Indian and Pakistani students unite for anti-war protest

first_imgOne of the organisers, Rhodes Scholar Zehra Naqvi, told Cherwell: “It was powerful to experiencethe strong sense of community that exists amongst Indians and Pakistanis. “We often talk about the similaritieswe share in our food, culture, histories and the challenges we face. TheIndo-Pak community has emerged as a place of refuge and comfort for us. “We urge our fellow Pakistanis andIndians both within and outside the subcontinent to stand together in unity,focus on our commonalities, and reject divisive narratives. “We call upon the leaders of ourcountries to develop de-escalation protocols, organise constructive peace talksand dialogue for the resolution of all bilateral issues, especially for Jammuand Kashmir. It has historically borne the brunt of power struggles between thetwo states. We call for an end to the violence being perpetuated on Kashmiris. An anti-war protest organised jointly by Indian and Pakistani studentsattracted more than 70 demonstrators on Saturday. The protest was organised as a response to rising tensions betweenIndia and Pakistan, which saw both nations conduct aerial bombing missions. “However, when we imagine visiting eachother’s homes we realise all the ways in which visas and politics restrict us.As we sit together now, watching the increasingly violent direction the currentdiscourse is taking, we are frightened.” The joint statement strongly condemnedthe attack while warning that war would be in the interests of neither country,stating: “War only benefits a handful of influential profiteering interests whofeed on hatred and fear. The statement read: “Asstudents in a land that is foreign to our homes – India and Pakistan – we’vealways marvelled at how we seamlessly gravitate towards each other, and how weare able to come together in community in ways we can’t back home. Students recited poetry in Urdu, Punjabi, Bengali and English in whatorganisers described as “a bid to drive home the horrendous consequences of warand to help foster a sense of solidarity in the Indo-Pak community”.The demonstration concluded with the crowdsinging ‘Hum Dekhenge’, a revolutionary poem by Pakistani intellectual FaizAhmed Faiz “I feel immensely grateful that we could reach across heart-breakingdivides and come together like this in all our diversity and beautifulsimilarities.” “War and warmongering are alwaysunequivocally deplorable. At a time when India and Pakistan are lurching fromcrisis to crisis, we condemn the irresponsible rhetoric flooding the media inboth countries in the strongest possible terms. “For some people, especially thealready dispossessed, the human cost of war is no cliché. It is lived reality. “It is the people who never wish forwar that face its repercussions. It is a luxury to be able to debate thepossibility of war when the death, grief, and loss that accompany it are notpart of your everyday. “We dare to imagine a future that isfree of divisions and violence, and unshadowed by the politics of war. Werefuse to succumb to this environment of fear and suspicion. We refuse to seeour friends as enemies. We refuse to hate those we hold dear. This is not ourwar.” India and Pakistan both claim fullsovereignty over the Himalayan region of Kashmir, though each control only apart of it. The heightened tensions began with a suicide bombing in Kashmirlast month which claimed the lives of 44 Indian soldiers. Staff, students and locals gathered outside the Radcliffe Camera to read out a joint statement signed by 81 Indian and Pakistani students and the Oxford University South Asian Society.last_img read more

