So Dropbox Can Be Hacked—What Else Is New?

first_imgWe appreciate the contributions of these researchers and everyone who helps keep Dropbox safe. However, we believe this research does not present a vulnerability in the Dropbox client. In the case outlined here, the user’s computer would first need to have been compromised in such a way that it would leave the entire computer, not just the user’s Dropbox, open to attacks across the board. Yet another reason to secure those computers. Spread the word.  adriana lee How Intelligent Data Addresses the Chasm in Cloud Related Posts Cloud Hosting for WordPress: Why Everyone is Mo… Dropbox has had its share of security woes. One day, wayward code breaks authentication protocols. Another time, user logins get stolen from third-party sites. Now it’s a couple of researchers stretching their hacking muscles and proving they could lay waste to Dropbox’s security measures. For users, this may be genuinely alarming news—particularly for those who depend on Dropbox heavily. I certainly do. So perhaps I should feel upset or unnerved by this. But I’m not. At all. Here’s why. How Dropbox Got Ripped OpenWhat’s clear is that these researchers have no bad intentions. Dhiru Kholia and Przemyslaw Wegrzyn, authors of the paper “Looking inside the (Drop) box” (PDF), just wanted to prove they could do it. And they did. They wowed the developer community by reverse engineering the cloud storage service’s desktop application. Reverse engineering, or figuring out an app’s development by working backwards starting with its finished product, is a fairly common practice. But few thought Dropbox could be vulnerable to it. The app was written in Python and relied heavily on obfuscation, meaning it was intentionally designed to conceal source code. But that didn’t stop Kholia and Wegrzyn. They write:We describe a method to bypass Dropbox’s two-factor authentication and hijack Dropbox accounts. Additionally, generic techniques to intercept SSL data using code injection techniques and monkey patching are presented.In other words, they were able to make modifications without altering Dropbox’s original source code. They also exploited the “Launch Dropbox Website” feature, an item located in the Windows system tray that lets users auto-login to the website. The handling of that in the current version of Dropbox is more secure than in the previous ones, but legacy users could still be at risk of having their accounts breached.This is an impressive feat, even if it is fraught with some scary potential. The team showed that it’s possible to blast through Drobox’s two-step login security, hijack accounts and expose code that could allow crafty hackers to devise some ingenious (or malicious) programs.Fortunately, the researchers have no mischief in mind. They only wanted to prove a point: Blocking access to underlying code doesn’t necessarily stop hacks. All it does is impede well-meaning developers from vetting it properly. Prepping For Cloudy DaysSee also: Sorry, Dropbox: The Hard Drive Is Here To StayOf course, that doesn’t mean some black-hat hacker won’t use these exploits to plunder Dropbox users’ data. That’s no small matter, considering the company has 175 million users.That’s a lot of gigabytes pulsing through the Dropbox cloud. For my part, I make sure that my most sensitive information isn’t among them. I store important logins and other personal data locally (either in my laptop or on an external drive). Some files, of medium importance, get either encrypted or password protected. What remains is detritus or items of lower priority.I may be atypical, but while I like and use services like Dropbox for convenience, I do so knowing they aren’t impregnable. In fact, I operate under the assumption that hacks and breaches are inevitable. That’s either paranoid or savvy, depending on your point of view. Either way, it offers some peace of mind whenever the clouds get a little stormy. Feature image courtesy of Flickr user Derek KeyUPDATE: I reached out to Dropbox for a comment, and received the following via email from a company spokesperson:  Serverless Backups: Viable Data Protection for … Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#cloud storage#Dropbox#hacking last_img read more

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India For Formal Recognition of Traditional Medicines in Singapore

first_imgIndia is working towards formal recognition of traditional Indian medicines and practices in Singapore where there is a huge market, the country’s envoy here said today.Documents related to Ayurvedic and Siddha medicines have been submitted to the Singapore Health Authority, Indian High Commissioner Jawed Ashraf told on the sidelines of the 4th International Conference on the Traditional Indian Medicines here.Read it at Economic Times Related Itemslast_img

