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49ers vs. Browns pregame: Coleman returns, Wilson sits, Ward to debut

first_imgSANTA CLARA — Running back Tevin Coleman will suit up for the first time in 2 1/2 games and defensive back Jimmie Ward will make his season debut as the 49ers (3-0) host the Cleveland Browns (2-2) tonight.With Coleman’s return, the 49ers opted to inactivate Jeff Wilson Jr., who had scored two touchdowns in two games since his promotion off the practice squad.CINCINNATI, OH – SEPTEMBER 15: Jeff Wilson, Jr., #30 of the San Francisco 49ers scores a touchdown during the second quarter against …last_img

Just Say No to Idling

first_imgThe easiest energy savings come from little changes in our behavior that don’t cause any hardship—or even result in ancillary benefits. Such is the case with reducing the amount of time spent idling a car engine when stopped. Turning off the ignition at the drive-up window or when pulled over to take a cell phone call not only saves energy (burning less gasoline), but also pollutes less—a big benefit for the teller at the drive-up bank window. You might even improve your car’s operation.Average drivers in America idle five to ten minutes per day—sitting at traffic lights, warming up the car in the morning, waiting at the drive-up McDonalds, or picking up the kids at the bus stop. This is “voluntary idling”—as opposed to the idling that occurs in traffic congestion. Idling ten minutes per day wastes about 30 gallons of gas per year. Collectively, Americans consume about 3.8 million gallons of gasoline per day from voluntary idling.Idling vehicles are heavy polluters. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that an average car emits 20 times more air pollution when idling than it does when being driven at 32 miles per hour. Idling a medium-sized car just five minutes each day will crank out about 30 pounds of harmful pollutants in a year plus 300 pounds of carbon dioxide.Some of these compounds are pretty potent. EPA estimates that air toxins emitted by vehicles cause half of all cancers attributed to outdoor sources of air pollutants in the U.S. Idling diesel vehicles are particularly problematic due to the very small particulates and some 40 chemicals emitted from the exhaust that are classified as “hazardous air pollutants” under the Clean Air Act. Because children are particularly vulnerable to hazardous chemicals, idling of school busses has been targeted by health activists in communities throughout the country, including locally.There are a number of myths about idling:Myth 1: Cars should idle for several minutes before being driven. Unless you have an old car with a carbureted engine, this myth is wrong except in extremely cold weather. Modern engines need no more than 30 seconds of operation to circulate engine oil before being safely driven (though it’s best to avoid hard acceleration until the car is fully warmed up).Myth 2: Each time you turn off and then restart a car you waste more energy than if you leave it idling. Studies show that the actual “break-even” point for turning off a car is between six and ten seconds. In other words, if you’re going to be stopped for more than ten seconds, it makes sense to turn off the ignition.Myth 3: Repeatedly restarting a car is hard on the engine and quickly drains the battery. There is slight wear on the starter motor and some battery discharge that occurs, but this is minor. The savings from burning less gasoline pay back that added maintenance cost many-fold over the course of a year. In fact, idling a car forces the engine to operate in an inefficient, gasoline-rich mode that can reduce performance and degrade mileage.* * *At least 17 states currently have some form of statewide restrictions on idling, including all New England states…except Vermont—plus some states not known for environmental leadership, such as Nevada, South Carolina, and Utah. This is pretty embarrassing for a state often considered the greenest in the country!In addition to these statewide laws, many municipalities have their own rules—some of which are significantly stricter than relevant state regulations. Locally, Putney has adopted an anti-idling ordinance.These state and municipal regulations vary dramatically—as does enforcement. New York City, for example, has one of the strictest no-idling regulations in the country (limiting idling to three minutes with various exceptions and with increasingly heavy fines for first, second, and third offenses)—yet one certainly sees a lot of trucks idling in the Big Apple.New technologies can also help reduce unnecessary idling. Hybrid cars have a feature that automatically turns the engine off when stopped (though that function only works in our Honda when the fan is turned off). We could make it easier for non-hybrid drivers to know when to turn the ignition off by installing traffic lights that count down the number of seconds remaining for the red light—thus helping drivers figure out whether to turn off the ignition while waiting.last_img read more

