Nepal

Five including three Indian held with 103 kg hashish in Hetauda

The Himalayan Times - 1 ora 1 min fa

Police making alleged drug smuggler public along with the seized hashish at the DPO in Hetauda, on Tuesday, August 20, 2019. Photo: Prakash Dahal/THT

HETAUDA: As many as five persons including three Indian nationals were held in possession of a huge cache of illegal drugs from assorted locations in Hetauda of Makwanpur district.

The alleged drug smugglers were made them public along with the seized hashish at the District Police Office, Makwanpur, in Hetuada today, police said.

Police intercepted a car with Indian registration numbered HR 51 L 5241 and arrested four persons including a driver and seized 21.5-kilogram of hashish hidden under the seat of the driver during a routine security check at Ratomate in Hetauda-15 on Tuesday.

DPO identified the arrestees as Indian nationals Mukesh Sahani, Raj Kumar, Om Prakash Chaudhary of Motihari district in Bihar State, India and Nepali national Jitendra Prasad Yadav of Parsa district.

Likewise, police also arrested Puran Sah of Saptahari district in possession of 81.7 kilograms of illegal drug from Palase in Raksirang Rural Municipality in the district on Monday.

According to DPO, Makwanpur Chief and Superintendent of Police (SP) Mukesh Kumar Singh, the alleged smuggler Sah was apprehended while waiting for a bus in the area.

Meanwhile, an investigation is underway into the case SP Singh said.

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Categorie: Nepal

KTTOAN organises one-day training in Kathmandu

The Himalayan Times - 1 ora 23 min fa

KTTOAN officials and others pose for a portrait after completion of one-day training event in Kathmandu, on Tuesday, August 20, 2019. Courtesy: KTTOAN

KATHMANDU: Korea Tours and Trekking Operator Association Nepal (KTTOAN) on Tuesday organised a one-day training on Korean etiquette, high altitude sickness, first-aid and rescue for guides and assistant guides from its member travel and trekking agencies at Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) in Kathmandu.

The event was jointly inaugurated by Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Nepal Park Young-sik, Chief Executive Officer of NTB Deepak Raj Joshi and KTTOAN President Amar Bahadur Shahi. The training was supported by the Embassy of the Republic of Korea.

Addressing the programme, Korean envoy Park said, “The number of Korean tourists visiting Nepal would exceed 37,000 in this fiscal year. He expressed optimism that the training would help ensure the safety of tourists in Nepal.”

“To attract more Korean tourists, who visit Nepal mostly for trekking, accommodation facilities and food should be upgraded,” envoy Park added.

Similarly, Joshi said that NTB was always ready to work together with KTTOAN for tourism promotion as Korea is a major market for Nepal.

Likewise, KTTOAN President Shahi hoped that the training would help to minimise the risk of casualties and ensure safe travel in Nepal.

The event was run by the treasurer of KTTOAN Nawang Ngima Sherpa and training was conducted by Ho Choul Lee, Tuli Gurung, Lal Prasad Bhattarai, Dr Sanjay Karki, Dr Abhijeep Adhikari and Arjun Paudyal.

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Categorie: Nepal

बुद्धले बन्दुक बोक्दै छन्

Nepali Post - 1 ora 35 min fa

सगरमाथाले झारिरहेको आँसु
लालीगुराँसको ओठबाट बगिरहेको रगत देखेर
आफैंले सुनाएका उपदेशहरुसँग
मरण र जीवनको एक शुन्य प्रहरमा
लडाइँ पछिको रगत पिउने
व्यग्र प्यासले
बुद्धले बन्दुक बोक्दै छन्।

आफ्नै देशमा
आफ्नै अस्तित्व मेटिदै गरेको देखेर
आफ्नै बाबुको जनै काटिएको देखेर
आफ्नै आमाको चोलो च्यात्तिएको देखेर
आफ्नै बहिनीको बुर्काको कालो रङ्ग उडेको देखेर
सुकिला आवरणले ढाकिएको लासकै अगाडि
आफ्ना पाईला टक्क रोकेर
बुद्धले बन्दुक बोक्दै छन्।

बाक्लो आवरणले ढाकिएका लासहरु
सत्ताको लिसोमा अल्झिदा
मेरो र तेरो, नफर्फराउने झन्डाको आडमा
गर्मिलो घाम ओढेका
सुख्खा पार्टीहरु
मन्द विषका थोपा हुँदा
त्यही थोपाले ओठ भिझाई
आँखा बन्द गरेर
बुद्धले बन्दुक बोक्दै छन्।

गणतन्त्रको आडमा
आफ्नो सानो छोरालाई
देश लेख्न सिकाउदै गर्दा
जेठी छोरिको बलात्कार हुँदा
आँसु झार्दै गरेको बाबुलाई देखेर
बुद्धले बन्दुक बोक्दै छन्।

Categorie: Nepal

Hong Kong leader says dialogue and ‘mutual respect’ offer way out of chaos

The Himalayan Times - 1 ora 49 min fa

Anti-extradition bill protesters march to demand democracy and political reforms, in Hong Kong, China August 18, 2019. Photo: Reuters

HONG KONG: Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said on Tuesday she hoped a peaceful weekend anti-government protest was the start of efforts to restore calm and that talks with non-violent protesters would provide “a way out” for the Chinese-ruled city.

Hundreds of thousands of protesters rallied peacefully in torrential rain on Sunday in the eleventh week of what have been often violent demonstrations.

“I sincerely hope that this was the beginning of society returning to peace and staying away from violence,” Lam said.

