Category: dwligcnp

World Sikh Organization Launches Sikh Mentorship Program

first_imgTHE World Sikh Organization of Canada on Tuesday announced the launch of the Sikh Mentorship Program (SMP).The SMP is designed to connect Sikh professionals with Sikh students (16+) who are seeking guidance and direction academically or professionally. Alongside mentor-mentee matching, the Sikh Mentorship Program will also include workshops, panels, and networking events.Read it at Voice Related Itemslast_img


first_img(REOPENS FGN 45)(REOPENS FGN 45)In a separate statement, Senators John McCain, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Dan Sullivan welcomed the ruling.”With todays award, China faces a choice. China can choose to be guided by international law, institutions, and norms. Or it can choose to reject them and pursue the path of intimidation and coercion. Too often in recent years, China has chosen the latter. The world will be watching to see the choice China makes,” the two Senators said.”The US must continue to be clear and consistent in its policy to oppose unilateral actions by any claimant seeking to change the status quo in the South China Sea through the use of coercion, intimidation, unilateral declarations or military force; prevent any other country from exercising its rights to the resources of the exclusive economic zone; engage in any reclamation activities in the South China Sea; or militarise any reclaimed features,” they said.Congressman Ed Royce, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee said Beijings refusal to participate in these proceedings is particularly disappointing since they have participated and benefited from other international rulings at the World Trade Organisation.”Chinas aggressive push in the South China Sea has alarmed many in the region. Its efforts to control critical international shipping lanes should be rejected. Security and freedom of navigation in the South China Sea is in everyones interest,” he said.”This ruling is a rejection of Chinas aggressive attempts to control disputed areas of the South China Sea, and hopefully all parties will refrain from any actions that would undermine security and stability in the region,” said Senator Bob Corker, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.advertisement”In response, the US should expand political, economic and security ties with our allies and partners and continue efforts to defend freedom of navigation and overflight through routine patrols in the East and South China Seas,” Corker said. PTI LKJ PMSlast_img read more

European Soccer Weekend: What to Watch in the Main Leagues

first_imgWhat to watch in the leading soccer leagues in Europe this weekend:___ENGLANDThe 90,000-capacity Wembley Stadium hosts its first Premier League match on Sunday when Tottenham plays Chelsea. Tottenham has temporarily moved across north London while a new arena is built to replace the demolished stadium at its White Hart Lane home.While Tottenham opened the season with a victory at Newcastle, Chelsea made a miserable start to its title defense with a loss to Burnley. Another title contender, Liverpool, also struggled. After being held by Watford, the next assignment for Juergen Klopp’s side is a home match with Crystal Palace on Saturday, when Arsenal also plays Stoke. Huddersfield beat Palace in its first-ever league game and hosts Newcastle on Sunday.Manchester United is at Swansea on Saturday fresh from a 4-0 thrashing of West Ham that provided a small indication that Jose Mourinho could avoid another sixth-place finish this season. Former United captain Wayne Rooney is back in action in the city on Monday when the second round is completed by his new Everton side playing at Manchester City.— By Rob Harris in LondonFRANCENeymar is set for his home debut for Paris Saint-Germain against Toulouse on Sunday.If last weekend’s performance away to Guingamp is anything to go by, home fans will have high expectations at Parc des Princes.The Brazil forward, a world record signing at 222 million euros ($262 million) from Barcelona, scored one and created another for striker Edinson Cavani in a 3-0 win. The sharpshooters combined well considering it was their first match together.Toulouse, however, will not necessarily be overawed, having drawn at PSG last season and won at home.Defending champion Monaco will likely again be without teen star Kylian Mbappe at Metz on Friday. The 19-year-old forward was left out last weekend as he pressures for a huge move to PSG. Still, with Radamel Falcao netting four times already, he may not even be missed.— By Jerome Pugmire in Paris.SPAINReal Madrid displaced Barcelona as the top team in Spain by winning the title for the first time in five years in May. Going into their league openers on Sunday, Madrid still has the upper hand.Madrid, which opens its title defense against Deportivo La Coruna, routed Barcelona 5-1 over two legs to collect the Spanish Super Cup on Wednesday. Barcelona opens against Real Betis with Ernesto Valverde now in charge of a team he is trying to restructure following the departure of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain.Atletico Madrid, which has finished third for three straight years since winning the title in 2014, opens against newcomer Girona on Saturday. Atletico has been unable to sign any players during the offseason due to a FIFA ban for breaching rules on youth players.— By Joseph Wilson in Barcelona.GERMANYBayern Munich’s campaign for a record-extending sixth straight Bundesliga title begins on Friday at home to Bayer Leverkusen. Coach Carlo Ancelotti has had to deal with the retirements of Philipp Lahm and Xabi Alonso, but the arrivals of midfielder Corentin Tolisso, forward James Rodriguez, and defenders Niklas Suele and Sebastian Rudy should compensate. Defending the Bundesliga title alone will not be enough for Ancelotti, who is under pressure to deliver more in Europe.Volkswagen-backed Wolfsburg, which came close to being relegated last season, begins at home on Saturday to Borussia Dortmund. Dortmund has been distracted by Barcelona’s aggressive pursuit of French forward Ousmane Dembele, who remains suspended for missing training. Leipzig, last season’s surprise runner-up, starts its campaign at Schalke on Saturday.— By Ciaran Fahey in BerlinITALYAfter an expensive overhaul at AC Milan, how quickly will Vincenzo Montella’s new-look side gel? The Chinese-led consortium that purchased Milan from Silvio Berlusconi for $800 million in April has infused the club with cash and spent more than 200 million euros ($234 million) on players in the offseason. The Serie A campaign starts away at Crotone, which only narrowly avoided relegation last season.Juventus begins its search for a seventh successive title with the first match of the weekend, at home to Cagliari on Saturday.Napoli, which finished third, will be hoping to push Juventus even closer this time and it visits newly promoted Hellas Verona, also on Saturday. Roma, last year’s runner-up, visits Atalanta on Sunday.— By Daniella Matar in MilanTweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

