार्यालय सचिव

IES VN Sule Guruji English Medium School defeats Don Bosco School Matunga

IES VN Sule Guruji English Medium School defeats Don Bosco School Matunga
            At ‘Smaaash Master Blaster School Cricket Championship’

19th September 2014: After 5 days of intense cricketing action, covering 102 schools, involving participation of over 1500 students, the 2nd edition of the Smaaash Master Blaster School Cricket Championship, a grass root level cricket initiative undertaken by SMAAASH in partnership with MSSA to unearth the city’s best cricketing talent, concluded this Friday with Top 3 winners in the U-14 boys and U-16 (boys and girls) category.

The cricket competition provided an opportunity to Mumbai school teams allowing them to test their batting skills while facing international bowlers, in an ambience wherein the students experienced the real thrill of batting to a ball thrown by cricketing legends. The unique cricket tournament played at the first-of-its-kind 360° cricket simulator saw IES VN Sule Guruji English Medium School (U-16-boys), Sulochanadevi Singhania School (Thane) (U-14-boys), St Columba School (U-16-girls) emerge as winners.

The winners of the 2nd edition of the Smaaash master Blaster Cricket Championship will be awarded by ace cricketer Sachin Tendulkar at a special ceremony, to be held at a later date.

EEMA Annual Convention on 22nd Sept 2014 at Hotel ITC Maratha Mumbai

Today at 6:51 PM

Film Screening at the Italian Cultural Institute – 7:00 pm, Wednesday,24 September 2014

Film Screening at the Italian Cultural Institute – 7:00 pm, Wednesday,24 September 2014
Cultural Program
Undisclosed Recipients
Today at 4:39 PM
Le regioni d’Italia al cinema/ Italian Regions in Cinema
Dal libro al cinema/From Book to Film
13 Agosto / August – 17 Dicembre / December 2014
Tutti i mercoledì / Every Wednesday @ 19.00
Mercoledi/Wednesday, 24 Settembre/ 24th September @19.00

Le regioni d’Italia al cinema: PIEMONTE
Italian Regions in Cinema:  PIEDMONT
L’Industriale/The Entrepreneur
Drammatico / Drama
2011, 94 min.
Regista / Director: Giuliano Montaldo
Nicola ha quarant’anni, è proprietario di una fabbrica, ereditata dal padre, sull’orlo del fallimento. Nicola è strangolato dai debiti e dalle banche, nella Torino che vive la grande crisi economica che soffoca tutto il paese. Ma è orgoglioso, tenace. Ha deciso di risolvere i suoi problemi senza farsi scrupoli, esattamente come le finanziarie che lo vorrebbero al tappeto. /Nicola, forty years old, inherited a factory from his father in Turin , now on the verge of bankruptcy. Strangled by debt and the banks, the great economic crisis which stifles the whole planet, Nicola decides to solve his problems without any scruples, just as they would do the financial institutions.
Venue: Tessitori Hall, Italian Cultural Institute, New Delhi
Entry Free: For security reasons please show your valid Photo Identity Card.
For more information, please visit our

Italian Embassy Cultural Centre
50- E, Chandragupta Marg (Entry from Nyaya Marg)
Chanakyapuri, New Delhi – 110 021
Phone: 0091-11-26871901/03/04

SAB TV Launches ‘ Family Antakshari ‘ Host Annu Kapoor starting 27 Sept 2014

SAB TV, India’s most loved family channel is geared up to launch a special Antakshari – show in fun-filled melodic musical in neo-format that shall involve the entire family members from youngest to grand pa’s.TV series aptly name Family ‘Antakshari – Baithe, Baithe Kya Kare’.
With Host Annu Kapoor seated on the prestigious position of Shri Antakshari for this musical series, the show further is graced  jointly by an effective talent of  Mantra and multi-faceted Sugandha Mishra. Thus making the show more interesting with multiple interactive rounds with contestants to engage along with the audience simultaneously to bring  synergy in the show.

Workshop on plastic technologies

Workshop on plastic technologies (via EBTC mailer)(2)
Me Dear Sirs, Thanks for Invite, The undersigned shall attend with details, Name Nksagar Media Co Sagar media Inc , Address : C-1-106 Janakpuri, New Delhi with regards, Nksagar
Sep 17 at 4:47 PM
Monish Verma / EBTC Delhi
Sep 17 at 8:27 PM
This is to inform you that due to unavoidable circumstances, the workshop on plastics has been postponed.  As woo. As soon as the new days is confirmed EBTC will inform you once again.Cheers, Monish
Monish VERMA | Environment Sector Specialist | European Business and Technology Centre | | Web:
A man is a fraction whose numerator is what he is and whose denominator is what he thinks of himself. The larger the denominator the smaller the fraction. Leo Tolstoy

NMML Public Lecture_ Prof. G. S. L. Devra _22 September, 2014

Today at 2:21 PM
Nehru Memorial Museum and Library
cordially invites you to the
Public Lecture
 (‘Samaj aur Itihas’ series)

‘Kuchh Afghan Kabilon ki Naslon ki Utpatti ka Aalochanatmak Adhyayan : Rajasthani sroton ke adhar par’
Prof. G. S. L. Devra
Kota Open University
Kota (Rajasthan)
Date : Monday, 22 September 2014
Time: 3:00 p.m.
Seminar Room, First Floor, Library Building
Nehru Memorial Museum and Library
 Teen Murti House, New Delhi.