“We will immediately start the work to establish a platform for dialogue. This dialogue, I hope, will be based on a mutual understanding and respect and find a way out for today’s Hong Kong.”

Anger erupted in June over a now-suspended bill that would allow criminal suspects in the former British colony to be extradited to mainland China for trial.

The unrest has been fuelled by broader worries about the erosion of freedoms guaranteed under the “one country, two systems” formula put in place after Hong Kong’s return to China in 1997, including an independent judiciary and the right to protest.

Three people were wounded, one critically, in a knife attack by an unknown assailant near a “Lennon Wall” of colourful pro-protest messages in the city’s Tseung Kwan O district in the New Territories overnight, police said. One man was arrested.

The protests have prompted sharp reactions from Beijing, which has accused foreign countries, including the United States, of fomenting unrest in the territory. China has also sent clear warning that forceful intervention is possible, with paramilitary forces holding drills in neighbouring Shenzhen.

Britain’s Foreign Office said it was extremely concerned about reports that a Hong Kong staff member had been detained in mainland China, but there was no immediate suggestion that there was any link to the protests.

Staff member Simon Cheng did not return to work on Aug. 9 after visiting the neighbouring mainland city of Shenzhen the previous day, Hong Kong news website HK01 reported. China’s Foreign Ministry declined to comment. Hong Kong police did not respond immediately to requests for comment.

Twitter Inc and Facebook Inc also said on Monday they had dismantled a state-backed social media campaign originating in mainland China that sought to undermine protests in Hong Kong.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang declined direct comment on the Twitter and Facebook actions, but defended the right of Chinese people to make their voices heard.

Further demonstrations are planned in the next few days, including by MTR subway workers on Wednesday, secondary school students on Thursday and accountants on Friday.

The protests are exacting a toll on the city’s economy and tourism, with the Asian financial hub on the verge of its first recession in a decade.

Singapore universities have cancelled exchange programmes to Hong Kong after Singapore warned its citizens to defer travel there, news website Today reported.

Singapore’s foreign ministry said in an advisory last week large protests in Hong Kong had become unpredictable and could turn violent with little or no notice.

AGGRESSIVE TACTICS

Sunday’s protest turnout, which organisers put at 1.7 million, showed that the movement still has widespread support despite chaotic scenes last week when protesters occupied the airport.

Some activists had apologised for the airport turmoil and protesters could be seen on Sunday night urging others to go home peacefully.

Aside from seeking Lam’s resignation, demonstrators have five demands – complete withdrawal of the extradition bill, a halt to descriptions of the protests as “rioting”, a waiver of charges against those arrested, an independent inquiry and resumption of political reform.

“The bill is dead,” Lam told Tuesday’s news briefing. “There is no plan to revive the bill, especially in light of the public concerns.”

Police have been criticised for using increasingly aggressive tactics to break up demonstrations but there was a minimal police presence on Sunday and no arrests were made. More than 700 people have been arrested since June.

Lam said the police watchdog had set up a task force to investigate complaints.

She said she hoped Hong Kong had “unique advantages in attracting overseas companies”, stressing the rule of law, but warned of the risk of pressure on the economy which shrank 0.4% in April-June from the previous quarter.

“The Hong Kong economy is facing the risk of downturn. We can see this from the data in the first half. Actually, I think the data in the first half has not fully reflected the seriousness of the problem,” she said.

China has put strong pressure on big companies in Hong Kong over the protests, especially Cathay Pacific Airways. CEO Rupert Hogg quit in a shock move last week after Beijing targeted the airline over staff involvement in the protests.

Hogg’s departure was announced by Chinese state television and was seen as a signal to other multinationals, such as HSBC Holdings and Jardine Matheson Holdings, to support Beijing.

Cathay also fired two pilots for taking part in protests.

China’s State Council called on Monday for greater development of the southern city of Shenzhen and integration of its culture and economy with neighbouring Hong Kong and Macau, a former Portuguese-run enclave that returned to China in 1999.

 

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Categorie: Nepal

रवी र सालिकरामको सन्दर्भमा आत्महत्याको बढ्दो प्रवृति र पृष्ठभूमी

Nepali Post - 1 ora 59 min fa

हुन त यो हप्ता मात्र हैन बिगत दुई चार वर्षदेखि रवी लामिछानेको बारेमा धेरै नै चर्चा परिचर्चा हुने गरेको छ । गएको हप्ता, सामाजिक संजाल भरि र साथीभाइ भेटघाट हुँदा रवि लामिछानेबारे निकै चर्चा-परिचर्चा भयो ।

रवी लामिछाने र शालिकराम पुडासैनी कै प्रशंगमा को सहि को गलत हो भन्ने बारेमा धेरै टिका टिप्पणीहरु भए । तर एउटा पाटो “potential risk” को बारेमा कम नै विश्लेषण भयो । हुन त यहाँ विश्लेषण गर्न लायकका मुख्य कुरा धेरै छन्, जस्तै कि कसरी मृत्यु हुन गयो ? आँफै मरेका हुन् कि मारिएका हुन् ? फसेका हुन् कि फ़साइयेका हुन् ? शालिरामको मृत्यु घोषणा सन्देशको सेल्फी भनिएको भिडियोमा ‘किन’ भन्ने शब्द बोल्ने को थियो ? बिचमा सिराने कहाँबाट आयो आदि इत्यादी । यस्को उत्तर त सम्बन्धित मान्छेले, भीडले, अदालतले अवश्य पनि निकाल्ला नै भनेर बिश्वास गरौँ तर त्यसै बिषयसङ्ग जोडिएको अर्को पाटो आत्महत्याको बारेमा पनि ध्यान दिउँ ।