David Strettle’s late tries a bonus for Saracens at Northampton

first_imgMuch was made in the buildup about the size of Northampton’s Australia wing Taqele Naiyaravoro but even approaching 20st he was no heavier than the four defeats the Saints endured against Saracens last season in the league and European Champions Cup.They leaked 237 points and 33 tries then and while the champions recorded another bonus-point victory, this was very different. Northampton were leading with nine minutes to go, fuelled by a powerful maul and the kicking of Dan Biggar, but Saracens have become adept at finding wriggle room in the tightest of corners, unruffled, unhurried and insured with self-belief. Bath resist late Quins pressure after rising star Joe Cokanasiga runs riot Northampton Premiership … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Saracens Topics The lead changed hands for the fifth and final time when David Strettle profited from quick passing to make an outside break to the line and the wing added a second four minutes later to steal a bonus point. It was typical Saracens, not blinking as they stared at defeat in a match they looked to have won either side of half-time having scored 20 unanswered points after Saints had mined an early 10-0 lead.All except the final three of Northampton’s points were scored when Saracens had a forward in the sin-bin. They struggled to contain the home side’s driving maul which was all the more effective for the ability of Biggar to kick penalties on the halfway line to within five metres of the tryline.Saracens infringed at seven mauls. Their hooker Jamie George was the first to see yellow for the serial offending and while Northampton did not score from the set of lineouts they enjoyed in a five-minute spell of pressure, they used a scrum in front of the posts 20 metres out to fool the most switched on of defences.Biggar lined up directly behind the set piece with the full-back Ahsee Tuala lurking close to him to leave defenders guessing about the direction of the attack. As the scrum wheeled, Northampton moved the ball quickly left, against the flow of the defence and the centre Piers Francis, in front of the England coach, Eddie Jones, fixed on an outside break, causing two tacklers to collide as he cut inside to score.George was waiting to come back on when Billy Vunipola conceded a soft penalty that Biggar converted. Where Northampton looked to sap the strength of their opponents Saracens, prompted by Alex Goode, playing at fly-half in place of the injured Owen Farrell, who spent the match in the coaches’ box,worked the ball into space and were level at half-time through two Alex Lewington tries, taking the recruit from London Irish’s tally to five in three matches. Hide Since you’re here… In contrast, Northampton struggled to get their wings involved. Naiyaravoro would not have seen much less of the ball had he still been in Australia: he received it twice in the opening half and his second touch prompted a thunderous encounter in front of the main stand that will probably need surveyors to check this week.The wing had eased through Liam Williams without feeling the full-back’s challenge before he saw Billy Vunipola in front of him. The England No 8 is not used to deferring to anyone when it comes to a trial of strength. He led with his right shoulder, thumping into an object that had by now gathered momentum. He had all the impact of a flying insect on the front of a Formula One car in full flow. Naiyaravoro was not the slightest deflected from his line of running, painting a rueful smile on the face of Vunipola as he checked various parts of his body.Vunipola’s yellow card 13 minutes into the second half tilted a match Saracens looked to have secured through a try and two kicks by their scrum-half Ben Spencer, who had created Lewington’s first by kicking into space. Five penalties and a lineout led to a try by Dylan Hartley, making his first start for Saints since the defeat in Europe to Saracens last January.Goode restored his side’s lead with a penalty and did so again after Ben Franks had scored Northampton’s third try. When Richard Wigglesworth kicked out at Jamie Gibson after being caught late following a box-kick, Biggar made it 27-26 to Saints.“A lot of teams panic in that situation but we were very composed,” said Mark McCall, the Saracens director of rugby. “It was a game we probably won three or four times.” Share on Facebook Share on Messenger Show Share via Email Read more Share on WhatsApp match reports The Observer Thank you for your feedback. Share on Pinterest Leicester legend Geordan Murphy on a mission to restore Tigers’ bite Rugby union Support The Guardian Quick guide Northampton 27-38 Saracens lineups and scorers Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Was this helpful? Northampton Tuala; Naiyaravoro (Mallinder 57), Burrell (Symons 47), Francis, Collins; Biggar, Reinach (Mitchell 60); Waller (capt; Van Wyk 60), Hartley (Haywood 60), Painter (Franks 47), Ribbans, Lawes, Haskell (Gibson 47), Brussow, Harrison (Ratuniyarawa 64). Tries Francis, Hartley, Franks Cons Biggar 3 Saracens Williams; Strettle, Tompkins (Lozowski 73), Barritt (capt), Lewington; Goode, Spencer (Wigglesworth 49); M Vunipola, George (Tolofua 76), Koch (Lamositele 67), Itoje, Skelton (Kruis 49), Isiekwe, Rhodes, B Vunipola (Earl 67) Tries Lewington 2, Spencer, Strettle 2 Cons Spencer, Goode Pens Spencer, Goode 2 Sin‑bin George 14, B Vunipola 53 Referee JP Doyle Attendance 12,317  Read more Reuse this contentlast_img read more

Hierro: No regrets for Spain after Lopetegui exit

first_imgSpain No regrets – Hierro looking ahead with Spain following Lopetegui saga Harry West 01:57 6/14/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) FernandoHierro - Cropped Getty Images Spain World Cup Portugal v Spain Portugal The former Madrid enforcer has stepped into the breach at short notice after Lopetegui’s shock departure two days before their World Cup debut Fernando Hierro says there is no time for Spain to lament their pre-World Cup plans being left in disarray by the shock dismissal of Julen Lopetegui.The Royal Spanish Football Federation announced on Wednesday, the eve of the finals, that Lopetegui had been sacked, just 24 hours after it was confirmed he would take over at Real Madrid following the tournament.Hierro, a former captain of La Roja whose international career spanned from 1989 to 2002, has assumed the reins for the World Cup, where Spain must first tackle a Group B consisting of Portugal, Iran and Morocco. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now Arsenal would be selling their soul with Mourinho move And the retired defender insists that rather than rue their chaotic preparations, the 2010 winners must move on swiftly, with Cristiano Ronaldo and the reigning European champions looming as their opening test in Sochi on Friday.”The players are excited, they want this challenge, it’s a challenge for everyone, we do not have time to regret,” he told a media conference.”We have to be positive, opinions are not valid here, we have to turn the page, be positive, think about the players in the squad and what we represent.”We came to fight for the World Cup, the team is excited, we have a great opportunity and that must be the focus.Concluye la conferencia de prensa de @LuisRubiales y Fernando Hierro.En breve, todos los detalles en y— RFEF (@rfef) June 13, 2018″I know that they are going to give up their soul and give 100 per cent in a World Cup … we all know what this means. The response I’ve received is fantastic, it’s a united group, they know their goals.”We have the obligation to think that we have a great opportunity, we need the work and dedication of the whole world … we are going to try with all our strength.”Hierro, a five-time La Liga winner as well a European champion on three occasions with Madrid, offered his best wishes to Lopetegui.”My highest admiration for Julen Lopetegui. I wish you the best of luck,” he said.”When the president told me about the possibility, there were two or three alternatives: one was to say no, the other was to leave, the third was to be here to take a step forward for the federation and for Spanish football.”last_img read more

