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Spotted lanternflies are thriving in the Northeast. Scientists fear they could spread farther

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Some are dead. Some are twitching. Many are still very much alive.

The good news is the invasive fly does not sting or bite humans. But they do tremendous harm to plants and trees. According to the US Department of Agriculture, spotted lanternflies feed on the sap of food crops such as grapes, apples and peaches, and trees like maple, timber and walnut.

The insects, native to Southeast Asia, are spreading so fast in the United States experts say it has become challenging to control and manage them. And the experts are sending a clear message: If you see it, squash it.

As temperatures get warmer because of the climate crisis and the growing season gets longer, the lanternflies could be here to stay, and they are spreading to new areas.

“It’s a very distinctive and characteristic bug, and it is establishing in more places,” Julie Urban, research associate professor of entomology at Pennsylvania State University, told CNN. “It’s possible that if your plants are around longer, lanternflies in warmer areas could persist longer and maybe lay an additional clutch,” or egg mass.

Spotted lanternflies prefer warm climates, so as temperatures rise in the northern states, the bugs’ range could only expand. Moreover, with colder temperatures, “it typically takes not just the first hard freeze, but a couple of hard freezes to kill them, and so cold snaps certainly aren’t going to knock back the population,” Urban added.

With its unique, spotted brown and red wings, the invasive bugs are “excellent hitchhikers,” flying in short distances, setting up shop to lay egg masses and hopping from leaf to leaf, said Brian Eshenaur, invasive species expert at Cornell University working with the New York State Integrated Pest Management.

Eshenaur said he and other researchers believe the insect first arrived in the US in 2014, having stowed away on a shipment of landscape stone from South Korea, where the species is also invasive. The first known infestation broke out in Berks County, Pennsylvania, where the bugs fed in a wooded area filled with an invasive tree species called the Tree of Heaven.

Report spotted lanternflies: In New York | In other states

“It can lay eggs there and then in the spring, those eggs hatch and if there are suitable plants in the landscape, they can take up shop in their new location,” he said. “It appears that’s what they did.”

In the years since, spotted lanternflies have spread nearly everywhere in the Northeast, from Pennsylvania to Vermont, and now New York City. At first, Eshenaur told people to watch out for egg masses on firewood, but now he warns the bugs can lay eggs on almost anything.

“Now we’ve seen egg masses being laid on camp chairs, lawn furniture that’s left outside and even like a hat somebody left out during the egg laying season,” he said. “We actually just had our first confirmation of egg mass being laid in New York’s Hudson Valley, but we’re certain that it’s probably occurring throughout New York City.”

A spotted lanternfly on the pantleg of a New York City pedestrian.
A cluster of spotted lanternflies feast on a tree root.

And across the Northeast, particularly in Long Island and the Finger Lakes, experts say the spread of the species is threatening wine.

“The vineyard managers have been looking to control insects that might feed on the foliage or on the clusters of grapes themselves,” Eshenaur said. “One grower lost about 35 acres, and they stopped planting vines there for a while and were wondering if they could even have vineyards.”

Parts of the world are heading toward an insect apocalypse, study suggests

Spotted lanternflies feed on the sap in plants, which it gets at by puncturing trunks and branches. Punctures weaken the plants, but most of the damage comes from the honeydew falling onto the leaves and fruit. And if unchecked, the plants, particularly grapes, develop a black mold and eventually wither.

Part of why it has been hard to manage lanternflies in a place like New York City, according to Urban, is because they thrive in so-called disturbed areas. For example, the bugs are very fond of the invasive Tree of Heaven, which can grow through the cracks of sidewalks and rooftops common across the city. They also make camp on plants along roadsides or railroad lines.

“How climate change comes into this whole story is where you find lantern flies — and how it’s able to really get established,” Urban said. “Climate change is also a story about disturbance, and so it’s more that overall disturbance that adds additional noise and is what makes these insects problematic.”

