British power handover in Iraq symbolic

first_imgBAGHDAD – Britain’s weekend handover of Basra province will have a limited effect on security in Iraq’s biggest oil region because rival Shiite warlords and local officials have been wielding the real power in the area. The British have never sought to maintain the same level of control as the Americans did over the provinces the U.S. oversaw after the 2003 invasion. Since elections in 2005, southern Iraq has been under the domain of religious Shiite parties and their militia allies. All of which means the British are handing over something local power players already possess. “I don’t think there is a handover. You’ve never had real British control of Basra or the area,” said Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “What you are really watching is a sort of nominal transfer of authority to the central government and Iraqi forces.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champStability in Basra and southern Iraq is key not only to security, but also to whether the all-important oil industry will grow and attract vital international investment. The region contains most of Iraq’s proven oil reserves. If bloody fighting between Shiite factions returns, it will be hard to persuade companies to invest. Security problems could also open the door to even greater influence by neighboring Iran and threaten land routes used by the U.S. to bring ammunition, food and other supplies from Kuwait to American forces to the north. Last Wednesday’s triple car bombing, which killed at least 25 people in Amarah, shows how fragile security in the south is. “I don’t know that there is going to be a security vacuum more than there has been,” said Frederick Kagan of the American Enterprise Institute. “The British haven’t been patrolling very aggressively anyway. The situation is never going to go back to the status before because all kinds of things have changed.” Even though Britain had long seen its influence over events in southern Iraq diminishing, the mere presence of substantial British forces offered assurances the situation in the strategic area would not spiral out of control. British officials have said they will retain the ability to help Iraqi troops quickly if widespread violence erupts, but they are also reducing the number of troops in the country from 4,500 to 2,000 by spring. In the months soon after Saddam Hussein was toppled, there were about 40,000 British troops in Iraq. The main players in Basra and southern Iraq are the powerful Shiite entities – the radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi Army militia; Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, leader of the largest Shiite political party and the Badr Brigade militia, which has largely been absorbed into the Iraqi security forces; and the Fadhila party, which also has its own fighters and a member as Basra’s governor. Michael O’Hanlon, a senior analyst at the Brookings Institution, said Shiite rivalries notwithstanding, the security situation is not so dire as it sometimes appears. “It is more like the Wild West, or a region of competing mafia dons,” he said. “That’s not good, of course, but it’s also not horrible.” With few troops in the south, the Americans have little choice but to hope the Iraqis can handle any surge in violence or that political deals among the Shiite power brokers can prevent a blowup.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Geocaching HQ – The Land of Extreme Coincidence

