Yami Gautam plans special surprise for mother!    
Actress Yami Gautam went out of her way and did something truly special to make her mother happy. Like every dutiful daughter, this beautiful actress has planned a surprise vacation for her. The actress herself has taken a six-day break from her busy schedule and planned a holiday to Maldives, sources said. “This trip is special, as we will be ringing in mum’s birthday. It’s been a while that we, as a family, have been able to spend quality time together. We are looking forward to relax and also try some adventure sports.” Yami was quoted as saying. The actress
          Eating the Globe: Syria   

I was in San Francisco for work and celebrated a productive morning with an out-of-the-way lunch. This is Palmyra.

I got the Kibbi platter, which consists of:
Four shells of mashed cracked wheat stuffed with ground beef, sauteed onions, and pine nuts served with a side of hummus, cucumber salad, pita, garlic sauce, and hot sauce.

The kibbi was/were delicious. Not greasy or heavy at all. My only complaint was that it only came with four pieces.

Countries tried so far:
Africa: Algeria, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Morocco, Nigeria, Somalia, South Africa
Asia: Afghanistan, Armenia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, Cambodia, China, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, North Korea, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Syria, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Vietnam, Yemen
Europe: Albania, Belgium, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden
North America: Belize, Canada, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Trinidad & Tobago, USA
South America: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela
Oceania: Australia, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga
          Welcome To Peligoni   


For a long time Greece has been on my list of places to visit. With the closest I've ever been being a brief stint reading The Oydssey during my first year of uni (followed by subsequently missing out on what I shall title the Great Santorini Craze of 2016) and only ever eaten Tzatziki from a Sainsburys tub- it's been a long time coming to tick one of the many islands from my bucket list- but let me assure you, it was certainly worth the wait. After being invited by my dear pal (and travel buddy extraordinaire) Lucy earlier this year, I jumped at the chance of a girlie trip to Zakynthos to the beautiful Peligoni Club (with Katherine, Julia and Frances completing the gang too)...

Now, I'll be honest and say that before I visited Zakynthos, I'd only ever really known it as 'Zante'- the party island you go to on your first proper holiday, or something you'd chance seeing on a BBC3 documentary involving parents and teenagers. Ahem. I was blissfully unaware of it's boundless beauty, oceans as turquoise as something you'd see from a blogger in the Maldives and stunning landscapes. In short, it's safe to say Peligoni exceeded all and any expectations I had- and subsequently turned out to be one of the most beautiful places I've visited.



Situated at the north of the island, the Peligoni Club feels a little like visiting old friends for the week. With your own villa situated a stones throw away from the club (which you can be driven to at your beck and call), the club holds host to everything from delicious food, cocktails, water sports, a spa, pool and decks alongside the water where you can swim out on to the pontoon and catch some rays from the ocean. It's all exceptionally magical, inclusive and from the word go you'll be treated like part of the family (to the point where on our second night we'd successfully turned Open Mic Night into an all-inclusive Mamma Mia sing along)...



And the villa! Our villa, Fincha, was a five minute drive through the hills from the club. Although they have a selection of villas for all party sizes and budgets (trust me, I'm already planning a return with my family)- ours suited perfectly and boasted beautiful sea views, with an airy open-plan kitchen and pool area for lazy afternoon dips. During the mornings we'd be able to get a breakfast hamper delivered up- with fresh flaky pastries and juicy fruit, and one evening also had a chef come and cater for us- meaning we could sit and chat and know dinner was taken care of- perfect after a long day out.



On top of that, most nights the club holds themed evenings- be it communal family suppers with sharing plates, or Italian feasts from their open kitchen. It truly acted as so much more than a base during our trip, and made everything feel as stress free, relaxed and pleasurable as a holiday should...



In fear of this post becoming a little long, I've also got a series of posts lined up talking about some of the other adventures we went on during our stay on the island. These include a spellbinding morning at Shipwreck Cove, a dinner at an old monastery and an evening at sea on their fishing boat, Odyssey. I can't wait to share more of what we got up to- so stay tuned for more magic!

x

A huge thanks to Peligoni for accommodating us for an amazing few days, it was truly unforgettable.

          long-weekending looks   

Fireworks, barbecue hopping and parade marching are on my action-packed agenda, so I'm looking to on-the-go blogger Belen Hostalet for some what-to-wear ideas. Her mix of streamlined swimsuits, vibrant short dresses, embellished tops and bold accessories is distinctly cool and poised for (perpetual) action. I love her Euro-sleek swimsuits by Arabella London (above) and In Your Arms (below).  Also cool: her beach to street boho dresses and tops, like this red $39 Mango (second image down) and this embellished Dodo Ba Or (on sale, last pic). These similar-spirited styles by Lemlem, Anjuna, Derek Lam 10 Crosby, and Figue (on sale!) are also amazing. Head-turning bags and sunglasses are Belen's exemplary finishing touches; Her go-to's include these sunglasses by Folli Follie (above) and House of Hererra (below), and ornate basket bags, like this and this. Happy Holiday Weekend!






Photos: Belen Hostalet

          Tara Lipinski – Sexy Bikini Butt – One & Only Reethi Rah, Maldives Island Resort, 06/27/17   
Tara Lipinski – Sexy Bikini Butt – One & Only Reethi Rah, Maldives Island Resort, 06/27/17 Follow us on Twitter Downloading pics and vids from CelebsFlash is FREE. But if you post our content further, please add a tag “CelebsFlash.com” to the pic/vid name.    
          "Bikini": Tara Lipinski - Bikini at One & Only Reethi Rah (Maldives Island Resort)   
Image: https://img10.pixhost.org/images/189/45502490_tara-lipinski-bikini-at-one-only-reethi-rah-1.jpg
          Planes, Boats, Automobiles, a Lion Fish and the Maldives   

Things always go mad in the Motor Trade when you’re due to go on holiday, I had sold more cars than usual, the phone was ringing constantly and I needed to leave for the airport in the next 30 minutes or we would miss our flight to the Maldives. I had a car going out, and the bonnet cable had snapped. Rover in their wisdom had routed the bonnet release cable underneath the bonnet and out of reach, so when it snapped, it was impossible to get at. I had tried from underneath the engine bay to get to the broken cable, but my arms were scratched and burned off the hot engine. In temper and frustration and as a last resort I punched through the grille and forced the bonnet up, now my knuckles were a mess too, my day couldn’t get any worse or so I thought.

I still had things I needed to do, so I checked the airport web site, just my luck for the first time ever when I was going on holiday the plane was on time. The journey to the airport was pretty uncomfortable, we had booked a return trip with the local taxi firm, and I wasn’t sure the car they had sent should have even been on the road, I was convinced that there was no oil in the shock absorbers, and I wasn’t convinced that there was any in the engine. I was contemplating asking him to turn back as I didn’t think we were going to make it all the way. They should have been paying me to travel in the Taxi, not the other way around. I should have learned my lesson not to book them as the same firm had once picked me and my mate up in a Transit Van, with 2 park benches in the back, what made it worse was the benches weren’t even screwed down so we were sliding around in the back whenever he turned a corner, then there was the time when the car caught fire and i had to walk the rest of the way to the pub with my shoes smouldering after stamping the dashboard out.

Our holiday was an absolute bargain, and I was beginning to realise why when we got to the checkout we were told that the start of our holiday would be delayed by 24 hours as there was a problem with the plane. Apparently there was a crack in the Planes windscreen and the regulations for planes are a little bit stricter than for cars, they couldn’t ring the local windscreen firm and have a new one fitted on the runway, so they were going to put us up in a local hotel for the night.

I had too much work to do back at the garage, so I rang the taxi firm who dropped us off to try and get the driver to turn back and collect us. They said they couldn’t contact him and woild have to send another car for us, but as this wasnt a pre booked trip it wouldnt qualify as an “Airport Special” or even as our return which we had already paid for so they would “have” to charge us full price. I knew I was being conned but I was desperate to get back so I paid, needless to say that I have never used that Taxi firm again, a lot of firms (especially Car Sales) try to benefit from short sighted short term gain, I didn’t mind them using shit cars, but I object to being ripped off and they lost my business for ever.

The next day when we returned to the Airport, we were greeted with even more bad news. Our plane was being diverted to Gatwick to pick up more passengers. I started to doubt the cracked windscreen excuse when i realised that they had actually filled the plane with passengers and saved them selves all the fuel for a return trip to the Maldives by delaying us for 24 hours. I needed the beach and I wasn’t best pleased, another passenger was even more displeased, she hadn’t been told that we were diverting to Gatwick and she was furious as she had driven from London to Manchester that morning and considered it to be a waste of time and money. She was demanding that she and her 4 kids be upgraded to first class for the inconvenience. It wasn’t the Stewardesses fault, and I’m sure that if it had just been her, they would have done it, but her 4 kids had been running riot and she was paying no attention to them. One had been eating a bag of Maltesers and was covered in chocolate, so was the seat the little brat had been sitting in, and also the armrests all up the isle where he’d been running out of control. The chocolate covered kid had nearly fallen on me but I had managed to catch it by its hair and stop my linen pants being ruined, any way at least it had chosen to go back to its own seat to blubber, rub its head and stare at me, that kid wasn’t going to come anywhere near me anytime soon.

Clearly the woman hadn’t thought things through as her car was in Manchester, and we were now 200 miles away in London, she issued an ultimatum to the Stewardess that unless they upgraded her she wanted to get off the plane. The Cabin Crew stopped short of deploying the safety chute and throwing her down it, but she was out of the door before she had chance to change her mind, they had already had enough of her whining and her unruly kids on the 35 minute flight to London, and they realised that we had another 13 hours ahead of us to the Maldives, the Women, her kids and her luggage were promptly kicked off the plane. All the passengers clapped when the nasty bitch finally went through the door and we could get on our way, how she was going to get her car back from Manchester I don’t know, and I didn’t care, but somehow I knew it would be her Husband who would cop for it when she got home.

The rest of the flight was great, and the transfer “speed boat” was waiting for us just a short distance away from Airport Arrivals. I was a little disappointed to be travelling by speed boat, not just because I had expected it to be like Sonny Crockett’s 42 foot Wellcraft Scarab, but because I had tried to book the Sea Plane and had been told by the Travel Rep of the firm we booked the holiday through that it didn’t go to the Island that we were staying on (roughly translated, she couldn’t be bothered to check, or make the arrangements for us).

The Island was Paradise and it was an All Inclusive resort, we were given free drinks on arrival and we sauntered down to the beach just in time to see the Sea Plane arriving with some of the other guests on board. I took a photograph and started to compose an email to the Travel Rep “Dear Travel Rep, You know the Sea Plane that you said didn’t go to the Island that we are staying at, Well guess what? “

The scenery was fantastic, there were shoals of beautifully coloured fish, Black Tipped Sharks and Stingrays swimming just yards from the shore. The food was great, the staff were so nice. I asked our dedicated waiter Labib if he knew the score at the Man United game as I had missed it while travelling and from then on he used to come to our table every morning and tell me all the sports results that he had specifically memorised to report to me, the staff asked me if I would like to play football with them, and as there was no TVs in the rooms they also invited me to watch Manchester United play on the TV in their staff quarters.

I was admiring the magnificent display of food available and I happened to mention to my Girlfriend that the soup looked good, the guy that dished it out and also made it overheard me and you could see his chest swell with pride in his work, he was overjoyed as he ladled out an extra big helping for me, which technically I hadn’t actually asked for, but hadn’t got the heart to refuse. From then on he waited for me every night and as soon as I walked in, he came over to tell us what soup of the day it was, so for two weeks I had soup every night, it was 40 degrees outside, and I was eating red hot soup, that’ll teach me not to compliment people, after 2 weeks I was sick of the sight of soup!

Usually I can’t relax on holiday, I was forever on the phone underwriting vehicles for the trade, answering emails or checking my works web cam to see if there are any customers on my pitch. With no 3 G signal I couldn’t do this and was forced to enjoy the beauty and tranquillity of Maldives, and pretty soon I forgot about work all together. This was the life, I started to question the sanity of Tom Hanks and the film Castaway, if I was marooned on a desert island and I saw a ship going past, I would hide in the deepest undergrowth I could find, why on Earth would you want to be rescued, was at the time beyond me, the Universe works in mysterious ways and the answer was soon forthcoming.

We had been there for a few days when my girlfriend at the time was bitten or stung on the foot, her ankle and foot were swollen and looked incredibly painful. Again the bar staff  took it in turns to relay a supply of ice cubes and towels to us, and making them into a cold compress to relieve the pain and swelling, but it was getting worse for her. There were medical facilities at the resort but only to dispense aspirin and plasters, I was afraid that we were getting beyond that as I could see she was in tremendous pain. I kept asking if she was alright, and she assured me she was. Now when I am feeling under the weather I make sure that everybody knows and suffers with me, but she was different, as long as I had known her she had never had a day off work, or moaned about having a cold or anything, she used to say Children get colds, Men get Flue and Women get on with it, to be fair she did..

Again my “Hope for the best, plan for the worst” instincts had taken over. I had seen a
Pterois (Lion Fish) in the sea not far from where we had been walking through the surf. I knew they were extremely poisonous, the bite/sting was on my Girlfriends foot and she had developed several of the symptoms that were associated with their stings which could cause paralysis and also prove fatal  (I’d Googled Lion Fish on the Computer in Reception). I had enquired and pre warned the staff at reception to be on stand by in case if she did need urgent medical attention. I was told that there was a possibility of getting the Air Taxi, but after 6.00 pm it went dark (Pitch Black) and our only option would be to sail to the Prison Island. This sounded like it would make an ideal plot for the next Die Hard film so I thought I would call the “Prison Island” excursion Plan B.  I also thought it best to keep my Lion Fish theory to myself as I didn’t want to panic her and make the situation worse than it was already.

The crew on High Alert 
We were rapidly burning daylight and she looked like she was getting worse, I kept asking her if she was sure that she was ok, but it was about 10.00 pm that night I knew she wasn’t, I heard the first sniff.  She’d had all day, but she chose that time at night to succumb to the pain, she could no longer walk, or put any weight on her leg. But it was too late now to get a ride in the Air Taxi!

I carried her to reception and Plan B was put into action, the boat was ready with her 3 man crew and we set sail through the Inky blackness towards the flickering light of the Prison Island. One of the crew was standing at the bow holding a lantern with a candle in it, it was as dim as an usherettes torch and we couldn’t see anything in the distance. Im like a shit magnet, and things happen to me that wouldn’t happen to normal everyday people, so when I go on Holiday, I go equipped, up until the travel laws changed I always carried my own medikit complete with syringes, Intravenous Catheters and Field Dressings. I had still managed to take a few of my essentials with me, I whipped my trusty mag light out and pushed the candle equipped pointman out of the way, he didn’t want to relinquish his position so he pushed me back. I shone my torch in his face, this insured he wouldn’t be able to see anything for a while so he went and sat down till his night vision recovered leaving me in charge which is where I like to be. I pointed my Mag Lite forward and lit up the sea between us and the prison Island, no one would get in our way.

It took us well over an hour to sail to the Island and when we docked there was a member of
the prison hospital staff waiting to meet us, the hospital was quite a distance away and he offered to get us transport, but when he came back he was driving a 1 seater tipper truck, good luck getting her to sit in the bucket I thought, I couldn’t get her to travel in anything less than the passenger seat of my Porsche.

Long story short I carried her to the hospital, and then I had to go to the other side of the Island to pick up the syringes and antibiotics that the Doctor needed to treat her. My journey was like something off a horror film, and I clasped my trusty maglite all the way there and back, I made a mental note not to shine it into the shadows anymore as all the eyes staring back at me was starting to freak me out.

A few injections later, and another trip through the unbelievable non light polluted blackness that is night in the Maldives, and my girlfriend was already showing signs of improvement. The cost of her treatment on the Island was the Maldivian equivalent of £3.00 I tried my best to give the Doctor a tip but he refused, in the end he agreed to take a small donation to the clinic he ran in his spare time. I wasn’t looking forward to getting the bill from the Hotel for 3 crew, their time, a boat and fuel. If they had the same ethics as the Preston Taxi Firm that we had used, the cost would probably Bankrupt me, thank goodness for Holiday Insurance.

Until I could claim the money back from the insurance company I would have to settle the bill, I could hardly bring myself to open it. I was expecting it to be in the hundreds and I laughed out loud when I saw the Total was a mere £29.00,  obviously the Maldivians are committed to making sure their patrons thoroughly enjoy their holidays (actually it’s not a Holiday it’s a Life Changing Experience!) , repeat business is more important to them than short term gain, and they cannot bring themselves to profit from someone else’s misfortune, there is a lot to be said for that.

The rest of the Holiday was fantastic, and went far too fast, I was very sad when our last day arrived and I could have quite happily stayed there for the rest of my life. My Girlfriend and I went back to our room after breakfast to see that our Bed had been decorated with petals, the message said “Good Luck” I think the message was aimed more at my Girlfriend than me but we really felt like the staff meant it.

Our Maldivian adventure was almost over, or so I thought when we boarded the “Speed
Leatherman Multi Purpose Tool
Boat” for our homeward bound journey to Male Airport. The Island was a spot in the distance and we had just about got to the point of no return when I thought I heard the engine miss a beat, then I heard it again, and again, a cloud of black smoke came out of the back of the boat and we ground to a halt. I wasn’t too worried and just thanked my lucky stars that it was the engine of the boat that had cut out and we weren’t making a Mayday call from the Air Taxi.

Swiss Army Knife
There was no anchor on the boat and we had no drive so we were at the mercy of the tide, we started to drift in the current as the boat bobbed up and down on the swell. The crew broke out the 3 tools they had on board which looked like they had gotten from a Christmas Cracker. They lifted the hatches up and started to dismantle the engine, that’s when one of the female passengers who was sat next to them, almost whispered in disbelief “There’s water coming in!” she was right it was coming in, and it was pouring in too, our Adventure wasn’t quite over, I put my camera down, and searched in my rucksack for the 2 pieces of equipment that I never leave home without, my “Leatherman” and my "Swiss Army Knife" I can repair anything with these, and I was ready in case the crew needed assistance.