Help Garden, Landscape Through Dry Times

first_imgGardens, lawns, trees and shrubs feel the burn of inevitable dry times in broilingGeorgia summers.But you can slake your plants’ thirst until the rains come, says Wayne McLaurin, ahorticulturist with the University of Georgia Extension Service.Plants need soil moisture to grow. In fact, a healthy plant is 75 percent to 90 percentwater. During this critical time in their growing season, plants just can’t do without, McLaurin says.”Vegetable crops need about an inch of water per weekfrom rain, irrigation or both,” he says. “Keep a rain gauge near the garden or check with the local weatherbureau for rainfall amounts. Supplement rainfall with irrigation water if needed.”During dry times, a single thorough, weekly watering of one to two inches (65 to 130gallons per 100 square feet) is enough for most soils. Wet soils five to six inches deepeach time you water, and don’t water again until the top few inches begin to dry out. Theaverage garden soil will store two to four inches of water per foot of depth.You can reduce the water you need by using some simple conservation techniques:* Add organic matter. Soil moisture may not be available to plants, particularly if thesoil is a heavy clay, which tends to retain water.For example, if four and a half inches of water per foot are in a heavy clay soil, aslittle as one and a half inches may be available for plants. A fairly high level of humusin the soil can make more water available to plants.Adding organic matter also improves the moisture-holding capacity of sandy soils.Although most water in sandy soil is available for plants, it drains so quickly that evena few days after rain, plants can’t reach it. Humus in sandy soil gives the watersomething to cling to until the plants need it. * Mulching can greatly reduce your watering needs. A three- to four-inch layer oforganic mulch can cut water needs in half.Mulch smothers weeds and keeps water from evaporating so fast from the soil. Organicmulches hold some water themselves and increase the humidity around a plant.Black plastic mulch also conserves moisture. But it may make the soil dramaticallyhotter during summer if it isn’>t covered by other mulches.* Shading and windbreaks can also help conserve moisture. Plants that wilt in verysunny areas can benefit from partial shade in the afternoon. Protect small plants. When the rains don’t come and the plants are suffering, it’s time to irrigate. “The home gardener has several options for wateringplants,”McLaurin says. “Usea sprinkler can, a garden hose with a fan nozzle or spray attachment, portable lawnsprinklers, a perforated plastic soaker hose, drip or trickle irrigation or asemiautomatic drip system.”Several types of drip or trickle equipment are available. The soaker hose is probablythe least expensive and easiest to use. It’s a fibrous hose that allows water to slowlyseep out along its length.Hoses perforated with tiny holes do the same thing: water slowly drips out of theholes. An emitter-type system works best for small raised beds or container gardens. Shorttubes, or emitters, extend from a main water supply hose and directly deposit water at theroots of selected plants.This is generally the most expensive form of irrigation and the hardest to set up. Butweeds don’t getwatered and you don’t lose much water through evaporation. Emitter systems are most effective when combined with coarse mulch or black plastic.Drip systems sometimes clog with soil particles or mineral salts from spring or wellwater. But some new designs include filters and self-flushing emitters.”Plants don’t waste water. People do,” McLaurin says.last_img read more

UN condemns systemic racism – without naming US

first_imgAn initially strongly-worded text proposed earlier this week had called for a high-level international investigation into police violence against people of African descent in the United States.But it was watered down in recent days, first to remove the call for an international probe, and finally to strip away any mention of the United States.This sparked outrage from rights groups, which accused Washington and its allies of lobbying heavily to revise the text — a charge that the US mission in Geneva declined to respond to. Burkina Faso’s ambassador, who presented the resolution on behalf of African states, acknowledged Friday that “numerous concessions” had been made to “guarantee a consensus” on the text. Read also: At UN forum, Indonesia calls for greater action against racism as issues persist at home’Excessive force’ The approved resolution calls for UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet to “prepare a report on systemic racism, violations of international human rights law against Africans and people of African descent by law enforcement agencies”.It adds that the report should especially pay attention to “those incidents that resulted in the death of George Floyd and other Africans and of people of African descent, to contribute to accountability and redress for victims”.It also calls on Bachelet to examine government responses to “peaceful protests, including the alleged use of excessive force against protesters, bystanders and journalists”.The United States, which had complained of being singled out in the initial text, withdrew from the council in 2018 and was not present on Friday.But a number of its allies took the floor to hail the changes made to the text, stressing that racism was a global issue.Australia’s representative, for instance, celebrated the “acknowledgement that this problem does not belong to any one country. It is a problem around the world”.’Turning its back on victims’ Rights groups, however, slammed the revision.”By bullying other countries to water down what would have been an historic resolution and exempting itself from international investigation, the United States is yet again turning its back on victims of police violence, and black people,” said Jamil Dakwar, head of the American Civil Liberties Union’s human rights division.He said it was “absurd” for the text not to mention the US, “where police kill people, particularly black people, at alarmingly higher rates compared to other developed countries.” Salma El Hosseiny of the International Service for Human Rights said many delegations from Europe and Latin America especially had worked to ensure the US mention was removed from the text, charging that they had helped “subvert the debate into an ‘all lives matter’ discussion. Human Rights Watch’s Geneva director John Fisher meanwhile insisted that “the efforts of the US to avoid council attention only highlights why such scrutiny is needed, and how far there is still to go to dismantle the pernicious structures of institutionaliZed racism.”He celebrated meanwhile that the resolution “opens the door to bring increased international attention to violations both by the US and other powerful states in future.”The urgent UN debate began Wednesday with an impassioned speech via video link by Floyd’s brother Philonise, who said his brother had been “tortured to death” as witnesses begged the officer to stop.He urged the council to establish an independent international commission of inquiry — one of the UN’s highest-level probes — as called for in the initial version of the draft resolution.While there will be no international probe into the situation in the United States, Bachelet has been called upon to present her report on “systemic racism” globally in a year’s time.Topics : The UN’s top human rights body on Friday condemned discriminatory police brutality and demanded a report on “systemic racism”, but rights groups accused Washington of wielding pressure to strip out any mention of the United States in the resolution.The UN Human Rights Council’s 47 members approved by consensus a revised resolution, which was presented by African countries for an urgent council debate, called following the death of George Floyd in US police custody.Floyd’s killing on May 25, after a white Minneapolis police officer — since charged with murder — pressed a knee on his neck for nearly nine minutes, fuelled a national and global uproar over racism and police brutality.last_img read more

