Lunch And Tea Inside A Cave Vegan Treats In Himeji At TEEDA

first_imgTEEDA is located away from the major landmarks in Himeji and train stations, so riding the bus or taking a car is required. By bus, it takes around 22 minutes from Himeji Station. It takes about 11 minutes via taxi or car.If you ride via public transportation, take the #96 bus that leaves from Platform 22 of JR Himeji Station. The platform is right outside of the south exit, in the direction opposite from the castle. The bus will be bound for JR Aboshi Station; ride until Nishicho Tsubo, and then walk for about 1 minute to get to the restaurant. TEEDA CAFE will be on your left and has a white exterior with plants covering the walls (pictured above).Buses leave once per hour, so be sure to confirm the schedule before heading to the cafe. Due to this, visiting via car is the most convenient option, so be sure to consider using a taxi or renting a vehicle.Relax in Himeji at TEEDA CAFETEEDA CAFE is one of the best places in Himeji to enjoy a relaxing meal or tea time with friends and family. The plant-based menu allows even those with allergies or food restrictions to savor tasty vegetarian and vegan food and desserts in a truly unique environment that will reveal a different, laid-back side of Japan. Be sure to stop by when you visit Himeji! TEEDA View Informationrestaurant In addition to its extraordinary appearance, TEEDA CAFE serves creative vegetarian and vegan food that will please all. From lunch to desserts and beverages, drop in before or after sightseeing in Himeji for a healthful, satisfying, and relaxing meal.Healthy and Delicious Food Served at a One-of-a-Kind Space There are also seats outdoors for when the weather is nice.Lunch and Desserts Made with Local, Seasonal Ingredients Reaching Himeji From Tokyo, Osaka And Kyoto – Routes And Souvenirs! The cave-like interior of the cafe is truly unique and very shareable on social media. Diners can sit in caverns and get comfy with cushions and blankets inside each seating area. TEEDA CAFE opened in 2014 with a simple mission: to provide nutritious and flavorful food in Himeji. The cafe owner and staff care about diners’ needs and therefore utilize organic and local ingredients to ensure safe and tasty dishes that all can enjoy.The cafe receives non-Japanese guests regularly and is friendly to international diners. There is English on the menu, and depending on the day, English-speaking staff will be at the cafe.All the menu items at TEEDA are vegetarian, and nearly all can be made into vegan options. The cafe also offers desserts, including different varieties of cakes and satisfying muffins. It is one of just a couple eateries in Himeji with vegetarian and vegan food. Pictured above the cafe’s soy meat and falafel rice bowl (1,150 yen with tax), a lunch choice recommended for those craving something different. The portion is generous and ideal for those with a large appetite.The bowl comes with seasonal vegetables, like Japanese pumpkin, and fresh tomato and beets. Fried soy meat (Japanese karaage-style) and falafel pieces add texture and savory flavors that tie the dish together. To eat, mix the ingredients and enjoy!This dish comes with seasonal soup on the side; the soup above is a refreshing gazpacho. The gazpacho is light but flavorful, made with fresh tomato, cucumber, and herbs.TEEDA offers two other choices for lunch: vegan taco rice and organic penne pasta with soymilk gratin. The vegan taco rice is a plant based-version of popular taco rice, a dish with ground meat, salad, and slightly-spicy seasoning often found in Okinawa cuisine. The gratin can be made with vegan cheese or with dairy cheese to fit diners’ needs.Save Room for Dessert! Vegan Drinks and Sweets Pictured above is a dark chocolate soy cake (500 yen with tax), which was moist and the ideal amount of sweetness. It was topped with a plant-based cream and raspberry jam. The drink on the side is an iced Assam milk tea (530 yen with tax). Iced beverages come with eco-friendly paper straws. The milk tea was not too sweet and provided the perfect balance to the rich cake.How to Get to TEEDA CAFE As one of the few eateries offering vegetarian and vegan-friendly fare in Himeji, TEEDA a must-visit if you are traveling with anyone with dietary restrictions or allergies. The chef and staff put care into the appearance and taste of each dish so that guests all can enjoy delicious, healthful food. TEEDA CAFE, Himeji – Enjoy Vegetarian and Vegan Food in a Cave Read also The warm cave-like atmosphere of TEEDA CAFE is cozy, so be sure to stay for after-meal beverages and desserts.Guests can choose from a variety of drinks, from coffee to chai and original lattes. Soymilk is available as a dairy milk substitute, and you will get 100 yen off if you order a beverage with a meal. Himeji Day Trip – Travel To A Castle Town With Nature And Temples A meal or teatime here will transport guests to a different place and time, with its soothing, fairytale-like atmosphere. An English menu is also available at TEEDA CAFE.For sweets, there are cakes and muffins to enjoy. The ingredients used at TEEDA CAFE are seasonal, so the selection varies. The desserts that are vegan-friendly are clearly labeled. Located in Himeji, TEEDA CAFE is a unique cafe with a cavern-like appearance, situated slightly away from Himeji Station. This hidden cafe is the ideal place for respite while sightseeing major areas in Himeji, like Himeji Castle, Engyoji Temple, and Koko-en, a traditional Japanese garden. In cooperation with TEEDA CAFElast_img read more

Save on Transportation Lets WalkBike from Ueno to Asakusa

first_imgJust keep going straight, and then you’ll be able to see Edo dori. It’s a really large intersection, so you should be able to identify it quickly. If you’re walking, it should have taken around 25 minutes to get this far.Please make a left turn at this intersection. It should take you approximately 3 more minutes walking to reach the Kaminarimon Gate after turning left.If You Have the Time and Energy, We Recommend You Walk/Bike Here!So how’s that for ya? It takes approximately 5 minutes to get from Ueno to Asakusa using the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line.Walking or on bicycle though, you can enjoy getting a view of the town and locals, as well as the act of moving about also. We definitely recommend this for those of you with time and stamina on hand. ① First Head Towards the JR Ueno Station Central Ticket GateLet’s get over to the JR Ueno Central Ticket Gate!Those who came to Ueno over on the Keisei Line from Keisei Ueno Station, Tokyo Metro Ginza Line Ueno Station, or Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line Ueno Station, head towards the easy-to-locate JR Ueno Station Central Ticket Gate.After that, use the signs inside the station to guide you wayward of Asakusa, and towards the Asakusa Exit.You’ll find this road, heading to Asakusa, once you leave the Central Ticket Gates and turn right.This road is narrow and a little difficult to navigate, so just keep in mind to go by the side of the KIOSK and then keep going straight.② Once Out of the Station, Advance Forward!Once you exit the station you’ll have the scenery pictured above laid out before you. Cross the pedestrian walkway pictured on the left. ※The pedestrian walkway leading to the building with the numerous billboards.This is an enlarged picture of that pedestrian crosswalk. Once you’ve crossed the crosswalk, then keep going straight.After a little while, you’ll come across a large intersection. Just cross that intersection. The large above-head bridge here will serve as a landmark.Once you’ve gotten across the crosswalk, you’ll see a passage like the one pictured above. Careful, as this passage has two sides to it: one for pedestrians, and one for people on bicycles.After a going down the road a bit, there will then be a lane dedicated for bicycles, so for those of you on bicycles, please get onto this lane.Pictured above inside the red square, is the sign indicating the bicycle-only lane. When cycling inside the city, please use these signs as your guide.Getting along a bit further down, you can see Shitaya Shrine to your right hand side. If you have some time on your hands, it might not be a bad idea to stop by.In downtown Tokyo, there are Shrines with Buddhist Temples right next to them that have a long, distinguished history. Walking or traveling by bicycle you can find many new spots that you would have otherwise missed taking the subway underground.If you keep going a little further, you’ll end up coming across Tokyo Metro Ginza Line Inaricho Station. Asakusa is two stations away from this this station on the subway. It’s just a little further until we get to our goal.After a couple of minutes you can see Tokyo Metro Ginza Line Tawaramachi Station. You’ve come this far… Asakusa is so close.last_img read more