नेपाल वा अमेरिकामा मात्र नभई विश्यव्यापी रुपमा नै आत्महत्या एक गम्भीर जनस्वास्थ सम्बन्धी समस्या भएको छ । अमेरिकास्थित (Center for Disease Control) को सन् २०१७ को तथ्याङ्कअनुसार ४७हजार १ सय ७३ जनाले आत्महत्या गरेका थिए भने सन् २०१४ मा ४२ हजार ७सय ७३जनाले ।

हरेक वर्ष विश्व स्वाथ्य संगठनका अनुसार करिव ८ लाख मानिसले आत्माहत्याका कारण ज्यान गुमाउँछन्। यो अङ्क हरेक ४० जनामा १ व्यक्तिको बराबर हो । के यो स्थिति भयावह हैन ? अब यो पनि विचार पुराउने समय आएको छ । यहाँ अझै “attempted suicide ” अर्थात आत्महत्याको प्रयासको त कुरै निकालिएको छैन ।

(Chart Source Data :WHO)

बढ्दो शहरीकरणसँगै निम्तेको ‘एक से बढ़कर एक’ प्रवृति र समाजवादको खास्टो ओढेर चरम पुँजीवादमा लम्किदै गएको समाज जो हरेक दिन देखासिकी वा आडम्बरी होडबाजीमा रमाउन चाहन्छ, कतै यसैको परिणाम त हैन ? देखासिकी वा आडम्बरी होडबाजीले कि त निराशा बढाइरहेको छ कि त मानिसको स्वाभाविक सामर्थभन्दा गह्रुङ्गो भारीले थिचिरहेछ
ताकी हामी माथि उठ्ने सक्दैनौं । हरेक दिन एकले अर्कोलाई पछार्न चाहने दिमागको परिणाम त हैन ? सहकार्य छाडेर को भन्दा को ठूलो अथवा एउटा भन्दा बढी कमाउनु पर्ने सोच त यस्को कारण हैन ? सबैलाई सम्मान गर्न छाडेर, देखावटी रूपमा आफूभन्दा ठूलो कद र पदमा भएका मानिसहरुले मात्र सम्मान अनि अरुलाई हेप्नु पर्ने सामाजिक संरचनाको कारणले त यस्तो भएको हैन ?

समाजको कुरा गर्दा हामी पूर्वका मानिसहरुले एक्दमै महत्व दिने “show off” कल्चरको कुरा नगरी रहन सकिंदैन । आफूसँगैको साथी हवाइजहाज चड्यो भन्दैमा धुरी चढ्ने प्रवृति अझै हावी छ । घाँटी हेरी हाड निलौं भन्ने कुरा उखानमा मात्र सीमित छ ।

एकचोटी सोचौं त देखासिकी वा नक्कलको कुरा हामी घर घरमा कसरी गरिरहेका छौं -,’फलानोले त यस्तो यस्तो पनि गर्यो, खै तेरो ?’ कति चोटी भन्छौं हामी ? यसबाट के सन्देश गइरहेको छ होला ? यो कुरा गर्दा हामीले जहिले पनि अन्तिम नतिजालाई मात्र महत्व दिने कुराप्रष्ट छ । त्यो परिणाम आउनु अगाडिको अनुभव, त्यस बीचमा हुने संघर्षलाई सम्मान र स्वीकार नगर्ने परिपाटीले गर्दा हामी जहिले अनेक अनावश्यक गुनासो लिएर बाच्न बाध्य छौँ ।

हरेक मानिसको जीवन उतिकै मुल्यवान छ । आफ्नो सीमा र सामर्थनुसार जीवन जिउने र रमाउने गर्नुपर्छ । सीमाहरू आफ्नै सामर्थ्यअनुसार बढाउँदै जानुपर्छ । कसैको देखासिकी नक्कल वा तुलना गरेर हतोत्साही वा निराश पनि हुनु हुन्न वा आफ्नो सामर्थ्यभन्दा गह्रुङ्गो भारी बोकेर बीच बाटैमा नै जीवन यात्रा टुंग्याउनु हुन्न । देखासिकी नक्कल वा आडम्बरको होडमा दुखी बनेर बाँच्न आजैबाट छाडेर नचाहिने होड र दौडको पछि लागेर अनावश्यक पीर लिएर बस्ने काम छाड्ने कि ? एकचोटी यता तिरबाट पनि सोच्ने कि ?

Categorie: Nepal

Court extends remand of Lamichhane, two others till Aug 24

The Himalayan Times - 2 ore 3 min fa

CHITWAN: The District Court, Chitwan, on Tuesday extended the current affairs television host Rabi Lamichanne and two others remand till August 25 in connection to the death of journalist Shalikram Pudasaini.

All of them—Lamichhane, Yuvraj Kandel and Asmita Karki (Ruku) were presented before the court at the end of their five-day remand, police said.

The government attorney Yadunath Sharma had requested 10-day remand for further investigation. However, a single bench of District Court Judge Gayatri Prasad Regmi granted 5-day remand, according to the court official Rudramani Giri.

Senior lawyers Sushil Panta, lawyer Sunil Kumar Pokhrel, Chudamani Sapkota defended TV host Rabi Lamichanne and his collegue Yuvraj Kandel. Similarly, lawyer Narayan Giri defended Asmita Karki.

During the court session, defendant lawyers demanded the immediate release of their clients.