A dead lanternfly in Manhattan in August. Entymologists told CNN they recommend squashing the bugs to help prevent their spread.
Spotted lanternflies have been spotted as far south as North Carolina, and many experts fear it could spread to the West, where much of the country’s food is grown. A study in 2019 showed the lanternfly’s potential habitat could stretch throughout the Midwest and into the Southeast, and, concerningly, there is a high potential for the bug to set up shop on the West Coast.

Lisa Neven, a research entomologist with the US Department of Agriculture and co-author of the study, told CNN if the spotted lanternfly spreads to the coast, it could have an enormous effect on the region’s agricultural industry and food production.

“People are very, very aware of this pest and are on the lookout, especially out here in the Pacific Northwest,” Neven said. “We’re very concerned about it, because of the crops that we grow.”

As researchers look for more long-term solutions amid the rapid rate at which the climate crisis is shifting temperatures, Urban and Eshenaur urge people to report and crush spotted lantern flies when they can, so they do not spread to vital ecosystems in the rest of the country.

“If you don’t stop it, you’ll spread it,” Urban said. “Longer term, research-based solutions are coming. We just need help in buying time.”



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Super Typhoon Noru Heads for Philippines After ‘Explosive’ Surge

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Forecasters warned of heavy rains and winds that could bring flooding and landslides to densely populated areas of the country.



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‘The Legend of Maula Jatt’: Check out Faris Shafi’s intense look for the film

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‘The Legend of Maula Jatt’ is directed by Bilal Lashari

Singer Faris Shafi  shares  his look from Pakistan’s much-awaited film The Legend of Maula Jatt, introduces his character Mooda.

Shafi, taking it to the Instagram, shared his intense look from the new Punjabi-language film. He wrote: “Presenting @farishafi as #Mooda- Yaaran da Yaar tay Sab da Pyaar! #TheLegendOfMaulaJatt is coming to a cinema near you on the 13th October, 2022, worldwide.”

The Legend of Maula Jatt is said to be the most-expensive film of the Pakistani industry directed by renowned filmmaker Bilal Lashari.

The film features actors: Hamza Ali abbasi, Fawad Khan, Mahira Khan, Humaima Malik, Gohar Rasheed.

This film is also bringing in some well-known singers including; Faris Shafi and Ali Azmat.

The Legend of Maula Jatt is a remake of the old classic Maula Jatt released in 1979.

The film is set to be released worldwide on October 13th, 2022. 



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Iran will act decisively after biggest protests in years, president says

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People light a fire during a protest over the death of Mahsa Amini, a woman who died after being arrested by the Islamic republic’s “morality police”, in Tehran, Iran September 21, 2022. Photo: Reuters
  • Iran must “deal decisively with those who oppose the country’s security and tranquillity”, says President Ebrahim Raisi.
  • The president “stressed the necessity to distinguish between protest and disturbing public order and security, and called the events … a riot”. 
  • At least 41 people have been killed during the protests. 

DUBAI: Iran must deal decisively with protests which have swept the country after the death in custody of a woman detained by the Islamic Republic’s morality police, President Ebrahim Raisi said on Saturday.

At least 41 people have been killed in the week-long unrest, state television said on Saturday. It said that toll was based on its own count and official figures were yet to be released. Protests have erupted in most of the country’s 31 provinces.

State media quoted Raisi on Saturday as saying Iran must “deal decisively with those who oppose the country’s security and tranquillity.”

Raisi was speaking by telephone to the family of a member of the Basij volunteer force killed while taking part in the crackdown on unrest in the northeastern city of Mashhad.

The president “stressed the necessity to distinguish between protest and disturbing public order and security, and called the events … a riot,” state media reported.

The protests broke out in northwestern Iran a week ago at the funeral of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman who died after falling into a coma following her detention in Tehran by morality police enforcing hijab rules on women’s dress.

Her death has reignited anger over issues including restrictions on personal freedoms in Iran, the strict dress codes for women, and an economy reeling from sanctions.

