Become a winemaker – An ideal gift for someone special

first_imgTwitter A WINE club with a difference, GrowYourWine.com promises to take wine-lovers on a journey through the entire production cycle of their very own vintage wine. Allowing members to track the progress of their vines online and to take part in the grape harvest in the Vendée region between Nantes and La Rochelle, a GrowYourWine membership makes the ideal Christmas gift.The Connoisseur’s Membership includes:Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up Rental of a row of 12 vines at one of Cottage des Ajonc’s vineyards for a year.12 bottles of wine (red, white or rosé) with customised labels produced from your own vines delivered to your door or collected directly at the vineyard.A certificate of ownership and a photo of your named row.An open invitation to inspect your vines at any time.The opportunity to pick your own grapes and participate in the harvest celebrations.A winemaking class held on site at the vineyard (1 day at harvest including lunch)Free visit at bottling time with option of collecting your wine at the vineyard or having your bottles delivered to your homeAccess to the members private wine blog to track the progress of your vines online and keep up to date with vineyard happenings.A welcome gift pack (including a wine thermometer, a drip collar, a corkscrew, a tourist map …)Your winemaker’s certificate.Becoming a GrowYourWine member is very easy online. An exclusive way to enjoy your very own wine and join a community of like-minded individuals. Advertisement Facebook NewsBecome a winemaker – An ideal gift for someone specialBy admin – December 15, 2009 714 Printcenter_img Previous articleSean’s Atlantic crossing delayed againNext articleArts briefs December 19 admin Email WhatsApp Linkedinlast_img read more

Hungover airline worker accidentally falls asleep in flight’s cargo hold: Police

first_imgiStock/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) — American Airlines flight 363 was only supposed to have 86 people on board — its 87th was hungover and asleep in the cargo hold.A hungover employee for regional carrier Piedmont Airlines fell asleep in the cargo hold of an American Airlines flight from Kansas City last week and took the one-hour ride to Chicago, Sgt. Rocco Alioto, a spokesman for the Chicago Police Department, told ABC News.Because the area of the hold was pressurized and heated, he survived and was discovered by ground employees upon landing at O’Hare International Airport, according to American Airlines.The employee was interviewed by the Chicago Police Department and told authorities that he had been drinking the night before and fell asleep in the cargo hold after arriving at work, according to a police spokesman.He has been suspended from work pending the investigation, American Airlines said.A source briefed on the incident told ABC News that he wasn’t discovered before departure likely because there was no luggage loaded in the forward hold for the flight.The FBI worked the case alongside the Chicago Police Department; all declined to press charges.“A Piedmont Airlines employee, who was working an American Airlines flight on the morning of Oct. 27 at Kansas City International Airport (MCI), inadvertently fell asleep in the forward cargo hold of a Boeing 737-800 aircraft,” American Airlines said in a statement. “The flight subsequently took off with the team member in the cargo hold, which was heated and pressurized.”“Our top priority is ensuring the well-being of the Piedmont employee,” the statement continued. “He did not request any medical attention upon arrival in Chicago, and we are grateful that he did not sustain any injuries. The American team is very concerned about this serious situation, and we are reviewing what transpired with our Piedmont and Kansas City colleagues.” Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Do This: Long Island Events May 28 – June 3