Smoke in Style at These 5 Luxury Cigar Lounges Around the World

first_imgForget the Eiffel Tower and Big Ben — luxury cigar lounges offer the international traveler a different, more robust cultural immersion. Visiting a lounge in an unknown city feels like being part of a secret club of regal gentlemen, whether you’re a Maduro guy (usually selected by experienced cigar smokers) or a first-timer in need of recommendations. Go solo or bring your travel companion (women like cigars too).Be sure to pack a nice outfit to wear and puff away at these notorious lounges we love.Capella Bar & Cigar Lounge (Dusseldorf)Capella Bar & Cigar LoungeCapella Bar & Cigar LoungeExtravagant in the all best ways (hello zebra flooring!), Capella Bar and Cigar Lounge in Düsseldorf, Germany, transports you to a dim, rich space ripe for excess. You’re on vacation, after all. Go wild. Start by ordering a drink from the wood and black marble bar where the cocktail team is renowned for their drinks using unique and herbaceous ingredients like licorice, fennel, Himalayan salt, and Arabic spices — they even make a house celery vodka. Glass in hand, transition to the comfortable cigar lounge with leather flooring (yep, flooring) and posh wood paneling. Pick from a range of 124 Cuban and Dominican cigars fresh from the walk-in humidor.The Kleber Cigar Lounge at The Peninsula Paris Hotel (Paris)The Kleber Cigar Lounge at The Peninsula Paris HotelThe Kleber Cigar Lounge at The Peninsula Paris HotelEnter through the ground floor of the ornate 19th-century hotel (only blocks away from the Eiffel Tower), pay the 150€ cover charge (around USD $185), and savor a cigar in the ultra-discreet and intimate atmosphere of The Kleber. If anyone argues that this experience lacks culture, tell them the two ceiling paintings in the lounge were restored by Cinzia Pasquali, famous for preserving the works of Leonardo da Vinci at the Louvre and working at the Palace of Versailles. The Kelber offers a relaxed space to chat with fellow travelers, locals, and cigar sommeliers, something you won’t get crowding around the Mona Lisa. A regular traveler to The Peninsula? The Kleber will reserve an exclusive cigar storage cabinet for you. Dress code: “smart casual.”Lone Wolf Cigar Company & Lounge (Los Angeles)Lone Wolf CigarsLone Wolf CigarsThis full-service smoking lounge is a cigar paradise created so the “lone wolf smoker” can a temporary pack (the lounge is a private club with yearly membership fees, but offers a day pass in the form of $50 worth of cigars). Expect to find high-level Los Angeles executives taking a break from the run-around, some on their computers working with a stogie in paw. That’s because Long Wolf makes you want to stay, with authentic turn-of-the-century décor jotted with modern notes, rich leather chairs, deep emerald walls, concrete floors, and high ceilings. The knowledgeable staff — connoisseurs both locally and from around the world — is waiting to help you hand-select a cigar and accessories. Love it so much you plan on returning? Get one of the large Spanish cedar storage lockers for your personal collection and return anytime. It’s like stepping into a vintage 1890s cigar lounge … but with Wi-Fi. Which every man needs.The Wellesley Knightsbridge Cigar Terrace (London)The Wellesley Knightsbridge Cigar TerraceThe Wellesley Knightsbridge Cigar TerraceStep out to the heated cigar terrace of the luxury Wellesley Knightsbridge hotel in London for a cigar that is truly one of a kind. The Wellesley offers limited-edition Bolivar cigars, along with Montecristo, Cohiba, etc. The private terrace adorned with inviting leather seats is open-air, yet shielded by a vine-covered wall with built-in fireplace. The in-house humidor specialist, Giuseppe Ruo, is always on hand with his expert team to make the selection process as fun as Christmas morning. Looking for an educational experience? Take a two- to three-hour Cigar and Cognac Experience class on the terrace to better understand the art that many forget is ingrained in the ritual of sip and smoke.The Cigar Lounge at The Address Downtown (Dubai)The Cigar Lounge at The Address DowntownThe Cigar Lounge at The Address DowntownThe Cigar Lounge at Dubai’s Address Downtown hotel is like being in a king’s spaceship. The curved lounge opens up to views of the glowing skyline and Burj Khalifa (the world’s tallest building, for the time being) while the stocked humidor houses some of the most sought-after, limited-edition cigars, particularly from Cuba and South America. The Lounge’s portfolio tops out at about 40 brands. But don’t just smoke — order one of the many exotic appetizers like the Arabic mezze, caviar, or a light dessert to balance the flavors of your cigar. Here you’ll cross smoke with heirs to supercar fortunes and men richer than should be humanly possible. All 21 Six Flags Parks in the U.S., Ranked If You Haven’t Visited the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, What Are You Waiting For? Editors’ Recommendations 10 Destination-Worthy Food Halls Throughout the U.S. Deep Sleep: The World’s Most Incredible Underwater Hotel Rooms How to Drink Absinthe and Live to Tell the Tale last_img read more

More Electronic Transactions to be Done at Customs

first_img Jamaica Customs Agency acquired new buses for staff Story Highlights The information processing platform of the Jamaica Customs Agency is to be upgraded to allow for more transactions to be done electronically, Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, has informed.Dr. Phillips said the move, which is in keeping with the Government’s economic reform efforts, will also facilitate greater collection of data electronically.Speaking at a handing-over ceremony for two buses at Jamaica Customs head office in Kingston on August 28, the Minister informed that the Customs Agency has been undergoing many far reaching changes, one of which  was becoming a fully fledged Executive Agency in April last year.Dr. Phillips noted that “other changes are on the horizon”, including a review of “the overall tariff provisions as we seek to make our economy more competitive.”In the meantime, the Finance Minister lauded the Commissioner of Customs, Major (Ret’d) Richard Reese and the management of the Jamaica Customs Agency in acquiring the buses, which will improve the conditions of staff welfare.“In very concrete ways, they will assist staff by reducing the cost of transportation; they will certainly allow for greater ease of movement between the different offices of customs, particularly King Street and  Customs House; and they will be able to support the staff moving to various other customs locations across the country,” he said.For his part, Major Reese said the acquisition of the buses is just one of several welfare initiatives of the agency, noting that plans are afoot to establish a hostel in Montego Bay; to meet wellness needs, such as establishing a gymnasium; and to offer after care services.The agency purchased the two buses for staff usage in an effort to facilitate travelling for training exercises, to out ports, and to and from work. The vehicles will serve staff in Kingston, Montego Bay and St. Ann’s Bay.This acquisition forms part of measures that have been put in place to ensure that during the current wage restraint, public service employees are facilitated as much as possible, as a result of the Heads of Agreement signed by the Government of Jamaica and civil servants in March 2013. Plans are afoot to establish a hostel in Montego Bay The information processing platform of the Jamaica Customs Agency is to be upgradedlast_img read more