For All The Star Wars Fans Out There The Scifi Bar Kanda

first_imgSci-fi (science fiction) is a genre that, regardless of country, has many dedicated fans.If only you could meet that character from that particular movie… If only that one item that appeared in that particular movie were real… For those who are into sci-fi, I’m sure you’ve imagined such scenarios at least once in your life.In this article, we’ll introduce you to the sci-fi bar called Kanda Flux, a place where your sci-fi fans dreams can come true.A Bar Made By and For Sci-fi Fans The interior of this place is, without a doubt, a paradise for sci-fi fans. There are many items here from works such as Star Trek, Star Wars, including characters from various other sci-fi movies and so on. Here, there are also many items that you don’t usually get to see, such as life-size replicas.Kanda Flux is a bar that was opened about three years ago by a sci-fi goods collector turned bar owner. Apparently, many of the goods inside of this place are part of the owner’s personal collection. For those who’d like to take photos, be sure to let the staff know first. There are many items here that you may be tempted to pick up or touch, but please be careful as you’re not allowed to touch any of the items on display.Recently, there are more than just goods from sci-fi movies on display here too; there are also many items featuring the characters from American comic books. Thanks to the influence of the movie Avengers: Age of Ultron which was released in Japan in the summer of 2015, there are apparently also many American comic fans who come here.There Are Even Original Cocktails Based on Sci-Fi Characters!At Kanda Flux they offer original cocktails inspired by characters from sci-fi movies. Out of all of these cocktails, the most popular are the Sith and Jedi, two drinks inspired by Star Wars. For the sake of this article, we had them make us a Jedi cocktail.Made with a vodka base, the lemon flavor of this cocktail is very refreshing. It isn’t too sweet either, and has a moderate but enjoyably clear aftertaste.The Sith cocktail, meanwhile, has a rum base and uses a vivid red energy-drink liqueur.When you come to Kanda Flux, you’re sure to find yourself having to deliberate over the drinks menu – there are just too many good cocktails to choose from!May the Force be with you!InformationKanda FluxAddress: Tokyo, Chiyoda, Uchi Kanda, 3-16-10Hours: 18:00-04:00 (Sundays and Holidays 18:00-24:00)Closed: IrregularlyWi-fi: YesCredit Cards: VISA/MASTER/JBC/AMEXOther Languages: Japanese, EnglishMenus/Information in Other Languages: Part of the menu is written in EnglishNearest Station: Kanda Station (JR/Tokyo Metro Ginza lines), Awajicho Station (Marunouchi Line), Ogawamachi Station (Toei Shinjuku Line)Access: 2-minute walk from the North Exit of Kanda station, or 6-minute walk from Awajicho or Ogawamachi StationsFee: 1500-3500 yenPhone: 03-3526-3383Official Facebook: Kanda Flux (Japanese) ‘WELCOME TO THE FUTURE’At the entrance is a sign that is sure to make sci-fi movie fans stop and have a laugh.Just as its name indicates, Kanda Flux is located near Kanda Station, but can also be easily reached on foot from Akihabara Station as well, so many people like to stop here after spending the day shopping in Akihabara.Sci-fi Goods Everywhere You Looklast_img read more

Visit Narita Dream Dairy Farms Sunflower Maze

first_img From: Narita Dream Dairy Farm HP “Sunflower Festival”Find Your Way Through a Sunflower MazeLooking at the photo above, you might think Narita Dream Dairy Farm’s sunflower garden isn’t any different from others elsewhere. But this sunflower garden is actually a maze!This is the entrance. You’ll start here and try to reach the goal where you can enjoy a view of the entire garden.Step one foot inside and you’ll be surrounded by impressive sunflowers.The maze has a unique atmosphere. It’ll feel like you’ve wandered inside a fairy tale.The view of the garden after getting through the maze is amazing. Narita Dream Dairy Farm offers a sunflower garden that you won’t find elsewhere, one that lets you enjoy the beauty of the flowers even more than a normal one.Great for the Start of Your TripThere are actually many tourist attractions around Narita Airport. If you’re in the Narita area, it might be a good idea to have a look around.Whatever the season, if you’re starting your trip from Narita Airport, sightseeing in the area is highly recommended. If you’re visiting in summer, how about including the Narita Dream Dairy Farm in your itinerary as well? We hope you make some great memories at their summer-only sunflower maze.InformationNarita Dream Dairy Farm (Yume Bokujo) Sunflower MazeAddress: Chiba, Narita, Nagi 730Hours: 10:00-16:00 (Cancelled in case of rain)Closed: NoneNearest Station: JR Narita Line Namegawa StationAccess: JR Narita Airport Terminal 2・3 Station – JR Narita Station – JR Narita Line Namegawa Station45 minutes including train transfers, free shuttle bus 10 minutes from JR Narita Line Namegawa StationEntrance Fee: 300 yen (Separate fee for farm entrance) Adults 1,400 yen, Children 700 yenSunflower Maze Open Period: Mid-July to Mid-AugustPhone Number : +81-476-96-1001Official Website: Narita Dream Dairy FarmYou May Also LikeTake In The Season: Experience Japanese Summer With Your 5 SensesNarita Airport Complete Guide: From Free SIM Cards To Free Transit Tours!The Impressive Naritasan Shinshoji Temple – Only 10 Minutes From Narita Airport!Narita Transit Program – Discover Authentic Japan During A Layover4 Recommended Narita Airport Transit & Stay Tours: Narita, Shibayama, Tako And Saka The most famous Japanese flower has to be the sakura. Sakura, or cherry blossoms, reach full bloom around March to May, and are also a symbol of spring for the Japanese.From Experience The Stunning Sakura At Chidorigafuchi, TokyoSakura are beautiful flowers, but the Japanese summer flower is something you shouldn’t miss as well! In Japan, the sunflower is popular as a summer flower.The Sun FlowerSunflowers are usually round, have yellow petals, and are taller than humans. It received its name “helios” (sun) + “anthos” (flower) from its sun-like appearance and sun-following trait.Summer in Japan lasts from around July to September. This is also the best time to see sunflowers.If a Normal Sunflower Garden Isn’t EnoughJapan boasts many sunflower gardens. Sunflowers in full bloom are a truly breathtaking sight, no less beautiful than the sakura!You might be thinking that visiting a normal sunflower garden isn’t the most interesting thing to do. Then the perfect place for you is the Narita Dream Dairy Farm’s sunflower garden, located near the entrance-way to Japan: Narita Airport.last_img read more

