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Football: Stephanie Frappart out to prove women referees can match men in historic Super Cup bow

Sports Scroll

The French referee will be the first woman to officiate a major men’s match in European competition.
'France’s Stephanie Frappart has no concerns about the scrutiny she will face in Wednesday’s UEFA Super Cup between Liverpool and Chelsea when she becomes the first woman to referee a major men’s match in European competition. “I don’t think so. We have to prove physically, technically and tactically that we are the same as the men. I’m not afraid about that. Nothing changes for me,” Frappart, 35, said on the eve of the match in Istanbul between the reigning European champions and the winners of last season’s Europa League. Frappart has already been a trailblazer for female referees. Earlier this year she became the first woman to take charge of a match in Ligue 1 in her home country. She has since been promoted to the French top flight’s pool of referees on a permanent basis. “Of course my life has changed because I am more popular now all over the world,” she said, insisting that refereeing a men’s match is the same for her. “I think there is not a lot of difference, because football is the same.” Along with her assistants, compatriot Manuela Nicolosi and Ireland’s Michelle O’Neill, Frappart also took charge of the women’s World Cup final between the United States and the Netherlands last month. Nicolosi.. Read more'

Star Wars Saw the Attack on Democracy Coming

Celebrities thewire.in

For those wondering how it is so easy for a cunning and ill-intentioned despot to subvert democracy, the plot of 'Revenge of the Sith' is sure to resonate, even instruct.
'Joseph Goebbels, the Reich minister of propaganda in Nazi Germany, once said: “This will always remain one of the best jokes of democracy, that it gave its deadly enemies the means by which it was destroyed.” Goebbels would have been thrilled to witness democracies in the 21st  century being dismantled by the very institutions that are supposed to bolster and strengthen them. He would have been especially delighted to watch the proceedings in the Indian parliament on August 5, 2019 as a constitutionally mandated Article was struck down using a clause of that very Article.   There is a terrible irony in the way a demagogue uses the vocabulary and language of democracy to come to power. There is an even more terrible irony in the way he uses the tools of democracy to take away the very power and freedoms he had promised the electorate more of. But nothing quite beats the stupefaction one feels watching fellow citizens cheer and clap as the demagogue enacts legislation that takes away fundamental rights and freedoms while insisting that he is doing the exact opposite. Also read:  How to Tell If You’re Living Under a Fascist Regime How, one wonders, is democracy being strengthened with two democratically-elected former chief ministers of a state incarcerated? How is a state being “integrated” with the rest of the country with 45,000 additional troops patrolling it? But what is truly mind-boggling is the jubilation, celebration and sweet distribution we are witnessing around the country at this travesty of democracy and the use of brute force to subjugate a people. The applause surrounding the abrogation of Article 370 and the further shrinking of democracy in India brings to mind George Lucas’ Revenge of the Sith , possibly the most politically prescient of all the Star Wars movies. This is one   in which Anakin Skywalker, who, having been the hero of the Star Wars prequels thus far, finally turns to the ‘dark side of the Force’ and becomes the evil Darth Vader. Besides showing the transformation of a hero into a villain, the movie also tells the story of a democracy morphing into a dictatorship. In a galaxy a long time ago and far, far away, a squabbling senate finds itself paralysed by political divisions and trade disputes. The political impasse gives rise to a growing discontent and a yearning for a strong galactic government – which the evil Chancellor and Sith lord Palpatine, exploits fully as he jockeys himself into a position of greater and greater power, ultimately becoming Emperor of the Galaxy. (For those uninitiated in the world of Star Wars , the Jedi are the good guys and the Sith are otherwise). Released 14 years ago, Revenge of the Sith, it seems, turned out to be a cautionary tale warning of events to come, events which have indeed come to pass in the world’s biggest democracies only a decade or so later. For those who are wondering how and why it is so easy for a cunning and ill-intentioned despot to subvert democracy, the plot of the movie and many of its dialogues are sure to resonate, even instruct. For example, during the first half of the movie, Anakin’s Jedi master Obi Wan Kenobi warns him: “The Senate is expected to vote more executive powers to the Chancellor today.” To which Anakin, who is finding himself increasingly impatient with democracy, replies with words that echo the sentiments of so many today: “Well, that can only mean less deliberating and more action. Is that bad? It will make it easier for us to end this war.”  A little further on in the film, a group of senators have a conversation that echoes present day attacks on democracy. One of the senators asks, “Do you think he (Palpatine) will dismantle the Senate?” A second one replies: “Why bother? As a practical matter, the Senate no longer exists.” And a third senator says, “The constitution is in shreds. Amendment after amendment… executive directives, sometimes a dozen in one day.” Also read:  What If This Is the Hindu Rashtra? But the most prophetic scene in the movie is the perhaps the one where Chancellor Palpatine finally manages to seize absolute power after falsely but convincingly accusing the Jedi (the good guys) of masterminding a traitorous plot to topple the senate. The words and terminology he uses while addressing the galactic senate are worth noting:   “The war is over. The separatists have been defeated The Jedi rebellion has been foiled. We stand on the threshold of a new beginning.” “In order to ensure our security and continuing stability, the Republic will be reorganised into the first Galactic Empire, for a safe and secure society which I assure you will last for 10,000 years. An empire that will continue to be ruled by this august body, and a sovereign ruler chosen for life, an empire ruled by the majority, ruled by a new constitution.” The senate erupts in loud and long applause, and Senator Padme, who has fought long and hard to prevent Palpatine from becoming emperor, utters one of the most disconcerting lines in the movie: “So, this is how liberty dies… with thunderous applause.” One might be pardoned for feeling somewhat startled at the similarities between Emperor’s Palpatine’s language and that being used by members of our current dispensation. Or feeling the same dismay as Senator Padme about the “thunderous applause” and admiration that our current day rulers inspire. “Security and continuing stability” and “a safe and secure society” are the grand reasons being given for some very questionable legislation that has been hurriedly passed in the current monsoon session of parliament, most notably, the amending of UAPA which gives the government the power to proscribe individuals as terrorists, the RTI Bill which has, for all practical purposes, been rendered toothless and incapable of being any kind of a real watchdog of democracy, and finally, the scrapping of Article of 370 by presidential decree. Also read:  As Eid Arrives, People in Kashmir Still Don’t Know What the Future Holds “…a safe and secure society which I assure you will last for 10,000 years” was quite possibly an oblique reference by director George Lucas to the thousand-year reign promised by the Third Reich (which lasted only ten) but is also eerily similar to boasts that have been made by those like Sakshi Maharaj, who have predicted a long uninterrupted reign of the ruling party with possibly no more elections in the future. More and more, we are seeing members of the ruling party showing absolutely no compunctions in using word and phrases that are dangerously close to the ones used by Emperor Palpatine – a “sovereign ruler chosen for life”, “an empire ruled by the majority”, and being “ruled by a new constitution.” Empire. Majority. New constitution. Sovereign ruler. The vocabulary of demagoguery never changes. Towards the end of the movie, as Obi Wan and his erstwhile student, Anakin, battle it out with light sabers on the lava-filled planet of Mustafar, Anakin tells Obi Wan, “If you’re not with me, you’re my enemy.” To which Obi Wan replies, “ Only a Sith Lord deals in absolutes.” Nuance, moderation, dialogue and deliberation – the mainstays of a democracy – are fast fading from politics and public debate and are being rapidly replaced by absolutism, majoritarianism, binaries and extreme polarisation. Star Wars , it seems, is turning out to be much more prophetic than George Lucas perhaps ever intended it to be. Rohit Kumar is an educator with a background in positive psychology and psychometrics. He works with high school students on emotional intelligence and adolescent issues to help make schools bullying-free zones.'

