#MeToo Cycle Diaries

first_imgFor model Priyanka Kochhar, it was a bad break-up. For Pakistan’s Zenith Irfan, it was the quest to realise her late father’s dream. For Sarah Kashyap, it was a challenge thrown at her by her brother. But these biker girls also had one common reason to take up motorcycling: There’s,For model Priyanka Kochhar, it was a bad break-up. For Pakistan’s Zenith Irfan, it was the quest to realise her late father’s dream. For Sarah Kashyap, it was a challenge thrown at her by her brother. But these biker girls also had one common reason to take up motorcycling: There’s no glass ceiling to their sense of adventure. Known as #bikewithgirl on Instagram, Kochhar straddled three different superbikes for a cruise across Croatia in the Harley-Davidson Triple Threat event in April. Zenith’s journeys culminated in a critically acclaimed documentary, Motorcycle Girl, released in Pakistan this year. And Kashyap is set to hit the international rally circuit after becoming the first woman to finish the prestigious Raid De Himalaya and Desert Storm rally in the Xtreme Moto Category. Another thing they share: they all hope to ride into a day when pepper spray and body alarms are things of the past.Priyanka Kochhar, 32MumbaiOnly Indian woman participant in Harley Davidson Triple Treat Press Event, CroatiaDaily Ride: KTM Duke-200The Essentials: Hydration pack, pepper spray if riding in India, energy bars, day and night visorsWhat was the highlight of your ride through Croatia?Riding the Iron 1200 bike (256 kg), which is seven times my weight! But everything went smooth, thanks to the brilliant instructors. It was great to ride the Harley on Croatia’s cities and mountains. We toured and raced. It was a complete experience.When did you start motorcycling and how did it happen to you?Around four years ago, I had a bad break-up and was left with no friends. I just didn’t know how to get out of the gloomy mindscape. A friend of mine owned a Royal Enfield. I borrowed it from him and crammed up a lot of tutorials. A few falls, and the bike accepted me.advertisementDo you think things have changed for women riders since you first started?When I started, there were hardly any women on these machines. Now we see a ratio of 88:12 in many events. What we need are more exclusive motor­sport events for women in order to encourage them to participate.Dudes are always talking about women drivers. Unfortunately, the moment [guys] realise that it’s a woman riding, they start following and racing.Zenith Irfan, 23PakistanHas travelled to the dangerous northern areas of Pakistan on her bike. Zenith IrfanDaily Ride: Suzuki GS 150The Essentials: Two pairs of clothing (winter/ summer), rain gear, mini toolkit, camping gearHow does it feel now that there’s a film on you?It is a wonderful feeling. The movie has been received well and hailed by critics as “the film that has changed Pakistani cinema”.How did you start?I turned 18 in 2013 and decided to fulfil my late father’s wish to travel round the world on a motorcycle. I have clocked 20,000 km and visited more than 200 cities in provinces like Gilgit Baltistian, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. I hope that one day relations with India would improve so that I am able to ride to Kerala.How do men in Pakistan react seeing you ride a motorcycle?In the mountains, men are proud to see a woman rider exploring the valleys. I get mixed reactions from city men. Pakistanis are not used to seeing a woman on a bike.Sarah Kashyap, 32ChandigarhShe is the first Indian woman to have completed the Raid and Desert storm Sarah KashyapDaily Ride: KTM EXC 250, but soon a Honda CRF 450The Essentials: A US Army body alarm. A loud sound in case of an emergency can give you enough time to escape. Torch, puncture kit, repair kit, medicines, basic spare partsHow were you introduced to motorcycling?It started at the age of 16 when my brother challenged me to ride a bike.What’s your next goal?I want to be the first Asian woman to complete the Dubai International Baja & Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. I want to participate in the toughest offroad race in the world-The Dakar Rally.What’s it like to be a woman biker in India?I get thumbs ups all the time from people but men try to race me as their egos get bruised when a woman overtakes.last_img read more

Canadian government airlines issue travel advisories because of storms

first_imgTORONTO – The Canadian government and several airlines have issued travel advisories because of hurricanes and tropical storms churning towards the U.S. east coast, Caribbean and Hawaii.Ottawa urged Canadians to avoid all travel from Edisto Beach in South Carolina to the North Carolina-Virginia border due to hurricane Florence.It also warned against non-essential travel to Martinique, Guadeloupe and Dominica because of tropical storm Isaac.Air Canada and WestJet Airlines also issued travel advisories and offered to allow passengers to change certain flights free of charge to affected areas in the U.S. southeast, Barbados and Hawaii.Porter Airlines warned that flights to Newark, N.J. could be delayed or cancelled because of unfavourable weather.Hurricane Florence is expected to pose the greatest challenge with 380 to 635 millimetres of rain forecast and up to 1.14 metres of rain in isolated spots.last_img read more