It struck me that I should really be a Castaway, I don’t like people,  I was rapidly running out of Women who were prepared to take the risk of going on Holiday with me and succumbing to “The Curse Of The Cramptons”

What a fantastic Holiday, I need to go back, SOON!!!!!!!!!!!!  And if you haven’t been, You need to go too!







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          Plaid Suit & Tommy Hilfiger Display    
This is my last post for my holiday campaign with Tommy Hilfiger and I finally get to reveal my mannequin with you all!  I hope that you have enjoyed the posts and I appreciate every single person who went to the store to see my display.  For this last look, I took my love for plaid to another level :)








Blazer (here) & Pants (here): Tommy Hilfiger c/o
Top: Target/ Shoes: Charlie By Mz
Necklace: Capwell (gifted)/ Bag: Phillip Lim x Target


I wore the blazer and pants separately already, so I wanted to show that you can also wear them together to create a plaid suit.  I love pieces like this because they're extremely versatile.  It's kind of been a plaid theme on the blog all week and I didn't do that intentionally, but I guess it really shows how much I am loving it especially in this green and navy color combo.

I decided to keep it basic with a black top, shoes and bag but wore this necklace to make the green in the print pop a little more.  A suit like this is a huge statement outfit because it's really bold, however it's not over the top.  It's really chic and trendy and you could wear it to so many different places too.  I really wanted to show how you can get the most use of these pieces.


These are just 3 different ways to style them, but of course there are many more options.  The theme with all of these looks was a red lip!  I just love how it pops against the print.

And now for my mannequin and some special pics from my display....




Surprise Surprise!  I styled her in the plaid suit and she looks better in it than me!  The only difference is the top which has a pretty ribbon and this green bag that I was obsessed with.  I love how the bag pops against the plaid print.  I also put some sunglasses on her to give her that cool factor :) I didn't decide to wear the plaid suit until a week or so after I styled the mannequin so unfortunately I didn't have the same top but I still made it work with other pieces that I had at home.  I am so petite so if I was a little taller, the suit would have been a little more fitted on me but I still love it!  




These are all the amazing signage that they made for my display: a banner next to the mannequin, a sign on the rack with all my top picks, and special hang tags for all the pieces on my rack!  This was such a fun and awesome experience and I am so happy that I was able to be apart of it.  A huge thank you goes out to everyone at the Tommy store at the Garden State Plaza.  Everyone was so helpful throughout this entire project.  And a special thanks to Sandra and Francesca for setting this whole thing up and working with me this past month.

I hope you all enjoyed this holiday project! Thanks so much for taking the time to check it out :)
Happy Weekend dolls.
XO

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* This has been a sponsored post in collaboration with Tommy Hilfiger.  This post was written by me and expresses my true opinions. 

          Plaid & Sequins    
Plaid, sequins AND metallic? Yes please!  For today's post, I created a holiday inspired look that combines three of my favorite things at the moment. 









Top: Tommy Hilfiger c/o / Pants: Tommy Hilfiger (here) c/o
Shoes: Steve Madden (here)/ Clutch: PS I Adore You 
Love Bracelet: Tanya Kara/ Ring: Julie Vos (gifted)


These are two more of the pieces that I picked for my rack at the Tommy Hilfiger store in the Garden State Plaza.  I'm definitely mad about plaid right now, especially in this festive color combo.  I have to be honest though, these are supposed to be cropped trousers but because I'm only 4'11 they fit me like regular pants lol! They should actually be above my ankle.  However, I love them as full length pants though :) I should have worn my hair back to show off more of this top.  It's really simple but has a sequin embellished peter pan collar.  It's super cute and super affordable at only $39! I really wanted to bring out the navy blue from the pants so I thought this top was perfect.  I love the plaid and sequin combo.  To continue with the navy theme, I added this clutch.  So funny how the first time I styled it I totally thought it was black, however I clearly see now that it's navy blue.  I am telling you I am definitely color blind when it comes to those two colors :( 

I did not want to go with a black shoe, so I decided on these metallic babies that really make any outfit pop.  Metallic is such a huge trend this season and especially perfect during the holidays.  I've already gotten so much use out of them and only got them last month.  Definitely a great purchase.  The finishing touch as always is a red lip. As you can see in so many of my recent posts, I just can't get enough of it.  You can wear the simplest outfit but make it stand out just by adding a red lip.  That little pop of color changes everything!  I think an outfit like this is really cute for going to dinner or a holiday party if you aren't trying to wear the typical dress. 

 I have one more post coming from my collab with Tommy and can't wait to show you my final look.  Once again, thanks so much to everyone who has already gone to the store to check out my mannequin and picks! 
Enjoy the rest of this hump day <3

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* This has been a sponsored post in collaboration with Tommy Hilfiger.  This post was written by me and expresses my true opinions. 




          Holiday Preppy Chic    
I'm back with today's outfit post!  Since the holiday season is officially here, I wanted to do a "preppy chic" look that is still festive. 








Blazer: Tommy Hilfiger (here) c/o / Skirt: Zara (here)
Shirt: H&M (old) / Shoes: Steve Madden (similar)
 Thigh Highs: Victoria's Secret (here) / Bag: Phillip Lim For Target
Necklace: Happy Wrist c/o / Lipstick: Urban Decay F-Bomb 


It's no surprise how much I love blazers!  They've become a huge staple piece me for over the years on so many different occasions.  As you've seen in so many of my outfit posts, I just can't get enough.  I recently went to the grand opening event for Tommy Hilfiger at the Garden State Plaza and this was one of my favorite pieces there.  I really love the print and the colors make it so festive.  I was torn on how I wanted to style it because there are so many options, so I decided on this little skater skirt from Zara.  I wanted to do all black and let the blazer be the statement piece of the outfit.  Instead of going with black shoes, I decided on these metallic/petwer ones that I scored on sale :)  I think they are such a great shoe for the holidays.  And of course to complete the look, I went with a bold holiday lip and some pretty sparkle.  I am also wearing tights so my legs don't freeze!  I really love these VS thigh highs because they are comfortable and actually stay up.  I'm working on a really fun holiday project with Tommy coming in December so stay tuned! Also, please vote for me today loves <3

Wishing you and your families a very Happy Thanksgiving!
XOXO
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          'Another day in paradise': See Tara Lipinski's tropical honeymoon photos   
The Olympic figure skater took to Instagram on Thursday to share several pics from the Maldives that are worthy of a travel guide.
          Career Opportunities at Kihaa Maldives   

          Female Spa Therapist Job Vacancy at Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort   

          Accounts Receivable Officer Job Vacancy at Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort   

          Tax Accountant for Club Med Maldives   

          Commis Cook and Rooms Housekeeper Job Vacancy at Club Med Maldives   

          Demi Chef de Partie (Italian Cuisine) and Human Resources Officer for Kanuhura Maldives   

          Teppanyaki Chef Job Vacancy at Kurumba Maldives   

          Head Butler and Guest Relations Executive Job Vacancy at Adaaran Select Meedhupparu Maldives   

          Maldives: the best snorkelling on Earth   
There are very few places in the world where you are almost guaranteed to spot whale sharks, manta ray, turtles and dolphins.
          Two countries Bhutan and Maldives become the first to eliminate measles   

Bhutan and the Maldives have eliminated measles, a highly infectious disease that is a major child killer worldwide. The two countries have become the first in the WHO South-East Asia region to be verified for having interrupted the endemic transmission of the measles virus, before the regional target of 2020.



          ONLINE INTERNET POLICE   
Internet police is a generic term for police and secret police departments and other organizations in charge of policing Internet in a number of countries. The major purposes of Internet police, depending on the state, are fighting cybercrime, as well as censorship, propaganda, and monitoring and manipulating the online public opinion.

It has been reported that in 2005, departments of provincial and municipal governments in mainland China began creating teams of Internet commentators from propaganda and police departments and offering them classes in Marxism, propaganda techniques, and the Internet. They are reported to guide discussion on public bulletin boards away from politically sensitive topics by posting opinions anonymously or under false names. "They are actually hiring staff to curse online", said Liu Di, a Chinese student who was arrested for posting her comments in blogs.
Chinese Internet police also erase anti-Communist comments and posts pro-government messages. Chinese Communist Party leader Hu Jintao has declared the party's intent to strengthen administration of the online environment and maintain the initiative in online opinion.

The Computer Emergency Response Team of Estonia (CERT Estonia), established in 2006, is an organisation responsible for the management of security incidents in .ee computer networks. Its task is to assist Estonian Internet users in the implementation of preventive measures in order to reduce possible damage from security incidents and to help them in responding to security threats. CERT Estonia deals with security incidents that occur in Estonian networks, are started there, or have been notified of by citizens or institutions either in Estonia or abroad.
Cyber Crime Investigation Cell is a wing of Mumbai Police, India, to deal with Cyber crimes, and to enforce provisions of India's Information Technology Law, namely, Information Technology Act 2000, and various cyber crime related provisions of criminal laws, including the Indian Penal Code. Cyber Crime Investigation Cell is a part of Crime Branch, Criminal Investigation Department of the Mumbai Police.
Andhra Pradesh Cyber Crime Investigation Cell is a wing of Hyderabad Police, India, to deal with Cyber crimes.

Dutch police were reported to have set up an Internet Brigade to fight cybercrime. It will be allowed to infiltrate Internet newsgroups and discussion forums for intelligence gathering, to make pseudo-purchase and to provide services
After the 2006 coup in Thailand, the Thai police has been active in monitoring and silencing dissidents online. Censorship of the Internet is carried out by the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology of Thailand and the Royal Thai Police, in collaboration with the Communications Authority of Thailand and the Telecommunication Authority of Thailand.

The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) is the only recognised organisation in the United Kingdom operating an Internet ‘Hotline’ for the public and IT professionals to report their exposure to potentially illegal content online. It works in partnership with the police, Government, the public, Internet service providers and the wider online industry.

The Internet Crime Complaint Center, also known as IC3, is a multi-agency task force made up by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA).

IC3's purpose is to serve as a central hub to receive, develop, and refer criminal complaints regarding the rapidly expanding occurrences of cyber-crime. The IC3 gives the victims of cybercrime a convenient and easy-to-use reporting mechanism that alerts authorities of suspected criminal or civil violations on the internet. IC3 develops leads and notifies law enforcement and regulatory agencies at the federal, state, local and international level, IC3 act as a central referral mechanism for complaints involving Internet related crimes.

Criminal threatening is the crime of intentionally or knowingly putting another person in fear of imminent bodily injury.

There is no legal definition in English law as to what constitutes criminal threatening behaviour, so it is up to the courts to decide on a case by case basis. However, if somebody threatens violence against somebody, then this may be a criminal offence. In most countries it is only an offence if it can be proven the person had the intention and equipment to carry out the threat. However if the threat involves the mention of a bomb it is automatically a crime.
In most U.S. jurisdictions, the crime remains a misdemeanor unless a deadly weapon is involved or actual violence is committed, in which case it is usually considered a felony.

Criminal threatening can be the result of verbal threats of violence, physical conduct (such as hand gestures or raised fists), actual physical contact, or even simply the placing of an object or graffiti on the property of another person with the purpose of coercing or terrorizing.

Criminal threatening is also defined by arson, vandalism, the delivery of noxious biological or chemical substances (or any substance that appears to be a toxic substance), or any other crime against the property of another person with the purpose of coercing or terrorizing any person in reckless disregard for causing fear, terror or inconvenience.

"Terrorizing" generally means to cause alarm, fright, or dread in another person or inducing apprehension of violence from a hostile or threatening event, person or object.

Crimint is a database run by the Metropolitan Police Service of Greater London which stores information on criminals, suspected criminals and protestors. It was created in 1994 and supplied by Memex Technology Limited. It supports the recording and searching of items of intelligence by both police officers and back office staff. As of 2005 it contained seven million information reports and 250,000 intelligence records. The database makes it much easier for police officers to find information on people, as one officer who used the system stated in 1996:

"With Crimint we are in a new world. I was recently asked if I knew something about a certain car. In the old days I would have had to hunt through my cards. I would probably have said, 'Yes, I do, but . . . '. With Crimint I was able to answer the question in about fifteen seconds. And with Crimint things just don't go missing.
People are able to request their information from the database under data protection laws. Requests have shown that the database holds large amounts of information on protesters who have not committed any crimes. Information is stored for at least seven years. Holding information on people who have never committed any offence may be against people's human rights. A police officer, Amerdeep Johal, used the database to contact sex offenders and threatened to disclose information about them from the database unless they paid him thousands of pounds.

Along with development of the Internet, state authorities in many parts of the world are moving forward to install mass surveillance of the electronic communications, establish Internet censorship to limit the flow of information, and persecute individuals and groups who express “inconvenient” political views in the Internet. Many cyber-dissidents have found themselves persecuted for attempts to bypass state controlled news media. Reporters Without Borders has released a Handbook For Bloggers and Cyber-Dissidents and maintains a roster of currently imprisoned cyber-dissidents

Chinese Communist Party leader Hu Jintao ordered to "maintain the initiative in opinion on the Internet and raise the level of guidance online, An internet police force - reportedly numbering 30,000 - trawls websites and chat rooms, erasing anti-Communist comments and posting pro-government messages." However, the number of Internet police personnel was challenged by Chinese authorities Amnesty International blamed several companies, including Google, Microsoft and Yahoo!, of collusion with the Chinese authorities to restrict access to information over the Internet and identify cyber-dissidents by hiring "big mamas" .
It was reported that departments of provincial and municipal governments in mainland China began creating "teams of internet commentators, whose job is to guide discussion on public bulletin boards away from politically sensitive topics by posting opinions anonymously or under false names" in 2005 Applicants for the job were drawn mostly from the propaganda and police departments. Successful candidates have been offered classes in Marxism, propaganda techniques, and the Internet. "They are actually hiring staff to curse online," said Liu Di, a Chinese student who was arrested for posting her comments in blogs

Internet censorship is control or suppression of the publishing or accessing of information on the Internet. The legal issues are similar to offline censorship.
One difference is that national borders are more permeable online: residents of a country that bans certain information can find it on websites hosted outside the country. A government can try to prevent its citizens from viewing these even if it has no control over the websites themselves. Filtering can be based on a blacklist or be dynamic. In the case of a blacklist, that list is usually not published. The list may be produced manually or automatically.

Barring total control over Internet-connected computers, such as in North Korea, total censorship of information on the Internet is very difficult (or impossible) to achieve due to the underlying distributed technology of the Internet. Pseudonymity and data havens (such as Freenet) allow unconditional free speech, as the technology guarantees that material cannot be removed and the author of any information is impossible to link to a physical identity or organization.

In some cases, Internet censorship may involve deceit. In such cases the censoring authority may block content while leading the public to believe that censorship has not been applied. This may be done by having the ISP provide a fake "Not Found" error message upon the request of an Internet page that is actually found but blocked (see 404 error for details).

In November 2007, "Father of the Internet" Vint Cerf stated that he sees Government-led control of the Internet failing due to private ownership. Many internet experts use the term "splinternet" to describe some of the effects of national firewalls.

Some commonly used methods for censoring content are:

IP blocking. Access to a certain IP address is denied. If the target Web site is hosted in a shared hosting server, all websites on the same server will be blocked. This affects IP-based protocols such as HTTP, FTP and POP. A typical circumvention method is to find proxies that have access to the target websites, but proxies may be jammed or blocked, and some Web sites, such as Wikipedia (when editing), also block proxies. Some large websites like Google have allocated additional IP addresses to circumvent the block, but later the block was extended to cover the new IPs.

DNS filtering and redirection. Don't resolve domain names, or return incorrect IP addresses. This affects all IP-based protocols such as HTTP, FTP and POP. A typical circumvention method is to find a domain name server that resolves domain names correctly, but domain name servers are subject to blockage as well, especially IP blocking. Another workaround is to bypass DNS if the IP address is obtainable from other sources and is not blocked. Examples are modifying the Hosts file or typing the IP address instead of the domain name in a Web browser.

Uniform Resource Locator (URL) filtering. Scan the requested URL string for target keywords regardless of the domain name specified in the URL. This affects the HTTP protocol. Typical circumvention methods are to use escaped characters in the URL, or to use encrypted protocols such as VPN and TLS/SSL.

Packet filtering. Terminate TCP packet transmissions when a certain number of controversial keywords are detected. This affects all TCP-based protocols such as HTTP, FTP and POP, but Search engine results pages are more likely to be censored. Typical circumvention methods are to use encrypted connections - such as VPN and TLS/SSL - to escape the HTML content, or by reducing the TCP/IP stack's MTU/MSS to reduce the amount of text contained in a given packet.

Connection reset. If a previous TCP connection is blocked by the filter, future connection attempts from both sides will also be blocked for up to 30 minutes. Depending on the location of the block, other users or websites may also be blocked if the communication is routed to the location of the block. A circumvention method is to ignore the reset packet sent by the firewall.

Reverse surveillance. Computers accessing certain websites including Google are automatically exposed to reverse scanning from the ISP in an apparent attempt to extract further information from the "offending" system.

One of the most popular filtering software programmes is SmartFilter, owned by Secure Computing in California, which has recently been bought by McAfee. SmartFilter has been used by Tunisia, Saudi Arabia and Sudan, as well as in the US and the UK.

There are a number of resources that allow users to bypass the technical aspects of Internet censorship. Each solution has differing ease of use, speed, and security from other options. Most, however, rely on gaining access to an internet connection that is not subject to filtering, often in a different jurisdiction not subject to the same censorship laws. This is an inherent problem in internet censorship in that so long as there is one publicly accessible system in the world without censorship, it will still be possible to have access to censored material.

Proxy websites are often the simplest and fastest way to access banned websites in censored nations. Such websites work by being themselves un-banned but capable of displaying banned material within them. This is usually accomplished by entering a URL address which the proxy website will fetch and display. They recommend using the https protocol since it is encrypted and harder to block.

Java Anon Proxy is primarily a strong, free and open source anonymizer software available for all operating systems. As of 2004, it also includes a blocking resistance functionality that allows users to circumvent the blocking of the underlying anonymity service AN.ON by accessing it via other users of the software (forwarding client).

