Get some local help on your next production with this free film commission list.Film commissions can be an incredibly valuable resource for filmmakers trying to find important information about their next shooting location. If you’re not already familiar, a film commission is a quasi-governmental organization that serves as a liaison between filmmakers and the community. Film commissions can help filmmakers in a number of different ways, including:Finding crewFinding locationsHousingEquipment discountsPermits and releasesIn short, film commissions can save you a ton of time in the pre-production process. So if you’re looking to shoot in a new location, you should definitely call the local film commission in the early stages of pre-production.Film commissions come in a variety of sizes depending on your location. For example, in Texas there is a State Film Commission and a Dallas Film Commission. Depending on the size and scale of your production, you will need to contact the appropriate office. To help you along your filmmaking journey, we’ve compiled the contact information for the film commissions of all 50 states and Washington D.C.Film commissions aren’t just limited to helping out those interested in shooting a feature film. A film commission is also a fantastic resource for VFX work, short films, commercial shoots, and documentary production. A lot of times a film commission will have a public job board with filmmaking jobs in their area of coverage.A film commission can also be a good resource to use after production, as most film commissions have an active role in hosting film festivals and conferences. If your film paints their state in a good light, they might even give you a grant to shoot!Using the Free Film Commission ListThis form is meant to be saved and used for future reference. On the form, you will find the phone numbers, mailing addresses, and websites of the film commissions from all 50 states. The information is accurate as of spring of 2015.DOWNLOAD FREE FILM COMMISSION LISTWant to learn more about working with film commissions? Check out a few of the following resources:Film Commission Locations – AFCIHow to Work with a Commission – AFCIFilm Commissions – Directors Guild of AmericaHave any experience working with Film Commissions? Tell us everything you know in the comments below.
The Gauhati High Court has asked the Central Bureau of Investigation to probe an alleged scam in the construction of the Nagaland High Court building in Kohima since 2007 and submit a report within three months. The basic structure of the site is yet to be completed, but the Nagaland government allegedly withdrew ₹44.24 crore against electrification and water supply for the project site besides another ₹22.42 crore for construction of bungalows for the judges, area for which has not been earmarked.“Beyond belief” The Nagaland government also paid ₹1.3 crore as consultancy fee for the construction, which the Gauhati HC termed as “beyond belief” while hearing a set of petitions by the Nagaland Tribes Council and some Nagaland-based social and RTI activists.Hearing the petition on Wednesday, the Gauhati HC asked the CBI to conduct a preliminary investigation into charges of misappropriation of public money in the construction of the Nagaland HC complex. According to the petitioners, only 35% of the work has been completed in 11 years since construction began with an estimated budget of ₹43 crore. Work on the HC complexes in Manipur, Meghalaya and Tripura had started around the same time.Between March 2009 and March 2017, Nagaland’s Justice and Law Department made 18 withdrawals from the State exchequer while the project cost was increased to ₹52.63 crore. The department also took a loan of ₹12.46 crore from the Housing and Urban Development Corporation Limited (HUDCO).
WiproBSE -2.33 %, India’s third largest software exporter, said it has started seeing results of localisation in the US. The Bengaluru headquartered company, which claims more than half of its staff in different locations in the US is local, has bagged more contracts, being close to the firms there.Companies such as Wipro, InfosysBSE 0.62 % and Tata Consultancy Services (TCSBSE 5.36 %) have traditionally brought work back to India (popularly called offshoring) and sent software engineers on H-1B visa to offer technology services at cheaper cost to clients for decades. Read it at Economic Times Related Items
Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next The 30-year-old Caluag, who ruled the competition in 2013, wasn’t able to defend his crown in the 2015 SEA Games after host Singapore opted not to hold a BMX event.Caluag won the gold in the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games opening FILE PHOTO – Daniel Patrick Caluag finally strikes gold for the Philippines on Wednesday by winning the men’s BMX race at the Ganghwa Asiad BMX Track during the 17th Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea. NIÑO JESUS ORBETA/INQUIRERFormer Olympian Daniel Caluag settled for third place in the men’s BMX competition in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games Saturday in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.Caluag, who represented the Philippines in the 2012 London Olympics, fell behind Thailand’s Nonthakon Inkhokshong, who won silver and Indonesia’s gold medalist Gusti Bagus Saputra.ADVERTISEMENT Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim NCAA Season 93’s Best 7: Week 7 Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:36Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ LATEST STORIES View comments Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul MOST READ Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Biggest Pogo service provider padlocked for tax evasion Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters
France and Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho’s provisional suspension for failing a drugs test has been lifted by European football governing body UEFA, French sports daily L’Equipe reported on Saturday.Sakho was banned for 30 days after testing positive for an illegal substance following Liverpool’s Europa League tie against Manchester United on March 17.L’Equipe said that Sakho’s lawyers had argued that a fat-burner Sakho ingested was not on the list of banned substances, meaning that he was not guilty of doping.The newspaper said Sakho was free to resume his activities as a professional football player and that he would be officially cleared of any wrongdoing in “the coming days”.Sakho was omitted from the France squad for the Euro 2016 finals but coach Didier Deschamps has until May 31 to register his 23-man squad with UEFA.
