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first_imgUse different layers in Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects, or SpeedGrade to organize your grade and make easy adjustments, even on a large scale!One of the biggest advantages the Adobe suite has in color grading is the adjustment layer. When you use adjustment layers to your advantage in color grading, you’d be amazed at how easily you can organize your grade and set yourself up for success in future revisions.Here’s the trick: Remember how you grade in passes? Put the first pass (balancing and matching) directly on each clip. Put the look itself on an adjustment layer above the scene, extended to cover the entire scene, and use a different adjustment layer for each separate scene. Put the corrections from the last pass – fixing and enhancing the shots – on adjustment layers trimmed to the length of each clip that needs adjusting. You can put these above or below the look depending on what correction or enhancement you’re making.Premiere Pro, After Effects, and SpeedGrade all support adjustment layers, and can be graded in this method, as you can see in the examples below:Premiere Pro:After Effects:Speedgrade:It’s pretty common practice to do something like this by using multiple instances of a color correction plug-in in an NLE or in a program like After Effects to keep the different passes of your color grading separate. By taking this a step further and separating these passes out between the clip and multiple adjustment layers, you give yourself maximum flexibility for changes. Need to make adjustments to the look? If your look was a separate filter on each clip, you would have to go through the entire piece, clip-by-clip, and delete/paste/overwrite/adjust the look filter to change it to the new look. The scene-wide “look” adjustment layer makes changing the look super easy; you only have to update the effect once!You can use adjustment layers below the look but above specific clips to make the minor adjustments to the clip so that the look remains consistent across the scene. Not every shot will respond to the look in the same way, so making look-specific corrections on separate adjustment layers means that if you decide to change the look, you can easily identify the layers that were corrections based on that look and delete them or adjust further for the new look.If after a few revisions you notice that one shot just isn’t fitting right into the scene and the balancing and matching is slightly off, you know just where to look for that as well. Since the balancing and matching should be creatively independent (i.e. objective), you can put the balancing and matching directly on the clip and it should never need to be removed, just very rarely adjusted.It’s worth noting that you can do this effect in a few other NLEs like Smoke 2013 or AVID by using “gap” effects– FCP being a notable exception. Any program that has adjustment layers or gap effects can be leveraged in the color grading phase in this manner. Organizing and labeling your grade like this lets you come back to it at a much later date, or handle multiple crazy revisions with ease – without the chance of screwing up your balancing/matching or doing tedious clip-by-clip work repeatedly.Got your own color grading tips?Please share in the comments below!last_img read more

first_imgThough she has represented India at two Asian Games, it will be the first Olympics for archer Chekrovolu Swuro, who is just the second athlete from Nagaland to achieve the distinction.It was T Ao who led the Indian football team at the 1948 London Games, and 64 years later another Naga will make an Olympic journey, coincidentally to the same host city. Chekrovolu is part of a strong women’s recurve team, which also has world number one Deepika Kumari and Laishram Bombayla Devi, who competed at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.The trio made the cut for the Olympics when they won the silver medal at the 2011 world championships at Turin, Italy, where they defeated the formidable Koreans in the semi-finals.There will be some nerves, but the 29-year-old, employed with Nagaland Police, is unperturbed. “There is going to be pressure but our recent form has been good and we are relaxed going into the Olympics.””We use yoga as a means of relaxation and have various visualisation techniques to stay in the best frame of mind,” Chekrovolu told Mail Today.She credits her elder sister Vesuzolu, a national level archer who has competed alongside the likes of Limba Ram, for her introduction to the sport.The family’s association with archery continues with their younger brother Thipovoyi also in national reckoning. The Indian women’s team is one of the strongest medal contenders at the Olympics, and Chekrovolu is full of confidence.”There are many strong teams such as Korea, China, Chinese Taipei and Japan. But we are scoring between 225 and 231, and if we repeat that at the Olympics, a medal is a distinct possibility,” she said.advertisementlast_img read more