The addresses of JAP users that provide a forwarding server can be retrieved by getting contact to AN.ON's InfoService network, either automatically or, if this network is blocked, too, by writing an e-mail to one of these InfoServices. The JAP software automatically decrypts the answer after the user completes a CAPTCHA. The developers are currently planning to integrate additional and even stronger blocking resistance functions.

Using Virtual Private Networks, a user who experiences internet censorship can create a secure connection to a more permissive country, and browse the internet as if they were situated in that country. Some services are offered for a monthly fee, others are ad-supported.

Psiphon software allows users in nations with censored Internet such as China to access banned websites like Wikipedia. The service requires that the software be installed on a computer with uncensored access to the Internet so that the computer can act as a proxy for users in censored environments

In 1996, the United States enacted the Communications Decency Act, which severely restricted online speech that could potentially be seen by a minor – which, it was argued, was most of online speech. Free speech advocates, however, managed to have most of the act overturned by the courts. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act criminalizes the discussion and dissemination of technology that could be used to circumvent copyright protection mechanisms, and makes it easier to act against alleged copyright infringement on the Internet. Many school districts in the United States frequently censor material deemed inappropriate for the school setting. In 2000, the U.S. Congress passed the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) which requires schools and public libraries receiving federal funding to install internet filters or blocking software.[104] Congress is also considering legislation to require schools, some businesses and libraries to block access to social networking websites, The Deleting Online Predators Act. Opponents of Internet censorship argue that the free speech provisions of the First Amendment bars the government from any law or regulation that censors the Internet.

A 4 January 2007 restraining order issued by U.S. District Court Judge Jack B. Weinstein forbade a large number of activists in the psychiatric survivors movement from posting links on their websites to ostensibly leaked documents which purportedly show that Eli Lilly and Company intentionally withheld information as to the lethal side-effects of Zyprexa. The Electronic Frontier Foundation appealed this as prior restraint on the right to link to and post documents, saying that citizen-journalists should have the same First Amendment rights as major media outlets. It was later held that the judgment was unenforcable, though First Amendment claims were rejected.

In January 2010, a lawsuit was filed against an online forum, Scubaboard.com, by a Maldives diving charter company (see scubaboard lawsuit). The owner of the company claimed $10 million in damages caused by users of scubaboard, scubaboard.com, and the owner of scubaboard.com. Individual forum members were named in the lawsuit as "employees" of the forum, despite their identity being anonymous except for their IP address to the moderators and owners of scubaboard.com. This lawsuit demonstrates the vulnerability of internet websites and internet forums to local and regional lawsuits for libel and damages.
          Tara Lipinski Shows Off Super Toned Body On Stunning Honeymoon (PHOTOS)   

Those views, though! Newlywed Tara Lipinski showed off her toned bikini body on Instagram on Wednesday, June 28. The former Olympic figure skater, 35, is on her honeymoon with husband Todd Kapostasy. A-List Honeymoon Destinations “The way I see it, I found paradise or maybe I’m just madly in love. @toddkap #TNTravels #TNThoneymoon #ooreethirah #Maldives #honeymoon,” she captioned a […]

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          Canada celebrate 150th Anniversary of Confederation - Shelley Whiting   
Colombo, 30 June, (Asiantribune.com):

This year it takes on a very special meaning as we celebrate Canada’s 150th Anniversary of Confederation, says Shelley Whiting, High Commission of Canada to Sri Lanka and Maldives.

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          Qatar Airways – $929: Washington D.C. – The Maldives. Roundtrip, including all Taxes   
A good sale to The Maldives. ITA will price this at $979, using those dates on Qatar Airways should reprice to $929. Sample Travel Date: September 18th – 25th This is just ONE SAMPLE travel date, for more availability, please follow the “Fare Availability” and “How to Search for Availability” instructions below Fare Availability: Valid […]

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          Comment on That Honeymoon Feeling: A week at Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort by Savi Vid   
Hey Shayoni - There's lots of vegetarian salads and sandwiches available everywhere. A lot of Mauritian curries tend to be vegetarian too
          Comment on That Honeymoon Feeling: A week at Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort by Shayoni   
Love reading all your posts, great job you both! Well i read about Maldives, Mauritius and Fiji, but one thing i wanted to ask is, Is there an availability/decent options for Vegetarian food at all the three places? We are planning for our Honeymoon in coming March and are very confused about an island tour as we are pure veg. TIA
          instagram 2015 best nine   

2015 Instagram Best Nine Photos

There's an end-of-the-year meme going around that generates your nine most popular photos posted to instagram. These aren't my nine most popular - but they are my nine most favorite. They represent an otherworldly, incredible travel year to more than 26 countries - 10 which were lifers!

The photos, from left to right represent: Amman, Jordan; Quartz Mountain, Oklahoma; Kandalama, Sri Lanka, St. Petersburg, Russia; Toronto, Canada (Pan Am Games Opening Ceremony); Kona, Hawaii, Cape May, New Jersey; and Pico Bonito, Honduras. Although Australia was the last country I traveled to in 2015 (still here as I write) - travels to Honduras in early December brought me to my 120th country (not that I am a lister!). 

And since I am fairly certain no one reads my blog anymore - I might as well go ahead and post my travels from 2015 - because they were pretty mind-blowing:

January
San Antonio, Texas (Alamo Bowl)
Palau (#110)
South Korea
Seychelles (#111)
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

February
Cartagena, Colombia (#112)
Lake Tahoe, California
Tucson, Arizona

March
Joshua Tree National Park
Sydney, Australia

April
Madagascar (#113)
Kona, Hawaii

May
Honolulu, Hawaii
Toronto, Canada
Rome, Italy
Lisbon, Portugal
La Coruna, Spain
Bilbao, Spain
Bordeaux, France

June
London, England
Amman, Jordan
Beirut, Lebanon (#114)

July
Toronto, Canada (Pan Am Games)
a five-week assignment

August
Alaskan Cruise
Beijing, China

September
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
St. Petersburg, Russia
Kona, Hawaii

October
Tonga (#115)
Adelaide, Australia
Sri Lanka (#116)
Madagascar
Maldives (#117)
Bali (#118)
Papua New Guinea
Fiji (#119)

November
London, England (Rugby World Cup)
Yangon & Bagan, Myanmar

December
Honduras (#120)
Port Douglas, Australia









          Tara Lapinski Tied The Knot Then Put A Bikini On   

Former figure skater Tara Lapinski tied the knot over the weekend.  She then slipped into a bikini to show off her figure.

First a look at the wedding.



This day! Nothing can compare. ❤️Don't forget to pick up @people magazine this Friday to see all the pics. Also our @PeopleEWNetwork special on our wedding is up! (Link in bio) We talk about how we met, all the way up to the big day. Todds "Let's have some kids" cracks me up every time. ❤️Link in bio. Thank you Custom Tulle Skirt Train + Reception Dress: @LauraBasci Photographer: @SylvieGil Videographer: @LifeInRewindFilms Custom Shoes: @Charlotte_Olympia Groom Tux: @TomFord Flowers: for making my dreams come true @JacksonDurhamEvents Cocktail Hour Band: @DavidHigginsBand Catering: @CruCatering Rentals: @OldSouthVintageRentals Flip Flops: @ReceptionFlipFlops Sparklers: @76fireworks Event Planning: @MindyWeiss Hair: @glennnutley Makeup: @juliannekaye Flowers for bridal portraits at home @wearepetaloso
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Now a look at the honeymoon and Tara's bikini game.

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          For sale - Maldives 757 imperf,mnh.Mi Bl.51B. Captain... - Auction   
Westlake Village CA, United States
...class mail will be used; purchases above $60.00 require mail with tracking number (insured mail inside us, expedited: registered or express international mail). Buyer pays the mail fee. For ...
ebay.com

          36 Writing Contests in May 2017 - No Entry Fees   
May hosts three dozen free contests. They cover the full range of topics, styles and genres, from essays, to poetry, to full-length works.

In addition to the prestige of winning a contest, some of the monetary prizes this month are substantial.

Be sure to check the submission requirements carefully, as some have age and geographical restrictions.

Many contests are offered annually, so if you miss a contest you may be able to catch it next year. For a full month-by-month listing of contests see: Free Contests.
________________________

Crucible: Poetry and Fiction Competition is sponsored by the Barton College Department of English. Genres: Fiction (limited to 8,000 words or less) and poetry (limited to five poems). Restrictions: All work must be original and unpublished. Prizes: $150.00 First Prize. $100.00 Second Prize. Publication in the CrucibleDeadline: May 1, 2017. 

The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay ContestRestrictions: Children aged 18 and under. Entrants must reside within a Commonwealth country or territory, or the Gambia, the Maldives, and Zimbabwe. Max word count is 1500 for entrants aged 14-18, and 750 for entrants younger than 14. Prizes are not stated explicitly but “have included certificates, resources for winner’s school, visits to Cambridge University, a trip to London and a week of activities, work experience at international organisations, and having your entry featured in worldwide media.” Genre: Essay. The theme of the contest is “A Commonwealth For Peace.” Deadline: May 1, 2017.

“My Mother, My Hero.” Genre: Essay. "In the world of addiction, it is often the families who help pull a loved one out of the clutches of substance abuse. It’s through their support that many people find healing, and quite often it is a mom (or a mother figure) who is always there in a time of need. Of course, it’s also likely that a mom has been hurt most in watching her child suffer the pain of addiction, which doesn’t just affect the addict, it touches everyone in their life. In 250 words or less, tell us why your mother is your hero." Prize: $200. Deadline: May 1, 2017. 

Alpine FellowshipGenre: Pieces of any genre up to 2500 words on the theme of “landscape.” Prize: The first place winner receives £3000 and an invitation to enter the symposium in Venice (two runners-up also receive the invitation). Deadline: May 1, 2017. 

Questions Writing PrizeRestrictions: Open to authors aged 18-30. Genre: Short stories of any genre or nonfiction between 1500 and 2000 words. Prize: First place winners (or prize pool for a tie) is $2000. The work will also be published in a book. Deadline: May 1, 2017. 

Grant MacEwan Creative Writing Scholarship is sponsored by the Alberta Foundation for the Arts. Genres: Poetry, Short Fiction & Creative Nonfiction, Drama, or Graphic Novel. Restrictions: Authors must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate creative writing program of study or mentorship. (Max age 25) Alberta residents only. Prize: $5000 (CAN). Deadline: May 1, 2017. 

Whiting Foundation Creative Nonfiction GrantGenre: Creative nonfiction. Whiting welcomes submissions for works of history, cultural or political reportage, biography, memoir, the sciences, philosophy, criticism, food or travel writing, and personal essays, among other categories. Writers must be completing a book of creative nonfiction that is currently under contract with a publisher. Writers who signed a contract before May 1, 2015, are eligible. Prize: $40,000. Deadline: May 1, 2017. 

Polari First Book PrizeGenres: The prize is for a first book which explores the LGBT experience and is open to any work of poetry, prose, fiction or non-fiction published in English. Self-published works in both print and digital formats are eligible for submission. Restrictions: Writer must be born in UK or resident in the UK. Prize: £1,000.00. Deadline: May 1, 2017. 


West Virginia Fiction CompetitionRestrictions: Open to West Virginia residents or students. Genre: Short fiction, 5,000 words max. Prize: $500. Deadline: May 1, 2017. 

Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers ProgramRestrictions: Debuting authors and writers with fewer than three previously published books who have yet to receive a major literary award are eligible for consideration. Exceptions are sometimes made for authors who have published more titles, but have yet to break out to a larger audience. Submissions must be original publications, penned by one author. Self-published works not allowed. Genres: Published or scheduled to be published fiction and literary nonfiction. Prize: $10,000 in each genre and in-store marketing/merchandising from Barnes & Noble. 2nd Place $5,000 in each genre, 3rd Place $2,500 in each genre. Deadline: May 4, 2017.

Maine Arts Commission Individual Artist FellowshipsRestrictions: Open to writers who have lived in the state of Maine for at least one year. Genre: Fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction. Prize: $5,000. Deadline: May 4, 2017.

Daily Mail/Penguin Random House New Crime Novelist CompetitionRestrictions: Open to residents of the UK or Republic of Ireland. Unpublished authors only. Genre: Crime book. Prize: £20,000.00 advance on a publishing contract. Deadline: May 5, 2017.

Creative Comedy ProjectGenre: Comedy. ‘We want you to write a piece of comedy that’s no longer than 500 words. It could be experimental, satire, spoof, wit or wordplay. The choice our friends is up to you! We’re looking for all formats of written comedy. It could be the opening to a sitcom, a scene of a play or just a silly story. All that we ask is that it deals with one or more of the themes from Anita and Me, including family, coming-of-age, migration, racism, love and friendship, cultural and social change. Prize: The winning piece will be crowned Comedy Gold and awarded a prize of £300. Runner-up positions include Silver and Bronze and will receive prizes of £150 and £50 respectively. Deadline: May 7, 2017.

The James Laughlin Award is sponsored by the Academy of American Poets. Genre: A second book of poetry forthcoming in the next calendar year. Must be under contract with US publisher. Restrictions: Open to US citizens and residents only. Prize: $5,000, an all-expenses-paid week long residency in Florida, and the Academy will purchase approximately 1,000 copies of the book for distribution to its members. Deadline: May 15, 2017.

Artist Trust. Restrictions: Open to poets, fiction writers, and nonfiction writers who are residents of Washington State. Students enrolled in a degree-granting program are ineligible. Submit a writing sample of up to 12 pages with a project description, synopsis, budget, and résumé. Grant: $1,500. Deadline: May 15, 2017. 

St. Francis College Literary PrizeGenre: Novel. Third, fourth, or fifth published book of fiction. Self-published books and English translations are eligible. Prize: $50,000 is given biennially. Deadline: May 15, 2017.

Leeway Foundation: Transformation AwardRestrictions: Women and transgender, transsexual, genderqueer, or otherwise gender-nonconforming poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers in the Philadelphia area who have been creating art for social change for five or more years. Writers who have lived for at least two years in Bucks, Camden, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, or Philadelphia counties, who are at least 18 years of age, and who are not full-time students in a degree-granting arts program are eligible. Award: $15,000. Deadline: May 15, 2017.

Expatriate and Work Abroad Writing ContestGenre: Essay. "Professionals, freelancers, and aspiring writers are encouraged to write articles that describe their experience living, moving, and working abroad. Often your experience living abroad may be extended by working or studying in the host country, so living/working/studying/and traveling abroad are often inextricable—and we are interested in exploring these interconnections." Prize: The first-place winner’s entry will receive $500, the second-place winning entry $150, and the third-place winner $100. Deadline: May 15, 2017.

Kindle Storyteller Award (UK)Restrictions: The prize is open to all authors who publish their book through Kindle Direct Publishing on Amazon.co.uk between 20th February and 19th May 2017. Genre: Book. Prize: £20,000. Deadline: May 15, 2017.

Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction PrizeGenre: Fiction. Restrictions: Titles must be published in Canada and written by Canadians. No self-published works. Prize: $25,000 will be awarded to a novel or short-story collection published between March 22, 2016 and May 23, 2017. Prizes of $2,500 will be awarded to each of the finalists. Deadline: May 24, 2017.

Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Non-FictionGenre: Literary non-fiction. Restrictions: Titles must be published in Canada and written by Canadians. Prize: $60,000 will be awarded to a literary nonfiction book published between March 23, 2016 and May 24, 2016. Deadline: May 24, 2016.  Read guidelines HERE.

Stony Brook Short Fiction PrizeRestrictions: Only undergraduates enrolled full time in United States and Canadian universities and colleges for the academic year 2016-17 are eligible. Genre: Fiction of no more than 7,500 words. Prize: $1,000. Deadline: May 25, 2017. 

Sapiens PlurumGenre: Stories that personalize the consequences of climate change so readers feel as well as know them. But stories must offer hope, at least a possibility, for without hope people rarely act. Your job, as author, is to inspire scientists and states-persons around the world to live up to the promise of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. Prize: 1ST PRIZE: $1000; 2ND PRIZE: $500; 3RD PRIZE: $300. Deadline: May 27, 2017. Submission details available after registration.

Be a Hero ContestGenre: Flash fiction up to 50 words about a hero. Title is not included in the word count, and the hero can be from your life, from history, or fictional. Stories will be sent to all senators and members of the House of Representatives, urging them to be heroes in these times of United States political strife. "At this precarious time in the United States, we need people to be heroes. This isn’t a battle between Republicans and Democrats. This is a battle between right and wrong. And we need heroes who are willing to fight for what is right—across this country and around the world." Prize: The winner will receive a Gotham Writer’s Workshop class of their choosing. Limit one entry per person. Deadline: May 29, 2017.

Claudia Ann Seaman Awards For Young Writers. Restrictions: High school students. Genre: Stories and poems. Prize: $200.00. Deadline: May 30, 2016.

Nick Darke Writers' Award. Genre: Stage play. Prize: £6,000. Deadline: May 30, 2017.

Eden Mills Teen Poetry Contest. Restrictions: Open to Canadian teens. Genre: Poetry. This year’s theme: Time and all its gifts. Prize: Two $50 prizes, 2 $25 prizes. Deadline: May 30, 2016.

Bacopa Literary Review. Genres: Fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry. Prizes: First ($200) and Runner-Up ($160) prizes in each genre. All published will receive $20 and a copy of the print journal. After publication, Bacopa 2017 will be promoted online. Deadline: May 31, 2017.

bpNichol Poetry Chapbook AwardGenre: Published poetry chapbook. Restrictions: Canadian publishers only. Prize: The author receives $4,000 and the publisher receives $500. Deadline: May 31, 2017.

The Wolfe Pack Black Orchid AwardGenre: Mystery novellas in the style of Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe novellas. Manuscript length: 15K-20K words. Prize: $1,000, plus recognition and publication in a forthcoming issue of AAMM. Deadline: May 31, 2017.

Cromwell Article PrizeGenre: Articles published in 2015 in the field of American legal history. Restrictions: Open to early career scholars. Prize: $2,500. Deadline: May 31, 2017.

