Omaze and the cast of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” are teaming up to offer one lucky winner and a friend the chance to be flown into LA to visit the set, hang with the cast, watch an episode of the hit show, and of course, grab a drink at Paddy’s afterwards.It’s Always Sunny in PhiladelphiaAs the show has been deemed part of Entertainment Weekly’s “25 Best Cult TV Shows from the Past 25 Years” and infamously described as “Seinfeld on crack,” it’s no secret that time spent with Charlie (Charlie Day), Dennis (Glenn Howerton), or Frank (Danny DeVito) will be unforgettable.The winner and their friend will learn how “The Gang” came to be, what it takes to launch and star in a hit comedy, and what it’s like to indulge in a little happy hour at an imaginary bar with real people. Roundtrip airfare and hotel arrangements are included, so all that is needed is a love for Los Angeles and a sense of humor (assuming some heroic efforts, wisecrack jokes, and Hawaiian shirts are included on set). The best part about this experience is that every entry helps the Wounded Warrior Project empower veterans recovering from combat wounds.Enter HERE by September 20th for your chance to win!
Kenneth Jackson APTN National News OTTAWA – Bruce Carson certainly used his influence to help an Ottawa water treatment company attempt to secure lucrative contracts with First Nations but in doing so never did business with the federal government a judge ruled Tuesday finding the former senior aide to Stephen Harper not guilty of influence-peddling.Carson wasn’t successful in securing funding for the company but if he had it would have been with First Nation communities and not the federal government, therefore there would be no fraud on the government.“I disagree with Crown counsel that because INAC was the funding agency and served as an advisor to First Nations, that a three-way business relationship was created between the government, First Nations communities and third party suppliers such as H20 (Professionals Inc.),” said Justice Bonnie Warkentin.Warkentin said that view would be “paternalistic” and “most unwelcomed by First Nations communities. They have long asserted their right to autonomy and indeed this is enshrined in our Constitution and Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”She said it would be like comparing First Nations to charities that receive money from the federal government.The RCMP charged Carson with influence peddling in 2012 after a 2011 APTN National News investigation sparked former Prime Minister Stephen Harper to call in the Mounties to investigate.The APTN investigation uncovered Carson had been trying to use his contacts in the federal government and Harper’s cabinet to land an Ottawa water company funding to supply First Nations, plagued by toxic drinking water, treatment systems.He did so for his fiancée Michele McPherson, who was connected to the company.“It is abundantly clear from his conduct that Mr. Carson was attempting to influence government officials within INAC, Cabinet Ministers and their staff as well as high ranking members of the AFN to promote H20’s water treatment systems,” said Warkentin.But Carson was told any business would have to be with the communities themselves, and not the government.Warkentin said she would have found Carson guilty if the government had authority to “approve or purchase” H20’s water treatment systems.“The evidence supports only one conclusion and that is that First Nations communities were autonomous from the government with respect to any business transactions with H20,” she said.The Crown and RCMP politely declined to comment on the case. Crown attorney Jason Nicol said he had to review the judge’s decision.Carson also didn’t want to comment but when was told it’s been a long five years he said “we’ll agree on that.”Outside the court, Carson’s lawyer Pat McCann said it was the right decision.“It’s what we’ve been advancing all along,” said McCann, adding the Crown was trying to put a square peg in a round hole.Carson still faces illegal lobbying and influence peddling charges in a spin-off RCMP investigation that alleges he was trying to lobby the government for organizations looking to profit from the tar sands.That case is still making its way through the court.Kjackson@aptn.ca