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SPORT-SQUASH 3 LAST

first_img(Reopens SPB2) (Reopens SPB2) “I think I had the upper hand till the third game,” Sandhu said after his loss. “The first game is crucial. I was up 6-2 in the third, then I lost my consistency there. Mazen drew level and he got the confidence. He went for all the attacking shots and got everything,” he added. World no. 15 Saurav Ghosal of India expectedly won his first round encounter against countryman Kush Kumar in straight games, winning 11-2, 15-13, 11-4 in 39 minutes. Ghosal dominated at the start, closing out a quick first game from the middle, 11-2. But Kumar came back with a plan in the second, mixing up shots to send Ghosal scrambling. He settled into a better accuracy that forced several key errors from Ghosal, who otherwise played a tight game throughout. But the extra time spent chasing extra points in the second cost Kumar in the third. Kumar seemed to tire, and many of Ghosals shots came from his opponents unforced errors, sending the match his way. “Im happy to have won,” eight-time national champion Ghosal said. “I played Kush two months back in Nationals and it was a really hard 3-1 win. I think I played better today. Its good to start the tournament with a 3-0 win. The second game was tight. Full credit to Kush, he fought really well and had some good counterattacks. All in all a good days work,? he added. PTI SSR RSY BS ATlast_img read more

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Antony, Kenyem administered oath as Rajya Sabha members

first_imgNew Delhi, Apr 4 (PTI) Congress veteran A K Antony re-elected to Rajya Sabha from Kerala and Naga Peoples Front leader K G Kenyem, who was elected unopposed from Nagaland, were today administered oath as members of the Upper House by its Chairman Hamid Ansari.They took the oath in the chamber of Ansari in Parliament House.Other leaders, who have been re-elected or elected to Rajya Sabha recently are Deputy Leader of Congress in Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma from Himachal Pradesh, CPI-Ms Jharna Das (Baidya) from Tripura, JDUs M P Veerendra Kumar and CPI-Ms Somaprasad K from Kerala and Ranee Narah and Ripun Bora of Congress from Assam.The eight seats had fallen vacant due to the expiry of terms of the seven sitting members while in Nagaland death of NPG Khekiho Zhimomi on November 26 last year warranted the election. PTI AMR KND ZMN KNDlast_img read more

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Indian-origin manager sacked by Bundesliga club

first_imgBy K Mammen Mathew Berlin, May 18 (PTI) Robin Dutt, Indian-origin manager of the German football Bundesliga first division club VfB Stuttgart, has been sacked following the teams relegation from the premier league for the first time in over 40 years. The 51-year-old Dutt is the third top official of VfB Stuttgart to lose their job after the clubs demotion to the second division was sealed with a 1-3 defeat by VfL Wolfsburg last Saturday. The clubs chief coach Juergen Kramny was removed from his post with immediate effect on Sunday and its president Bernd Wahler laid down his office on the same day. Dutt and the supervisory board of VfB Stuttgart have agreed after intensive discussions that that he will “leave the club to enable it a new beginning”, supervisory board chairman Martin Schaefer said in a statement yesterday. Dutt took over his responsibilities at a very difficult time and he worked with great passion for the club. “It will be certainly wrong to put the blame entirely on him for the negative developments,” the statement said. The supervisory board also announced the appointment of Bundesliga second division coach Jos Luhukay as the new chief coach of the club. Luhukay is credited with taking several second division clubs to the top flight of German football. His experience in this area was a main consideration for his appointment, VfB officials said. Luhukays immediate task is to train the VfB team for its first Bundesliga second division campaign since 1975, which begins within four weeks. Dutt joined VfB Stuttgart in January last year as a management board member responsible for recruiting young football talents and for fostering their training and training of coaches. Three months earlier, he was sacked as the chief coach of the Bundesliga first division club SV Werder Bremen. The northern German clubs leadership blamed him for its poor start in a new national championship season and for its plunge to the bottom of the Bundesliga table by losing all nine matches played. Before joining Werder Bremen, Dutt had served as the sporting director of the German Football Federation (DFB) and he was in charge of developing young talents and promotimg the training of coaches. More PTI AH AHadvertisementlast_img read more

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Copa America: USA bounce back to thrash Costa Rica 4-0