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Nelson DeMilleThis bestselling author will speak about and sign his latest novel in the John Corey series, Radiant Angel, which takes readers into the heart of a new Cold War with a suspenseful, clock-ticking plot that has Manhattan in its crosshairs. Book Revue, 313 New York Ave., Huntington. bookrevue.com Price of book. 7 p.m. May 28.Book SigningJake Bussolini, author of The Last Chapter – The Facts About the Last Days of Grumman, will host a lecture and book signing. The former Grumman senior vice president shares the fascinating inside story of the 1994 acquisition of the company by Northrop. Cradle of Aviation Museum, Charles Lindbergh Blvd., Garden City. cradleofaviation.org Free. 7 p.m. May 28.The Empty HeartsFeaturing members of The Cars, Blondie and Chesterfield Kings, this supergroup features Rock and Roll Hall of Fame drummer Clem Burke, two-time Grammy nominee Elliot Easton, bassist Andy Babiuk and lead singer/rhythm guitarist Wally Pamar. While fans view these icons as celebrities, the band members themselves are simply friends who bond through their love of rock. Bruce Springsteen’s The E Street Band member and Sopranos television star, Steven Van Zandt, handpicked the band’s name while collaborating with Babiuk. The Empty Hearts combines many lifetimes of musical experience, while sharing an admiration for the bands that made them become musicians in the first place. From American roots rock ‘n’ roll to 1960’s British Invasion, The Empty Hearts cover a wide range of genres, creating music that is nostalgic and retro but sounds brand new at the same time. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $10-$25. 8 p.m. May 28.Lynyrd SkynyrdIconic and legendary American rock band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, has been popularizing the Southern-rock genre for more than 40 years. Their signature songs “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Free Bird,” along with powerhouse performances, have allowed the Rock & Roll Hall of Famers to remain worldwide cultural icons. Lynyrd Skynryd is still standing and keeping the music going, furthering their legacy, retaining the respect and enjoyment among fans, regardless of generation. NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $50.50-$60.50. 8 p.m. May 28.The ProducersOpening night for the local run of this hysterical musical is not to be missed. The story follows Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom who concoct a ridiculous scheme to make millions on Broadway by promoting a whopping failure, a musical about Hitler. But the jokes on them. Runs through July 12. John W. Engeman Theater, 250 Main St., Northport. engemantheater.com $69. 8 p.m. May 28.Fetty WapAlmost two years ago, W. Willie Maxwell II, known as Fetty Wap, took an interest in music. Since then, Kanye West has introduced the young rapper at his Roc City Classic show, alongside Big Sean, Travi$ Scott, Pusha T and 2 Chainz. His single, “Trap Queen,” has become No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 13 on iTunes. Wap makes his influences clear in his music, combining rap with melodies and trap instrumentals, paying homage to Gucci Mane, Project Pat and more. The Emporium, 9 Railroad Ave., Patchogue. theemporiumny.com $20. 9:30 p.m. May 28.Lady AntebellumSince the band formed in 2006, musicians Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott have been writing and performing chart-topping Country hits such as “Need You Now,” “Just a Kiss” and “Bartender.” Come see the trio perform their greatest hits as part of their “Wheels Up” tour while they celebrate the release of their latest album 747. With opening acts Hunter Hayes and Sam Hunt. Nikon at Jones Beach Theater, Jones Beach State Park, Ocean Pkway, Wantagh. jonesbeach.com $32.50-$62.25. 7 p.m. May 29. PhantogramOriginally known as Charlie Everywhere from upstate New York, Phantogram combines street beats and psychedelic pop. Their popularity interestingly is a result of word-of-mouth versus social media. The band has generated an enthusiastic crowd, one you’ll definitely want to be part of this summer. Son Little opens the show. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $19.50-$42. 9 p.m. May 29.Get the Led OutGet the Led Out, The American Led Zeppelin, strive toward differentiating themselves from other Led Zeppelin “tribute” shows. While a typical tribute band will impersonate live performances or add their own influence on songs, Get the Led Out has one mission: to bring the studio recordings of Led Zeppelin to life on the big concert stage. The band does this with six members, rather than four, to recreate and perfect Led Zeppelin’s studio recordings live. Fans of Led Zeppelin rejoice: you are not only among talented musicians, but fellow fans who share your passion. The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Ave., Westbury. thespaceatwestbury.com $25-$40. 8 p.m. May 29.Songs in the AtticDavid Clark will be joined for “One Night Only” by past and current members of The Billy Joel Band. Special guests will include: Liberty DeVitto (drums), Russell Javors (guitar) and Mike DelGuidice (also from “Big Shot” on vocals and piano). A night of Billy Joel music like none other. Special guest openers: The Slim Kings, featuring Liberty Devitto. Suffolk Theater, 118 East Main St., Riverhead. suffolktheater.com $39. 8 p.m. May 29.FyaWorksThe first band to play Treme’s summer reggae series every Friday night will be FyaWorks, who will musically transport the audience from Long Island to the island of Jamaica. Treme Blues and Jazz Club, 553 Main St., Islip. tremeislip.com $10. 