China lashes out at Freeland over response to protests in Hong Kong

first_imgOTTAWA — Protests raging in Hong Kong are threatening to become yet another irritant in Canada’s fraught relationship with China.China’s embassy in Canada on Thursday denounced the Canadian government’s recent comments on the ongoing protests as “irresponsible” and “erroneous.”That appeared to be a reference to a statement from Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, which expressed Canada’s concern over the unrest and described freedom of expression and assembly as the “bedrock” of society in Hong Kong.Protesters in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory have been out in force in recent days over a proposed extradition law that would allow suspects to be sent to China for trial.Thursday’s statement from the Chinese embassy accused Canada of interfering in the affairs of the region and urged Ottawa to get behind the proposed law.Freeland said any legislation should preserve Hong Kong’s autonomy, judicial independence and rule of law.“Hong Kong affairs are purely China’s internal affairs, (which) no other country, organization or individual has the right to interfere in,” the embassy statement said.“No country should interfere in the internal affairs of other countries on the grounds of caring for its expatriates. Canada also has many foreign expatriates. What really affects Hong Kong’s business confidence and international reputation is not the amendment of the ordinance, but those acts of violence, which have been incited by external forces and damage social peace and disregard the law.”Hong Kong police reportedly fired rubber bullets and beanbag rounds at the thousands of protesters who broke through barriers outside government headquarters and the legislature Wednesday, leaving 81 people injured, according to Hong Kong’s Hospital Authority. Police said 22 officers were among the injured.Officers at one point “had no choice but to escalate the use of force to disperse the crowd,” Stephen Lo, the Hong Kong commissioner of police, told reporters Thursday. “The behaviour of the violent protesters yesterday (Wednesday) imposed a serious threat to the public order.”Police used more than 150 rounds of tear gas during Wednesday’s clashes, Lo said. That’s nearly double the amount used in major 2014 protests.“The ongoing protests in Hong Kong, which are among the largest in the city’s history, demonstrate the deep concern among the people of Hong Kong about their future,” Freeland said in a statement Wednesday.“Canada remains concerned about the potential effect these proposals may have on the large number of Canadian citizens in Hong Kong, on business confidence, and on Hong Kong’s international reputation…. Freedom of expression and assembly are the bedrock of Hong Kong’s free society. It is vital that any legislation preserve Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy, rule of law, and independent judiciary.”It was the first time Hong Kong police have used tear gas since the 79-day, pro-democracy “Umbrella Movement” demonstrations in 2014, which marked the beginning of a shift to a tougher police approach.Officers also fired several rubber bullets and 20 beanbag rounds, which Lo said other countries deployed as non-lethal methods to quell riots and rebellions, and also used batons, pepper spray, and pepper based solution. Many protesters wore hard hats, masks, plastic wrap and carried umbrellas as protection. Eleven were arrested.“We are unarmed,” said Daniel Lee, a 42-year-old doctor who noted the police wore respirators to protect against tear gas. He said it was the last chance to fight for Hong Kong’s future.“It’s expected that we will be hit. There’s no way. If no one stands by the kids’ side, they will not have any help. This is it.”Canada and China are locked in a diplomatic standoff over last December’s arrest in Vancouver of high-tech scion and Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, who is the target of a U.S. extradition request on charges of violating American sanctions against Iran. China has detained two Canadians, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, in apparent retaliation.Freeland firmly rebuffed China’s latest demand Thursday to free Meng, saying it would set a dangerous precedent that could endanger all Canadians abroad.The unapologetic rejection came in Washington, where Freeland ended two days of meetings with top Trump administration officials and U.S. lawmakers, a table-setter for next week’s White House meeting between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Donald Trump.“It would be a very dangerous precedent indeed for Canada to alter its behaviour when it comes to honouring an extradition to treaty in response to external pressure.”— With files from The Associated PressThe Canadian Presslast_img read more