Hajj PilgrimsThe religious affairs ministry has appointed as medical attendants of Bangladeshi hajj pilgrims, quite a number of persons who, officials concerned apprehend, are unlikely to serve the sick devotees in Makkah and Medina.In the team of 171 attendants, religious affairs minister Matior Rahman has included from his constituency, Mymensingh, as many as 35 persons who are not even remotely connected to this service.The minister himself said to Prothom Alo, “Whoever applied from Mymensingh to join the team, we are bringing them.”“Some others are being taken as requests in this regard came from different departments. Many are known [to us],” he said about inclusion of drivers in the team of attendants.Conspicuously, members of the team range from class-I and class-II officers to agriculturists and pharmacists, and from drivers to carpenters.According to terms of service, the attendants will be required to assist the pilgrims as and when required, clean garbage and help them accomplish daily chores. “But most of these people will in no way do it,” said an official of the ministry seeking anonymity.The team includes 25 drivers of members of the cabinet, and from different ministries, and government offices. There are security guards, sweepers, personal assistants, office assistants, pump operators and typists.Class-I and class-II officials who are named in the team include the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute’s plant breeding department’s scientific officer AKM Salauddin, the public administration ministry’s assistant secretary Azizur Rahman Talukder, the land record and survey department’s grainer Kamruddin, the Bangladesh Agricultural University’s sports training centre’s assistant director M Bajlul Alam and the finance ministry’s assistant secretary Ruhul Amin Mallik.During their stay in Saudi Arabia, each member of the team will be entitled to an aggregate amount between Tk 800,000 and 1,000,000, inclusive of plane fare, travel allowance and daily allowance, depending on their positions.An official of the ministry told Prothom Alo, “As a matter of custom, dedicated office assistants and attendants from the religious affairs and health ministries are supposed to go in Saudi Arabia.”The official regretted that favouritism often played a big part in selecting attendants and in most cases they did not serve the pilgrims. “That’s why there are complaints that the attendants did not even meet the pilgrims there,” the official added.The religious affairs ministry has recently published the names of the medical team members comprising 114 physicians, 97 nurses and brothers, 43 pharmacists and 12 technicians for treating the pilgrims in Saudi Arabia. The 171-member team of attendants has been formed to assist them.The religious affairs and health ministries and Islamic Foundation are supposed to jointly prepare the list of attendants. But there are allegations that the list was prepared bypassing the health ministry proposal.Contacted, health and family welfare minister Mohammad Nasim told Prothom Alo, “Every year we send names of attendants to the religious affairs ministry but they [attendants] get appointment through irregularities.”Nasim further said everyone understands the reason for appointment of the persons who do not have experience in such services.When asked, religious affairs secretary Abdul Jalil said the list has been prepared following proposals from the prime minister’s office, several ministers and important personalities. “The ministry itself hasn’t included any name from outside of the proposals.”About inclusion of scientific officers or class-I and class-II officials, the secretary said all kinds of professionals are required in such a team.In response to a question, what the drivers would do, Abdul Jalil said the minister has given approval to their inclusion in the list.*This piece, originally published in the Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Shameem Reza.
As a shy, studious teenager in Alabama, Hoda Muthana rarely made waves. After her abrupt transformation into a fiery supporter of Islamic State extremists, she is under the scanner of the top levels of the US government.The 24-year-old, who has since been married to three different jihadist men and has a toddler son, says she regrets her turn to radicalism and wants to return home — but President Donald Trump has personally intervened to block her.Growing up in Hoover, Alabama, a prosperous suburb of Birmingham with a sizable Muslim community, Muthana was raised by strict Yemeni immigrant parents who forbade her from owning a smartphone — ubiquitous among US teenagers — until she finished high school.The phone opened her world. Muthana says she was pulled in by messages of the Islamic State group which brainwashed her into flying furtively in 2014 to the militants’ self-styled caliphate, which then reigned over vast stretches of Syria and Iraq and had drawn in hundreds of Westerners, mostly Europeans of immigrant upbringing.Once she arrived, social media gave the Alabama girl a global audience among jihadists. In one tweet, she appeared to torch her US passport. In another, she called Americans “cowards” for not coming in greater numbers to the caliphate’s de facto capital of Raqa, Syria where she lived among Australians.In a message preserved by George Washington University’s Program on Extremism, Muthana