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Sitting on an old sack on the rooftop of her one-storey brick house, Gulbahar Bibi, the widow of Afrazul Khan seemed to be rather baffled by the large number of people visiting her house at Syedpur village in Malda district’s Kaliachawk area. Having recently undergone surgery, she could barely stand up.Speaking to The Hindu she narrated the ordeal of having to hear the news of her husband’s brutal murder in Rajasthan. A day before the video of Khan’s murder surfaced (December 6) neighbours told her that Mr. Khan had died in an accident in Rajasthan. Even before she could overcome the initial shock of her husband’s death, on December 7 she saw the video of her husband’s murder.In another video the accused Shambhulal Raigar purportedly claimed that he will punish all those who are engaged in ‘love jihad’ a term made popular by right wing Hindu groups. “He [Mr. Khan] was the breadwinner of our family. God knows how I will be able to deal with the situation now. I am unable to do any work due to my physical condition,” said Ms. Bibi. Two decades According to family members Mr. Khan, who worked as a mason in Rajasthan for the past two decades, had a daily income of about ₹400 to ₹500 and often struggled to support his family. Apart from the three-room house which his family shares with his two brothers, they do not have any other property or land. Mr. Khan is survived by his wife, mother and three daughters (two of whom are married). His family is also struggling to deal with the medical expenditure of his 80-year-old mother who has been bedridden with paralysis for the last one year. However, Ms. Bibi said she received ₹3 lakh from the West Bengal government as announced by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Mr. Khan last came home in September and was in his usual cheerful mood. He did not show any signs of being under pressure. “He never said that anyone was threatening him in Rajasthan and neither did he ever mention Raigar [who allegedly killed him],” said Ms. Bibi, in tears. ‘Capital punishment’As she tried to console her mother, Mr. Khan’s daughter Rejina Khan said that even more than “jobs and financial help” they want capital punishment for Raigar. “We want him to be hanged,” Ms. Rejina said. The incident has created discontent against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) among the locals. Pointing out that State BJP leaders are yet to meet Mr. Khan’s family members, locals said, “We don’t think they are bothered about the incident at all. The top BJP leaders are still silent on the murder.” They also said that they have been going to other States for work for more than two decades but have never seen such an incident. read more
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Obaidul Quader and Mirza Fakhrul Islam AlamgirAwami League general secretary Obaidul Quader on Thursday denied any ruling party scheme to break the BNP but his opposition counterpart Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir blamed the regime for ‘plot’ to split his party.Once again, Quader, also road transport and bridges minister, made his prediction that the BNP will face a split, due to what he termed internal feud.The AL leader made similar prediction on a number of occasions in the past, saying that a split in the BNP was imminent.“I think the BNP will split before the next general elections and its leaders themselves will be responsible for the division in the party,” Quader said on 13 February, 2018, a few days after BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia had been sentenced to jail.On Thursday, Quader said to journalists at a city hotel, “The BNP is now in a fragile condition. What’s the necessity of the government to split such a party? The BNP has enemies within. Leaders of the party have already started talking in contradictory tones and tunes.”BNP general Fakhrul, on the other hand, alleged that the ruling party is conspiring to make sure that the BNP breaks away.”Many plots are now going on to weaken the BNP and split it. They (govt) also tried to do so in the past, but failed.”Fakhrul came up with this reaction while speaking at a Milad Mahfil arranged to mark the 4th death anniversary of party chairperson Khaleda Zia’s younger son Arafat Rahman Koko.”We would like to unequivocally say they won’t be able to divide the BNP as it re-emerged like phoenix bird repeatedly whenever it faced crisis in the past,” UNB quoted Fakhrul as saying.Quader termed the BNP a chaotic party and said the ruling camp still does not consider the BNP as a weak party.He also said the AL government wants the BNP MPs to join parliament, constituted through the 30 December elecetions rejected by the opposition alleging massive rigging, ballot stuffing, and intimidation.Quader also expressed his doubt about the unity of Kamal Hossain-led Jatiya Oikya Front, an opposition coalition floated before the general elections.Apart from Quader, several other senior leaders of the AL, predicted the BNP’s split after Khaleda Zia was sent to jail on 8 February last year. read more