School bus crash in University City sends students to hospital

first_imgSchool bus crash in University City sends students to hospital KUSI Newsroom KUSI Newsroom, December 19, 2018 Posted: December 19, 2018 Categories: Local San Diego News, Traffic & Accidents FacebookTwitter SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – More than three dozen high school students were taken to a hospital for precautionary evaluations Wednesday after a car rear-ended their school bus in the University City area while they were on their way to classes, authorities reported.An Infiniti sedan struck the school vehicle shortly before 8:30 a.m. on Genesee Avenue, just north of state Route 52, according to the California Highway Patrol.No serious injuries were reported, but medics took all 38 University City High School students who had been riding in the bus to a hospital to be checked out.San Diego Unified School District said that all students were examined by medical staff and were released to their parents, with no serious injuries reported.It was unclear if the driver of the sedan suffered any injuries in the crash.The CHP shut down the on-ramp from westbound SR-52 to northbound Genesee Avenue during the crash investigation and cleanup. last_img read more

You will be surprised to know what the full names of these

first_imgVVS Laxman’s full name is hardly known by even Indian fansReutersCricket is a diverse game becoming more diverse by the day. Primarily belonging to areas that were previously under British rule, the game is starting to spread its tentacles to places like the Netherlands and Papua New Guinea. As a result, the game has a great variety of names amongst its players.While the names of most players are well known, there are some who drop parts of it or reduce its length by using their initials. These players go through their entire careers without most people knowing what their full names are. Let’s look at some prime examples of these.VVS LaxmanAmong the greatest batsmen that the country has produced, Laxman has always been known by the initials VVS. Few know what they stand for. Out of admiration, these have been given another expansion – Very Very Special. But in reality, the full name of the batting legend from Hyderabad is Vangipurapu Venkata Sai Laxman. However, being called very, very special won’t go down badly either.Lala AmarnathAmong the stars of the earliest phase of Indian cricket, Lala Amarnath’s reputation was enhanced even more by the exploits of his sons and a career as an analyst on radio commentary. But it would surprise a lot of people to know that Amarnath is actually not the surname of the famous all-rounder but actually, his middle name. The full name reads Nanik Amarnath Bharadwaj. Ross Taylor’s unique name is due to his Samoan heritageRoss TaylorA lot of people are under the mistaken impression that Ross Taylor belongs to the indigenous Maori community of New Zealand. But actually, he is half-Samoan. Ross is the only English-sounding among his four names apart from the family name Taylor. His initials, one might have noticed, is LRPL, which stand for Luteru Ross Poutoa Lote. It is understandable why he chose Ross instead of the other three options for his first name in cricket.Tony GreigBorn in South Africa, captained England and lived in Australia, Tony Greig was one of the most loved figures in the cricket world. His booming voice and rousing commentary made him the default voice of cricket. His full name though, was hardly ever heard. Anthony William Greig may have been a feisty, rebellious cricketer for those who saw cricket in 1970s but for 90s kids and millennials, he would be best remembered as the excited broadcaster who brought the game alive.Hansie CronjeFormer South Africa captain Hansie Cronje would have been remembered as a wonderful leader had he not disgraced himself by shady dealings with bookmakers. However, even today, only a few are aware that Hansie was just a pet name of the former Proteas skipper. South Africa has a large non-English speaking Afrikaner population with very unique names. Cronje was one of them and his full name was Wessel Johannes Hansie Cronje. What AB stands for in AB De Villiers’ initials is not known by manyGetty ImagesAB de VilliersOne of the most exciting batsmen in the world, few know what AB stands for in the name of the player. It is simply Abraham Benjamin. Yes, Abraham Benjamin de Villiers is the full name of the South African batsmen who now lights up T20 leagues around the world.Chaminda VaasSri Lanka has probably the longest names on average among all Test-playing nations. Not surprisingly, one of their players also features in the list. Chaminda Vaas was certainly their greatest seamer. But his full name is not just hardly known but hard to remember. Warnakulasuriya Patabendige Ushantha Joseph Chaminda Vaas is hard to repeat even for people from Sri Lanka’s neighbour India, but somehow, David Lloyd can not only remember it but repeat it at will. Listening to his north English rendition of WPUJC Vaas’ full name is a delight.last_img read more