Women have played a prominent role in the protests, waving and burning their veils. Some have publicly cut their hair as furious crowds called for the fall of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The protests are the largest to sweep the country since demonstrations over fuel prices in 2019, when Reuters reported 1,500 people were killed in a crackdown on protesters – the bloodiest confrontation in the Islamic Republic’s history.

On Friday, state-organised rallies took place in several Iranian cities to counter the anti-government protests, and the army promised to confront “the enemies” behind the unrest.

In neighbouring Iraq, dozens of Iraqi and Iranian Kurds rallied outside the United Nations compound in the northern city of Erbil on Saturday, carrying placards with Amini’s photograph and chanting “death to the dictator,” referring to Khamenei.

State television in Iran, which has accused armed exiled Iranian Kurdish dissidents of involvement in the unrest, said Iranian Revolutionary Guards had fired artillery on bases of Kurdish opposition groups in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq.

‘DEADLY RESPONSE’

At least three times this week, mobile Internet has been disrupted in Iran, the NetBlocks watchdog has reported. Activists say the move is intended to prevent video footage of the violence reaching the world.

On Saturday NetBlocks said Microsoft’s Skype video calling app was now restricted, the latest such measure after platforms including Instagram, WhatsApp and LinkedIn were targeted.

In an effort to help sustain internet connection, the United States is making exceptions to its sanctions regime on Iran – a move which Tehran said on Saturday was in line with Washington’s hostile stance.

Rights group Amnesty International said protesters face a “spiralling deadly response from security forces” and called for an independent United Nations investigation.

On the night of Sept. 21, shootings by security forces left at least 19 people dead, including three children, it said.

“The rising death toll is an alarming indication of just how ruthless the authorities’ assault on human life has been under the darkness of the internet shutdown,” Amnesty said.

State television showed footage purporting to show calm had returned to many parts of the capital Tehran late on Friday.

“But in some western and northern areas of Tehran and certain provinces rioters destroyed public property,” it said, carrying footage of protesters setting fire to garbage bins and a car, marching, and throwing rocks.

The activist Twitter account 1500tasvir carried videos of protests in Tehran’s western district of Sattarkhan showing protesters gathered at a square chanting “don’t be afraid we all in this together” late on Saturday with a motorcycle apparently belonging to riot police burning in the background.

A video posted on social media showed a demonstration in the northern city of Babol with youths trying to take off portraits of Khamenei and Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic, at the gate of a university while bystanders cheered them on and shouted “death to the dictator.”

Videos posted on social media showed continued protests in Sanandaj, capital of Kurdistan province, late on Saturday, despite a heavy police presence. Reuters could not verify the videos. 



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Source: Cards’ Conner (ankle) on track to play

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Arizona Cardinals running back James Conner will test his injured ankle before Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Rams, but he is on track to play, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Conner, who is listed as questionable, sat out Wednesday’s practice before returning for limited work on Thursday and Friday.

Conner was slowed by the injury after his first carry of the second half in last week’s 29-23 overtime victory over the Las Vegas Raiders. Eno Benjamin and Darrel Williams split the workload in Conner’s place for the remainder of the game, with Williams rushing for a key 1-yard touchdown during the Cardinals’ fourth-quarter comeback.

Conner, 27, signed a three-year, $21 million contract to stay in Arizona this offseason. He has 17 carries for 51 yards and a touchdown this season.



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Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell case: A timeline of events

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Today, people know Lori Vallow Daybell as a “doomsday mom.” She’s been called a “monster” and a ‘cult mom.” She’s accused of murdering her children – Tylee Ryan and JJ Vallow, who vanished in September 2019. 


2006: Happily Married

HAPPILY MARRIED: Lori and Charles Vallow wed in 2006.

Kay Woodcock


Before all the notoriety, Lori married businessman Charles Vallow. Friends say it appeared to be a happy marriage. Together, the couple was raising Tylee Ryan, Lori’s daughter from a previous marriage.