Mumbai, Sep 30 (PTI) The Maratha Kranti Morcha, being held across various cities in Maharashtra, will be organised in Mumbai after Diwali.A meeting of the volunteers of the organising committee was today held at Shivaji Mandir here, a release issued by the Committee said.It also said that there was a demand to announce the date of march in Mumbai, it said.The organisers claimed that since the march in the mega-polis would be the “worlds largest”, adequate planning, time and coordination was required.The march would be held after Diwali and before the Winter Session of the Maharashtra Legislature in Nagpur, it added.The organisers also appealed every household should lit one lamp this Diwali in memory of the victim who was raped and murdered in Kopardi in Ahmednagar district, said the release.The members of the Maratha community would sport a black ribbon along with their festive clothes during Diwali as a protest since their demands are not met so far.At todays meeting around 1,500 volunteers from.all districts except Bhandara and Gondia were present.The communitys demands include stern action against the culprits of Kopardi rape and murder case, reservations for the community and scrapping of SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.The silent marches began after the alleged rape and murder of a Maratha girl by Dalits at Kopardi in July. PTI MR NRB SMJ
Mahendra Singh Dhoni performed yet another rescue act to help India’s sinking ship during the first ODI against Sri Lanka at Dharamsala.India, who were 29/7 and staring at their lowest-ever total in ODI cricket, ended up getting 112 from 38.2 overs in the end with the help of Dhoni’s 87-ball knock of 65.However, that wasn’t enough as the visitors strolled home with seven wickets in hand and more than 29 overs to spare.But, what was proved today and I am tempted to say yet again…is Dhoni’s importance and calming influence in the team.MS Dhoni made 58.03% of team runs today (65 out of 112) – highest contribution ever by an Indian batsman in an ODI where all 11 players batted. Previous best: 56% by Virender Sehwag (112 out of 200/9) vs NZ at Auckland in 2003.#INDvSL #SLvIND- Rajneesh Gupta (@rgcricket) December 10, 2017 Talking to India Today, former India captain Sourav Ganguly also stressed on this fact and said that this is the reason behind Virat Kohli persisting with MSD in the 50-over format.”It was a terrific innings from MS Dhoni. He hit when he needed and rotated the strike when needed and that is why Virat Kohli persists with MS Dhoni in 50-over cricket,” Ganguly said.WATCH FULL VIDEOThe former captain walked in when India were tottering at 16/4 from 12.5 overs after being sent in to bat first by the Sri Lankan captain Thisara Perera. But three balls later, India lost debutant Shreyas Iyer and were half down for 16. The fall continued until Kuldeep Yadav walked in and provided some support to Dhoni.advertisementHowever, after putting on 31 runs together, Kuldeep fell to Akila Dananjaya for a hard fought 25-ball 19. Once Kuldeep fell, the onus was on the wicket-keeper batsman to take India’s score to something respectable and he started attacking the bowling. He brought up his 67th ODI fifty in the 36th over with a boundary of the bowling off Nuwan Pradeep. He took 78 balls to reach his fifty.But he failed to carry on for much longer and fell for 65 to Perera. His 87-ball innings was studded with 10 fours and two sixes.One man standing tall & gets to yet another valuable half century. @msdhoni in full flow at the moment #INDvSL pic.twitter.com/0SVWHkB4EU- BCCI (@BCCI) December 10, 2017Dhoni’s innings however, couldn’t stop India from going 1-0 down in the three-match series.Talking about the match, Ganguly discarded it to be anything too serious to worry about and said its’ a one-off.”I feel it’s a one-off. India went in with young players in Shreyas Iyer and Manish Pandey. This a lesson for India to learn from here,” he said.But Ganguly added that India have to go in with Ajinkya Rahane and KL Rahul in ODI cricket as they are important players. He said that the likes of Iyer and Pandey will come good down the years but currently the Mumbaikar and the Bengalurian are his choices for the middle-order.”The