.Senior BNP leader Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain on Monday urged the government to amend the constitution to insert the provision of an election-time government.”The prime minister has recently said an election-time government will be in place, but there’s no existence of such administration in the constitution,” he said.Speaking at a discussion, he further said, “If you (PM) accept the election-time government system, you can amend the constitution to incorporate the provision since parliament is in function, and you have two-thirds majority to do that.”Mosharraf, a BNP standing committee member, said a non-party neutral election-time government system is crucial to include in the constitution to hold a fair and credible election and empower people to elect their representatives.He warned that their party together with people will take to the streets to realise their demand if the government does not take step for arranging the polls under the non-party government.Jatiyatabadi Muktijoddha Dal organised the programme at the Jatiya Press Club, marking the 82nd birth anniversary of BNP founder Ziaur Rahman.In her recent address to the nation, prime minister Sheikh Hasina said an election-time government will be formed as per the constitution which will provide all-out cooperation to the election commission in conducting the next election.Reacting to her comments, BNP leaders have been saying that there is a provision in the current constitution to constitute an election-time government.About Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader’s comment that BNP’s stance on the election-time government is not clear, Mosharraf said, “There’s no ambiguity in our demand as we’ve clearly said the election-time government must be neural one, no matter what its name may be.”He said the non-party government will only assist the election commission to hold a fair and impartial election.The BNP leader alleged that the government is rather trying to mislead people over the polls-time administration issue.Mosharraf said they will go to people to drum up their support once their chairperson unveils the framework on the election-time government.
Patrick Semansky/APDonald Trump Jr. hugs his father, Donald Trump, during a campaign rally in Ohio, weeks after Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer, as he sought dirt against Democrat Hillary Clinton.Now that Donald Trump Jr.’s emails have produced the kind of solid evidence the Russia connection story had been lacking, what had been mostly speculative reporting has instead become the first draft of history.Expect that history to be much debated. All accounts of political skulduggery with foreign actors tend to be “tangled and murky,” as one foreign policy historian has written.But one simple truth is that governments of all kinds have tried to influence political events in other countries if they can — and much of that work has been done in the shadows.Surely the U.S. government has sought by various overt and covert means to shape events — to shore up friendly regimes and undermine hostile ones — in dozens of countries all over the world.But that does not make Americans any happier with the idea of the Russians infiltrating our electoral process, or those of Europe or of democracies elsewhere. Such interference has proliferated and gained greater effectiveness in the Internet age, as the Russians have pursued and perfected the use of cybernetic means to distort politics on several levels.Nor do Americans accept the behavior of Russia’s enablers in the U.S. or other targeted countries. And that would appear to include elements of the Donald Trump presidential campaign in 2016. That was the unavoidable takeaway from the email news this week.Obviously, it matters that the offending alien influence in this case was not just any foreign power but Russia — a longtime and salient adversary, led by an autocratic and militant Vladimir Putin, a veteran of the old Soviet spy apparatus known as the KGB.Although “vehemently denied” by Putin and dismissed as “a witch hunt” by President Trump, the Russia connection has been reported as real by 17 U.S. intelligence agencies — four of which have also concluded that the intent was to harm Democrat Hillary Clinton and help Trump. (The others either expressed no opinion regarding the Russians’ intent or were not asked to do so.)So most Americans are justifiably concerned about the whole business. But for context, we should remember that Russia’s latest effort is not the first instance of foreign meddling in a U.S. election nor is Trump’s the first presidential campaign to be accused of collusion with a foreign power.As far back as the 1790s, European powers were intent on involving Americans in their wars. First, it was the French employing various stratagems to get our backing in their battles with Great Britain. Later, the British worked hard to draw us into World War I against the Germans and to overcome the isolationism that initially kept us out of World War II. Those ultimately successful campaigns were conducted both in public and behind the scenes.During the Cold War, the Russians of the Soviet era worked at exploiting racial tensions in the postwar U.S., even as the U.S. was working hard to isolate and defeat leftist parties of various kinds in Europe, the Middle East and Latin America.Political scientist Dov Levin of Carnegie Mellon University has compiled a Cold War database, citing 36 cases of Russian intervention in another country’s elections between 1946 and 2000 — and another 81 instances of similar intervention by the U.S. over the same period of time. These struggles around the globe often featured agents of the CIA battling their counterparts from the KGB, the Soviet-era agency that produced Putin, his worldview and his tactics.Over the years, there have also been stories of American presidential campaigns turning to foreign governments to advance their own interests in the heat of a campaign.Nixon, Vietnam, Anna Chennault and… treason?Perhaps the most compelling example is the contact between Richard Nixon’s 1968 campaign and the government of South Vietnam at a critical point in negotiations to end the war in Vietnam. President Lyndon Johnson became convinced that Nixon, through the Chinese-born