Partnering With Twitter To Tell A Bigger Story: Q&A With Vizify’s CEO

first_imgFacebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Tags:#Big Data#social media#social networks#twitter Twitter is ephemera by definition. If you missed the joke, the hashtag or the pop-up account borne out of an awkward moment on stage with Clint Eastwood and an empty chair, well… the moment’s over.But Twitter is also a repository of billions of such moments, many of them considerably more profound than the Republican National Convention’s low point. And now the social network is starting to realize that beyond being a platform where users can connect and express themselves in real-time, it’s also a vast tome of cultural data, from the missives of citizen journalists risking their lives in Syria to tracking the ebb and flow of red vs. blue during the Presidential election season. Related Posts The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Twitter CEO Dick Costolo has promised that Twitter users will be able to download their archives in full – and connect those many moments for themselves – by the end of 2012. But in the meantime, a company called Vizify was called in to make sense of it all. Vizify is a cool little Portland, Ore., startup best known for helping users craft graphical bio pages that make Linked In look downright Jurassic.I spoke with Vizify’s CEO and co-founder Todd Silverstein about the rare opportunity to be brought into the Twitter fold with the 2012 Year On Twitter project – and what all of those 140-character social bursts of fleeting brilliance, pop relevance or sandwich contents are good for anyway.ReadWrite: What was it like to work with Twitter?Todd Silverstein: It was really amazing to work with them on a number of levels. It’s Twitter, so they’re the global conversation. And what’s sort of interesting to us… is that they have that whole in-the-moment, rapid-fire, what’s-happening-now thing nailed down… and yet when you step back from it and draw a picture of it over a longer period of time it becomes a really powerful tool for self-reflection. Unlike reading someone’s stream, this is just a really accessible, playful, fun way to get a quick a feel for what someone’s all about.  ReadWrite: How did you connect in the first place? Todd Silverstein: One of their interns as it turns out was an early Vizify user. They reached out to us, and it was one of our first services so that helped. And we were early adopters of the Twitter Card and of course have been compatible with mobile, and so all of those things I think really fit the profile of how people are using Twitter. ReadWrite: What’s happened since the tool launched on Twitter’s blog Tuesday morning?Todd Silverstein: It’s been really lovely to see the conversations that’ve been inspired where people have been like, “Hey, thanks for being the top follower!” And people’s Golden Tweets are really fascinating… of course we’ve had some really interesting personalities.One that just came through was T. Boone Pickens. And I was so blown away that Jack Dorsey shared his:ReadWrite: Twitter has promised to give users their entire Twitter databases by the year’s end. What do you think access to such a huge tome of cultural data will yield?Todd Silverstein: You can imagine… building up a larger history. Then I think you can start doing more interesting kinds of analysis. Imagine being able to look at how your language drifts across years. So you know, in 1980 I was all about “cool beans”…  and now I speak in proper sentences, or whatever it might be.I’m personally somewhat into quantified self and particularly language quantified self, and really, really intrigued by [what happens] once these sets of data become even bigger. There are going to be really fascinating kinds of things that you can do that even a year’s worth of tweets or even 3,200 tweets are not enough of a corpus for.Of course in literature, there’s always that discussion about inspiration. And to me, once you start using somebody’s technique it doesn’t take anything away from it. To be able to follow some of those subtle influences almost sharpens where people are innovating and where they’re riffing off of others. ReadWrite: Obviously you have a nuanced view of how all of this could be analyzed. How would you like to see the entire body of Twitter data visualized?Todd Silverstein: There’s something extraordinarily interesting when you look at what I would describe as the meta-data. Like what is this place? What is this time? Who were you with? There’s the notion of ambient visualization too… your stream as this unique document or script of character. For me, I’m more into, “How does context affect the behavior… how does circumstance – or even the weather – affect the language?”Already, there’s that movement for the data to be somewhat reductionist. One of the things that Vizify is really dependent upon is not reduction, but in fact adding. Because that’s where people’s personalities and quirks and the rest come out – it’s not in reducing them to, “I am this job, or this series of tweets.” ReadWrite: How long was the Twitter and Vizify partnership in the works for?Todd Silverstein: It came together pretty quickly. It was in the works for only about six weeks… we had 30 days to increase our ability to scale by about 10x. That was the mighty engineering war that was being fought.ReadWrite: Are you guys hungry for more big data partners in the future?Todd Silverstein: We love the notion of partnering with others who have these massive data sets. Our passion is for visualization… and helping people understand or share that for themselves. And so when someone like Twitter who’s all about the massive mountain of data reaches out, that’s always really interesting to us. There are so many awesome visualizations we’re itching to go build.ReadWrite: Twitter isn’t exactly known for playing nice with third-party companies. Did you get that vibe working with them?Todd Silverstein: We felt exactly the opposite. We found it really easy to integrate with their API. Everyone we worked with at Twitter on this project was extraordinarily helpful. I think they were very encouraged by what we were doing… it was adding a new kind of value or a new dimension to what people were already doing.A year in cats and gadgets, apparently.No one owes you anything, and things change, and those are things that you need to respond and adapt to. We just understand that that just sort of comes with the the territory of working with other people’s APIs – with big companies that have their goals and strategies. Hopefully you do something that’s interesting enough to not find yourself in conflict.ReadWrite: Do you think that the 2012 Year On Twitter undertaking dovetail with the Twitter Stories project – or the trend that Twitter wants to connect all of these little micro-moments into something more significant?Todd Silverstein: I hope they do more of this in the future… they have the conversations. The data is there, it does tell a story – and it can be assembled.  taylor hatmaker Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Auditlast_img read more