first_imgNew Delhi, Apr 19 (PTI) Indian teams participation in the IAAF World Relays to be held in the Bahamas on April 22-23 has been thrown into jeopardy due to delay in issuance of transit visa by the US Embassy here, the national federation said today. An Indian contingent of six men and six women athletes, along with two coaches and a masseur were to travel through the US on transit visa for the Bahamas but they are unlikely to do it now. “Lengthy and tedious US visa process has created uncertainty over Indian 4x400m Relay teams participation in the IAAF World Relays to be held in the Bahamas,” the Athletics Federation of India said in a statement. “However, even after constant efforts and a number of emails to the US visa department for an early interview date for the issuance of transit visa for the Indian team, the delay from authorities has hampered chances of Indian teams participation in the World Relays.” The members of the Indian contingent have already got their visas for Bahamas but they are yet to get the US transit visas. AFI President Adille Sumariwalla said after running from pillar to post, the athletes have got tomorrows date (April 20, 1.30pm) for biometric entry for the US transit visa processing. “But this is the only biometric registration, the date of appointment for an interview in person is set for April 21. Now, this has put us in a very very difficult situation,” he added. Both the mens and womens 4x400m relay race heats are scheduled for the evening session on the first day on April 22. Explaining the timeline of the US transit visa application by the AFI, Sumariwalla said, “We received the visa for the team from the Bahamas on 7th April 2017 and on the same day only we wrote a letter to US Visa Consular regarding an urgent appointment for the transit visa. “We then paid the visa fee and were asked to fill details of the team for group appointment online. Unfortunately, the process halted in the middle due to technical error. We wrote to them about the error and it was resolved after almost 24 hours,” the AFI President said. “It has never happened with any of our teams before. We followed all the procedures and steps as they suggested, but unfortunately, it did not help us. The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and Sports Authority of India also assisted us in this case from time to time.” The two-day competition in Bahamas assumes significance as the top eight finishers in 4x100m and 4x400m in both men and womens sections will earn automatic berth for the World Athletics Championship in London in August. Besides regular 4x400m and 4x100m relay events, the World Relays programme will also feature 4x200m and 4x800m relays in both men and womens categories. India, however, will only compete in the 4x400m relay event in both and womens categories. PTI PDS PDSadvertisementlast_img read more