Jerry Jazz Musician Fiction ContestGenre: Unpublished fiction approximately 1,000 - 5,000 words. Story should pertain to music, social history, literature, politics, art, film and theater, particularly that of the counter-culture of mid-twentieth century America. Prize: $100 and publication in Jerry Jazz MusicianDeadline: May 31, 2017.

Save the Earth Poetry PrizeGenre: Poem (1). Poems submitted should, in any way possible, evoke humankind’s awareness of the natural world and nature as such. Restrictions: Open to High school students, grades 11 & 12. Prize: $200 awarded to seven winners. Deadline: May 31, 2017.

ABA Journal/Ross Writing Contest for Legal Short Fiction. Sponsored by the American Bar Association. Restrictions: Entrants must be U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents.  Genre: Original works of short fiction that illuminate the role of the law and/or lawyers in modern society. 5000 words max. Prize: $3,000 and publication in ABA Journal. Deadline: May 31, 2017.

James Bartleman Aboriginal Youth Creative Writing AwardsRestrictions: Open to aboriginal youth, 18 years or younger, residing in Ontario, Canada. Prize: $2,500. Deadline: May 31, 2017.

I Must Be Off! Travel Writing ContestGenre: Travel articles, travel anecdotes and travel reflectionsPrize: $200. Deadline: May 31, 2017.

          For sale - grape motif ceramic heavy vase--- inspirado... - $9   

Australia
Posting to: Worldwide Excludes: Africa, Oman, Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey, Jordan, Yemen, Bhutan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, India, Pakistan, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan Republic, Tajikistan, Georgia, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Maldives, Armenia, Bangladesh, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, Western Samoa, Tuvalu, Guam, Fiji, Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Niue, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Kiribati, Micronesia, Nauru, American Samoa, French Polynesia, Cook Islands ...
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           From the buffet to the beach, Tara Lipinski shows off honeymoon    
From the buffet to the beach, Tara Lipinski shows off Maldives honeymoon which she labeled 'paradise'.
          Qatar Airways – $929: Washington D.C. – The Maldives. Roundtrip, including all Taxes   
Qatar Airways – $929: Washington D.C. – The Maldives. Roundtrip, including all Taxes
A good sale to The Maldives. ITA will price this at $979, using those dates on Qatar Airways should reprice to $929. Sample Travel Date: September 18th – 25th This is just ONE SAMPLE travel date, for more availability, please follow the “Fare Availability” and “How to Search for Availability” instructions below Fare Availability: Valid […]
          Alimatha (night)   
Location Alimathaa Jetty (Felidhoo Atoll, Maldives)

          Maaya thila night   
Location Maaya Thila (North Ari Atoll, Maldives)

          Awesome Activities in the Maldives – Fun in the Sun   

As well as fantastic accommodation, we also experienced some awesome activities during our unfortunately short stay in the Maldives.

The post Awesome Activities in the Maldives – Fun in the Sun appeared first on eTramping Travel Blog.


          Disasters, funds, and policy: Creatively meeting urgent needs and long-term policy goals   

Photo: tro-kilinochchi / Flickr

[[tweetable]]When it comes to responding to disasters, time is of the essence.[[/tweetable]] Help needs to come immediately to save lives; recovery and reconstruction have to start swiftly to lessen the impact.

However, while money is critical to this response, it’s not just about funding. Indeed, funds need to match the event scale, target the right areas and sectors, and smoothly flow to communities in need. But in order for that to happen, sound public policy on risk and frameworks have to be in place.  

To address both urgent financial needs while pursing strategic disaster risk management policy goals, countries have been using the World Bank’s development policy loan with a catastrophe deferred drawdown option or, more widely known as the Cat DDO.  

The loan provides quick liquidity when an eligible disaster event occurs. Governments can rapidly draw on funds either in full amount or in parts and repay later under agreed terms. For example, Sri Lanka accessed over US$100 million for recovery efforts after floods and landslides in May 2016.

The Cat DDO is more than just emergency lending. Along having a sound macro-economic environment, countries wanting to access this innovative financial instrument also agree to advance specific policy actions that strengthen disaster risk management. In the Philippines, for example, Cat DDO is helping to improve building codes and other policy actions to strengthen the resilience of critical infrastructure. In Latin America, policy dialogue and technical work related to Cat DDOs have contributed to the development of a range of sophisticated risk financing instruments.

Tailored to country needs, this instrument has proved popular among middle-income countries. Between 2008 and 2017, 15 such loans were approved worth US$2.345 billion.
 
Now, with the latest replenishment of the International Development Association (IDA)’s concessional financing, Cat DDOs are also available to low-income countries eligible for IDA funding.

Photo: European Union, European Development Days, EU, June 2017
Country representatives, World Bank staff, and experts discuss the policy features of the Cat DDO. 
Photo: European Union, European Development Days, June 2017
This is good news for communities at risk. As low-income countries are likely to face increased risks due to climate change, rapid urbanization, and fragility and conflict, investing in disaster and climate resilience is an urgent task to protect people and assets. Moreover, research shows that women, the poor, and vulnerable disproportionately bear the brunt of disaster impacts. [[tweetable]]Better response and preparedness can help lessen disaster impact and preserve development gains.[[/tweetable]]

About this series
More blog posts
 

Saint Lucia, Haiti, Kenya, Cabo Verde, and Maldives are already considering Cat DDO credits.  In doing so, they are looking at experience from previous operations which highlights the added value of the instrument such as:
  • Cat DDOs provide immediate liquidity, with countries being able to access funds within 48 hours.
  • Cat‐DDOs help drive the implementation of policy reforms, monitoring outputs, and linking them to sectoral investments.
  • Defining Cat‐DDO policy actions brings together stakeholders across different ministries and agencies enabling disaster risks to be addressed in a comprehensive manner.
  • The instrument provides an opportunity to elevate disaster issues to oversight agencies, such as finance, budget, and economic planning which may not otherwise be engaged in the policy dialogue.
  • CAT DDOs help raise awareness of broader concepts of disaster risk management, and support governments in the process of defining their national risk reduction strategy.
Some of these aspects were discussed at a recent side event at the World Reconstruction Conference 3 / European Development Days. There, representatives from Serbia explained how after floods in 2014, the CAT DDO became a vehicle for policy change helping them to move away from a reactive to a proactive risk management approach in matter of years. Seychelles’ observations struck a note with the Pacific Island nation of Tonga: quick access to funding is particularly important for countries where geographic isolation poses an additional burden in the recovery process.
 
As low-income countries work to strengthen their disaster readiness in the years to come, the Cat DDO can play a major role linking the disasters, funds, and policy to ensure that urgent needs are met while long-term policy goals are reached.

Joaquin Toro, Doekle Geert Wielinga, and Suranga Sooriya Kumara Kahandawa contributed to this blog post.

Read more blog posts from the third World Reconstruction Conference. 


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          Yami Gautam has found a new love!   
While vacationing in Maldives with her family, the actress got to unleash her adventurous side.
          Winter in the tropics    
To avert winter blues, only one solution: to escape ! Yes but where? A short flight or several thousand kilometers away : palm trees, fine sandy beach and cocktails by the pool are waiting for you. So pack swimsuits and sunscreen, we take off!
 
 Canary Islands
 
The Canary Islands, Atlantic Ocean archipelago off the coast of Morocco is one of the most popular destinations for Europeans in winter. Cheap and enjoying a climate that is defined as "eternal spring", Tenerife, Gran Canarias, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote offer a panorama of a wide variety. Volcanic landscapes, large forests, desert, black sand creeks, the Canaries are a land of contrasts that will never cease to amaze you! Its natural resources allow multiple activities: hiking, idleness on beaches, but also discovering the cultural heritage of the different islands.
 
 
Marrakech, Morocco
 
The one nicknamed the Red City is a destination that will surely enchant you! With its colourful markets, full of flavours, its impressive mosques and mysterious palaces, it is a real sensory journey that awaits you. Between culture, gastronomy, and adventure, let yourself be driven by the unique atmosphere that surrounds this place.Explore the Sahara Desert on the back of a camel and experience the rhythm of an oriental life. You can only succumb to the charms of the so-called "Pearl of the South", its welcoming Riads , its relaxing hammams and its irresistible mint tea.
 
 
Dominican Republic
 
We escape a little further and we put our suitcases in the Dominican Republic. The first tourist destination of the Caribbean, the island is appreciated for its natural treasures and especially its long white beaches lined with coconut palms. Sun always shining, and small fishing villages make this place an authentic heaven! Charmed by the warm and festive exotic atmosphere, leave your sunbed to explore the marvels of the underwater depths where you can meet humpback whales, the mountainous terrain or the capital Santo Domingo and its fabulous colonial zone, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
 
 
Miami, Florida - USA
 
Not so far from Caribbean we flight to the USA and especially in Miami, Florida. True melting pot, communities and cultures mix together creating a pleasant and captivating atmosphere. The metropolis of the "Sunshine State" enjoys a glamorous, artistic and colourful image. Day and night lively city full of surprises, activities are diverse and varied: shopping session in the most luxurious shops on Lincoln road, sunbathing afternoon on South Beach, eating a tasty burger in a dinner on the mythical Ocean Drive, and for the more adventurous ones an exceptional ride in the Everglades National Park to meet alligators.
 
 
 Thailand
 
Let's cross the globe now and leave for Thailand, ideal destination in winter! This country with a strong identity is a guarantee of total change of scenery! With very favourable temperatures in this time, you will have the opportunity to discover the cultural and natural richness of a country full of history. Rich with its fauna and flora, Thailand offers a range of unique landscapes: jungle, reefs, wide rice fields, sandy beaches or secret islands. An opportunity to meet original wild animals. This trip is also and above all spiritual, there are many Buddhist temples that you can visit and experience the rites. Concerning the gastronomy, you will taste atypical and spicy foods!
 

 

 The Maldives

In the centre of the Atlantic Ocean, the Maldives is a dream destination, literally. Turquoise lagoon, warm and crystalline waters, immaculate sandy beaches: an amazing spot. A stay in the Maldives is often reserved for idleness but it is also an opportunity to explore the seabed populated by thousands of multicolour fish. You will also have the opportunity to discover the Maldives capital, Male, where you will enjoy traditional markets, colourful houses and many tea houses where you can taste the local cooking.

 

 

 


          3 for the price of 2? RTW Babymoon to Japan, Maldives, UK (JL/EY/LH J/F/Apartment)   
It looks like the clock has started ticking for me with a baby on the way! We are obviously elated at the news, but part of me is also saddened knowing that in a little over 2 years, I'll have to pay/redeem for a 3rd seat, making the likelihood of...
          Isle be darned, global warming is wrong   
Al Gore assured us the seas were rising and swallowing the land.

But CBS reported:
New island appears off the coast of North Carolina
Whoa. This changes everything.


On October 14, 2014, the Washington Post reported.
There are two main forces that can drive sea levels higher. One is something called thermal expansion, which involves the expansion of ocean water as it warms. The other is an influx of additional water, ushered into the sea by melting ice sheets and glaciers. Scientists have long concluded that sea levels are rising. Just look at Miami. Or the Maldives. They’ve also discerned that major ice sheets are melting at a faster clip than previously understood.
What has been less clear, however, is whether the development is recent or not. Over the last several thousands of years, has the ocean risen and fallen and risen again? A new study, just published in PNAS, suggests that the ocean has been surprisingly static since 4,000 B.C..
But that changed 150 years ago. Reconstructing 35,000 years of sea fluctuations, the study, which researchers say is the most comprehensive of its kind, found that the oceans are experiencing greater sea rise than at any time over the last 6,000 years. “What we see in the tide gauges, we don’t see in the past record, so there’s something going on today that’s wasn’t going on before,” lead author Kurt Lambeck, a professor at Australian National University, told the Australia Broadcasting Corporation. “I think that is clearly the impact of rising temperatures.”
And yet this new island appears three years later.

Wow.

It is almost as if the news media and the federal government conspired to feed us lies.

As the great 20th century philosopher, Bullwinkle, said, "If it is in the newspaper, it must be true."

And yet, this island suddenly appears off the coast of North Carolina.

From CBS News:
A new island has appeared off the coast of North Carolina's Cape Hatteras National Seashore, and unfortunately for locals, word is spreading -- fast.
The mile-long sandbar, dubbed "Shelly Island" for its plethora of seashells and colorful pebbles, has been forming and growing since late spring. Residents and tourists alike are starting to take notice.
Reide Corbett, a professor in the Department of Geological Sciences at East Carolina University and a scientist at UNC Coastal Studies Institute, advises people to enjoy exploring the tiny island while they still can.
"The thing about the Outer Banks -- they are pretty dynamic. [The island] is kind of neat and interesting and provides new piece of land for people to explore, but it is a dynamic environment," Reide told CBS News. "I wasn't surprised to see it, and I wouldn't be surprised to see it disappear."
Chad Koczera was one of the first people to explore the newly-formed island on May 31.
He was traveling with his fiancée from Connecticut to Cape Point, the place where they'd gotten engaged, when he stumbled upon an unfamiliar sight.
"This was our fifth time down to Hatteras. We like to return to the Point because that's the same spot I proposed," Koczera told CBS News. "We were driving to the Point after a storm to collect shells when we spotted an area we couldn't get to by car."
Strange.

Did Obama really stop the oceans from rising?

Can any reader explain this phenomenon?



Caution: Readers occasionally may laugh out loud at the media as they read this account of Trump's nomination.

It is available on Kindle, and in paperback.




Caution: Readers occasionally may laugh out loud at the media as they read this account of Trump's election.

It is available on Kindle, and in paperback.

Autographed copies of both books are available by writing me at DonSurber@GMail.com

Please follow me on Twitter.

Friend me on Facebook.
          Why Burnley beats Bali and Dubai as a luxury spa destination   
THINK of luxury spa destinations and what springs to mind - Bali, the Maldives, Thailand, a Kensington boutique hotel, a country house in the Cotswolds? Yes, Burnley; home of mill chimneys, cobbled streets, windswept hills - and the stylish Woodland Spa, which has won Global Luxury Spa awards for two years running, beating off competition from Dubai, Sri Lanka and Mauritius. Located just outside the Lancashire mill town, the Woodland Spa is nestled within 100 acres of sweeping countryside, creating a sense of peace and tranquility before you've even set foot through the door.
          Le sous-continent indien, enfer des journalistes   

Dix reporters ont été tués durant les six premiers mois de l’années en Inde, au Pakistan, au Bangladesh, en Birmanie et aux Maldives.


          Banqueta Maldives. Skyline - 322,20 €    
thumb

Banqueta para jardín y terraza tapizada. Dimensiones: 62x62x42h cm.


          Sincerely, Maldives.   
none
          'Another day in paradise': See Tara Lipinski's tropical honeymoon photos   
The Olympic figure skater took to Instagram on Thursday to share several pics from the Maldives that are worthy of a travel guide.
          7/1/2017: News: Food tastes better where it’s wetter   

Diners can watch fish swim overhead while eating seafood in the world’s largest all-glass undersea restaurant – which was built in Taranaki. But eating in the exotic venue in the Maldives comes at a cost – a sixcourse ‘sprinkled with romance’ dinner...
          World's fastest-growing economy lags most South Asian neighbours   
India’s per capita GDP of $5,238 in 2013 was 65 per cent lower than Iran, 54 per cent lower than Maldives, 44 per cent lower than Sri Lanka and ...
          Comment on The Top Ten Smallest Countries In The World by Manish Kumar   
Hi Sheri, Great Post! What a list! It doesn't contain only top 10 smallest countries but also the most beautiful one. Tips provided by you about traveling are great, it will help making a successful trip. It's good to know about GPSmyCity app. All 10 countries mentioned by you are beautiful, i prefer the maldives most. Whale watching will be a wonderful experience. I have included maldives in my must-visit list. I will share your post on twitter. Thanks a lot for sharing such an informative post.
          Comment on The Top Ten Smallest Countries In The World by Mike Clegg - www.travelanddestinations.com   
Really great post and I'd never heard of some of these places, such as Saint Kitts And Nevis and Nauru. I hope to go to a few of those on the list one day such as the Maldives, Malta and Monaco. Thanks for sharing and also telling us a bit about each place!
          Kon-Tiki   

A Norwegian historical drama about the 1947 Kon-Tiki expedition, which was pioneered by legendary explorer Thor Heyerdahl. Using only a wood raft, the ethnographer is said to have journeyed 4,300 miles across the Pacific in an effort to prove the feasibility of South Americans settling in Polynesia during pre-Columbia times. Directed by Joachim Rønning & Espen Sandberg, with Pål Sverre Hagen playing the part of Heyerdahl.

