“India wins yet again”, gasped Narendra Modi via his tweet as his Bharatiya Janta Party and allies registered a landslide victory yesterday. The counting trends that the nation woke up to suggested a comprehensive NDA grab of Centre’s seat in line to predictions brought up by exit polls. The so portrayed ‘silent’ Modi wave suddenly grew gigantic and swept the nation, expanding BJP’s outreach compared to its last outing in 2014. BJP registered more votes in several states such as Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Chhatisgarh than it had in 2014 which clearly backed the Modi wave. BJP’s more than 50 per cent vote share in a dozen big states strongly affirms his popularity as well as India’s decision. Not just Modi but all stalwarts from BJP won their respective seats, and by a margin, which invariably signifies the nation’s mood and expectations. Despite losing the Hindi Belt to Congress in assembly elections prior to the Lok Sabha election, BJP arose to a commanding lead. Trends cited a figure meandering around 340 seats for NDA while Congress and its allies featured in a poor bracket of 90-110 seats with Congress managing only a meagre gain of 10-12 seats from a historic low of 44 last time. Other parties collectively put up a fair show of 100-110 seats. BJP’s soaring confidence to storm back to power as a single-largest party capable of forming a government on its own has been aptly reflected in the outcome of this tedious exercise. Opinion and exit polls had predicted a clean sweep but their credibility was limited. However, post-results, it seems there was no doubt that BJP will return to power, even as the anti-BJP sentiment strengthened amidst the opposition parties. BJP, all along, had been confident of the win even as reports of EVM-rigging surfaced which sparked curiosity over handling of precious voting machines by authorities. While the concern was amplified by a consortium of opposition parties who took the matter to the Election Commission, it did not yield much. EC stood by the Supreme Court’s order of tallying VVPATs for five polling stations in each assembly segment. Trends usually oscillate, keeping the fight on but not yesterday since it was clear right from the morning tea as to who is going to accede to the seat of government at Raisina Hills. The all-day counting process facilitated drum beats at BJP offices across the nation with party workers and supporters revelling. BJP’s trajectory to yet another historic win includes its growing presence in states where it had not done well back in 2014. Of the 282 seats the party won in 2014, 193 came from Hindi-speaking populous states of North India but this time it surprised the opposition by its gains in Odisha, West Bengal, Karnataka, Maharashtra as well as Assam and Tripura. While BJP is yet to penetrate the south, losing out to UPA in Kerala, Tamil Nadu (where DMK restrained BJP) and YSRCP – which swept all seats – in Andhra Pradesh, its pan-Indian presence has definitely enhanced. Its crucial alliance in Maharashtra and Bihar with Shiv Sena and JDU respectively aided in widening the lead even as it lost Punjab to Congress. The most dismal performance in the anti-BJP camp evidently remains that of BSP-SP-RLD combine who looked strong but could not prevent BJP from sweeping the major chunk of seats in Uttar Pradesh. Also Read – Securing nutritionThe clean sweep outlines India’s decision to see a strong leader like Modi lead and build a strong nation. All electoral rhetorics come to an end when people’s mandate is pronounced and quite rightly, Modi has been hailed as the one India desires. Irrespective of issues that manifested while his term or adversities that arose along communal lines, irrespective of the negative rate of job growth or resounding agrarian crises across the country, Modi’s polarising figure trumped outstanding issues while his government’s on-ground work spoke louder than the oppositions’ allegations and sops. Congress could only muster a clear majority in two states viz. Kerala and Punjab, with Rahul Gandhi’s decision to contest from Wayanad working well for the party while simultaneously costing him his family’s bastion seat in Amethi. For the country in general, the ‘if not Modi then who’ question decided the mandate then and there. It does seem that the absence of a strong opposition leader has definitely let the opposition down. For them, issues were real and rallying around those while accusing BJP of building a narrative around national security in the light of recent events seemed enough but not for the country. For India, the presence of a strong enigmatic leader in Modi with no proven accounts of corruption and work across sectors was enough to make a choice. It will be ascertained in the years to come how right this mandate is.
Bhubaneswar: Barely hours before the tournament’s scheduled kick-off, the Super Cup was shrouded in uncertainty with Minerva Punjab FC giving the customary pre-match conference and meeting a miss, prompting the All India Football Federation to label it as “blatant disregard”. A cloud of uncertainty hung over the fate of the tournament after eight I-League clubs Tuesday pulled out citing unfair treatment by the All India Football Federation (AIFF). “While representatives from three clubs — FC Pune City, Kerala Blasters FC and Indian Arrows — were present on both occasions, Minerva Punjab FC did not attend either despite being present in Bhubaneswar,” the AIFF said in a statement. “This is extremely disappointing, and a blatant disregard for the federation,” the apex body added. As per the schedule, former I-League champions Minerva Punjab are slated to play Indian Super League franchise FC Pune City on Friday, the opening day of the qualifiers. In case Minerva Punjab stick to their decision to withdraw, the AIFF said the “rules and regulations of the tournament will be invoked”, and the matter forwarded to the relevant authority for further action and decision. The Super Cup is scheduled to be held in Bhubaneswar, with the qualifiers starting from March 15. The final is slated for April 13. Minerva, along with seven other teams, had Tuesday pointed out that the I-League clubs are being neglected in all aspects by the country’s football federation. The clubs said it had written a letter to the AIFF in February regarding multiple concerns such as the future of the league but they are “yet to hear back” from the federation. Minerva also highlighted how the AIFF has “not provided any financial assistance to the participating teams” despite having a title sponsor for the event. With no AFC competitions also on offer, the club felt the competition lacked any incentive for the teams.