hailed the deadly 2015 attack on Charlie Hebdo, the French newspaper that satirized the Prophet Mohammed, writing “Hats off to the mujs in Paris” and urging similar attacks.Detained by US-allied Kurdish fighters in Syria as the Islamic State’s territory dwindles to its last sliver, Muthana said she no longer believes in the extremist ideology.”It’s not Islamic at all. Anyone that says so, I will fight against it,” she told ABC News, speaking in a soft, flat voice and sporting a blue veil.”I’m just a normal human being who has been manipulated once and hopefully never again,” she said.New world on smartphoneJordan LaPorta, who attended Hoover High School with Muthana from 2009 to 2013, said he saw her nearly every day as they took advanced classes together.”We were courteous, and she was a nice, quiet young woman,” he told AFP.”No one, myself included, had any idea that this radicalism was festering when the original story broke in 2015. People far closer to her than I were stunned by the news,” he said.LaPorta, now a student at the University of Alabama Law School, said that Muthana later threatened him for comments he made after her turn to radicalism, by tagging him on Instagram, calling him a “nerd” and saying he “deserved a neck” — a threat he reported to the FBI.Muthana’s father gave her a smartphone when she graduated from high school and enrolled at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.She “really found a place of belonging on her phone, online,” said Hassan Shibly, a lawyer for the family.Islamic State recruiters “preyed upon her” and “gave her so much attention and played with her mind and they cut her off from her friends, from her family, from her community, from her mosque,” Shibly said.Father feels AmericanIn a highly unusual move, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Muthana is not a US citizen, even though she traveled to Syria on a US passport.”This is a woman who inflicted enormous risk on American soldiers, on American citizens. She is a terrorist. She’s not coming back,” Pompeo told the Fox Business Network on Thursday.The US Constitution’s 14th Amendment, ratified in 1868 after the Civil War and the abolition of slavery, grants citizenship to everyone born in the country — with the exception of children of diplomats, as they are not under the jurisdiction of the United States.Muthana’s father, Ahmed Ali, served at the Yemeni mission at the United Nations. He filed a lawsuit Thursday seeking to affirm his daughter’s citizenship, saying he had left his diplomatic post several months before her birth.In a 2015 interview with BuzzFeed News when his daughter’s case came to light, he voiced sorrow.”America is my country now,” he said. “My kids’ country. And if for me as an American citizen, if asked to me to defend this country, I will defend it.”LaPorta, her classmate, said that Hoover residents in a private Facebook group overwhelmingly said they did not want her back. He said she should return but face charges.”As for me, I do have some degree of sympathy. Young people make mistakes, and she has a young child not implicated in any of this due to any fault of his own,” he said.”But fleeing the country to join a terrorist organization is not an act of mere youthful indiscretion. Actions have consequences.”
by NPR News Lauren Frayer 8.21.19 12:11pm Last year, a long-distance truck driver, Mohammad Hashim, was hauling a load of refrigerators out of New Delhi when a dozen strangers on motorbikes forced him off the road.They pulled him out of his truck and demanded he open the back. They wanted to see if Hashim was transporting cows or beef — which is illegal in many Indian states, because cows are sacred in Hinduism, the majority religion in India.”But I’m just the driver, and I’m not allowed to open the back of the truck. It was locked,” Hashim, 45, recalls. “So they pulled on my beard and tried to force me to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram.'”That slogan — which means “Praise Lord Ram,” a Hindu god — has long been known as a prayer. Now it’s an incitement to mob violence against India’s minorities.Hashim, a Muslim, refused to chant in praise of a Hindu god. So the men started beating him.”I thought, ‘This is it. I’m going to die,'” he recalls. “Then I went unconscious.”A surge in lynchingsSince the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party won power in India five years ago, lynchings of the country’s minorities have surged. In February, Human Rights Watch reported at least 44 such murders between May 2015 and December 2018. Hundreds more people have been injured in religiously motivated attacks.Most of the victims are Muslims, members of the country’s largest religious minority. They comprise about 15% of India’s 1.3 billion people. Other victims include lower-caste Hindus and Christians.Most of the