first_imgThe fans stood and cheered when Clint Dempsey headed off the field in the second half, and the forward responded with his own round of applause.Brad Guzan held his arms in the air after the final seconds of his happy homecoming.After days of questions and criticism, it was a couple of perfect pictures for the United States.Dempsey had a goal and two assists, and the US rebounded from their opening loss in Copa America with a convincing 4-0 victory over Costa Rica on Tuesday night.”Goals change games, and the guys up front took care of that,” said Guzan, who only had to make one save in his 16th international shutout.Dempsey, Jermaine Jones and Bobby Wood scored in the first half and substitute Graham Zusi added another goal in the 87th minute as the US moved into prime position to grab one of two spots in the knockout round coming out of Group A in South America’s championship.A victory against Paraguay on Saturday night in Philadelphia and the Americans are through to the next stage.It was quite a response to days of questions after the US allowed a goal off a corner kick and committed a costly hand ball in a 2-0 loss to Colombia on Friday night. Another loss against Costa Rica and the US would have been eliminated on the fifth day of the tournament.”I see a team progressing. I see a team that badly wants to prove itself with these caliber teams in the Copa America,” US coach Jurgen Klinsmann said.advertisement”It was a very, very encouraging performance by us against Colombia. Obviously, the result, especially here in the US, that’s all that matters to a lot of people… The team, they know where they stand.”Costa Rica, who played a scoreless tie against Paraguay in their Copa opener on Saturday in Florida, looked sluggish for long stretches of the first half and was unable to recover. They played without key defender Kendall Waston after he got a red card in the previous game.The loss to Colombia ramped up criticism of Klinsmann, who said last month the Copa goal for the Americans was the semifinals.US Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati told a group of reporters before the match that recent results for the men’s team “haven’t been what we would have hoped for, especially in the official competitions.”But Klinsmann and his players insisted they felt pretty good in the team’s performance on Friday night in Northern California, and the coach doubled down on the positive vibe by sending out the same starters against defensive-minded Costa Rica.And it worked – in a big way.Moments after DeAndre Yedlin’s poor clearing attempt almost set up an early goal for Costa Rica’s Joel Campbell, the Americans started to find their way.Wood was pushed in the back by Cristian Gamboa when he attempted to go after a cross into the box, drawing a penalty kick despite a series of protests in front of referee Roddy Zambrano. Dempsey then drove it past Patrick Pemberton on the goaltender’s left side for a 1-0 lead in the ninth minute.It was Dempsey’s 50th international goal. He also scored his first at the home of the NFL’s Chicago Bears on May 28, 2005, against England.”You know where you kind of are in terms of the goals you’ve scored for the team,” Dempsey said. “Yeah, it’s good to be part of that club of getting to 50 goals. But the most important thing is we got the win tonight.”The United States seemed to get stronger as the first half went along, and an alignment change to four midfielders helped fuel another flourish in the final minutes.Jones stole the ball at midfield and passed to Dempsey, who carried it deep into the Costa Rica side. The forward then nudged it back over to Jones, who shot it on the ground past a diving Pemberton in the 37th minute.With Costa Rica looking a little ragged, the US kept up the attack. Dempsey passed to Wood in the middle, and he turned away from defender Oscar Duarte before beating Pemberton on the ground for a 3-0 lead in the 42nd minute – delighting the crowd of 39,642 that filled most of the lower bowls on a cool, cloudy night in Chicago, but left wide swaths of empty seats in parts of the stadium.Guzan, playing near his hometown of Homer Glen, Illinois, clapped as he headed off the field after the halftime whistle, and Costa Rica barely challenged in the second half. Midfielder Bryan Ruiz sent a header off the left post in the 67th minute on the Ticos’ best opportunity of the night.advertisement”I think it was, overall, a very, very pleasant performance,” Klinsmann said. “It confirms the spirit of the group. The spirit is excellent. They’re there for each other. The whole bench is jumping up and down. Everybody wants the other one to do well. It’s a good group of guys we have together.”last_img read more

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UPSC Engineering Services Examination 2016 results: Declared at www.upsc.gov.in

first_imgThe Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has released the results of Engineering Services Examination 2016. The candidates who had appeared for the examinations can check the results by logging on to the official website, www.upsc.gov.inThe personality test was conducted in between September to November for filling up 604 engineering positions in various departments of the central government.Vacancy details:Total posts: 604Name of posts:Civil EngineeringMechanical EngineeringElectrical EngineeringElectronics and Telecommunication EngineeringTo check the UPSC Engineering Services Examination 2016 results, candidates should perform the following steps:Log on to the official website, the link for which is www.upsc.gov.in/On the home page, the candidate should click on the UPSC Engineering Services Examination 2016 resultsA new page will open, click on the resultA pdf file will open containing the roll numberDownload it and take a print out for further reference.The candidates who have cleared the examinations successfully will be hired for the respective posts. About UPSC:Union Public Service Commission works under the government of India to recruit staff for various posts in the various ministries and departments of the government and in subordinate offices. The commission also conducts examinations for the recruitment in various government departments of the country.Read: RRB NTPC results likely to be released before December 7 Read: Rajya Sabha Secretariat Recruitment Exam 2016: Admit cards released at rajyasabha.nic.in Click here for examination, admission related news.For more details, follow India Today Education or you can write to us at education.intoday@gmail.comadvertisementlast_img read more