first_imgRenesas has developed a new processor-in-memory (PIM) technology for AI inference acceleration in low power edge devices. A test chip for the SRAM-based technology achieved 8.8 TOPS/W running convolutional neural network (CNN) workloads, the type of algorithm most commonly used for image recognition.Renesas’ existing generation of AI inference accelerators, based on its dynamically reconfigurable processor (DRP) architecture, achieves in the order of 1 TOPS/W, enough to enable real time image recognition at the end node. The new PIM technology is almost an order of magnitude better in terms of TOPS/W and could be the basis for implementing incremental learning at the endpoint, the company said.Processor-in-memory is an increasingly popular technology for AI inference workloads, which involve adding up vast amounts of input data multiplied by weight factors. In PIM devices, multiply-accumulate (MAC) operations are performed in the memory itself as the data is read out.In the Renesas device, memory cells storing weights can be multiplied by input data by controlling the cell’s output switch, which controls the output current. Measuring the current in the bit line then effectively adds all the outputs together. Performing MAC operations in memory in this way eliminates the bottleneck between memory and processor by avoiding unnecessary data transfer. Ternary SRAM In an exclusive interview with EETimes, Koichi Nose, senior principal engineer at Renesas Electronics, explained the new techniques that have been used to improve accuracy and reduce power consumption.“Traditional processor-in-memory technology cannot achieve adequate accuracy for large scale computation,” said Nose, highlighting the workarounds traditionally required to circumvent poor reliability caused by process variations. “Binary data is also inadequate to express some complex neural networks… it causes degradation of accuracy.”Koichi Nose, Senior Principal Engineer at Renesas Electronics (Image: Renesas) The new PIM technology is ternary, meaning each cell has three states: -1, 0 or 1. This allows more complex data to be expressed than with binary cells, Nose explained.If the ternary memory cell holds +1 or -1, current can flow into the bit line, but if the cell stores a 0, no current flows, which helps keep power consumption low.“Also, the weight data can easily be expanded to an arbitrary number of bits,” said Nose. “The weight data in a neural network is multi-bit information, a zero or a large plus or minus value. It’s difficult to express multi-bit signed information in binary cells. The proposed memory circuit can easily express arbitrary signed bit operation by utilising the combination of a ternary cell and a simple digital calculation block… since this can support different required calculation accuracy on a per-user basis, the user can optimise the balance between accuracy and power consumption.”Renesas PIM ternary memory cell structure. W represents weight data and X represents input data (Image: Renesas) Power Consumption Traditional PIM topologies use ADCs to convert the bit-line current into the output data value, but while ADCs are effective, they are power-hungry and take up valuable chip area, Nose said.Renesas’ PIM technology instead uses a 1-bit sense amplifier from the standard SRAM macro as a comparator, in combination with replica cells (equivalent to the current generation part of a memory cell) whose current can be controlled flexibly. Comparing the replica cell current with the ternary cell current effectively detects the current output of the ternary cell.Comparators and zero-detectors are used in place of ADCs to save power and chip area (Image: Renesas) Zero-detectors also help reduce power consumption. If the MAC operation result is equal to zero, operation of the comparators is stopped to save energy.“In a [typical] neural network circuit, almost all the nodes are assigned to zero; only a small amount of neurons are activated, about 1%. So almost all the calculation results are assigned to zero,” said Nose. “Activating the zero-detector circuit shuts down the comparator and contributes to the reduction of power consumption. By combining the comparator AD converter technology and the zero-detector technology, power can be reduced by one order of magnitude.” Process Variations In SRAM arrays, manufacturing process variations frequently lead to failures. Errors occur when data is written to individual cells with significantly different electrical properties due to these process variations.“To avoid this problem, we use the same feature of the neural network — almost all the nodes are assigned to zero,” he said. “We can avoid calculation errors by shuffling the data so that zeros are stored in the [adversely] affected cells.”In the ternary memory cells, if a zero is stored, no current flows in the bit line, so the summation result is not dependent on the cell current.How are adversely affected cells identified?“We are developing some other error cell detection methods, but in this chip, we use a simple methodology,” he said. “We measure the output of the neural network and check whether the outcome is correct, to identify error cells [which do not store] the correct output value.” Test Chip Renesas’ 3×3 mm test chip is built on 12nm process technology and consists of four clusters, each of which can operate a different AI process simultaneously. In each cluster, neural network weight data is stored in the PIM block and MAC operation results are stored in a standard SRAM block.The test chip contains 4 Mb of PIM computational memory and 1.5 MB of SRAM, enough to evaluate a compact CNN without using external memory. This chip has achieved 8.8 TOPS/W power efficiency.A simple demo of the test chip in a prototype AI module also incorporating a small battery, microcontroller, camera and other peripherals showed that inference for real time person detection could be achieved with only 5 mW.Renesas’ PIM test chip (Image: Renesas) >> This article was originally published on our sister site, EE Times: “PIM Techniques Boost AI Inference to 8.8 TOPS/W.” Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Digital Leave a Reply Cancel reply You must Register or Login to post a comment. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.center_img Continue Reading Previous Applications of blockchain in engineering remain scarceNext ST: fuel-injection reference design compliant with new emission regulation for small engineslast_img read more