Budget: 
$16,600,000
Directed By: 
Joachim Rønning & Espen Sandberg
Distributed By: 
The Weinstein Company
Filming Location: 
Thailand; Norway; Sweden; Maldives; Malta; Bulgaria & New York City, NY, USA
Genre: 
History | Biography | Adventure | Action | Drama
Language: 
English, Norwegian
Produced by: 
Aage Aaberge & Jeremy Thomas
Release Date: 
Fri, 2013-04-19
Running Time: 
118 min.
Written By: 

Petter Skavlan
Allan Scott (script consultant)

Cast Members
Character Name: 
Thor Heyerdahl
Cast Member Name: 
Pål Sverre Hagen
Character Name: 
Bengt Danielsson
Cast Member Name: 
Gustaf Skarsgård
Character Name: 
Herman Watzinger
Cast Member Name: 
Anders Baasmo Christiansen
Character Name: 
Knut Haugland
Cast Member Name: 
Tobias Santelmann
Character Name: 
Torstein Raaby
Cast Member Name: 
Jakob Oftebro
Character Name: 
Liv Heyerdahl
Cast Member Name: 
Agnes Kittelsen
Character Name: 
Erik Hesselberg
Cast Member Name: 
Odd Magnus Williamson
Character Name: 
Jose Bustamente
Cast Member Name: 
Manuel Cauchi
Character Name: 
Løytnant Lewis
Cast Member Name: 
Richard Trinder
Character Name: 
Beautiful Senorita
Cast Member Name: 
Katinka Egres
Character Name: 
Sailor
Cast Member Name: 
Sam Chapman
Character Name: 
Travel Agent
Cast Member Name: 
Eleanor Burke
Not empty

          AYADA Maldives: Financial Controller   
Competitive Salary & Attractive Expat Benefit: AYADA Maldives: Ayada Maldives Seeking a dynamic leader to lead their Finance Team to lead their Finance Team. Maldives
          Maaya Thila   
Eel

Location Maaya Thila (North Ari Atoll, Maldives)

          Maaya Thila   
Sting ray

Location Maaya Thila (North Ari Atoll, Maldives)

          Maaya Thila   
White tip shark

Location Maaya Thila (North Ari Atoll, Maldives)

          Kudah Rah Thila   
Fish shoal

Location Kudah Rah Thila (South Ari Atoll, Maldives)

          Episode 35: Side Effects Include...   
Notes for week 2/20/12 Ten Years After Decriminalization, Drug Abuse Down by Half in Portugal Trouble in paradise: Maldives and Islamic extremism Help Saudi writer escape death! Israelis Facing a Seismic Rift Over Role of Women Australia's 'child labour camp' Scientology showdown reveals claims of torture, abuse of dissenting members Mormons baptise parents of Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal Four Arrested After Exorcism Goes Bad Religious Music in High School Choir Forces Student to Quit Singing House Democrats walk out over all-male panel on contraception Santorum Tax Returns Draw Critics Of His Low Charitable Giving Evangelist arrested for having sex with a pregnant sheep Clips: Simpsons “mob”, allahu akbar, Tom Cruise on Scientology, Onward Xtian Soldiers, I am Woman -Helen Reddy, Rick Santorum, A Few Good Men, “Hammock Fight” Kevin McLeod - incompetech.com Visit our Website at http://dissonancepod.com for all the links.
          Transmission fluid?   
Forum: Magnum General Discussion (2005 - 2008) Posted By: maldiveswater Post Time: 07-01-2017 at 09:14 AM
          3 places boat trip Maldives 9-21 juillet 2017   
Trips & Rencontres
Statistiques : 8 Réponses || 233 Vus Dernier message par goodgood
          Surf Trip Boat Maldives   
Trips & Rencontres
Statistiques : 4 Réponses || 267 Vus Dernier message par Vespasurf
          [Report photo] Sri Lanka et Maldives   
Trips & Rencontres
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          Honeymoons and exotic luxury holidays   
As a specialist for luxury holidays and honeymoons, the Free2.co.uk website has something to offer everyone. Whether you are looking for twin centre honeymoons to the Far East or relaxing luxury holidays to the Maldives and Mauritius there is sure to be something to fit the bill.
          Comment on FRESH PORK IN SRI LANKA  – RAUF HAKEEM AND INDONESIAN TRADITIONAL MARKETS-   WHY  9.7% MUSLIMS IN SRI LANKA  CONTROL EATING HABITS OF  90.3% POPULATION by Ancient Sinhalaya   
Sri Lanka Multiplying Community aka mussies multiplying multiplying and multiplying like xxxx. They used this dirty trick to make old Buddhist iran, afganisthan, pakesthan, maldives, bangladesh, malaysia and indonesia from Buddhist to mussie in a few hundred years of their arrival. The mussies have Baby Machine Wives, mostly parked at home churning out lorry loads of mussie babies year in year out. Why? Because mussies have no fun in their lives. No drinks, no pork, no music, no women, no porn, no gambling etc. etc. So how do you have a bit of fun? Go home and bash the old deer skin! (old Sinhalese adage). If it is 'loaded' then even better. This is one reason. The other is nobody outside the fastest breeding/most peaceful religion, believes this absurdity. So how do you convince people? You don't have to. You just clone yourself. Bingo! The whole place (country) is awash with mussies in no time. Sri Lanka is the same. Now the multiplying mussies have multiplied and multiplied and all Sinhalese,Tamil deshapaluwan lick the mussie backs for their votes. But these jaathi dhrohee deshapaluwan don't realise they do this at their peril. But the traitor low lives don't give a damn! Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution made all the religions with god concept a farce. Buddhism is the only religion which tallies with the Theory of Evolution. People following these god-based religions still scared to admit they are going on the wrong road. Also we should not forget the fact that nobody has ever seen a god. He didn't bother to save millions who died in WW1, WW2. He is nowhere to be seen in mussie land syria where millions dying. Still they going on the wrong road. Mussies should study Theory of Evolution and it will do a world of good for them. Also Darwin's Theory of Natural Selection explains why so many mussies dying since they multiplying too much. Fastest breeding religion, religion of utter peace followers should study the theory. Also try to stop bashing the old deer skin when you go home after work.
          For sale - Heroclix Marvel Web of Spiderman sandman #055 sr - $9   

Marino 5049, Australia
Excludes: apo/fpo, Africa, Middle East, Southeast Asia, South America, Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan Republic, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Georgia, India, Kazakhstan, Korea, South, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Gibraltar, Greece, Guernsey, Hungary, Italy, Jersey, Latvia ...
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          Maldiv adalarinda neceye dincele bilerik? – Qiymetler   
[r32] – xeber – Azərbaycandan Maldiv adalarına istirahətə getməyin qiymətləri açıqlanıb. Axar.az turizm firmalarının saytlarına istinadla xəbər verir ki, ecazkar Maldiv çimərliyində 1 həftə dincəlmək istəyənlər ən azı 1750 dollarından keçməlidir. Turizm firmalarının təqdim etdiyi tur paketlərdə qiymətlər 2000 dollardan 3130 dollara qədər dəyişir ki, bu da otellərin konfortuna görədir. Məsələn, “Cocoon Maldives” 5 ulduzlu […]
          Comment on The Top Ten Smallest Countries In The World by Olivia Douglass (@odouglass11)   
We love to travel, too. I've always wanted to visit The Maldives but some of these other places you've mentioned are now on our list!!
          Comment on The Top Ten Smallest Countries In The World by Rebecca Swenor   
This is an awesome list of the top ten smallest countries in the world. The one that shocked me was the Vatican. I didn't know it was even a country. The Vatican has been on my bucket list since I was a little girl. I will have to add Maldives to my bucket list because of how beautiful the beaches would be along with the whale watching. Thanks for sharing these awesome places and the history about each place.
          Comment on The Top Ten Smallest Countries In The World by John   
All of these sound like amazing destinations, but the Maldives is a must for me. I hope to make it there next year and see the beautiful waters!
          Whale Shark   
The whale shark, is a slow filter feeding shark that is the largest living fish species. This distinctively-marked shark is the only member of its genus Rhincodon and its family, Rhincodontidae (called Rhinodontes before 1984), which is grouped into the subclass Elasmobranchii in the class Chondrichthyes. The shark is found in tropical and warm oceans and lives in the open sea. The species is believed to have originated about 60 million years ago. The name "whale shark" comes from the fish`s physiology; that is, a shark as large as a whale that shares a similar filter feeder eating mode. Though it is often seen offshore, it has also been found closer to shore, entering lagoons or coral atolls, and near the mouths of estuaries and rivers. Its range is restricted to about ±30 ° latitude. It is found to a depth of 700 metres (2,300 ft) The whale shark is a filter feeder—one of only three known filter feeding shark species (along with the basking shark and the megamouth shark). It feeds on phytoplankton, macro-algae, plankton, krill and small nektonic life, such as small squid or vertebrates. The many rows of teeth play no role in feeding; in fact, they are reduced in size in the whale shark. Instead, the shark sucks in a mouthful of water, closes its mouth and expels the water through its gills. During the slight delay between closing the mouth and opening the gill flaps, plankton is trapped against the dermal denticles which line its gill plates and pharynx. This fine sieve-like apparatus, which is a unique modification of the gill rakers, prevents the passage of anything but fluid out through the gills (anything above 2 to 3 mm in diameter is trapped). Any material caught in the filter between the gill bars is swallowed. Whale sharks have been observed "coughing" and it is presumed that this is a method of clearing a build up of food particles in the gill rakers. This species, despite its enormous size, pose any significant danger to humans. It is a frequently cited example when educating the public about the popular misconceptions of all sharks as "man-eaters". They are actually quite gentle and can be playful with divers. There are unconfirmed reports of sharks laying still, upside down on the surface to allow divers to scrape parasites and other organisms from their bellys. Divers and snorkellers can swim with this giant fish without any risk apart from unintentionally being hit by the shark`s large tail fin. The shark is often seen by divers in The Bay Islands in Honduras, Thailand, the Maldives, the Red Sea, Western Australia (Ningaloo Reef), Gladden Spit Marine Reserve in Belize, Tofo Beach in Mozambique, Sodwana Bay (Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park) in South Africa and at the Galapagos Islands. The highest concentration of whale sharks to be found anywhere in the world is in the Philippines. From January to May, they congregate in the shallow coastal waters of Sorsogon province (at Donsol). Lucky divers have also come across whale sharks in the Seychelles and in Puerto Rico. Between December and September, they are well known to swim along the bay of La Paz in Mexico`s Baja California. Sometimes, they are accompanied by smaller fish, in particular, the remora. Recently, they have been seen in the vicinity of Tenggol Island, off the east coast of West Malaysia.
          BEACH - REMIX - AMENO   

Autor: avatarArtMartStudio
Tags: Remix Maldives Ameno music show
gepostet: 01 Juli 2017


          Team Restaurant Cook and Stewards for Dhigali Maldives   

          Spa Therapist and Guest Relation Officer for Kihaa Maldives   

          Sales Girl and Admin / HR Officer for Sun Spread Maldives Pvt Ltd   

          Director of Revenue Management for St.Regis Maldives Vommuli   

          Career Opportunities at LUX* South Ari Atoll, Maldives   

          Career Opportunities at Hurawalhi Maldives   

          Travel to the picturesque locales and explore the best of islands with the Maldives Specialists   
Maldives, a gorgeous island nation, known for its beaches, blue lagoons and extensive reefs. The mom
          Maldives: An Unforgettable Travel Destination   
It is often said that “We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us”. Travelling is a
          Enjoy your stay at the strikingly exotic resorts in the dream travel destination – Maldives   
Maldives is rightly termed as the ‘garland of islands.’ The scenic beauty of the place is what sets
          Find best Maldives holiday packages at affordable prices!   
Dream beautiful and breathe gorgeous when you talk about Maldives. It is considered as the ultimate
          Plan your honeymoon to the heaven on earth destination -Maldives!   
Maldives, a dream travel destination which is known for its scenic and natural beauty. It is termed
          Infos de Pierre   
Une classique des Maldives plongée dans la passe le poisson est dans le courant Demander au guide de plongée de choisir le moment ( mer étale )il existe des horaires de marée et donc plonger cou [...]

Lokalizacja Cocoa Corner (South Male Atoll, Maldives)
          Infos de Pierre   
Vous êtes à la sortie d'une passe attention au courant Il y a une grotte à 57m de profondeur. Attention à la consommation d'air!! Il est possible de louer des 15L acier à Malé mais il faut le [...]

Lokalizacja Devana Kanu (Felidhoo Atoll, Maldives)
          Infos via Pierre   
Vous êtes à la limite du tombant qui descend à très grande profondeur. Vous êtes là pour les Mantas au mois de février. Attention au courant certains fabriquent des crochets pour se retenir a [...]

Lokalizacja Madivaru Manta point (South Ari Atoll, Maldives)
          فيديو الفندق غادة عبدالرازق   
مشاهدة فيديو فضيحه غادة عبدالرازق في فندق المالديف جوده عالية HD يوتيوب كامل Ghada Abdel Razek Maldives hotel Video
          Maaya Thila   
Eel

Position Maaya Thila (North Ari Atoll, Maldives)

          Maaya Thila   
Sting ray

Position Maaya Thila (North Ari Atoll, Maldives)

          Maaya Thila   
White tip shark

Position Maaya Thila (North Ari Atoll, Maldives)

          Kudah Rah Thila   
Fish shoal

Position Kudah Rah Thila (South Ari Atoll, Maldives)

          Biz Ex Members Offer from our partners at JRoc Travel – Dubai & Maldives   
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          Centara appoints Aviareps as sales promotion representative   
Author: 
ARAB NEWS
ID: 
1498942954495878800
Sun, 2017-07-02 03:00

Centara Hotels & Resorts, Thailand’s leading hotel operator, recently appointed Aviareps to conduct the hospitality brand’s sales promotion activities within the Arabian Gulf countries of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Aviareps is recognised as the global leader in tourism, aviation and hospitality representation with 62 offices in 46 countries around the world, and this exciting partnership will actively drive Thai hospitality business in the Middle East market.

Main category: 

           UAE severs diplomatic ties with Qatar   
Current PositionThe governments of the UAE, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Libya, Yemen, Jordan, Mauritius, Mauritania and the Maldives are all reported to have severed diplomatic ties with Qatar last week (week commencing 4 June 2017). In a press re...
          'Another day in paradise': See Tara Lipinski's tropical honeymoon photos   
The Olympic figure skater took to Instagram on Thursday to share several pics from the Maldives that are worthy of a travel guide.
          Comment on Hyatt Awards Used to Be Capped at 15,000 Points. Now They Cost Whatever Hyatt Says. by Ben   
Don't forget the the PH Maldives was briefly a Cat 7 and they downgraded it back to Cat 6. Hardly seems likely they'll try to go even higher...
          Daniel Greenfield, The Point: 32 House Dems Sign Anti-Israel Letter From Pro-Hamas, Pro-BDS Groups   
http://sultanknish.blogspot.se/2005/03/about-me.html

About Me



My name is Daniel Greenfield. I am a blogger and columnist born in Israel and living in Los Angeles. I am a  Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

My original biweekly column appears at Front Page Magazine and my blog articles regularly appear at Family Security Matters, the Jewish PressTimes of IsraelAct for America and Right Side News, as well as daily at the Canada Free Press and a number of other outlets. I have a column titled Western Front at Israel National News and my op eds have also appeared in the New York Sun, the Jewish Press and at FOX Nation.

I was named one of the Jewish Press' Most Worthwhile Blogs from 2006-2011 and my writing has been cited by Rush Limbaugh, Melanie Philips, Robert Spencer, Daniel Pipes, Judith Klinghoffer, John Podhoretz, Jeff Jacoby and Michelle Malkin, among others.

My investigative pieces have included the story of Obama and Pfleger, which I was the first to break months before the mainstream media. I also detailed for the first time many of Obama's radical clergy ties, including Farrakhan supporters, as well as exposing Rabbis for Obama as being a front group for Pro-Hamas appeasement supporters.


I revealed that the Vice-President of the Center for American Progress and the new senior adviser for Nancy Pelosi had participated in terrorist fundraising and broke the story of how Ron Paul and Barney Frank had tried to put Soros' associates in charge of destroying America's military.

I have investigated the billionaires funding the Anti-Israel left, the Islamist misogyny, in the new French government, Iran's meth empire , the coverup of Islamic genocide in Nigeria and the lost history of Harlem's Black Hitler. I broke the story of the Secretary of State recognizing a terrorist propagandist with an award as one of the International Women of Courage and exposed the falsehoods in Prince of Slaves, a Muslim propaganda film aired on PBS. I investigated the ties of the Durham torture Dems to Anti-Israel and Pro-Saddam activism and the Islamist ties of Al Queda's Congressman.

The scope of my writing covers everything from domestic American politics to creeping Islamism in Scotland and how foreign aid makes its way into the hands of terrorists to white aborigines in AustraliaIslamist Imams in Libya,  flogging in the Maldives and the hunt for witches in the Muslim world.

http://www.frontpagemag.com/point/267159/32-house-dems-sign-anti-israel-letter-pro-hamas-daniel-greenfield

32 HOUSE DEMS SIGN ANTI-ISRAEL LETTER FROM PRO-HAMAS, PRO-BDS GROUPS

There are few surprises here. Just the inevitable descent of the Democrats into the fever swamps of hatred and extremism. 
According to the anti-Israel group behind the Congressional letter, “The effort to gather signatories to the letter was supported by a coalition of human rights organizations including U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, CODEPINK, Jewish Voice for Peace, and American Muslims for Palestine.”
American Muslims for Palestine has been linked to Hamas. Jewish Voice for Peace, which is neither Jewish nor peaceful, is a BDS group. This is what the Dems are mainstreaming.
32 Democrats in Congress signed on to a letter circulated by a group that even the ADL had described as having its "organizational roots in the now-defunct Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP), an anti-Semitic group that served as the main propaganda arm for Hamas in the United States."
It won't surprise you to learn that Keith Ellison tops this list. Or that  Betty McCollum, Earl Blumenauer and Mark Pocan are also there. Pocan recently got caught sponsoring an anti-Israel forum. And is turning into a reliable anti-Israel hack on the Hill.
Then there's Hank Johnson, who called Jews terminates, Barbara Lee, James McGovern, Andre Carson, Anna Eshoo, John Conyers, Luis Gutierrez, Peter DeFazio, Marcy Kaptur, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Karen Bass, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Roy Khanna, Zoe Lofgren, Bobby Rush, Peter Welsh, David Price, Alan Lowenthal, Donald Beyer, Chellie Pingree, Salud Carbajal, Gwen S. Moore, Danny Davis, Jackie Speyer, Jared Huffman, Tulsi Gabbard and Pramiya Jayapal. 
So there's the usual Prog caucus gang. And a sizable heaping of Congressional Black Caucus people. Anyone with a leftover crush on Tulsi Gabbard as the one good Dem would do well to drop it. 
A particular note of disgrace here has been struck by Alan Lowenthal. The leftist won his last race by a limited margin. It remains to be seen what the voters will think of his role in this.

ABOUT DANIEL GREENFIELD

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.

          Helen Owen   

In recent years a brand new category of career has emerged. It is one that is hard to describe, and, at times, hard to believe, but it is booming, and anyone who even dabbles with social media is acutely aware of it. It is the sudden infiltration of the “Influencer,” a millennial job aspiration technically defined as an individual who has the power to affect purchase decisions of others because of authority, knowledge position or relationship. With 1.2 million followers on Instagram alone, few know it better than Helen Owen.

A California enthusiast—born in Silicon Valley, schooled at UCLA and proud La La Land dweller—Helen built a name for herself via social media. What started with a Tumblr blog in high school has exponentially grown into a way of life. While attending UCLA, she began taking the creation of social content seriously and was recognized by several significant brands. A few collaborations later and the popularity of her digital presence exploded.