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The Internet Is Convinced That Joe Lunardi Is Wearing A Toupée, And Is Unimpressed

first_imgA rack of NCAA basketballs.SUNRISE, FL – DECEMBER 21: NCAA basketballs in a rack on the court during the shoot-around proipr to the game between the Florida Gators and the Fresno State Bulldogs during the MetroPCS Orange Bowl Basketball Classic on December 21, 2013 at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida. Florida defeated Fresno State 66-49. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)ESPN’s Joe Lunardi is one of college basketball’s most well-renowned bracketologists, but his most recent bracket isn’t what has Twitter abuzz during today’s early college basketball games. Many noticed something…strange about Lunardi’s hairdo, and are convinced that he’s wearing a toupée.Joe Lunardi is not fooling anyone with that toupee #CmonBro— Josef (@Joeyy_Steeze) February 28, 2015Joe Lunardi’s toupee has upped its OOC schedule and is in as a solid 7 seed right now— Andrew Rush (@idiotsonsports) February 28, 2015I currently have Joe Lunardi as a one seed in my “worst toupee bracket”— C Payne (@FakeCPayne) February 28, 2015I’ve got Joe Lunardi’s toupee as the 8th seed in the east #bracketology pic.twitter.com/iOeo7I3RZd— Jordan Jones (@theRealjwjones) February 28, 2015Lunardi needs to fire his toupee guy pic.twitter.com/MyK0CjyFD8— Rob Preslan (@RPreslan) February 28, 2015Why does Joe Lunardi keep up the facade of that awful toupee. Just let that bald head breathe!— M. Butler (@mbutlerOK) February 28, 2015Joe Lunardi’s toupee is projected to be a 14th seed in the NCAA Tourney!— Miran Maric (@MiranMaric) February 28, 2015Marv Albert is wondering what Joe Lunardi is doing with his 1986 toupee— ChicagoTerps (@ChicagoTerps) February 28, 2015Lunardi has been asked about this in the past, and denies it, for whatever that is worth.last_img read more

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Google Pixel 4 with thin bezels caught in the wild, again

first_img Shweta Ganjoo New DelhiAugust 12, 2019UPDATED: August 14, 2019 09:02 IST Image Courtesy: Twitter / The Tech TeenHIGHLIGHTSGoogle is likely to launch Pixel 4 in October this year.The Google Pixel 4 has been spotted in the wild again.The Google Pixel 4 will come with thin bezels.Google is expected to launch its premium budget smartphone, the Google Pixel 4, in October this year. Ahead of the official launch of the smartphone, rumours and leaks about Google’s upcoming smartphone have kept everyone excited about the launch event. Last week, a report indicated that the Pixel 4 smartphones would get a 90Hz display. And now, days later the phone has been spotted out in the wild sporting thin bezels.The new image comes as a courtesy of a UK-based blog site, The Tech Teen, which caught the phone on camera while a Google employee had taken the device out for a test run on an airplane. The blog site shared two images, both of which indicate that the Pixel 3 successor will sport thin bezels on the sides and on the bottom while having considerably large bezels on top for housing the front front camera, the Soli radar chip and a bunch of other sensors.The thin chin as seen in the two images could also be owing to the camera angle. As far as the image itself is concerned, the placement of the front camera seems to align with the image of the Pixel 4 shared by Google earlier this month while sharing details about the phone’s face unlock technology and hand gestures. Of course, there is no confirmation from Google in this regard yet.It is worth noting that this is not the first time that the Google Pixel 4 has been spotted out in the open. Prior to this, the Pixel 3 successor has been spotted out in the open twice. Both the times, the device was spotted in London and was covered with a case that conviniently protected the phone’s design. The only give away was the square shaped camera module, which we know will be seen in the iPhone 11 series and the Google Pixel 4 series this year.advertisementAs far as other details are concerned, according to a report by 9To5 Google, the Google Pixel 4 will come with a 5.7-inch Full HD+ OLED display and a 2,800mAh battery, while the Pixel 4 XL will come with a 6.3-inch Quad HD+ OLED display and a 3,700mAh battery.Both the phones will come with 6GB RAM and a 12MP shooter + a 16MP telephoto lens at the back. They will be powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset and run on Android Q.ALSO READ: | Google Pixel 4 to get 90Hz OLED smooth display, 6GB RAM, 16MP telephoto lens and moreALSO READ: | Google Pixel 4 spotted in public againALSO READ: | Pixel 4 leaks in live photos days after Google confirmed the phoneGet real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byShweta Ganjoo Tags :Follow GoogleFollow Google Pixel 4 Next Google Pixel 4 with thin bezels caught in the wild, againA separate report suggests that Google’s Pixel 4 smartphones will come with a 90Hz display and a bigger 6GB RAM.advertisementlast_img read more