 UN Secretary-General: Deadly Ebola Outbreak Matters to Everyone

UNIC India
Unic Registry
Today at 10:18 AM
UN- India and Bhutan-logo
19 September 2014



Secretary-General: Deadly Ebola Outbreak Matters to Everyone

Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks to the Security Council meeting on Ebola, in New York on 18 September:
I would like to thank Ambassador [Samantha] Power and the United States for convening this Security Council session on the Ebola virus disease.  Only twice before has the Security Council met to discuss the security implications of a public health issue — both times on the AIDS epidemic.  Like those meetings, today’s session on the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa is timely and clearly warranted.
The Ebola crisis has evolved into a complex emergency, with significant political, social, economic, humanitarian and security dimensions.  The suffering and spillover effects in the region and beyond demand the attention of the entire world.  Ebola matters to us all.
The outbreak is the largest the world has ever seen.  The number of cases is doubling every three weeks.  There will soon be more cases in Liberia alone than in the four-decade history of the disease.  In the three most affected countries — Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone — the disease is destroying health systems.  More people are now dying in Liberia from treatable ailments and common medical conditions than from Ebola.
The virus is also taking an economic toll.  Inflation and food prices are rising.  Transport and social services are being disrupted.  The situation is especially tragic given the remarkable strides that Liberia and Sierra Leone have made in putting conflict behind them.
National Governments are doing everything they can.  I applaud the courageous actions of the Governments, communities and individuals on the frontlines, including local health workers, Médecins Sans Frontières, the International Federation for the Red Cross and Red Crescent and United Nations entities.
The gravity and scale of the situation now require a level of international action unprecedented for a health emergency.  The leaders of the affected countries have asked the United Nations to coordinate the global response.  We are committed to do what is needed, with the speed and scale required.
Under the leadership of Dr. Margaret Chan, the World Health Organization (WHO) is working to identify the best epidemiological ways to address the outbreak.  I have activated, for the first time, the system-wide organizational crisis response mechanism.  Under the leadership of Anthony Banbury, an Ebola response centre is operational.
With the support of the Government of Ghana and UNMIL, the UN peacekeeping Mission in Liberia, an air-bridge has been established in Accra to facilitate the influx of key health responders and equipment.  The United Nations Humanitarian Air Service is operating between the countries.
UNMIL is adapting its tasks to the current context, and the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Hervé Ladsous, visited Monrovia last week to assure Liberia’s leaders of the Mission’s support.
In addition to the many local and international workers already on the ground, WHO, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Food Programme (WFP) and others are actively delivering emergency assistance.  The United Nations Volunteers programme (UNV) has identified more than 200 health-care professionals and other experts willing to be trained and deployed.
Despite these wide-ranging efforts, the spread of the disease is outpacing the response.  No single Government can manage the crisis on its own.  The United Nations cannot do it alone.
This unprecedented situation requires unprecedented steps to save lives and safeguard peace security.  Therefore, I have decided to establish a United Nations emergency health mission, combining the World Health Organization’s strategic perspective with a very strong logistics and operational capability.
This international mission, to be known as the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response, or UNMEER, will have five priorities:  stopping the outbreak, treating the infected, ensuring essential services, preserving stability and preventing further outbreaks.
Under the leadership of a Special Representative of the Secretary-General, the Mission will bring together the full range of UN actors and expertise in support of national efforts.  It will draw on the capacities of many international partners, and work in close coordination with regional organizations such as the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).  And it will strive to ensure that these wide-ranging efforts avoid duplication, fill gaps and are aligned with the overall strategy.
Our goal is to have the Mission’s advance team on the ground before the end of the month.  I have written to both the Security Council and General Assembly with further details.  I thank you in advance for your support.  Dr. David Nabarro will continue in his vital role as my Special Envoy for Ebola, providing strategic direction and galvanizing international support.
My colleagues and I will do everything we can to ensure the success of the new Mission.  But, its effectiveness will depend crucially on support from the international community.  Our best estimate is that we need a twenty-fold increase in assistance.  Earlier this week, the United Nations outlined a set of critical needs totalling almost $1 billion over the next six months.
One key enabler is medevac capacity.  This is essential if we are to give the assurances to the heroic international health and aid workers who place themselves at personal risk while serving others.
I applaud the leadership of United States President Barack Obama, and warmly welcome his announcement that the United States will deploy 3,000 troops to provide expertise in logistics, training and engineering.  I also thank the many Governments that have made contributions — including Canada, China, Cuba, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Ghana, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Norway, Qatar, the Russian Federation, Rwanda, South Africa, Switzerland, Uganda and the United Kingdom.  I hope other countries will follow suit.
Airports in Senegal and Spain are serving as logistical hubs.  The African Union, Economic Community of West African States, European Union, World Bank, African Development Bank, Gates Foundation and Global Fund are also engaged.
We are looking to all those in a position to help.  The business community, for example, is well placed to contribute in the health, transport, communications and information sectors.  I also appeal again to major airlines and shipping companies to resume services to the affected countries.  Isolation only hampers international efforts to reach people in need.
I welcome the resolution to be adopted today (18 September) by the Security Council.  Tomorrow, I will speak with the General Assembly.  One week from today, we will gather at the highest level to mobilize political will to meet this extraordinary challenge.
We cannot afford delays.  The penalty for inaction is high.  We need to race ahead of the outbreak — and then turn and face it with all our energy and strength.  I count on the Security Council’s support and that of the General Assembly and all Member States in meeting this test.