While millions know her and just as many heed her fashion, travel, fitness and general lifestyle advice, Helen has a hard time defining her own career when asked about a specific job title. And while the inquiry gives her a bit of pause, she typically designates herself as an influencer and model who works with select brands to integrate creative projects into her personal lifestyle and travel narrative. Her travel and life companion, Zack Kalter, who has amassed a not-to-scoff-at 141K followers, might one day have the same question to answer.

We did a little Helen Owen stalking (and direct questioning) ourselves to find out more about the model and media maven’s substantial following, remarkable travel destinations, eye for design and slight Oribe obsession.

You have 1.2m Instagram followers, which is a massive accomplishment. What is it about your content that has attracted so many followers?
If I knew what the secret ingredient was, I’d write a book, become a billionaire and retire tomorrow! But seriously, people are attracted to personalities they can relate to and trust. In addition to going above and beyond to get the best content possible, I like to think I’ve built a level of trust with my audience.

What are five other Instagram accounts that everyone should follow right now?
My friends Alyssa (@alyssalynch) and Jordan (@taylorcutfilms) are an adorable couple that travel the world and produce amazingly inspiring videos.

I recommend throwing them a follow and giving them a good stalk. I’m obsessed with @overheardla at the moment. That account is a collection of hysterical conversations overheard in various Los Angeles locations.

An awesome travel account I love to follow belongs to Jessica Stein (@tuulavintage)—I aspire to visit half of the remarkable locations she’s explored.

And, finally, my fashion inspiration always has been and will continue to be Julie Sariñana (@sincerelyjules).

What are some of your favorite travel destinations?
The Greek islands of Mykonos and Santorini are my all-time favorites. I haven’t missed a summer vacation there in the past three years. You can’t beat the energy of Mykonos and the beauty of Santorini. I also fell in love with the Maldives and can’t wait to visit again.

What has your time spent in different locations around the world taught you?
Having spent the past two years traveling, I’ve learned how easy it is to fall in love with places. Ironically, I’m a homebody who is easily homesick and nostalgic, but I seem to have applied those emotions to the various places I’ve visited and loved. As a consequence it feels like I’ve built mini homes throughout the world, and I’m homesick for all of them simultaneously. That may or may not be the definition of wanderlust, but there you have it.

Has L.A. or any of your travels influenced your sense of style?
My personal style is a mishmash of influences from California-festival style to athleisure with random mood swings of boho and classic chic. Los Angeles has been my main fashion influence, and I tend to bring that with me everywhere I go.

What are your Oribe must haves?
My all time hair favorites are the Gold Lust Repair & Restore Shampoo and Conditioner and the Après Beach Wave and Shine Spray. I also use the Côte d’Azur Eau De Parfum as my daily scent, which means in addition to my hair smelling magical, I tend to smell of Oribe all over, all the time.

What has been the most “pinch-me” moment of your career?
I like to think that my best “pinch-me” moments are still ahead of me, but I have had a handful and each one requires a tighter pinch than the last. Almost all of them happen when we travel somewhere new.

What is one wardrobe mainstay you couldn’t live without?
This is so hard. If you’re including swimwear, I feel like I have to go with bikinis. If we’re sticking to clothing, then I couldn’t live without simple cut-off denim shorts—so California of me. 

What is the craziest thing on your bucket list?
I want to do a road trip across America over the course of a few months. I know that sounds rather tame compared to villas in exotic locations or skydiving, but to me that’s a crazy bucket-list item.

Tell us about your foray into designing and collaborating with Birksun.
I majored in “Design Media Arts” at UCLA, and have always loved design and being creative. During my senior year I modeled in a couple of Birksun commercials, and, afterward, they approached me about a design collaboration. I could not have been more honored. It was an incredible hands-on design project to undertake as a student, and so was born Birksun’s “London Collection.”

Do you have a weekly workout/eating routine that you stick to even when traveling?
My routine has changed over the past few years, but I think I finally have a rhythm of at-home body-weight workouts to stick to when traveling. I’m not very strict when it comes to eating, but I tend to gravitate toward clean, healthy options. When traveling, I opt for a lot of fresh fruits, veggies and lean proteins, and stay away from carbs as much as possible. Dessert is a non-negotiable with me, but I try to limit sugars in other ways, such as swapping water for juice and drinking coffee black. 

What’s your favorite thing about your fans?
I don’t like to refer to anyone who follows me as a fan—I stalk everyone back, so it feels like a two-way street. But over the years I’ve noticed certain people who follow me are actually paying much closer attention than I thought. I’ve had a few low points over the past four years where I thought no one noticed my emotional rollercoasters, but I received the kindest messages and encouragement. It makes me realize how perceptive certain followers are, and I honestly—and weirdly—feel like I have friendships from afar. 

What is your everyday hair routine?
I keep it so simple. My priority is for my hair to look healthy rather than totally styled. I wash, towel dry and blow out. Oribe products do the rest.

If you had to wear one outfit for the rest of your life what would it be?
This is so difficult. Thinking practically—and because it can be dressed up or down—I’m going with simple jeans and a t-shirt. Boring, but it makes the most sense to me given the gravity of this question.

Bikini or bralette?
Bikini

Instagram Stories or Snapchat?
Ah, the social media dilemma of the moment! I try to do both, and use each of them for their strengths. I approach Snapchat in a more casual way, so I’d say I have more fun with Snapchat (ahem, filters). With Instagram Stories, I like to keep my content more polished and professional. This is where I incorporate favorite brands and products in conjunction with my Instagram posts.

Most important thing in your life?
My relationships and my health, both mental and physical.


          How Expedia Made My New Bride Cry   

Originally posted on: http://geekswithblogs.net/archive/2011/06/19/how-expedia-make-my-new-bride-cry.aspx

If you would like to help me out, you can Tweet this story OR email Expedia and ask them to make things right for me and my wife.

This is the story of how Expedia made my new bride cry.

When Expedia followed up their failure with our honeymoon trip with a complete and total lack of acknowledgement of any responsibility for the problem and endless loops of explaining the issue over and over again - I swore that they would make it right. When they brought my new bride to tears, I got an immediate and endless supply of motivation. I hope you will help me make them make it right by posting our story on Twitter, Facebook, your blog, on Expedia itself, and when talking to your friends in person about their own travel plans.   If you are considering using them now for an important trip - reconsider.

Short summary:

We arrived early for our honeymoon flight - but Expedia had made a mistake with the data they supplied to JetBlue and Emirates, which resulted in us not being able to check in (one leg of our trip was missing)!  At the time of this post, three people (myself, my wife, and an exceptionally patient JetBlue employee named Mary) each spent hours on the phone with Expedia.  I myself spent right at 3 hours (according to iPhone records), Lauren spent an hour and a half or so, and poor Mary was probably on the phone for a good 3.5 hours.  This is after 5 hours total at the airport.  If you add up our phone time, that is nearly 8 hours of phone time over a 5 hour period with little or no help, stall tactics (?), run-around, denial, shifting of blame, and holding.

Details below (times are approximate):

First, my wife and I were married on June 18th, the 3 year anniversary of our first date. She is awesome. She is the nicest person I have ever known, a ton of fun, absolutely beautiful in every way. Ok enough mushy - here are the dirty details.

June 19th, 2:30 AM - Early Check-in Attempt - we attempted to check-in for our flight online. Some sort of technology error on website, instructed to checkin at desk.

4:30 AM - Arrive at airport. Try to check-in at kiosk, get the same error. We got to the JetBlue desk at RDU International Airport, where Mary helped us. Mary discovered that the Expedia provided itinerary does not match the Expedia provided tickets. We are informed that when that happens American, JetBlue, and others that use the same software cannot check you in for the flight because. Why? Because the itinerary was missing a leg of our flight! Basically we were not shown in the system as definitely being able to make it home. Mary called Expedia and was put on hold by their automated system.

4:55 AM - Mary, myself, and my brand new bride all waited for about 25 minutes when finally I decided I would make a call myself on my iPhone while Mary was on the airport phone. In their automated system, I chose "make a new reservation", thinking they might answer a little more quickly than "customer service". Not surprisingly I was connected to an Expedia person within 1 minute. They informed me that they would have to forward me to a customer service specialist. I explained to them that we were already on hold for that and had been for nearly half an hour, that we were going on our honeymoon and that our flight would be leaving soon - could they please help us. "Yes, I will help you". I hand the phone to JetBlue Mary who explains the situation 3 or 4 times. Obviously I couldn't hear both ends of the conversation at this point, but the Expedia person explained what the problem was by stating exactly what Mary had just spent 15 minutes explaining. Mary calmly confirms that this is the problem, and asks Expedia to re-issue the itinerary. Expedia tells Mary that they'll have to transfer her to customer service. Mary asks for someone specific so that we get an answer this time, and goes on hold. Mary get's connected, explains the situation, and then Mary's connection gets terminated.

5:10 AM - Mary calls back to the Expedia automated system again, and we wait for about 5 minutes on hold this time before I pick up my iPhone and call Expedia again myself. Again I go to sales, a person picks up the phone in less than a minute. I explain the situation and let them know that we are now very close to missing our flight for our honeymoon, could they please help us. "Yes, I will help you". Again I give the phone to Mary who provides them with a call back number in case we get disconnected again and explains the situation again. More back and forth with Expedia doing nothing but repeating the same questions, Mary answering the questions with the same information she provided in the original explanation, and Expedia simply restating the problem. Mary again asks them to re-issue the itinerary, and explains that doing so will fix the problem. Expedia again repeats the problem instead of fixing it, and Mary's connection gets terminated.

5:20 AM - Mary again calls back to Expedia. My beautiful bride also calls on her own phone. At this point she is struggling to hold back her tears, stumbling through an explanation of all that has happened and that we are about to miss our flight. Please help us. "Yes, I will help". My beautiful bride's connection gets terminated. Ok, maybe this disconnection isn't an accident. We've now been disconnected 3 times on two different phones.

5:45 AM - I walk away and pleadingly beg a person to help me. They "escalate" the issue to "Rosy" (sp?) at Expedia. I go through the whole song and dance again with Rosy, who gives me the same treatment Mary was given. Rosy blames JetBlue for now having the correct data. Meanwhile Mary is on the phone with Emirates Air (the airline for the second leg of our trip), who agrees with JetBlue that Expedia's data isn't up to date. We are informed by two airport employees that issues like this with Expedia are not uncommon, and that the fix is simple. On the phone iwth Rosy, I ask her to re-issue the itinerary because we are about to miss our flight. She again explains the problem to me. At this point, I am standing at the window, pleading with Rosy to help us get to our honeymoon, watching our airplane. Then our airplane leaves without us.

6:03 AM - At this point we have missed our flight. Re-issuing the itinerary is no longer a solution. I ask Rosy to start from the beginning and work us up a new trip. She says that she cannot do that. She says that she needs to talk to JetBlue and Emirates and find out why we cannot check-in for our flight. I remind Rosy that our flight has already left - I just watched it taxi away - it no longer matters why (not to mention the fact that we already knew why, and have known why since 4:30 AM), and have known the solution since 4:30 AM. Rosy, can you please book a new trip? Yes, but it will cost $400. Excuse me? Now you can, but it will cost ME to fix your mistake? Rosy says that she can escalate the situation to her supervisor but that will take 1.5 hours.

6:15 AM - I told Rosy that if they had re-issued the itinerary as JetBlue asked (at 4:30 AM), my new wife and I might be on the airplane now instead of dealing with this on the phone and missing the beginning (and how much more?) of our honeymoon. Rosy said that it was not necessary to re-issue the itinerary. Out of curiosity, i asked Rosy if there was some financial burden on them to re-issue the itinerary. "No", said Rosy. I asked her if it was a large time burden on Expedia to re-issue the itinerary. "No", said Rosy. I directly asked Rosy: Why wouldn't Expedia have re-issued the itinerary when JetBlue asked? No answer. I asked Rosy: If you had re-issued the itinerary at 4:30, isn't it possible that I would be on that flight right now? She actually surprised me by answering "Yes" to that question. So I pointed out that it followed that Expedia was responsible for the fact that we missed out flight, and she immediately went into more about how the problem was with JetBlue - but now it was ALSO an Emirates Air problem as well. I tell Rosy to go ahead and escalate the issue again, and please call me back in that 1.5 hours (which how is about 1 hour and 10 minutes away).

6:30 AM - I start tweeting my frustration with iPhone. It's now pretty much impossible for us to make it to The Maldives by 3pm, which is the time at which we would need to arrive in order to be allowed service to the actual island where we are staying. Expedia has now given me the run-around for 2 hours, caused me to miss my flight, and worst of all caused my amazing new wife Lauren to miss our honeymoon. You think I was mad? No. Furious. Its ok to make mistakes - but to refuse to fix them and to ruin our honeymoon? No, not ok, Expedia. I swore right then that Expedia would make this right.

7:45 AM - JetBlue mary is still talking her tail off to other people in JetBlue and Emirates Air. Mary works it out so that if Expedia simply books a new trip, JetBlue and Emirates will both waive all the fees. Now we just have to convince Expedia to fix their mistake and get us on our way! Around this time Expedia Rosy calls me back! I inform her of the excellent work of JetBlue Mary - that JetBlue and Emirates both will waive the fees so Expedia can fix their mistake and get us going on our way. She says that she sees documentation of this in her system and that she needs to put me on hold "for 1 to 10 minutes" to talk to Emirates Air (why I'm not exactly sure). I say ok.

8:45 AM - After an hour on hold, Rosy comes on the line and asks me to hold more. I ask her to call me back.

9:35 AM - I put down the iPhone Twitter app and picks up the laptop. You think I made some noise with my iPhone? Heh

11:25 AM - Expedia follows me and sends a canned "We're sorry, DM us the details".  If you look at their Twitter feed, 16 out of the most recent 20 tweets are exactly the same canned response.  The other 4?  Ads.  Um - #MultiFAIL?

To Expedia:  You now have had (as explained above) 8 hours of 3 different people explaining our situation, you know the email address of our Expedia account, you know my web blog, you know my Twitter address, you know my phone number.  You also know how upset you have made both me and my new bride by treating us with such a ... non caring, scripted, uncooperative, argumentative, and possibly even deceitful manner.  In the wise words of the great Kenan Thompson of SNL: "FIX IT!".  And no, I'm NOT going away until you make this right. Period.

11:45 AM - Expedia corporate office called.  The woman I spoke to was very nice and apologetic.  She listened to me tell the story again, she says she understands the problem and she is going to work to resolve it.  I don't have any details on what exactly that resolution might me, she said she will call me back in 20 minutes.  She found out about the problem via Twitter.  Thank you Twitter, and all of you who helped.  Hopefully social media will win my wife and I our honeymoon, and hopefully Expedia will encourage their customer service teams treat their customers properly.

12:22 PM - Spoke to Fran again from Expedia corporate office.  She has a flight for us tonight.  She is booking it now.  We will arrive at our honeymoon destination of beautiful Veligandu Island Resort only 1 day late.  She cannot confirm today, but she expects that Expedia will pay for the lost honeymoon night.  Thank you everyone for your help.  I will reflect more on this whole situation and confirm its resolution after our flight is 100% confirmed.  For now, I'm going to take a breather and go kiss my wonderful wife!

1:50 PM - Have not yet received the promised phone call.  We did receive an email with a new itinerary for a flight but the booking is not for specific seats, so there is no guarantee that my wife and I will be able to sit together.  With the original booking I carefully selected our seats for every segment of our trip.  I decided to call into the phone number that Fran from the Expedia corporate office gave me.  Its automated voice system identified itself as "Tier 3 Support".  I am currently still on hold with them, I have not gotten through to a human yet.

1:55 PM - Fran from Expedia called me back.  She confirmed us as booked.  She called the airlines to confirm.  Unfortunately, Expedia was unwilling or unable to allow us any type of seat selection.  It is possible that i won't get to sit next to the woman I married less than a day ago on our 40 total hours of flight time (there and back).  In addition, our seats could be the worst seats on the planes, with no reclining seat back or right next to the restroom.  Despite this fact (which in my opinion is huge), the horrible inconvenience, the hours at the airport, and the negative Internet publicity that Expedia is receiving, Expedia declined to offer us any kind of upgrade or to mark us as SFU (suitable for upgrade).  Since they didn't offer - I asked, and was rejected. 

I am grateful to finally be heading in the right direction, but not only did Expedia horribly botch this job from the very beginning, they followed that botch job with near zero customer service, followed by a verbally apologetic but otherwise half-hearted resolution.  If this works out favorably for us, great.  If not - I'm not done making noise, Expedia.  You owe us, and I expect you to make it right.  You haven't quite done that yet.

Thanks - Thank you to Twitter.  Thanks to all those who sympathize with us and helped us get the attention of Expedia, since three people (one of them an airline employee) using Expedia's normal channels of communication for many hours didn't help.  Thanks especially to my PowerShell and Sharepoint friends, my local friends, and those connectors who encouraged me and spread my story.

5:15 PM - Love Wins - After all this, Lauren and I are exhausted.  We both took a short nap, and when we woke up we talked about the last 24 hours.  It was a big, amazing, story-filled 24 hours.  I said that Expedia won, but Lauren said no.  She pointed out how lucky we are.  We are in love and married.  We have wonderful family and friends.  We are both hard-working successful people who love what they do.  We get to go to an amazing exotic destination for our honeymoon like Veligandu in The Maldives...  That's a lot of good.  Expedia didn't win.  This was (is) a big loss for Expedia.  It is a public blemish for all to see.  But Lauren and I did win, big time.  Expedia may not have made things right - but things are right for us. 

July 8th, 2011 - Expedia Hasn't Gotten The Message - After the Expedia nightmare was over and we made it to our honeymoon destination, we had a great time.  We only lost the one night, but Expedia has not yet refunded us that cost yet.  I am still expecting them to do so, so if you will, please tweet this story OR email Expedia and ask them to make things right for me and my wife.