The supporters of television host Lamichhane have continued to stage demonstrations in front of the DPO demanding his immediate release since his arrest on Thursday. Likewise, the supporters also took out various cultural processions in the city in protest of his arrest, today.

Earlier, journalist Shalikram Pudasaini was found hanging from a ceiling fan at a local hotel in Chitwan around 10:00 pm on August 05.

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Categorie: Nepal

Thailand extends visa fee waivers to boost tourism as growth slows

The Himalayan Times - 2 ore 48 min fa

BANGKOK: Thailand will extend until April next year a measure that waives fees for visas on arrival issued to tourists from 18 countries, as it looks to stimulate growth in tourism to spur a slowing economy, the prime minister said on Tuesday.

The waivers are part of a $10-billion stimulus package to boost growth, including a debt moratorium for farmers, loans for smaller businesses, and more money for low-income earners.

“The cabinet approved the extension of fee waivers until April 2020,” Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha told reporters, adding that the scheme would cover Lunar New Year and the Thai new year, Songkran.

Foreign tourist receipts make up about 12% of Southeast Asia’s second largest economy, but arrivals increased just 0.89% in June, with visitors from China, the biggest source, declining 7.1% from a year earlier.

The fee of 2,000 baht ($65) is to be waived unil next year for travellers from 18 countries, including China and India.

But the cabinet rejected a proposal for visa-free entry for visitors from China and India, because of security concerns, government spokesman Narumon Pinyosinwat said.

 

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Categorie: Nepal

Authorities make more arrests in Indian Kashmir to deter protests

The Himalayan Times - 2 ore 55 min fa

A neighbourhood street is blocked with tree branches by Kashmiri protesters during restrictions after the scrapping of the special constitutional status for Kashmir by the government, in Srinagar, August 19, 2019. Photo: Reuters

SRINAGAR: Security forces detained 30 people overnight in Indian Kashmir’s main city of Srinagar, local officials said on Tuesday, seeking to keep a tight lid on protests over the federal government’s decision to strip the region of its autonomy.

Crowds have demonstrated frequently in the city despite a severe clampdown on phone and internet services, a ban on public gatherings and detentions of hundreds of political leaders and separatists who have long campaigned for secession from India.

Youth have pelted stones at paramilitary police deployed in Srinagar, and the latest detentions took place in parts of the city where such incidents have occurred, a police officer said.

“These arrests have been made in the areas where there has been intensifying stone pelting in the last few days,” the officer said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

A local government official confirmed the latest detentions.

The withdrawal of the special privileges of Muslim majority Kashmir means residents of all parts of India can buy property and compete for government jobs and college places, raising fears that it will be flooded with outsiders.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surprise move has also increased tensions with arch rival Pakistan which lays claim to Kashmir and has accused India of human rights violations in the territory at the heart of more than 70 years of hostility between them.

US President Donald Trump spoke to Modi and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday urging them to reduce tensions over Kashmir. “A tough situation, but good conversations!” Trump said in a Twitter post after the calls.

Authorities in Indian Kashmir on Monday said the protests were local and small in nature involving no more than a dozen people. Still, primary schools remained deserted on Tuesday as they were the previous day as parents worried about the safety of their children kept them at home.

Reuters visited three schools in Srinagar including Presentation Convent Higher Secondary School and no students had turned up and classes were deserted.

“Some teachers reported to duty but left as there were no students”, said an official of the school.

Authorities had ordered schools to reopen on Monday after a two-week closure as a sign of normalcy. Srinagar’s top city official Shahid Choudhary asked schools to ensure resumption of bus services.

A driver, however, said it was difficult to operate buses in such a volatile situation. “It is very risky for us and the students,” he said.

 

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Categorie: Nepal

NZ’s Williamson, Lankan Dananjaya reported for suspect bowling action

The Himalayan Times - 3 ore 10 min fa

Sri Lanka’s Akila Dananjaya bowls. Photo: Reuters

COLOMBO: New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson and Sri Lankan spinner Akila Dananjaya have been reported for suspect bowling action after the first test between the two nations in Galle that finished on Sunday, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has said.

While Williamson is a part-time spinner who bowled only three overs, Dananjaya bowled 62 overs in the match, picking up five wickets in the first innings to set up Sri Lanka’s victory.

“The match officials’ report, which was handed over to the management of both teams, cited concerns about the legality of the bowling actions of both players,” the ICC said in a statement https://www.icc-cricket.com/media-releases/1318027 on Tuesday.

“Williamson and Dananjaya will now undergo testing within 14 days from the reporting date (18 August) and during this period both will be permitted to continue bowling in international cricket until the results of the testing are known.”

Dananjaya, 25, was similarly reported following a test match against England in Galle in November last year and subsequently suspended after an independent committee deemed his action illegal.

However, his ban was lifted in February by the ICC and he was allowed to resume bowling in international cricket after remedial work and a reassessment of his action.

The second test of the two-test series, which are part of the newly launched World Test Championship, begins in Colombo on Thursday.

 

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Categorie: Nepal

Smith ruled out of third Ashes test after concussion injury

The Himalayan Times - 3 ore 16 min fa

Australia’s Steve Smith in action. Photo: Reuters

LONDON: Australia batsman Steve Smith has been ruled out of the third test at Headingley due to the concussion he suffered at Lord’s, Cricket Australia said on Tuesday.

Smith, who made two centuries in the first test at Edgbaston, was struck by a Jofra Archer bouncer in the first innings at Lords and was replaced by “concussion sub” Marnus Labuschagne for the second innings.

It was the first time a player in international cricket was substituted under the new concussion rules.