Going into overdrive

first_imgMultinational players stepping on the gas, emission norms breathing in fresh air, existing marketshares getting redefined… these are exciting times for the Indian automobile industry. The Indian car buyer never had it so good. Riding on competitive pricing and an array of new cars and models to choose from, the,Multinational players stepping on the gas, emission norms breathing in fresh air, existing marketshares getting redefined… these are exciting times for the Indian automobile industry.The Indian car buyer never had it so good. Riding on competitive pricing and an array of new cars and models to choose from, the middle-class car buyer has moved into overdrive mode, ready to hitch his wagon to “The Great Indian Car Bazaar”.Starting December 1998, when Maruti slashed the prices of its best selling 800, Zen and Omni models, the price war to capture the Indian middle-class’ mindshare has entered a decisive phase. Could this finally be India’s promised “Second Automotive Revolution”?The signs look promising as the auto industry is investing close to Rs 30,000 crore on projects in India. The sales figures for the first five months of 1999 indicate a boom.JK Steel RadialsJK Tyre was the first tyre company to launch steel radials in India wayback in 1977. Today, it is the only manufacturer in the country of thehi-tech T-rated and H-rated steel radials – the Ultima and the Ultima210H tyres that can sustain very high speeds even in trying roadconditions.Backed by an all-India service network and theassurance of being the largest supplier of tyres to car manufacturers,steel radials from JK Tyre are the best bet for your vehicle, whateverits make or brand.JK steel-belted radials give more than 5 percent fuel savings, made possible by their ply construction where cordsare laid radially. This means they flex easily without internal stress,so less energy is spent, thus saving you precious fuel.Use JKradial tubes with them as they are made of butyl rubber for better airretention, have a 30 per cent higher joint strength and fit snugly intoJK radials with no excess stretch to cause air loss. Retreaded JKsteel-belted radial tyres give much more mileage than retreaded ordinary bias tyres.JK Tyre radials provide greater comfort to motorists as the supple sidewalls of the tyres act as shock absorbers for thesuspension.This makes your ride more comfortable even at high speeds.The January to May 1999 sales of 47,578 cars in the small car segment is 19 per cent higher than for the same period in 1998 and 21 per cent more than for the same period in 1997.advertisementAlso, the total passenger car sales (2,07,654) in the first five months of 1999 was 14 per cent more than the corresponding figure for the same period last year (1,78,219).Some industry analysts even feel that, for the first time, India’s annual car sales will soon cross the half million mark. With the entry of Hyundai’s Santro, Daewoo’s Matiz, Fiat’s Uno and Tata’s Indica, the mini car segment is set to explode by nearly four times to about 2,20,000 cars this year.The new car boom has spawned a boom in the second-hand car market too. With old cars becoming even cheaper, many two-wheeler owners can now afford to buy a car. These buyers will create a demand for improved new cars.Maruti Udyog Ltd, with its large customer base and a strong support system of showrooms, dealer workshops and authorised service outlets, makes the maintenance of your car a no-worry proposition.Maruti promises its customers a wide range of cars to suit different lifestyles and needs. Among the new entrants, Daewoo Motors India Ltd (DMIL) has already invested close to Rs 4,000 crore in its venture besides setting up a fully equipped state-of-the-art R&D facility.Its current range of cars – Matiz, Cielo Executive and Nexia – are environment friendly and conform to Euro I and Euro II norms.Daewoo’s recently launched small car Matiz takes special care of your safety needs. It is fitted with two-stage bumpers not available in any other car in its segment. It also has non-jamming doors to absorb impacts.The car is also fitted with defrosters for the outside rearview mirror and offers a remote fuel-lid opener. Matiz has not only caught the fancy of motorists and buyers across the globe, but also stolen the hearts of artists, designers, and architects.The car recently