10:19 am July 13th, 2011 - Fran from Expedia called my wife (I did not get to speak with her) stating that Expedia had been "diligently working on this" (so diligently, in fact, that we haven't heard anything from them in nearly a month) and they could find no fault on Expedia's side.  After contacting Emirates Air and JetBlue, they decided that although JetBlue was showing a missing segment of an Emirates flight, that JetBlue should have allowed us to board and this is a JetBlue error.  Per Fran, Expedia went out of their way and paid $400 per person to rebook our tickets after we missed our flight.  This is interesting since on the nightmare day in question Expedia customer service confirmed to me over the phone that they did see notes in the system from JetBlue and Emirates where both airlines waived the rebooking or issue fees), and they are not refunding our 1st night because it is not their fault our flights were messed up.  Is it their fault that they didn't re-issue the tickets in the first place so that we would NOT miss our flight?  Is it their fault that their customer service personnel did nothing but talk 3 different people in circles for hours?  I am absolutely infuriated yet again at the audacity of Expedia and their apparent complete lack of respect for the customer.  I will continue my social media campaign and get JetBlue and Emirates involved if I can.  Please join me by tweeting this this story OR by emailing Expedia and asking them to make things right for me and my wife.

Post in progress...

I will relay any further comments (or lack of) from Expedia soon, as well as an update on confirmation of their repayment of our lost resort room rates.  I'll also post a picture of us on our honeymoon as soon as I can!

Final update...

A bit late on updating this.  I tried for months to get Expedia to make up for their mistakes and horrible service by refunding us for the resort night that we lost.  No luck.  They continued to deny all responsibility.  I will never use them again.  Period.


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          Samvad 1 November 2014   


Samvad Kartik Shukla 9, Vik. Samvat 2071. Yugabda 5116: November 1, 2014


1. FESTIVALS: Dhanu Sankranti 

2.  1.6 LAKH SEVA PROJECTS RUN BY RSS

3. BHARAT LAUNCHES THIRD NAVIGATION SATELLITE

4. NANAJI BROUGHT INTEGRAL HUMANISM IN ACTION

5. BHARATIYAS CELEBRATE DESI FESTIVALS IN DENMARK

6.   MILLENNIUM ANNIVERSARY OF THE CORONATION OF CHOLA KING RAJENDRA  I

7. DUBAI-BASED BHARATIYA-ORIGIN EYE SURGEON HONOURED IN LONDON

8. STATE DEPARTMENT CELEBRATES DIWALI AS GLOBAL AFFAIR

9.  BHARAT TO BUILD 1800-KM HIGHWAY ALONG CHINA BORDER IN ARUNACHAL

10.  BHARAT IGNORES CHINA'S FROWN, OFFERS DEFENCE BOOST TO VIETNAM

11. MASSIVE RELIEF AND RESCUE OPERATION BY SWAYAMSEVAKS IN CYCLONE HIT AP

12.  RSS VOLUNTEERS CLEAN MOSQUE IN CYCLONE AFFECTED VISAKHAPATNAM

13.  WIDOWS PERFORM LAKSHMI PUJA AT KUDROLI TEMPLE

14. BHAGINI NIVEDITA SEWA NYAS DONATES RICKSHAWS TO PAK HINDUS

15.   MALAYSIAN HINDUS CALL TO SAVE CENTURY-OLD VIVEKANANDA ASHRAM

16. BHARATIYA ARMY'S EASTERN COMMAND TURNS 94

17. NATIONWIDE BLOOD DONATION CAMP OF VHP: 1 LAKH UNITS COLLECTED

18. BHARATIYA COP WINS UN'S   FEMALE PEACEKEEPER AWARD

19.  BHARAT - BORN SCIENTIST AWARDED WORLD FOOD PRIZE

20.  SHRI VISHWA NIKETAN: Pravas; Visitors

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Article: RENDEZVOUS WITH A VISIONARY


1. FESTIVALS: Dhanu Sankranti is the sankranti (transmigration of sun from one rashi – constellation to another) related to Dhanu rashi and occurs on 16th December.

It is celebrated as Dhanu Yatra - a colourful festival related to Bhagwan Krishna's visit to Mathura,  at Bargarh, Odisha. Different acts of puranic descriptions are performed at specific locations and the spectators move from place to place with the action to follow the performance. During this festival the Bhagwan Krishna is offered sweetened rice flakes which are specially prepared in a Conical shape.

Dhanu is also name of the month in the Malayalam Calendar. Women celebrate Thiruvathira in this month. Thiruvathira is supposed to be the birthday of Bhagwan Shiva. Married women and girls do 'upavasa' (fasting) on that day, and sing and dance. Girls pray to Lord Shiva to get a good husband while married women pray for the longevity of their husbands. -- Go Top

 

2.  1.6 LAKH SEVA PROJECTS RUN BY RSS: "Seva – Service is an integral part of sangh work and it was natural that sangh workers came forward to help fllod affected people in Jammu and Kasmir" said RSS sarkaryavaha Bhayya ji Joshi at the press meet on 20th October at Lucknow where a 3-day meeting of its Akhil Bharatiya Karyakari mandal was held. He added that over 1.6 lakh service projects are being run by swayamsevaks all over the country in rural, tribal and urban slum areas. Replying to a question on the issue of Ram mandir, he said, "Ram Temple exists in Ayodhya and people worship there daily. The only issue is to make it a grand temple. As the matter is in the Supreme Court, hence, the Centre should try to remove the hurdle and fulfil the promise made to the people during the elections," He claimed that more than 1.25 lakh youth have joined the organisation last year.  -- Go Top

 

3. BHARAT LAUNCHES THIRD NAVIGATION SATELLITE: Bharat's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C26) lifted off with aplomb from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota at 1.32 a.m. on 16th October and precisely put the Bharatiya navigation satellite, IRNSS-1C into its perfect, pre-designated orbit. This was the 28th successful launch of the Indian Space Research Organisation.

The IRNSS-1C, the third of the seven navigation satellites in the Indian Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), has wide-ranging applications in terrestrial, aerial and marine navigation. From vehicle tracking to fleet management and from disaster management to mapping, the satellite extends services to its clients.

The IRNSS-C1 carried two types of payloads, one for transmitting navigation service signals to the users and another consisting of a C-band transponder to facilitate Cube Retro Reflectors for laser ranging.

The first two satellites in the series, IRNSS 1A and IRNSS 1B were launched from Sriharikota on July 1 2013 and April 4 this year respectively.  -- Go Top

 

4. NANAJI BROUGHT INTEGRAL HUMANISM IN ACTION:  "Nanaji's thinking was out of box, he always tried to do something extra, beyond his given responsibility. Whatever he did he did with some value addition. He always insisted on 'self-sufficiency' approach. Optimum utilisation of local resources was the basis of his vision. He perfectly blended universal science with local technologies," said Prime Minister Narendra Modi while releasing a book on Nanaji Deshmukh in New Delhi on October 11, the 98th birth anniversary of Nanaji.

RSS Sahsarkaryavah Shri Dattatreya Hosabale, veteran Sangh Pracharak Shri Madan Das, DRI president Shri Virendrajeet Singh and general secretary of DRI Shri Bharat Pathak also shared the dais. Many distinguished personalities including RSS Sarkaryavah Shri Bhaiyaji Joshi, former deputy Prime Minister Shri LK Advani, Governor of Guajrat Prof. Omprakash Kohli, etc were present at the jam-packed Vigyan Bhavan.

Speaking on the occasion Dattatreya Hosabale said, Nanaji brought 'Integral Humanism' propounded by Deendayalji in action. "When people are looking for models of development on Bharatiya values the one created by Nanaji are the living examples.   -- Go Top

 

5. BHARATIYAS CELEBRATE DESI FESTIVALS IN DENMARK: Vijayadashmi was celebrated by Bharatiyas in Copenhagen on September 28 in a traditional way, thanks to the efforts put in by members of Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS)-Denmark. The most interesting part of these celebrations was the play: Ramleela. Done with very few props, the characters were able to convey Lord Rama's story to the audience.

"The programme was designed for all age groups and involved a drawing contest based on Ramayana characters and a discussion on the main characters of Ramayana. There were 15 people in the play and we spent more than four weekends preparing for it," said Hemant Dubey, one of the active members of HSS-Denmark.

Dattatreya Hosabale, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh's joint general secretary, had travelled to Copenhagen from Bharat to attend the Vijayadashmi celebrations. "He spoke on the significance of Vijayadashmi as well as key learnings from Ramayana for an hour, before ending it with a moral for the children. 

Apart from this event, many other events were also organized by different Bharatiya communities. Bharatiya Mandir in Copenhagen organised Ravana Dahan, where a small effigy of Ravana was burnt to ashes. The Gujarati community played Garba at another event on September 27. The Bengalis organised Durga Puja on a grand scale. On October 4, the newly formed Telangana Association of Denmark also celebrated Dasara and Telangana state's biggest festival, Bathukamma.   -- Go Top 

 

6.   MILLENNIUM ANNIVERSARY OF THE CORONATION OF CHOLA KING RAJENDRA  I:

The 1000th year of coronation of renowned King Rajendra I of the famous Chola Dynasty of Bharat is a matter of great pride and inspiration to all of us. Crowned in 10I4 CE, King Rajendra I had his rule extending not only from the banks of river Ganga to the whole of Southern Bharat but also up-to Sri Lanka, Lakshadweep, Maldives, Myanmar, Indonesia, Malaysia, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. By virtue of his well managed administration and a well organized military, trade, commerce, art, culture, architecture and sculpture flourished under his reign in this entire region.

Literature and pursuit of knowledge also flourished in his times and several books and volumes were written, both in Sanskrit and Tamil. During his rule, several grand temples and Stupas were constructed in Bharat, Sri Lanka and South East Asia which stand testimony to our living cultural heritage. It is testified from his Charter comprising 21 Copper Inscriptions with his royal insignia written in both Sanskrit and Tamil and paying obeisance at the very beginning to Lord Vishnu which are kept by Leiden University of Netherlands.

At the time of Mahmud Ghazni's attack on our north-western frontier and the turmoil of Euro-Arab conflict, King Rajendra I provided stable rule to ensure peace, prosperity and unhindered trade in the entire South East Asian Region to Bharatiyas, especially Tamil traders and their trade associations. He also established diplomatic Mission in China to promote trade.

He also set up a University for study of Vedas and other disciplines at Ennayirum. Besides ensuring political stability, in order to promote cultural unity and emotional integrity he sent his General Aryan Rajrajan to bring holy water of Ganga, ceremonially received it, mixed it with Kaveri waters and built a grand lake due to which he came to be known as  Gangai Konda Cholan  [i.e. Chola who brought Ganga].

Remembering such glorious period of our history will be inspirational to the people in the work for national resurgence. All the people of Bharat including Swyamasevaks are called upon to remind Bharat and the world about the achievement of the Chola king Rajendra for providing benign rule with all round progress in such a vast area and to ensure their support as well as participation in all the events related to this incidence.

(Statement by RSS sarkaryavaha Bhayya ji Joshi on the eve of meeting of  ABKM at Lucknow )  -- Go Top

 

7. DUBAI-BASED BHARATIYA-ORIGIN EYE SURGEON HONOURED IN LONDON: Dr. Vinod Gauba, Dubai-based Bharatiya-origin doctor has been conferred the prestigious Mahatma Gandhi Pravasi Samman for his contributions to healthcare. Dr. Gauba, 36, who has worked with the less fortunate and visually impaired, was presented with the award earlier this month by Baroness Verma at the House of Lords in London. He was awarded for his pioneering role in the field of ophthalmology.

 'Mahatma Gandhi Pravasi Samman' is presented to 20 recipients selected from over 30 million Non-Resident Indians or people of Indian origin for exceptional achievements in various fields.

"With Dubai fast becoming the Middle Eastern healthcare hub, we are proud to possess a premier level of expertise and technology in the UAE, attracting patients not only from the region but from all across the globe," Gauba said. He is based at Dubai Healthcare City, a multi-specialty surgery centre for providing specialized eye care.  -- Go Top

 

8. STATE DEPARTMENT CELEBRATES DIWALI AS GLOBAL AFFAIR: Bharatiya tapestries, silver lamps, and traditional delicacies adorned the Benjamin Franklin State Dining Room as Secretary John Kerry inaugurated the U.S. Department of State's annual Diwali celebration. He lit a diya while a Hindu priest from the Sri Shiva Vishnu Temple (SSVT) of Maryland sang Vedic hymns amidst hundreds of well-wishers, including senior administration officials, Ambassadors, and community leaders. "As we celebrate Diwali this evening, we also hail the accomplishments of the many hundreds of thousands of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, and Jain Americans who live now all across our country in every community," said Secretary Kerry. "And we honor their faith and their traditions, and the indispensable contributions that they make every single day to our prosperity, to our freedom, and to our culture - to this new chapter of American history that they are helping to write." Kerry was joined on stage by Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Ambassador of Bharat, who highlighted the joyous festivities taking place around the world.

On 20th October 2014, Prime Minister David Cameron warmly welcomed British Hindu community leaders and sevaks to his residence at 10 Downing Street, with the blessing "Shubh Diwali".  At the annual Downing Street Diwali celebration, he spoke of the valuable contribution of the British Hindu community to British life, in terms of the four purusharthas (human purposes) and he spoke of the vital contribution that the Hindu philosophy of reverence for Light, encapsulated in the Diwali celebrations, had for all people of all faiths and he wished the British Hindu community prosperity and happiness.  -- Go Top

 

9.  BHARAT TO BUILD 1800-KM HIGHWAY ALONG CHINA BORDER IN ARUNACHAL: To counter China, Bharat is all set to embark on an ambitious road project along the McMahon Line in Arunachal Pradesh. The proposed Indo-China frontier highway  will run parallel along the China border and will be 1,800 km long.

The proposed highway will pass through Tawang, East Kameng, Upper Subansiri, West Siang, Upper Siang, Dibang Valley, Hawai and Vijaynagar in the bordering areas. The Government has already relaxed environmental clearances for border area projects. " The construction of the road will be a huge challenge considering the rough and hostile terrain, mostly snow-fed, through which it would pass, and will be the biggest single infrastructure project in the history of Bharat with an estimated cost of over Rs 40,000 crore," Rijiju said in Itanagar.  -- Go Top

 

10.  BHARAT IGNORES CHINA'S FROWN, OFFERS DEFENCE BOOST TO VIETNAM: Bharat took a decisive step towards countering China's assertive poweron 28th October by committing to help Vietnam's defence modernization, a move that will resonate unpleasantly in Beijing.

After his meeting with visiting Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, Bharatiya PM Narendra Modi said , "Our defence cooperation with Vietnam is among our most important ones. India  remains committed to the modernization of Vietnam's defence and security forces. This will include expansion of our training programme, which is already very substantial, joint-exercises and cooperation in defence equipment. We will quickly operationalise the $100 million line of credit that will enable Vietnam acquire new naval vessels from India."

For the first time, Bharat sent clear signals that it may be willing to sell the Brahmos short range cruise missiles to Vietnam, a long-standing demand by Hanoi. The previous Bharatiya government was a little hesitant, citing reservations by Russia (which is a co-developer).  -- Go Top

 

11. MASSIVE RELIEF AND RESCUE OPERATION BY SWAYAMSEVAKS IN CYCLONE HIT AP: The cyclone Hudhud severely hit three districts of Andhra Pradesh, Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam. Although, the north-east monsoon affects every year the coastal areas of Bay of Bengal during October-November, this year the devastation is huge. Visakhapatnam is the worst hit city.

RSS swayamsevaks started relief and rescue operation on October 12 itself by cutting the trees fallen across the streets and clearing the garbage to facilitate the movement of people and the vehicles. RSS with its several associated organisations like Jana Samkshema Samithi, Sewa Bharati, ABVP, Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bharatiya Vidya Kendram Educational institutions, etc, plunged into service activities from the moment they could came out of their houses.

BVK College became the centre of activity for receiving the material and disbursing to several destinations. Nearly 1,000 volunteers were engaged in the 24 hours run activity. More than one lakh water packets, 25,000 milk packets, several packets of food, bread and biscuits had been distributed in nearly 50 localities far and near in the city. Similar supplies were sent to villages of the district including the coastal fishermen villages. Several dignitaries like Minister Shri Ravella Kishore Babu, Shri Manikyala Rao, Sri Vishnu Kumar Raju MLA, Dr K Hari Babu MP, RDO and others visited the affected areas.   -- Go Top     

 

12.  RSS VOLUNTEERS CLEAN MOSQUE IN CYCLONE AFFECTED VISAKHAPATNAM: Volunteers of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) cleaned mosques in Visakhapatnam, after cyclone Hudhud left behind a trail of destruction when it hit the region last week.

Coordinator of Visakhapatnam region of RSS, Ram Bahadur, said that the political leaders in the country had created a wrong perception that RSS is against Muslims and Christians.

The volunteers were seen using electric saws to cut trees that were fallen inside the mosque complex. They were also cleaning the floors and removing broken glasses that were scattered everywhere. A volunteer of RSS, Kurmit Kaur, said they were merely being human.  -- Go Top

 

13.  WIDOWS PERFORM LAKSHMI PUJA AT KUDROLI TEMPLE: A large number of widows were allowed on 22nd October to perform Lakshmi Pooja (workship) on the occasion of Deepavali in the Kudroli Sri Gokarnanatheshwara Temple – established in the city by social reformer Narayana Guru and renovated by Senior Congress Leader B. Janardhana Poojary. Allowing widows to do the pooja is among a string of measures taken by the temple aimed at social reformation. The temple has, earlier appointed widows, a couple of them from Dalit communities, as priests.

Around 2,000 widows from Mangalore and other parts of the state participated in the programme. They were brought into the temple in a procession accompanied by beating of drums and other musical instruments.

Indira, Lakshmi and Chandravati, the three priests at the temple, performed Lakshmi Pooja that was witnessed by the large number of widows gathered in the temple. After the pooja, widows were allowed to perform 'Aarati'. The women priests sat along with idols of presiding deity on the silver chariot that was taken around sanctum sactorum by these women three times.