9 p.m. May 29.New York Pet ExpoThis pet expo is bringing fun products and activities to LI for all kinds of pets. All well-tempered animals are welcome to attend, and pet owners are encouraged to stop by and see the giveaways and sales at the Expo. Even non-pet owners are welcome to participate in the animal adoption fair. This will be a great day to spend with your favorite furry, feathery, or scaly family members! Perhaps the Press‘ elusive Mr. Peter Chin will bring a few of his family’s whiskered, snuggly beasts to this mammal spectacular! Or perhaps not! Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, 1255 Hempstead Tpke., Uniondale. nassaucoliseum.com $9 adults, $8 seniors/military, $4 kids ages 6-11, kids under 5 free. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. May 30.Fingers Metal Shop LiveIf you dig local legendary metal radio show “Fingers Metal Shop” on WBAB, you will absolutely LOVE this weekly live metal session that showcases metal, of course, in all its glory, noise and chaos, from national and native purveyors. This week’s assault is led by head-bangin’ hellraisers Misery Kills with Share The Burden, Dead Day Rising and Lost Legacy. Revolution Bar and Music Hall, 140 Merrick Rd., Amityville. revolutionli.com $10, $13 DOS. 8:30 p.m. May 30.Acoustic ConcertLI’s top acoustic performers will present their very best original tunes, melding the realms of country, folk, rock and blues. Clarion Hotel, 3845 Veterans Memorial Hwy., Ronkonkoma. LongIslandMusiciansNetwork.com Free. 5 p.m. May 30.’70s Soul JamFeaturing a lineup of legendary soul and R&B musicians that includes The Stylistics, Delfonics, Manhattans, Chilites and The Main Ingredient with Cuba Gooding, Sr., father of actor, Cuba Gooding, Jr. Experience the 1970s and rejoice with the people that made the decade so memorable, as each group performs their most popular hits. NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $39.50-$69.50. 8 p.m. May 30.Ottmar Liebert & Luna NegraThe German-born “Nouveau Flamenco” guitarist, Ottmar Liebert, leads his band, Luna Negra. His music, consisting of pop song structures, is complimented by traditional flamenco music and subtly placed jazz. On top of five Grammy Award nominations, the songwriter/producer has had 10 of his albums certified platinum in the United States. YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts, 37 West Main St., Bay Shore. boultoncenter.org $50-$55. 8 p.m. May 30.Dance With Me Presents: Summer InvitationalDancing with the Stars Mirror Ball trophy champion Tony Dovolani will be hosting the annual Summer Invitational 2015. Presented by Dance With Me dance studios, the event will include Professional, Administrative, Amateur and Professional/Amateur competitions. There will be solo performances and lectures from guest judges Alla Kocherga, Serge Onik and Ilias Vinikovskiy on the program. The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Ave., Westbury. thespaceatwestbury.com $55-$119. May 30, 31.Portugal Day ParadeThe 1.5-mile parade route will head east on Jericho Turnpike, south on Roslyn Road, east on Westbury Avenue to Union Street and end at Wilson Park in Mineola, where Bairrada Restaurant will be hosting its 2015 Portugal Day Festival. Special attractions include Portuguese pop singers, folklore dancing, philharmonic and marching bands and other lively entertainment. Mineola Portuguese Center, 306 Jericho Tpke., Mineola. Free. 11 a.m. May 31.Long Island LitFestThe inaugural Word Up: Long Island LitFest, a day of live, non-fiction readings is a unique celebration of words to be held at Castle Gould. The festival is broken down into three, one-hour reading sessions with breaks in between for book sales and autographs. The keynote reader is the legendary Dick Cavett, who will present essays from his latest book Brief Encounters: Conversations, Magic Moments and Assorted Hijinks. Sands Point Preserve, 127 Middle Neck Rd., Sands Point. TheSandsPointPreserve.com $20. 1 p.m. May 31.Pitbull / Kelly ClarksonPitbull and Kelly Clarkson combine the English and Latino songs of the suave rapper with the upbeat pop and rock of the 2002 American Idol winner. Heat up the summer with songs like the internationally acclaimed hit “I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)” and “Heartbeat Song.” They’re headlining 103.5 KTU’s KTUphoria, which features Jason Derulo, Ricky Martin, Adam Lambert, Prince Royce, Shaggy and more. Nikon at Jones Beach Theater, Jones Beach State Park, Ocean Pkway, Wantagh. jonesbeach.com $25.50-$123.50. 6 p.m. May 31. Phil FiretogHailing from Massapequa Park and citing John Mayer, Dave Matthews, Toad The Wet Sprocket and As Tall As Lions as his influences, The ‘Toggler celebrates his CD release Portrait Songs, alongside local songbirds Matchbox Twenty tribute band Bright Lights, Ghost Pressure, Melissa Rorech and Trees Hate Everything. Revolution Bar and Music Hall, 140 Merrick Rd., Amityville. revolutionli.com $10. 6:30 p.m. May 31.CANCELLED: Body CountIce-T’s Los Angeles-based hardcore band will tear up the stage. Opening the show are death metal Long Island natives Suffocation and Tension. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com 24.50-$44.50. 7 p.m. May 31.Suzanne VegaYou know her from her timeless array of hits, including “Luka,” “Tom’s Diner” and “Caramel.” This is a chance to experience the acclaimed songstress, who melds eclectic folk with poetic lyrics and seemingly endless passion, up close and personal. Not to be missed! Landmark on Main Street, 232 Main St., Port Washington. landmarkonmainstreet.org $47-$188. 8 p.m. May 31.—Compiled by Kaitlin Gallagher, Chuck Cannini, Nicholas Semelak, Kyla Stan, Timothy Bolger & Zachary B. Tirana IIIlast_img read more