Anna Chennault, was urging the South Vietnamese to leave the talks.The election was just days off, and Nixon’s lead in the polls was waning. Nixon reportedly feared there would be a breakthrough shortly before election eve.Declassified tapes in 2013 included audio of Chennault telling South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu to “just hang in there through the election.” Nixon biographer John A. Farrell reports that Johnson sent a message to Nixon through an intermediary (Republican Sen. Everett Dirksen) warning that Nixon was committing treason by interfering to prolong the war.Johnson considered going public with what he knew of Nixon’s efforts in 1968. But he knew that doing so would mean revealing the extent of his surveillance of various parties involved. And, with Nixon’s lead in the polls fading in late October, Johnson may have concluded it was neither prudent nor necessary to make such a move.It was a decision not unlike the one President Barack Obama would make in 2016 when faced with evidence of Russian interference. Obama warned Putin but did not go public with what he knew, apparently believing Clinton was winning anyway and any intervention from the White House might backfire.Reagan and the Iranian hostagesQuestions have also been raised about secret contacts between Ronald Reagan’s 1980 presidential campaign and Iranian officials at a time when 52 American hostages were being held in Tehran. The Reagan camp reportedly feared an “October surprise” in which the incumbent President Jimmy Carter would secure his own re-election by winning the release of the hostages.That did not happen, and the release took place on Jan. 20, 1981, the day Reagan was inaugurated. Reagan’s team have always denied striking a bargain with the Iranians, but a PBS Frontline documentary in 1991 pointed to a July 1980 meeting in Madrid between William E. Casey (later to become CIA director) and a representative of the Iranian Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. No record of that meeting exists.The PBS documentary relied on a book written by Middle East specialist Gary Sick, who had worked in the Carter administration. Sick said that “some kind of discussions took place” between the Reagan men and Iran but added “the story is tangled and murky, and it may never be fully unraveled.”The Ukrainian connectionDid the posture of the Reagan campaign have anything to do with when the hostages in Tehran were released? For that matter, did Nixon actually torpedo the Vietnam talks and allow that war to last well into the next decade?Similar questions may linger over the Russia-Trump connection. It is always difficult to establish, either in real time or after the fact, just what factors determined the outcome of an election. And there can always be counterarguments and countervailing interpretations.Some Republicans have noted, for example, that anti-Russian and anti-Trump Ukrainians may have been involved in the 2016 campaign on behalf of Clinton. In January, Politico reported that a Ukrainian-American with ties to the Democratic National Committee met with officials at the Ukrainian Embassy staff in an effort to “expose ties between Trump, top campaign aide Paul Manafort and Russia.”We may never know the exact extent or effectiveness of these efforts or of the Russian interference on behalf of Trump — any more than we know for certain the full impact of what Nixon and Reagan’s campaigns did.But the stories about these events persist, if only because they feed such powerful thoughts of “what might have been.”The same may well prove true of the allegations against the Trump campaign, whatever Congress and the special prosecutor decide.Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Share
Evolving from the ancient Celtic holiday of Samhain, modern Halloween has become less about literal ghosts and ghouls and more about costumes and candy. To celebrate the night of the dead, Delhiites dress up at their spookiest best.Skeletons, tombstones, spider webs and glowing pumpkins are amongst the popular decor items, but the list can go on and on. The day has become yet another excuse for youngsters to dress up at their horrific best and have some fun. Party stores, costume shops and make-up artists are gearing up to cash in on the trend to transform people into creepy characters ahead of the festival. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Know to be an American holiday, Halloween seems to be gaining fast popularity in India. “People have started getting quite serious about their looks, as many popular pubs and nightclubs in the city are throwing parties that hold ‘ghostly’ competitions and give away fancy prizes to the best dressed,” said – a makeover expert. Recognising an increasing demand for Halloween parties director of a local bar said, “We have decorated our pub with scary chandeliers and skeletons, making it look like a dark dungeon. Our in-house DJ will play scary music all night to make it a complete Halloween experience. We are also calling three artists to paint faces.” Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixChild-friendly Halloween setups also seem to be in demand as they are being organised to cater the needs of both parents and toddlers. “The idea is to involve the whole family in this festival, which is why we are going for a lighter Halloween theme party this year. We will have people dressed up in cartoon characters such as superman, spiderman etc. We are also organising a best-dressed competition and children will also be allowed to take instant photographs with their favourite cartoon character,” said an event organiser. In spite of being the most ‘in’ thing recently, Halloween somehow seems to be stuffed within the boundaries of a clubhouse or a private party. The famous trick or treat tradition is not that successful in a country where parents spend a lot of energy warning children not to talk to strangers. This puts us in a position to question the custom we have adopted mindlessly. Because let’s face it, no Indian parent would want their children to dress up in a blood sucking vampire costume, they would rather dress them up as engineers or doctors! While Dussehra was celebrated to fight good over evil then why to bring evil back in the form of Halloween? Think about it!