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Canada can expect an “exceptionally healthy” housing market in 2014 thanks to improvements in the overall economy that helped produce a surge in the latter half of this year, a leading real estate group said Wednesday.[np_storybar title=”Can’t afford Canadian property? Downsize your home, upsize your storage locker” link=”https://business.financialpost.com/2013/12/07/a-new-twist-on-the-rent-vs-buy-debate-a-smaller-home-and-a-rental-storage-unit/”%5DWith the condo market in Canada growing rapidly and the square footage of each unit shrinking, is rental storage a solution for crowded living? [/np_storybar]Re/Max says that nationally, home sales are expected to climb 2% to 475,000 units next year after a 3% increase to well over 453,000 projected for 2013 when all the numbers are in.At the same time, the value of an average Canadian home is forecast to escalate 3% to $390,000 in 2014 after rising 4% to $380,000 in 2013, according to a survey of the group’s independent brokers and affiliates.Meanwhile, the outlook is for the residential housing market to remain in “clear balanced territory” throughout 2014, although some pockets and price points may see continued shortages.Re/Max says its optimism is largely based on an improved outlook for Canada next year which is expected to see the country enjoy economic growth second only to the 2.8% rate of the United States among Group of Seven countries.And it says that while Canada’s economic growth is currently forecast at 2.3% , it could move higher given the impact of strengthening global economies on the Canadian manufacturing sector.“Canadian housing markets are on solid ground after a somewhat harrowing first and second quarter of 2013,” said Gurinder Sandhu, executive vice-president and regional director, RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada.Better than expected economic performance, relatively stable inventory levels and the threat of higher interest rates down the road “proved mid-year game changers, providing the stimulus necessary to jump-start home buying activity,” Sandhu said.As a result, the momentum that emerged in the latter half of the year is expected to spill over into 2014, setting the stage for continued growth and expansion in most residential markets, Re/Max said.Overall, 23 of 25 markets surveyed, or 92%, are set to experience average price increases by year-end 2013, with Hamilton-Burlington the leader at 7.5%, followed by Barrie, Ont. and District at 7%, Calgary and St. John’s, NL, at 6%, and Greater Vancouver, Winnipeg and the Greater Toronto Area at 5%.The forecast for 2014 shows the upward trend continuing, with values expected to again climb in 92% of markets surveyed, led by Greater Toronto at 6%.Quebec and Atlantic Canada have been the exceptions to the rosy performance in 2013, with sales expected to fall below 2012 levels.But even there things should improve next year, Re/Max said.“Both regions should rebound in the new year, led by Halifax-Dartmouth (5%), Moncton (3%), Greater Montreal (2%) and Quebec City (2%).”Although there are several factors that are expected to contribute to rising housing prices on a national basis, one of the most pressing is build out, Re/Max said.“Nowhere is that more obvious than in Vancouver, where the mountains and the ocean have prevented further growth, and the Greater Toronto Area, where the greenbelt has stymied future development.”“As such, the availability of low-rise homes relative to the population is expected to contract, placing further pressure on prices,” it said.“We’re definitely seeing a greater commitment to higher density at a municipal level,” said Elton Ash, regional executive vice-president, RE/MAX of Western Canada.“In fact, the trend already underway in Vancouver and Toronto, has gained serious momentum in smaller markets where cities are moving to infuse vibrancy into the urban core through mixed-use residential/commercial/retail development.”
Around 1,000 UN troops and UN and Haitian police surrounded the neighbourhood, set up checkpoints and started patrolling during the operation, started yesterday, which is the second phase of the effort by the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) since December to neutralize armed groups in the district and increase security there. Meanwhile, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said its independent expert on Haitian human rights, Louis Joinet, started a weeklong visit to the Caribbean country today to verify that the Government was implementing its obligations and find out where it might need assistance. During the visit, his seventh to Haiti, Mr. Joinet will meet with Haitian authorities, including senior officials of the Transitional Government and senior magistrates in the judiciary. He was also scheduled to talk to representatives of the United Nations system in Haiti, including MINUSTAH, as well as the Organization of American States (OAS) and members of civil society.
Goodman School of Business student leaders have received top honours from the Canadian Association of Business Students (CABS).Sorcha Killian, a fourth-year double-degree student from Dublin City University in Ireland, was named the association’s All-Star Executive of the Year for her accomplishments as Vice-President of Corporate Relations with the Goodman Business Students’ Association (BSA).The Canadian Association of Business Students also awarded the Brock Finance and Investment Group (BFIG) Club of the Year.Brock Finance and Investment Group’s 2018-19 executive was recently awarded the Canadian Association of Business Students Club of the Year honour. From left are Jaineel Patel, Ryan Tully, Jesse Porter, Bryan Haakman, Raymond Lee, Chris Jitla, Hamza Pasha, Wai Wong U and Jake BerecKillian’s award caps off two years in Canada in which the international student took advantage of every opportunity presented to her. During her term with the BSA, Killian transformed the organization’s corporate sponsorship structure, increasing funding for student events by 400 per cent, and securing multi-year partnerships with sponsors for the first time in BSA history.“This award is fantastic as recognition but if I’m honest, it’s the friendships I’ve made within the BSA that are the true gift to me,” Killian said. “When I moved here, I was terrified of finding my place or home here. Throughout everything I’ve done, I’ve had the best people behind me and I couldn’t be more grateful for all of them.”With her return to Ireland nearing, Killian wished for the same success for those following her in the role.“I don’t want a legacy. I don’t want people to think that’s where the ball stops,” she said. “I want everyone who comes after me to be bigger, better and bolder.”Still, no one deserves the award more than Killian, says Goodman BSA President Aidan Gihula.“Sorcha is a rockstar,” he said. “She is a cheerleader, the hardest worker, the most creative and the most willing to take calculated risks. Her leadership skills have blossomed this year and I cannot be prouder of her efforts and what she has accomplished.”Killian’s achievement underscores the opportunities that lie on both sides of the double-degree program, noted Goodman Dean Andrew Gaudes.“It speaks to our delivering a global experience that brings students from around the world into our school, and giving them the opportunity to participate fully in all the programs we offer inside and outside of the classroom,” Gaudes said.Gihula also lauded BFIG President Bryan Haakman and the club for its ability to turn setbacks into opportunities this year, including creating faculty partnerships that changed the club’s fortunes after its student-run investment portfolio was no longer allowed to operate when government regulatory and tax changes came into place affecting similar clubs across the province.Going forward, the club will work with faculty and a class to manage nearly 10 times the amount of money it previously held.Delegates from the BFIG also won Battle on Bay, the annual finance case competition hosted by Ryerson University’s Finance Society. In addition, last month the club sent a record number of members to Quinnipiac’s Global Asset Management Education Forum in New York, the largest student-run financial conference in the world.“One of the things that impressed me the most while watching BFIG operate was their drive for positioning the organization to succeed,” Gihula said. “Bryan and his team took it upon themselves to set that groundwork for years to come. It set them apart from the other clubs and made them an easy nomination for the CABS Club of the Year.”Both Killian and the BFIG will be recognized at Goodman’s Student Success Celebration April 5.