500 days to 2010

first_imgSupporters of the national football teamwearing their customary headgear madefrom plastic hardhats at a match betweenBafana Bafana and Equatorial Guinea in2008.(Image: Chris Kirchhoff, MediaClubSouth Africa. For more free photos, visitthe image library.)Janine ErasmusThe Fifa World Cup is fast approaching, and 26 January 2009 marks the milestone of just 500 days until the greatest sporting spectacle in the world unfolds for the first time on African soil between 11 June and 11 July 2010.Since the announcement in 2004 by Fifa president Sepp Blatter that the World Cup would finally come to Africa, the country has been in a frenzy of planning, building, renovating, constructing and training.All sectors of industry and society are doing their bit to ensure that next year’s football world cup will be an event talked about for years to come by the estimated 26-billion cumulative global audience. An estimated three-billion viewers will watch the opening game alone.However, among citizens the day has passed quietly and uneventfully. Even Zakumi, the green-haired leopard and official mascot of the World Cup, has kept a low profile. According to the Local Organising Committee (LOC), the upcoming Confederations Cup is the most immediate priority.LOC spokesperson Richard Mkhondo said, “We would begin earnestly to actually promote the World Cup when the Confederations Cup is finished.”The most significant event of the day is expected to be the unveiling in Bloemfontein of the nine official 2010 Fifa host city posters. The launch will signal a more aggressive public marketing approach for the long-anticipated event.Growing excitementNot long ago the pessimists doubted the country’s ability to successfully host such a huge global sporting event, but recently a slowly growing confidence and excitement is becoming more evident. And of course, Fifa has backed South Africa from the outset, and continues to do so.“Africa has given the world of football so many, many talented and outstanding players, coaches, clubs and national teams,” commented Blatter, “and therefore it was justice that one day that they would host the World Cup in Africa. Now it is Africa’s time. I am very happy that in 500 days the World Cup will kick-off in South Africa. It will be a historic moment.”Construction of stadiums continues at a satisfactory pace, says the LOC. The 2009 Confederations Cup, regarded as a dress rehearsal for the big event, takes place in June 2009 and work on the four venues in the host cities of Johannesburg, Pretoria, Rustenburg and Bloemfontein is drawing steadily closer to completion.The four stadiums will be ready for the Confederations Cup, says the LOC, and construction on the remaining six venues for the World Cup is due for completion at the end of 2009. Most are around 60% to 70% complete, so the halfway mark has long been passed.The South African government had made billions available for infrastructure upgrade. R136-billion alone has been set aside for improvements to electricity networks in the nine host cities, while another R31-billion rand has been allocated for other preparations.A surge in tourist numbersSouth Africa is expecting tourist numbers to surge and according to Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism Marthinus van Schalkwyk, speaking at the launch of National Tourism Month in September 2008, the goal of having 10-million international visitors visiting the country by 2010 is well within reach. In fact, he added, it may even happen in 2009.The global financial crunch is not expected to have any negative impact on tourist numbers, as South Africa remains an affordable destination in any currency.The sentiment was echoed by Blatter, who commented, “Naturally, we might not have the same return of investment as we had at the last World Cup in 2006, but the world was a different place then. For Fifa, it’s not important to get money out of Africa, but it’s important to us that the Africans enjoy organising their own World Cup – and they will do.”Service industries in the country, such as transport, hospitality, catering and tourism, are expected to reap massive benefits, as are the many entrepreneurs who have seized the chance to become a part of the action.A number of host cities, including Johannesburg and Cape Town, are upgrading their public transport facilities and will boast state of the art bus and train rapid transport systems by the time 2010 rolls around. Major airports around the country are undergoing extensive upgrades and the new King Shaka international airport at la Mercy, north of Durban, will open in time to welcome visitors to the province.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Janine Erasmus on [email protected] articles:Colourful vuvuzelas – from kelpConfed Cup matches finalised Cape Town’s new bus system Useful links:FifaSouth African Football Association South Africa 2010 Confederations Cuplast_img read more