Find A Good Match The Musubi Cafe At Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine

first_imgEnishi (432 yen with tax) are sweets that were inspired by the enmusubi-dama (a matchmaking stone), which is passed out at the shrine for free in the early mornings. These red and white marshmallows come in an assortment of flavors, including wild strawberry, and lime. There are sold in a set of eight, a lucky number in Japan.Feel the Sense of Connection at Musubi Cafe The door knob at the entrance is made from the tree that fell in the storm a few years ago. A touch of this wood before entering the cafe will make you feel the warmth of this place. On weekdays, they offer a healthy lunch menu which is full of vegetables. This is a Japanese meal, Musubi-zen B (2160 yen with tax). This seasonal meal is very colorful and looks like a treasure box!For lunch, customers can choose either a French or a Japanese meal, depending on the day. Each consists of three courses. They also offer light meals such as curry and rice balls. Some of the dishes have limited quantities or need to be reserved in advance, so we recommend that you check their website before visiting.Check Out Souvenirs for Your Loved Ones On the wall there are different Mamori musubi (relationship ties), a good luck charm displayed in homes. Each musubi symbolizes a seasonal event or a monthly festival, and it is fun just looking at them. Postcards with illustrations of mamori musubi can be purchased here as well. Wouldn’t it be nice to send seasonal greetings, congratulations, or thank you notes with postcards that stand for that month?Taste Some of Their Fancy Cafe MealsThere are many pretty cakes displayed in the showcase of Musubi Cafe. The logo of Musubi Cafe comes from roppou-ojime (hexagonal fastening), and the symbol itself has two meanings. One is to tie in six directions, north, south, east, west, plus heaven and earth. The other one is ”to connect”. Behind these two meanings hides the owner’s wish to make this place not only somewhere that connects people, things, the past, and future together, but also a place that expands them.Don’t you feel like you’ll have a good encounter after taking a purifying, relaxing break at the Musubi Cafe? Conclusion cafe View Informationcafe Their furniture is wooden and the main color is white, which helps to create a comfortable atmosphere. One of the tables uses the same material as the torii of the shrine. This is yet another way to feel closer to the shrine. They also offer nice souvenirs. Illustrations on how to worship in a shrine are printed on this hand towel (1100 yen with tax). The red illustrations stand out very well against the white cloth. Don’t worry if you cannot read Japanese, as there is a simple English explanation on the back.center_img Hanakanzashi (486 yen with tax) is another popular menu item. This fancy mousse cake was designed after the traditional Japanese hair accessory, the kanzashi. White chocolate and berries are the secret to its perfect sweet and sour taste.Their Healthy Menu Is Also Recommended The most popular is Musubi Roll (432 yen with tax). The sweetness from the foamed cream in which high-quality sugar is used, and the light taste of chestnut go perfectly well together. Musubi Cafe is located on the first floor of Hikawa Hall which is right next to Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine. Rice is a staple food for Japanese. Musubi mai (702 yen with tax) is rice selected by five-star rice meister, which is kind of a master’s degree of rice. They have chosen the rice that match the best for rice balls. It is wrapped in a traditional way and makes a good choice for a souvenir too. Salt is believed to have the power of purification, and therefore it is deeply connected to shrines. At Musubi Cafe, you can also buy Wajima salt warashibari (1000 yen with tax), which is a type of salt produced by Noto island’s Agehama salt-making technique (agehama is an artificially flooded salt farm above the high-tide mark). Delicious salt wrapped with straw would make a great souvenir. A Cafe That Brings Encounters in Kawagoe, SaitamaKawagoe Hikawa Shrine is a historic shrine that was established approximately 1500 years ago, and is well-known for bringing good luck in matchmaking. Musubi Cafe, of which concept is musubi (relationships), is located in the precincts of this shrine.Some of the ingredients used in their meals are purified by the shrine before being prepared. Don’t you feel like your meant-to-be will appear after a meal like this? Why not enjoy a hearty meal and go home with souvenirs related to musubi for your loved ones? Let us tell you about Musubi Cafe’s attractions in this article.Please refer to Hikawa Shrine In Kawagoe – 8 Things To Do To Improve Your Luck In Love for information about Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine itself.Feel Close to the Shrine and Its Hearty Atmospherelast_img read more