won two international awards, the Italian automobile magazine Quattroroute’s “the absolute winner” and the leading German auto magazine Auto Motor Sport’s “third best car in the world”. Matiz had earlier won two coveted world awards – the best small car at the British International Motor Show and the most beautiful car at the L’Automobile Pin Bella del Mondo contest in Italy.Allied Motors, located in Connaught Place, one of India’s leading dealers in Maruti cars and components, has won great acclaim by offering value-added services like priority allotment for corporate houses and customised Esteem cars.advertisementIts world-class quality standards in service and spares can be discerned from the fact that it is an ISO 9002 certified company. Its state-of-the-art workshop for Maruti cars is located in west Delhi.Some of the facilities it offers are computerised engine analyser, computerised wheel alignment, latest wheel balancing arrangements, exhaust gas analysers, door pickup facility for Zen and Esteem customers, standby cars in case repairs take more than 48 hours and Italian paint booths which have more than 2,000 shades for your car.Maintenance TipsAlthough the MAXImum prescribed limit for changing the filter and engine oil is 7,500 km, to be on the safe side they should be changed every 3,000 km. “Stick to the manufacturer recommended maintenance schedule and get your vehicle serviced from an authorised service station,” advises automobile expert Rajeev Khanna. A recommended oil minimises engine wear and tear, lowers maintenance costs and improves fuel efficiency.ServicingGet your car serviced only from authorised service stations at specified intervals. Khanna also feels that a consumer should ask his dealer for a service manual.Check the engine oil level once every two weeks. Also, check the levels of coolant and water in the radiator and battery.Always use genuine spare parts. The air-cleaner element has a recommended change interval of 30,000 km, but should be inspected at 15,000 km if you drive in dusty conditions. The same change interval applies to the crank case ventilation filter or positive crank case ventilation valve and the automatic transmission fluid.Give your car an anti-rust coating before monsoons. And if you have to leave it in storage, don’t forget to add fuel stabilisers and a tank corrosion inhibitor.Avoid accelerating and braking abruptly.Shut off the engine whenever you expect to wait for long and avoid carrying an extra load in the trunk.Drive at a moderate speed of 45-55 kmph to maximise fuel efficiency.Use air-conditioning only when necessary.Ensure compatibility between the right speed and the corresponding gears.Avoid riding on the clutch pedal, and release the clutch pedal fully while driving.Maintain optimum airpressure in your tyres to improve mileage.Tips on tyre safety by JK tyreMake sure you use the correct tyre size and rim size as specified by the manufacturer. Radial tyres are suitable for Indian roads as they provide better grip and handling.Check your tyres for proper rotation. The right kind of rotation is essential for an extended tyre life and for creating an even -wear and tear.Check your tyres for uneven tread wear. This is normally an indication of misalignment.Get regular wheel-balancing and alignment done.In the interest of safety, it is better to replace old tyres with new ones than to go for cold-retreading.Never buy tyres from roadside sellers as these are second-hand tyres, and may even be stolen. By using them you compromise on your safety.During monsoons make sure that your tyres have a good tread and are not “bald”. advertisementlast_img read more

Meat Loaf says Bat Out of Hell musical will set a new

first_img Twitter Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Advertisementcenter_img Advertisement A classic album by Meat Loaf is coming to the Canadian stage later this year when Bat Out of Hell: The Musical hits Toronto. Today, the veteran rocker sits down with q guest host Ali Hassan to talk about Bat Out of Hell‘s legacy and its translation to the theatre stage.Bat Out of Hell has sold over 43 million copies worldwide and the theatre production of the album is reflective of Meat Loaf’s own thespian bent: the musician has appeared in several films including The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Login/Register With:last_img

