ATHENS, Greece – A panel of archaeologists has granted a British television crew access to an ancient site near Athens to film scenes for a TV adaptation of spy novelist John le Carre’s “The Little Drummer Girl” — reversing a decision last week following strong government criticism.The Central Archaeological Council on Tuesday granted access to the 2,500-year-old Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion on April 12 after the production company said it would limit the number of hours needed.The miniseries being produced for the BBC and the U.S.-based cable network AMC is due to be released next year.Greece’s government has launched a new campaign to attract film productions as part of a wider strategy to lure investors back after eight years of a crippling financial crisis.
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A renowned Canadian pianist will be coming to play in the Peace Region this May.Piano Six – New Generation artist, Angela Park, will be making a stop in Fort St. John as part of a spring tour.Park will be making a stop in Fort St. John on May 13 and 14 playing four school concerts at Margaret Ma Murray, Robert Ogilvie, Duncan Cran, and at the North Peace Cultural Centre. Prior to the Fort St. John Concert, Daniel Wnukowski, will be playing in Fort Nelson on May 9 & 10 at the Phoenix Theatre.Originally founded in 1994, Piano Six creates live classical music events featuring six of Canada’s finest musical talent, bringing concerts to remote and rural parts of the country.For more information on the concerts, you can visit Pianosix.com.
New Delhi: State-owned Engineers India Ltd (EIL) Wednesday said it has signed an agreement to provide project management consultancy for a new 1.5 million tonne refinery being set up in Mongolia. The pact was signed with Mongol Refinery State Owned LLC, the company said in a statement here. The contract was signed in the presence of D Sumyaabazar, Minister of Mining and Heavy Industry of Mongolia. India had extended a USD 1 billion (about Rs 7,000 crore) line of credit to Mongolia during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2015. The Mongolian government is in the process to set up 1.5 million tonne per annum greenfield crude oil refinery in Sainshand province, under the line of credit extended by India. EIL had carried out a Detailed Feasibility Study for the project and was subsequently pre-qualified and shortlisted for providing project management consultancy services to Mongol Refinery for the project.
Kolkata: An estimated 86.07 per cent of the 10,50,397 students passed the Madhyamik Pariksha (class 10) board examination in West Bengal, the results of which were announced on Tuesday. Sougata Das of Mahammadpur Deshpran Vidyapith in Purba Midnapore district topped the madhyamik examination securing 694 out of total 700 marks with 99.94 percentage. West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBBSE), president Kalyanmoy Ganguly told a press meet here that this year’s 86.07 pass percentage was the highest in madhyamik examination in recent times. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja Asked if results in other class 10 board examinations prompted the Madhyamik high scores as the topper got 694, the second 691 and the third and four ranked received 689 and 687 marks respectively, Ganguly said “we are not influenced by evaluation of other boards. We are following our own yardsticks. These students deservedly got such marks.” The results are available on the website wbbse.org. Purba Midnapore district registered the highest pass percentage of 96.01 per cent among the districts.
In 2008 just before his 90th birthday, the United States gave Nelson Mandela a special present, striking him from a decades-old terror watch list and ending what US officials called “a rather embarrassing matter.”By then the anti-apartheid icon had long left behind the jail cells where he was incarcerated for 27 years, and was already enjoying retirement and his status as one of the most revered statesmen of the 20th century after becoming South Africa’s first black president.In past years, U.S. officials have beaten a path to his door in his family village hoping some of his almost saint-like aura would rub off on them. On Thursday, when Mandela died at age 95, President Barack Obama hailed him as belonging “to the ages” and ordered that flags on U.S. government buildings be flown at half-mast — a rare tribute to a foreign leader.Yet decades ago many in America did not share in the adulation of Mandela and his African National Congress (ANC), which had been billed a terrorist organization by both South Africa and the United States. His severest right-wing critics painted him as an unrepentant terrorist and a communist sympathizer.It was even reported that the CIA had helped engineer Mandela’s 1962 arrest when an agent inside the ANC supplied South African security officials with a tip-off to track him down.In the 1980s however, late Democratic U.S. senator Ted Kennedy drafted legislation with senator Lowell Weicker that would eventually become one of the global catalysts leading to the collapse of the apartheid system.President Ronald Reagan sought to bury their 1986 anti-apartheid bill aiming to impose economic sanctions on South Africa by imposing his veto, saying he believed it would only lead to more violence and repression for black South Africans.But for the first and only time that century, Congress rebelled and overrode Reagan’s veto on a foreign policy issue, passing legislation that slapped sanctions on Pretoria, snapped direct air links and cut vital aid.Some observers maintain that the story of Mandela’s redemption and the undeniable justness of his cause hold unique lessons for Washington as it grapples with other flagrant abuses of human rights by repressive regimes around the world.Brian Dooley, who worked with Kennedy on the game-changing legislation and is now a director with Human Rights First, chafes at the rationale that the U.S. pursues “constructive engagement” with autocratic regimes for the greater good and to ensure security interests.“The justifications for propping up the apartheid regime are now almost the same as we hear when we talk about why isn’t the U.S. more robust in taking on human rights violations in Saudi Arabia or Bahrain or various other parts of the world,” Dooley told AFP.“Forget the morality if you like for a second, and look at just the national interest, the self-interest. Standing with the bad guys not only looks bad — it is bad. And eventually they fall, and eventually there is dreadful resentment.”The lessons of the apartheid era are still applicable today, Dooley says, as “only the fact that Congress overrode the veto saved the U.S. reputation.”Until five years ago, Mandela and other members of the ANC remained on the U.S. terror watch list because of their armed struggle against the apartheid regime, which yielded to majority rule in the mid-1990s.The designation meant that the U.S. State Department had to issue them with a waiver to enter the country for meetings such as the U.N. General Assembly, something former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice said she found “embarrassing.”When Mandela was finally removed from the list in 2008, then senator and current Secretary of State John Kerry, said: “He had no place on our government’s terror watch list, and I’m pleased to see this bill finally become law.”In a televised address from the White House on Thursday, Obama said Mandela was “a man who took history in his hands and bent the arc of the moral universe towards justice.”“A free South Africa, at peace with itself, that’s an example to the world, and that’s Madiba’s legacy to the nation that he loved,” Obama said, referring to Mandela by his clan name.J. Peter Pham, director of the Africa Center at the Atlantic Council, called Mandela “one of the rare international statesmen that captured the imagination of Americans across the political spectrum.”“Even those who are not normally interested in Africa found him a very compelling individual,” said Pham, who was awarded the 2008 Nelson Mandela International Prize for African Security and Development.