first_imgKevin De Bruyne ‘De Bruyne can match Messi and Ronaldo’ – Martinez hails Man City star Chris Burton Last updated 2 years ago 23:07 11/9/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(7) Messi, De Bruyne split Getty Kevin De Bruyne Lionel Messi Cristiano Ronaldo Manchester City Manchester United Barcelona Real Madrid Primera División Premier League The Belgian has seen his form recognised by his national coach, with Romelu Lukaku also being backed to break his barren spell at Manchester United Kevin De Bruyne’s form at Manchester City can see him reach the levels of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, says Roberto Martinez.The Belgian has been a talismanic figure for the Premier League leaders this season, contributing three goals and nine assists across all competitions.Man City -1 at 4/5 v Leicester Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player He has often been the man for the big occasion, with former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola once again bringing the best out of a top creative talent.The Catalan once did likewise with Messi at Barcelona, while competing against Real Madrid superstar Ronaldo, and Martinez believes De Bruyne is capable of joining that duo at the top of the global game.”Absolutely [he can],” the Belgium national team head coach told ESPN FC.“I think when you see the players that you mention [Messi and Ronaldo], obviously you have to become consistent with your performances in order to reach that level. That happens over the course of a few seasons.”The level of performance that Kevin is having this season and the level of performance he had last campaign shows you that he has the potential of reaching those highs. And there are not many players that you could say that about.”Romelu Lukaku Manchester United 30092017While De Bruyne is enjoying a purple patch in Manchester, across the city a fellow countryman is enduring a barren spell.Romelu Lukaku made a bright start to life with Manchester United after sealing a £75 million summer transfer, but he has since gone seven games without a goal to face some uncomfortable questions.Martinez said of the out-of-sorts 24-year-old: “I think Romelu is an out-and-out goal-scorer and his numbers reflect that.“Only elite footballers get anywhere near his return in terms of goals so far in the Premier League. He’ll tell you he’s obsessed with the game, he wants to become better and work hard to fulfil the enormous potential that he has.”The former Everton boss added on the striker’s career path, which has lifted him under the brightest of spotlights at Old Trafford: “He needs to be given a path and I think that path now is the move he had from Chelsea to West Brom, from West Brom to Everton and then after playing in Europe for Everton in an important role, going into Manchester United in a team that you’re always expected to win; I think it’s been a really interesting stage or path for Romelu.”Through that path you’re going to have good moments, bad moments, but I think we’re all aware that the enormous talent that he has in front of goal will allow him to go through any bad spell.”De Bruyne and Lukaku currently form part of Martinez’s plans as Belgium prepare to take in friendly dates with Mexico and Japan during the international break.last_img read more

first_imgLeeds United Leeds continued their unbeaten start to the Championship season as they defeated Preston 3-0 at Elland Road to go three points clear at the top. Liam Cooper put Leeds in front eight minutes before half-time and two second-half goals from Tyler Roberts wrapped up the points for Marcelo Bielsa’s side.Brentford are still second but could only draw 1-1 at bottom side Ipswich. The visitors led courtesy of an eighth goal of the season from the Championship’s top scorer Neal Maupay but Kayden Jackson levelled for Town on 73 minutes. Topics Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Championship Bolton’s Stephen Darby retires at 29 after motor neurone disease diagnosis Read more Share on Pinterestcenter_img Share on WhatsApp West Brom climbed above Bristol City into third after blowing the visitors away in the first half. Two goals from Jay Rodriguez and another from Dwight Gayle saw them lead 3-0 at half-time and although Lloyd Kelly and Famara Diedhiou replied for City either side of a Harvey Barnes strike, Darren Moore’s side completed a 4-2 victory.Aston Villa were thankful to their loan players Tammy Abraham and Yannick Bolasie for the goals in their 2-0 win against Rotherham, while Josh Windass scored twice in three minutes in the first half for Wigan as they defeated Hull 2-1 despite Jarrod Bowen’s goal for the visitors.In the meeting of two of last season’s Premier League clubs Stoke saw off Swansea 1-0 at the Bet365 Stadium thanks to Joe Allen’s second-half winner, while Frank Lampard’s Derby drew 0-0 with Blackburn at Pride Park. Guardian sport Share on LinkedIn Reuse this content Share on Messenger Share via Email newslast_img read more

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Liverpool legend Souness yet to be won over by Fabinhoby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool legend Graeme Souness is yet to be won over by Fabinho.Souness has questioned whether the Brazil midfielder is up to the standards Liverpool are seeking to reach.”Liverpool don’t have what I would call milky players,” he told the Sunday Times. “Before the season began they identified midfield as an area that needed strengthening and brought in Fabinho and Naby Keita. “I am yet to be fully convinced by Fabinho and wonder why it has taken such a long time for him to get up to speed.”He has played well since getting into the team but he still has a bit to go.” last_img read more