Mistakes would upset me: Pep Guardiola says VAR must get their decisions right to prove its worth

Football Scroll

The Video Assistant Referee technology is being used in the Premier League for the first time this season.
'Pep Guardiola says VAR will only be worthwhile if decisions taken by the controversial system are always correct after Manchester City’s 5-0 win at West Ham was interrupted by several replay reviews. Guardiola’s side kicked off their Premier League title defence with a confident display as Raheem Sterling’s hat-trick and goals from Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero demolished the Hammers. But City’s ruthless finishing wasn’t the main talking point in east London as VAR made a first major impact on a Premier League match. The Video Assistant Referee technology is being used in the Premier League for the first time this season after featuring in the FA and League Cups in England last term. The system was given quite a workout at the London Stadium, with several decisions reviewed, including City’s Jesus having a goal disallowed for offside against Sterling, while Aguero was able to score a retaken penalty after his initial saved spot-kick featured West Ham encroachment. There was also VAR approval for Sterling’s second goal and an early West Ham penalty appeal was turned down by the system. The offside decision against Sterling was extremely close and Guardiola disagreed with the call, insisting the constant interventions are only worth the hassle if they are always right. “Only what I wish is that.. Read more'

Hartal in Kargil Against Centre's Decision to Read Down 370, Make Ladakh a UT

Politics thewire.in

The BJP MP from Ladakh had lauded the government's decision in parliament on Tuesday.
'New Delhi:  On Tuesday, while Bharatiya Janata Party MP from Kargil Jamyang Tsering lauded the Narendra Modi government for reading down Article 370, scrapping Article 35A and reorganising the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories, not all his constituents were celebrating. In Kargil, all local religious and political groups had called for a hartal to protest the Centre’s decision. More images from Kargil. Completely shut down in protest against the union territory status and scrapping of Art. 35A. pic.twitter.com/Kmxsu5yht3 — Asmita Bakshi (@asmitabee) August 6, 2019 According to the government’s plan, Kargil will be part of the union territory of Ladakh, which will not have its own legislature. On Monday, all religious and political organisations of the Kargil district got together to discuss the changes. They released a joint statement condemning the Centre’s move and announced a district-wide hartal on Tuesday (August 7). In a statement, the joint action committee said, “All the participants unanimously condemned and rejected which was taken without the consent from the people of Jammu & Kashmir and against the aspirations of the people of the state.” Also read:  How Strong is the Economic Rationale Behind Scrapping Article 35A? The hartal, the statement said, was “a token of public resentment against the unjustful (sic) decision taken by the union government”. Contrary to govt claims, people of Kargil strongly oppose abrogation of Art 370 – across political and religious lines. pic.twitter.com/cqHviuzcy2 — Road Scholarz (@roadscholarz) August 7, 2019 The statement was signed by the president of the Anjuman-e-Jamiat-ul-Ulema Isna Ashriya Kargil and chairman of the Imam Khomeini Memorial Trust Kargil. While leaders and groups from Kargil have made their feelings clear, their elected representative does not seem to be getting the message. In both parliament and on other platforms including social media, Tsering has been insisting that there is nothing but celebration from the people of Ladakh. Several BJP leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, lauded Tsering’s speech in parliament. Modi said that the MP “coherently presents the aspirations” of Ladakhis. My young friend, Jamyang Tsering Namgyal who is @MPLadakh delivered an outstanding speech in the Lok Sabha while discussing key bills on J&K. He coherently presents the aspirations of our sisters and brothers from Ladakh. It is a must hear! https://t.co/XN8dGcTwx6 — Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 6, 2019 Even before Tuesday, press reports had talked about how people in Kargil were unhappy with the move and there was no unified voice coming from Ladakh. Also read:  Why Jammu and Kashmir Was Dismantled “Leh was demanding that Ladakh be freed from the Kashmir region over a long time but we are against the revocation of Article 370,” Sajjad Hussain, who fought the 2019 Lok Sabha elections supported by the National Conference and People’s Democratic Party but lost to Tsering, told PTI. “Kargil residents are safeguarding the borders of the country and the decision which was taken by the government is against our desire and aspirations.” The town of Kargil is the second-largest town in Ladakh, after Leh. Kargil town is part of the Ladakh Lok Sabha constituency.'

Govt’s move on Articles 370, 35A in J&K is dangerous: Sharad Yadav

Politics Orissa POST

Patna: Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) chief Sharad Yadav Sunday warned the BJP-led Central government against playing with Articles 370 and 35A in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) as it was not good for the country’s unity. Insisting that the government was
'Patna: Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) chief Sharad Yadav Sunday warned the BJP-led Central government against playing with Articles 370 and 35A in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) as it was not good for the country’s unity. Insisting that the government was deploying additional security forces in the state to present an artificial threat there, Yadav told the media: “The Central government’s move to play with Articles 370 and 35A in J&K is dangerous, it is not good for the country.” The veteran socialist leader said Articles 370 and 35A were part of the promises made to J&K by our leaders who fought for the country’s independence. “But the government is doing everything to threaten the unity of the country, without listening to the genuine grievances of the people of J&K,” he said.'

Tennis: With Federer and Djokovic missing, Nadal leads the field at Montreal Masters

Tennis Scroll.in

Nadal, 33, will look to defend his title in Toronto.
'Defending champion Rafael Nadal heads the field for the ATP Montreal Masters that starts on Monday with Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer opting out of the key US Open tuneup. With Djokovic and Federer putting a return to action on hold after their dramatic Wimbledon final, 33-year-old Nadal will be seeking to retain the title he earned last year in Toronto, when he beat rising star Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final. The Greek is back, taking the fourth seeding behind a pair of fellow young guns in number two Dominic Thiem of Austria and Germany’s Alexander Zverev, seeded third. Federer and Djokovic aren’t scheduled to resurface until the Cincinnati Masters starts on August 12, giving them one tournament prior to the August 26 start of the US Open at Flushing Meadows, the final Grand slam of the year. Federer has been training on hardcourt at home in Switzerland after falling to Djokovic in a dramatic five-set final at the All England Club three weeks ago, in which the Swiss great held two match points. Djokovic has been pictured relaxing at various European beach resorts with his family prior to picking up the racquet once again. Nadal, meanwhile, is pacing himself after another season marred by injury, insisting despite the pleas and inducements.. Read more'