Kellen Winslow Still Without An NFL Team

How can it be that Kellen Winslow Jr., a tight end of immense skill and apparently sound health, not have a team to call his own two days before the first weekend of the NFL season?That is a mystery of significant proportions.A free agent five years removed from a Pro Bowl appearance because of injuries, Winslow was not signed by the New England Patriots after a workout with the team.Speculation mounted that Winslow’s creaky knees were a reason the Patriots passed on him. But ESPN reports that was not the case. Apparently, he just did not impress enough, despite playing in all 16 games in the last three seasons with the Cleveland Browns.Rather, New England already had tight ends Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, and Visanthe Shiancoe on the roster.It had to hurt – and puzzle Winslow –  that New England placed Shiancoe on the injured reserve list and signed veteran free agent Michael Hoomanawanui.Winslow, who is not year 30, was solid, but not spectacular last year. In 2011 he caught 75 passes for 763 yards and two touchdowns. Winslow has caught 437 passes for 4,836 yards and 23 touchdowns in his seven years in the league.The Associated Press reported that Winslow was acquired this off season by the Seattle Seahawks for a conditional draft pick. The idea, apparently, was to pair him with tight end with Zach Miller, creating a double threat from that position.But Winslow was cut this week. In preseason games, he finished with just three catches for 34 yards and a touchdown.He is the son of Hall of Fame tight end Kellen Winslow, perhaps the most dynamic player at his position ever. While it is surprising the younger Winslow will be sitting home this Sunday, it is likely that he will get signed by someone before long. read more

Miami Marlins Owner Defends Blockbuster Trade

Jeffrey Loria, Miami Marlins owner, defended the pending blockbuster trade Wednesday that would send shortstop Jose Reyes, pitchers Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle, catcher John Buck and infielder-outfielder Emilio Bonifacio to the Toronto Blue Jays for your prospects.Loria was asked Wednesday during the winter meetings in Chicago why he dismantled most of the talent on the team after a short period of time.“We finished in last place. Figure it out,” he told CBSSports.com in aggravation.Loria went on to tell the website that trading the veterans was the right decision after finishing 69-93 for the season.“We have to get better,” Loria added. “We can’t finish in last place. We finished in last place. That’s unacceptable. We have to take a new course.”Loria hopes that he can production out the players that he will receive from the Blue Jays: shortstop Yunel Escobar, right-hander Henderson Alvarez, catcher Jeff Mathis and prospects Jake Marisnick (OF), Adeiny Hechavarria (SS), Justin Nicolino (LHP) and Anthony DeSclafani (RHP) to the Marlins, according to ESPN.The trade will potentially save Loria and the Marlins approximately $150 million, if the players pass their physicals, which does not sit well with South Floridians who just paid for the new ballpark.“Everybody in the world wants to talk about the Marlins and the fact that they’re now a Triple-A team,” city commissioner Marc Sarnoff said, who was against the building of the new stadium. “The Marlins have lost pretty much all credibility with fans. Even if this trade is a positive move from the baseball standpoint, it won’t be viewed by the general public as a positive move.”Reyes and Buehrle were signed to massive contracts in free agency last season to draw attendance to the new stadium. The attendance barley topped 2.2 million after being projected to draw almost 3 million fans.Former Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen may have contributed to the low attendance. In April, Guillen praised former Cuba leader Fidel Castro, which ignited backlash from Cuban residents and members in Miami’s Little Havana community. The attendance was unable to recover after Guillen’s remarks.While the projections were off by the Marlins management, they have potentially unloaded a total of $163.75 million in guaranteed salaries through 2018, which includes the $96 million due to Reyes.The salaries for 2013 include $11 million for Buehrle, $10 million for Reyes and $13.75 million for Johnson in the final year of his contract. Approximately $154 million of guaranteed salaries are coming off the Marlins’ books, which does not include cash that may be involved in the trade.When the Marlins begin opening day, their payroll is estimated to be $34 million, which would be their lowest since 2008. The Marlins reached an agreement three years ago with the players’ union to increase spending due to complaints team payroll was small and violated baseball’s revenue-sharing provisions. The Oakland Athletics had the lowest payroll last year with $53 million.Some have wondered if Loria trading the best players is an early sign in attempts to sell the team. Loria denies those notions.“Absolutely not,” Loria said, according to CBSSports.com. “That’s more stupidity.” read more