Northern Alliance plays pivotal role in US plans to overthrow the Taliban

first_imgWAR LEGACY: Northern Alliance tanks sport portraits of Masood at a parade near Khwaja BahawudinThe sun rises over Khwaja Bahawudin like a ghostly white apparition. A thick blanket of dust cloaks this desert town in northern Afghanistan throughout the day. The town is the military headquarters of the United Islamic,WAR LEGACY: Northern Alliance tanks sport portraits of Masood at a parade near Khwaja BahawudinThe sun rises over Khwaja Bahawudin like a ghostly white apparition. A thick blanket of dust cloaks this desert town in northern Afghanistan throughout the day. The town is the military headquarters of the United Islamic and National Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan, better known as the Northern Alliance, an unwieldy array of resistance forces.In the days after the US bombardment of Afghanistan, the alliance’s army has emerged as the key to American plans to overwhelm the Taliban on the ground.MANY WARS, SAME RESULTS: The ruins of an office of a UN agency hit by US missiles in KabulLiving conditions in the town, however, make you wonder whether its forces are as formidable as its leaders claim they are. It is like journeying back in time. The roads are dirt tracks, meant only for mules. Houses are basically mud fortifications of Indus Valley vintage. There is no electricity, no tap water and no sewerage system.Anyone wanting to do a period film of ancient Afghanistan could do so without any additional props. Since the war began, trucks carrying AK-47-toting soldiers head to the battlefront every day. Many are trooping in as well. Refugees fleeing nearby war zones pour into the town and are huddled into makeshift cloth tents. Khwaja Bahawudin is on the verge of collapse.Worshippers at a mosque which was bombed during the Soviet invasionYet from the muddy ramparts of this town, the 15,000-strong resistance forces are waging a surprisingly tough fightback against one of the most brutal and obstinate regimes in the world having an army of 50,000 troops.The alliance, in a rare show of congruity, is confronting the Taliban in an arc of fronts. It seems to be part of the overall strategy: even as US fighters pound the main cities, the Taliban would have to stretch its forces to guard their flanks.advertisementBefore the war began, the alliance forces held barely 10 per cent of the northern territory. While its army excelled in mountain warfare, it was no match for the Taliban’s military superiority on the vast plains of Afghanistan. With over 500 tanks and 30 fighter jets, the Taliban had ensured that key cities like Kandahar, Kabul, Jalalabad and Mazar-e-Sharif were impregnable. Till last week, that is.War DiaryDay 1Operation Enduring Freedom unfolds on the night of October 7-Kabul plunges into darkness. Some 50 Tomahawk missiles are dropped on Kabul, Kandahar, Jalalabad and Kunduz by about 40 aircraft of the US and UK.Day 2The attack screams into its second night on October 8. Electricity supply in Kabul is immediately cut off by the Taliban. Four bombs are reportedly dropped on Kabul, of which one hits the airport. The northern cities of Mazar-e-Sharif and Kunduz are also bombed. This time, a smaller fleet of about 15 bombers are used; 15 missiles hit targets. Day 3October 9 sees the first daylight raids. The house of Taliban supremo Mullah Omar is hit. 20 aircraft pound military bases and oil installations in Kabul, Kandahar and Herat. Four civilians working with UN killed.Day 4On the night of October 10, a mix of land-based bombers and carrier-based strike aircraft are used in what is the most punishing strike yet. At least five bombs land in the very heart of Kabul. US fighter jets also drop three bombs near Kandahar airport. The Taliban claims heavy civilian casualties in the attack.Day 5The campaign goes into its fifth day with the US unleashing 5,000-pound laser-guided bombs (GBU-28s) targeting Kabul, Herat and Jalalabad. The Taliban’s air defence is destroyed.In the first week of the war, the US sought to cripple the Taliban’s military capability. Using its most modern weapons, including cruise missiles, Stealth bombers and submarine-launched warheads, it destroyed Taliban fighter jets, tank regiments, artillery battalions, airports and city fortifications.The US hoped that the severe bombardment would demoralise the regime headed by the one-eyed Mullah Mohammed Omar and trigger its collapse. The alliance forces would be used for the mop-up operations on the ground.That way the US and its allies could minimise the loss of their own personnel, apart from claiming rather facetiously that their forces had not invaded Afghan soil. But it was not going to be as easy as the world hoped it would be.The alliance had been forged together by Ahmed Shah Masood. Using an intricate network of informers, Masood was able to frustrate the Taliban army for years with his strategic retreats, encirclements and ambushes. Masood’s death on September 11, left a gaping void in the alliance. But it managed to move quickly to establish a collegiate style of leadership and even pushed back an attempt by the Taliban to gain fresh territory around Khwaja Bahawudin.advertisementMohammed Fahim Khan, Masood’s trusted lieutenant, succeeded him as defence minister. Khan, however, lacks Masood’s charisma and does not appear to harbour political ambitions. In some ways it may help when the spoils of the war have to be distributed among the power brokers that will control a new set-up in Afghanistan.Of more immediate importance is the fact that the alliance is now flush with military supplies. Hours before the US strike, Attiqula Baryalai, Fahim’s key deputy, drove to an incongruous outpost in Dasht-e-Kala, about 30 km from Khwaja Bahawudin. There the lean and muscular Baryalai met key commanders to decide on distribution of the ammunition.On slips of paper, he scribbled the figures for each sector: 1,800 AK-47s, 1,000 PK-type machine guns and over 500 rocket-propelled grenade launchers. In 10 minutes, he had distributed close to 10,000 guns to the regiments guarding the northern sector.It looked as if the Russians and Iranians had stepped up the supplies. That included an entire regiment of T-55 tanks and armoured personnel carriers, which lay sheltered behind a bend in the Amu river close to the barge we had used to cross the border.It was noon when we reached the regiment and the sun was mercilessly hot. Yet General Abdul Muneer, the strapping regiment commander from Panjshir Valley, was willing to demonstrate how eager his men were to do battle. He ordered them to get into half-a-dozen tanks and show off their prowess.The tank engines roared to life and they moved swiftly across the banks of the river raising a cloud of dust. Most tanks carried a picture of Masood who is fast acquiring a Che Guevara-like stature in the region. I got inside one of the tanks with Muneer.Ammunition is packed tightly all over and there is barely enough space to stretch your legs. Muneer said determinedly, “The Talibs are terrorists. They have become slaves to foreign powers. They will soon be thrown out.” The way he pronounces the word “terrorists”, it sounds like tourists.TENT CITY: More than 15,000 refugee families, fleeing war, famine and Taliban terror, subsist on rations doled out by foreign aid agencies at camps on