first_imgFaf du Plessis, De Kock star as South Africa thrash Pakistan to win ODI seriesSouth Africa vs Pakistan, 5th ODI: Skipper Faf du Plessis, Quinton de Kock and Rassie van der Dussen hit half-centuries to help South Africa chase down 241 vs Pakistan in the fifth and final ODI and win the series 3-2.advertisement Associated Press Cape TownJanuary 31, 2019UPDATED: January 31, 2019 00:17 IST Faf du Plessis hit an unbeaten fifty (Photo tweeted by @OfficialCSA)HIGHLIGHTSSouth Africa beat Pakistan by 7 wickets in the 5th and final ODI to win series 3-2Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis and Rassie van der Dussen hit fifties to help South Africa chase down 241 vs PakistanDe Kock named man-of-the-match while Pakistan batsman Imam-ul-Haq got man-of-the-series awardSouth Africa eased to a series-clinching victory in the fifth and final one-day international against Pakistan as captain Faf du Plessis and newcomer Rassie van der Dussen saw the home team to a seven-wicket win on Wednesday.Van der Dussen continued his impressive start to international cricket with 50 not out, his third half-century in his first four innings in ODIs. He clubbed a six to go to his 50 and win the game at Newlands as South Africa ended on 241-3, overhauling Pakistan’s 240-8 with 10 overs to spare.Du Plessis also finished 50 not out. Their unbroken 95-run partnership saw South Africa home but opener Quinton de Kock set it up with his rapid 83 from 58 balls at the top of the order.Pakistan’s below-par total came after being put in to bat by South Africa. Fakhar Zaman top-scored with 70 and Imad Wasim made late runs for his 47 not out off 31 deliveries.It wasn’t enough to stop South Africa winning a seesaw series. South Africa was 1-0 down, then 2-1 up before Pakistan leveled and sent it to a decider in Cape Town.South Africa also won the Test series.Earlier, South Africa won the toss and put Pakistan in to bat. The teams were tied at 2-2 after Pakistan’s convincing eight-wicket win in Johannesburg over the weekend.South Africa made two changes at Newlands, bringing in allrounders Wiaan Mulder and Dwaine Pretorius in place of David Miller and Beuran Hendricks.Pakistan selected an unchanged team from its series-leveling victory in the fourth game.advertisementShoaib Malik continued as stand-in captain for Pakistan after regular skipper Sarfraz Ahmed was banned for four games for a racist on-field comment aimed at South Africa allrounder Andile Phehlukwayo in the second one-dayer.Also Watch:For 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 byJepher Nickels Tags :Follow Faf Du PlessisFollow Rassie van der DussenFollow Quinton de KockFollow Fakhar ZamanFollow Imad WasimFollow Andile PhehlukwayoFollow Dwaine Pretoriuslast_img read more

first_img Next Indian women’s hockey team to participate in national camp for FIH Olympic QualifiersPlayers of Indian women’s Hockey team arrive in Bhubaneswar to participate in the national camp leading to Olympics qualifier on Sunday.advertisement Asian News International BhubaneswarOctober 13, 2019UPDATED: October 13, 2019 20:48 IST Indian women’s hockey team (IANS Photo)HIGHLIGHTSIndia skipper Rani Rampal seems elated ahead of their matches against the USAThe camp will focus on the team’s preparation for the FIH Olympic QualifiersIndia will play two matches against the USAAs the FIH Olympic Qualifiers are inching closer, the Indian women’s hockey team arrived in Kalinga Stadium here on Sunday to attend a national coaching camp which will commence from October 14.The camp will focus on the team’s preparation for the FIH Olympic Qualifiers, which are scheduled to be played on November 1 and 2.India skipper Rani Rampal seems elated ahead of their matches against the USA.”We have two weeks time before the qualifying matches. We can train at the same venue where we have to play. We are very excited about the two games as we were waiting for the long for those encounters. We have prepared well so far and it is the final time to execute,” Rampal told ANI.”We are not going to change our strategy in the coming days as we have done what we have to do,” she added.India will play two matches against the USA. The best of two matches will determine the team that qualifies for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic.India women, who were recently on their tour to England, displayed good performance as they won one match and lost the other. The rest of the three matches witnessed a draw between India and Great Britain.Also Read | India men’s hockey team maintain 100 per cent winning record on Belgium tourAlso see:For 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 byNitin Kumar Tags :Follow Rani RampalFollow Indian Women Hockeylast_img read more