Mannivanan K, an engineer and an MBA quit his typical sales manager job to pursue his passion for writing. Now he has come up with his brand new book, The Great Indian Democracy which he claims is semi-autobiographical. He has also started off his new food venture called the Moodle Stop, read on to know more about him…Tell us about yourself, how did you start off?I am a normal Engineer-turned-MBA from a middle class Tamilian family who was destined to complete 60 years of job in a well respected company. That’s how the script of my life should have been, until I decided to spice it up a little bit by starting to write this novel and starting my own venture in Chennai. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The Great Indian Democracy is your debut book. Tell us something more about it ?The idea as I started out writing was to provide a take on the various happenings in our country through the eyes of discerning and intelligent young guy. The way he looks at our politicians, our newspapers, our reporting and in general, what politics means to him. I did not plan on writing a satire at the first but when I wrote the first few pages, that is when I realized there was a huge scope for a satire built around ‘The Great Indian Democracy’. The book is from the viewpoint of a quirky lead character who looks at the happenings in our country for the very first time. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix Is this book inspired from your own life?It is heavily inspired from my life and many of my friends. Various sub-stories in the book are my personal experiences, so in a sense Vikram’s mental voice is similar to what runs through my mind.In our country, how easy (or difficult) is it for new writers to make their mark?From a personal journey of publishing this book, I think the biggest problem for writers is them believing in themselves and go on to complete a book. I have seen a lot of my friends start off and the interest wanes away after a couple of weeks. Yes, the industry is not very easy on new kid-on-the block, but I don’t think any industry is. However, with self-publishing gaining prominence and Amazon providing an option for ebooks, anyone can publish. What are your other interests that engage you apart from writing? I run my own start-up venture in the food industry which I am trying to establish as a big brand. So, I spend most of my time running around the city and hogging on some street food. There’s not much I do apart from that. What/Who inspires you?I started writing at a very young age. Most of them were crime thrillers which I wanted to write, majorly inspired from the Goosebumps series I was addicted to. But, the real love for the language and flowery English came through because of Nirmal Shekar and Jug Suraiya. I was so much enamoured by their language that left a lasting want in me to somehow write like them. read more
Kolkata: Election strategist Prashant Kishor on Thursday again met West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the state secretariat here on Thursday, sources said. Kishor was seen walking out of ‘Nabanna’ accompanied by Trinamool Congress MP and Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee. This was Kishor’s second meeting with the Trinamool Congress supremo this month after he held a meeting with her for about 90 minutes on June 6 at the same venue. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata Speculation is rife that Banerjee’s party might hire Kishor’s services for the next state Assembly polls in 2021 though nothing has been officially communicated by Banerjee or the Trinamool. Trinamool Congress suffered a significant blow in 2019 as it managed to win just 22 out of 42 Lok Sabha seats in Bengal, 12 less than what it had won five years ago, while the BJP made massive inroads in the state by taking its tally of seats from two to 18. read more
Posted by Share TORONTO — There’s a new CEO in charge at Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection, who succeeds long-running President Guy Young.Effective Aug. 6, Ellen Bettridge has been appointed President and Chief Executive Officer at Uniworld, while Young will be promoted to two newly created roles: Global Brand Engagement Officer at The Travel Corporation (TTC), and President of Costsaver, Trafalgar’s fast-growing value brand.The announcement was made today by Brett Tollman, Chief Executive of TTC. Said Tollman, “It is my great privilege and pleasure to welcome Ellen to our team at Uniworld. I have known and admired Ellen for many years. She is a superbly capable and talented travel industry professional, with an exceptional reputation and a winning track record. I am confident that Ellen will make a consequential and instrumental contribution to Uniworld’s performance and success, and the team and I very much look forward to working closely with her.”Bettridge will be responsible for managing and overseeing Uniworld’s global business, including operations and financial performance, product development, the industry’s