the banks of Amu riverA little later we are invited to lunch by General Abdul Wahid, who runs an army base workshop. His tent offers a magnificent view of the Amu. His deputy, Dadullah, joins us and is delighted to know we are from India.He lost a leg in a mine blast four years ago and spent six months in a Delhi hospital where an artificial leg was fitted. Wahid apologises for the simple lunch of pulao and dal. We tell him it’s the best meal we have had in days. “The dal is from India,” he says, “We won’t touch anything that is from Pakistan.”advertisementThe visceral hatred for Pakistanis and their interference in Afghan affairs is something that one encounters right across northern Afghanistan. There is much anger against Pakistan’s support to the Taliban and the deep involvement of the ISI in building and training its army.Even our translator Javed, who studied Urdu in Peshawar, is upset with their devious ways. Referring to the US move to bail out Pakistan’s economy he said, “All it takes is money for Pakistan to switch sides and dump Afghanistan.”The Northern Alliance forces have other concerns about Pakistan’s involvement. In an innocuous house in Dasht-e-Kala, we met General Rahimutallah Mohibullah. He is the commander of the 7,000-strong alliance forces that has been lined up to regain Talukhan from the Taliban.Dressed in army fatigues, the stocky Mohibullah explained, “The Talibs we can take on any time. But it is the former Pakistani officers and Osama bin Laden’s men that will make the fight a tough one.”TENSION IN AIR: News from the battlefront is eagerly followed on radio, the only sourceThere are nagging suspicions that the US has entered into a deal with Pakistan to deprive the Northern Alliance of a final victory by inducting defectors from the Taliban into a future government.Reports that the US may be on the verge of deploying ground forces from bases in Uzbekistan are viewed with alarm. The alliance plans to counter this by capturing as much territory in the north-particularly the cities of Kunduz, Herat and Mazar-e-Sharif-so that it has an adequate bargaining clout for the future.Pakistan’s role will again be key to the stability of any future Afghanistan regime. Over the years, Pakistan has invested much of its resources in nurturing the Taliban and will now make every effort to have a say in the emerging dispensation.Islamabad has always been against the alliance saying it lacked the support of the Pashtoon community that accounts for 41 per cent of Afghanistan’s 16 million people.There is some truth to Pakistan’s criticism. Tajiks, who form 22 per cent of the population, dominate the alliance (Masood was a Tajik). The Uzbeks account for 6 per cent and are led by General Rashid Dostum who has made a comeback after years in exile.The Hazaras constitute another 5 per cent and have rejoined the alliance. Also back is Ismail Khan, the respected former governor of Herat province.Fearing that the lack of Pashtoon support may derail their efforts, the US and its allies have begun work on other solutions. Even before the war, moves were afoot to bring back former king Mohammad Zahir Shah, who is living in exile in Rome.The idea is to get the king, who is a Pashtoon, to convene a Loya Jirga or assembly of tribal and regional leaders to determine the fate of post-war Afghanistan.CROWN OF THORNS: General Fahim Khan is Masood’s successor, but lacks his charismaAfghanistan’s real tragedy is the enormity of suffering that the many wars have wrought. Even before the US strikes began, over a million people fled to Pakistan, Iran and Tajikistan. Meanwhile, three years of a devastating drought has all but destroyed Afghanistan’s agricultural production.In some perverse way, the Taliban has achieved its goal of taking Afghanistan to the medieval ages in its bid to establish a purist Islamic society. Most Afghans now live in Stone-Age conditions. The once-proud people are dependent on doles from aid agencies that are constantly harassed by the Taliban.In the town square at Khwaja Bahawudin, a crowd of refugees had gathered to collect the weekly ration of sugar being distributed by Acted, a French relief organisation.Among them was 38-year-old Syed Kareem who fled with his wife and two children from nearby Khwaja Gar after the Taliban police repeatedly set fire to his house for not following their orders to pray five times a day. He lives in a tent on the banks of the Amu like 15,000 other families.Acted is the lone agency helping out refugees in the northern region and Cyril Dupree, its coordinator, says, “The real emergency is inside Afghanistan. And there is just not enough being done.” The economy lies in tatters.The Afghani, the official currency, fluctuates wildly. Moneychangers have to distribute notes in gunnysacks. A day before the war broke out the exchange rate was 80,000 Afghani to a dollar and now it hovers around 50,000 to a dollar.Prices are absurd with tomatoes and onions costing one lakh Afghanis a kg ($2). Vegetable sellers don’t have iron weights but use round stones to measure quantity. Petrol, mainly imported from Uzbekistan, is sold in tin drums with a 100 litres costing $200 (Rs 9,600).MARCH OF DESPERATION: The US bombardment sparked a fresh wave of exodus from Kabul (above) and other Taliban-controlled citiesThe progress of the war is followed keenly. At the Najibullah Hotel in Dasht-e-Kala, which serves the best kebabs in the region, every other person carries a transistor to listen to the latest from the front.Refugees are another source of news. At the centre of attention is 14-year-old Khaled who escaped from Kabul before the US bombardment began and undertook a traumatic 24-hour journey to return home. Khaled said the Taliban police were constantly picking on him for not growing a beard. They even arrested him and kept him in detention for a day.While the Taliban has shut down all girl schools, the ones that the boys go to are in no better shape. In Dasht-e-kala, for instance, constant bombing by Taliban forced the only school to shift its premises away from the town.There, next to an overflowing nullah, groups of boys learn under thatched huts. Abdul Mahmood says he hopes to become a doctor when he grows up. Headmaster Fakruddin is pessimistic. He says the drop-out rate is 80 per cent with most of the students joining the mujahideen.CHANGE OF GUARD: Alliance forces have consolidated their hold on Takhar provinceAs the war rages, the refugees in Kashlok camp No. 1, on the outskirts of Khwaja Bahawudin, wait in anticipation. Ghulam Rasool, a farmer, hopes that it will end soon so that he can return to his house in Talukhan.He recollected the trauma of escaping with his wife and three children after the Taliban captured his village. Like most Afghan women, his wife Gul Afrooz covers her face and refuses to speak. But whenever her husband misses a detail she prompts him. Rasool is in tears as he points to the torn clothes of his children Javed, 10, and Sharbana, 12. They have no shoes.By then it is evening. The sun is still an incandescent white globe on the horizon. In the ruins near the camp, the elders offer namaaz. Waiting patiently for her father to finish his prayers is five-year-old Mallika Abdul Rashid. She is clutching a schoolbook titled My Hero.What strikes me is the sparkle in her big brown eyes. I pray that it never dims.last_img read more