likes of Rahane, Rahul must play consistently in ODI cricket. Yes! Iyer will be a good player down the line. Even Pandey but at the moment the have been found wanting,” said the former captain.”They (Iyer, Dinesh Karthik and Pandy) were found different in application on this surface. Iyer and Pandey were hanging back. Dinesh Karthik found one jabbing back. I feel India need to find a solution and persist…Rahane and Rahul are my choices for the middle-order,” he added.The 45-year-old also backed Rahane to regain his form and said that he was actually surprised when he saw Rahane was left out of the team for the first ODI.”I hope Rahane is back because he is quality. In the last few series he has been among runs consistently. I was surprised that he was left out. You cannot compare Test form with one-day form. He needs to be there in them especially when Virat Kohli is not there,” Ganguly said.The second ODI is in Mohali on December 13.
The four members of Russia’s anti-Kremlin ‘Pussy Riot’ punk band, who invaded the pitch during the final of the 2018 FIFA World Cup between France and Croatia, have been freed from policy custody after spending 16 days in detention, their lawyer said on Wednesday.The pitch invaders spent 15 days in policy custody for wearing the police uniforms and running on the pitch during the World Cup final on July 15 — something they did to promote free speech in the country.Moscow court has sentenced a 15-day jail term to all the four of the pitch invaders. The judge also banned the four from attending sports events for three years.The four were Veronika Nikulshina, Olga Pakhtusova, Olga Kurachyova and Pyotr Verzilov, the only male.Their lawyer Nikolai Vasilyev said on Wednesday that they were due to be released on Monday but were immediately detained after being freed and then they were held for a further day before being let up late on Tuesday.Also read – World Cup 2018 final pitch invaders get 15-day jail sentenceIt was unclear whether they will face further charges of disobeying the police and of holding a public event without prior permission, which the police had unsuccessfully tried to pin on them, Vasilyev said.Those offences carry maximum jail terms of 10 and 15 days.The group’s brief pitch invasion at Moscow’s main stadium in front of President Vladimir Putin and other high-ranking officials marked a rare security breach in the Russia-hosted World Cup. Four members Russia’s ‘Pussy Riot’ punk band invaded the pitch during FIFA World Cup final. (Reuters Photo)One of the invaders, Kurachyova said their stunt, which held up the game only briefly, was meant to promote freedom of speech and condemn policies of FIFA, soccer’s global governing body.advertisement”It is a pity that we disrupted the sportsmen,” Kurachyova told reporters on Monday.WATCH: Russian punk band invades pitch”FIFA is involved in unfair games unfortunately. FIFA is a friend of heads of states who carry out repression, who violate human rights.”Another invader Verzilov said the performance was also meant to show how “the state, in the form of the police, intrudes into people’s lives”.Three of Pussy Riot’s original members were jailed in 2012 for staging a protest against Putin in a church and the group has since become a symbol of anti-Kremlin direct action.Security personnel reacted slowly initially as the quartet, all identically dressed in white shirts, black trousers and black hats, ran on to the field from behind the French goal, trying to high-five players.Croatia defender Dejan Lovren shoved one person to the ground before security personnel carried them off.On the other hand, Kylian Mbappe shared a high-five with one of the intruders as she ran towards him for a high-five. (With Reuters inputs)