first_imgKolkata: Three fishing trawlers went down and another is said to be missing in the Bay of Bengal due to bad weather late on Sunday night. Till news last came in, six fishermen were rescued in a joint search operation conducted by the Indian and Bangladesh Coast Guard and 25 are still missing.According to sources, despite warnings by the MeT office, 61 fishermen in six separate fishing trawlers started from Namkhana and went to the deep sea for fishing on Saturday. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellersOn Sunday, the fishermen experienced poor weather conditions and tried to return to the coast. But due to the stormy weather, the trawlers are suspected to have lost their course and drifted towards Bangladesh waters. Near the Hanri Bhanga chaar, the trawlers went down in the sea during a heavy storm. Late on Sunday night, the weather condition turned worse and due to heavy winds, three trawlers went down in the sea. Fishermen in the other two trawlers were able to rescue 34 fishermen. Following this, two other trawlers which managed to float sent a distress signal to the West Bengal Fishermen Association and informed about the situation. They had also informed that one of the trawlers had developed technical snag and got stranded in the sea. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaThe association got in touch with Sundarban Development minister Manturam Pakhira and the South 24-Parganas district authorities to launch a rescue operation soon. The Indian Coast Guard contacted the Bangladesh Coast Guard requesting a search operation. Later a joint rescue operation was conducted by both the country’s Coast Guards and six fishermen were rescued. Till Monday night, 25 fishermen are said to be still missing. Pakhira on Monday stated that the state government is keeping an eye on the situation and is constantly in touch with the Bangladesh government. The Coast Guards of India and Bangladesh have a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) followed by a ‘Standard Operating Procedure’ for helping each other during such incidents and making waters of the Bay of Bengal safe.last_img read more

first_imgOTTAWA — There is no word on who will be producing the leadership debates in the upcoming election, a month after that information was to be released to the public.The federal Leaders’ Debates Commission, the organization planning the debates, set a deadline for itself in mid-June to announce the results of a request for proposals issued in May.A spokesperson for the commission said Tuesday an announcement is coming in the next several weeks.An election call is expected in the first few weeks of September, and the debates are slated for some time in early-to-mid October.The commission is an independent body set up by the federal government to organize debates in French and English this fall.It is headed up by former governor general David Johnston, acting as the first “debates commissioner,” and former journalist Michel Cormier, serving as the commission’s executive director.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

first_imgAPTN National NewsLast year one community in the Sahtu region of the Northwest Territories loosened it’s restrictions on selling booze.And the MLA for the area is saying the entire region is suffering because of that decision.Now he’s putting those restrictions back in place.APTN’s Wayne Rivers reports.last_img

Rabat – King Mohammed VI  hosted an iftar (a breaking fast  ceremony) in honor of President Trump’s son-in law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, according to Moroccan News Channel Al Oula. Tasked with solving the American Middle East Peace Plan, Jared Kushner arrived in Morocco on Tuesday along with with US officials Jason Greenblatt and Brian Hook. The visit is part  of Kushner’s tour in preparation for Washington’s upcoming economic conference scheduled for June 25-26 in Manama, Bahrain. The conference aims to encourage investment in  Palestine. Read Also: Jared Kushner to Visit Morocco for Israel-Palestine Peace TalksTrump’s administration seeks to garner support for the US efforts to broker peace between Israel and Palestine.Jared Kushner will also visit Jordan and Israel after his visit to Morocco.Last week, Palestinian authorities condemned the decision of the US-led economic symposium in Bahrain, emphasizing that it was not  consulted during the planning process of the conference.The Palestinian Authority also decided to boycott the conference, emphasizing that the plan aims to  force Palestinians to “sell” their country.Nabil Shaath, adviser to the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas said last week: “We will inform Bahrain that we will not take part in such a conference.”He added, “We will not sell our country based on an economic project.”The Palestinian government also called on Arab states to  boycott the conference. Several Arab countries, especially in the Gulf have announced their support for the event, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE. read more

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reiterated its “extreme concern” at a recent series of assaults on displaced people and their organizations, including last month’s arson attack that partially destroyed the premises of the League of Displaced Women in Cartagena, one of the agency’s oldest partners in Colombia.“We also request the Colombian Government to continue to increase its efforts to protect displaced people,” UNHCR spokesperson Jennifer Pagonis told a news briefing in Geneva, noting that more than 170,000 people were forcibly displaced last year, according to government figures.Colombia’s displaced make up about 8 per cent of the country’s total population and represent the largest single group of concern to UNHCR anywhere in the world.Last Friday UNHCR joined with more than 130 national and international organizations and the Government to launch the 2007 Campaign for the Rights of Displaced People in Colombia.“While the Government has stepped up its efforts on behalf of displaced people, many still face daily problems with housing, education, health and access to work,” Ms. Pagonis said, noting that they are also at high risk of insecurity and violence.“This year’s campaign starts amid our growing concerns over attacks on displaced people and their organizations. In recent weeks, several leaders of the displaced have been killed, including two in the Atlantic Coast region in the past two weeks,” she added.Last month UNHCR announced that it was opening two more field offices in the country, bringing the total to 12. 6 February 2007The United Nations refugee agency today called on all armed groups in Colombia to respect international humanitarian law and leave civilians out of the more than four-decades-long conflict which has uprooted some 3 million people in fighting between the Government, leftist rebels and right-wing paramilitaries. read more