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Southampton Port Sets Stage for Heavyweights

first_imgzoom Associated British Ports’ Port of Southampton is ready to handle the biggest ships in the world after the dredgers have completed a GBP 40 million (USD 63.7m) project to deepen and widen the approach channel linking international shipping lanes to the Port.The dredging project ensures ships with a draught of up to 15.5 metres – the biggest container vessels currently in service – will be able to access the Port’s container terminal. The dredging is the final piece of the project to enhance capability at the container terminal that is operated by DP World.The SCT 5 berth has a 500 metres deep-water quay and is purpose built to cater for the largest ships in the world. As well as deep-water access, it is also equipped with the cranes capable of reaching across vessels 24 containers wide.Chris Lewis, Managing Director, DP World Southampton, said: “The main channel dredging will enable container vessels to depart the terminal at 15.5 metres draught which is very important to our shipping line customers where Southampton is last port of call out of Europe. Our new SCT 5 berth, which is dredged to 16 metres can also be further deepened to 17 metres to meet future demand.”Press Releaselast_img read more

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Deputy Minister Gets into the Swim of Things for United Way

first_imgMany volunteers at the United Way think Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal deputy minister David Darrow walks on water because of his staunch support for United Way projects. While Mr. Darrow is not really able to stroll across the waves, he is willing to again swim Halifax Harbour to attract pledges to the United Way. At noon on Wednesday, Aug. 24, Mr. Darrow and department webmaster Kevin Doran, will dive into the harbour to encourage colleagues and friends to dig into their pockets. “David’s commitment to the United Way is an inspiration to our volunteer team,” said department United Way representative Adrianne Snow. “He raised $2,500 by swimming the harbour last year and this year, he says he won’t submerge for less than $3,000.” The swim starts at the Woodside Ferry Terminal and will end near Bishop’s Landing, at about 12:40 p.m. Those coming to cheer them on will be able to tap their feet to the music of the Steel Toed Boots, a department musical duo, while they chow down at a United Way barbecue at the landing site. For more than 50 years, the provincial government has contributed to the United Way of Canada. Every year, more than 1,600 provincial employees make donations. The government employee campaign begins in October. Contributions stay in the community and help fund 57 agencies and more than 100 programs. To learn more or to donate visit www.unitedwayhalifax.ca . In the case of bad weather, the event will be held Thursday, Aug. 25, at the same time.last_img read more

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Acquisitions insolvencies cited as drilling company count tumbles by 40

CALGARY — A research report by AltaCorp Capital shows the number of companies actively drilling in Canada has declined by 40 per cent since the oil price crash of late 2014.The analysis cites industry data which shows only 26 drilling contractors have been working so far in 2019, 17 fewer than observed in 2014.It says consolidation is the biggest reason companies have disappeared, with seven companies holding about 17 per cent of market share being purchased over the period, including CanElson Drilling in 2015, Savanna Drilling in 2017 and Trinidad Drilling in 2018.It says insolvency removed four companies — although the market share held by those firms was just one per cent. Two companies which together held about one per cent of market share in 2014 are simply inactive — they have rigs but aren’t operating them.One company left the Canadian market and the fate of four other missing names isn’t known. There is just one new entrant on the 2019 list.The report says the Canadian drilling market would benefit from more consolidation given recent declines in drilling activity but says acquisitions are unlikely given high debt levels in the larger players and the relatively unattractive assets available.“Ultimately, we expect that rig transfers out of Canada, smaller one-off asset sales and gradual atrophy of older and less relevant rigs, will be the primary drivers of further Canadian industry concentration over the near-to-mid-term,” the report concludes. The Canadian Press read more

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States urge new measures to make UN website more thoroughly multilingual