first_img SharePrint RelatedAttend the World’s Mega-EventMay 14, 2013In “Community”Geocaching HQ Says Geocaching without Speaking a WordMay 11, 2015In “Community”The Lackey Geocoin: An Unexpected 26,000-mile, 5-Year JourneyJanuary 21, 2015In “Community” Lindsey (flossinmatoof), Larry (apawinmyface), and Ciaran (Goldencircle)This story begins with some high expectations. A chance meeting would lead to the statement, “Visiting HQ is something I’ve wanted to do for quite a long time, and as it turns out, the experience was crazier than I could have ever imagined.”It all started on a typical Friday in the Seattle lobby of Geocaching HQ. We see the world come together in 500 square feet of solid, wall to wall, Geocaching . There’s a treasure chest, logbook and usually hundreds of Trackables coming and going. It’s Geocaching HQ after all. You hear languages like German and Portuguese spoken along side English and Spanish. People around the world find themselves visiting for an hour or so and meeting new friends. Rarely, extremely rarely- and let me not under sell this – maybe once or twice a decade, geocachers randomly stumble upon an old friend from another part of the world in our lobby.Ireland Event Cache ‘Toof & Paw’s Jetlag Beater”And it just happened again. As most stories like this do, this one begins with a Puzzle Cache in Ireland. Larry, username APawInMyFace, and Lindsey, username Flossinmatoof visited Ireland in August. Larry contacted Ciaran, username GoldCircle, for help on a Puzzle Cache. Well, you know, so many email flew across the Atlantic between the America and Ireland that an Event Cache was planned.More than a dozen people welcomed the out-of-town guests from America. Ciaran and the American couple went their separate ways. Most stories end there. They might never have seen each other again, except for an intervening photo booth in the Geocaching HQ lobby.Larry and Lindsay were visiting Geocaching HQ from Miami. Larry and Lindsay were visiting friends in Seattle that Larry hasn’t seen in three years. They’d just finish taking pictures in the Geocaching HQ photo booth. Larry placed the strip of photos in our scrapbook. He noticed a familiar face. That guy looked like Cairan, aka GoldCircle. It was GoldCirle. But he wasn’t at HQ.Carly at the Geocaching HQ front desk, told Larry Cairan would be back in a few minutes. If that one connection would be missed, if a page would have been flipped in our scrapebook, if Larry visited from Miami one week later…. well, you get the idea. It. Was. Close. It was also significant. Cairan just happened to be in Seattle for business.Photobooth pics reveal a startling discovery!Geocaching HQ was Cairan’s 1000th find. Can you guess what Larry gave Cairan as a thank you gift for hosting the Event Cache in Ireland? Yeah – a 1000th Find Geocoin.Larry says they could have never planned this meeting if they tried. Wow right?That word, “wow” gets said a lot in the Geocaching HQ lobby. People meeting friends they’ve connected with a world away. Some reacquainted themselves with long lost Travel Bugs that ended up in the Geocaching HQ Treasure chest.Larry wrote in the Geocaching HQ log, ” The ways in which the geocaching community can make our enormous world feel so small are indescribable, yet somehow, rarely surprising. Thank you for the truly unforgettable day and for the wonderful memories that we formed both in and around HQ.” Lindsey wrote in her log, “The world is an incredible place.” She’s right.Geocaching HQ Lobby (the photo booth is in the corner)That’s the thing about geocaching…  you’re always welcome. Whether that’s at a geocache, at an Event Cache or at Geocaching HQ, you never know who you might bump into.The question now might be where in the world will Larry, Lindsey and Ciaran connect again?  We have a guess. The might randomly bump into each other while claiming the First to Find at this geocache.What’s the strangest coincidence you’ve encountered geocaching? Tell us about it in comments below. Share with your Friends:Morelast_img read more