Kings XI Punjab 193 for 3 (Gayle 104*, Nair 31) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 178 for 4 (Pandey 57*, Williamson 54, Tye 2-23) by 15 runsChris Gayle raises his bat upon reaching his 21st T20 century BCCIESPNcricinfo– Prior to the start of IPL 2018, Kings XI Punjab’s director Virender Sehwag said Chris Gayle would be worth the money spent on him if he were to win his team two or three games. Gayle has now played two match-winning innings in two matches. Four days after his 33-ball 63 against Chennai Super Kings, Gayle shellacked his sixth IPL hundred and 21st overall in T20s to consign Sunrisers Hyderabad to their first defeat of the season.On Sunday, Gayle lined-up CSK’s medium-pacers, but adopted a different approach against a formidable Sunrisers attack. He saw off Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s first spell and later unleashed a brutal assault on Rashid Khan’s legspin. All told, Gayle smashed 42 off 16 balls from Rashid at a strike-rate of 262.50.Gayle batted through the innings for his 104 not out off 63 balls, which also included four twos. In pursuit of 194, Sunrisers lost early wickets as well as Shikhar Dhawan to an elbow injury, and there was no way back for them, despite fifties from their captain Kane Williamson and Manish Pandey.After becoming the first captain to opt to bat this season, R Ashwin reckoned Kings XI would be better off setting a target as opposed to chasing one against the best attack in the tournament at one of India’s larger grounds. Gayle and KL Rahul began cautiously against the swing and change-ups of Bhuvneshwar and Chris Jordan, and played out 12 dots in the first three overs. Gayle then launched Kings XI’s innings when he hit four boundaries in seven balls, including three leg-side sixes off Jordan and Rashid. In between, he was dropped on 14 by wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha off Rashid’s first ball – a difficult chance off the toe end when he looked to cut.Rahul, at the other end, had an early scare when he was given out lbw on 5, but he survived after a review thanks to a thin inside edge. Rahul moved to 18 off 20 before being pinned in front by a Rashid skidder. Rahul’s Karnataka team-mate Mayank Agarwal flickered briefly before slicing Siddarth Kaul to backward point for 18 off 9; by then Kings XI were 83 for 2 in the 11th over.With two wickets falling in quick succession, Gayle slowed down and brought up his fifty off 39 balls. He then kicked into top gear and became only the second batsman, after AB de Villiers, to take Rashid for four sixes in an over. Gayle did so off successive balls, in the 14th over, which cost 27 runs.When Rashid erred too full, Gayle simply opened up hips and put the sightscreen in danger, and when Rashid dragged his length back he mowed the ball over the leg side. The visual moment of the over, though, came when he hared back for a second run off the last ball and wore a wry smile.With their premier spinner leaking runs, Sunrisers were forced to look beyond their frontline options. Deepak Hooda, however, could not do much with his part-time offspin.After getting to his first fifty off 39 balls, Gayle surged to his second off only 19 balls. He moved to 99 with his 11th six – the most by a batsman this season – and raised the landmark by guiding one past backward point in the 19th over. He brought out the ‘cradle’ and later dedicated the innings to his daughter, who will turn two on Friday.Gayle found supporting hands from Karun Nair (31) and Aaron Finch (14*) as Kings XI finished strongly at 193 for 3. Rashid was left nursing his worst T20 figures of 4-0-55-1.Sunrisers received a big blow in the first over when Dhawan retired hurt after taking a blow to the elbow, and he did not return to bat. Mohit Sharma varied his pace excellently and bowled both Wriddhiman Saha and Yusuf Pathan to leave Sunrisers 37 for 2 in five overs.Williamson and Pandey worked past the early blows with a 76-run stand for the third wicket, but they struggled to keep in touch with the soaring asking rate. Mujeeb Zadran’s mystery spin, Andrew Tye’s control, and the bigger boundaries in Mohali did not help Sunrisers’ cause either. When Williamson holed out for 54 off 41 balls in the 15th over, Sunrisers were left needing 81 off 34 balls. It was just too much for a middle order lacking muscle. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedIPL: Shakib, Rashid star as Sunrisers defend another low totalApril 26, 2018In “Sports”IPL: Umesh Yadav leads RCB’s rout of Kings XIMay 14, 2018In “Sports”Heartbreak for Kohli’s RCB as Sunrisers crowned IPL 2016 championsMay 29, 2016In “Sports”
← Previous Story Andy Schmid extends deal with Rhein Neckar Lowen until 2016! Next Story → DENMARK: Mors-Thy sack coach after three defeats in a row AustriaAustrian handballBregenz HandballDrasko MrvaljevicIvan Dimitrijevic One of the TOP sides of Austrian handball, Bregenz made some changes in order to be more competitive for the TOP of HLA this season. Montenegrian left back Drasko Mrvaljevic (34) left the team two years before end of contract by mutual agreement. Ex player of German Frisch Auf Goppingen didn’t find perfect form necessary to be a leader of the team in recent period. On his place will come Serbian left back Ivan Dimitrijevic (23), former player of RK Partizan and German VfL Gummersbach. Contract isn’t sign yet, but that could be done until end of the week…
SCIENTISTS AT CERN say they are almost certain that they have confirmed the existence of the Higgs Boson particle.Results from new tests show the particle discovered last year “is looking more and more like a Higgs boson,” researchers said at a press conference in Geneva today.The elusive boson – nicknamed the ‘God particle’ – is believed to be responsible for giving mass to elementary particles and has long been seen as the key to tying up many loose ends in the standard model of physics.“The preliminary results [on the new particle] with the full 2012 data set are magnificent,” said spokesperson for the CMS experiment at CERN Joe Incandela.To me, it is clear that we are dealing with a Higgs boson, though we still have a long way to go to know what kind of Higgs boson it is.It will take some time for physicists to determine whether it is the Higgs boson of the standard model of particle physics, or whether it is the lightest of several bosons which have been predicted in other physics theories which go beyond the standard model.Physicists have had to look at how the new particle interacts with other particles, as well as its quantum properties, in order to determine whether it is in fact a Higgs boson.The researchers have analysed two and a half times more data than was available for the discovery announcement last July.They found that the new particle has no spin and its parity – which measures how its mirror image behaves – is positive, both of which are consistent with the Higgs boson.“The beautiful new results represent a huge effort by many dedicated people,” said spokesperson Dave Charlton of the ATLAS experiment at CERN.“They point to the new particle having the spin-parity of a Higgs boson as in the Standard Model. We are now well started on the measurement programme in the Higgs sector”.For anyone wondering what the whole thing is all about, here’s our favourite informative video about CERN:(Video: alpinekat/YouTube)Video: Why Stephen Hawking was (slightly) unhappy about the Higgs boson > Explainer: So what’s this Higgs boson thing all about? >