Japanese Encyclopedia Kakigōri Shaved Ice

first_imgThe Origin of Kakigōri And Its “Ice Banner” SymbolKakigōri (かき氷), Japan’s quintessential summer treat, is shaved or crushed ice eaten with a drizzling of flavored syrup or condensed milk. Cheap, refreshing and easy to make, it’s the perfect thing to help you get through the sweltering summer heat.Kakigōri was eaten as early as the eighth century, when it was a treat reserved for the upper classes. Apparently, in those days, people used blades to shave blocks of ice, and ate the shavings with amazura, a sweetener made with ivy sap.At the dawn of the 19th century, stores which specialized in ice appeared in Japan, and once companies began producing man-made ice, kakigōri experienced a rapid boom in popularity. According to laws passed to deal with this ice store boom, all stores which passed government hygiene inspections were responsible for hoisting a banner or signboard with their name on it and placing it outside. This is how the “ice banners” (with the Japanese character for “ice” 氷 written on them), which still fly at kakigōri stores, got their start.When and Where Can You Eat Kakigōri?In July and August, you will see kakigōri at summer festivals held on shrine and temple grounds. as well as at beach houses. You may see it as early as Golden Week, being sold at kakigōri stands, sweets shops, supermarkets, convenience stores, and baseball stadiums, among other places.Thanks to the spread of kakigōri makers for home use, now anyone can easily make their own at home. These kakigōri makers will be really useful when kids are off from school for a month and a half of summer!What Does Kakigōri Taste Like?Kakigōri is made from all sorts of ice, from the fluffy natural variety to the crunchy cups sold at convenience stores. The real key to kakigōri’s flavor is the syrup topping.While the typical flavors are strawberry, lemon and melon, there are also toppings like mizore; made from white sugar syrup, mizore kakigōri looks exactly like a snow-covered mountain in winter. Other traditional flavors include kintoki, an azuki bean paste placed atop the ice, as well as Uji kintoki, which combines green tea-flavored syrup and kintoki. On festival days, some stalls sell Blue Hawaii, which has a vivid blue coloring just like the cocktail, and an invigorating taste like soda.Kakigōri Specialty Shops and Recent TrendsRecently, kakigōri shops which are open year-round, not just in the summertime, have been appearing on the scene.Yelo in Roppongi has won popularity for its gorgeous kakigōri and rich variety of flavors. It has also launched a project in collaboration with Lawson’s  strawberry kakigōri and caramel kakigōri, by Yelo. This tag team of a popular kakigōri shop and convenience store chain has seemingly spread those flavors across the country in one shot, and made them a recent trend. You can easily pick up some kakigōri at any convenience store, and if you have the chance to visit the actual store, you’ll definitely want to stop by!Read also: Shaved Ice Specialty Shop, “yelo”, in RoppongiLet’s Check Out Some of the Most Famous Kakigōri Shops!Here, we’ll introduce you to various kakigōri shops! All of these places enjoy great popularity, enough to have lines outside.Yuzawa-ya Saryō (湯沢屋茶寮)There is a tea space known as Yuzawa-ya Saryō in Nikko City in Tochigi. This shop uses expensive Nikko natural ice in their specially-made Japanese kakigōri.Asami Reizō (阿左美冷蔵)Located in Chichibu City in Saitama, this shop’s trademark is the natural ice they use for their kakigōri and its honey topping, made from a secret recipe.Shigen (慈げん)Shigen, a kakigōri establishment in Kumagaya City in Saitama, has plenty of peculiar ingredients to add to its milk cocoa, such as soybean flour cream and wasabi cheese, and serves kakigōri that are practically parfaits.Akafukugōri (赤福氷)Akafukugōri, from Ise City in Mie, is the city’s famous original version of kakigōri. Akafuku mochi – specially made to pair well with ice – is stuffed inside kakigōri that has been drizzled with green tea syrup. It is sold at Akafuku specialty shops within Mie, as well as at the Nagoya branches of Takashimaya and Matsuzakaya.Tōsendō (登泉堂)This well-established sweets shop in Imabari City in Ehime has been going strong for four generations, and it offers some unique flavor twists on kakigōri, like iyokan – Ehime’s best-known citrus fruit – as well as blueberry, plum nectar, and more.Tenmonkan Mujaki (天文館むじゃき)Located in Kagoshima City in Kagoshima, this is the originator of kakigōri shirokuma. The shaved ice in this extravagant version is covered with homemade milk and honey, then topped with all sorts of fruit, gelatin, and white beans. You can order it at department stores nationwide, or from online shops.Try out kakigōri from all over Japan, and fully savor the summer!Recommended articlesHeatstroke And Japanese Summer – More Than Just HeatSummer Staple: 5 Best Places For Shaved Ice In Tokyo5 Cool Treats To Enjoy In Asakusa!Enjoying Old Japan In Osaka At GRADO, The Bonsai CafeIf You Visit Saitama, You Must Try These Gourmet Disheslast_img read more

As Turks flee oppression Ottawa urged to speak out on human rights

first_imgOTTAWA — It’s long past time for the federal government to publicly condemn human rights violations that have been going on in Turkey for years, an Ottawa-based human rights activist says.More than 3,000 Turkish families have landed in Canada seeking asylum during the last three years, said Vaner Kaplan, who represents a group called Advocates of Silenced Turkey in Canada that documents human rights violations in the eastern European country and presses for change from abroad.Asylum seekers are still fleeing Turkey for Canada and other western countries, Kaplan said. “There’s at least 14 families (in my neighbourhood in Ottawa). I mean ladies (with kids). All their husbands have been arrested (in Turkey,)” he said.The women are not comfortable speaking out publicly for fear it could imperil their husbands behind bars in Turkey, he added.Kaplan brought his wife and three kids to Canada more than two years ago. Before that, he used to work in a non-for-profit organization in the United States. “When my (American) visa expired, I decided to come here instead of going to Turkey and being arrested,” he said.He volunteered to help Turkish newcomers to Ottawa. He has been able to help them find an apartment, access the social services and settle down in the capital because he speaks English and have a car, he said.“I’m taking all these families to parliamentarians … to raise awareness (about the situation in Turkey,)” he said. “I have visited more than 200 politicians.”Global Affairs Canada, for its part, says it is already speaking out and will continue to do so.  “Canadians believe in the importance of standing up for human rights, and our foreign policy reflects that,” the department said in a statement. “We have voiced our concerns over the human rights situation in Turkey and have advocated for the importance of respecting human rights in public and in private.”Following an attempted coup in July 2016. The Turkish government imposed a state of emergency that remained in force throughout the year. It paved the way for restrictions on human rights and allowed the government to pass laws beyond the effective scrutiny of Parliament and the courts, Amnesty International said in a report released last year.More than 50,000 people were in pre-trial detention on charges linked to membership of the Hizmet movement, inspired by U.S.-based Turkish preacher Fethullah Gulen. The Turkish authorities blamed the movement for the coup attempt. Of those arrested, a number were released on bail and subjected to reporting requirements, according to Amnesty.A number of Canadian citizens are among those currently arrested in Turkey, although how many is not clear.“Global Affairs Canada is aware of the arrest and detention of Canadian citizens in Turkey.” the department said. “Consular services are being provided to the Canadian citizens and their families. Officials at the Embassy of Canada in Ankara are in contact with local authorities and closely monitoring.”Global Affairs Canada refused to provide more information about the Canadians, citing privacy concerns.Maan Alhmidi, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Sudan accepts UNAfrican force for Darfur without conditions – Council official