2014: JJ Joins the Family 

Lori and JJ Vallow
Lori and JJ Vallow

Tylee Ryan/Instagram


Lori and  Charles Vallow  adopted JJ Vallow. He was the grandson of Charles’ sister. JJ had autism and April Raymond, who was Lori’s friend, says Lori was “patient,” an ideal mother for him.

Vaisia Itaaehau met the Vallow family when they lived in Arizona. She says Tylee embraced her role as a big sister, that Tylee even jokingly referred to JJ as her own child.


2017: Family dynamics change

Tylee Ryan, JJ Vallow and Lori Vallow.
Tylee Ryan, JJ Vallow and Lori Vallow.

Tylee Ryan/Instagram


Sometime around 2017, relatives say Lori’s relationship with her children changed. Her friends say she had been reading the books of  doomsday author Chad Daybell. Daybell, who wrote several fiction books about preparing for the end of the world, lived outside Rexburg, Idaho.


2018: Lori Vallow meets Chad Daybell

daybell-vallow.jpg
Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell [driver’s licence photos]

Rexburg Police Department


Sometime in 2018, Lori Vallow met Chad Daybell. Lori’s friends say there was a connection between the two and they began doing religious podcasts together.  Daybell was also married. Together with his wife Tammy Daybell, he was raising five children.

Lori’s friend Melanie Gibb would later say she heard Chad and Lori talking about “zombies”— people whose souls were replaced by “dark spirits.”   Lori’s former friend, April Raymond, told “48 Hours” that Lori started referring to her husband, Charles Vallow, as a “demon.”


2019: Seeking help

Charles Vallow
On January 31, 2019, Charles Vallow is seen on police bodycam video telling officers his wife had become “unhinged.”

Gilbert Police Department


In 2019, Charles Vallow became very worried about Lori, and he went to the police with his concerns. He told them Lori believed she was a “god” preparing for the end of days. He also said Lori had threatened to murder him.


February 2019: Charles Vallow’s fears

daybell-kids.jpg
Tylee Ryan and JJ Vallow

Kay Woodcock


Charles Vallow filed for a divorce from Lori. In court documents, Charles expressed that he feared for his and the children’s safety.


July 2019: A death investigation

daybell-cox-bodycam.jpg
Alex Cox talks with police after shooting Charles Vallow.

KPHO/Chandler Police Department


Charles Vallow went to the house where Lori Vallow was living with the children in Chandler, Arizona. Charles was supposed to drop their son JJ off at school. But when he went inside the home, Charles was shot dead by Lori’s brother, Alex Cox.

Cox told police that Lori and Charles got into a fight. Alex claimed he was protecting his sister and shot Charles in self-defense. Lori and Tylee — who both say they heard the shooting — told similar stories of self-defense. 


September 2019

Lori Vallow moved closer to Chad Daybell. She relocated her kids to Rexburg, Idaho. Lori’s brother, Alex Cox, moved into the same apartment complex. 


September 8, 2019: Tylee Ryan vanishes

daybell-kids-yellowstone.jpg
 JJ Vallow, Tylee Ryan, and their uncle, Alex Cox, at Yellowstone National Park on September 8, 2019.  Police say this is the last known photo of Tylee before she disappeared.

FBI


Lori, Tylee, JJ, and Alex Cox went to Yellowstone National Park. Police say this is where the last known photo of Tylee was taken before she vanished.

Melanie Gibb has said that Lori had referred to Tylee as a “zombie.” 


September 9, 2019:

The morning after Tylee Ryan disappeared, investigators say that Alex Cox’s cellphone GPS placed him in Chad Daybell’s backyard, on the property for about 2 hours. About 14 minutes after Cox’s GPS showed him leaving the property, Chad Daybell texted his wife, Tammy Daybell. The text read: “… I spotted a big racoon [sic] along the fence. I hurried and got my gun, and he was still walking along. I got close enough that one shot did the trick. He is now in our pet cemetery…”


September 22, 2019: JJ Vallow disappears

Last known photo of JJ Vallow
JJ Disappears:  A photo of JJ wearing red pajamas taken on September 22, 2019, in what is believed to be last known photo of the 7-year-old.