attackers are devout Hindu men, known as “cow vigilantes,” who take it upon themselves to enforce beef bans. Some of them claim ties to the BJP. Last year, a BJP minister met with a group of men convicted of a lynching and draped them in flower garlands.After Prime Minister Narendra Modi won a second term in a landslide victory in May, a new parliament was sworn in, dominated by his BJP. As opposition lawmakers, particularly one Muslim politician, recited the oath of office, some BJP lawmakers taunted them with chants of “Jai Shri Ram.”Last month, a BJP state minister was filmed heckling a Muslim lawmaker and trying to force him to chant “Jai Shri Ram” outside the Jharkhand state assembly.In an April report, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom condemned what it called the Indian government’s “allowance and encouragement of mob violence against religious minorities.” In June, after a lynching in Jharkhand, the U.S. commission called on the Indian government to “take concrete actions that will prevent this kind of violence and intimidation.”Article 15 of India’s constitution prohibits discrimination based on religion. Human rights groups are lobbying for the creation of a specific hate crimes law, but none exists in India yet.”It’s like they are trying to erase us”One of India’s most infamous recent lynching cases was that of Pehlu Khan, 55, a Muslim dairy farmer from Haryana state.In April 2017, Khan and his two sons were driving home from a cattle fair in neighboring Rajasthan, with two cows and two calves in the back of their truck, when strangers on motorcycles surrounded them.”I showed them receipts for the cows we’d bought, but they tore them up — and started beating us with hockey sticks,” says Khan’s son Mohamed Irshad, 27. “I suffered internal bleeding. My brother and I barely survived — and all of India saw what happened to our father.”That’s because the attackers themselves recorded a video of their assault and posted it on social media. In a two-minute clip, the men praise Hindu gods as they punch and kick Khan. His white tunic splattered with blood, the father of eight pleads for his life, calling his attackers “brother.”That graphic video is how Khan’s widow Jaibuna, who goes by one name, learned of her husband’s death. She was waiting for him to return home from the cattle fair when a neighbor ran up and showed her the clip on his cell phone.”People were saying, ‘Don’t show her, this is her family!'” recalls Jaibuna, who is in her mid-40s but doesn’t know her exact age. “Everyone was panicking, and I couldn’t take it. I fainted.”Before he died, Khan was able to describe his attackers to police. Six men were arrested. Charges against them were dropped, then reinstated, and the case remained in limbo for two years — until last week, when a court acquitted all of them, citing lack of evidence.Instead, Khan was charged posthumously with cow smuggling. Police say he didn’t have a permit to transport cows across state lines. Khan’s two sons, who were with him that day, await trial — and if convicted, face the possibility of up to five years in prison.”It’s like they are trying to erase us — erase all of my people,” Jaibuna says in the muddy courtyard of their family farm.The family has sold off their cattle, to avoid further attacks. They’re frightened. A sole buffalo remains on their farm, along with some chickens.Former BJP lawmaker Gyan Dev Ahuja, who represented the Rajasthan district where Khan was murdered, has said he has “no regret over his death.” He called Khan a “sinner.”A lack of public outcryVideos of religiously motivated attacks in India like the one that killed Khan continue to go viral. There’s a new clip on social media practically every week.But prosecutions — of the attackers, at least — are rare. So is public outrage.”How does a majority stay silent and witness something, unless you believe that what’s happening is the right thing?” asks author Rana Ayyub, who went undercover to write a book about the BJP’s role in anti-Muslim riots in Modi’s home state of Gujarat, where Modi served as chief minister before becoming prime minister.The lack of public outcry over the surge in lynchings shows that India’s Hindu majority tacitly supports not murder, Ayyub says, but some discrimination against Muslims.Some Indian analysts say the situation in India is comparable to the post-Civil War period in the United States, when many white people looked on as black people were lynched.”The similarities with the American lynchings of the late 19th century are striking,” says Prabhir Vishnu Poruthiyil, a business professor at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay who has studied corporate India’s lack of response to hate crimes.”Most of the upper-middle class that populate[s] the corporate classes, they’re also upper-caste Hindus,” Poruthiyil