Russia: Demonstrators Defiant Ahead of Opposition Rally in Moscow

Motorsports thewire.in

A recent police crackdown on protesters pushing for fair local council elections in the Russian capital has not deterred demonstrators; thousands are expected to rally again over the weekend.
'“A walk along the boulevards” in Moscow — that’s how organizers have billed the upcoming rally on Facebook. Saturday’s planned protest has not been authorised. It is to be the latest in a string of demonstrations fighting for the registration of independent candidates for elections to the Moscow parliament. Last weekend’s rally  saw nearly 1,400 people arrested,  with images of police violence that sent shock waves around the world and garnered condemnation from both German and French government officials. The independent monitor OVD-Info told DW that the number of those arrested was a “record.” The authorities are now referring to the protests as mass “unrest” and have so far convicted four protesters on criminal charges. One demonstrator who tried to pull off a riot police officer’s helmet has been sentenced to two months in prison for taking part in mass unrest and for “violence against a government representative.” Several of the protesters are insisting they are being wrongly accused. Mikhail Nikitin, a biologist working at Moscow State University, has become one of the symbols of the protests after the photo of his arrest was published by several prominent media outlets. He told  DW he may have to pay a fine of up to 20,000 rubles (just under $333) for disturbing public order. His police report said he was chanting slogans and refusing to comply with police orders. The photo of Nikitin’s arrest caused widespread outrage. “When they arrested me, I was mainly busy trying not to get hurt and not to fall, because they were trying to knock me down onto the pavement. I was also trying to prevent them from twisting my arm. They were trying to do that quite a lot when they were bringing me to the police van,” he said. Another protester, Evgeny Kovalenko, told DW that he is being accused of blocking traffic at a time when he was actually already in a police van on his way to the station. He insisted that when he was arrested, he was asking officers in a police cordon how to leave the protest. “It seemed clear to me that the police are not with the people,” he said. ‘Reasonable’ behaviour A survey carried out this week among Muscovites by the independent Petersburg Politics foundation showed that while around 33% blame the authorities or the police officers for the high number of arrests, more than 20% of people blame the protesters themselves and more than 12% the organisers. Also read:  Russia: Over 1,000 Arrested During Rally to Demand Fair Elections It seems at any rate unlikely that Moscow’s authorities will loosen their grip in the upcoming rally. In an interview with a local state TV station on Tuesday, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin called the behaviour of police at the previous protest “reasonable” and said protesters had “pushed the police into using force.” This week, many of the candidates leading the call for protests have been arrested, including Ilya Yashin, Dmitry Gudkov and Ivan Zhdanov. Many of them have received prison terms that mean they will be off the streets for the rally on Saturday. The organiser of the upcoming protest, Libertarian Party politician Mikhail Svetov, was arrested coming out of the Moscow mayor’s office after trying and failing to agree on a location for the rally. Sobyanin called police behaviour at the protests ‘reasonable’. An unpredictable mix According to political scientist Ilya Graschenkov, the behavior of the government is making things worse. “The authorities are trying to preserve stability and are fretting,” he told Russian media outlet Novye Izvestia. “If they keep acting according to the current scenario, the protest will increase and grow,” he said, explaining that the “government is giving the opposition a reason to unite.” The Russian opposition has traditionally been plagued by infighting and divisions. When it comes to expectations of the upcoming rally, Grigory Durnovo, the coordinator of OVD-Info’s monitoring group, told DW that his organisation has stopped trying to anticipate the behaviour of police ahead of rallies. “It is always extremely hard to predict these things,” he explained. “Things often don’t happen according to our expectations. When we expect a crackdown it doesn’t happen; when we expect the police to act calmly, they crack down on protesters.” Worth the risk? Regardless of how the authorities react to the protest on the weekend, demonstrators Mikhail Nikitin and Evgeny Kovalenko are convinced protesters should keep fighting. Nikitin, who is from Moscow, explained that he is still considering whether he will go to the rally and whether he can risk being arrested again. The academic said his sense of injustice is strong, however. “For me, this is about Moscow and about honest elections – and about people in government structures admitting to having made mistakes,” he said. Protesters and independent candidates have accused Moscow city authorities of consciously making errors when verifying the signatures of opposition candidates. Independent candidates must collect a certain number of valid signatures in their district in order to be allowed to run in the city’s parliament elections, which are scheduled for September 8. “It doesn’t seem like demonstrators are likely to calm down so easily,” said Nikitin. “And even if there is a crackdown at all of the upcoming protests, then there will be a protest vote in September. People will vote for anyone but the candidates connected to United Russia.” This articles was published on DW . Read the original here .'