2012 ACT Super League

first_imgTouch Football ACT’s 2012 Super League will commence on Thursday, 18 October at the Deakin Playing Fields and will be contested by Canberra’s best teams over nine rounds.The Canberra City Bears, Tuggeranong Vikings, Woden Eagles and the Riteway Belconnen Phoenix will battle it out again this season in both the Men’s and Women’s fixtures.Last year saw an exciting finals showcase with the Phoenix taking out the Men’s division title by one touchdown,  Canberra City won the Women’s division in a drop-off and the Bears were also winners in the 16’s Mixed division by one touchdown. Round one will see Canberra City take on Woden and the Phoenix battle it out against Tuggeranong in both the Men’s and Women’s fixtures  with games starting at 6.50pm. For news, fixtures and results from the 2012 Super League stay tuned to Touch Football ACT’s website:http://www.acttouch.com.au/ 2011 ACT Super League final resultsMen’sNorthern Phoenix 7 defeated Woden Eagles 6Women’sCanberra City 6 defeated Tuggeranong Vikings 5 (drop-off)Under 16’s MixedCanberra City 9 defeated Northern Phoenix 8Related LinksACT Super Leaguelast_img read more

10 months agoArsenal midfielder Ramsey in Bosman talks with Juventus

first_imgArsenal midfielder Ramsey in Bosman talks with Juventusby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey is in Bosman talks with Juventus.The Gunners withdrew the offer of a new deal for Ramsey earlier in the season after months of negotiations – with the player’s deal to expire in June.Calciomercato.com says Inter and AC Milan have recently been linked with the Wales star, but it now looks likely that Italian champions Juve will pip their rivals who have been dissuaded by the player’s high wage demands.Ramsey is thought to want £9million a year from any prospective deal, and Juve will consider sanctioning the move as it will be offset by the fact that no transfer fee will be involved.Ramsey was voted Arsenal’s player of the season last term by Arsenal fans – the second time he was won the award during his ten-year stay. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

14 days agoFellaini slams Man Utd board: They keep sacking managers

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Fellaini slams Man Utd board: They keep sacking managersby Paul Vegas14 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini has hit out at the board.Now with Shangdong Luneng, Fellaini slammed United’s sack culture.He told the Daily Mail: “They brought in [David] Moyes, they didn’t give him time. They brought in [Louis] Van Gaal, they gave him two years and we started to do some things, he won the cup, but after that they sacked the manager because they want to win quickly.”For me the club were too quick to sack Jose [Mourinho] because a manager like that comes and he needs a lot of players to do his own philosophy.”He wanted to build his team but after two years and a half they decided to sack him because the results were not there.”That’s the problem, they have to find a solution together. A manager like Van Gaal, tactically is very strong and a lot of experience and they sacked him.”They brought in one of the best managers in the world in Jose Mourinho, he wanted to build a team and they sacked him.”It’s not easy to build a team in that time, you need more than two years.”I don’t know what they will do with Ole. Mourinho, for the first season, he did amazingly, he improved the team, won things.”Okay the second season, was a bit more difficult, but he tried and did his best to help the team.” last_img read more

