Rashtriya Janata Dal successfully managed to bring the issue of alleged mass rape at a shelter home in Muzaffarpur, Bihar at the centre stage with a joint opposition protest at Jantar Mantar on Saturday.RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav was joined by Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, CPI(M)’s Sitaram Yechury, CPI’s D. Raja and Atul Kumar Anjan, Loktantrik Janata Dal leader Sharad Yadav and Trinamool Congress’ Dinesh Trivedi.Mr. Gandhi said that the country had made up its mind against the BJP government. Pointing out that the Opposition was united on the stage, Mr. Gandhi said, “On one side is the BJP/RSS and on the other is the rest of the country. Indians are saying that they do not like what happened in the last four years.”Mr. Gandhi said Chief Minister Nitish Kumar must immediately act against the culprits in the sexual assault case in the Muzzafarpur shelter.In a 12-minute speech, Tejashwi Yadav accused the Nitish Kumar government of turning a blind eye to the crime. “Nitish ji says he is hurt and is sad. Then why did he get the prime accused Brajesh Thakur’s name removed from the FIR… why did he take this long to act on social audit by TISS?” he questioned.He said that Bihar was living under ‘Rakshas Raj’, giving references from the Mahabharata and the Ramayana. “In Bihar, Raavan is kidnapping Sita every minute. Every minute, a Duryodhan is de-robing a Draupadi,” he said. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said fast track courts should be set up to award the death sentence to the accused for such a heinous crime.”I demand that this case be probed in three months and the accused be hanged,” he said.He also sought to remind the JD(U)-BJP government in Bihar that the foundation of the UPA government had been rocked following the protest over Nirbhaya’s rape.This was the first political protest where Mr. Gandhi shared the stage with Mr Kejriwal. During Mr Kejriwal’s protest at the Delhi Lieutenant Governor’s office, the Congress had refused to support AAP. CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said BJP’s slogan “beti bachao” needed reworking. “We need to change this government… the slogan of ‘beti bachao’ is now ‘save beti from BJP’,” he said. Former JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav said the BJP was not saving the daughters of the country but was busy saving cows.
Lok Sabha on Monday felicitated badminton player Saina Nehwal for winning the Hong Kong Super Series tournament.Speaking on behalf of members, Speaker Meira Kumar said Saina had emphatically established herself as one of the best players through her “stupendous performance”.Saina defeated Asian Games winner Shixian Wang of China to win the tournament.Noting that Saina had won the fourth major international title during this year, Kumar said, “honourable members, I am sure all of you will join me in conveying our heartiest congratulations to her.” “Her achievements are a matter of national pride and source of inspiration for many a budding sportspersons of our country,” the Speaker added amidst thumping of desks by the members.- WIth PTI inputs
Local exporters will be further enabled to take advantage of market opportunities and increase their export earnings with an expansion of the ‘Export Max: Enterprise Development Programme’.A sum of $54.9 million has been set aside for Phase II of the project, which will provide technical assistance to an additional 10 companies.Industry, Investment and Commerce Minister, Hon. Anthony Hylton, made the disclosure at a Jamaica Exporters’ Association (JEA) members’ luncheon, held at the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston on May 9. Mr. Hylton informed that the initiative, which was launched in 2011, was developed by the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) to focus on the development of a cluster of export-ready clients.“(Phase I) of the programme enabled a group of 15 exporters to take advantage of market opportunities and increase their export earnings,” he pointed out.The priority industries include: agro processing; aquaculture; furniture; coffee; fashion; mineral and mining; ICT; entertainment; and education.According to the Minister, the expansion of ‘Export Max’ is among a number initiatives being pursued by the Ministry, and in particular JAMPRO, to advance the National Export Strategy (NES).Another such programme is the FINPYME Export Plus Programme, which was launched in October 2012.It is co-ordinated by JAMPRO in collaboration with the JEA and the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association, with funding support of some US$150,000 from the Inter-American Investment Corporation and the Inter-American Development Bank.To date, some 78 small and medium sized enterprises have registered to participate in the programme, which aims to build the export readiness and capacity of SMEs; improve market access for SMEs; and increase performance and exports of SMEs.Minister Hylton further informed that FINPYME recently approved 15 technical assistance programmes with over 30 modules, ranging from market access for agro processing in various markets and operational efficiency and cost cutting measures, to certification for agro products. “I invite those of you who have not yet registered, to do so soon, as the benefits are invaluable,” he stated.Jamaica is among a select number of countries in which the FINPYME Export Plus programme has been executed, and is the only country in which all six FINPYME initiatives have been implemented.Jamaica’s National Export Strategy is a unified strategic initiative that seeks to maximise the export sector’s direct contribution to economic and social development.The vision of the NES is to make Jamaica the place of choice for creative, innovative goods and services of exceptional quality.Contact: Athaliah Reynolds-Baker