Applications now Open for Occupational Studies Associate Degree

first_imgStory Highlights Graduates of the Career Advancement Programme (CAP) levels two and three and the National Vocational Qualification of Jamaica (NVQ-J) level two, now have the opportunity to pursue an associate degree in occupational studies. Applications are now being accepted for the January 2018 semester from persons who wish to pursue studies under the two-year programme.Areas of training include logistics, business process outsourcing (BPO), knowledge process outsourcing, manufacturing, agriculture, hospitality and renewable energy technology.Persons may register at the Caribbean Maritime University, Excelsior Community College, College of Insurance & Professional Studies, Shortwood Teachers’ College, The Mico University,University of the Commonwealth Caribbean (UCC), and University of Technology (UTech) Academy in Kingston; Western Hospitality Institute, St. James; Brown’s Town Community College, St. Ann; College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE) in Portland; G.C. Foster College of Physical Education and Sport and Portmore Community College, St. Catherine; Northern Caribbean University (NCU), Manchester; Bethlehem Moravian College. St. Elizabeth; and the Vocational Training Development Institute (VTDI) in Kingston and Manchester.The associate degree programme was developed under the direction of the Centre of Occupational Studies (COS) in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, and is in response to the demands of the workplace.“We at the COS were charged to create and manage a structured and coordinated approach to occupational degree certification within the Jamaica context,” explained Director of the Centre of Occupational Studies (COS), Linda Stewart-Doman.She was addressing a Think Tank held recently at the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) head office in Kingston.She noted that the associate degree programme was launched in December 2016, with 457 students enrolling in the pilot course that started in January 2017.Chairman of the Joint Committee of Tertiary Education (JCTE), Dr. Cecil Cornwall, said the programmme trains individuals for the workplace, providing industries with qualified persons with technical competencies.He explained that it is a transfer degree that allows the participants to matriculate to a baccalaureate programme at a tertiary institution if they so desire.For further information, individuals may contact the COS at 967-7802, Email: or Twitter:@COS_ODs. Areas of training include logistics, business process outsourcing (BPO), knowledge process outsourcing, manufacturing, agriculture, hospitality and renewable energy technology. Graduates of the Career Advancement Programme (CAP) levels two and three and the National Vocational Qualification of Jamaica (NVQ-J) level two, now have the opportunity to pursue an associate degree in occupational studies. Applications are now being accepted for the January 2018 semester from persons who wish to pursue studies under the two-year programme. The associate degree programme was developed under the direction of the Centre of Occupational Studies (COS) in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, and is in response to the demands of the workplace.last_img read more

To save water Delhi govt schools to implement zero liquid discharge system

first_imgNEW DELHI: The Delhi government has started a new initiative to promote conservation of water in the Delhi government schools. It has asked all the schools affiliated to it to implement the zero liquid discharge system. The government had earlier undertaken the implementation of the rainwater harvesting to prevent wastage of water in the schools. The government has given the schools a 90-day window to implement the system. The government aims to save water by recycling and reusing it through the zero discharge system initiative. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderThe system will help direct using wastewater for those activities for which freshwater is used in the school compound. The Delhi Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister, Manish Sisodia while talking about the Zero Discharge System said that ‘in order to create awareness among students regarding the environment, the eco-club has been made years back. As per our latest step towards the same direction, the water that is being consumed in schools is recycled.’ He further added that they are planning to reach the stage of zero wastage of water. And after the implementation of the ZLD system, the Delhi government schools will be observing zero wastage of water. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsThe Delhi government also organised recently the Mega Parents Teacher Meeting (PTM) in all of 1041 schools on July 12, 2019. The event has now formed into an important platform for interaction between the teachers and the parents of the students studying the Delhi government schools. Deputy CM Manish Sisodia said that ‘Mega PTM is mandatory for the parents to attend the meeting with the teachers and the principal. “It gives parents a kind of importance that boots their confidence. It helps parents come and asks questions of their own from the teachers,” Sisodia said.last_img read more

Modi lays foundation stone of Mega Food Park at IMT Rohtak

first_imgNew Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday laid the foundation stone of a Mega Food Park to be set up by HAFED at a cost of Rs 179.75 crore at Industrial Model Township (IMT), Rohtak. The initiative of Mega Food Park at Rohtak was taken by chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar to give momentum to the growth of the food processing sector in Haryana and to generate employment and further to boost the income of the state farmers. Further supporting the move of chief minister, the Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Government of India has approved Mega Food Park with the state of the art infrastructure facilities The primary objective of the Mega Food Park Scheme (MFPS) is to provide modern infrastructure facilities for the Food Processing along the value chain from the farm to the market, officials said.last_img read more

Greta Thunberg coming to Montreal in late September to take part in

first_imgMONTREAL — Teen environmental activist Greta Thunberg will be in Montreal at the end of the month to take part in a climate march.The 16-year-old Swedish climate activist announced her presence at the Sept. 27 event via social media on Sunday.Currently in New York to spread her message on the importance of fighting against the climate crisis, Thunberg had previously expressed her interest in coming to Quebec for the global day of mobilization for the environment.Thunberg sailed across the Atlantic from England to Manhattan — a two-week trip — to attend the United Nations Climate Action Summit later this month.She’d refused to fly to New York because of the carbon emissions involved in jet travel. She will also take part in a march in that city on Sept. 20.A local Montreal collective that invited Thunberg to come to Montreal will hold a news conference on Tuesday to highlight her appearance.According to the group, at least 867 cities around the world have protests planned for Sept. 27.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Perspectives On The struggle against suicide

first_imgAPTN National NewsAPTN National News has been running a special series called, Perspectives On.All week, APTN National News is going to bring you stories from across the country about suicide.Suicide occurs on reserves and in Canada’s North on a much higher scale than other parts of Canada.So what are people doing about it?We’re going to hear about a number of issues including the need to remove the stigma and communities talking.The stories begin in British Columbia and a First Nation in crisis.APTN National News reporter Rob Smith has this story.last_img