“I can tell you that the Foreign Minister told us in no uncertain terms that the Government of Sudan accepted the hybrid operation without any conditionality. The President himself just confirmed the same thing to us,” Ambassador Dumisani Kumalo of South Africa said at a press conference following the meetings. “The Sudanese leadership, at the level of the President of the Republic, has confirmed that the State of Sudan is committed to all the agreements signed – including the recent agreement signed in Addis Ababa on a hybrid operation in Darfur,” Sudan’s Foreign Minister, Lam Akol, told reporters. “The President of the Republic has made it clear that the ball is now in the court of the United Nations,” he added. Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry of the United Kingdom said the Security Council’s would seek financing for the force from the UN’s regular peacekeeping budget, meaning that the cost would be borne by all UN Member States. “We all laid heavy emphasis in two long constructive meetings and over lunch” on the hybrid force with emphasis on the need “to accelerate the implementation and get that in place as soon as possible,” he said. Stressing that “there isn’t going to be an enduring peace unless there is a political settlement,” he said Council members called for accelerated efforts on that front. “The Government confirmed its commitment to pursue that, and I quote the Minister, ‘aggressively’ – meaning that the Government is fully committed to it.” Sudanese officials also provided “certain assurances” on humanitarian access to those in need. On the need for a ceasefire, Ambassador Jones Parry said the Council members stressed that Government “should exercise a measure of self-restraint faced with lots of temptations given the performance of the rebels.” The purpose of the visit was to reaffirm the Council’s commitment to the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Sudan while encouraging its Government and other parties to engage constructively in the Darfur peace process, said Ambassador Kumalo. In addition the aim was to “achieve without delay, full agreement” on deploying the hybrid operation. The Council also “came to encourage all parties here to fully implement the ceasefire agreement,” he added. Asked when the Council would recommend that the General Assembly authorize funding for the hybrid force, Ambassador Kumalo said this would happen “within a month.” 17 June 2007Sudan’s Government has agreed to support unconditionally the deployment of a hybrid United Nations-African Union (AU) peacekeeping force in the Darfur region following talks in Khartoum with a delegation of the Security Council, which said that it would seek funding for the operation from the UN budget. read more

Sports can help rehabilitate victims of human trafficking – UN official

14 October 2009Sports can play a significant role in helping victims of human trafficking overcome their trauma, a senior United Nations official said today. “Physical activity and play, if taught and conducted properly, can serve as a very valuable method for rehabilitation and social reintegration into society,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace Wilfried Lemke said in Abuja, Nigeria, where he is attending the 3rd African Union (AU) sports ministers conference.“Sports can also help traumatized children to forget the misery they went through as victims of ruthless traffickers,” Mr. Lemke said on a visit with UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) representative Dagmar Thomas to the housing and shelter facilities of Nigeria’s National Agency for the Prohibition and Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).Mr. Lemke welcomed the joint efforts of NAPTIP and the international community to combat human trafficking in Nigeria.He also underlined the dangers of exploitation of young athletes in regions throughout the world and expressed support for “the valuable work” of governments and organizations that combat such exploitation, citing the Association Culture Foot Solidaire that aims to protect young footballers from trafficking and exploitation. read more

Afghanistan UN voices concern over arrest of international aid workers

The relief workers belong to Shelter Now International, a United States-based non-governmental organization.According to a UN spokesman in New York, the UN Office in Kabul is monitoring the situation and trying to obtain more information about the arrests from the Taliban.

Controversial Kurunegala DIG transferred

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) had launched an investigation on the DIG over matters related to the ongoing investigation against Dr. Mohamad Shafi who was arrested by the Kurunegala Police over allegations of acquiring assets in a suspicious manner. Controversial Kurunegala Deputy Inspector of Police (DIG) Kithsiri Jayalath is to be transfered to Trincomalee.The National Police Commission (NPC) has approved the transfer of Jayalath to Trincomalee.

Police fire tear gas and water cannons on protest

The Police fired tear gas and water cannons on a protest at Lotus Road in Colombo today.The protest was staged by students following the Higher National Diploma in Accountancy (HNDA) course. Lotus Road had to be temporarily closed for traffic as a result of the protest.The Police later used water cannons and tear gas to disperse the protesters.

President invites Cambodian King and PM to visit Sri Lanka

Prime Minister Hun Sen hailed the state visit of President Maithripala Sirisena as an important landmark and a great impetus driving the excellent ties between the two friendly countries to new heights.President Maithripala Sirisena termed Cambodia as a close friend and an important partner of Sri Lanka in the region. Both leaders also noted with satisfaction that Cambodia and Sri Lanka have developed a strong and mutually beneficial partnership at bilateral, regional and multilateral levels with a view to ushering peace, stability, and sustainable development of the two nations and the world. The President also had a bilateral discussion with Samdach Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, during which both Leaders reaffirmed commitment to further deepen bilateral relations which are firmly supported by the cultural and religious affinity of the two nations. Prime Minister Hun Sen highly commended the achievements made by the Government of Sri Lanka under the leadership of President Maithripala Sirisena in promoting sustainable development and social welfare of the country. President Maithripala Sirisena also lauded the continued success of the Cambodian Government in maintaining peace, stability, high economic growth, a robust tourism industry, and improvement in the quality of life of the Cambodian people, under the leadership of Samdech Techo Prime Minister Hun Sen.The two leaders underscored the importance of the regular exchange of high-level visits and consultations to strengthen and expand bilateral cooperation in all feasible areas for the mutual benefits of both nations. Towards this end, the two leaders welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on Bilateral Consultations between foreign ministries of the two countries and expressed desire for the first meeting to be convened at the earliest.Both leaders also agreed to expedite the signing of an agreement on the Exemption of Visa Requirement for Holders of Diplomatic and Official Passports, an agreement on Bilateral Air Services and a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Field of Tourism. President Maithripala Sirisena has invited the King of Cambodia and the Prime Minister to visit Sri Lanka at a convenient time in the future, the Foreign Ministry said today.At the invitation of His Majesty Preah Bat Samdech Preah Boromneath NORODOM SIHAMONI, King of Cambodia, President Maithripala Sirisena paid a state visit to the Kingdom of Cambodia from 07 to 10 August 2019. During this visit, President Sirisena had an audience with the King of Cambodia. He also attended a state banquet hosted in his honour by the King at the Royal Palace, where he also met with Samdech Vibol Sena Pheakdei Say Chhum, President of the Senate and Samdech Akka Moha Ponhea Chakrei Heng Samrin, President of the National Assembly. read more