How to Successfully Ask For and Obtain Referrals

first_imgFor as long as anyone can remember, salespeople have suggested that the very best way to acquire a new client was through a warm referral from an existing client. The salespeople who would tell you they prefer referrals would also tell you that they would prefer not to make cold calls (a call to someone who is not expecting your call). If you pay attention, you will notice that many of the people who resist making cold calls also don’t ask for referrals either. If you look closely, you might see what cold calls and referrals have in common. But there are other reasons you might not ask that we can easily resolve. Here is how you can ask for and obtain referrals from your existing clients.You Waited too LongOne of the reasons salespeople don’t ask for referrals is because they wait too long. They develop a relationship, win the client’s business, deliver the result they promised, and then they disappear for some time. Because they waited such a long time to call their client to ask for the referral, it feels weird. Asking them to make an introduction feels like an imposition. There are a couple of factors at play here.The request for a referral is no longer connected to the value you created for your existing client because you have allowed too much time to pass. Instead of asking when your client was still experiencing the good feelings from the work you did, the value you created isn’t top of mind. Value degrades over time (What have you done for me lately?)Because you are outside the time frame that asking for a referral would have seemed appropriate, and are claiming new value without creating any for the client. You are also asking them to turn over their friends, family, and peers to a salesperson whose sole intention to sell them something.Your Fear of Hearing the Word NoSome people are afraid of hearing the word no when they make an ask. There is no reason to fear the word no when every client you will ever acquire and take care of is a solid no before they are a solid yes. No means a couple of things. First, it means I didn’t hear enough value in what you offered for me to say yes. Second, it means not now. Over time, you will have a prospect tell you they will never buy from you who will, at some point, become your client.The truth about asking for referrals is that no one is likely to tell you no. Mostly they politely agree to provide you with a referral and then do nothing. You will hear a yes followed by some form of a hedge, like: “Sure. Let me think about who it might make sense to introduce you to, and I’ll get back to you.” The client knows you are more likely to give up and go away than bother them about the very soft commitment they gave you.There is nothing to fear when asking for a meeting, requesting a referral, or asking for your client’s business. If they have concerns that cause them to reject your request, you can ask to resolve their concerns and try again. If the answer is an unqualified no, you move on and try again later (but not too much later).How to Ask for a ReferralIf you want referrals, there is a way to go about getting them that increases your effectiveness. Here is the setup.Start When You Sign a Contract: The best time to set up your future ask for a referral is when you are signing the contract with your new client. You want to ask for an introduction to someone in your client’s world early, contingent on them being happy with the outcomes you deliver.Explain Your Need for Referrals: While you are setting up the ability to ask for referrals in the future, you explain that your business is one that grows by referrals. You also tell them that it would be helpful if they could introduce you to someone who might value the outcomes you are about to create for your new client.Thank you. “Thank you for trusting me with your business. My business depends on my clients introducing me to other people who might value the outcomes I am going to create for you. If everything is perfect and I do good work, may I ask you to make an introduction to someone you believe might need my help in the future?”Here is how you ask:After Execution, Ask: When you are following up after you have generated the promised results, you now need to ask for a referral. If you don’t want the awkward feeling of asking after months (or years) have passed, ask when the value you created is still fresh in your client’s mind. The fact that you are following up will help you in getting the introduction.Forestall Their Concerns: Because someone is making an introduction, you need to assure them that you aren’t going to make them look bad by being a pushy, smarmy, self-oriented salesperson. You need to let them know that you will do nothing to damage their relationship and that it is okay if they don’t buy anything from you now or in the future.How you ask. “I am thrilled that you are pleased with the results. If you are completely satisfied, can I ask you to introduce me to one person who might benefit from these same results? I promise I will not pitch them, and even if they don’t need me now, they may need me later. Could you connect us with an email and ask them to take my call? “If you want to feel better about asking for referrals and increasing the likelihood of having your clients agree to make introductions, you might want to follow this formula or something like it.Earn ItIf you want to make acquiring referrals part of building your pipeline, the best thing you can do is to earn them by executing and producing results and asking early for the right to ask for them when you do. Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Nowlast_img read more

World Cup 2019: Afghanistan coach Phil Simmons makes startling revelation after England defeat

first_imgAll is not well in the Afghanistan camp as blame games have started once again after their latest defeat in the World Cup 2019 against England on Tuesday. Afghanistan crashed to a 150-run loss against the hosts, which was their fifth defeat in succession.The team is placed in last place in the points table with five losses from as many games.Chief selector of the Afghanistan cricket team, former fast bowler Dawlat Ahmadzai, put the blame for the team’s poor performance solely on the coaching staff for not being able to prepare the players properly for the showpiece event.Afghanistan head coach Phil Simmons on the other hand, revealed on Wednesday that it was actually the chief selector who was responsible for the mess the team is in right now and he also had a part to play in the removal of Asghar Afghan from captaincy, just days before the tournament began.The ACB had removed Asghar Afghan as the national team’s captain and named three different captains for Tests, ODIs and T20Is less than two months before the World Cup. Star cricketers in the team like Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan had voiced their opinion against the move with the newly-elected captain Gulbadin Naib also slamming the decision.”I am in the middle of a World Cup and trying to get our team to perform to the level we expect but at the end of the World Cup I will tell the Afghanistan people about the part that Mr Dawlat Ahmadzai had to play in our preparation and his part in the dismissal of #AsgharAfghan,” Phil Simmons tweeted.advertisementI am in the middle of a World Cup and trying to get our team to perform to the level we expect but at the end of the World Cup I will tell the Afghanistan people about the part that Mr Dawlat Ahmadzai had to play in our preparation and his part in the dismissal of #AsgharAfghan Simmons (@Coachsim13) June 19, 2019Simmons’s tweet was in reply to a journalist who revealed that Ahmadzai was blaming the coaching staff for Afghanistan’s downfall in the tournament.Dawlat Ahmadzai former fast bowler & chief selector of @ACBofficials believes that,it is all the fault of the coaching staff led by @Coachsim13 that they couldn’t prepare Afghanistan team for @cricketworldcup.#CWC19 #AfghanAtalan #AFGvENG Momand (@IbrahimReporter) June 18, 2019Earlier this month, wicketkeeper Mohammad Shahzad had alleged that the ACB had conspired to throw him out of the World Cup squad after he was ruled out of the tournament with a knee injury.Shahzad claimed he was fit enough to carry on in the mega-event. He had aggravated the injury on his left knee during the World Cup warm-up clash against Pakistan but returned to play the team’s first two games against Australia and Sri Lanka on June 1 and June 4 respectively.Afghanistan suffered its biggest defeat in the tournament so far on Tuesday as they failed to get close to England’s total of 397 for 6 in Manchester.Afghanistan, who were playing with 4 spinners in the game, saw all the bowlers being taken to the cleaners by Eoin Morgan, Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root.The spin-heavy Asians pinned their hopes on Rashid Khan, who tops the list of T20 bowlers and is ranked third in the ODI list, to contain England’s formidable batting order.But Rashid found himself in the firing line of Morgan’s six-hitting spree and eventually logged the worst bowling figures in World Cup history – 110 runs off nine overs without a single wicket.Morgan went on to blast a career-best 148, which included a record-shattering 17 sixes, including seven off Rashid’s bowling.Also Read | World Cup 2019: Luke Wright slams Iceland Cricket for trolling Rashid KhanAlso Read | Not a big deal: Afghanistan captain Gulbadin Naib defends Rashid Khan after England assaultlast_img read more