Top UN envoy in Somalia welcomes reaction to Governments reconciliation plan

Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the UN Special Representative for Somalia, issued a statement today in Nairobi saying he was “very pleased” by the reaction from several Somali groups, especially the Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia. Mr. Ould-Abdallah said he would now discuss the timing, agenda and venue for the talks with all the concerned parties in Somalia, which has not had a functioning national government since 1991. “I would like thank all the parties for finally thinking of the fate of the Somali people and for realizing that reconciliation can lead to a win-win situation for all sides,” the envoy said, according to a press release issued by the UN Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS). In recent months, Somalia has been wracked by violence which has displaced around one million people and has caused some three million others to flee the country as refugees. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says there are up to two million vulnerable people in need of humanitarian aid within the country. In addition, aid workers face difficulties and the transport and delivery of crucial items such as food is being impeded by roadblocks, taxes and banditry. 14 March 2008The senior United Nations envoy for Somalia has welcomed the positive reaction to the announcement by the Transitional Government in the Horn of Africa country that it will hold discussions with the political opposition. read more

What to do if the CRA gets you in its crosshairs and

TORONTO — Many Canadians are watching their mailboxes and inboxes for a personal income tax refund, now that the filing deadline has passed. But instead of a welcome influx of cash, some may receive a dreaded notice that their file is under review or audit.When the Canada Revenue Agency starts looking your way, it can be anxiety-inducing, but it doesn’t need to be, tax experts say.The best thing to do is respond and co-operate, said Jason Safar, a partner in the tax services practice of PwC.“The worst thing you can do is play the ostrich, put your head in the sand and pretend that nothing is going on,” he said.The federal government in recent years has ramped up its efforts to crack down on tax evasion, particularly by big international companies and wealthy individuals using offshore tax havens. In the 2016 Federal Budget, Ottawa earmarked $444.4 million over five years to help the CRA track down tax cheats, with the aim of raking in an additional $2.6 billion in tax over that period.There has been an increase in audit activity, in all facets, but less so for personal income taxes, said Safar. And the vast majority of Canadians will never face a personal tax audit, he added. However, more Canadians will face the less serious option called a review.“For the ‘lucky’ 0.1 per cent that does, it’s probably that there is something that is very unusual about their filings or history of filings that causes Canada Revenue Agency to want to take a closer look,” Safar said.A review, however, happens fairly often, said H&R Block senior tax professional Valorie Elgar.A CRA review is simply a request for additional information, rather than an audit which involves deeper scrutiny of your tax file.Your income tax file may be selected for review randomly, or for reasons such as a discrepancy between the figures you cited and those of a third-party, such as your employer. An unusual change in your activities, such as an increase in medical expenses or child care costs, may also trigger a closer look from the tax collector.Often, once the taxpayer submits the required information to clear up confusion, that’s the end of the process, said Elgar.“Send in the documentation that they request, and then that’s usually it,” she said. “But some people do get worried.”If you do not co-operate, the CRA will likely make adjustments based on the information they have. This could lead to unwanted outcomes, such as a large tax bill plus interest charges, she said.There are several types of review, such as a pre-assessment review program that takes place before a notice of assessment is issued. A processing review happens after the notice of assessment is issued, usually between August and December.Your information could also be reviewed in a matching program after the tax assessment is issued that compares the information in your tax return to a third party, such as a financial institution.Just in case you ever find yourself in the CRA’s crosshairs, it’s important to preempt any headaches by keeping all relevant receipts used to file your tax return on hand for at least six years, said Elgar.Some documents may need to be kept on file even longer, said Safar. For example, documents in connection with a property owned by the taxpayer will need to be kept until the property is sold, in order to quantify the capital gains.If you do find yourself under audit or review by the CRA, it is important to read the letter carefully and make sure to understand what they are asking for, he added. After submitting the requested information, the CRA will commonly send the taxpayer a letter outlining their concerns and reassessment details, and the recipient has 30 days to respond before the new tax assessment is processed, said Safar.If you disagree with their conclusions at this point, let them know before that reassessment is processed, he added.If the dispute is not resolved, there is still recourse. After the reassessment comes you have the option to file a notice of objection, which will go to an appeals officer who is different from the original auditor, said Safar.If you plead your case and it falls on deaf ears, you can take the government to the Tax Court of Canada, he added. The issue can be further escalated to the Federal Court of Appeal, and if need be, you can seek leave to take your battle to the Supreme Court.“You have lots of opportunities to plead your case,” he said.However, that can take a long time and a lot of money. Depending on how much you owe the government, you will have to make a call on whether the effort and expense for this battle is worth it, Safar added.“It depends how much you’re arguing about, and how much of a person of principle you are if the amount is not significant enough to justify the cost.” read more