explains. “Even if they don’t agree with the lynching itself, they might be OK with the idea of stopping cow slaughter. It’s a slippery slope.”As a child in Mumbai, Ayyub survived Hindu-Muslim riots in 1992 and 1993, which killed several hundred people. But she says what’s happening now feels worse, because it’s not a “spur of the moment” outpouring of anger. There are very specific targets.”Now lynchings are organized on social media,” Ayyub says. “People send messages to each other, saying, ‘Hey, this household has beef in their fridge, let’s go attack them.”She says India’s Muslims increasingly perceive such attacks as being against them, rather than in defense of cows and Hindu customs. The repercussions could be dangerous, Ayyub warns. She’s worried that Muslims are being alienated as Hindu nationalists revise mainstream Indian norms along Hindu lines.”When you try to stifle a community, when you try to put them down, when you try to make them secondary citizens, their anger will burst on the streets,” Ayyub says. “That’s how you radicalize people.”Offering helpThere is a small, fledgling movement of Indians — Muslims and Hindus — working to fight hate crimes and help victims.In donated office space in New Delhi, four cellphones are lined up on a desk. When one line is busy, the next one rings. This is the headquarters of a new hate crimes helpline, created by United Against Hate, a network of volunteers. Organizers say they’ve received 15,000 phone calls since launching in July.Callers “are very upset. They are very worried and say, ‘We are in a difficult position,'” says dispatcher Jagisha Arora. “One person called me and said, ‘I’m at police station right now. Police are refusing to lodge a complaint. They are threatening us.'”Arora, 26, logs details from each call in an Excel spreadsheet and connects callers to free legal aid in 100 different Indian cities.But from time to time, she also gets a different type of call — from people who are angry that this helpline even exists.”Some people call to complain, like, ‘Why are you spreading this?’ They accuse me and say Muslims are bad,” she says, shaking her head. Fears persistHashim, the truck driver, survived his lynching on the highway outside New Delhi. After the attack, he was bedridden for six months with a broken leg and fractured vertebrae.He can’t read or write, so his supervisor at the trucking company — a Hindu — helped him file a police report. Nothing has come of it.Now it’s time for Hashim to get back on the road. He needs to provide for his five children.”My children say, ‘Don’t worry about us, Daddy. We can stay poor. We’ll eat less. We want you to be safe,'” Hashim says.They’re scared that next time, their father might not come home.Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit NPR. ‘This Is It. I’m Going To Die’: India’s… https://ondemand.npr.org/anon.npr-mp3/npr/me/2019/08/20190819_me_spate_of_lynchi…
Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Thanks to the internet and social media, anyone can now access knowledge on just about anything in just a few clicks. And since a blog can literally be started in 20 minutes or less, a lot more people are finding it easy to share knowledge, too.Related: 3 Tools to Encourage Knowledge Sharing At Your CompanyIn addition, thanks for the continuing innovations in digital technology, we can now initiate discussions and work together with people from almost anywhere across the globe as if they lived next door. And why not? Knowledge is meant to be shared; only by sharing our individual and collective experiences, skills, and know-how can we truly make the world a better placeTraditional forms of knowledge-sharing will probably continue to some degree, but industry will continue to integrate technological tools and innovation to make knowledge-collection, analysis and sharing faster and more efficient. From text and visual-based social media platforms, to video-streaming sites, review sites and podcasts, digital innovation will continue to make knowledge available to us at a moment’s notice.Here are a few reasons why that’s not just a good thing but a great thing.1. A larger pool of informationFrom delivering messages on horseback to using the old dial-up telephone to letting us communicate via Skype, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs, forums, Google etc, internet technology has played a huge part in making information and communication better.How many times have you tried to source information online — something about making a cake, for example — and typed in “how to make cakes”?Thanks to Google’s multimillion lines of code, you will almost always find something relevant for every search. It doesn’t matter what filters your search has to pass through.So, whether your search is industry-, age- or location-specific, you’re sure to find something to