Journalist Ravish Kumar Wins 2019 Ramon Magsaysay Award

Media thewire.in

Kumar has been given the honour for 'harnessing journalism to give voice to the voiceless'.
'New Delhi:   Journalist Ravish Kumar has been awarded the 2019  Ramon Magsaysay Award for  “harnessing journalism to give voice to the voiceless”. Kumar is among the five recipients of this award, which is regarded as the Asian version of the Nobel Prize. Forty-four-year-old Kumar, NDTV India’s senior executive editor, is among the country’s most influential TV journalists, the award citation said. “If you have become the voice of the people, you are a journalist,” the citation says. According to an NDTV report , the citation further describes Kumar as a sober, incisive and well-informed anchor who has been highly vocal on insisting that the professional values of balanced, fact-based reporting be upheld in practice. These are the five recipients of Asia’s premier prize and highest honor, the 2019 Ramon Magsaysay Awardees. #RamonMagsaysayAward pic.twitter.com/HrLG1qVt6L — Ramon Magsaysay Award (@MagsaysayAward) August 2, 2019 The citation says Kumar’s ‘Prime Time’ programme deals with real-life, under-reported problems of ordinary people. “Striving for a people-based journalism, he calls his newsroom ‘the people’s newsroom’. He is most vocal on insisting that the professional values of sober, balanced, fact-based reporting be upheld in practice,” it reportedly says . Kumar is well-known for his fearless journalism and for questioning the attack on free speech in the country. The four other winners of the 2019 Ramon Magsaysay Award are Ko Swe Win from Myanmar, Angkhana Neelapaijit from Thailand, Raymundo Pujante Cayabyab from Philippines and Kim Jong-Ki from South Korea. Established in 1957, the Ramon Magsaysay Award is Asia’s highest honour. It celebrates the memory and leadership example of the third Philippine president after whom the award is named, and is given every year to individuals or organisations in Asia who manifest the same selfless service and transformative influence that ruled the life of the late and beloved Filipino leader. (With PTI inputs)'

Allowing the State to Designate Someone as a ‘Terrorist’ Without Trial is Dangerous