TV and Internet bundling and smartphones give big telecom Bell growth

TV and Internet bundling and smartphones, give big telecom Bell growth AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by LuAnn LaSalle, The Canadian Press Posted Feb 6, 2014 2:47 am MDT MONTREAL – BCE’s strategy of bundling of its TV service and high-speed Internet is starting to pay off for the communications giant, with the company reporting improved financial results and a hike its dividend.The wireless division of the Montreal-based company, led by smartphone use, is still an anchor for revenue, but BCE is moving to capitalize on the growth of Internet-based viewing habits.Chief executive George Cope said Thursday the strategy is paying off.“So we continue to see with the growth of Fibe TV, the improvement in our Internet,” Cope told analysts on a conference call Thursday.BCE said its Fibe TV service, available in Ontario and Quebec, added just more than 60,000 net subscribers in the quarter, up 25 per cent compared with a year ago. It also added about 16,000 high-speed Internet customers, more than double the number added in the same quarter last year.Fibe TV has a total of almost 480,000 subscribers, nearly twice the number at the end of 2012.Data revenue in wireline division, which includes TV and Internet services, was $1.5 billion in the quarter, up 4.1 per cent. Cope said that was the “highlight” of the quarter for him.He also said adding home phone service as part of the Fibe TV-Internet bundle has improved on its residential line losses in the quarter.In its wireless division, BCE added 119,520 net postpaid customers, who generally have lucrative smartphone contracts, down almost seven per cent from the same quarter last year.Revenue from wireless data jumped 15.2 per cent with the increasing adoption of smartphones, the report said. The company said 73 per cent of its postpaid customers are using smartphones, up from 62 per cent year-over-year.Bell also cut the number of customers leaving to go to a competitor to 1.29 per cent, down from 1.35 per cent among its postpaid wireless customers.BCE (TSX:BCE) raised its quarterly dividend Thursday six per cent to 61.75 cents per share, up from 58.25 cents as it reported a fourth-quarter profit of $495 million.The profit amounted to 64 cents per share for the quarter, down from $666 million, or 86 cents per share, from the same quarter in 2012 when it had a non-cash gain on the transfer of spectrum from Inukshuk to its partners.Operating revenues grew 5.2 per cent in the fourth quarter to $4.8 billionAdjusted earnings for the fourth quarter were $540 million or 70 cents per share, up nearly 17 per cent compared to a year ago. That compared with analyst expectations of 69 cents per share compiled by Thomson Reuters.Cope also said the company’s media division, which includes CTV channels, specialty and pay TV channels, had another good quarter with viewership at TSN sports channel up 31 per cent year-over-year.Despite being disappointed about competitor Rogers recently winning a multi-media distribution rights deal with the National Hockey League, Cope said TSN will be showing a high number of Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators games.Shares in BCE were up 68 cents to $46.05 in noon trading Thursday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. read more

Jamaica 76yearold Christian wins 117m Super Lotto Jackpot

(Jamaica Observer) A 76-year-old retired parish council worker from Trelawny, on Tuesday took home a cheque for $117 million for winning a share of the June 16 Super Lotto.Super Lotto winner W Gordon signs the necessary paperwork to claim his $117-million jackpot at the handover event on Tuesday, at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston. Looking on are (from left) Simone Clarke-Cooper, assistant vice-president, Supreme Ventures Group Corporate Communications; Rachael Dixon, assistant Super Lotto finance analyst at International Game Technology, and Marcia Richardson from the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission.The pensioner, identified only as W Gordon from Granville near Falmouth, was masked in a red, green and gold tam with hanging locks covering his face.Despite his sporting locks, however, Gordon confessed that he is a devout Methodist who attends church in Falmouth and believes that God had a hand in his luck.“I believe in God and he supplies my needs. I am thankful. I don’t plan on moving or doing anything different. I will maintain my Christian fortitude,” he told the Supreme Ventures team.Gordon told the Jamaica Observer at the handover event Tuesday at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, that he retired from working in 1998, after being employed by parish councils, now municipal corporations, in his hometown of Falmouth, as well as in St James and Hanover.He was not sure what he would do with his new wealth, but noted that he had bought another ticket already, in the meantime. He had said that he wanted to reach home in time that Tuesday to purchase a second ticket for that night’s draw, as he would not stop playing the game.Gordon, who has been playing the local Lotto and the regional Super Lotto for more than 10 years, almost threw away the lucky ticket after being given the wrong results for the June 16 draw by a neighbour.“I bought my ticket days before the draw, around the Wednesday, and I didn’t check my numbers same time,” he told the Supreme Ventures team.“I asked someone to give me the draw numbers, but the ones he gave me were wrong, so I drove to the nearest Supreme Ventures, three miles from home, to get the numbers. When I got it, I was in bed checking it and I said to myself, ‘Oh my God, I got everything’,” he explained.He said that since winning the windfall, he has been considering what to do with the money. But the only ideas he has come up with so far are giving some to his church and travelling.“I like travelling. I would like to go to the Middle East and to England, but I am scared of these places, with all the violent attacks going on there. I think I will still travel, but stay within the Caribbean,” he said.Gordon lives alone, although he has five children, all boys, aged between 57 and 27, who are all on their own.He insisted that although he is a devout Christian, he does not think gambling is a sin.“To each his own; we all have our own rules. I will continue buying the Lotto. I have a ticket for tonight’s draw and when I get home I am going to buy another ticket,” he said.Asked whether there will be a celebration for him when he returns to Granville, Gordon said that he didn’t think anybody there knew yet about his luck.“Well, I didn’t tell anybody,” he told the Observer.He won $117 million or US$911,250 because he had bought a mini ticket valued at $200. He shared the total jackpot with another winner in Anguilla, who received the remaining $193 million with a full-priced ticket. The lucky numbers were 06,09, 11, 06, 19, with a super ball number 04.Supreme Ventures Limited started selling the Super Lotto tickets in August, 2009. The multi-jurisdictional game is played in Jamaica, Barbados, St Kitts and Nevis, Anguilla, Antigua, St Maarten, Paraguay, and the US Virgin Islands, for a shot at the largest lotto jackpot in the Caribbean. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Related read more

Tennessee passes bill making Netflix passwordsharing illegal

first_imgOne of the perks of having a friend with a Pandora, Rhapsody, or Netflix account is that if they’re really nice to you they may share their password, giving you free access to movies and music. Of course, these companies don’t advertise this as an option, for obvious reasons, but a new law passed in Tennessee is actually making it illegal to share your password. The consequences for being caught are pretty scary.The bill, initiated by none other than the Recording Industry Association of America, has been approved by the Tennessee governor. The goal of the bill is aimed at stopping the billions of dollars lost in illegal music sharing. RIAA executive president of public policy Mitch Glazier told the AP that the bill is a “necessary protective measure as digital technology evolves.” He said the music industry has seen its domestic revenue fall from $15 billion to $7 billion in the past 10 years.The RIAA says the bill was geared more towards hackers who sell passwords in bulk, but admits it could be used against people using a friend or relative’s password. The punishment for stealing $500 or less of entertainment would be a misdemeanor and up to a year in jail, as well as a $2,500 fine. Anything higher than $500 would be a felony with more serious penalties.The RIAA hopes this bill will spread to other states but targeted Tennessee first because of Nashville’s ties to the music industry. It seems that most people sharing passwords within the same house, say between spouses, would be safe. However, if you’re sharing your Netflix password with 10 of your friends, you may be getting more than a slap on the wrist soon.Do you think this is a little much, or should people who share their passwords be penalized?Via APlast_img read more