1 May 2007Delegates attending the United Nations Committee on Information meeting in New York today called for new measures to make the world body’s website more thoroughly multilingual. Delegates attending the United Nations Committee on Information meeting in New York today called for new measures to make the world body’s website more thoroughly multilingual.Simon Pidoux of Switzerland said the UN Department for Public Information (DPI) should “continue its efforts to attain linguistic parity of the content of this Internet site in the different official languages of the United Nations.” In a speech whose text was made available in both English and French, he said his country, which has four official languages, naturally favours multilingualism.Boris N, Malakhov of the Russian Federation pointed to statistics demonstrating a growing level of interest in the UN among Russian speakers. He suggested that webcasts of UN meetings be made available in Russian to meet this increasing demand. “At present, webcasts of the Security Council and the General Assembly, which are made in the English language with the original language added later, do not cover the demand of the multilingual audience for immediate access to urgent information,” he said.Seeking a different kind of inclusiveness, Lee Do-hoon of the Republic of Korea said DPI should also “pay due attention to improving website accessibility for the disabled.”Indonesia’s representative, Triyogo Jatmiko, welcomed the fact that Bahasa Indonesia is one of the 29 non-official languages in which the local United Nations information centre (UNIC) maintains a website. “The website in Bahasa Indonesia is a great source of United Nations information to our people, and we are thankful for it,” he said.Speaking for Japan, Jiro Kodera voiced hope that UNIC Tokyo would continue to develop in the future, “as it is the only UN organization that provides information in the Japanese language.” He also announced that Japan would extend its voluntary contribution of 45.7 million yen to UNIC-Tokyo for 2007.Nepal’s representative, Narayan Dev Pant, stressed the importance of UNICs and said the one in Kathmandu “needs to be upgraded and further strengthened in order to ultimately convert it into a regional hub.”Hossein Maleki of Iran voiced appreciation for UNIC-Tehran for its good work despite budget constraints. “In this connection, we support the call for allocation of adequate resources to ensure the effective and efficient functioning and strengthening of all UNICs, including UNIC-Tehran,” he said.Angola’s representative, Estevao Umba Alberto, urged DPI to “continue its efforts for the opening of the Luanda Centre to serve the special needs of developing countries,” adding that the Government would provide premises rent-free.Other participants called for efforts to extend accessibility to technology in general. The Philippines called for efforts to bridge the digital divide. “We would like to see the DPI make full use of new technology to allow the public better and faster access to information about the UN,” said the country’s representative, Elmer G. Cato.Rodrigo Malmierca Diaz of Cuba, which chairs the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), said “issues related to information and communications technology have an important place in the Movement’s agenda” and said NAM had set up a working group on the issue. read more

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Ban Kimoon calls on States to uphold pledges to fight terrorism in

Mr. Ban has “followed with concern the recent fighting in Afghanistan, in particular around Kandahar and in Farah provinces, where formed groups of Taliban have attempted to take and hold certain districts,” according to a statement issued by his spokesperson. He underlined the crucial role that the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and the Afghan security forces are playing to ensure that Afghanistan does not again become “a host for terrorist and extremist groups.” “The Secretary-General notes that it is an unfortunate reality that such operations continue to be necessary in Afghanistan, but reaffirms that the hope for lasting peace in Afghanistan and the region, and for a world without terrorism, depends on their success,” the statement added. While thanking those countries which have provided assistance, he appealed to all Governments involved in Afghanistan to maintain their existing commitments in order to ensure the success of the joint effort to rebuild Afghanistan, “so that it can offer hope and opportunity to its people, friendship to its neighbours, and an example to the rest of the world.” The situation in Afghanistan has also raised concern among UN Member States, which today strongly condemned the upsurge of violence in the country, including the rising trend of suicide attacks, owing to the increased violent and terrorist activity by the Taliban, Al-Qaida and other extremist groups. A resolution adopted by the 192-member General Assembly noted that such violence has led to increased casualties among Afghan civilians, Afghan National Security Forces, ISAF and the Operation Enduring Freedom coalition, as well as members of aid agencies and humanitarian workers. The General Assembly called on the Government of Afghanistan, with the assistance of the international community, “to continue to address the threat to the security and stability of Afghanistan posed by the Taliban, Al-Qaida and other extremist groups as well as by criminal violence.” Meanwhile, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has announced that more than 350,000 Afghan refugees, most of them from Pakistan and some 6,000 from Iran, have returned home this year with the agency’s help.Despite the difficulties they face upon their return, “many of the people coming back are hopeful about the future,” UNHCR representative Salvatore Lombardo said today at a press briefing in Kabul. “Access to employment remains the greatest preoccupation of those returning to Afghanistan,” he stated, adding that land, shelter and lack of water are also prominent issues for returnees. Because of Afghanistan’s precarious security situation, difficult socio-economic situation and limited capacity to absorb the returnees, UNHCR has insisted on the importance of respecting the voluntary character of return and to make sure that returns are made in a gradual manner. Since 2002, the agency has assisted more than four million Afghans return home – over 3.2 million from Pakistan and 860,000 from Iran. Some three million registered Afghans remain in exile in the region today, including about two million in Pakistan and 910,000 in Iran. 5 November 2007Concerned about recent fighting in Afghanistan, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today appealed to all States assisting the violence-wracked nation to maintain their existing commitments to root out terrorism and rebuild a peaceful society. read more

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Ex diplomat says India should have killed Praba