US manufacturing grew in March at slower pace factories report drag from

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email WASHINGTON – U.S. factories expanded last month at a weaker pace, with orders growing more slowly and hiring essentially flat.The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, said Wednesday that its manufacturing index slipped to 51.5 in March from 52.9 in February.It was the fifth straight drop. Still, any reading above 50 signals expansion.U.S. manufacturers have faced a drag in recent months from falling oil prices, a rising dollar, winter storms and a since-resolved shutdown of West Coast ports that has created a backlog of shipments.Some drilling rigs have stopped as oil prices have fallen more than 50 per cent since June to below $50 a barrel, curbing demand for pipelines and machinery from factories. Simultaneously, the dollar has risen in value against the euro and other currencies, making American-made goods more expensive abroad and cutting into exports.Demand for exports has been contracting — rather than expanding — for the past three months, according to the survey.A “stronger dollar and soft overseas demand are still an obstacle for export-orientated producers,” said Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics, who added that the slowdown wasn’t “alarming” because non-manufacturing companies still appear to be faring well.Still, there is the expectation that manufacturing will rebound as the impact of the winter weather and port shutdowns fade. Production improved slightly between February and March, a sign that growth may accelerate in the spring.“We’re well positioned for the distinct possibility of an uptick, an upswing, in momentum as we go forward, not unlike last year when started with a particularly harsh winter,” said Bradley Holcomb, chairman of the ISM’s manufacturing business survey committee.One paper products manufacturer said in the survey that business is starting to improve as it’s “thawing out of this crazy winter.”Out of 18 manufacturing industries, 10 reported growth and seven reported an outright decline in March. Among the sectors that declined are apparel, textiles, petroleum and coal, electrical equipment, plastics and rubber products and furniture.“In balance, we’re still positive,” said Holcomb, adding that “every (sector) gets weighted relative to their contribution” to gross domestic product.Multiple other reports show that manufacturing has downshifted in recent months.Orders for long-lasting goods dropped in February, the third decline in four months, the Commerce Department reported last week.Falling demand for commercial aircraft, autos and machinery caused durable goods orders to drop 1.4 per cent in February.Factory output also tumbled in February, the Federal Reserve reported this month. The 0.2 per cent decline was led by drops in the production of autos, machinery, appliances and primary metals such as steel. by Josh Boak, The Associated Press Posted Apr 1, 2015 9:01 am MDT US manufacturing grew in March at slower pace; factories report drag from falling oil prices FILE – In this Jan. 7 2015 file photo, smoke emits from a factory chimneys near O’Hare airport in Chicago. The Institute for Supply Management releases its manufacturing index for March on Wednesday, April 1, 2015. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File) read more

EUs antitrust case ignites debate whether Googles search tactics help or harm

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email European Union’s competition chief Margrethe Vestager speaks during a media conference regarding Google at EU headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday, April 15, 2015. The European Union’s executive hit Google with an official antitrust complaint on Wednesday that alleges the company abuses its dominance in Internet searches and also opened a probe into its Android mobile system. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo) EU’s antitrust case ignites debate whether Google’s search tactics help or harm consumers by Raf Casert And Michael Liedtke, The Associated Press Posted Apr 15, 2015 4:17 am MDT BRUSSELS – The European Union’s escalating legal attack on Google is likely to ignite a debate about whether the Internet search leader makes life more convenient for consumers or abuses its power to squeeze out rivals who might have something better to offer.The contrasting views of Google’s business practices came into sharper focus Wednesday after Europe’s antitrust regulators challenged the Mountain View, California, company on two different fronts.Drawing upon a nearly five-year probe, the regulators filed a complaint alleging that Google has been improperly favouring its own shopping comparison service in its own search results. The charges could still be expanded to include other services highlighted in Google’s search results, such as travel recommendations and merchant reviews, mounting a challenge to the digital advertising system that generates most of the company’s revenue.As if that blow wasn’t enough, Europe’s regulators also announced they are opening a separate inquiry into whether Google has been illegally using its popular Android software to bully smartphone and tablet makers to feature Google’s products on their mobile devices.Google staunchly denied any wrongdoing, setting up a showdown that could still take years to resolve. The company has 10 weeks to respond to Wednesday’s complaint.Here are a few things to know for now.___GOOD OR BAD FOR CONSUMERS?For now at least, Europe’s case is focused on Google’s shopping comparison service, known as Google Shopping, which shows various products and prices when consumers make a search request indicating they are looking to buy something.Google Shopping consistently ranks at the top of Google’s search results page to the detriment of competitors, including U.K.-based Foundem and Ciao, owned by Microsoft. Both those rivals are among the companies that spurred the EU’s investigation into Google.Regulators allege Google elevates its shopping service even when other options might have better deals. They maintain that Google Shopping is getting favourable treatment because the company wants it to succeed, unlike an earlier version called “Froogle,” which wasn’t pushed to the top of the search rankings.Google maintains that it is just trying to package its search results in a way that makes it easier for consumers to find what they want.But Google’s shopping comparison service doesn’t include all products in any category. Google began locking out some merchants in late 2012 when it began requiring an upfront payment — the equivalent of an ad — to be included in the index of the shopping comparison service.“People don’t realize there’s a pay-to-play element of Google Shopping,” said William Poundstone, author of “Are you Smart Enough to Work at Google?” People tend to assume it’s more of a level playing field than what it really is.”___POWER PLAYThe popularity of Google’s search engine is the main reason why European regulators are trying to force the company to change its ways. Google processes about 90 per cent of the searches in the EU, compared to 66 per cent in the U.S.“Dominant companies have a responsibility not to abuse their powerful market position,” said Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s competition commissioner. She contends Google is limiting the choices of European consumers and stifling innovation among smaller companies.Google maintains people use its search engine because of its reputation for delivering the best results.The company also points out that it is facing more completion than ever, including: other search engines such as Microsoft’s Bing and DuckDuckGo; e-commerce sites such as Amazon.com and eBay, where consumers go directly to compare products; mobile apps, where people increasingly spend their time online; and relatively new networking tools such as Pinterest that have unleashed new ways for people to discover intriguing ideas and products.European regulators are taking a different tack than their U.S. counterparts. In 2013, the Federal Trade Commission settled an antitrust investigation into the market power that Google wields through its search engine without requiring the company to make any major changes.That means whatever happens in Europe might not necessarily change the way that Google does things in the U.S., tough company critics such as the group Consumer Watchdog are urging the FTC or Justice Department to take another look.___ASSAULT ON ANDROID?When Google began giving away its Android software in 2008, the company was just trying to counter the runaway success of Apple’s iPhone. Now, Android powers billions of mobile devices, largely because it doesn’t cost phone and tablet makers anything to use the software.But Google isn’t giving away Android for altruistic reasons. The operating system is designed to feature Google’s search engine, maps, Gmail, YouTube video service and other products that give the company more opportunities to sell digital ads. Device makers don’t have to use Android as Google wants it to be, but European regulators are now looking into complaints that the company penalizes those that deviate, or “fork,” from its Google-centric design.Apple also bundles many of its own services in the iPhone, but its software is only used on the devices that it makes — a distinction from Android.Google, again, portrays its bundling as something most people appreciate. There is some evidence to support that thesis. For instance, when Apple dropped Google’s digital maps as the iPhone’s built-in navigation service in 2012, Google introduced a stand-alone version of its maps that quickly became one of the top apps that people wanted to install on their iPhones.___HIGH STAKESIf regulators can prove Google has been breaking the law in the European Union’s 28-country bloc, it could be costly even for a company as rich as Google.The EU can impose fines of 10 per cent of annual revenue, or some $6 billion, and force the company to overhaul its system for recommending websites in Europe.It seems unlikely that the fine will be that high, as long as Europe’s case remains limited to Google’s shopping comparison service, said Nomura analyst Anthony DiClemente. The narrow focus so far “suggests maybe they didn’t have a strong enough case against the core search product and Android,” DiClemente said.Investors certainly don’t seem concerned. Google’s stock gained $2.14 to close Wednesday at $542.55.___Liedtke reported from San Francisco. AP writers Brandon Bailey in San Jose, California and Mae Anderson in New York contributed to this story.Follow Raf Casert on Twitter at http://twitter.com/rcasert . read more