THE STAGE LINE-UP for the celebration of the 50th anniversary of former US president John F Kennedy’s visit to Ireland has been announced today in New Ross, Co Wexford.Taking the role of MC and host of ‘The Homecoming’ on the afternoon of 22 June, will be Wexford woman and former RTÉ newsreader Anne Doyle. Doyle will be joined by broadcaster George Hook and together they’ll introduce a lineup that includes award-winning author Colm Toibin, who will recite from stage, and tenor Michael Londra.Londra has written especially for the event as he said the former US president represented the ‘American Dream’ for him.“I was born a few years after JFK visited but my earliest memories of Wexford are that no matter where I went, in every house, there was a picture of him on every parlor wall, usually with Bobby and Pope John XXIII,” he said.ParadeCelebrations will start at 3pm with an all-American style homecoming parade weaviing its way through the streets, followed by the arrival of Taoiseach Enda Kenny with a guard of honour from the Irish Naval Service.Lord of the dance Michael Flatley, who has family ties near New Ross, will hit the stage to narrate the journey and significance of the ‘Emigrant Flame’ before it is lit on the quayside to evoke the spirit of the Kennedys and the entire Irish emigrant family. The Taoiseach and guests of honour Caroline Kennedy and Jean Kennedy Smith will also take part in the lighting of the flame.Other performers entertaining guests today will include singer and songwriter Judy Collins, percussion group Extreme Rythm and New Ross and District Pipe Band.Following the stage performances the torch will be transferred along the boardwalk to the Emigrant Memorial and there the Emigrant Flame will be set alight on the quayside to burn forever to remember all Irish emigrants.Ask not what your county can do for youCommenting today, Chair of JFK50, which has organised the event, called for people to “be part of history and celebrate with some of Wexford’s best”.“We hope that people from near and far will come along and enjoy the festivities and the celebrations in memory of President Kennedy,” he said. “It is now time to ask not what your county can do for you but what you can do for your county.”For visitors unable to attend the celebratory events on 22 June a brand new Emigrant Trail telling the Kennedy story will be on offer, allowing visitors to follow in the footsteps of President Kennedy’s historic visit of 1963. ‘The Emigrant Trail’ features three key heritage sites on a 15-mile trail in the vicinity of New Ross Town in county Wexford. Further details of the events taking place throughout the year can be found on the JFK50 website.Read: Caroline Kennedy rumoured to be next US ambassador to Japan>WATCH: Today in 1963, JFK made this speech…>
Updated at 6.30pmTHERE WERE IMPASSIONED speeches from – amongst others – Independent David Norris and Labour’s John Whelan this afternoon, as senators returned to Leinster House to debate the Gaza conflict.A number of members also called for Ireland to expel Israeli ambassador Boaz Modai from the country as the upper house held a lengthy discussion on the topic.The Seanad was recalled from its summer break after pressure from senators on both the government and opposition sides, with this afternoon’s session beginning shortly after 2pm.The ongoing crisis in Ukraine was also on the agenda — but most members spent the majority of their speaking time addressing the spiraling crisis in the Middle East.It was confirmed today that some 425,000 people – around a quarter of the population of Gaza – have been displaced since the Israeli action began on 8 July.Over 1,400 Palestinians – mostly civilians – have been killed since the launch of ‘Operation Protective Edge’ over three weeks ago. Some 58 Israelis have also been killed – 56 of whom were soldiers.Ireland’s stanceForeign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan began the debate, by setting out Ireland’s position on the conflict.The recently appointed Minister said he fully shared “the horror and revulsion of Senators and very many of our citizens” at “the horrendous scenes we have witnessed since the start of the Israeli military operation”.In a carefully-worded speech, Flanagan said “the horror has not been confined just to the Palestinian side” . He said that, in addition to the deaths on the Israeli side, “millions of Israelis have been forced to seek shelter on a daily basis from the indiscriminate firing of rockets”.Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie FlanaganFlanagan said that the Government had been “quite categorical” in condemning attacks by both sides.CriticismThe Fine Gael politician has come in for criticism in the last few weeks over the Government’s stance on the conflict, including from his own backbenchers.Last Friday, he defended the decision to abstain from a vote on a UN resolution that sought to investigate Israel’s military actions in Gaza — saying the motion should have called for violent acts on all sides to be investigated.Addressing that controversy once again today, Flanagan expanded on the Government’s position, saying…The decision to abstain was a collective EU decision, only taken after prolonged deliberations.“One day after the adoption of important EU conclusions on the peace process, it would have sent a very negative signal and undoubtedly weakened EU leverage if we could not agree on a common response to the resolution.Flanagan stressed that:The cold reality also is that, if a common abstention had not been agreed, there was a very high likelihood of a number of our EU partners voting against the Resolution, thereby reducing overall EU influence even further. Pat O’Neill of FG.Amongst the members who spoke in support of Israel’s right to defend itself against the actions of Hamas was Fine Gael’s Pat O’Neill.The Kilkenny politician said that though the “world media” had depicted Israel as a terrorist nation “if you look back in history you’ll see what Hamas stands for”.While urging that “every diplomatic solution” should be tried to end the violence, he said the Israeli Government had a right to respond to “years of rockets being fired indiscriminately at its citizens by a terrorist organisation”.Minister Flanagan.ConclusionMinister Flanagan responded to a number of the claims raised by senators as he rose to address the house for a second time at the conclusion of the session.On the issue of the UN vote, he stressed that, in abstaining, “Ireland didn’t oppose the resolution”.He said the State had “made a very clear statement condemning civilian deaths and stating we believed international law had been breached, and saying we supported an investigation into all such breaches”.Flanagan said there had been a “numbers of specific issues” with the language Ireland was being asked to back, and that that wasn’t “something we can wipe away with the stroke of a pen”.He said that he wouldn’t be taking any action to expel the Israeli ambassador, telling the chamber “ambassadors exist, as we know, to allow clear channels of communication between governments — and are more necessary in bad times than in good”.And on the issue of sanctions, he said that, as a small trading nation, the country could only consider sanctions as part of EU or UN measures.The Minister said that Ireland was “too small” to effect change by itself — adding that he wasn’t sure how effective sanctions would be, considering the urgency of the situation.The session ended shortly before 6.30pm — with senators now not due to return to their legislative work until mid-September.There are also calls for the Dáil to return to discuss the crisis. Fianna Fáil Seanad Leader Senator Darragh O’Brien repeated his assertion today that Enda Kenny should ask TDs to come back early to debate the situation.Read: The Seanad is coming back on Thursday to discuss Gaza and UkraineExplainer: What is happening in Gaza? Senators stand for the pre-debate prayer.Flanagan also detailed how he had spoken “at length” with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon about the crisis earlier this week.