The author says that to become a true global power the Indian economy will have to make a transition from outsourcing to innovation-intensive industries. Its multinationals will have to become truly global companies, with more business outside India than within.Finally, India must develop and implement a more assertive foreign policy one that backs talk of great power status with military might and willingness to use it.“China has no such timidity in its foreign affairs. In addition to the port in Sri Lanka, it is also helping expand the Pakistani port of Gwadar and Chittgong port in Bangladesh. A frightened India became content with being a passive regional power rather than active global power, says the book China’s Nightmare, America’s Dream: India as the next global power by William H Avery, former American diplomat. India should have sent its troops back to Sri Lanka to kill or capture Prabhakaran and the LTTE leadership after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, says a new book by a former US diplomat.Rajiv Gandhi’s killing was an attack on India’s status as a regional power. Forcibly bringing Prabhakaran to India to face trial would have sent a clear message to the region, and the world, that India would defend its political leaders from attack, defend its political system from intimidation and defend its primacy in South Asia against any challengers, the author says. China has also requested Burma to allow its warships to dock at Burmese ports, which, if approved would give China naval access to Indian Ocean’, the author says.The author notes that all the rich countries in the world have had their time in demographic ‘sweet spot’. Europe was there in the eighteenth century. The United States in the nineteenth. Japan in the early twentieth. China in the 1980s. Now, it is India’s turn, he says.The book says that with their economies trailing off, the United States, Europe and Japan have only one choice if they are to increase or even maintain their standards of living-they must export to where the growth is today.“Number one on their list of markets will be India. The big prize in the next 50 years will be Indian customer, not the Indian supplier”, he says.China will also be a big market but not the first, the book says.Avery, however, cautions that India today is falling into the colonial trap. Imperial England’s economic policy was simple: Import raw material from the colonies and export manufactured goods from England.The difference today is India’s ‘raw material’ is services, not goods. The export of these services-outsourcing- represents the single greatest limitation on India’s growth.Two centuries ago, the United Kingdom used Indian cotton as raw material to run its textile mills and strengthen its industrial base. Today, the US uses Indian IT services to run its software products and strengthen technology base, he says.The effect, the author says, is the same: a colonial style enrichment of other nations, at India’s expense.Avery says that there was every indication that bilateral relations would continue to strengthen rapidly with Barack Obama replacing George W Bush. After all, Manmohan Singh and Bush had been, for all their success, an unlikely pair: the soft spoken economic professor and the brash cowboy.“It was tempting to wonder as Obama began his presidency, the author says: “If the cowboy and the professor could produce the nuclear deal, what even greater things can the two professors achieve?”“The professors have been in charge and it shows. The first three years of the Obama-Singh era have resembled a long-term academic seminar on growing strength of the Indo-American relationship. Somewhere along the way, however, the world stopped listening. For all the words that Singh and Obama put forth about each other and the bilateral relationship, it turns out that they were missing one important thing: action,” the book says.The strength of the Indo-American relationship depends not on which party is the White House, but instead on the quality of leadership in both, White House and Delhi. The Indo-American relationship under Singh and Obama is drifting.Happily, it is not yet too late, but there is no time to spare!, the book says. (PTI) Seven years after its annus horribilis, India, however, was able to make its first crucial step towards true power – the move that stunned the world – and earned India virtually universal approbation. But history has proven India’s 1998 nuclear test to have been a wise choice, says Avery.The Pokhran test changed India overnight into a ‘front-line’ post in the US Foreign Service. It also made India a much more interesting assignment for an American diplomat, the author says. He says by any measure the 1998 American sanctions on India were a failure.Withdrawn in stages and completely by 2001, the sanctions achieved little other than to make the US feel that it was taking action against India’s nuclear test. By the time the decade ended the US had become resigned to a nuclear India. Avery was on posting in India and served in the US department of state during the administrations of president Bill Clinton and George W Bush. The world is no longer responding to India with indifference. India has the world’s attention and respect. Now India must reach out and claim global power status. Doing so will require a transformation of India’s economy far greater than that which followed the reforms of 1991, and, a foreign policy far more assertive than that of the past decade, Avery says. India’s window of opportunity to influence Sri Lanka will never be as wide open as it was in 1991 after Rajiv’s killing, the author says adding that India’s craven inaction in Sri Lanka after the assassination cost it valuable years in its quest to become a global power.The events of 1991 that included the shame of having required to sell its gold and killing by a terrorist organisation of its former prime minister were a low point in the history of modern India. read more

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Annan appeals for fresh thinking renewed financing to solve worlds water crisis