SpiceJet Boeing deal Lowcost carrier places order for 205 aircraft worth 22

first_imgIn what is said to be one of the biggest deals in India’s aviation history, SpiceJet, India’s low-cost carrier has confirmed its plan to purchase 205 Boeing jets for $22 billion (about Rs 1.5 lakh crore) from the US-based aircraft manufacturer. With the deal, SpiceJet is seeking to win the market share from its dominant rival — IndiGo Airlines. The deal, which includes 100 firm 737 Max 8 jets, will build on an existing order for 55 aircraft, the carrier said in a statement on Friday.Also read: Boeing strikes big deal with SpiceJet for 92 Boeing 737 jetlinersAdditionally, the airline also has the option to buy 50 more wide-bodied aircraft. With this, the total order stands at $22 billion at the listed price. “SpiceJet’s new order underscores it’s drive to compete more effectively in India’s cut-throat low cost travel market. The deal for up to 205 737MAXs will certainly put it on par with Indigo for domestic dominance and the added range of the 737MAX fleet will allow SpiceJet to open up routes deeper into Asia and even parts of Europe/CIS states,” Saj Ahmad, chief analyst at StrategicAero Research, told the International Business Times, India.The deal is seen as a win-win situation for both the parties: The latest order could help SpiceJet become the largest airline in India (as per fleet size), as it competes with IndiGo, which controls the world’s fastest-growing aviation market with 42 per cent market share. For Boeing, this deal could signal the aircraft an entry into the Indian market, which is dominated by Airbus. Last month, SpiceJet had a market share of 12.8 per cent (according to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation).”Our turnaround story has been one which has very few parallels in the world today and we are proud of it. SpiceJet has achieved seven consecutive quarters of profit, highest on-time performance and lowest cancellation rates; a record load factor of over 90% every month for 20 months in a row – a feat that has no parallel in aviation history,” Ajay Singh, chairman and managing director, SpiceJe, said in the statement.SpiceJet placed its first order with Boeing in 2005 for Next-Generation B737s and currently operates 32 of the B737s in its fleet besides 17 Bombardier Q400s.The SpiceJet stock closed at Rs 65.50 on Friday, up 2.50 percent from its previous close on the Bombay Stock Exchange.last_img read more

Mahbub serves notice to Comilla univ

first_imgMahbubul Haque BhuiyanComilla University teacher Mahbubul Haque Bhuiyan has served a legal notice to the university authorities seeking withdrawal of his “forced leave”.The acting head of the journalism department of the university was given “forced leave” for a month for allegedly taking classes on National Mourning Day on 15 August.The legal notice was sent to the vice-chancellor and the registrar through fax and mail on Sunday, said Mahbubul’s lawyer Jyotirmoy Barua.The university officials were asked to reply in the next 12 hours, he added.The lawyer told Prothom Alo that the university authorities did not serve any show-cause notice prior to forcing him to go on leave.“There is no provision in the university act to send someone on leave in such a fashion,” he added.The lawyer said the university faculty will take legal action if the VC and the register fail to reply in the stipulated time.last_img read more

British foreign secy due in Dhaka

first_imgUK foreign minister Boris Johnson. Photo: ReutersThe government will inform the international community that Khaleda Zia was jailed for misappropriating money donated to the state for spending at an orphanage trust.A top government official told this to Prothom Alo on Thursday.Ruling Awami League (AL) took the stand after a Dhaka court had convicted and sentenced the former prime minister, also the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chairperson, to five years imprisonment.Foreign ministry officials think the issue will be raised during meetings with the visiting British foreign secretary Boris Johnson and the European Parliament delegation.Boris is scheduled to arrive in Dhaka on Friday on a two-day visit to discuss bilateral and regional issues with a special focus on the Rohingya crisis.Johnson will call on Bangladesh foreign minister Abul Hassan Mahmud Ali this evening (Friday). He will go to visit the Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar on Saturday.Besides, four separate teams consisting 11 representatives of the European Parliament will arrive in Dhaka on Saturday. Three of the teams will directly go to Cox’s Bazar from Dhaka to visit the Rohingya camps.One of the teams of European Parliament, led by Jean Lambert, was scheduled to call on Khaleda Zia on 14 February.last_img read more

Speechimpaired girl raped

first_imgA speech-impaired girl was reportedly raped by the driver of Shyamnagar Upazila Nirbahi Officer in the government quarter premises in upazila headquarters in Satkhira on Saturday, reports UNB.Police arrested driver Abdul Gaffar, 57, son of Gahar Gain, resident of Badoghata village, after the victim’s mother filed a rape case with Shyamnagar police station.The victim, a student of Shyamnagar Government Moshin Degree College, used to live along with her mother at Abdul Gaffar’s house in Badoghata village as tenants.On Saturday noon, Gaffar’s wife Amena Begum sent his launch through the girl. When the girl went to the UNO’s residence, Gaffar violated her inside his quarter 2:30pm, said sub-inspector Raj Kishore of Shyamnagar police station citing the case statement.Later in the evening, the girl informed the matter to her mother and Amena Begum filed the case against Gaffar.last_img read more