Initially, Smith passed a concussion test and was allowed to return to the field and complete his innings, but his condition worsened the following day.

Brain injury charity Headway said it was “incredibly dangerous” for Smith to resume his innings.

“You need to take an ‘if in doubt’ approach,” Luke Griggs, Headway deputy chief executive, said.

“With concussion, the vision can be blurred and the brain can be slow at processing information. That leads to delayed reaction times and is just incredibly dangerous.”

Smith scored 142, 144 and 92 in his three innings in the Ashes series and is ranked second in the ICC test batting rankings.

Labuschagne is the most likely option to replace Smith for the Headingley test starting on Thursday, having made 59 as Australia battled on Sunday to a draw which retained their 1-0 lead in the series.

Smith has two weeks to recover and prepare for the fourth test in Manchester, which begins on Sept. 4. Australia also play a three-day tour match in Derby from Aug. 29-31.

 

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Categorie: Nepal

Jajarkot man struggles financially for his son’s treatment

The Himalayan Times - 3 ore 28 min fa

JAJARKOT: Niraj Sharma, 15, of Kushe Rural Municipality-3 in Jajarkot is currently undergoing treatment at Bhaktapur Cancer Hospital as he suffers from blood cancer. However, due to financial problems, Ram Chandra Sharma struggles to continue his son’s treatment.

Niraj Jajarkot

Niraj Sharma, 15, a patient of blood cancer, lies down on a bed while he receives treatment at Bhaktapur Cancer Hospital. Photo: Dinesh Shrestha/THT

Earlier, Niraj had undergone a health check-up at Mission Hospital in Chaurjahaari, West Rukum, from where he was referred to Bir Hospital in Kathmandu. After Bir Hospital suspected that Niraj could be suffering from blood cancer, he was then transferred to Bhaktapur Cancer Hospital.

Bhaktapur Cancer Hospital then sent Niraj’s blood sample to Delhi for further testing, the reports of which proved that he had blood cancer.

Ram Chandra, who has been taking loans for his son’s treatment, shared that Rs 170,000 has already been spent for the treatment and yet the doctors tell that Niraj has to undergo chemotherapy for at least another six months and should be medicated for three years. He is worried about how to carry out his child’s treatment when his finances are in a delicate state.

He is the only breadwinner in the family with three other children.

Ram Chandra Sharma can be contacted at +977-9748094949

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Categorie: Nepal

Congo to use second vaccine to fight Ebola

The Himalayan Times - 4 ore 12 min fa

KINSHASA: The head of Congo’s Ebola response says another vaccine will be used to fight the outbreak that has killed more than 1,800 people in a year.

Dr Jean-Jaques Muyembe is the director of Congo’s National Institute for Biomedical Research. He said Monday the World Health Organization has recommended the use of a preventative vaccine manufactured by Johnson & Johnson.

Muyembe also promised to put an end to the Ebola outbreak in the next four months.

Health officials have already vaccinated more than 197,000 people.

USAID head Mark Green visited Congo on Monday and promised that the organization and others will continue to work to end Ebola and invest in medicines and community development.

Response efforts have been hampered by attacks on health workers and continuing mistrust among the affected communities.

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Categorie: Nepal

Two arrested with fake stamps, documents

The Himalayan Times - 4 ore 26 min fa

KATHMANDU: Two persons have been arrested in possession of fake stamps and other documents belonging to various government and non-government offices inside Kathmandu valley.

According to Metropolitan Crime Division, Binod Baruwal (33) of Nagarjun Municipality-8 and Renu Lama (33) of Nagarjun Municipality-5 in Kathmandu have been taken under police custody in possession of fake stamps of various government and non-government offices, along with counterfeit documents and passports, among other items, on Monday.

Based on special information that misuse of various organisational stamps and documents was taking place in the valley, the Divison had mobilised a team of police personnel to investigate the case.

It has been learnt that Baruwal used to operate Mezuki Japanese Language Institute.

The arrestees were taken under custody from different locations in Kathmandu with the physical evidence and have been sent to the Metropolitan Police Range for necessary action.

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Categorie: Nepal

KMC directs cinema theatres to clear entertainment tax dues by September 3

The Himalayan Times - 5 ore 31 min fa

Kathmandu, August 19

The Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) has directed cinema theatres in Kathmandu to pay applicable entertainment tax to the government within September 3.

The direction came as the cinema theatres under the jurisdiction of KMC have failed to pay entertainment tax to the government as required. There are 42 cinema theatres within KMC.

Issuing a notice today, KMC said that it would initiate legal action against those cinema theatres that fail to clear their entertainment tax dues within the given deadline.

As per the existing legal provision, cinema halls have to pay five per cent of each movie ticket price as entertainment tax to the government.

Though cinema theatres have been collecting this tax from customers on every movie ticket, they are reluctant to pay the tax to the government.

As per KMC, only four cinema theatres out of 42 theatres under its jurisdiction have paid entertainment tax to the government in the last fiscal year.

“As cinema theatres have been collecting money from customers on every movie ticket in the name of entertainment tax, they should deposit the collected amount in the government’s coffer,” said Naranidhi Neupane, chief of revenue department at KMC.

The government has been levying up to five per cent entertainment tax on cinema halls, video halls, exhibition halls and different other centres for recreation.

“We have repeatedly asked operators of cinema theatres to clear tax dues. However, they are not responding to KMC’s call,” said Neupane, adding that KMC will be obliged to initiate legal action if they fail to present themselves at KMC and clear tax dues within September 3.