Ole Miss Sells Out Season Tickets In Record Time

first_imgOle Miss Football Tickets are Sold Out.Ole Miss Tickets Sold OutThe Rebels are coming off their first nine-win football season since 2009 and the anticipation for the next chapter is apparent, as Ole Miss has sold out of season tickets in record time, according to Athletic Director Ross Bjork. Was just asked if I wanted to tweet this out first….I jumped at the chance. Thanks to our #OleMiss family! #WAOM pic.twitter.com/Rje3iHISjf— Ross Bjork (@RossBjorkAD) June 23, 2015Earliest (on record) we’ve sold out of @OleMissFB season tickets…….June 23. Expecting new sales record as well! pic.twitter.com/viVYZGn9el— Ross Bjork (@RossBjorkAD) June 23, 2015 After defeating conference opponents like Alabama and Texas A&M during its 7-0 start to the season, it’s easy to see why Ole Miss is excited about the glaring support from its fans.The Rebels didn’t close the 2014-15 season out as strong as they had hoped, losing four of their last six games, but that’s not going to keep the always-proud fan base down. And one can only assume this kind of enthusiasm will pour over into The Grove and then Vaught-Hemingway Stadium come September 5, when the Rebels open up the season at home against UT Martin.last_img read more

Joe Biden Honored At The 2017 National Committee On American Foreign Policy

first_imgThe National Committee on American Foreign Policy 2017 Dinner Gala was held on Monday, October 30th 2017 at the Metropolitan Club in New York City.2017 National Committee on American Foreign Policy honorees David M. Rubenstein and Joe BidenThe annual event was hosted by Charlie Rose, Co-Anchor of “CBS This Morning,” Correspondent for “60 Minutes” & Anchor of “Charlie Rose.”The NCAFP honored:· Joseph R. Biden, Jr. – 47th Vice President of the United States. Recipient of the Morgenthau Award.· David M. Rubenstein – Co-Founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer, The Carlyle Group. Recipient of the Global Business Leadership Award.VIP attendees included: Charlie Rose, Co-Anchor of CBS This Morning, Correspondent for 60 Minutes & Anchor of Charlie Rose, Host/Emcee of the Gala; Joseph R. Biden, Jr., 47th Vice President of the United States. 2017 Honoree; David M. Rubenstein, Co-founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer, The Carlyle Group, 2017 Honoree; Paul A. Volcker, Former Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Honorary Co-Chairman of NCAFP Gala; Ambassador (ret.) Rosemary A. DiCarlo, President of the National Committee on American Foreign Policy; Ronald S. Lauder, International philanthropist, investor, art collector, President of the World Jewish Congress; Antony Blinken, former Deputy Secretary of State; Donald S. Rice, Senior Vice President, NCAFP; Richard R. Howe, Executive Vice President and Treasurer, NCAFP; William Rhodes, former vice chair of Citibank; Andy Stone, Petra Capital Management; Daniel Rose, Chairman, Rose Associates; Dr. George D. Schwab, President Emeritus of the NCAFP; Ambassador Reiichiro Takahashi, Consulate-General of Japan; Ambassador Kim Gheewhan, Council General of the Republic of Korea; Donald Blinken, Former U.S. Ambassador to Hungary, NCAFP Trustee; Matthew Nimetz, NCAFP Trustee; Jeff Shafer, NCAFP Trustee; Ambassador Winston Lord, United States diplomat, and leader of non-governmental foreign policy organizations, and Mrs. Bette Bao Lord; Paul Young, International Head of Capital Markets, Mitsubishi UFJ Securities; Ambassador Frank Wisner, Businessman and former diplomat, and Mrs. Frank Wisner; Warren Hoge, New York Times Journalist; Olivia Hoge, Global Real Estate Advisor, Associate Broker; Florence Fabricant, Food critic for The New York Times; Marjorie B. Tiven, Founder of Global Cities, Inc.; Ciaran Madden, Consul General of Ireland; Bernard Schwartz, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Loral Space & Communications for 34 years, Chairman and CEO of K&F Industries, Inc., and president and CEO of Globalstar Telecommunications; Lally Weymouth, American journalist, serves as senior associate editor of the Washington Post; Maurice Sonnenberg, Senior American intelligence and financial advisor; Jim Zelter, Managing Director of Apollo’s credit business, and CEO and director of Apollo Investment Corporation; Carol Bellamy, Chair of the Board of the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund. Previously, director of the Peace Corps, Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund, and President and CEO of World Learning; and Laurence Ackman, Chairman Emeritus and President of Ackman-Ziff Real Estate Group LLC; Stephen Dizard, Managing Partner of Wood Capital Partners LLC; Co-Chairman of Asia Exploration and Mining LLC; Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, Business news reporter for CNBC television, and currently holds the title of Chief International Correspondent; and Enzo Viscusi, Chairman of the Eni affiliate Eni Petroleum Company, Inc. and Director of Eni USA R&M Co. Inc.The National Committee on American Foreign Policy (NCAFP) was founded in 1974 by Professor Hans J. Morgenthau and others. It is a nonprofit policy organization dedicated to the resolution of conflicts that threaten U.S. interests. Toward that end, the NCAFP identifies, articulates, and helps advance American foreign policy interests from a nonpartisan perspective within the framework of political realism.For more information about The National Committee on American Foreign Policy, click here.last_img read more