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Bill: Most-Livable Continues to be Most-Listable

A Note From Bill Flanagan - Executive Vice President, Corporate Relations
Most-Livable Continues to be Most-Listable
Pittsburgh’s had quite a summer. First the Travel Channel named the place one of the best All-American vacations. Then The Economist ranked Pittsburgh the “most-livable” place in the continental United States. And now we’re even being recognized for our night life!
Women’s Health and Yelp teamed up to find “the fittest, artsiest, foodiest, and just plain coolest cities on the rise in America.” Pittsburgh made the top five for nightlife, based on beer. The reviewers say “the city’s brew territory has exploded in recent years, with, as of press time, 10 buzzy microbreweries joining old-school icons such as Penn Brewery and Church Brew Works. With creative and wacky new flavors trending, brewery tours and tastings are main nightlife events.”
There was plenty of proof at the big NEXT Pittsburgh event last week at AlphaLab Gear, sponsored The event featured libations from breweries, hard cider makers, and even a whiskey distiller, all pretty much within walking distance from Lawrenceville to the Strip District. A young, entrepreneurial crowd packed the place to hear a panel of exciting young companies talk about innovation in this venerable industrial town. Presiding over the event was Dennis Yablonsky, CEO of the Allegheny Conference, who shared his take on Pittsburgh’s transition from a town where getting a good, respectable job only meant going to work in a mill, to a place where young people are more and more willing to take risks and young companies are taking hold.
“Pittsburgh is basically the city that Portland wants to become,” or so says Michael Anderson, news editor of He was here last week for the big Pro-Walk, Pro-Bike, Pro-Place conference, along with hundreds of other activists and enthusiasts from across the country who are trying to make cities less dependent on the automobile. A Portlander’s take on Pittsburghmay surprise you.
Thanks in part to all the great press – including fresh perspectives from international, national and some new regional journalists who participated last week in an IT-focused “Tech Crawl” media study tour hosted by the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance – the world is still beating a path to our door. I’ll share updates and articles from the Tech Crawl as they come in. I understand the group was taken aback by the tech revolution underway in our region. It’s hard to believe that it has been more than five years since the G-20 Summit opened the floodgates in terms of global attention in 2009. In addition to media visits, more than 50 international delegations have come calling trying to understand civic transformation, Pittsburgh-style. And along the way, we’ve hosted more than 30 domestic civic leadership visits, too. Next on tap? Tampa Bay is bringing a delegation of more than 100 people on a benchmarking visit next month.
A few months ago, thanks to the American Middle East Institute (AMEI), I received an invitation to travel to Cairo (that’s Egypt, not Illinois) to address a business forum to talk about civic leadership and the transformation of Pittsburgh. Due to a conflict I couldn’t go. They asked if I could do it by video, so I clambered up on Mt. Washington to record our story. If you’ve got about five and a half minutes to take a look, here it is.
WTAE-TV did a more comprehensive take on our region’s economic transformation Monday night, when it ran “Chronicle,” an hour-long account of everything and everybody it took to rebuilt the economy and what’s left to do. If you missed it, don’t worry… it’s available on demand here.
AMEI is gearing up for its 7th annual Business Conference in Pittsburgh on October 28. OASIS is a high-level gathering of Middle East Ministries  and American and Middle East  corporate and university decision makers focused on growing business opportunities between the United States and the countries of the Middle East. This year’s themes are:  Oil & Gas, Renewables, Smart Cities & Infrastructure, Health & Pharmaceuticals. You can register here.
Visitors are also on their way here this week from Puerto Rico. You may have heard that Wednesday, September 17 was Clemente Day in Major League Baseball. It’s the day that each Major League team nominates a player who best exemplifies Robert Clemente’s qualities as a humanitarian. Working with numerous partners, MLB and the Pittsburgh Pirates, we figured there was no better time to cap our year of outreach to Puerto Rico. We call it ¡Hola Pittsburgh! In June, working with the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, we presented the legendary salsa  band from Puerto Rico, El Gran Combo, as part of JazzLive International. In August, we launched a “Baseball and the ‘Burgh Weekend” a sweepstakes to win a trip to Pittsburgh for the Pirates’ season closing weekend.  Although the promotion was open to pretty much anyone who lives outside the region, the winner turned out to be from San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Zaideth Muñiz-Lugo will be flying up on Friday for Saturday’s game with the Brewers. She’s an electrical engineering student at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez
She’s also going to have a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet Roberto Clemente’s widow, Vera, and his sons Luis and Roberto, Jr., who are in town for the Pittsburgh premiere of “Clemente: The Legend of 21.” The musical opens Friday night at the Byham Theater and runs through Sunday. Please help us to spread the word;  it would be great to pack the house for all four performances. You can buy ticketshere.
The baseball sweepstakes is just the latest milestone in our ongoing efforts to put Pittsburgh on the radar screen of the thousands of young professionals from Puerto Rico who are moving to the continental United States each year. Educated in finance, health care, and engineering, they’re a great fit for the more 26,000 open jobs listed on Given our region’s aging demographics, we’re going to have to attract more people even as we try to educate and train more people who are already here to fill the jobs that are in-demand.
Our “most-listable” summer can only help.
Thanks, as always, for your commitment to our region and for helping to spread the word,