Kolkata: A report submitted to the Election Commission by the District Magistrate of North 24-Parganas in connection with the detention of Rujira Banerjee, wife of Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee at Kolkata Airport, says that there is no mention of any gold in the seizure list by the Customs.The report has validated Abhishek Banerjee’s claim who had categorically stated during a press conference on Sunday that his wife had not been carrying any gold when she was intercepted by Customs officials inside Kolkata Airport on the night of March 15. He had also challenged the Customs officials to produce CCTV footages, if they had any, to prove that his wife was carrying gold. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataFollowing the incident, the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) in the state sought a report on the entire incident from the District Magistrate of North 24-Parganas Antara Acharya, who is also the District Election Officer (DEO). After being instructed by the commission, the DEO on Tuesday submitted the report to the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) on Tuesday, which apparently validates Banerjee’s claim. The incident had triggered a political slugfest in the state ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. Banerjee had expressed strong objection after many news portals and some national news channels reported the incident without verifying the authenticity of the allegations. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateThe commission had also received several complaints in this regard from various political parties. Banerjee’s lawyer had filed a complaint with the CEO’s office against BJP’s MP from Asansol Babul Supriyo, for making false statements regarding the issue, on his Twitter handle. The fake news related to the incident was also mentioned in the complaint by his lawyer. A senior official of the CEO’s office has confirmed that the report has been received. After going through the report, the CEO’s office will finally send it to the Election Commission of India (ECI) in Delhi. The CEO’s office will act according to the instructions of the ECI in this regard. It has been learnt that the DEO has submitted the report on the basis of inputs provided by Bidhannagar Police. The CEO’s office has no jurisdiction to intervene in the Customs related matter and hence it is up to the ECI to take up the matter with the Central agencies if it feels so. “We have received a factual report from the DEO of North 24-Parganas on the matter. We are looking into it,” a senior election official from the CEO’s office said.
Older adults with just 10 to 19 teeth are at higher risk malnutrition, warns a new study. These patients also had higher rates of weight loss, lower appetite and were at increased risk for dementia and/or depression as well as severe illnesses than those who had a normal nutrition status. “The mouth is the entry way for food and fluid intake. If its integrity is impaired, the functional ability of an individual to consume an adequate diet may be adversely impacted,” said Rena Zelig, lead author at Rutgers University in the US. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfFurther, the researchers said that dental clinics were ideal locations to perform nutritional status screenings as they can identify patients who may not regularly visit a primary care provider and who may be at risk for malnutrition. “Clinicians also can provide patients with referrals to Registered Dietitians and community assistance programmes such as Meals on Wheels to prevent further decline in nutritional status,” Zelig said. The study, published in Journal of Ageing Research and Clinical Practice, analysed the health records of 107 senior citizens treated aged 65 and above.The results showed that 20.6 per cent of participants were at risk for malnutrition and 4.7 per cent were malnourished. In addition, greater than 87 per cent of them partially or completely lacked teeth. However, further study was needed to examine the relationships between tooth loss and malnutrition risk and the impact of tooth loss on the eating experience and eating-related quality of life.
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