Tag Archives: SIT

The mafia sits in the PTI government, said Sirajul Haq | Instant News

LAHORE: Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Sirajul Haq said that important people from different mafias and cartels were always part of different governments and now sit in the ruling PTI. the fact that they have protected the cartels and allowed the prices of food, medicine and other necessities to rise beyond the purchasing power of the masses, he said while speaking to party workers in Mansoora on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, he said, has always acted under the influence of the mafia and his government protects the interests of the mafia at the expense of the poor masses. Siraj said the government failed to control prices for various types of food and long lines were seen in front of utility shops to buy just one kg of sugar. He asked how few utility stores could meet the needs of a large population who had lost purchasing power due to inflation and unemployment. He said poverty was rampant and millions of people were deprived of basic facilities. He said the PTI government claimed to bring change and help to the poor, but instead brought about price increases and further misery in every sector. He said poor governance in Punjab was a major problem. The government takes a surprising decision on the South Punjab issue. People have lost hope in the PTI which claims to turn Pakistan into a country like Medina. He said the government was blindly following IMF orders which was the main reason behind people’s misery.

He said the country was achieved in the name of Islam but Western agents and secularism had made a conspiracy to undermine its ideological base. He said this conspiracy never worked because the majority of the masses wanted an Islamic system in this country. He advised JI workers to spread the message of the Koran and Sunnah in every corner and corner of the country during the month of Ramadan.


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Disco Elysium confirmed on PS5, PS4 on March 30 | Instant News


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Why French-inspired Akaroa is one of New Zealand’s most unique places | Instant News

Aerial view of the Akaroa waterfront, New Zealand. Photo / 123rf

At the pier at Akaroa Harbor, waves slamming lazily on the pile. Today’s harbor is milky white, the mud from the Rakaia and Rangitata rivers hanging in the water, having completed its long journey from the Southern Alps and across the Canterbury Plains. It turned out that the water turned powder blue from a distance, but from where we sat, it was icy cold and clear.

Just back from the water, diners sit under sunscreen on wicker chairs outside the Bully Hayes bar, and watch yachts and schooners bobbing on the sparkling water just steps away. A gull full of hope hovered overhead, watching the chip situation. From our point of view, cold beer in hand, this could be France on a sunny summer day – if it weren’t for the sound of Fat Freddy’s Drop bringing a breeze. And the fact in New Zealand that we are sitting in the caldera of an ancient, flooded volcano.

Akaroa has so many stories, and so much history, to unravel. Made by volcanoes, inhabited by Māori, founded by the French, claimed by the British.

It’s a French heritage largely traded in the city, but the city’s authenticity, albeit based on fact and history, comes with a hint of flicker – a medieval marketing tool for luring tourists to the city.

Old Akaroa lighthouse, Banks Peninsula.  Photo / 123rf
Old Akaroa lighthouse, Banks Peninsula. Photo / 123rf

It is true that this is Canterbury’s oldest city, and indeed it was founded by about 60 French settlers who arrived in 1840. But the French colonizers never got the right footing (the British quickly declared sovereignty over all of New Zealand to cut France off) and at The 1950s there is only one surviving example of French architecture in Akaroa – the courthouse, which is now part of the Akaroa Museum.

In the 1960s, French suddenly made a comeback – the city’s oldest streets with French origins were renamed “rue” and the modern identity of Akaroa began.

It is a very picturesque place, in a sheltered harbor surrounded by historic buildings and beautifully manicured gardens. It’s fun to walk along the “street”, to eat Toulouse sausages from a local butcher, or see posters for the annual “French festival”. To feel like you are in a place slightly different from other parts of New Zealand.

If you want to understand Akaroa’s history and heritage, a stop at the museum is a must. This is where we learn that Captain Jean-Francois de Surville was sailing these waters at the same time as Cook on the Endeavor, in the late 1760s. (Even though Cook named the area Banks Peninsula, he actually mistook it for an island). The French established themselves in the area, naming the bay of Port Louis-Philippe, creating a whaling and naval station, a doctor’s office, and a built road. For a time, French culture and language dominated.