“I condemned the appalling attacks which we have seen on UN and civilian facilities in Gaza and we agreed that both sides have to cease violating international law.The Secretary General was also fulsome in his praise of the Irish Government’s humanitarian efforts to date.The Minister – who was interrupted several times by Norris in the course of his speech – also addressed the ongoing situation in Ukraine. He repeated calls for a full investigation into the MH17 crash, and stressed that there could be “no military solution to the situation”.ContributionsNorris — who, of course, is well known for his outspoken contributions in the chamber — was among the first few speakers to reply.He said Ireland’s decision to abstain from last week’s UN vote had been “shameful, absolutely shameful” — and condemned US President Barack Obama “for his utter inaction” in bringing about a peaceful solution.Senator David Norris.Norris added that he had “no doubt” that the recent Israeli attacks on schools had been deliberate.How could anybody claim that they didn’t know what they were doing. Israel’s policy is shoot first, and weep afterwards: ‘oh, did we hit children, what a terrible tragedy’.“Nobody believes you anymore,” Norris said.You’re doing this to exert pressure on Hamas – but I tell you this: you will not resolve this problem until, like we did in this country, you involve both of the participants.“There’s no point in having any kind of alleged truce that only has one side in it,” he said, referring to attacks that took place last evening, during an Israeli-announced ‘partial humanitarian ceasefire’.Norris said that entire families had been “obliterated” and called for immediate lifting of the embargo on Gaza.And, calling for Ambassador Modai to be expelled, observed:He has his fingers in his ears all the time, and he just repeats slogans from Jerusalem.Concluding, Norris said the United Nations should accept full responsibility for the welfare of the people of Gaza.“If that means an international force going in, that’s fine,” he said, adding that the actions of the Israeli Government in recent weeks had amounted to ‘Nazism’.Senator Averil Power.‘Shocked’Several senators drifted out the chamber as the debate passed the 90 minute mark, as Flanagan remained in the room to hear each member’s contribution.From Fianna Fáil, Averil Power said she had been “shocked” at Ireland’s decision not to cast a vote in the UN last week.As a country we have always prided ourselves in using our voice in international organisations like the UN to promote human rights and stand up for the oppressed.“Last week Minister, we were shamefully silent,” she said, adding that Ireland had “hidden behind” the collective agreement of the EU.SanctionsSenator Sean Barrett, who is also an economics lecturer at TCD, highlighted the disparity in average income in Gaza and in Israel.He said the armed actions “must cease” and, backing Norris’s call for the blockade on Gaza to be lifted, said that investment in the region could contribute to a lasting solution.Later — addressing the Minister directly — Senator John Whelan of Labour called for the immediate imposition of sanctions on Israel.He said Flanagan needed to engage in a “more robust” approach to the situation, and said the State shouldn’t take its lead on the issue from the UK Government.Senator John Whelan.Ireland shouldn’t be neutral in its position, Whelan implored, adding:I’m certainly not neutral when it comes to the slaughter of women and children in schools, in hospitals and in UN shelters.He said senators were asking for Ireland “to distinguish itself now”.We must take action … We must take a position … Minister, we must initiate sanctions.The Co. Laois senator said he believed the Israeli Defence Forces were “a law unto themselves, enacting war-crimes and slaughtering children”.As the debate continued, Sinn Féin Senator Kathryn Reilly also backed calls for the ambassador to be “thrown out of Ireland” and said Ireland should support an arms embargo on Israel.How many more dead babies and civilians will it take before we start to send a strong message to the Israeli Government that it cannot continue to kill civilians with impunity?
ChairmanIndependent Electoral CommissionBertil Harding HighwayKanifing Municipality10 February 2016 SUBJECT: OBSERVATIONS ON THE FIRST THREE WEEKS OF REGISTRATIONThree weeks have elapsed since your office commenced the supplementary registration exercise.It is important to begin by referring you to Legal Notice No:10 of 2015 cited as the Re Demarcation of Constituencies Order 2015 which aimed to do away with Kombo North Constituency and replace it with Sanneh Mentereng, Old Yundum and Busumbala Constituencies. You aimed to replace Kombo Central with Brikama North and Brikama South Constituencies. SerreKunda East Constituency is supposed to be replaced by Tallinding Kunjang and LatriKunda Sabiji Constituencies and SerreKunda Central Constituency is supposed to be replaced by SerreKunda and Bundungka Kunda Constituencies.The creation of six additional constituencies was rendered null and void because of the limitation imposed by Section 88 of the Constitution which restricted the number of Constituencies to 48.We pointed out that an amendment to the Constitution was necessary before the Re- Demarcation of the Constituencies mentioned could be effected.On 29th December 2016, the National Assembly passed the Bill which aimed to make it mandatory for the National Assembly to comprise at least 53 elected members from constituencies demarcated by the Commission.This Bill was assented to by the President on 30th December 2016. It was published in the Gazette to become law on 13th January 2016. You now have to put 53 Constituencies in place .Hence it is mandatory for the Commission to demarcate and conduct general registration in the new constituencies. This is the requirement of Section 88 of the Constitution and Section 11 of the Elections Act.It states “The Commission shall prepare, compile and maintain in accordance with this part, a register of voters for each constituency (our emphasis) and a register of Gambian registered voters in foreign countries.”It adds: “a register of voters shall contain the names of persons who are entitled and applied to be registered in a constituency”.The people resident in any new constituency are entitled to apply and be registered in such constituency.In the absence of the possibility of the transfer of voters it is mandatory to hold General registration in any constituency that is engendered by any Re-demarcation exercise. We hope you will take note of this fact and accordingly respond to the requirements of the law.The Registration Exercise The registration Centres are being monitored to the best of our ability by PDOIS registration agents. After a debriefing exercise, the Central Committee deems its wise, right and proper to address these observations to you:GUIDELINES TO PDOIS AGENTS IN THE ABSENCE OF RULES OF ENGAGEMENT FOR REGISTRATION AGENTSThe Commission was asked to prepare and distribute rules of engagement for Registration Agents as provided for under Section 134 of the Elections Act by the party trainers of Registration agents. This has not materialised. In this regard, we have asked our Registration Agents to carry out the following tasks as they monitor the conduct of Registration:Monitor whether Registration is taking place at the designated Registration Centres as required by Section 15 of The Elections Act and report any flaw to area supervisors for a remedy;Sit where one could see claimants and hear the issues raised by Registering officers to determine claims;iii. Record all numbers of voters’ cards issued