Law and Order thewire.in

The UAPA Amendment Bill is the single most dangerous piece of legislation the country has ever seen.
'Should government officials and politicians – even upstanding democrats with a long record of respecting the rule of law like home minister Amit Shah – be trusted with the power to designate an individual as a “terrorist”, that too, without that person being tried and convicted? That is precisely the power the Narendra Modi government is planning to give itself through an amendment to the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act , or UAPA. Worse, these changes – which amount to the most dangerous bit of legislation the country has ever seen, have already sailed through the Lok Sabha and are likely to be rammed through the Rajya Sabha too if the Bharatiya Janata Party’s current form in the upper house continues. The bill to amend UAPA was introduced by Union home minister Amit Shah in the Lok Sabha just a week ago and passed after a brief discussion. A few opposition MPs like Mahua Moitra and Asaduddin Owaisi did their best to highlight exactly how bad the new law is but the NDA has a supermajority in the Lok Sabha and their concerns were easily drowned out. The NDA does not have a majority in the Rajya Sabha and this means its opponents have the numbers to force the Bill to a select committee for review and eventual amendment. But going by the fate of the RTI amendments and the law to criminalise triple talaq , the BJP knows how to manoeuvre past what passes for the ‘opposition’ these days. The UAPA was first passed in 1967 and in its original form allowed the government to designate any organisation as unlawful. It also defined and criminalised what it called ‘unlawful activities’. In 2004, the Act was amended to define terrorism as a crime and to grant the government the power to declare and ban organisations as terrorist, albeit subject to a judicial review process. The 2004 amendments also gave the police enhanced powers of interrogation and made it very difficult for an arrested person to get bail by insisting the court must first be convinced the arrested person is prima facie innocent of the crime he is charged with. Also read |  Between the NIA Amendment and Now UAPA, the Squeeze on Human Rights is On The new Bill adds two significant elements to the law. First, it will allow the National Investigation Agency much greater leeway to take control of cases that would otherwise fall under the domain of the police in individual states. This will further weaken India’s federal system and concentrate greater power in the hands of the Central government. But it is the second change it brings which will be really lethal for Indian democracy: the amendments will allow the Centre to declare individuals as terrorists and not just organisations. In the Lok Sabha, Amit Shah used circular logic to argue that the only individuals who need to fear the process of being designated terrorists are terrorists: “UAPA mein vyakti vishesh ko kab aatankavadi ghoshit kiya jayega, iska pravadhaan hai. Aatankvadi karyakarta hai, ya us mein bhaag leta hai – ab ismein do rai ho sakti hai kya? Koi vyakti aatankvadi karya karega ya bhaag lega to usko aatankvadi ghoshit karna chahiye ya nahin karna chahiye? Uske liye, atankvad ko poshan dene ke liye, taiyari karney liye, jo madad karta hai, ab usko bhi aatankvdi ghoshit karna chahiye. Koi atankvaad ko abhivrudhi dene ke liye dhan muhaiya karata hai to main maanta hoon usko bhi aatankvadi ghoshit karna chahiye Aatankvad ke sahitya ko, aur aatankavad ki theory ko, yuvao ke zahan me utarne ke liye jo prayas karta hai. Manyanvar, main maanta hoon aatankvad bandook se paida nahin hota – Aatankvad ko phailane ke liye jo ap-prachar hota hai, unmad phailaya jata hai, vo aatnakvvad ka mool hai. Aur agar is sab ko atankvdi ghoshit kartey to main maanta hoon ki sadan ka kisi bhi sasdsya ko koi aapatti nahin honi chahiye.” “The UAPA has a provision for the government to designate an individual as a terrorist if he or she is a terrorist worker or takes part in a terrorist act. Can there be two opinions about this? If an individual commits an act of terror or takes part in it, shouldn’t he be designated as a terrorist? Also, an individual who helps to promote or prepare for terrorism should also be designated as a terrorist. I believe an individual who raises money to promote terrorism should also be designated as a terrorist. And then there are those who attempt to plant terrorist literature and terrorist theory in the minds of the young. Sir, guns do not give rise to terrorism, the root of terrorism is the propaganda that is done to spread it, the frenzy that is spread.  And if all such individuals are designated as terrorists, I don’t think any member of parliament should have any objection.” Shah’s reasoning is utterly specious and falls apart when two simple questions are posed: What is the purpose of designating an individual as a terrorist? Who will define what constitutes “terrorist literature and terrorist theory” and what acts will amount to planting these in the minds of the young? Also watch |  UAPA Bill: India’s Most Dangerous Law Yet Reasons to be fearful, part 1 Shah conveniently forgot to remind parliament that if an individual engages in what the UAPA defines as terrorist activity, the government already has the power to prosecute and punish them under Chapter 4 of the existing Act. Indeed, dozens of such prosecutions have been launched on this basis. In other words, if the authorities have a ‘terrorist’ in