The descendants of those 60 French settlers remain, and indeed lately, a French accent is heard, a more recent import from Europe. On the burial slopes of French L’Aube Hill, the names Pierre, Libeau and and Fleuri attest to the authenticity of the relationship.

Akaroa in the afternoon sun.  Photo / CCC
Akaroa in the afternoon sun. Photo / CCC

How to see Hector’s famous dolphin

The French may have lured us to the city, but it’s another famous resident we’d love to see today – Hector’s dolphin, one of the smallest dolphins in the world. Their number is disputed, but there is generally an agreement between 9,000 and 15,000 in the world. Here on the Banks Peninsula, about 1500 reside.

We went with Coast Up Close, a small business run by skipper and owner Tony, who has been taking tourists out on Wairiri – a fishing boat built in Invercargill – for 10 years. It’s the perfect day for that, with clear skies and clear water.

In fact dolphins prefer small shelters. Because sharks don’t use echo locations, they prefer to hunt when the water is clear. Dolphins like a little mud for camouflage. Even so, they didn’t keep their distance. As we emerged from the harbor, our first sighting occurred within minutes. In between the sightings, Tony commented on the port, geology and history of Akaroa.

Judging from the water, Akaroa’s natural setting is clearer. We sailed across a volcanic crater, been extinct for about 6 million years, and now inundated by the sea. This massive cone, which forms the backdrop of the Akaroa mountains, has been eroded to only two-thirds its size.

As we sailed further afield, we saw Ōnuku Marae from Ngai Tahu, and a pretty little church nearby, built in 1871, one of the oldest non-denominational churches in New Zealand. Between dolphins, we saw red-billed gulls and white pigeons circling, taking advantage of the hunting of kahawai under the waves, pushing bait fish to the surface.

Hector's Jumping Dolphins at Akaroa Harbor.  Photo / Tony Muir
Hector’s Jumping Dolphins at Akaroa Harbor. Photo / Tony Muir

The benefits of a small boat aren’t just the comments and personal service you get from the captain. It’s also maneuverable, getting you straight to the shoreline and around (and sometimes through) rock. They do things a little differently on this ship. If the dolphins show up, that’s fine, but if they don’t, it’s up to them – captain Tony won’t chase them. He has been known to jump from the side when he wants a little fishing. On our return trip, a free diver approached his kayak to chat, and showed him the catch of the day – quinine and cray. He’s 75 years old. The young backpackers on the ship were flabbergasted.

But dolphins are stars and whenever they appear the deck is filled with oohs and aahs. They easily approached, surfed in the pressure waves that the hulls created beneath the surface, ducked and dived in front of us.

Back ashore at Akaroa

Back on land, like Mad Dogs and Englishmen, we took a walk in the midday sun. The small town is divided in two by a promenade, where locals and visitors stroll among the shops and cafes. But summer days can get very hot here. As in Europe, on hot days the locals retreated inside, or into the beautiful flower-filled gardens lining the streets, the roses falling on the wooden fences.

We walked to the ocean end of the Rue Balguerie, and watched the kids bomb from the pier, then came back and found ourselves at Harbar, a small restaurant and beach bar situated directly on the water, overlooking the French Bay. We settle for cold beer, gin-soaked mussels and fries, and watch the boat toss around. It may be summer on the Riviera, but here, a unique slice of Aotearoa.