Mitchell Starc has been called upon to replace Billy Stanlake in the Australian squad for the third and final T20I against India in Sydney after the latter was ruled out of the match.Stanlake was replaced by Nathan Coulter-Nile in the playing XI for the second T20I in Melbourne with the tall pacer straining his ankle during a warm-up ahead of the start of the match at the MCG.Aaron Finch ruled Stanlake out of the final match with him injuring his ankle on the boundary line while having a catching practice as part of the warm-up for the Melbourne T20I, which was eventually washed out.Australia have taken an unassailable 1-0 lead in the three-T20I series after they won the first match in Brisbane by four runs and the second was washed out.Starc, who was origially preparing for the Test series against India, will now playing his first T20I for the country since September 2016. Starc last played a T20I for Australia against Sri Lanka and Colombo and at home, his last T20I was at the SCG in February 2014 against England.”[Starc has] got so much experience in the limited-overs games as well and we’ve seen how dominant he can be when he gets it right with the ball,” Finch said.”We’ll have a look at the wicket this afternoon and discuss the side but coming straight off a Shield game with an eye on the first Test, his preparations will be really good.”advertisementEven though Stanlake will miss the final T20I against India, he has a moderate grade ankle sprain and should return to the Big Bash League with the Adelaide Strikers.Also read – Australia fined for slow over rate in Brisbane T20I against IndiaAfter his 1/27 off three overs in Brisbane against India, Finch said he was beginning to find good rhythm and would have featured in Melbourne if not for the injury.”He started to find some really good rhythm in Brisbane and he’s been around the mark for quite a while,” Finch said.”He obviously had a tough tour of England and to come back and have that time to get his body right and start to feel good again, it’s unfortunate he tripped on the rope and went straight over [on the ankle].”Finch only found out about Stanlake’s injury when he was “halfway out for the toss”. Initially, it was thought that the injury was not serious but scans on Saturday showed it was enough to rule him out of the third T20I.The final T20I of the series will be played in Sydney on Sunday.Also watch –
Transfers Ronaldo-Liverpool, Maradona-Sheffield United & Zidane-Blackburn – the deals that never were Mark Doyle Last updated 1 year ago 00:52 2/10/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Getty Images/Goal Transfers Neymar Parma Borussia Dortmund Haarlem PSV Feyenoord Chelsea Tottenham Hotspur Blackburn Rovers Cristiano Ronaldo Lionel Messi Zinédine Zidane Ronaldinho Gaúcho Robert Lewandowski Zlatan Ibrahimović West Ham United Dynamo Kyiv Boca Juniors Sheffield United St. Mirren PSG Santos Banfield Milan Barcelona Real Madrid Atlético Madrid Liverpool Manchester United Sporting CP Serie A Serie A Bundesliga Bordeaux Juventus Internazionale Independiente Grêmio Ligue 1 Primera División Premier League Opinion After Lokomotiv Moscow revealed they could have signed Neymar in 2008 for €10 million, Goal looks at other failed bids to sign budding superstars
Indo-Asian News Service ManchesterJune 28, 2019UPDATED: June 28, 2019 10:35 IST Jason Holder lamented missed chances during the game against India (AP)HIGHLIGHTSIndia won against West Indies by 125 runsJason Holder believes the bowlers had done a good job for West IndiesWest Indies will face Sri Lanka next on July 1West Indies skipper Jason Holder was left utterly disappointed after a crushing 125-run defeat to India in their World Cup encounter in Manchester.On Thursday, West Indies bowlers came out with a reasonably good performance as they restricted the famed Indian batting line-up for 268/7 after Virat Kohli opted to bat at the Old Trafford.However, none of the Windies batters could stand against the formidable Indian bowling unit and were bundled out for mere 143. With the defeat, West Indies have been officially knocked out of the tournament with two matches remaining for them.”I thought the bowlers did a fantastic job on this surface. Just let ourselves down with the bat,” Holder said in a post-match interview.He also said that it was a great opportunity that they lost when wicketkeeper Shai Hope failed to stump MS Dhoni, who went on to score unbeaten 56 off 61 deliveries.When Dhoni was batting at eight, he charged down the track against Fabien Allen to go for the maximum but failed to connect. Hope couldn’t collect the ball and failed to stump out the 37-year-old despite him being yards down the track. He even missed a run-out