foremost guest experience, service enrichment and onboard/onshore programming. She will also specifically focus on growing and expanding Uniworld’s business, as well as furthering its leadership and innovation in the river cruise industry.More news: A new low for no-frills flying: easyJet assigns backless seat to passenger“It is an honour for me to take the helm of the world’s finest river cruise line. I look forward to partnering with Brett and collaborating with the entire Uniworld team to ensure that the Company continues to lead and maintain the standard of excellence in the river cruise industry, as well as to create innovative experiences, programs and services that appeal to the most discerning and inspired travellers throughout the world,” said Bettridge.Prior to her new role, Bettridge served as Vice President, Sales and Marketing at Azamara Club Cruises, where she helped grow Azamara’s markets in the Americas and developed strategic relationships with trade and marketing partners. Previously, she also held the position of President, Americas at Silversea Cruise Ltd., and held various positions at American Express for over 20 years. << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Uniworld Wednesday, August 3, 2016 Travelweek Group Ellen Bettridge is Uniworld’s new President & CEO read more
Friday, April 21, 2017 CALGARY — WestJet pilots are again seeking to form a union, the Air Line Pilots Association, International said Thursday.It says pilots at the Calgary-based airline filed membership cards with the Canada Industrial Relations Board to hold a vote to be represented by the world’s largest airline pilot union.The association says it expects a secret-ballot election will be held in May after the board verifies the membership cards.WestJet pilots voted to reject a unionization drive by the WestJet Professional Pilots Association in 2015.ALPA president Capt. Tim Canoll said in a news release that a vote to join the union will give the pilots the resources to begin negotiations for a collective bargaining agreement.WestJet didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.The Air Line Pilots Association represents 55,000 pilots at 32 airlines in Canada and the U.S., including Air Transat, Air Georgian, Bearskin, Calm Air and Jazz Aviation. Posted by Share << Previous PostNext Post >> The Canadian Press Tags: WestJet WestJet pilots seek vote to unionize read more
Travelweek Group Posted by Friday, April 28, 2017 Share Tags: Allianz, Cuba, Trend Watch RICHMOND, VA — A year after the U.S. government began easing travel restrictions to Cuba, a new survey suggests Americans are less interested in taking a trip to the country than in 2016.The 2017 Allianz Global Assistance survey showed that 40% of Americans said they would be interested in taking a trip to Cuba (down 2% from 2016) while the easing of travel restrictions made 26% of Americans more interested in visiting the country (down 9% from 2016). About three-quarters (76%) reported being unlikely to plan a trip to Cuba (6% more than 2016).While safety concerns and fear of communist government were major anxieties for Americans in 2016, those worries appear to be weakening this year. About 1 in 4 Americans (38%) now said they had safety concerns (down 6% from 2016) while 12% were unsure about Cuba’s communist government (3% lower than in 2016)Instead, lack of information on Cuba’s travel experiences (22%, up 4%), travel infrastructure (13%, up 1%) and Internet/mobile connectivity (9%, up 2%) are the factors making Americans less interested and likely to travel to Cuba, according to the survey.More news: Direct Travel names Smith as Senior VP, Leisure Marketing, North AmericaResorts and beaches (32%, down 1%) remain the hot ticket items that would make Americans most interested and likely to travel to Cuba. That is still ahead of Cuba’s cultural attractions (23%, down 1%), Cuban food and rum (13%, up 2%), the Cuban people (9%, down 3%), classic 1950s American cars (steady at 9%), Cuban cigars (7%, up 2%) and family and friends (7%, up 2%).The survey also measured sentiment and discovered that 34% of Americans think Cuba has changed for the better because of as a result of the U.S. having eased travel restrictions to the country.“Our survey found that merely 2% of Americans think they will go to Cuba in the next six months, 2% believe they will make it there by the end of 2017 and 10% think they will go sometime in 2018,” said Daniel Durazo, director of communications at Allianz Global Assistance USA. “Airlines continue to change their services to Cuba, while cruise lines are revving up sailings to the island. It will be interesting to see how this affects visitors’ interest.” That didn’t take long: fewer Americans want to travel to Cuba << Previous PostNext Post >> read more
Sky Italia has appointed Eric Gerritsen as executive vice- president of communications and public affairs, a new position at the DTH operator.Gerritsen joins from Burson-Marsteller, where he was CEO for Italy and vice-president EMEA corporate and crisis communications.