Get out at the harbor and see the dolphins

Hectors dolphins are a must. Coast Up Close takes you out on their little kauri launch, allowing you to get up close and personal with the incredible dolphins, seals, sea caves and cliffs of the Banks Peninsula. The 2.5 hour cruise leaves twice a day. coastupclose.co.nz

Go sea kayaking with penguins

Across the Banks Peninsula, you’ll find the Pōhatu Marine Reserve, which is home to the largest Little Penguin colony on mainland New Zealand. Day trips on the Pohatu Penguins will pick you up from Akaroa, take you on a scenic tour with stops, across the peninsula, then sends you out into the water to see penguins as well as seals, seabirds and other wildlife. pohatu.co.nz

Walk the Banks Track

This three day and three night hike is a hidden gem. New Zealand’s oldest private walk offers stunning views through farms and forests, charming accommodation – and some well-worth the hike. It’s just enough challenge to make you feel good enough about yourself. Along the way, you’ll find up-close wildlife, unique huts, and the picturesque Hinewai Nature Reserve, an ecological restoration project. It is self-catering, but package carts are included. For an extra $ 50, you can have a chilled cabin that is driven into the cottage, so you don’t have to skimp on wine, cheese, and sausages. bankstrack.co.nz

A hiker along the Banks Track.  Photo / Alister Winter
A hiker along the Banks Track. Photo / Alister Winter

Visit the Giant’s House

The Giant’s House is a sculpture garden created by artist Josie Martin. This is an eccentric Gaudi-esque mosaic display, including sculptures of animals, people, flowers and chairs. You can walk there from town – walk straight down Rue Balguerie from Beach Rd. thegiantshouse.co.nz

For more New Zealand travel ideas and inspiration, visit newfinder.co.nz and newzealand.com


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New Zealand again sits at the top of the list of the world’s most democratic countries | Instant News

The Economist’s annual Democracy Index has placed New Zealand fourth out of 165 independent countries and territories. Photo / Mark Mitchell

New Zealand was once again in the top five list in the international ranking of the world’s most democratic countries, but failed to improve last year’s position.

The Economist’s annual Democracy Index has placed New Zealand fourth out of 165 independent countries and territories, giving it an almost perfect score of 9.25 / 10.

But, for the first time in a decade, New Zealand’s score has slumped – albeit only slightly.

Between 2010-2019, New Zealand scored a consistent figure of 9.26 each year. But 2020’s 0.01 percent drop has no impact on New Zealand’s overall ranking on the list.

Scandinavian countries dominate the top ten, with Norway at the top, followed by Iceland and Sweden.

Australia is ninth, with a score of 8.96 and Iran is the least democratic country on the list, with a score of only 2.2.

New Zealand’s ranking places it in the “full democracy” category on the list – in contrast, a US score of 7.92 places it in the “flawed democracy” category.

The report noted that New Zealand and Australia have always enjoyed “full democracy” status – “although their scores have dropped slightly over the year”.

He also noted the fact that New Zealand had a “peaceful democracy” last year – a year the report described as “chaos”.

But apart from this brief reference, this 75-page report provides few details on New Zealand.

This gives the country a perfect score of 10 in terms of electoral process and its pluralism, but 8.93 when it comes to scores of a functioning Government.

However, this figure is still higher than most of the other countries on the list.
The main focus of the report is on a tumultuous year in the US.

Although the overall score did not change dramatically, the report said the overall score appeared stable and the US position was “deceptive”.

The US political engagement score rose but its overall performance was held back by a number of weaknesses.

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These include a very low level of trust in political institutions and parties; severe dysfunction in government functions and increasing threats to freedom of expression.

“What is more worrying is that public confidence in the democratic process will be further hit in 2020 by the refusal of the outgoing president to accept the election results,” the report said.

“Trump and his allies continue to accuse voter fraud long after the elections are over, without producing plausible evidence to support their claims and in the face of court rulings against them.”


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Cutting SAT College Admissions Will Not Improve | Instant News

The University of California shook the world of education when they joined a number of colleges and universities making it a choice for students to submit SAT or ACT scores for admission due to coronavirus. Advocates rejoiced, but they would miss the forest for trees if they thought canceling the SAT would make college admission evenly distributed.