Chandler Police Department


Police say JJ Vallow was last seen on September 22, 2019. 

Melanie Gibb says that she and her boyfriend, David Warwick, were staying with Lori in Rexburg that weekend. On the night of September 22, 2019, Warwick says he saw Alex Cox carry JJ into Lori’s apartment. But the next morning, according to Warwick, when he asked to see JJ, Lori reportedly told them that JJ was “being a zombie” and that Cox had to take him away.


September 23, 2019

The day after JJ was last seen, investigators say Alex Cox’s cellphone showed that Cox returned to Chad Daybell’s backyard. This time, Cox was there for only 17 minutes.


October 19, 2019: Another death

Chad and Tammy Daybell
Chad and Tammy Daybell

Emma Murray


With Lori Vallow’s children’s whereabouts unknown, tragedy struck Chad Daybell’s family. Daybell’s wife, Tammy Daybell, died. The couple’s son, Garth Daybell, said Tammy died in bed and that he and Chad called 911. 

The Daybell children told “48 Hours”  they declined an autopsy. They say the coroner told them Tammy’s death appeared to be natural causes. They believed that because they say their mom was in ill health prior to her death.


November 5, 2019: Chad and Lori wed

Roughly two weeks later, Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell got married on a beach in Hawaii. 

Later that month, JJ’s grandmother, Kay Woodcock, asked police to check on JJ’s welfare. Woodcock said she was concerned and hadn’t heard from JJ in months. 


November 26, 2019: Missing kids

JJ and Tylee missing poster

NCMEC


Rexburg police went to Lori’s house looking for JJ. Police say Lori lied to them, claiming that JJ was safe and staying in Arizona with her friend, Melanie Gibb. At first, Gibb wasn’t forthcoming about JJ’s whereabouts but later called police and told them JJ hadn’t been with her.

While Rexburg police attempted to locate JJ, investigators soon realized that his sister, Tylee Ryan was also missing, and launched a nationwide search for the children. 


December 2019

While investigators searched for the missing children, Lori and Chad Daybell traveled back to Hawaii. 

In December 2019, Fremont County Sheriff’s Investigators grew suspicious about Tammy Daybell’s death. They exhumed her body to conduct an autopsy. 

That same month, Lori’s brother, Alex Cox, died in Arizona. It was determined he died of natural causes.


January 25, 2020

Authorities served Lori Vallow Daybell an order requiring her to produce her children. 


February 20, 2020: An arrest

daybell-lori-mug-hawaii.jpg
Lori Vallow Daybell was arrested in Hawaii on February 20, 2020.Two weeks later, she was extradited to Idaho. 

Kauai Police Department


After failing to comply,  Lori was arrested in Hawaii. Two weeks later, she was extradited to Idaho. 


June 9, 2020: Searching Chad Daybell’s backyard

Chad Daybell's property
The FBI, Rexburg PD and Fremont County Sheriff’s Office descend upon Chad Daybell’s home and property in search of the missing children.

AP


Even after Lori’s arrest, the couple refused to say where the children were. On June 9, 2020, the FBI, Rexburg Police and Fremont County Sheriff’s Office descended upon Chad Daybell’s home and property. 

Authorities dug in areas of the backyard where Alex Cox’s cellphone had pinged in September 2019.  Tragically, they uncovered human remains buried in shallow graves. 

JJ Vallow had been buried under a tree and about 50 yards away; investigators found Tylee’s grave in the Daybell’s pet cemetery. Prosecutors believe she was buried in the same location Chad Daybell referenced when he texted Tammy Daybell nine months earlier, saying he was burying a raccoon.

Investigators dug up part of the pet cemetery and found no raccoon. But Daybell’s family told” 48 Hours” there was a second pet cemetery on the property that was not searched.