Us review Jordan Peeles horror flick holds up a dark mirror to

first_img 2019 movies to geek out over Now playing: Watch this: TV and Movies Us tells the story of Adelaide Wilson, a wife and mother whose traumatic childhood experience casts a shadow over a summer beach trip with her family. Trauma haunts survivors for years to come like a shadow they can’t shake, and Us puts the members of the Wilson family face-to-face with their own shadows: doppelgangers in red jumpsuits wielding glinting gold scissors. They’re called The Tethered, and they’ve got a score to settle with their better look-alikes.You could say Us has been hotly anticipated. It follows 2017’s Get Out, a tightly-made, critically acclaimed thriller with a social message that earned Peele an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. It helped set him up as a bright light in the realm of thrills and suspense. In fact, he’s pretty busy these days with projects like the reboot of the Twilight Zone, for which he’s the executive producer and host, and Weird City, a YouTube Original dystopian anthology series. Lupita Nyong’o takes a good long look at herself in Us. Claudette Barius So it’s hard not to make comparisons to Get Out. But where Get Out was a tidy concept, executed in a way that deliberately and carefully guided you through the story toward the big ideas, Us is bigger, broader and perhaps less neat. One of the inevitable questions people will ask about Us is whether it’s scarier than Get Out. Peele gets the dread machine going in the first scene at a beach-side amusement park, and the tensest moments include the Wilson family trying to figure out why people outside are trying to get in. And that old horror staple, the ominous Bible verse, will never not be creepy — in this case, Jeremiah 11:11. You can see the uncomprehending terror on Lupita Nyong’o’s face as she stares at her Tethered counterpart, tears streaming down her cheeks. SXSW 2019 Jordan Peele’s Us gets a new trailer and it’s terrifying 77 Photos 2 Mar 15 • LG ‘Snow White’ makes ice cream from capsules Mar 19 • AOC, Bill Nye and the apocalypse: The insanity of SXSW 2019 1:00 SXSW 2019center_img Mar 15 • Men can now breastfeed reading • Us review: Jordan Peele’s horror flick holds up a dark mirror to Get Out See All Share your voice But while Us shoots for a next level of frightening, it runs into a few weak spots along the way.For one, we learn the Tethered aren’t just knocking on the Wilsons’ door. But that larger plot is pretty vague.The effectiveness of the movie’s humor is also tough to gauge. The audience at SXSW was extremely game, laughing uproariously, even in places where it wasn’t entirely clear whether there was a joke to be had — like when the Tethered first show up in the Wilsons’ driveway, and Gabe Wilson (Winston Duke), who’d been dadding it up hard (in the best way) since the start of the movie, goes outside with a bat and some adopted bravado to try and get these mysterious figures to leave. The audience howled.In a horror film a well-placed quip can cut the tension to not only temporarily relieve the audience but also enable the tension to build back up again. Stick it in the wrong place and the laughs just undercut everything around it.Throughout the film, we’re shown lots of mirrors and reflections, visually reflecting the theme. After all, the Wilsons are seeing themselves like they never have before, though warped.Similarly, Us mirrors Get Out. It’s more scary fare with social commentary. But the copy’s never quite the same as the original.Want another take on Us? See GameSpot’s review here. Comments Tags • It shouldn’t come as a shock that a horror film titled Us plays with the idea that perhaps we are the villains.The film’s writer, director and producer, Jordan Peele, addresses how we fear and hate those we consider to be other without examining ourselves. “Maybe the monster we need to look at has our face,” Peele told the audience at the film’s world premiere during SXSW 2019. “Maybe the evil is us.” Us opens March 22 in the US and UK. Looking in a mirror is one of the recurring motifs of Peele’s new horror flick, and the biggest metaphorical theme too. Movie reviewslast_img read more

Raspberry Pi Tablet RasPad Simplifies Programming

first_img Learning to code is as easy as Raspberry Pi.The single-board computer, designed to promote basic computer science skills, has grown into one of the most popular general purpose processors on the planet.But despite its small size (and equally small price tag), the Raspberry Pi can be hugely daunting; it’s hard to know where to even begin.Which is why STEM-focused SunFounder created the RasPad: an all-in-one DIY tablet that facilitates customized projects—for even the most inexperienced of engineers.A Raspberry Pi tablet to build your creative projects (via SunFounder)Walk into any electronics store and you’ll find shelves of fixed devices—perfect for most people’s everyday computing needs. But the one-port gadgets leave little room for personalization.Enter RasPad—a next-generation tool for bringing your wildest voltaic dreams to life.With a 10.1-inch high-resolution touchscreen and all the ports you could possibly need, the tablet pairs with the latest Raspberry Pi 3 machines (not earlier models) for an easily tailored experience.The open-source platform lets you switch between systems (Raspbian, Ubuntu Mate, Chromium OS, Android), connect with other hardware (GPIO, Camera SI Arduino), and change motherboards (Banana Pi, LattePanda, Beaglebone).Beginners can tinker with existing projects, while hobbyists run with their own ideas: control lighting, camera, and alarm systems; guide a personal drone; spend hours gaming; build a home robot.RasPad started life as a crowdfunding project, earning nearly $611,000 toward its $10,000 goal. More than 3,390 backers snagged early-bird kits, many of which shipped to international customers last month.If you missed the initial Kickstarter campaign, the RasPad is available to order online. A discounted $235 gets you one tablet, two stereo speakers, an HDMI input, a micro-USB input, and four USB ports; the kit also comes with a power adapter (for charging up to four hours of battery life), a mini USB microphone, and a handbook.The Raspberry Pi is not included. And if you think putting a Raspberry Pi inside a tablet is cool, how about slapping one in a karaoke machine or DIY Spotify speaker?Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on target Lyra Is a Handheld Gaming System Powered by a Raspberry PiRaspberry Pi Used to Steal 500 MB of NASA Data last_img read more