Coronavirus accelerates colleges and universities to conduct optional tests, but it does not a completely new phenomenon. Advocates have encouraged universities in recent years to adopt this policy because of concerns about testing.

Equity problems with testing abound. Research shows that White and Asian students, on average, scores are higher than Black or Latinx students and low-income students are less likely to outperform their wealthier peers.

That should not be surprising. Wealthier families can afford expensive exam preparation and tutoring. Not to mention this exam must be paid handsomely. (Testing organizations offer ways for low-income students to get their exams, but it is a burden for students.)

So, of course, it seems like getting rid of this test is better for college admission. But what is often overlooked is that exam scores are just one of many factors considered in the college admission process that benefits the most fortunate students.

Most colleges today will say that they consider all applicants when deciding whether to accept students or not, not just their SAT or ACT scores. Some depend more on test scores than others, but decisions usually do not reach a single number. They consider scores, GPA, essays, and others.

Changing from exam scores in admission decisions makes them more dependent on other factors, even more emphasis on things like applicants extracurricular involvement and whether they are taking an Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) course. But almost all of them disproportionately benefit richer students.

Research says that GPA is a better predictor of student success in college and that may be true, but GPA can also make use of more affluent student applications. Many low and middle income students have work or other family obligations that affect their school work in and outside the classroom.

Making an optional test does not resolve the issue. To make admissions in tertiary institutions truly fairer, the whole process must consider the full context of students. That means considering the background of students and how it impacts every part of their application.

A low-income student who works 30 hours a week does not have all the time in the world to dedicate to their schoolwork. They also don’t have money to pay for exam preparation or study time for the exam. A student who hopes to be the first in their family to get a four-year bachelor’s degree cannot necessarily ask their parents to edit the application and provide feedback.

Some might say acceptance essays can capture this context. But it is not always that simple. Low-income students often have difficulty telling their stories. Sharing the intimate details of your life with strangers is not the most comfortable for you, especially when the details are not positive.

Anthony Jack, Ph.D., a Harvard professor and author of “The Privileged Poor,” says it is best when describing the process. “Make them cry,” we heard. And so we lose our trauma for the future that we want but cannot fully imagine. “

In many cases, students may not even see their situation as something worth sharing – either because that’s all they know or because they know other students as they are. Living in poverty in the United States is unfortunately unusual.

Inequality is established throughout the process of university admission. Low-income students register and register at college at a lower level than their more affluent counterparts. High-income students often attend high school with more resources, such as mentoring advisers who encourage them to apply to college. And that is schools where elite colleges are recruiting.

College entrance exams are not perfect, but they can serve as a way to identify low-income students who are ready for college. When Michigan requires students to take ACT—And giving exams during school hours at no cost – they find new students they don’t know must be bound to college. For every 1,000 students who score high enough to attend selective colleges before policy, 230 other students are recognized as having high grades.

And for low-income students, that number is greater. They found 480 more students who were ready to go to college and low-income for every 1,000 low-income students before the exam was needed. And this has been demonstrated in other states too.

Eliminating the requirements for testing could mean that fewer states would provide SAT or ACT, and that could mean thousands of low-income students who would benefit the most from a bachelor’s degree would not take the exam and be identified as “course material.”

To be clearer, it does not mean that the test is good and the optional testing policy is bad. It’s just that, they themselves, they did not address the equity problem of the college admission process. The fact is that low-income students, color students, English students, and first generation students who study will be disadvantaged in almost every aspect of applying to college.

Of course, a pandemic is a unique situation. But the admissions office can and should consider this when reviewing student applications. A true holistic approach will consider test scores – knowing their limitations – with a complete picture of a student.

Instead of making optional entrance exams, universities must request them but ensure that it is not a final decision, all-all admission decision. Test scores must be considered as only one part of the student application. And countries must do their part by providing entrance tests for students during school hours and without fees. Doing so is a better way to ensure that low-income students get every opportunity they can for college.


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