their sights, they have full legal power under the existing UAPA to arrest and prosecute him. And if they have solid evidence to back up their charge, the trial court will surely convict that person and send him to jail. Why would Shah want to weigh down an already overburdened system with another layer of action against a ‘terrorist’ – of formally designating that person so – if the NIA can just convict him and send him to jail? Especially since the new law, astonishingly, does not have any legal consequences for someone designated as a terrorist. The answer – and this is what should worry us all – is that the designation of an individual as a terrorist gives the Central government the power to label and stigmatise an individual as a terrorist even when it doesn’t have the evidence to actually prosecute and convict him. It is, in other words, an extra-legal form of punishment. Also read |  The Establishment Has Sent a Hard Core Message to Dissenters and Critics If fake encounters allow the police to pass a death sentence on individuals like, say, Kauser-bi and her husband Sohrabuddin without going to court, Shah’s plan to designate individuals as terrorists will allow the government to push its targets into a solitary confinement of sorts without taking them to court or sending them to jail – by making their life a living hell. Once an individual is designated as a terrorist, he will lose his job. His landlord will throw him out. His children will have a tough time at school. Everyone will look at him with suspicion and the police will keep harassing him and anyone he meets. Sure, the UAPA amendments provide for a process of appeal but it is the government itself which will set up the three-member review committee, two of whom can be serving bureaucrats. The chairperson will be a serving or retired high court judge but given the way governments are known to cherry-pick individuals for commissions and committees that are politically sensitive, the deck is likely to be stacked against any person challenging his designation as a terrorist. Reasons to be fearful, part 2 Shah told parliament that those “who attempt to plant terrorist literature and terrorist theory in the minds of the young” through “propaganda” and “frenzy” will also be designated as terrorists under the new law. ‘Who Are the Urban Naxals?’: Cover of a pamphlet published in July 2019 by the Vishwa Samvad Kendra, an RSS front organisation. The problem is the UAPA does not define what is terrorist literature and terrorist theory. And given the attitude of the police – and the manner in security laws in India are routinely misused to target political opponents and dissidents – do we really want to give officials in the home ministry the power to brand someone as a terrorist because they have a copy of the Communist Manifesto or Mao’s Red Book at home? If the police in Jharkhand has tried to charge thousands of Adivasis in Jharkhand with sedition because of their support for the Pathalgadi movement – which only talks about the rights the constitution gives tribals – you can be sure that the power to designate individuals as terrorists will be rampantly abused. Already, the existing UAPA has been used to file an utterly flimsy case against selfless, dedicated human rights activists like Sudha Bharadwaj. Bharadwaj, who has spent her entire life using the courts to fight for the rights of workers, women, Adivasis and peasants, was arrested last year and this August, she will have spent a whole year in jail without bail! The case against her, Surendra Gadling, Varavara Rao, Gautam Navlakha, Shoma Sen, Rona Wilson, Mahesh Raut and Suresh Dhawale is proof that the parent law is itself a terrible piece of legislation that will allow detention without trial or conviction for months if not years. And when the state’s case against them is eventually thrown out because there is simply no evidence, this new power to designate them as terrorists will come in handy. UAPA was rushed through parliament in an amended form by the Congress-led Manmohan Singh government in 2004 without any proper parliamentary scrutiny, and the Narendra Modi government is now attempting to do the same with these atrocious amendments. The new law will give the state unprecedented power and rest assured, with great power will come great irresponsibility. The UAPA amendments have been drafted for misuse. In a clumsy response to some of the concerns that have been aired about this law, government officials have tried to spin the Bill as a move primarily targeted at the likes of Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar. This is utterly disingenuous. Shah let the cat out of the bag when he told the Lok Sabha that “those who work for the Urban Maoists will not be spared.” And who are these people who won’t be spared? Last month, a propaganda wing of the RSS published a pamphlet , Kaun Hain Urban Naxals? (Who are the Urban Naxals?) , according to which “pro-Naxal literature” is being taught in Delhi University, Rajasthan Central University has become a ‘den of the Urban Maoists’ because Nikhil De of the Mazdoor Kisan Sangathan Samiti has given lectures there and journalists and columnists in the media are busy doing the bidding of Maoists and terrorists. The mindset of those who have drafted the new law and who will work it is very similar to the conspiracy theorists of the RSS. If the UAPA amendment Bill is passed, it will become one more weapon in the hands of a regime that is hell-bent on delegitimising any and every criticism of its policies.'