“What is needed, along with fresh water, is fresh thinking. We need to learn how to value water,” Mr. Annan said in a message marking World Environment Day, which this year highlights the centrality of water to human survival and sustainable development under the theme “Water: Two Billion People Are Dying for It!” He stressed that water-related diseases are responsible for 80 per cent of illnesses and deaths in the developing world – “a situation made all the more tragic by our long-standing knowledge that these diseases are easily preventable.”Gains achieved through increased provision of water services in the developing world during the past 20 years have largely been cancelled out by population growth and many parts of the world now face the spectre of water scarcity because of climate change, pollution and over-consumption, Mr. Annan noted.“Our challenge,” he declared, “is to provide water services to all, especially the poor; to maximize water productivity, especially in agriculture, which accounts for the lion’s share of global water use yet is often inefficient in many of its routine water-using practices; and to ensure that rivers and groundwater aquifers that are shared between two or more countries are equitably and harmoniously managed.”Fresh thinking might mean making users pay a realistic price for water, though it must never mean depriving already marginalized people, he said, adding: “It is one of the crueller ironies of today’s world water situation that those with the lowest income generally pay the most for their water.”It also means finding practical solutions to ensure the reliable and equitable supply of water through, for instance, the simple and cheap process of rainwater harvesting, which could help up to 2 billion people in Asia alone. End-of-pipe water purification and public health education about basic hygiene practices would also go a long way towards alleviating the global disease burden caused by dirty water, he said.But, he cautioned, “Providing adequate sanitation and sustainable freshwater supplies will also require significant new investment in infrastructure and technology. To meet the agreed targets, it is estimated that annual spending on safe drinking water and sanitation will have to more than double.” read more

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Iraq Annan hopes to make decision on elections later this week

Asked if he anticipated making a decision ahead of his scheduled trip Friday to Japan, Mr. Annan said, “I hope I will be able to do that before… I travel.”The Secretary-General was also asked by reporters at UN Headquarters in New York about news reports on the team’s activities. “I think I should wait to get the full report of the team before I comment in detail,” he replied, adding, “I am looking forward to receiving the team and getting their report before I draw any conclusions.”The leader of the fact-finding team, Lakhdar Brahimi, is expected back in New York on Wednesday from Abu Dhabi, where he is scheduled to meet the Emir. Over the weekend, he was in Kuwait to attend a meeting of foreign ministers from Iraq, its neighbours and Egypt.The fact-finding team, meanwhile, is expected back in New York this afternoon, according to a UN spokesman, who added that the Secretary-General and Mr. Brahimi have already spoken by telephone.”But we really don’t know yet how things are going to play out at the end of this week before the Secretary-General leaves for Japan on Friday. It’s pretty tight,” spokesman Fred Eckhard said at a press briefing.He added that the two halves of the team’s report – the technical and the political – must be combined before the Secretary-General can consider the findings, decide what to recommend to the Iraqis and to the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), “and decide how and when to do that.” read more

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Wynne promises 1 billion for Hamilton LRT line additional GO train station

HAMILTON – The city of Hamilton will get up to $1 billion from the Ontario government for a Light Rail Transit line from McMaster University to Queenston Circle in the city’s east end.Premier Kathleen Wynne says construction on the new LRT will begin in 2019, and it will connect directly to the new West Harbour GO train station that will open this summer.Wynne says the province will continue talks with the city about extending the LRT line another three kilometres east to Eastgate Square on Centennial Parkway in Stoney Creek.The province will also extend the GO Lakeshore West train service to a new stop at Centennial Parkway, which is expected to be completed by 2019.The provincial government will provide 100 per cent of the capital costs of building the new LRT, which Wynne says will reduce travel times and connect people to other transit systems.The funding is part of the Liberal government’s planned $30 billion, 10-year plan to invest in public transit and other infrastructure projects, with just over half the money dedicated to the Toronto-to-Hamilton corridor.Follow @CPnewsboy on Twitter. by The Canadian Press Posted May 26, 2015 6:36 am MDT Last Updated May 26, 2015 at 9:30 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Wynne promises $1 billion for Hamilton LRT line, additional GO train station read more

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Maldives UN hails peaceful elections as opposition wins out

“We congratulate the Maldivian people for turning out in large numbers to exercise their right to vote,” UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said, briefing reporters in New York, noting “the peaceful and orderly conduct” of the elections.“We commend the authorities and political leaders for a smooth polling day and for the commitment to a democratic Maldives.”Mr. Yameen conceded defeat after the Election Commission said Mr. Solih had won by a margin of 16.7 per cent.Earlier this year, UN Secretary-General António Guterres urged the Government to uphold the rule of law and ensure the safety of the people after Mr. Yameen declared a state of emergency and sent his soldiers into the Supreme Court, when it ordered the release of convicted opposition leaders.

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