opportunity as Dhoni stole a quick single in the process.”In hindsight, Dhoni’s (stumping) miss a crucial moment we didn’t seize. Let ourselves down significantly in this tournament. Missed a few chances in the field which cost us,” said Holder.Chasing 269 on a tricky pitch, Windies never found any momentum. Mohammed Shami removed Chris Gayle and Shai Hope inside the first seven overs and they never recovered from that early jolt and kept on losing wickets and eventually bundled out within 35 overs.advertisementHolder went on to say that they need to improve in all the three departments of the game, especially considering that ODIs is the weakest format for the Windies.”Batting was too inconsistent. I can’t fault the bowlers. We need to improve. This is probably our weakest format. Kemar Roach was outstanding today. Youngsters have chipped in here and there. Bowlers had a reasonable campaign. I can’t fault their efforts. Fielding, definitely has to improve. So does the batting,” said Holder.With just one win from seven games, West Indies are currently placed at the eighth spot. They will next play Sri Lanka on July 1 which will be followed by their last game in this World Cup against Afghanistan on July 4.Also Read | World Cup 2019: MS Dhoni or Sarfaraz Ahmed? ICC asks whose catch was betterAlso Read | West Indies crash to lowest World Cup 2019 powerplay scoreAlso SeeFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAjay Tiwari Tags :Follow Jason HolderFollow ICC World Cup 2019Follow West Indies vs India World Cup 2019: MS Dhoni’s stumping miss was a crucial moment we didn’t seize, says Jason HolderAfter West Indies faced yet another defeat against the world’s number one ODI team India, the captain, Jason Holder was quite disappointed about the team’s form of batting which had become the deciding factor in the game.advertisement Next
Jammu: At least 35 people died and over a dozen were injured when an overcrowded bus skidded off a hilly road and fell into a deep gorge in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kishtwar district on Monday morning, officials said. The minibus, which was on its way from Keshwan to Kishtwar, skidded off the Keshwan-Thakrai road and rolled down into the deep gorge around 7.30 am, officials said. Kishtwar Deputy Commissioner A S Rana told PTI that the 28-seater bus was carrying 52 passengers when the accident occurred, adding that a probe would be ordered. Also Read – Balakot strikes show major shift in govt’s handling of terror attacks: IAF chief Thirty-five people died and 17 others were injured, district Senior Superintendent of Police Shakti Pathak told PTI. The police, security agencies and the locals launched a rescue operation and shifted the injured to the hospital. Choppers were flown in and three passengers were airlifted from the site to the Jammu Government Medical College Hospital here, officials said. Governor Satya Pal Malik expressed grief over the incident and announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each to the next of the kin of the deceased. He directed the administration to provide the best medical treatment to the injured and wished them speedy recovery. Also Read – Pak activated 20 terror camps, 20 launch pads along LoC Malik said the reasons for such incidents would be probed thoroughly and strong decisions would be taken in the next state administrative council (SAC) meeting to ensure strict action. A few months ago, the governor had directed the Transport Department officers to take away unfit vehicles and untrained drivers off the road, according to a Raj Bhawan spokesperson. Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the loss of lives. “The accident in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kishtwar is heart-wrenching. We mourn all those who lost their lives and express condolences to the bereaved families. May the injured recover at the earliest,” Modi tweeted. Union Home Minister Amit Shah also expressed sorrow over the deaths. “Extremely saddened to learn about the loss of lives due to a road accident in Kishtwar, Jammu & Kashmir. My deepest condolences to the families of those who lost their loved ones. I pray of the speedy recovery of those injured,” he tweeted.