Emblematic Costa Rican band Cantoamérica is Flying again

Emblematic Costa Rican band Cantoamérica is Flying again

first_imgRelated posts:Envision kicks off with long lines, high spirits, community service The band plays on: “Summer Series” serenades Plaza de la Democracia A passion, not a profession: new orchestra aims to broaden access to music U.S. blues phenomenon to play Barrio Amón Cantoamérica, which is Calypsonian or “Caribbean Fusion,” as they describe themselves, will blow out 35 candles this year. Instead if cekebrating it with a birthday cake, they are releasing a new album named “Vuela Otra Vez” (“Fly again“) eight years after their last release, “Vientos del Caribe.”The Tico Times talked to three of the nine members of the group: singer, guitarrist and songwriter Manuel Monestel, who has been part of the band since the start; trombonist Alfredo Chavarría, who joined the band in 2008; and percussionist José (Momo) Valverde, who joined in 2001.TT: As you, Manuel, have been part of the band sice it was created, where did the idea of Cantoamérica came from?MM: In the 1970s there was a musical movement called “The new Costa Rican song,” part of a larger, regional movement of Latin American identity, which tried to balance U.S. influence on Latin American music. We played Latin American music using Latin American instruments. I was playing with a group called “Tayacan,” directed by the great Nicaraguan musician Luis Enrique Mejía Godoy, who after a while went back to Nicaragua because of the Sandinista Revolution at that time.After he left, the group came to an end, but some of us wanted to continue. That is how Cantoamérica was created in 1980 by Rodrigo Salas, Roberto Salas, Carlos Svedra, Bernal Monestel (my brother) and me.Why Calypsonian music? Why the Caribbean?MM: In 1978-1979 I started questioning what happened with music on the Caribbean side of the country, understanding that we have a Caribbean province populated and influenced by an Afro-descendent culture. We found that approximately 95% of the music heard all around the world has African roots. Without the African Diaspora there would be no jazz, no blues, no salsa, no cumbia, no merengue, no calypso, no reggae. So I thought there must be interesting music in Limón. I started making contacts, getting to know their culture, reading about that region’s music that so few people knew; casually all written by foreigners, because, as you must know, ‘Ticos’ don’t get interested in those things. So, there I discovered Calypso, found musicians such as Walter Ferguson, and understood there was a whole musical culture led by Calypsonians. That is how I decided to bring in that kind of music to Cantoamerica. The group started with a Latin American emphasis; now it is more Afro-American.AC: I would’t like to label it, I mean, I wouldn’t say “we play calypso.” I think it is more like Manuel said, a fusion. I think that is an important and faithful reflection of what Costa Rican culture is: a mixed culture. I would also say that the great legacy of the group is the reinvindication of that mixed heritage which, from my point of view, has been historically invisible.It seems to me that, not only in Costa Rica but worldwide, those fusions are very successful because, at some point, people feel identified with them, unless they don’t quite understand why. I’m sure that when people listen to Cantoamérica they inmediately identify with it. They feel Costa Rican.MM: We are often described as a ‘World Caribbean Music’ group, and it is exactly that. A fusion of roots of our musical identities.How would you describe the trajectory of the group?MM: There are nine members; I am the only one who has been in the group since the start. We have toured through Asia, Africa, Europe and America, with approximately 28 international tours and 13 albums. We have worked with soloists and bands from Limón.JV: For this new album we had the opportunity to visit Africa, where we could see our roots, the roots of the Caribbean. We worked with African musician Eleuthere Gabon Assouramou, who gave a special feel to the new album. You can find some African drums in some songs.MM: A characteristic of the group right now, that I really like actually, is the participation of very young musicians. Most of them are less than 30. I like it because they bring young ideas, young energies. They give the group oxygen.AC: Another thing to highlight about the group today is female participation. They give a very special touch to the group.MM: They make us ‘politically correct’ [laughs].AC: Basically [laughs again]. Well, more than that, I think that the female energy creates a balance, a very important energy in any kind of human group. And the album reflects that female influence.José, can you describe the characteristic percussion of Cantoamérica?JV: We play many rhythms such as Cha Cha Cha and bolero, but we are mainly focused on Calypso, which is a rhythm that does exist in our country and that we must exploit. Thus, our percussion is basically based on drums, timbales, bongo, large conga drums, effects and minor percussion.José and Alfredo, what has your experience been since joining the band?AC: I joined in 2008, and about the experience – I could talk for hours about it. I could easily compare what I learned at university with what I have learned in Cantoamérica. That says quite a lot. Manuel’s guidance have been really important.JV: I started to play in the group in 2001, and I can say that Cantoamérica has given many musicians the opportunity to learn, be creative, and experiment. This has been a school for all of us. This is a group which through the passage of the years always keeps its charisma and joy. Before I joined the group, I used to listen to Cantoamérica and think, “So nice! I’d love to play with them” and, well, here I am.AC: Cantoamérica is an emblematic group within Costa Rican music, and I don’t say that because I’m part of it, but because there are many generations of Costa Rican musicians who has passed through Cantoamérica and have carried all the learning they obtained to other different projects and groups. The most rewarding aspect is all that daily coexistence with musicians.Tell us about this new album, “Vuela Otra Vez.”MM: Most of the music is original, mainly written by me. When we use non-original songs, they are music of Calypsonians authors from Limón. One track, ‘Orire,’ is a mixture of our music with the traditional African song of that name. It expresses both cultural sides, African and Caribbean.The name of the album has a double function. Frst, is the name of one of the songs which tells the story of a girl whose husband cheats on her and abandons her; the song encourages her to get free of her situation, to open her wings and fly, as the chorus says: ‘Vuela otra vez mariposa, vuela otra vez’ [‘Fly again butterfly, fly again’]. And, second, since Cantoamérica had several years of not releasing an album, the message is like: ‘Vuela otra vez Cantoamérica.’ We are back.We received financial support from approximately 100 people to make the album, and we are really thankful to all of them.What does Cantoamérica wants to communicate with its music?MM: Costa Rica is a complex country, and I say complex beacuse it is a country that focuses on the outside instead of the inside. It still doesn’t value its cultural production, our ethnic-cultural roots. The country is still thinking about itself as a ‘white country’ and most of its radio is virtually closed to any national music. The country follows a mainstream which makes invisible all those movements that go against that, and groups such as Cantoamérica must try harder. It is gratifying to me to write my own music, the music we like and we want to play, and not write in function of commercial impositions and opportunism.I don’t critize musicians who play covers, but I think that Costa Rica will not represent itself internationally with its music if we keep that way. You don’t go to the United States or England and play covers. The country must progress, look for its roots and base itself on those roots to create. I’m not talking about folklore. I’m talking about assimilating our real roots and transmitting them along with contemporary music, and relating all this to our history.Cantoamérica is offering a free concert today at the National Cultural Center (CENAC) in downtown San José at 3:30p.m. More info at 2255-3188. Facebook Commentslast_img read more