during the first day to determine whether they are numerically serialized;Record the first and last numbers of voters’ cards issued if they are serialised;Note down the documents presented to determine citizenship;Take note of the fact that only the registration teams should have possession of Attestation forms and should give it directly to independent claimants who do not have any form of identification so that they would take them to their village Alkalo/District Chief for Attestation;viii. Record all observations of conduct which are deemed to be alien to the registration process for onward transmission to headquarters.After some teething problems regarding the positioning of registration agents, a modus operandi which is acceptable to all sides is in place in many centres. Adjustments are being sought and made as and when required.RESULTS OF OUR ENGAGEMENTa) The Importance of some form of Serialisation of voters’ cards NumbersRegistration of voters should be a transparent exercise. This is why it should not be done in secret. Monitoring is also absolutely necessary. Serial numbers are important to prevent registration from being done outside registration centres. When card numbers are serialised one could take the last number each day after the close of registration to ensure that the first card number on the following day would fall in place in a numerical order.The first dilemma which confronted our registration agents is the absence of serial numbers on voters’ cards. There was no numerical sequence in the issuing of card numbers to the various claimants. We had to raise this issue with the commission. The Information Technology (IT) unit explained what was not made evident to the registration officers and trainers during the training exercise.It was intimated to us that every voter card bears a set of numbers which represent the allotted number of the machine, the date and time of registration.According to them, the machines are programmed not to operate beyond 5pm when registration must cease.We have been monitoring the time sequence. A departure from the 5pm dead line in the time sequence occurred in the Issuing of the following cards:card no: 0111601181713304700card no: 0111601181702100859card no: 0111601181707424527card no: 0111601181710303090The following are cards that were issued on after 5pm on the 4 February 2016card no. 0111602041714105050card no. 0111602041709348100card no. 0111602041703467739They were all issued after the 5pm deadline for the closure of registration for the day.We will monitor the registers after their compilation to find out the extensiveness of such a departure from standard procedure. The IEC should renew and buttress its instruction for the registration teams to adhere to 5pm closing time.b) Registration away from Registration CentresAfter spending an hour searching for a registration centre in the KM area, it was finally located in the compound of an Alkalo by our registration agent. The Senior Registration Officer of the area was contacted to provide a remedy. The team moved to its designated registration centre.c) The location of Alkalolu during RegistrationThe promise made by the IEC is that the village heads should remain in their homes and wait for attestation forms to be brought to them by claimants who are issued with the forms by a registration officer.THE TRANS–CONSTITUENCY BOUNDARY REGISTRATION EXERCISEAfter the first two weeks, the registration teams are moving to other registration centres. Interestingly enough, some teams have moved from registration centres located in one constituency to others situated in another constituency. Our supervisors would meet the Chief Electoral Officer to find out how the machines would do the demarcation on the basis of constituency and inform the public of our findings. At the moment, we are questioning why machines are not allocated according to Ward since the card numbering is based on the number of the machine and the dates and time of registration.We hope finance would not be utilized as an excuse. If the Executive and the Assembly could approve approximately 111 Million Dalasi for celebration of events in 2014; another 111 Million Dalasi for 2015 and 65 Million Dalasi for 2016, it would be unjustifiable if it is claimed that funds are not available for the registration of voters, without resorting to cost management strategies, which may not be the most efficient. THE LEVY FOR REPLACEMENT OF CARDS PROMOTE CORRUPT ELECTORAL PRACTICESThere is report of people who need to replace their cards being given financial support by political aspirants . Why is replacement so expensive? We will get experts to find out what the cost of a voter’s card is.Notwithstanding, in imposing a levy to replace voter’s cards the IEC has made the poor more vulnerable to the politics of patronage. What is the difference between buying and selling votes and offering to pay the replacement fee in exchange for political support?The IEC should revisit this policy. It is counterproductive, to say the least.While anticipating that the issues raised would be given appropriate consideration,We remain,Yours in the service of the Nation………………………………….Halifa SallahSecretary GeneralFor The Central Committee
Peters added that the public can also help if they suspect that someone is driving under the influence: “One of the things that people can do is to report every dangerous driver immediately. You can call 911 or you can call a local police department and let us know what you are seeing out there. If someone is swerving all over the road and they’re scaring you or you have a concern about their safety and other people’s safety, give us a call.” Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享St. Patrick’s Day is tomorrow, lasses and lads. For many, it’s a day to don some green garb, have a green beer or an Irish whiskey to celebrate. The Alaska State Troopers are reminding residents to be smart about driving this holiday weekend. Peters: “We certainly want people to go out and enjoy their holiday celebrations however the thing that we don’t want to see is them making the poor choice of them getting behind the wheel of the car while they are impaired. We will be out on the roadways and we will be focusing our efforts on locating people who are driving dangerously and driving impaired.” AST will be increasing patrols over the entire weekend in order to prevent drunk driving incidents. Megan Peters, spokeswoman with the Troopers said they recognize that St. Patrick’s Day includes drinking as a part of the celebration. Statistics from around the country show that DUI arrests and car accidents tend to rise on St. Patrick’s Day every year, and Alaska is no different from the rest of the country in that regard.
ADC AUTHOR More than a dozen nonprofit organizations have formed the California Defense Communities Alliance (CDCA). CDCA held its inaugural meeting Tuesday in Sacramento.The new alliance includes groups with the shared mission of supporting DOD presence throughout California while advocating on behalf of active duty and veterans in their communities, according to a press release.“The establishment of the CDCA gives the Governor’s Military Council a single place to coordinate statewide efforts aimed at protecting and growing California’s military infrastructure,” said Rocky Chavez, chair of the Governor’s Military Council. “Keeping California as the best military state is important to the California economy and to our nation’s defense.”Members will work together to “advance collaboration and communication among the military, elected officials, and other community leaders to enhance statewide understanding of the many contributions defense organizations make to California and our nation,” according to the charter.