Dave Matthews Trey Anastasio Band To Perform Hurricane Relief Concert

first_imgHurray For The Riff Raff, Aaron Neville also to appear at Radio City Music Hall benefit show on Jan. 6, 2018, in New YorkNate HertweckGRAMMYs Dec 4, 2017 – 2:14 pm GRAMMY winner Dave Matthews and GRAMMY nominee Trey Anastasio and his band lead the lineup for A Concert For Island Relief, a live music event to raise funds for hurricane relief efforts for victims of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in the U.S. and British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.Additional performers include GRAMMY-winning New Orleans-born singer Aaron Neville and New Orleans-based Americana outfit Hurray For The Riff Raff, which is fronted by Puerto Rican singer/songwriter Alynda Segarra.A Concert For Island Relief will take place on Jan. 6, 2018, in New York City at Radio City Music Hall. According to Rolling Stone, The Madison Square Garden Company has donated the use of Radio City Music Hall to benefit the cause, and will cover all venue expenses for the event. Additionally, Ticketmaster will donate its net proceeds from ticket service fees.Ticket pre-sales begin Dec. 5 at 9 a.m. EST via either Dave Matthews Band’s Warehouse Fan Association or pre-sale ticket request. The general public will be able to buy tickets starting Dec. 8 at noon EST via Ticketmaster. Fans are also encouraged to make a donation online.Eminem To Donate Lawsuit Proceeds To Hurricane ReliefRead more Dave Matthews, Trey Anastasio Band To Perform Hurricane Relief Concert Concert For Island Relief Lineup Announced dave-matthews-trey-anastasio-band-perform-hurricane-relief-concert Email Twitter Facebook News last_img read more