Panic in Kashmir: NC gives ‘Calling Attention’ notice in LS

Law and Order Daily Excelsior

Excelsior Correspondent NEW DELHI, July 30: National Conference MP Hasnain Masoodi today gave Calling Attention notice in Lok Sabha seeking a statement from the Minister of Home Affairs to dispel panic in Kashmir following deployment of additional
'Excelsior Correspondent NEW DELHI, July 30: National Conference MP Hasnain Masoodi today gave Calling Attention notice in Lok Sabha seeking a statement from the Minister of Home Affairs to dispel panic in Kashmir following deployment of additional security forces there and connected measures.The notice was given under Rule 197 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business to call attention of the Minister of Home Affairs to the uncertainty that has taken Kashmir in its grip following deployment of additional Security Forces in large numbers and measures like directions to sent back families, store food for four months and drinking water making rounds of social media.Masoodi also raised the matter during Zero Hour and asked for necessary steps to end the uncertainty.Earlier, during the day, Masoodi strongly opposed extension of National Medical Commission Bill 2019 to Jammu and Kashmir pleading legislative incompetence.He insisted that as Entry 25 of Concurrent List under which the law was being enacted was not applicable to the State, the Bill could not be extended to the State.Masoodi pointed out that Entry 25 was introduced by 42nd Amendment 1976 and the then State Government did not give ‘concurrence ‘to its application to the State.Masoodi also opposed the Bill on the grounds while MCI sought to be replaced was an elected body the proposed National Medical Council would comprise of Central Government appointees, controlled by the Central Government thus without autonomous character.He also opposed NEET insisting that students from rural areas mostly from poor and downtrodden families without access to modern means of education and from different Boards with varying curriculum do not get a level play field and have least chances of success.He said that the Bill must provide for coaching centers across the country for free coaching of students from poor, disempowered families so that they have a fair opportunity to compete for the test. . The post Panic in Kashmir: NC gives ‘Calling Attention’ notice in LS appeared first on Jammu Kashmir Latest News | Tourism | Breaking News J&K .'