John Mayer is using the U.S. portion of his new tour to heighten awareness of and raise funds for military veterans suffering from the effects of post traumatic stress.One dollar from each tour ticket sold will fund PTS-related programs created by Mayer and the Northern California Institute for Research and Education.Mayer kicked off his first tour in three years in Milwaukee on July 6. Rolling Stone reviewed the tour opener, saying that “Saturday’s show may be remembered for its heavy dose of new material and Mayer’s vocal rejuvenation. But in the moment it felt most special because [Mayer] looked thrilled to be back.” The 40-stop U.S tour continues through early October, with support act Phillip Phillips (“Home,” “Gone, Gone, Gone”) for most U.S. shows. Mayer was also just announced on the lineup for the Global Poverty Project benefit concert in Central Park on September 28.Paradise Valley, the latest album from Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter and musician John Mayer, will be released on August 20, and is available now to pre-order on iTunes. Mayer produced Paradise Valley with longtime collaborator Don Was, who also co-produced Mayer’s #1 charting Gold-certified 2012 release Born and Raised, and has worked on albums for acts such as the Rolling Stones, B.B. King and Bonnie Raitt.“Paper Doll,” the first single from Paradise Valley, is available now on iTunes, and the lyric video already has more than 3 million views. People gave the “bittersweet beauty” 3 1/2 stars and Billboard called it “a perfectly crafted pop song,” remarking that “Mayer’s voice has triumphantly returned.”Fans who pre-order the album on iTunes will instantly receive a download of the track “Wildfire.” A lyric video for “Wildfire,” featuring footage of Mayer performing live, was posted today and can be viewed here.
Rabat – French airport solutions provider IER deployed 30 self-service check-in kiosks and 12 self-service bag drop units in the newly renovated Terminal 1 of Casablanca’s Mohammed V Airport, IER said in a statement January 29.On January 22, King Mohammed VI inaugurated the new Terminal 1, which covers an area of 76,000 square meters and increases the airport’s overall capacity to 14 million passengers a year.“This project is responding to the ongoing growth of passenger traffic and participates actively in the socio-economic boost of the region,” IER’s statement reads. Morocco’s National Airports Office (ONDA) operates the new terminal. IER worked with Morocco’s national carrier, Royal Air Maroc (RAM) , to introduce the new technology to Mohammed V Airport.Read Also: King Mohammed VI Launches New Terminal at Casablanca Mohammed V AirportJean-Luc Rauline, a vice-president at IER, said, “We are convinced that the implementation of IER self-service solutions will increase RAM passenger satisfaction and experience.”RAM passengers departing from Terminal 1 will enjoy “a smooth check-in process.”The self-service kiosks include options for passengers to give language preference, select a seat, and print their luggage tag.The bag drop units will allow passengers to “scan their tag before their baggage is injected in the baggage system,” according to IER’s statement.Established in 1962, IER provides airport operators and airlines with self-service solutions such as hardware and software, from check-in to boarding.
The counterfeit stamp had been obtained to conceal the duration of a visit made to the UK by the applicant in 2011. The visa application has been refused and the arrested applicant will have a 10 year ban on travel to the UK. In addition, the applicant now faces prosecution for these actions. UK Border Agency Entry Clearance Manager, Claire Murray, said: A Sri Lankan visa applicant has been arrested for using deception and counterfeit documents to apply for a UK visa, the British High Commission in Colombo said today.The visa applicant was referred by the UK Border Agency to CID police in Colombo. The person concerned had submitted a passport containing a counterfeit Sri Lankan immigration arrival stamp. “UK Border Agency staff at the British High Commission are trained to detect false immigration stamps and visas. Falsifying and altering official stamps is a serious offence and the UK Border Agency is working with the CID and the Department of Immigration and Emigration in Sri Lanka to prevent attempts to illegally breach the UK border and to identify the agents who supply these stamps. The UK Border Agency will not tolerate abuse of the UK’s Immigration Rules and where we see abuse, we will take action against those who abuse it.”The UK Border Agency uncovered this fraud because it conducts rigorous checks on passports and documents submitted as part of the visa application, the British High Commission in Colombo said.