help with your concern or at least help you make a more targeted search.2. Increased collaboration and facilitated skill developmentWhile the scale of information on the internet is almost limitless, a reasonable percentage of it is questionable. That’s why millions of internet users looking to learn a creative skill or get a professional counseling session or perhaps learn a new language tend to choose platforms specifically designed to meet those needs. Such searches, however, usually require more than a simple search engine query.Related: 4 Ways to Build Business Relationships With Knowledge-SharingMany knowledge-sharing platforms exist today. What a searcher chooses might be a forum-style platform like Quora or a teaching website with a catalogue of videos for learning, like the Khan Academy. Then there are platforms on very specific skill sets, such as Skillshare, which provide online learning opportunities on topics like photography, crafts, writing, etc. Going this route adds an extra layer of confidence in the quality of the information you are taking in.There are also platforms like Konversai that employ a real-time video tutorial approach, where people can share knowledge about anything via one-on-one videos. This approach aims to transform learning from a passive act, like viewing materials online, to an interactive session with a teacher in real time.It blends gig-economy sites like Upwork and People Per Hour with the interactivity of Facetime.3. Improved workplace productivityBusinesses are turning to enterprise collaboration software to aid productive work between employees and third parties. This is especially evident when it comes to employee onboarding.No business will be averse to explaining to new employees what its business and industry is all about, in a secure, online space where it can control the flow, relevance and context of information those new hires are exposed to.This helps ensure that employees can speak with one voice regardless of their geographical location, and can work well with one another, because they are properly motivated, armed with the requisite knowledge and headed in the same direction. There will be no need for them to spend the 1.8 hours per day to 9.3 hours typically needed per week (according to a McKinsey report), trying to pool together industry-related information online. Their collaboration platform will be they need.4. A boost in social media inspirationMillions of businesses and business ideas around the world have been born out of a spur-of-the moment inspiration. Social media is arguably the largest provider of such light-bulb moments. Cyberspace is full of potential inspiration, whether that means creating a mood board on Pinterest; collecting images; telling a story on Instagram; or posting an ad on Facebook, a tweet on Twitter, an article share on LinkedIn.Related: Digital Knowledge Manager: 5 Skills You Need to Succeed at the the Newest Marketing RoleEven just having a simple conversation with someone on social media can turn into a massive eureka moment that can give you a fresh idea or help you make an existing one better. There are millions of knowledge repositories and sources of inspiration besides social media, but since everyone is on social media anyway, for both business and personal reasons, it makes sense to milk it for all it’s got.In sum, there is knowledge to be found everywhere; technology just helps us make the process of finding and using it a much more pleasurable experience regardless of our particular needs and situations. October 30, 2017 5 min read Register Now »
Friday, March 2, 2018 Tags: LOL, Theme Parks & Attractions SYDNEY — Beyoncé, who’s been known to make her husband Jay-Z snap pics of her while on vacation, may be interested to know that Madame Tussauds in Sydney, Australia has introduced the ‘Selfie Butler’ to capture selfies while on site.At last, the hip hop mogul can breathe a sigh of relief and hand over selfie duties to someone else.Available from now until March 18, the exclusive service includes one full hour with a personal photographer (dressed to the nines, no less, in a vest and white gloves!), who’ll curate your photos for Insta-worthy pics on your device. The service costs $55 and includes the price of admission plus a one-hour session for a maximum of five people. All additional guests must have a valid entry ticket.According to Mark Connolly, General Manager of Madame Tussauds Sydney, the service will give guests a much-needed break from taking selfies so that they can truly focus on the exhibits. Want to touch fingertips with E.T. himself? Or pose as part of Taylor Swift’s squad? Don’t worry, your selfie butler will capture every moment for you. Share Selfie butlers exist because this is the world we live in now << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by Travelweek Group