Chad Daybell was arrested.


June 2020

Authorities later confirmed that they identified the remains as JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan. A memorial was built along the Daybell’s fence to honor the victims.


May 2021

Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow Daybell were charged with first-degree murder for the deaths of JJ and Tylee.  Daybell was also charged with murdering his first wife, Tammy Daybell. 


June 2021: Chad in court

Chad Daybell pleaded not guilty to all the charges.  


June 2021: Lori’s case on hold

Lori Vallow Daybell in court
In June 2021, Lori Vallow Daybell was also charged with conspiring to murder Charles Vallow.  That same month, a judge ruled Lori incompetent to stand trial while she receives mental health treatment.

AP


Lori Vallow Daybell was also charged with conspiring to murder Charles Vallow. That same month, a judge ruled Lori incompetent to stand trial while she receives mental health treatment. She had not yet entered a plea; her case was on hold.


August 2021: Awaiting trial

Todd Daybell
Chad Daybell with his attorney John Prior,

Fremont County Courthouse


Prosecutors announced they will seek the death penalty against Chad Daybell. Daybell is jailed, awaiting trial.   


September 2021: Speaking out

daybell-interview-still2.jpg
Chad Daybell’s children, clockwise from top left, Mark Daybell, Leah Murphy, Seth Daybell, Garth Daybell and Emma Murray. 

CBS News


Chad and Tammy’s children — speaking publicly for the first time together — told “48 Hours” they believe their father is innocent. Daybell’s daughter, Emma Murray, says she believes Chad was framed by Alex Cox and Lori Vallow Daybell.


April 11, 2022: Lori Vallow Daybell fit to stand trial

Judge Steven Boyce ruled Lori Vallow Daybell is now mentally competent to stand trial in the Idaho murder case. He did not provide other details about her treatment or mental condition. She is scheduled to be formally arraigned in court next week and both Lori and Chad Daybell are set to stand trial together early next year.


April 19, 2022: Judge enters plea on Lori Vallow Daybell’s behalf

Lori Vallow Daybell refused to enter a plea to murder and other charges, prompting Judge Steven Boyce to enter a not guilty plea on her behalf. Lori Vallow Daybell and her husband, Chad Daybell, were both at the courthouse in the eastern Idaho town of St. Anthony for court proceedings; Lori Daybell for an arraignment that was delayed for months while she underwent treatment at a mental health facility, and Chad Daybell for a hearing over the trial venue.


May 4, 2022: Lori Vallow Daybell could face death penalty

Lori Vallow Daybell will qualify for capital punishment if she is convicted at her trial later this year because the slayings were exceptionally depraved and carried out for financial gain, according to court documents filed by prosecuting attorneys from Fremont and Madison counties on May 2.


August 16, 2022: Lori Vallow Daybell’s attorney’s seek change in charges

Attorneys for Lori Vallow Daybell asked a judge to send the case back to a grand jury because they say that the conspiracy charges are oddly constructed and could confuse a jury. Daybell and her husband Chad Daybell have pleaded not guilty to murder, conspiracy and grand theft charges in connection with the deaths of 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan.

September 23, 2022: Judge bans cameras from courtroom

Seventh District Judge Steven Boyce has banned cameras from the courtroom in the criminal case of Lori Vallow Daybell and Chad Daybell, saying he fears the images could prevent a fair trial. The Idaho judge said news organizations will no longer be able to shoot still photography or videos inside the courtroom 



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King Charles faces THIS major challenge after Queen’s death

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King Charles faces THIS major challenge after Queen’s death

Queen Elizabeth II´s death earlier this month prompted a flood of tributes — but not from everyone. In Britain´s black community, many asked: what had she ever done for us?

The question gave her eldest son and successor, Charles III, an early taste of what he will have to confront as king, with feelings still running high about the toxic legacy of Britain´s colonial past.

At her death, the queen was head of state of 14 countries outside Britain, including nations in the Caribbean exploited by the slave trade.