“The world’s attention is waning at a time when some of the biggest challenges for the relief effort here are still to come,” said Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator.“In some parts of Pakistan, a new disaster is happening every few days and millions of people are still waiting for the support they need to survive,” Ms. Amos said when she visited a camp for people displaced by the floods in Nowshera in the north-western Pakistani province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.“Elsewhere, particularly in the north, people affected when the floods started in late July are now looking to us for help to get back on their feet. Making sure the relief effort tackles both is going to be a huge test of our ability to coordinate and work effectively over the coming weeks and months,” Ms. Amos, who arrived in Pakistan on Tuesday, her first day in the job.In Nowshera, she visited the Khandar camp, where nearly 400 families are living in tents and are regularly receiving water, food and other basic necessities. She spoke with female heads of households who described to her the days in late July and early August when walls of water swept through the province, demolishing more than 200,000 houses and affecting over 4.3 million people.One man told Ms. Amos that the water had now receded and that he needed help to go back to his farm before the end of the current crop planting season.“Many of the people I met today want to restart their lives as soon as possible, which is something we absolutely must respond to,” said Ms. Amos. “Giving people what they need to farm again and eventually to rebuild their lives is as much a part of the relief effort as delivering food, water and health care,” she stressed.“But we must not forget that elsewhere in the vast area affected by these floods, there are millions of recently displaced people also suffering and waiting for life-saving assistance,” the Under-Secretary-General added.Floods in Pakistan since late July have already created one of the largest humanitarian crises the UN and its humanitarian partners have ever responded to, and flood waters are still spreading, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which Ms. Amos heads.Aid agencies have mobilised resources to reach millions of people throughout the 160,000 square kilometres of land affected by the floods. Some UN agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are, however, running out of funds. 9 September 2010The top United Nations humanitarian official today cautioned that the international attention on the devastating flood disaster in Pakistan is dwindling even before the millions of people affected have received adequate relief and others are awaiting assistance to rebuild their lives. read more

20 September 2011United Nations human rights officials today called on Belarus to immediately release all political opponents not involved in violence, voicing concern at a pattern of rights violations involving freedom of speech and assembly and “serious allegations” of torture after last year’s elections. A report presented to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva by Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Kyung-wha Kang called on Belarus to speedily accept a mission from her office, noting that previous requests for an on-site visit had remained unanswered.The report follows repeated expressions of concern by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and other senior UN officials at violence and the detention and treatment of journalists, opposition candidates and their supporters after President Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s victory in December’s elections, as well as calls for the release of the detainees.Noting that the human rights situation deteriorated significantly after the poll, amid opposition protests that it was neither free nor fair and the results were flawed, the report cites the beating with batons and injuring of many protesters, the vast majority of them peaceful, and bystanders, reports of physical and psychological torture by several defendants and the alleged intimidation of defence lawyers.“The authorities have reportedly tightened their already highly restrictive control of the media since December,” it states, calling on the Government to conduct an objective investigation into the circumstances of the detentions and all reported cases of torture, and to bring the perpetrators to justice.“The authorities have allegedly been conducting a policy of harassment against independent non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and human rights defenders,” it adds, calling for an immediate end to all such acts and forms of political and administrative pressure.The report, which highlights that Belarus is the only country in Europe that still issues death sentences and carries out executions, notes that because of the absence of a UN human rights presence in the country, significant segments of its information come from secondary sources and some of the allegations remain unverified.Belarus’ delegate Mikhail Khvostov said his country disagreed with those such as the European Union on what constituted peaceful demonstrations. The EU considered that the storming of buildings was a peaceful activity, while Belarus considered it to be a criminal activity, he added, stressing Belarus continued to be devoted to its international obligations to protect human rights.A politically motivated approach to countries was not an approach that the Council or the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) should follow, he stressed. read more

UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric said that this would be done at their cost, as per normal procedures. Army Spokesman Brigadier Sumith Atapattu told The Sunday Morning the Army would recall Lieutenant Colonel Kalana Amunupure as a mark of respect to the order issued by the UN.However, he insisted that the allegations against Lieutenant Colonel Kalana Amunupure were baseless and that the Army would file an appeal with the UN. “We will file the appeal to clear his name as he had served with the UN previously as well. We hope to clear his name and send him back to Mali,” Brigadier Sumith Atapattu said.Lieutenant Colonel Kalana Amunupure was accused of being involved in human rights abuses during the war in Sri Lanka. Lieutenant Colonel Kalana Amunupure commands the Sri Lankan contingent in Mali with Major Hasantha Hennadi as his second-in-command. The Army is to recall a military officer stationed in Mali following a UN demand but will later appeal against the order, The Sunday Morning newspaper reported today.Following a review of the human rights background of the commander of the Sri Lankan contingent deployed to the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Mali, the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) has requested Sri Lanka to immediately repatriate him to Sri Lanka. read more

Its the night before the municipal election.Mayoral candidates in Burlington were busy campaigning one last time today before the polls open tomorrow and development in the city is the focus.Marianne Meed Ward says the people of Burlington want change.“Residents are saying this is not my vision this is not what I want for the future.”Meed Ward as well as candidates Mike Wallace and incumbent Rick Goldring all say their number one priority is pacing the development and growth of Burlington’s core.“The downtown should belong to everybody. Not just those who can afford to live downtown.”Earlier this year the city of Burlington released its official plan; a document required by the province that outlines what a city needs to grow. It could be anything from new housing to anticipated needs for infrastructure and shops.Meed Ward says the official plan gives developers too much lee way and fears the downtown core will become saturated with condos.“There are up to 30 more high rises that would be allowed in the downtown according to our new official plan and that’s the first thing I’d like to work with a new council to change.”Goldring, who suggested annexing Waterdown, says if re-elected he wants to work with the province so that municipalities can have more control over growth policy and implementation. He says his plan differs from Meed Ward’s and Wallace’s.“I suggest we need to create a Burlington community lands corporation to buy strategic land of interest in the downtown and other areas of the city to make sure we can protect certain cites and facilitate development the way the community wants.”Wallace says his background in federal politics has helped him build relationships that could help change the official plan with the province.“The places to grow act to be changed to allow us to control our own vision of the growth of Burlington. Which means working with the province to change the urban growth centre out of downtown Burlington and the mobility hub that is designated for downtown Burlington.The other Burlington mayoral candidate, Greg Woodruff did not return our calls for an interview.Other hot topics the mayoral candidates say are top of mind include better transit and reducing traffic in the city, as well as affordable housing. read more

In a letter addressed to the Heads of State or Government and Foreign Ministers who are expected to attend the General Assembly later this month, Mr. Annan invited countries that have not already ratified or acceded to the Convention to do so at a high-level treaty event that will take place at UN Headquarters in New York from 23 to 26 September, concurrent with the Assembly’s general debate.As of yesterday, the Convention, adopted in 1994 after an increase in the number of attacks on personnel working in UN operations worldwide, had 66 States parties. Efforts are continuing to ensure that all States that have significant numbers of UN or associated personnel will accede to it.The instrument provides a framework of internationally accepted rules that criminalize attacks on UN and humanitarian personnel. It also imposes legal obligations on States parties to take appropriate measures to ensure the safety and security of such workers.Though UN staff have been targeted before, last month’s attack on the world body’s Baghdad headquarters – which left 22 people dead and at least 100 others wounded – was the most deliberate and devastating.The Security Council denounced the “criminal terrorist attack” as an assault on “the international community as a whole” and quickly passed a resolution reaffirming the obligation of all parties involved in armed conflict to comply fully with the rules and principles of international law “related to the protection of humanitarian personnel and United Nations and its associated personnel, in particular, international humanitarian law, human rights law and refugee law.” read more