Extremists in Khulna Awami League

first_img-Extremists are infiltrating Khulna Awami League and some of them have even managed posts in the committees and have contested in elections on the ruling Bangladesh Awami League’s (AL) ticket.Rumours have it that deputy ministers, members of parliament and local influential leaders are patronising such moves, much to the discomfit of the grassroots AL leaders and activists. To make things worse, a mudslinging game has begun too there.Prothom Alo investigations found that Shiplu Bhuiyan, the union parishad chairman of Damodar union under Phultala upazila of Khulna, was an extremist leader in the past.He, however, became a UP chairman contesting the polls under AL’s ‘boat’ symbol. A government’s intelligence agency said he was a leader of the infamous Purba Banglar Communist Party.Shiplu Bhuiyan’s name was the third on the list in the intelligence report. He reportedly had around a dozen cases against him, including murder, abduction and extortion. He was also sentenced to 32 years imprisonment in one of these cases.His elder brother Shimul Bhuiyan’s name is also on the list, at number four. There are around a dozen cases against him as well. Shimul has gone into hiding.Shiplu claimed that it was only his brother who had been involved with extremism and he did not join his brother despite repeated requests. District Awami League general secretary SM Mostafa Rashdi brought him to AL.Party sources say Shiplu joined AL on 11 November 2014 during a programme marking the founding anniversary of Juba League by presenting a bouquet to deputy minister for fisheries and livestock Narayan Chandra Chanda. Upazila Awami League president and upazila chairman Sheikh Akram Hossain played a key role to bring Shiplu to the party. Akram was also instrumental in helping Shiplu win the union parishad election.”Had Shiplu been guilty, we would not have brought him in. No one from AL could win in the Damodar union in the last 32 years. But we could do it thanks to Shiplu. However, we know that his brother is an extremist,” Sheikh Akram told Prothom Alo.Police say extremists are involved in a number of recent killings in Khulna. Shimul is behind the 27 May murder of Sardar Alauddin alias Mithu, organisational secretary of Khulna district BNP and a former chairman of Phultola upazila, police found on investigation. A number of 10-15 extremists are close associates of Shiplu, they allege.Khulna sadar thana AL president Saiful Islam admitted that extremists are entering the party. “It can be deduced that Shimul Bhuiyan is being protected by AL since his brother is a chairman backed by the party.”The name of Ajay Sarkar is number 21 in the list of extremists. A former member of New Biplobi Communist Party, he wanted to contest the zila parishad polls with an AL ticket. Although he did not get the AL nod, he contested as an independent candidate. He may contest in the next national election from either of Khulna-5 (Dumuria-Phultala) or Khulna-6 (Paikgaccha-Koyra). He is a close associate of Mostafa Rashidi.”From the years 2003-04, some people are trying to establish that I am an extremist, but I had never been involved with any such groups. It’s a conspiracy of Jamaat,” he said, adding that he was on good terms with Rashidi.However, Rashidi said quite the opposite. “I did not know Shiplu Bhuiyan has joined the party. And I have no terms with Ajay Sarkar. But yes there are some people like Badsha of Rupsha and Mashikul of Terokhada joining the party and contesting in the elections despite being extremists.The list of extremists also included Rafiq Joardar in 10th place. He is now a member of the union parishad at Rudaghara besides being the general secretary of ward AL. Shafiqul Islam, who was 12th on the list, is now the general secretary of upazila Sramik League.”I was once an extremist. I have been to jail as well. But that’s past. I have changed now,” Rafiq said.When asked, district AL president and zila parishad chairman Sheikh Harun Ar Rashid admitted that extremists are slowly getting into the party. However, he claimed that it was happening in city AL, not in the district unit. “We are also very scared,” he said.City AL general secretary Mizanur Rahman said, “I have taken no new faces in, but some may have entered the district AL. The PM has asked me not to take any unethical person into the party.”Sheikh Harun has blamed it on deputy minister Narayan Chandra, but the minister told Prothom Alo, “Whoever has got in, did it with a recommendation of the local committee. Fultala upazila president Akram got Shiplu Bhuiyan into the party.”When asked if Shiplu had joined by presenting him a bouquet, the deputy minister claimed he had been unaware of the facts.Awami League’s archrival BNP is also worried about extremists joining AL. City BNP president Nazrul Islam told Prothom Alo, “Extremists are moving out of jail and then joining the Awami League. They are seen at the residences of the MPs and in their cars. We are really worried, anything may happen anytime.”When asked, Khulna police super Nizamul Huq Molla said, “Many people are changing colours. But we are keeping an eye on them.”*The article originally came up in Prothom Alo print edition and has been rewritten in English by Quamrul Hassanlast_img read more

MPs get Tk 60b election budget

first_imgThe Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC) has sanctioned nearly a Tk 60 billion project for the members of parliament (MPs) to construct madrasas in their respective areas.However, the next general elections will possibly be held by the end of this year.Each MP will get funds to construct at least six madrasas in their constituencies. The total project will cost Tk 59.19 billion, which will totally be funded by public money.The project will have separate funds for construction of 200 more madrasas.A similar project was sanctioned before the 5 January 2014 general elections, which was basically an extension of a project of 2010. Each of the MPs then received Tk 200 million.The ECNEC on Tuesday sanctioned the project named ‘Development of selected Madrasas’ at a meeting presided over by prime minister Sheikh Hasina.As many as 1,800 madrasa buildings will be constructed across the country under the projects.The names of the madrasas have already been finalised as per the choices of the MPs.According to the project, if any MP wants to build any other madrasa, he/she will get money from the extra allocation.The ECNEC sanctioned three other similar projects for the MPs in the last year. The projects were passed for constructing new schools, renovation of old school buildings, and construction of mosques and temples.The four projects including the latest one will cost the government Tk 224.7 billion in total. Apart from that, each of the MPs received nearly Tk 30-50 million every year in the last one decade.Asked about the matter, local government expert Tofael Ahmed said this is a violation of the election rules. Allocating money through projects ahead of elections is sheer injustice.“Generally, the education ministry’s vocational and madrasa departments are responsible for this kind of works. But, MPs are now doing this. It’s not right,” he added.When asked if it will have an influence on the voters as the salaries of the madrasa teachers are given by the government though Monthly-Pay-Order (MPO), planning minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said, “It will definitely affect the elections. The projects have been taken for people,”“We have already told the secretaries that don’t let the development works be hampered during the elections,” he added.There are 9,311 madrasas in the country, said the minister adding that only three of these madrasas are funded by the government while remaining ones are being run privately.last_img read more