Charles immediately succeeded his mother as their distant head of state but the question of for how long is increasingly being discussed as republican movements gather pace.

Kehinde Andrews, professor of black studies at the University of Birmingham, wrote the day after the queen´s death on September 8 that he did not share the country´s loss.

“For the children of the British empire, those of us who were born here and those of us who were born in the 15 nations of the ´commonwealth´, the Queen is the number one symbol of white supremacy.

“She may have been seen as an institution but for us, she was the manifestation of the institutional racism that we have to encounter on a daily basis,” he wrote on the Politico website.

– Royals accused –

Many black Britons no longer want to stay silent about the racism that they see as rooted at the heart of many British institutions.

The subject came to fore in Black Lives Matter anti-racism protests, which saw calls for statues of historical figures linked to slavery to be torn down.

During the national mourning period which ended with the queen´s funeral on September 19, protests were held about the death of Chris, an unarmed black man who was shot dead by police in London.

The monarchy itself had previously been drawn into the debate when Charles´s youngest son, Prince Harry, and his mixed-race wife, Meghan, accused the royal family of racism.

That claim saw the queen promise to investigate but prompted an outright rejection from Harry´s brother William. “We are very much not a racist family,” he told reporters.

Harry and Meghan quit royal life in early 2020 and moved to California, winning many fans among younger people and in the black community for taking on the British establishment.

– ´Mass awakening´ –

Unresolved questions about race and colonialism are all the more significant as Charles stands to succeed his mother as head of the 56-nation Commonwealth group of nations.

Many members are former British colonies, while most of the body´s 2.6 billion people are not white and most are aged under 30.

David Olusoga, author of “Black and British: A Forgotten History”, said there had been a “mass awakening to the realities and legacies of imperialism and slavery” in the Commonwealth.

But the British historian wrote in The Guardian that Buckingham Palace had failed to recognise or understand the “shift of consciousness”.

He highlighted William and his wife Catherine´s Caribbean tour earlier this year, which was widely criticised as smacking of colonialism.

William also faced calls to apologise for slavery and for the monarchy to pay reparations.

“Historians might well look back at that tour as the first portent of the age in which we now find ourselves: the post-Elizabethan age,” Olusoga said.

Since then, William has praised the “immense contribution” of the “Windrush” generation of Caribbean migrants, who came to Britain after World War II to help the country rebuild.

Despite arriving legally, many found themselves later wrongly detained and even deported under the government´s hardline immigration policies.

– Race equality –

Ashok Viswanathan, deputy director of Operation Black Vote, said Charles´s record, via his Prince´s Trust charity, of working with disadvantaged young people and the black community “speaks for itself”.

But he said that to convince black Britons and especially the young, “he will have to foster that relationship in his new role”.

Charles is said to have been working behind the scenes to counter discrimination.

In early September, before he became king, he was invited to guest-edit The Voice, a newspaper for the African-Caribbean community.

But not all readers were happy, given the continued lack of apology for slavery, including from the royal family, the monthly´s editor, Lester Holloway, said.

He told the BBC: “We agreed to collaborate with the Prince of Wales after looking at the work he had done on race equality over 40 years and the parallels with our campaigning over the same period.” (AFP)