GM April US sales rise 59 per cent as customers buy small

GM April US sales rise 5.9 per cent as customers buy small and midsize SUVs DETROIT – General Motors says its U.S. sales last month rose 5.9 per cent as Americans snapped up small and midsize SUVs.The Detroit company says it sold just over 269,000 cars and trucks last month, matching expectations of industry analysts.The automaker was led by Chevrolet Equinox midsize SUV. Its sales were up 42 per cent to nearly 29,000. Sales of the Buick Encore small SUV rose 29 per cent to nearly 5,600.GM’s top-seller, the Chevrolet Silverado pickup, posted nearly an 8 per cent sales gain to almost 46,000.Industry analysts expect total U.S. sales to rise about 6 per cent when all automakers report sales numbers on Friday. by The Associated Press Posted May 1, 2015 7:33 am MDT Last Updated May 1, 2015 at 10:32 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

Lebanon detains SudaneseSri Lankan family of seven

Lebanon’s General Security has detained a Sudanese-Sri Lankan family of seven, including four children under age 18, threatening to deport the parents to different countries for lacking residency papers, the Anti-Racism Movement (ARM), Amnesty International,Human Rights Watch, and the Lebanese Center for Human Rights (CLDH) said today. General Security, the agency responsible for the entry and exit of foreigners, should free the family, pending the resolution of the family’s deportation proceedings, and should ensure that the family can remain together. If specific and compelling reasons exist to impose restrictions on the family, then General Security should take measures other than detention. The mother, a Sri Lankan former domestic worker, told Amnesty International that she fled an abusive Lebanese employer almost 20 years ago, thus losing her regular migration status in Lebanon. She said that her employer beat her, confiscated her passport, and did not pay her wages for a year. Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and ARM routinely document credible reports of abuses against migrant domestic workers, including non-payment of wages, forced confinement, and verbal and physical abuse.The mother said that she fears retaliation by family members for converting to Islam and marrying a Muslim. There have been violent riots against Muslims in Kandy, Sri Lanka, her home town.Both parents previously tried to register their refugee claims with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), but their claims were not granted. The father told ARM that he left Sudan for Lebanon in 1995 to avoid military service there, after both his brothers were killed in the civil war. He said he was deported back to Sudan in 1998 and arrested, but was released after his father paid a bribe, and returned to Lebanon in 1999. The oldest child, 18, has been detained since February 14, 2019, at the General Security Directorate due to his irregular residency status. On July 3, General Security raided the family’s home in Beirut and detained the father, 57, his wife, 42, and their 5-year-old daughter, Beirut, whom they named out of attachment for the city. On July 4, the authorities also detained their three other sons, aged 11, 13, and 16, who had been left unattended when their parents were taken into custody.“Detaining children causes them significant harm and should never be used for migration-related purposes,” said Lama Fakih, acting Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “General Security should release them and their parents immediately and, if necessary, use less harmful alternatives to ensure that the family appears for proceedings.” Amnesty International talked to the mother, currently held in a shelter run by Caritas Lebanon with her two youngest children. The mother said that her husband and three other sons are detained at a General Security facility. ARM, which provides legal and social support to migrant workers, has documented General Security’s practice of sending detained migrant women with young children to the Caritas facility.“By detaining these children and threatening to split up their family the Lebanese authorities have displayed a chilling disregard for their rights. Holding children in detention centers subjects them to trauma and can cause considerable harm to their physical and psychological well-being. The protection of children’s rights and the principle of family unity must be the primary consideration for General Security,” said Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Middle East research director.The children have no identity documents from Sudan or Sri Lanka and only possess birth certificates from a local Lebanese official stating that they were born on Lebanese territory. In no case, however, should children be detained for migration-related purposes, as detention can be extremely harmful to them. The father told ARM in July that General Security officials said the entire family would be deported and pressured him to sign a departure form indicating that he agreed to be returned to Sudan. The mother told ARM in August that General Security officials informed her that she would be deported to Sri Lanka, and that her children would be deported with her husband to Sudan.Children should never be detained, alone or with their families, for immigration purposes. UNHCR has found that even short-term detention with their families has a “profound and negative impact” on children, and concluded that “children should not be detained for immigration related purposes, irrespective of their legal/migratory status or that of their parents.”Because of “the harm inherent in any deprivation of liberty and the negative impact that immigration detention can have on children’s physical and mental health and on their development,” the UN committee that interprets the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Lebanon ratified in 1991, has called for any deprivation of liberty based on a child’s migration status to be “prohibited by law and its abolishment ensured in policy and practice.”Following the principle of family unity, authorities should not separate children from their parents unless separation is clearly in the best interests of each child. If restrictions to the liberty or freedom of movement of the parents are considered necessary in immigration cases, alternatives to detention for the entire family should be provided to respect children’s rights not to be detained while also not being separated from their parents, the UN special rapporteurs on torture and on migrants’ rights have stated.To comply with its international human rights obligations, General Security should free the family, unless specific and compelling reasons make restrictions to the liberty of the parents necessary. In that case, alternatives to detention should be found for this family, the organizations said. Less harmful alternatives could include requirements to report to the authorities while their case is being considered. Crucially, in line with the principles of family unity and respect for the child’s best interests, the family should not be separated by being deported to different countries.“Deportation may mean the permanent separation of this family, with no hope of reunification,” said Farah Salka, director of ARM. “General Security should release the family and ensure that they are not split apart by being deported to opposite ends of the world.” The father of the family is Sudanese, the mother is from Sri Lanka, and their five children were born and have always lived in Lebanon. The family does not have a regular migration status in the country. read more