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Categorie: Nepal

Huawei expects no relief from US sanctions but is confident

The Himalayan Times - 5 ore 56 min fa

SHENZHEN: The founder of Chinese tech giant Huawei said Tuesday he expects no relief from US export curbs due to the political climate in Washington but expressed confidence the company will thrive because it is developing its own technology.

Ren Zhengfei also said he doesn’t want relief from US sanctions if it requires China to make concessions in a tariff war, even if that means his daughter, who is under house arrest in Canada on US criminal charges, faces a longer legal struggle.

China Huawei

China tech giant Huawei’s founder Ren Zhengfei speaks during an interview at the Huawei campus in Shenzhen in Southern China’s Guangdong province on Tuesday, August 20, 2019. Photo: AP

In an interview with The Associated Press at Huawei’s sprawling, leafy headquarters campus in the southern city of Shenzhen, the 74-year-old Ren said Huawei expects US curbs on most technology sales to go ahead despite Monday’s announcement of a second 90-day delay. He said no one in Washington would risk standing up for the company.

The biggest impact will be on American vendors that sell chips and other components to Huawei, the biggest maker of network gear for phone companies, he said.

Washington has placed Huawei on an “entity list” of foreign companies that require official permission to buy American technology.

“Whether the ‘entity list’ is extended or not, that will not have a substantial impact on Huawei’s business,” said Ren. “We can do well without relying on American companies.”

Huawei Technologies Ltd., China’s first global tech brand, is at the centre of a battle over trade and technology that threatens to tip the global economy into recession. American officials accuse the company, also the No. 2 global smartphone brand, of stealing technology and facilitating Chinese spying, accusations Huawei denies.

Huawei’s chief financial officer, who is also Ren’s daughter, is fighting extradition from Canada to face US charges related to possible violation of trade curbs on Iran. Beijing arrested two Canadians in a possible attempt to force her release.

Ren looked relaxed and confident throughout the two-hour interview at a palatial new building in neoclassical European style where Huawei entertains customers. The atmosphere was a striking contrast from a June 17 news conference at which Ren compared the company to a “badly damaged aeroplane” and warned US sanctions would cut Huawei’s projected smartphone sales by $30 billion over the next two years.

President Donald Trump has suggested controls on Huawei might be lifted if Beijing agrees to a deal on trade and technology disputes that led to US tariff hikes on Chinese imports.

Ren rejected that. He said Huawei couldn’t ask for favours that might hurt the interests of China’s poor majority.

“I couldn’t take it if those poor people sacrificed their own interests for the benefit of Huawei,” said Ren. “Maybe my daughter will suffer more. But I would rather do that instead of having the poorer people in China sacrifice for Huawei’s survival and development.”

The May announcement of export curbs prompted warnings that sales of Huawei smartphones and other products that use US chips and other technology could be devastated. The curbs also mean a loss of billions of dollars in potential annual sales for American vendors.

Even before the announcement, Huawei was working on developing its own chips, software and other technology that might reduce reliance on American vendors. The company spent $15 billion last year on research and development, more than Apple Inc. or Microsoft Corp.

Huawei reported sales in the six months through June rose 23.2% over a year earlier. Its chairman, Liang Hua, said in July that Huawei was reviewing its core products to make sure they all could be delivered to customers without American components.

“At a strategic level, the US entity list is helpful to Huawei,” said Ren. He said the company has responded by eliminating “marginal, unimportant businesses or products” and focusing resources on “major products.”

“The whole company can focus more on our most competitive products,” he said.

This month, Huawei unveiled its own smartphone operating system it said can replace the popular Android system from Alphabet Inc.’s Google. Huawei’s phones still use Android but Google is blocked from supporting maps, music and other services.

Earlier this year, Huawei released its own chip for next-generation smartphones and the first phone based on that chip.

Ren rarely appeared in public or talked to reports before his daughter’s December arrest. Since then, however, he has given a flurry of interviews to foreign reporters in an effort to repair the company’s reputation.

“I think it’s working,” he said.

Asked about ongoing pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, which borders Shenzhen, Ren said the violence was “not good for society and the people” but doesn’t affect Huawei.

“There is no impact at all on Huawei’s business,” he said. “We are still focused on our own production. We still focus on fixing the holes in our bullet-riddled aeroplane.”

Ren, who has called himself a fan of the United States and publicly praised Trump as a leader, said Huawei wants to retain technology collaboration with Google, Microsoft and other American developers.

“A strong position for Huawei in the market will translate into a strong position for US companies, because deep inside, our products are powered by American technologies,” said Ren.

If Huawei is blocked from using Android and is forced to develop alternative systems, “it wouldn’t be in the best interests of the United States,” Ren said.

He said even if Huawei develops its own alternatives, it is willing to buy American components to support industry development.

“We hope we can and we will continue to be able to buy American components,” he said. “Even though we may have the ability to turn out our own components or products, we would choose to reduce our own capacity so as to use more American components in order to contribute together to share the prosperity of society.”

Ren said Huawei is planning as if the US export restrictions will remain in place.

“It isn’t possible that someone in the United States will step up to revoke the entity list designation,” he said. “Right now, attacking Huawei in the United States is politically correct, while helping Huawei even once would put them under significant pressure. So to us, the entity list will be there for quite some time.”

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Categorie: Nepal

‘DoFE will take action against any education consultancy operating as A RECRUITING FIRM’

The Himalayan Times - 6 ore 4 min fa

Stakeholders have long been complaining about rising anomalies in the foreign labour sector and questioning the ability of the Department of Foreign Employment to carry out inspections properly. Similarly, DoFE is also facing criticism regarding its initiative to merge manpower agencies. Against this backdrop, Umesh Poudel of The Himalayan Times caught up with Bhishma Kumar Bhusal, director general of the department, to discuss the challenges and opportunities in the sector. Excerpts:

Bhisma Kumar Bhushal, DG department of Foreign employment

What is the current status of DoFE and how do you plan to regulate the foreign employment sector?