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393 infra projects show cost overruns of Rs 4.65 lakh crore – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: As many as 393 infrastructure projects, each entailing an investment of Rs 150 crore or more, have been hit by cost overruns of more than Rs 4.65 lakh crore, as per a report.
According to the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, which monitors infrastructure projects of Rs 150 crore and above, out of 1,526 projects, 393 reported cost overruns and as many as 647 projects were delayed.
“Total original cost of implementation of the 1526 projects was Rs 21,26,460.93 crore and their anticipated completion cost is likely to be Rs 25,91,823.45 crore, which reflects overall cost overruns of Rs 4,65,362.52crore (21.88% of original cost),” the ministry’s latest report for August 2022 said.
According to the report, the expenditure incurred on these projects till August 2022 was Rs 13,60,645.94 crore, or 52.49 percent of the anticipated cost of the projects
However, the number of delayed projects decreases to 500 if delay is calculated on the basis of latest schedule of completion.
Further, it showed that for 607 projects neither the year of commissioning nor the tentative gestation period has been reported.
Out of the 647 delayed projects, 132 have overall delays in the range of 1-12 months, 118 have been delayed for 13-24 months, 273 projects for 25-60 months and 124 projects have been delayed for 61 months and above.
The average time overrun in these 647 delayed projects is 41.64 months.
Reasons for time overruns as reported by various project implementing agencies include delay in land acquisition, delay in obtaining forest and environment clearances, and lack of infrastructure support and linkages.
Delay in tie-up for project financing, finalisation of detailed engineering, change in scope, tendering, ordering and equipment supply, and law and order problems are among the other reasons.
The report also cited state-wise lockdowns due to Covid-19 as a reason for the delay in implementation of these projects.
It has also been observed that project agencies are not reporting revised cost estimates and commissioning schedules for many projects, which suggests that time/cost overrun figures are under-reported, it stated.





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Paul Pogba extortion case takes bizarre twist

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A police investigation into allegations that France midfielder Paul Pogba was targeted by extortionists took a bizarre new twist Friday with his elder brother Mathias releasing a long string of videos taking aim at the 2018 World Cup winner, his entourage and wealthy lifestyle.

More than 30 videos of Mathias Pogba reading a statement many pages long were posted on Twitter.

It is not clear when the videos were filmed. Mathias Pogba was charged in connection with an alleged organised armed extortion attempt against his brother, who plays for Juventus, after he turned himself in for police questioning last week. He has since been held in custody.

His lawyer did not immediately respond to a series of questions by the Associated Press.

“If you are watching this video that will be because my brother Paul Pogba has found a way to silence me,” Mathias Pogba said. “I record this video so that whatever happens, everything is revealed.”

The words “insurance video, held in a safe place” were written on top of many of the videos. They followed through on previous social media posts where Mathias Pogba had threatened to make explosive revelations about his brother.

Mathias Pogba and four others were handed preliminary charges last Saturday and jailed in the extortion probe, French prosecutors said.

In the latest series of recordings, Mathias Pogba accused his brother of having abandoned members of their family, leaving them in poverty.

He also claimed that the midfielder mixed with criminals, and he repeated claims that Paul Pogba employed a witch doctor. He did not bring any proof to substantiate his accusations.

According to Mathias Pogba’s latest claims, the witch doctor is close to former France international Alou Diarra, and Paul Pogba was introduced to him by former Paris Saint-Germain defender Serge Aurier.

He said that over the years the France midfielder has spent millions for the services of the witch doctor, asking him for instance to help France win the 2018 World Cup or to cast spells on rival footballers.

Mathias Pogba had previously said that his brother had targeted Kylian Mbappe without being more specific. In his latest videos, he claimed that Paul Pogba asked the witch doctor to “neutralise” Mbappe for the return leg of a Champions League match between PSG and Manchester United back in 2019. United had won that game 3-1 to advance to the quarterfinals.

The videos were also accompanied by a series of Twitter posts and a statement addressed to Paul Pogba. The first post in the long thread said it had been sent automatically by “my bot.”

“That also means that I am no longer free,” the message read.

Mathias Pogba said his life is now in danger because his brother has “betrayed his henchmen,” who are taking aim at his entourage in retribution. Mathias Pogba said that some of his relatives “have already been assaulted and shot at” because of his brother.

The Paris prosecutor’s office opened an investigation last month into allegations that Paul Pogba was the target of an extortion plot by his brother and childhood friends demanding €13 million from him. Mathias Pogba has denied taking part in the scheme.

Mathias Pogba, 32, is a free agent after leaving French fourth-division side Belfort in April. He has also enjoyed spells at a number of other clubs across Europe.



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