Autonomous vehicle centre opens in Stratford

first_imgTORONTO – An autonomous vehicle demonstration and testing zone has opened in Stratford, Ont.The Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network allows researchers to test self-driving technology in real-life traffic scenarios.The Ontario government says auto industry representatives and academics researching autonomous vehicles will work together at the centre to further develop the technology.The centre will also host a talent development program to give students an opportunity for internships and fellowships in the autonomous vehicle field.The Ontario government announced in the 2017 budget that it would spend $80 million over five years on autonomous vehicle development.The government says self-driving vehicles have the potential to improve road safety, reduce congestion and cut greenhouse gas emissions.last_img read more

Grizfest Music Festival 2019 has been cancelled

first_imgThe small group of volunteers have supported the District of Tumbler Ridge’s Tourism initiatives and says it is time to regroup and find a more permanent location. TUMBLER RIDGE, B.C. – The 17-year-old music festival put together by the Tumbler Ridge Days Society (TRDS) has been struggling to find funding for the annual event and therefore had to be cancelled.In their press release the TRDS shares they will continue to work on obtaining funding for the 2020 Grizfest Musical Festival yet for this year they will host other events.The TRDS thanks the District of Tumbler Ridge as a major Sponsor of the event and to all the artists for helping build the reputation the festival has in the Canadian industry. The festival is a one of a kind event that showcases up and coming music artists as well as known, popular artists.last_img read more

Netanyahu promises to annex West Bank settlements after poll

first_imgJerusalem: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged Saturday to annex settlements in the occupied West Bank if he wins the upcoming general election. His comments come just days before the closely-fought April 9 poll and could be seen as an appeal to rightwing voters, who do not believe in the feasibility of a peace agreement with the Palestinians. “I will apply (Israeli) sovereignty, but I don’t distinguish between settlement blocs and isolated settlements,” he said in an interview with Channel 12 television. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USSenior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat said Netanyahu’s statement on annexation was “not surprising.” “Israel will continue to brazenly violate international law for as long as the international community will continue to reward Israel with impunity, particularly with the Trump administration’s support,” he said on Twitter. In an interview broadcast Friday, Netanyahu said he told US President Donald Trump he would not remove settlements or people as part of a future American peace plan. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls”I said there shouldn’t be the removal of even one settlement” from the occupied West Bank, Netanyahu told Israel’s Channel 13 television. More than 400,000 Israelis live in West Bank settlements as part of Israel’s military occupation of the territory, where more than 2.5 million Palestinians live. A further 200,000 Israelis live in settlements in occupied east Jerusalem, over which Israel has already implemented full sovereignty. Washington is expected to unveil proposals for Israeli-Palestinian peace sometime after Tuesday’s Israeli election in which Netanyahu is seeking a fifth term. The Israeli prime minister was asked by Channel 13 if he was familiar with the details of the US plan, replying he knew “what should be in it.” Along with settlements, “our ongoing control of all the territory west of the Jordan” River was a further condition set by the Israeli premier for any US-led peace initiative. Netanyahu said he informed Trump not “even one person” would be evicted from a settlement. The US president on Saturday was cautious about the outcome of Israel’s upcoming election, calling it a close race between “two good people”. “How is the race going by the way? How is it, who’s going to win the race? Tell me, I don’t know,” Trump asked the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas. “Well, it’s going to be close — I think it’s going to be close. Two good people,” he said, referring to Netanyahu and his rival Benny Gantz.last_img read more