Former Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) Chairman Shashi Welgama was arrested today and remanded over alleged financial fraud.Welgama was remanded till Thursday when the case will be heard again. Shashi Welgama is a close relative of former Transport Minister Kumara Welgama. (Colombo Gazette)
AUSTIN, Texas — Texas authorities say more than 20 local governments are facing a co-ordinated ransomware attack.The Texas Department of Information Resources said in a statement Saturday that it believes a single source is behind all 23 of the attacks. It didn’t name the affected agencies or provide details about the attacker’s demands.Cities around the country have been targeted by ransomware attacks in recent years, including Atlanta and Baltimore, where city officials refused a demand for $76,000 in bitcoin to restore access to its computer network.Several Florida cities in June paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to hackers who took over their computer operations.Texas officials haven’t said whether any of the affected agencies have paid a ransom. The department’s statement says the FBI and other federal agencies are involved.The Associated Press
A three-day meeting of the system’s Intergovernmental Coordination Group (ICG), its first, which ended in Perth, Australia, today, heard that 23 stations of a real-time sea-level observation network covering the whole Indian Ocean basin are expected to be established before 31 December. Six such stations are already operational.The network is one of three elements that experts have concluded are necessary for the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (IOTWS), which formally came into existence at the 23rd Assembly of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization/Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (UNESCO/IOC) in Paris in June when the ICG was established to govern it.The other two are an improved seismographic network and the deployment of deep-sea pressure sensors capable of detecting the tsunami signal as it travels over the deep ocean.The entire system is expected to be fully operational by next July. Based on quake and tidal sensors, speedy communications, alarm networks from radio to cell phones, and disaster preparedness training in vulnerable regions, it will give people time to flee to higher ground before the waves strike.In December, several hours passed between the quake that spawned the tsunami and the landfall of the waves that killed more than 200,000 people, wasting precious time in which scores of thousands could have fled out of their pathway. At present, such an early warning system exists only in the Pacific region.At present, 25 countries gave established communication centres to receive interim advisory information, based only on seismological information, from the operational centres serving the Pacific in Hawaii and Tokyo. Since only a small minority of strong earthquakes generate tsunamis, this interim system is prone to a high rate of false alarms.The ICG will hold its next meeting in Hyderabad, India, from 12 to 16 December.
“Whether because of damage to buildings or because of the overall insecurity, nearly two thirds of our students in Syria will not be able to return to their schools this fall,” UNRWA spokesperson Chris Gunness said in a press release. He added that in addition to disrupting their education, the closures make it even harder for children to maintain a sense of continuity in an already difficult situation. Of the UN agency’s 118 schools in Syria, only 49 will reopen for the 2013-2014 school year. UNRWA said it is working on alternatives, such as broadcasting classes on its television channel and developing long-distance learning materials. “The situation in Syria is a great challenge, but it has only increased the importance of ensuring that Palestine refugees have access to high-quality and continued education,” said Caroline Pontefract, UNRWA Director of Education.Since fighting began in March 2011 between the Syrian Government and opposition groups seeking to oust President Bashar Al-Assad as many as 100,000 people have been killed, almost 2 million have fled to neighbouring countries and a further 4 million have been internally displaced. In addition, at least 6.8 million Syrian require urgent humanitarian assistance, half of whom are children.Following a visit to the region in July, Leila Zerrougui, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, said without a political solution to the conflict in Syria, the country faces “a generation of angry, illiterate adults.”She said schools in the region are trying to assist Syrian children, but challenges remain stemming from discrepancies in curriculum, capacity and language. In Lebanon, which hosts around 50,000 Palestine refugees, only about 35 per cent of students are enrolled in school, according to UNRWA figures.
“The seasonal flooding began a month ago and caught locals and authorities largely unprepared, as water in the river rose to an unprecedented level in mid-November,” said Jens Laerke, spokesperson for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Briefing the press in Geneva, he said that humanitarian workers on the ground in Niger have reported that people need food, water purification, sanitation supplies, and access to health care. Mr. Laerke said the Government of Niger is leading the emergency relief operation, with the support of UN agencies and other humanitarian partners, and had already distributed 94 tons of food. Authorities had also identified sites to which affected populations could relocate. “Meanwhile, the flooding continues and at least 20 more villages are at risk,” he warned, explaining that farmland is also under water, triggering concern for people’s long-term food security situation. In addition, floods have affected transport systems and paralyzed local trade, which is an important source of income for people living along the border with Nigeria. He noted that while authorities report an increase of food imports from Nigeria, prices rose dramatically; for example, the price of a 100 kilogramme bag of flour had gone up by 30 per cent.