At present we have accelerated the works of surprise monitoring and raids on manpower firms that are allegedly engaging in illegal works. As per data maintained by DoFE, the department carried out monitoring of only 13 agencies in the first nine months of last fiscal year. After my appointment in May, we investigated 26 manpower firms within three months, that is, till July 17. Then from July 18 till date, we have monitored and cross-checked nine manpower companies and also taken action against the firms that were conducting illegal activities. In this fiscal, we plan to increase awareness programmes targeting manpower firms, general public and concerned authorities to minimise wrongdoings in the entire foreign employment sector.

What are the visible changes that you have introduced since your appointment in the department?

In view of the challenges that the service seekers were facing earlier, we have made the process of addressing the grievances more systematic. We have opened more than 850 files — related to fraud, visa/work permits, guaranteed employment/ income scam and payment, among others — that had been pending since 2005. We suspect that the scammers have been engaged in similar cases earlier also. Therefore, we have simultaneously opened new and old files. Earlier, whenever someone filed a complaint against a manpower firm or agent, the department used to call both parties. But in doing so, there were high chances of the victims being further harassed by the perpetrators, who are often quite powerful. Now, we are handling all the cases as per the Foreign Employment Act, which ensures that the victims are protected and receive their due compensation. For example, we were able to collect fines worth Rs eight million from the wrongdoers in a matter of just last one month, which is the same amount of fine collected over the 11 months of last fiscal year. We have also ensured that government officials are disciplined and follow the code of conduct. Thus, the chances of corruption within the department is almost nil now. While we are trying to enforce the same in other agencies under DoFE as well, it will likely take some time before we are successful. Moreover, we are using information technology to disseminate information and simplify the whole process of foreign employment. For example, we have updated the details of all operational recruiting agencies and upgraded the DoFE portal. We plan to integrate the data of migrant workers with the Department of Immigration for data verification. We will soon introduce an online system for insurance payment, service charge and welfare fund, among others. We have also finalised the working procedure, method and format of payment. Similarly, we are working on making it possible for Nepali migrants to renew their visa through our diplomatic missions too. As any change initiated by an individual tends to be temporary, I am trying to change the entire system so that the positive changes initiated during my tenure last for long after I am gone.

Service seekers have often complained that they are unable to get any work done without seeking help from middlemen. Is this true?

I don’t want to speak on behalf of those before me. But since I have been appointed in the department, we have discouraged anyone other than the service seekers and manpower agencies from entering the premises. In fact, we have been taking action against anyone who seeks the support of middlemen or brokers to get their work done at DoFE. We have also forwarded letters to all district administration offices across the country for coordination and eliminating middlemen from the system. Still, it has been reported that middlemen continue to be active from while obtaining passports to Nepalis reaching their destination country and even in remitting their salary back home. We are now focused on destroying such fraud network and gradually applying the rule of law in our sector.

Though DoFE has formulated a working procedure for carrying out raids on manpower firms and has started cracking down on recruitment agencies, the raids seem limited to only small manpower agencies. Why?

I have vowed to take strict action against anyone engaged in illegal activities in the sector. Our actions are based on the complaints we receive and we are not aware of the size of the firm when we are raiding it — not that it would matter. The reason we have not cracked down on a large recruitment agency till date is because nobody has filed an evidence-based complaint against them till date. We have raided more than 50 manpower firms in the last four months based on the complaints made in the department. I would like to assure that the department will take stringent action against anyone — whether an individual or a company — that engages in illegal activities. This applies to the officials within the department as well.

Recently, the department also raided one education consultancy. But did it fall under your jurisdiction?

If a firm registered as a consultancy is operating as a recruiting firm, DoFE is bound to take action against it. We have heard that many education consultancies have been carrying out such illegal activities. We will take immediate action against such ‘consultancies’ if a victim presents even a tiny evidence that they are working as a recruitment agency. While we will independently carry out the raid, we do coordinate with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology for further processes.

It’s been a while that the government introduced a provision that encourages merger between manpower agencies. What’s happening on that front?

Till date, 25 foreign employment firms have submitted the required cash deposit and bank guarantee. As per new law, manpower firms sending up to 3,000 workers per year must deposit Rs five million and submit Rs 15 million as bank guarantee. Likewise, manpower agencies sending between 3,000 and 5,000 workers must deposit Rs 10 million and submit Rs 30 million in bank guarantee. Those who supply over 5,000 workers per year must deposit Rs 20 million and provide a bank guarantee of Rs 40 million to start operation. The manpower agencies have until September 3 to comply. So, the remaining recruitment agencies can either go for merger to meet the given criteria or have their services halted for failing to meet the set criteria.

According to the Ministry of Finance, most of the recruitment agencies have been evading taxes. What is your take on this?

While the government has set the ceiling for service charge for job seekers at Rs 10,000 per person irrespective of the destination, foreign job aspirants actually wind up paying much more to the manpower agencies, brokers and middlemen. Because of the powerful network of the errant recruitment firms and agents, it has become challenging to ensure that justice is served. Basically, they charge the job seekers many times more than the determined Rs 10,000, but provide the applicant with a bill of only Rs 10,000. In doing so, the rest of the money is out of the tax system, while the job seeker is also only able to present the evidence of having paid Rs 10,000. We are trying to initiate some preventive measures, including introducing penal codes and awareness programmes. Moreover, Department of Money Laundering Investigation has also started scanning manpower agencies engaging in suspicious activities. Despite all these efforts, if things do not improve, we will come up with a coordinated action with our line ministry, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Home Affairs against such errant companies and individuals.