EC applies brakes on Modi biopic Namo TV

first_imgNEW DELHI: The Election Commission Wednesday banned the screening of the biopic on Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the poll period, saying any such film that subserves the purpose of any political entity or individual should not be displayed in the electronic media.The EC order came a day before the movie was to be released. The first phase of Lok Sabha elections starts Thursday. The Supreme Court Tuesday dismissed a petition filed by a Congress activist seeking a stay on the release of the biopic and said the Election Commission would be an “appropriate” place to find the redressal. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c detailsThe apex court said it was not entertaining the petition for the stay on the release of the film as it was “premature” since the movie is yet to be certified by the Censor Board. It said even if the film is released on April 11, as claimed by the Congress activist, it will be appropriate for him to seek redressal from the Election Commission. The plea had sought postponement of the biopic’s release till the completion of the coming Lok Sabha polls, alleging that it was designed to “manipulate, influence and impress viewers and voters”. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from ThursdayIn another setback, NaMo TV, the 24-hour channel promoting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP can’t be on air while the code of conduct is in place, Election Commission sources have said, referring to the panel’s order stopping the release of a biopic on the Prime Minister. The channel had mysteriously surfaced on satellite TV networks late last month, drawing protests from the opposition. The opposition, which had complained to the Election Commission about the channel, welcomed the development. “We are happy that they (Election Commission) have redeemed their image as a vital policeman. The Supreme Court also had also said it was up to the Election Commission to decide such things,” Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said. The BJP, however, maintained that the channel was ot in violation of the election code. “I don’t think it is a setback for the government. I don’t think the Election Commission found any illegality in the law. It was just showing the achievements of the government and the Prime Minister. It was a positive information initiative. We will be looking at alternatives,” Vivek Reddy of the BJP said. But Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) complained to the Election Commission against the channel saying it violated the model code of conduct that came into effect on March 10 after the Election Commission announced seven-phase elections from April 11 to May 19. Counting of votes will take place on May 23.last_img read more

IT dept raids at premises of people linked to JDS in Ktaka

first_imgBengaluru: Income tax officials on Tuesday carried out coordinated raids at premises owned by people allegedly linked to JD(S) in Mandya and Hassan districts,where party supremo H D Deve Gowda’s grandsons Nikhil Kumaraswamy and Prajwal Revanna are contesting their maiden Lok Sabha elections.Sources in the I-T department said the searches were conducted by four teams, each comprising 15 officials at the offices, residences and factory premises of people allegedly associated with the JD(S) leadership. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The officials were accompanied by CRPF personnel. JD(S) and its ally Congress have been alleging that the BJP-led government at the Centre has been “misusing” central agencies to pursue its “politics of vendetta.” On March 28, leaders of both the parties led by chief minister H D Kumaraswamy, former chief minister Siddaramaiah, deputy chief minister G Parameshwara had staged a demonstration outside the income tax office when the raids began. The Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax (Karnataka-Goa region) B R Balakrishnan had even written to the Chief Electoral Officer of Karnataka seeking action against those who staged demonstrations, threatened the officials and interrupted them from discharging their duties under various sections of the IPC. Meanwhile, an income tax department release a press not confirming the raids.last_img read more

King Mohammed VI receives phone call from French President

first_imgRabat – King Mohammed VI, has received a phone call from Mr. François Hollande, President of the French Republic, said a statement from the Royal Cabinet. “During the meeting, the two leaders discussed the current context of Moroccan-French relations following thedevelopments in recent days,” the statement said.“In light of the clarifications in this regard, the two leaders agreed to continue contacts in the coming days between the twogovernments, and work in the spirit of exceptional relations that bind Morocco and France, “the statement concluded.last_img