India reimposes restrictions in Kashmir ahead of EidulAzha

first_imgKashmiri women shout slogans during a protest after the scrapping of the special constitutional status for Kashmir by the Indian government, in Srinagar, on 11 August 2019. Photo: ReutersIndian authorities reimposed some restrictions in parts of Kashmir on Sunday ahead of the Muslim festival Eid, amid fears that large gatherings could trigger renewed protests against Delhi’s withdrawal of special rights for the region.Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s government locked down the Muslim-majority region last Sunday, cutting off communications, detaining more than 300 political leaders and activists, and putting a ‘virtual curfew’ into force with numerous police and army roadblocks stopping movement by many residents.Seeking to tighten its grip on the region also claimed by neighbouring Pakistan, India scrapped Jammu and Kashmir’s right to frame its own laws and allowed non-residents to buy property there.On Friday, restrictions on movement in some parts of the Himalayan region’s main city of Srinagar were relaxed, with people pouring out on to the streets to stock up on provisions.But protests erupted after Friday prayers, with pro-independence youth demonstrating before being repelled by tear gas and pellets, according to police sources, witnesses and footage shown by international broadcasters.On Sunday, a Reuters reporter saw a police van driving around one part of Srinagar announcing that restrictions had been imposed again and asking people to stay indoors.Police checkpoints were also placed on some roads leading to the old quarter of the city, a traditional hotbed of protests, and some streets in central Srinagar.Officials were debating how to handle Monday’s Eid-al-Azha festival, one of the two most important festivals of the Islamic calendar, which typically sees several thousands throng major mosques in Srinagar.Indian officials will hold a video-conference with senior police and administration officials from all 10 districts in the disputed Kashmir valley on Sunday evening to decide on restrictions, two senior state government officials told Reuters.”We will make an assessment of the situation today,” one official said, requesting anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to the media. “I do not think we will allow large gatherings.”Kashmiri men shout slogans during a protest after the scrapping of the special constitutional status for Kashmir by the Indian government, in Srinagar, on 11 August 2019. Photo: ReutersIndia’s home ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the latest restrictions in Kashmir.Leaders in Kashmir had warned of a backlash against the stripping of autonomy in a territory where militants have been fighting Indian rule for nearly 30 years, leading to the deaths of more than 50,000 people.Reuters reported at least 10,000 people were involved in Friday’s protest in Srinagar’s Soura area, based on an estimate provided by a police source and backed up by two eyewitnesses. Another official source on Saturday gave Reuters the same estimate.Dilbag Singh, the Jammu and Kashmir director general of police, told Reuters on Sunday that between 1,000 and 1,500 people were returning from praying at mosques on Friday when “some miscreants” started pelting stones at security officials.”It was a reaction to stone pelting by these miscreants that one or two rounds of pump action gun was fired,” Singh said, adding that four to five men suffered injuries.Authorities had detained around 300 local leaders in total and some of them had been taken out of Kashmir, he said.Pakistan’s WrathPakistan has downgraded diplomatic ties with India and suspended trade in anger at Delhi’s latest move.Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan on Sunday compared India’s ruling Hindu nationalist party’s policies to dictator Adolf Hitler’s “Nazi Aryan Supremacy.” He warned Modi’s actions would go beyond Kashmir and eventually target Indian Muslims and neighbouring Pakistan.”Attempt is to change demography of Kashmir through ethnic cleansing. Question is: Will the world watch & appease as they did Hitler at Munich?” Khan tweeted.Ram MAzhav, a senior leader in India’s ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), hit back.”Threat to democratic world is from Pak-sponsored Jehadi terror, not from India,” MAzhav tweeted.Pakistan said on Saturday that it had gained China’s support to take a motion to the United Nations Security Council condemning the Indian decision to change the status of Jammu and Kashmir.Islamabad has not received much support from other major nations, however, suggesting its odds of success at the UN were slim.India’s BJP has long campaigned for abrogating Kashmir’s special privileges in the constitution, which it sees as an appeasement to Muslims and a hindrance to its own development.The BJP and even some top opposition leaders have welcomed the decision to absorb Kashmir fully into India, and it has brought Modi support across the country.Blocked off from the world and largely unable to work or socialize, many Kashmiris were sombre ahead of Monday’s festival. Some said they would not partake in the ritual sacrificing of sheep.”What kind of Eid is this?” said one elderly man walking down a street in downtown Srinagar’s Jamia Masjid area. “We cannot reach our loves ones, we cannot visit our relatives’ homes, then what are we celebrating?” he said, declining to be named.last_img read more