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Categorie: Nepal

Adopt season-based milk pricing system: Panel

The Himalayan Times - 6 ore 18 min fa

Kathmandu, August 19

The task force formed to study the price adjustment of milk has submitted its report to the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development (MoALD) today recommending the government to determine separate prices of milk for lean and flush seasons every year.

Babukaji Panta, the coordinator of the task force, submitted the study report to Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Development Chakrapani Khanal suggesting the government to adopt such dual price system for milk in the dairy industry.

For this year, the study report has suggested to raise milk price by Rs 10 per litre for flush season and by six rupees a litre for lean season. In the dairy sector, April to November is regarded as the lean season, while December to March is regarded as flush season.

Accepting the study report, Minister Khanal said that the government will take necessary decisions based on the findings and suggestions of the report.

The study report has also suggested the government to revise the dairy development policy and mention the two-price system in the policy as soon as possible.

Likewise, the study report has recommended the government to determine milk price across the country for farmers based on the quality of milk they produce.

Along with this, the report has also suggested the government to build necessary infrastructure to boost the production of milk powder in the country itself.

Farmers and dairy cooperatives have been demanding a hike in milk price citing the rise in milk production cost in recent years.

They have been demanding a hike in milk price by up to Rs 10 per litre. Following this, the government had formed a task force to study the issue under the coordination of Panta, who is also the executive director of Nepal Dairy Development Board.

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Categorie: Nepal

M&M’s fresh models

The Himalayan Times - 6 ore 44 min fa

KATHMANDU: Agni Incorporated, the authorised distributor of Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) passenger vehicles in Nepal, has announced that it is launching ‘XUV300’ and ‘Marazzo’ vehicles in the Nepali market during this year’s NADA Auto Show.

As per a press release, the company is expecting the vehicles to garner the same appeal as it has in a short span of introduction in the Indian market. The attractive features of Mahindra XUV300 include sunroof, push start-stop button, touchscreen infotainment, double zone climate control, among others.

It will be available in 1.2-litre turbo petrol and 1.5-litre diesel variants. The Marazzo is the largest passenger vehicle of Mahindra, with seven- and eight-seater options available.

Its special features include air-conditioning vent system on roof of the cabin, a touchscreen infotainment in the centre console. It comes equipped with new 1.5-litre, four-cylinder diesel engine.

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Categorie: Nepal

KNP’s new scheme

The Himalayan Times - 6 ore 59 min fa

KATHMANDU: KNP Japan, a subsidiary of Kansai Nerolac Paints Ltd, India and Kansai Paints, Japan is back with its Dashain scheme ‘Ranga Maa Danga’ in the Nepali market.

Under this scheme, customers buying KNP impression and Excel Total will get a coupon on every purchase of at least Rs 60,000 (with VAT) and get a chance to win 10 tola gold as the bumper prize, as per a press statement.

To be eligible for the lucky draw, customers will have to type KNP < space > serial number < space > customer name in the message box and send it to 34001.

Along with a sure shot wristwatch, 10 customers will get a chance to win smartphones and three customers will get a chance to win LED TV through the lucky draw.

This is the second consecutive year in which KNP Japan has come out with such a lucrative offer for all paint consumers of Nepal.

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Categorie: Nepal

G7 summit seen ending without communique due to gaps on trade: source

The Himalayan Times - 6 ore 59 min fa
  • G7 to discuss trade war amid fears of global downturn
  • G7 unity put to test with Trump against multilateralism
  • France to seek progress on digital tax

A Group of Seven summit to be held this weekend in France will likely end without a joint communique due to gaps between member nations on trade, a Japanese government official with knowledge of the matter said on Tuesday.

It would be the first time a G7 summit ends without a communique since meetings began in 1975, underscoring the rift US President Donald Trump’s “America First” trade policies has created among the G7 advanced economies.

“It’s crucial for everyone to create a common understanding through thorough debate. But it’s hard to deliver messages to the rest of the world when a communique isn’t going to be issued,” the official said, confirming an earlier report by Japan’s public broadcaster NHK that there was no plan so far to issue a communique after the G7 leaders’ meeting.

“There’s no doubt the G7 will discuss the impact trade frictions could have on the global economy,” the official told Reuters on condition of anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to media.

The summit, to be held in the southwestern French city of Biarritz on Aug 24-26, comes at a time when the US-China trade war and volatile financial markets are putting pressure on policymakers to step up efforts to avert a global recession.

Finding common ground between allies has become increasingly tough at the annual summit with the United States, an outlier in its approach to handling disputes over trade and the environment.

Last year, Trump threw the G7‘s efforts to show a united front into disorder by leaving early and backing out of a joint communique, undermining what appeared to be a fragile consensus on the trade row between Washington and its top allies.

Trump has expressed his preference for bilateral trade pacts over multilateral agreements and is locked in a lengthy trade war with China. He also pulled the United States out of the landmark Paris agreement to limit the effects of climate change against European opposition.

As this year’s G7 chair, France is keen to make progress on a global debate on universal taxation on digital giants. But the leaders are unlikely to break new ground at the summit, the official added.

The G7 comprises the United States, France, Britain, Japan, Germany, Italy, Canada and the European Union.

 

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Categorie: Nepal