Afghan transition moving forward but facing numerous challenges – UN envoy

Ján Kubiš, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, told a meeting of the Security Council that, as reported by the UN-mandated international military force and the Afghan authorities, both the military campaign and the security transition are “on time and on track.”Afghan authorities are working with the international community so that by 2014 they can assume full responsibility for security in all of the country’s 34 provinces. They are also working towards taking greater ownership of development in a country where more than one-third of the population lives below the poverty line, and one in every two children under five is chronically malnourished.In his remarks, the UN envoy noted that on security, as stated in Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s latest report, there has been a decrease in security incidents between May and July as compared to 2011.“Yet many ordinary citizens and Government officials throughout Afghanistan continue to point out to the continuous fragility of the security situation in Afghanistan, to the fear and insecurity that impedes everyday life,” said Mr. Kubiš, who also heads the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).In his report, Mr. Ban noted that improvements in the security situation have been registered against the record high incident levels of 2011.“These gains have not, however, generated public perceptions of greater security and do not reflect improvements to the institutional structures required for longer-term stability,” wrote the UN chief. “Little has changed in the underlying dynamics to mitigate a deep-seated cycle of conflict.” Mr. Kubiš said that even where there are no armed clashes, an “insidious campaign” of intimidation and targeted killings is claiming lives of government officials, women’s rights activists, tribal elders and community leaders, including those actively working for peace. “The impact is visible in the curtailed delivery of development programmes and humanitarian aid,” the Special Representative said. “Outreach by Government services and personnel are limited in many part of the country. Internal displacement increases, people move to the relative safety of provincial and regional centres.”Civilian casualties have also decreased overall through the first eight months of the year compared year on year, he pointed out. “However this trend began reversing during this summer with a greater number of civilian deaths and injuries occurring in July and August than in the same period last year,” Mr. Kubiš said.In fact, he noted, August was the second deadliest month for civilians since UNAMA began recording civilian causalities with 374 civilians killed and 581 injured. Anti-government elements continue to cause the vast majority of civilian casualties, bearing responsibility for over 85 per cent of all civilian deaths and injuries during the summer period.The envoy also noted that while security transition is important, the ultimate key to future stable Afghanistan is “successful Afghan-led and Afghan-owned political transition.”The 2014 presidential elections are in the centre of attention, he said, adding that the conduct of credible polls with a mandate for the new country’s leadership is essential to national unity and legitimacy as well as a critical component of ongoing international support. read more

Setbacks couldnt deter this Harvardbound grad

Time and time again, Zoya Rajput has proven that nothing can keep her down.Rather than admit defeat when life throws her punches, the Brock Political Science grad bounces back — and her most recent recovery landed her a coveted spot at Harvard Business School.After collecting her degree Tuesday, June 11 during the Faculty of Social Sciences Convocation ceremony, the Niagara Falls native will now make the trek to Boston, Mass., to achieve a dream she’s had since elementary school.The road to Harvard has been rocky for Rajput.A confluence of personal crises in close succession forced her to rethink her plans, but she held fast to her goal.She hoped to go to Harvard straight from high school, but a concussion suffered in her final year caused her to miss a lot of class time and even prevented her from delivering her valedictory speech. It also put the Ivy League university out of reach — temporarily.Instead, Rajput spent a year at McMaster University before transferring to Brock. She then applied to Harvard’s undergraduate government program as a transfer student. But then came a rejection letter.Soon after, Rajput narrowly escaped being attacked by a man who followed her after work and tried to force his way into her car. Sensing something amiss, she was able to outsmart the would-be attacker but, she acknowledges, “anything could have happened if he got in that car.”The experience left her shaken but also helped her put the rejection from Harvard into perspective. She was determined to try again.“I felt like I got a second chance at life. It made me want to work even harder to achieve my goals,” Rajput says.After all she had been through, she was happy to be at Brock, where she felt supported, and to remain close to her family.“The whole community at Brock was incredible,” she says. “It felt like coming home.”Despite being a newcomer to campus, she was elected as one of six undergraduates on the University Senate to represent Brock’s more than 19,000 students.“I’ll be honest, it was a bit of a shot in the dark,” she says. “But shots in the dark are kind of on my agenda now.”Her perseverance in all aspects of life paid off earlier this year when an envelope marked Harvard arrived in the mail. Rajput was home alone when she opened the acceptance letter she had longed for for years.“I was absolutely thrilled,” she says. “I kind of just sat there taking it in and thinking about my whole life to that point, reminiscing in a sense.”Rajput is convinced that her attitude has made all the difference in how she handles adversity.“Some people might think that with one rejection or setback, or with someone they look up to not believing in them, that they don’t have a chance. But I want them to know they can literally do anything if they set their mind to it,” she says. “The only person who has to believe in you is you.”Raised in a single-parent home, Rajput considers her mother a “huge inspiration” for the way she approaches life.“My mother left her family behind in Pakistan and gave up her whole life to come to a brand new country to give me the chance to do my absolute best,” she says. “Words can’t express how much she has done for me. I just want to make her proud.”Rajput hopes her story can motivate others. She challenges students who may be going through tough times to consider changing their perspective. Sometimes, she says, the time that seems so hard is actually an opportunity that you just haven’t recognized yet.“The word ‘impossible’ does not exist in my world,” she says. “I don’t think there are any limits if you try hard enough.” read more

Football Ohio State stays at No 4 in latest AP Poll

The Buckeyes line up to sing “Carmen Ohio” after the game against TCU on Sept. 15. Ohio State won 40-28. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorOhio State stayed as the No. 4 team in the latest AP Poll after defeating TCU 40-28 on Saturday. The Buckeyes failed to earn a first place vote. Ohio State began the season as the No. 5 team in the nation according to the preseason AP Poll, but had failed to earn a first place vote after defeating both Oregon State and Rutgers in the first two weeks of the season. Ohio State did earn a first place vote in the USA Coaches Poll released Sunday, which had the Buckeyes as the No. 4 team in the nation as well. The Buckeyes defeated the Horned Frogs on Saturday, which fell to No. 17 after the loss. Ohio State is one of five teams from the Big Ten represented in the latest AP Poll along with Penn State (No. 10 along with Washington), Wisconsin (No. 18), Michigan (No. 19) and Michigan State (No. 24). The AP Poll: Week 41. Alabama (58)2. Georgia3. Clemson (3)4. Ohio State5. Oklahoma6. LSU7. Stanford8. Notre Dame9. Auburn10. Washington10. Penn State12. West Virginia13. Virginia Tech14. Mississippi State15. Oklahoma State16. UCF17. TCU18. Wisconsin19. Michigan20. Oregon21. Miami22. Texas A&M23. Boston College24. Michigan State25. BYU read more