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Referendum of Scotland votes ‘No’ to independence

Vote counting begins in Scotland on independence
Scotland votes to stay in the United Kingdom and First Minister Alex Salmond accepts defeat but calls for a pledge of more devolved powers to be honoured. UK government delivers its promise of more powers for the Scottish parliament, based at Holyrood, Edinburgh. Here’s what’s likely to happen next. UK national political outfit parties viz are The Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats agree that further devolution of powers to Holyrood must take place. During the referendum campaign, the parties signed a pledge to devolve more powers to Scotland, if Scots rejected independence.
A timetable to deliver change was set out by former prime minister – and Scottish MP – Gordon Brown. It was quickly endorsed by the UK-wide parties.
As the polls closed and the vote counting began, there was a quiet thrill of history in the making on the fog-shrouded streets of Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh.
Many Scots were staying up all night in homes and bars to watch the results roll in.
Eager voters had lined up outside some polling stations even before they opened at 7 am on Thursday.
Many polling stations were busy and turnout was expected to be high.
More than 4.2 million people had registered to vote, 97 percent of those eligible, including residents as young as 16.
A Yes vote would trigger 18 months of negotiations between Scottish leaders and London-based politicians on how the two countries would separate their institutions before Scotland’s planned Independence Day on March 24, 2016.
For some, it was a day they had dreamed of for decades. For others, the time had finally come to make up their minds about the future, both for themselves and for the United Kingdom.
“Fifty years I fought for this,” said 83-year-old Isabelle Smith, a Yes supporter in Edinburgh’s maritime district of Newhaven, a former fishing port.
“And we are going to win. I can feel it in my bones.”
For Smith, who went to the polling station decked out in a blue-and-white pro-independence shirt and rosette, statehood for Scotland was a dream nurtured during three decades living in the US with her late husband.
“The one thing America has that the Scots don’t have is confidence,” said Smith, who returned to Scotland years ago.
“But they’re getting it, they’re walking tall.” “No matter what, Scotland will never, ever be the same again.”
The question on the ballot paper could not be simpler: “Should Scotland be an independent country?” Yet it has divided Scots during months of campaigning, generating an unprecedented volume and intensity of public debate and participation.
The Yes side, in particular, has energised young people and previously disillusioned working-class voters. Polls suggest the result was too close to call.
A final Ipsos MORI poll released yesterday put support for the No side at 53 per cent and Yes at 47 per cent.
The phone survey of 991 people has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.
Until recently, polls suggested as many as 1 in 5 voters was undecided, but that number has shrunk dramatically.
In the latest poll, only 4 per cent remained uncertain how they would vote. Many questions, the currency independent Scotland would use, its status within the European Union and NATO, the fate of Britain’s nuclear-armed submarines, based at a Scottish port, remain uncertain or disputed after months of campaigning.
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