Levitz loses love over closing

first_imgA man wanders through the Levitz Furniture store in Torrance in search of a potted plant. Or maybe a clock. He’s not sure. The man, who did not give his name, was looking for enough items to make up for the value of an order the furniture store did not honor because it’s going out of business. The closings will end a tradition that began in 1910 when Richard Levitz opened the first Levitz Furniture store in Lebanon, Pa. A manager at the Torrance store declined to comment. A Levitz corporate spokesman could not be reached. But in a statement, Michael Keefe, president of Hilco Merchant Resources, said: “This is an outstanding opportunity for every homeowner and apartment renter to realize unprecedented savings on a remarkable selection of brand names in furniture and accessories. This is sure to be a very popular sale and it should not last very long.” At the Torrance Levitz, located at the Torrance Promenade shopping center, Misty Vaquer was drawn to the store by signs advertising price cuts of 20 to 50 percent. “I can’t believe they’re closing down after all these years,” said Vaquer, 41, of Manhattan Beach. “It’s kind of sad because they’ve been around for so long.” Rita Mirzaian, a saleswoman at the nearby Jewelry Mart, said she wasn’t worried that the store’s closure and the resulting loss of foot traffic would affect business for her. The store never seemed to have much business anyway, Mirzaian said. “We always wondered why it’s so quiet,” Mirzaian said. “Lately, when the (closing) signs went up, there’s more people.” The shopping center also includes a Kmart, Trader Joe’s, Kids R Us, Office Depot and numerous other retailers. Levitz has occupied the Torrance site since 2002, when it relocated from a smaller Redondo Beach building near the South Bay Galleria. That site now features a Target store. The current Levitz site had previously housed a HomeLife Furniture store, which went out of business in 2001. An official at Kimco Realty Corp., the Irvine firm that owns the Torrance Promenade, did not return calls seeking comment. Kimco Realty is also one of the Levitz liquidators. Even with Levitz’s steep markdowns and a willingness to use floor merchandise to compensate for unmet orders, some shoppers may not be satisfied. After choosing her couch as well as a recliner from among the floor models at the Torrance location, Smith decided she didn’t want anything else in the store. But those two items amounted to about $1,000, which was $500 less than what she had paid for her original order. Smith said that because she paid by credit card, her credit company would compensate her for the balance. [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champcenter_img Lomita resident Dawn Smith had been in the same position recently with her original order of a leather couch and recliner never delivered by Levitz. “At first, I was livid. We had to go in there and take whatever was available on the floor,” said Smith, 37, who finally gained some comfort last week with the delivery of a different couch. Earlier this week, Levitz announced close-out sales at its 76 stores nationwide, including locations in Torrance and Hawthorne. In late November, a group of liquidators agreed to pay $48 million for the assets of the New York-based furniture chain. A few weeks earlier, Levitz had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for the third time in less than a decade. More than $165 million in furniture and accessories will be liquidated, according to Hilco Merchant Resources, one of the six liquidators. last_img read more