“I was offered Avatar; I even gave the title’s suggestion to James Cameron” – Govinda

Movies BollywoodHungama

The weekend gone by put actor Govinda back in the limelight. He appeared on the much loved television show ‘Aap Ki Adalat’, hosted by Rajat Sharma, the popular anchor and editor in chief of India TV. The set of ‘Aap Ki Adalat’ resembles that of a
'“I was offered Avatar; I even gave the title’s suggestion to James Cameron” – Govinda \t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t \t\t\t The weekend gone by put actor Govinda back in the limelight. He appeared on the much loved television show ‘Aap Ki Adalat’, hosted by Rajat Sharma, the popular anchor and editor in chief of India TV. The set of ‘Aap Ki Adalat’ resembles that of a courtroom and the guests are made to sit in a witness box. And just like it happens in courts, a lot of secrets tumble out of the mouths of the guests. In the past, Kangana Ranaut, Sunny Deol, Aamir Khan and many other celebrities have attended the show as guests and made some honest confessions, which became talking points. The episode of Govinda was no exception. The veteran actor is anyway known to be blunt and honest. As a result, he made some shocking revelations about his association with Kader Khan and David Dhawan, why he refused films like Taal, Chandni, Devdas etc. and a lot more. All these confessions are already trending on social media.But there’s one more claim of Govinda that went a bit unnoticed. It was him insisting that he was offered one of the biggest Hollywood films of all time, Avatar , directed by blockbuster director James Cameron. The actor explained why he opted out of the film. He says, “It was me who had given the title of the movie. I had told (James Cameron) that your film will run successfully in cinemas. I also added that your film will take at least seven years to complete. That infuriated him (laughs)!” While explaining why he walked out of Avatar , he explained, “I told him that the ‘avatar’ you want in the film is handicapped. Woh ishwar ka ansh hai aur apang hai…maine kaha ki yeh nahi hoga . And you want me to shoot for some 410 days and colour my body during the shoot. So I apologized for declining and left. And as predicted by me, the film released 8 or 9 years later and was a super-hit!” Avatar released on December 18, 2009 and was a story of a paraplegic Marine who’s sent to a moon named Pandora. The idea is to mine the mineral Unobtanium on this habitable place but this would threaten the existence of Na'vi – a humanoid species indigenous to Pandora. The film made 3D version extremely popular. At the box office, it broke several records and was the first film to gross more than $2 billion. It remained the highest-grossing film worldwide for nearly a decade, before being overtaken by Avengers: Endgame very recently. Work on Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 is underway with the second part expected to release on December 17, 2021.Are you curious how Govinda would have looked like if he was to play a Na'vi? Take a look at the featured image of this article and let us know your views! Also Read:  Govinda's SHOCKING revelation on why he will never work with David Dhawan again!'

Why changes to India’s anti-terror law letting individuals to be designated terrorists are a problem

Law and Order Scroll

At the heart of the amendments to the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act is the subversion of the Constitutional scheme that protects liberty.
'In a searing television broadcast in 1954 , American journalist Edward R Murrow took Republican politician Joseph McCarthy to task for conflating dissent with disloyalty. As McCarthy’s campaign to identify people he claimed were communists forced thousands out of their jobs, Murrow warned, “We must remember always that accusation is not proof and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear, of one another.” Sixty five years later, this cry of caution has become eerily relevant again as India’s Parliament last week made sweeping amendments to the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, the country’s primary anti-terror law. At the heart of these amendments is the subversion of the Constitutional scheme that protects liberty by insisting that a person cannot be deemed a criminal until the procedures established by law have been completed. A task that should primarily that of the judiciary has been snatched through the legislative process and brought into the ambit of the executive. The government has claimed that the amendments were made to synchronise domestic law with international practices. But statements made by Union Home Minister Amit Shah in his defence of the law have raised questions about who the real targets of these amendments are. The amendments In the.. Read more'

Did not expect Egan Bernal to win Tour de France this year, says teammate Geraint Thomas

Trotting Scroll

The Welshman came into the race as hot favourite to retain his title, but after a series of falls was big enough to allow Bernal to push for a victory.
'Geraint Thomas admitted on Saturday that he never thought teammate Egan Bernal would succeed him as Tour de France champion but backed the 22-year-old Colombian to keep winning. The Welshman came into the race as hot favourite to retain his title, but after a series of falls was big enough to allow his young co-captain the space to push for victory during a trio of Alpine stages that put Bernal in the yellow jersey. “If my experience is anything to go by then he’s got an amazing year ahead of him and it’s been an honour to be part of this,” said the former Olympic track champion. “To be honest I didn’t think Egan was going to win this year, but the talent has been evident for all to see. “He’s got many years of success ahead of him, a humble guy with a great future.” Thomas admitted he had intended to defend his title and come away with back-to-back wins, insisting at the start in Brussels he was no one-hit Tour de France wonder. “This year and last year are like black and white, everything that could go wrong went wrong,” he said. “Last year I had no falls, no punctures, no problems - a bit like Egan this year. “I would have loved to have won.. Read more'