Vikarabad: District Collector Ayesha Masrat Khanam directed officials of both the revenue and the forest departments to work in tandem to resolve the issue of ‘patta’ lands. She was chairing a review meeting on the issue of patta and revenue lands with the officials of Revenue and Forest departments, here at conference hall on Friday. Addressing the officials, she said that issues relating to land were in 41,848 acres in Vikarabad, Tandur, Tharur and Kodangal mandals. She told them to address the land issues immediately. She also said that awareness about the issues and training should be given to the surveyors before taking up the survey. “We received 59 applications from the Chief Minister’s office, and we sent them to the respective Tahsildars,” the Collector said. Also Read – Warrant issued against Renuka Chowdhury in cheating case Advertise With Us She directed the officials concerned to conduct ‘Prajavani’ on every Monday in all Mandals and told the Tahsildars to be present at the headquarters. Joint Collector Aruna Kumari, DRO Mothilal, DFO Venumadhav, RDOs of Vikarabad and Tandur Vishwanadham, Venumadhava Rao, Additional Director of Survey and Land Records Ramreddy, DTDO Kotaji and Tahsildars along with surveyors were present.
Life revolves around livelihood when an individual is pushed towards the city life. Living a decent life gets difficult when one’s ability is measured with the amount of money posessed. Kalabhakesari, an artist from Kerala is going to present a solo show of paintings titled Urban Ruins which reflects upon the above theme in the national Capital.Curated by Uma Nair, the show is about struggle, about the cages we are put into because society slots us and gives us a place according to the riches we have. The exhibition will be showcased in Lalit Kala Akademi, Copernicus Marg. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The artist who is now based in Delhi says, “When I think of struggle, I think of so many things that have grown around me and filled my livelihood – I feel as if I’m free but I am living in chains. I feel today is not a time for monuments, it is a time for ruins.” Kesari’s words give us a flashback of newspapers across the world splashed with images of social collapse, disaster and grief.“When Kesari brought home his canvases, his imagery transfixed me because in his subjects I could feel a rare but deepened sense of mournful beauty that actually filled me with a sad but lurid fascination,” says curator and critic Uma Nair. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix“My work is an ironic commentary about urban life and society which is the source of my inspiration,” says Kesari, “My work addresses issues related to dislocation with rapidly changing consumer cultures, so I use certain symbols to depict the same. For instance, the network tower is a symbol of technology and connectivity. This is a global reality. But within this reality, the value of human existence has become a microcosm,” he adds.Between the ecological destruction, natural disasters and the social unrest around the world, the image of the ruin has come to define our historical juncture. Everywhere the social fabric of man is in a state of rupture and we are victims of races within races.Today, in this young artist’s hands, the 15 canvases morph into the image of a fragmented, mournful past that comes back to caution his present and foreshadow his future. His anxiety and his angst unveil a moody melancholia writ large in the way he expresses his responses to urban practices.
Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals December 1, 2005 Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. 2 min read This story appears in the December 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe » Do you plan to simply continue with your existing net marketing campaigns in the new year? You’ll be missing out. Instead, update your strategy to incorporate today’s burgeoning technologies. Your customers are accessing the internet in new ways, so reach them before your competitors do.Geoff Ramsey, CEO of market research firm eMarketer, sees the rise of broadband connectivity and community-based platforms as significant forces changing the internet in 2006. Keep an eye on these trends:Blogs, RSS and podcasts: According to Ramsey, penetration of these and other consumer-generated communication tools among U.S. web users will grow rapidly. The number of Americans accessing podcasts, for example, will double from about 5 million today to more than 10 million next year.Search marketing: Paid search dominates online advertising revenue–at 42 percent of 2005’s total–and is constantly evolving. Consider using local search, pay-per-call and contextual advertising to target the different audiences who use search engines.Marketing on the move: eMarketer estimates that mobile marketing and advertising spending will reach $219 million in 2006. Armed with BlackBerries, cell phones, iPods and other mobile devices, consumers are increasingly taking their content wherever they go.Video over the internet: Broadband will enable you to reach consumers with TV-like messages, product demos and case studies. While the entire online advertising market will grow to $15.6 billion in 2006, rich-media advertising will total $1.9 billion.Permission-based marketing: New software applications will make it even easier for annoyed consumers to skip, delete or bypass unwanted ads such as spam and pop-ups. Go out of your way to get permission to deliver the right messages to the right people at the desired times and places.Ramsey believes next year will represent a “more level playing field for marketers and sellers of all sizes, across all industries.” Embrace innovative technologies and capitalize on these trends to reach your future customers.Speaker and freelance writer Catherine Sedaowns an internet marketing agency and is author of Search Engine Advertising. Register Now »
[embedded content]Dong and co-authors Eva Silverstein of Stanford University and Gonzalo Torroba of the Bariloche Atomic Center in Argentina constructed a hologram of dS space by taking two AdS universes, cutting them, warping them and gluing their boundaries together.The cutting is needed to deal with a problematic infinity: the fact that the boundary of AdS space is infinitely far away from its center. (Picture a ray of light traveling an infinite distance up the saddle’s curve to reach the edge.) Dong and co-authors rendered AdS space finite by chopping off the space-time region at a large radius. This created what’s known as a “Randall-Sundrum throat,” after the physicists Lisa Randall and Raman Sundrum, who devised the trick. This space is still approximated by a CFT that lives on its boundary, but the boundary is now a finite distance away.Next, Dong and co-authors added ingredients from string theory to two of these theoretical Randall-Sundrum throats to energize them and give them positive curvature. This procedure, called “uplifting,” turned the two saddle-shaped AdS spaces into bowl-shaped dS spaces. The physicists could then do the obvious thing: “glue” the two bowls together along their rims. The CFTs describing both hemispheres become coupled with each other, forming a single quantum system that is holographically dual to the entire spherical de Sitter space.