The 3rd Annual Hank Baskett Classic took place this week at Trump National Golf Club, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA and supported the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF).The event came about after Baskett’s father was diagnosed with lung cancer three years ago.The Hank Baskett Classic Golf Tournament featured a lunch and shotgun start with more than 100 golfers on the course. An awards banquet followed where Hank presented this year’s Hank Baskett Sr., Spirit Award to Bonnie J. Addario.The event also supported our country’s veterans with several servicemen in attendance, as well as Todd Toomey, David Bronson and Saul Bosquez from the Wounded Warrior Project. In addition to supporting the LCF, Griffin Gives also supports veterans, and Baskett will tour VA Hospitals this spring and summer.Celebrity golfers included: Hank Baskett: Board member and co-founder of Griffin Gives, co-star of “Kendra on Top”Hank Baskett, Sr.: Hank Baskett’s fatherBen Begley: “The Hungover Games”Brody Jenner: “Keeping Up with the Kardashians”Bruce Jenner: Olympian, “Keeping Up with the Kardashians”Byron Russell: Former NBA player- Nuggets, Wizards, Lakers and JazzByron Scott: Former NBA coachCedric Ceballos: Former NBA playerDave Shelton: Award winning writer and cartoonistDavid Justice: Former MLB playerDerrick Ward: Former NFL playerEric Dickerson: Former NFL playerHarold House Moore: “Single Ladies”Hot Rod G: Rapper and singerJames Anderson: 76ers NBA playerJermaine Dye: Former MLB playerJessica Hall: Playboy Radio and “Kendra on Top”Karina Smirnoff: “Dancing with the Stars”Kirk Morrison: FoxSports1Kristy Swanson: “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”Lamarr Houston: Chicago Bears NFL playerMark McMillian: Former NFL cornerbackMichael Shay: “Vanderpump Rules”Mikey Roe: Host of Travel Channel’s “Feed The Beast”Olden Polynice: Former NBA playerRodney Peete: Former NFL playerRoyce Clayton: Former MLB playerRyan Merriman: “Pretty Little Liars”Scheana Marie: “Vanderpump Rules”Steven Glickman: “Workaholics”Todd Potter: Motocross biker, X Games winner and member of Metal MulishaTravelle Gaines: Owner of Athletic Gaines and seen on “Kendra on Top”Zane Lamprey: Comedian
Serena Williams has announced that she will be hosting the second annual Serena Williams Live Ultimate Run, which will be held in Miami’s South Beach Sunday, December 13, 2015.The Quarter Marathon (6.55 miles), 5K Run/Walk and Ultimate Kids Dash will gather runners of all ages and ability to support the Serena Williams Fund.“I continue to be honored by the rare opportunity I have been given, and truly understand the importance of using my platform to assist others,” shared Williams. “The Serena Williams Fund is excited for the opportunity to partner with Live Ultimate to host a run. We get people outdoors and active in beautiful South Beach and most importantly raise funds for two very important causes: aiding individuals and communities who have been affected by senseless violence and making a quality education accessible to deserving youth around the world. Come out and join us!”On December 13, famed Ocean Drive will be closed to traffic for the Serena Williams Live Ultimate Run’s start and finish lines, with a course that will take runners through Miami’s world-renowned South Beach scene, an iconic destination known for its tropical beauty, Art Deco buildings, world class nightlife and dining. The course will take runners through Ocean Drive, Washington Ave, the Art Deco District, Lincoln Road, and down South Beach’s world-famous beach walk. The event, which is supported by the Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority (MBVCA), has partnered with local hotels within walking distance of the start/finish line to offer participants attractive hotel deals.“Serena is the absolute personification of the philosophy of living ultimate,” adds Marc Wachter, CEO of Live Ultimate, LLC and Board Member of Driving Force Giving Circle (DFGC), which houses funds and projects dedicated to creating equity for all, including the Serena Williams Fund. “Not only does she excel in her professional and personal life, but she dedicates her time and energy to giving back to those in need. She should be recognized as much for her work off the courts as for her achievements on them. We are honored to work with her to raise funds for her very important causes.”Joining Serena will be her sister and fellow tennis champion, Venus, and an expected list of elite runners and both local and national personalities who will be coming out in support of The Serena Williams Fund.“We had such a blast last year, I’m really looking forward to getting back out there again for the Serena Williams Live Ultimate Run,” adds Venus Williams. ” My goal is to train harder and beat my time from last year. I encourage everyone from all walks of life to join us for a fun run while supporting a great cause, and of course… the post race Karaoke party on the beach!”More than 3,000 runners are expected to participate in the Serena Williams Live Ultimate Run, which will be the culmination of a weekend-long series of events, kicking off with an Ultimate Evening charity gala and silent auction on Friday, December 11, and a health and wellness expo on Saturday, December 12.“Once again we are thrilled to unite so many communities – runners, families, fitness fans, and philanthropists – to run with Serena, Venus, and other elite athletes, through our shared neighborhood, the one-and-only South Beach,” adds Michael Rose, Managing Partner of Rose Capital Advisors in Miami Beach and Board Member of DFGC. “We had so much fun last year, with over 2,500 runners and even more spectators, that in true Williams competitive spirit, this year we are all out to top our personal bests in both race times as well as raising money and awareness for such important causes.”One hundred teams of four or more are expected to join the Ultimate Team Challenge, and several hundred children, aged 2 – 10, are expected to participate in the Ultimate Kids Dash. For more information about The Serena Williams Live Ultimate Run, The Serena Williams Fund, or to register for the event, click here.