“The resulting space-time has no boundary, but by construction it is dual to two CFTs,” Dong said. Because the equator of the de Sitter space, where the two CFTs live, is itself a de Sitter space, the construction is called the “dS/dS correspondence.” Silverstein proposed this basic idea with three co-authors back in 2004, but new theoretical tools have enabled her, Dong and Torroba to study the dS/dS hologram in greater detail and show that it passes important consistency checks. In a paper published last summer, they calculated that the entanglement entropy—a measure of how much information is stored in the coupled CFTs living on the equator—matches the known entropy formula for the corresponding spherical region of de Sitter space.They and other researchers are further exploring the de Sitter hologram using tools from computer science. As I described in a recent Quanta article, physicists have discovered in the last few years that the AdS/CFT correspondence works exactly like a “quantum error-correcting code”—a scheme for securely encoding information in a jittery quantum system, be it a quantum computer or a CFT. Quantum error correction may be how the emergent fabric of space-time achieves its robustness, despite being woven out of fragile quantum particles.Dong, who was part of the team that discovered the connection between AdS/CFT and quantum error correction, said, “I believe that de Sitter holography also works as a quantum error-correcting code, and I would very much like to understand how.” There’s little hope of experimental evidence verifying that this new perspective on de Sitter space-time is correct, but according to Dong, “you instinctively know you are on the right track if the pieces start to fit together.”Patrick Hayden, a theoretical physicist and computer scientist at Stanford who studies the AdS/CFT correspondence and its relationship to quantum error correction, said he and other experts are mulling over Dong, Silverstein and Torroba’s dS/dS model. He said it’s too soon to tell whether insights about how space-time is woven and how quantum gravity works in AdS space will carry over to a de Sitter model. “But there’s a path—something to be done,” Hayden said. “You can formulate concrete mathematical questions. I think a lot is going to happen in the next few years.”Original story reprinted with permission from Quanta Magazine, an editorially independent publication of the Simons Foundation whose mission is to enhance public understanding of science by covering research developments and trends in mathematics and the physical and life sciences. The fabric of space and time is widely believed by physicists to be emergent, stitched out of quantum threads according to an unknown pattern. And for 22 years, they’ve had a toy model of how emergent space-time can work: a theoretical “universe in a bottle,” as its discoverer, Juan Maldacena, has described it.The space-time filling the region inside the bottle—a continuum that bends and undulates, producing the force called gravity—exactly maps to a network of quantum particles living on the bottle’s rigid, gravity-free surface. The interior “universe” projects from the lower-dimensional boundary system like a hologram. Maldacena’s discovery of this hologram has given physicists a working example of a quantum theory of gravity.But that doesn’t necessarily mean the toy universe shows how space-time and gravity emerge in our universe. The bottle’s interior is a dynamic, Escheresque place called anti–de Sitter (AdS) space that is negatively curved like a saddle. Different directions on the saddle curve in opposite ways, with one direction curving up and the other curving down. The curves tend toward vertical as you move away from the center, ultimately giving AdS space its outer boundary—a surface where quantum particles can interact to create the holographic universe inside. However, in reality, we inhabit a positively curved “de Sitter (dS) space,” which resembles the surface of a sphere that’s expanding without bounds.Ever since 1997, when Maldacena discovered the AdS/CFT correspondence—a duality between AdS space and a “conformal field theory” describing quantum interactions on that space’s boundary—physicists have sought an analogous description of space-time regions like ours that aren’t bottled up. The only “boundary” of our universe is the infinite future. But the conceptual difficulty of projecting a hologram from quantum particles living in the infinite future has long stymied efforts to describe real space-time holographically.In the last year, though, three physicists have made progress toward a hologram of de Sitter space. Like the AdS/CFT correspondence, theirs is also a toy model, but some of the principles of its construction may extend to more realistic space-time holograms. There is “tantalizing evidence,” said Xi Dong of the University of California, Santa Barbara, who led the research, that the new model is a piece of “a unified framework for quantum gravity in de Sitter [space].” More Great WIRED StoriesThe devastating allure of medical miraclesATM hacking has gotten so easy, the malware’s a gameWould you pay $6,000 for vision-quality VR?WIRED Guide to your personal data (and who’s using it)Will AI achieve consciousness? Wrong question👀 Looking for the latest gadgets? Check out our latest buying guides and best deals all year round📩 Get even more of our inside scoops with our weekly Backchannel newsletter
Facebook Comments Related posts:Plane crash causes still unknown in Costa Rica; pilot was cousin to ex-President Chinchilla Investigation continues into causes of plane crash in Costa Rica Civil Aviation authorities suspend Nature Air operations Costa Rica tourism sets new record with 2.6 million visitors in 2015 Strong winds are now being viewed as a factor in the crash of a small plane in Costa Rica that killed all 10 U.S.. passengers on board and two local crew members, according to officials and witnesses.The accident, which occurred Sunday in the country’s northwestern province of Guanacaste, which is popular with tourists seeking pristine tropical beaches, killed all on board the small Cessna 208 Caravan owned and operated by domestic airline Nature Air.The plane burst into flames on impact, according to rescue officials and locals.Costa Rica’s Civil Aviation agency said the pilots had tried to land at Punta Islita earlier Sunday to get the passengers but aborted their initial landing because of “the gusts of wind.”The aircraft was up-to-date with its certifications and had been inspected a month earlier, the agency said.“There had been a lot wind, really strong,” one resident in the area told AFP on Monday.She said when she and other locals arrived at the crash site, up a steep hillside, “we couldn’t see. Absolutely everything was black.”She added: “The front part of the plane was all on fire, and the tail part was the only bit intact.”Police and fire crews arrived within 25 minutes of the crash, which happened shortly after midday (1800 GMT), she said.Another resident, Efrain Rojas, told the newspaper La Nacion that the plane was “too low” after take-off.“It did a turn to the left. For us, it looked like some sort of problem, and it was trying to get back to the runway. With the turn it did, it one of its wings was vertical, and the other hit the trees,” he said.“When we arrived, it was all in flames…. The plane, when it came down, apparently exploded, caught fire,” he said.‘All on fire’The plane came down minutes after taking off from a small sealed airstrip in Punta Islita, a beachside town in Guanacaste, where the U.S. citizens had boarded.The U.S. State Department confirmed the U.S. citizens’ deaths in an email on Monday.“We express our condolences to all those affected by this tragedy,” the email read, adding that consular assistance was being extended.A U.S. family of five from the town of Scarsdale, New York, was among the victims in the crash, U.S. media reported.Bruce and Irene Steinberg and their three sons, William, Zachary and Matthew, were all killed while on a family vacation.The other U.S. victims were named as Thibault Astruc, Amanda Geissler, Charles Palmer, Leslie Weiss and Sherry Wuu.The Costa Rican pilot was Juan Manuel Retana, 52. He was the cousin of former Costa Rican president Laura Chinchilla, who spoke of their ties on Twitter. His co-pilot was Emma Ramos, also Costa Rican.Guanacaste is a popular vacation destination, especially this time of year, when U.S. and European tourists arrive in bigger numbers for an end-of-year respite from the northern hemisphere’s winter.Read more: Plane crash causes still unknown in Costa Rica; pilot was cousin to ex-President Chinchilla