This is not the first time widows have been involved in the rituals. The temple believes in "One caste one religion one god" philosophy advocated by Narayana Guru. Three years ago a large number of widows performed Chandika Homa and poojas of Nava Durga idols during the Navaratri.  -- Go Top

 

14. BHAGINI NIVEDITA SEWA NYAS DONATES RICKSHAWS TO PAK HINDUS: Bhagini Nivedita Sewa Nyas Delhi, on 11th October provided cycle rickshaws and other basic necessary things to the Hindus who came from Pakistan. Apart from it, 25 families who came recently from Pakistan were provided with various household things like clothes, mattress, etc. Speaking on the occasion, general secretary of the Nyas Shri Mahavir Prasad Gupta assured the Hindus coming from Pakistan every possible help till they are granted citizenship in Bharat. He also applauded the support of Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bharat Vikas Parishad and many other organisations which have been helping the Nyas in this endeavour.  -- Go Top

 

15.   MALAYSIAN HINDUS CALL TO SAVE CENTURY-OLD VIVEKANANDA ASHRAM: An organization of Hindus in Malaysia Hindraf recently urged the National Heritage Department of Malaysian Government to take immediate steps to protect the Swami Vivekananda Ashram at Jalan Tun Sambanthan, in Brickfields.

The century-old ashram has been earmarked for major redevelopment that will see a 23-storey residential tower with 264 units and an eight-storey car park built at the site. "Hindraf strongly urge the National Heritage Department steps in to object on the proposed development to protect and preserve this cultural heritage as part of the rich Malaysian heritage," said its chief P. Waytha Moorthy.

The statue and the ashram were built by the Jaffna Tamil immigrants in 1904 in honour of Swami Vivekananda, who visited Malaya in 1893.  -- Go Top

 

16. BHARATIYA ARMY'S EASTERN COMMAND TURNS 94: Army's biggest operational command - the Eastern Command - responsible for military operations along the international borders with Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Myanmar and Nepal, turned 94 on 31st Oct.

The Eastern Command will continue to strive for "unparalleled professional competence to ensure the highest standards of operational readiness", Lt. Gen. M.M.S. Rai, general officer commanding-in-chief, said on the occasion at its headquarters at Fort William Kolkata.

The Eastern Command was formed Nov 1, 1920, with its summer headquarters in Nainital and winter headquarters in Lucknow. The command was designated as Eastern Army in April 1942, and its headquarters moved to Barrackpore. The Eastern Command theatre consists of three distinct geographical regions - the mountainous sectors of Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh in the north, the jungle-clad hill tracts of Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura and Meghalaya in the east and the south, and the plains of Assam and Bengal.

Field Marshal S.H.F.J. Manekshaw, who led the Bharatiya Army to victory in 1971 was one of Eastern Command's illustrious commanders. Besides the current army chief, Gen. Dalbir Singh and his predecessors Gen. Bikram Singh and Gen. V.K. Singh, others who have headed the Eastern Command are Gen. P.P. Kumaramanglam, Gen. A.S. Vaidya Gen. V.N. Sharma, all of whom rose to army chief.  -- Go Top

 

17. NATIONWIDE BLOOD DONATION CAMP OF VHP: 1 LAKH UNITS COLLECTED: In an overwhelming response to nationwide blood donation camp of VHP on 2nd November , thousands of youth donated blood across Bharat, crossing a collection of a total of 100,000 units of blood across the nation. The blood donation drive was organised by VHP and its youth wing Bajarangadal to commemorate the Golden Jubilee year of Vishwa Hindu Parishad.

VHP Chief Dr Pravin Togadia inaugurated VHP blood donation drive at Karolbagh of New Delhi. 'In Karnataka 62 blood donation camps were held in which nearly 6000 units of blood collected', said VHP leader Gopal Nagarakatte.  -- Go Top

 

18. BHARATIYA COP WINS UN'S   FEMALE PEACEKEEPER AWARD: A Bharatiya police inspector has been named recipient of a prestigious international female peacekeeper award by the UN's police division for her "exceptional achievements" in her duty with the UN mission in Afghanistan.  

Inspector Shakti Devi of the Jammu & Kashmir Police, currently deployed in the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), has been awarded the International Female Police Peacekeeper Award 2014. 

Devi has been honoured for her "exceptional achievements" in leading the establishment of Women Police Councils in several parts of Afghanistan. She has also contributed to the improvement of the status of female police and has effectively helped the police of Afghanistan move towards achieving their goals of fully adopting democratic principles of policing. 

The award was delivered during the International Association of Women Police (IAWP) conference held earlier this month in Winnipeg, Canada.  -- Go Top

 

19.  BHARAT - BORN SCIENTIST AWARDED WORLD FOOD PRIZE:  Bharat -born Mexican scientist Sanjaya Rajaram has been presented with the prestigious World Food Prize 2014 for his agricultural research that led to a remarkable increase in world wheat production building on the successes of the Green Revolution. "It is a collective achievement, rather than that of a single person," Rajaram told while accepting the award at the Iowa State University in USA. The award "honours the innovative spirit of farmers", he said adding that "without their contributions, my research wouldn't have been possible".

By crossing winter and spring wheat varieties -- which were distinct gene pools that had been isolated from one another for hundreds of years -- he created wheat varieties that are disease- and stress-resistant and adaptable to diverse geographical regions and climates. In 2007, Norman Borlaug called Rajaram "the greatest present-day wheat scientist in the world". Borlaug is known as the father of the Green Revolution.  -- Go Top

 

20.  SHRI VISHWA NIKETAN: Pravas: Shri Ravikumar, sah samyojak Vishwa Vibhag, is on a tour to Australia. Shyam Parande, secretary Sewa International is on a short tour to Mauritius. Shri Saumitra Gokhale, samyojak Vishwa Vibhag, Dr. Ram Vaidya, sah samyojak & Ravikumar would reach Bharat on the occasion of World Hindu Congress in November. Visitors: Vikram Sharma – USANicola Brown – UK  -- Go Top

 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Sandalwood perfumes even the axe that hurls it down! The more we rub sandalwood against a stone, the more its fragrance spreads. Burn it, and it wafts its glory through the entire neighbourhood. Such is the enchanting beauty of forgiveness in life. – Swami Chinmayananda  -- Go Top

JAI SHREE RAM


---

RENDEZVOUS WITH A VISIONARY

Asim Kumar Mitra

I just cannot remember the day. But I can definitely recall that on that day Eknathji (Shri Eknath Ranade) was coming to Kolkata from Chennai by a morning flight. I went to the airport to receive him. We were heading towards Vivekananda Kendra Karyalaya. All of a sudden Eknathji asked me, "What do you think? What should I do now?"

So sudden was the question, I was taken aback. If a giant personality like Eknathji asks such a question to a most junior worker like me what should I say? I had no answer for a moment. Then I thought when Eknathji was assigned the work of Vivekananda Memorial, he was Sarkaryavah of RSS and as a Sangh swayamsevak we have been missing him. So much so, the time before the country (1971 or 1972) was also bad so I said we hardly can afford to miss you any more from the Sangh work.

It was my honest and spontaneous reply. As a seasoned 'karyakarta', Eknathji immediately read my mind and started explaining the situation. By that time the first phase of the work of Vivekananda Memorial work was over and the then President of India VV Giri had inaugurated the grand memorial of Swami Vivekananda. In a way, the job assigned by Shri Guruji to Eknathi was successfully done. Now, puting forward a question to one and all of his acquaintances was obvious. What is the purpose of setting up of a temple? Should it not become a centre of activities to fulfill the ideal of 'Serve people, serve God'?

Answer was there in the question itself. But a junior person like me failed to understand that. Because my mind was swayed by the idea that RSS is doing this job. The idea of comprehensive upliftment of the society is

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Maldives white sandy beach clouds on sunny tropical paradise island with aqua blue sky sea ocean 4k


Keywords
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          v07042 Maldives white sandy beach clouds on sunny tropical paradise island with by MotionworksFilmStudio   
77187717

Description
Maldives white sandy beach clouds on sunny tropical paradise island with aqua blue sky sea ocean 4k


Keywords
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          v07041 Maldives white sandy beach clouds on sunny tropical paradise island with by MotionworksFilmStudio   
77187703

Description
Maldives white sandy beach clouds on sunny tropical paradise island with aqua blue sky sea ocean 4k


Keywords
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          v07040 Maldives white sandy beach clouds on sunny tropical paradise island with by MotionworksFilmStudio   
77187699

Description
Maldives white sandy beach clouds on sunny tropical paradise island with aqua blue sky sea ocean 4k


Keywords
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          v07033 Maldives white sandy beach clouds on sunny tropical paradise island with by MotionworksFilmStudio   
77187680

Description
Maldives white sandy beach clouds on sunny tropical paradise island with aqua blue sky sea ocean 4k


Keywords
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          v07032 Maldives white sandy beach clouds on sunny tropical paradise island with by MotionworksFilmStudio   
77187674

Description
Maldives white sandy beach clouds on sunny tropical paradise island with aqua blue sky sea ocean 4k


Keywords
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          v07038 Maldives white sandy beach clouds on sunny tropical paradise island with by MotionworksFilmStudio   
77187655

Description
Maldives white sandy beach clouds on sunny tropical paradise island with aqua blue sky sea ocean 4k


Keywords
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          v07037 Maldives white sandy beach clouds on sunny tropical paradise island with by MotionworksFilmStudio   
77187649

Description
Maldives white sandy beach clouds on sunny tropical paradise island with aqua blue sky sea ocean 4k


Keywords
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          v07036 Maldives white sandy beach clouds on sunny tropical paradise island with by MotionworksFilmStudio   
77187646

Description
Maldives white sandy beach clouds on sunny tropical paradise island with aqua blue sky sea ocean 4k


Keywords
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          v07035 Maldives white sandy beach clouds on sunny tropical paradise island with by MotionworksFilmStudio   
77187644

Description
Maldives white sandy beach clouds on sunny tropical paradise island with aqua blue sky sea ocean 4k


Keywords
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          v07034 Maldives white sandy beach clouds on sunny tropical paradise island with by MotionworksFilmStudio   
77187634

Description
Maldives white sandy beach clouds on sunny tropical paradise island with aqua blue sky sea ocean 4k


Keywords
maldives beach white tropical island sand sandy blue sky aqua water sea ocean paradise clouds 4k lagoon sandbank sandbar landscape nature turquoise seascape holiday vacation summer sunny
          v07031 Maldives white sandy beach clouds on sunny tropical paradise island with by MotionworksFilmStudio   
77187627

Description
Maldives white sandy beach clouds on sunny tropical paradise island with aqua blue sky sea ocean 4k


Keywords
maldives beach white tropical island sand sandy blue sky aqua water sea ocean paradise clouds 4k lagoon sandbank sandbar landscape nature turquoise seascape holiday vacation summer sunny
          v07030 Maldives white sandy beach clouds on sunny tropical paradise island with by MotionworksFilmStudio   
77187622

Description
Maldives white sandy beach clouds on sunny tropical paradise island with aqua blue sky sea ocean 4k


Keywords
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          v07028 Maldives white sandy beach clouds on sunny tropical paradise island with by MotionworksFilmStudio   
77187617

Description
Maldives white sandy beach clouds on sunny tropical paradise island with aqua blue sky sea ocean 4k


Keywords
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          v07029 Maldives white sandy beach clouds on sunny tropical paradise island with by MotionworksFilmStudio   
77187608

Description
Maldives white sandy beach clouds on sunny tropical paradise island with aqua blue sky sea ocean 4k


Keywords
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          v07027 Maldives white sandy beach clouds on sunny tropical paradise island with by MotionworksFilmStudio   
77187592

Description
Maldives white sandy beach clouds on sunny tropical paradise island with aqua blue sky sea ocean 4k


Keywords
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          v07026 Maldives white sandy beach clouds on sunny tropical paradise island with by MotionworksFilmStudio   
77187576

Description
Maldives white sandy beach clouds on sunny tropical paradise island with aqua blue sky sea ocean 4k


Keywords
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          v07022 Maldives white sandy beach clouds on sunny tropical paradise island with by MotionworksFilmStudio   
77187525

Description
Maldives white sandy beach clouds on sunny tropical paradise island with aqua blue sky sea ocean 4k


Keywords
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          v07025 Maldives white sandy beach clouds on sunny tropical paradise island with by MotionworksFilmStudio   
77187477

Description
Maldives white sandy beach clouds on sunny tropical paradise island with aqua blue sky sea ocean 4k


Keywords
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          v07023 Maldives white sandy beach clouds on sunny tropical paradise island with by MotionworksFilmStudio   
77187441

Description
Maldives white sandy beach clouds on sunny tropical paradise island with aqua blue sky sea ocean 4k


Keywords
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          v07024 Maldives white sandy beach clouds on sunny tropical paradise island with by MotionworksFilmStudio   
77187425

Description
Maldives white sandy beach clouds on sunny tropical paradise island with aqua blue sky sea ocean 4k


Keywords
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          Saudi Arabia’s Rule: Grandson’s Era, Hatred Era   
July 1, 2017
Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Nayef and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
The $100 billion compensation prize handed to isolated crown prince Mohammed bin Nayef has not been the main event of what is taking place inside the house of the Saudi royal family. It is because the entire issue has started with isolating the deputy crown prince Megrin bin Abdul Aziz and assigning Mohammed bin Salman instead, allowing the King’s son later on move quickly towards the throne.


There is a quite important difference that “Megrin” is not as fierce as “bin Nayef”, the man with the great power inside the royal palaces. Therefore, the price to isolate him was costly, hitting some 20% of the kingdom’s annual budget of $500 billion. It is also 20 times equal to the “Maldives” annual budget, the whole island that King Salman rented in 2014 to spend one week with his retinue once he was the crown prince. All of the kingdom’s internal issues can be solved as long as oil revenues go as a “monthly royalty” to the King and the ruling family, whose princes from Abdul Aziz’s blood are 1500 princes divided between sons, grandsons and grand grandsons, whose ages range between more than 80 to at least one minute whenever a prince is born.
Despite the recently circulated media information saying “bin Nayef” has been under a sort of “house arrest,” a Saudi official replied as saying that “the news talking about limiting the residence of former crown prince inside the palace are not 100% true.”  However, the main title of what has happened is about the royal order that was issued on 21/6/2017, after assigning bin Salman as the crown prince, which provided changing the primary law of ruling in Saudi Arabia. This royal order included an amendment of clause B of Article 5 in the primary law to the following: “Ruling is designated to the sons and grandsons of the founder King Abdul Aziz Al Saud, in which allegiance is paid to the fittest among them…, and after the sons of the founder king, there won’t be any king or crown prince from any other branch of the founder King’s ancestry.”
The phrase that says: “after the sons of the founder king, there won’t be any king or crown prince from any other branch of the founder King’s ancestry,” is just to appease the other family wings in which the sons are distributed between the wives of founder Abdul Aziz, because the “Sudairi” wing, in reference to Princess Hissa al-Sudairi is the strongest and most prominent one. This is because she has been the favorite and influential wife, in which two of her sons, King Fahd and current King Salman, were in charge of the throne. It is an unprecedented phenomenon, in which the bequeathing of throne used to take place between the brothers of Abdul Aziz’s sons, but has now turned to be between the father and his son to reach the grandsons. Meanwhile, a grandson here or there, from any other wing, is appeased with being assigned a crown prince, in an attempt to absorb the other wings’ indignation and reducing current hatred against the “ancestry of Abdul Aziz from Princess Hissa al-Sudairi,” like the Al Sheikh family to which Turfa bint Abdullah belongs, the second most prominent wife of Abdul Aziz, and the mother of King Faisal who ruled between 1964 and 1975 and was killed by one of his nephews in revenge for the death of the killer’s brother during a protest of religious hardliners against the opening of the first TV channel in Faisal’s era.
The problem of the grandson princes started during King Faisal’s era, who repeatedly opposed the absurd life they are living, in addition to wasting the wealth of oil revenues that are distributed among hundreds of them on a monthly basis without making any productive work. King Faisal issued royal orders to reduce those payments for some princes and to full cut them from others unless they join higher careers within the government, fitting the ancestry of Al Saud. This, however, didn’t stop their hatred and recklessness, and their competition to build fancy palaces inside the kingdom, as well as buying luxury houses and apartments in the UK, Spain, France and Egypt, in addition to possessing private planes and silver and gold-plated cars, besides their stock market investments and trade deals. Most of their money is deposited abroad in anticipation for the royal throne’s collapse.
In this regard, American author Jean Sasson wrote a book in the early 1990s naming it “Princess Sultana” before she published another book entitled “The Daughters of Her Highness” about the confessions of a woman from the Saudi royal family, naming her “Sultana”. Her character decided to stand up against the corruption of this family, predicting that the throne will fall after the death of Abdul Aziz’s sons and moving the rule to the grandsons who are indeed distributed between rival family wings.
Those grandson themselves are the ones who turned things upside down in 2015 with the rising star of Mohammed bin Salman, indicting him with what they also are of absurd life, adding that he gathers around himself a retinue of young reckless inexperienced princes, and that the Kingdom’s escalation of its aggression against Yemen isn’t but a show of force from the “Sudairi wing” in front of other rival wings, saying that King Slaman has done this with an incitement of his son Mohammed. They themselves have recently become furious about Mohammed’s escalating tone against Iran, saying that he is dragging the kingdom towards a dilemma with dire consequences. Indeed, they are not keen on the regime’s stability as much as they are afraid of the family’s throne collapse and the evaporation of the “monthly royalty” from the oil revenues that guarantee their obscene wealth. This “monthly royalty” will remain a tax every king has to pay in order to silence those aspiring greedy members until the throne would collapse when the “cheese hunk” won’t be enough to fill all the stomachs…

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

          Assistant Procurement Manager - Maldives   
Assistant Procurement Manager-MaldivesFemaleShould not have any kind of medical issueAble to work long hoursAge 25-35 yearsShould have Bachelors Degree relating to the fieldShould have 02 years experience in a similar postPlease send your CV (please send only females)
          Maldives police raid media, NGO offices over Al Jazeera documentary   

Maldivian police raided a local media office and a non-governmental organization after a documentary alleged President Abdulla Yameen and his administration engaged in large-scale corruption, officials said Thursday.


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          September 6th, 2014 - Hour 2 / Dj Cogswell   
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          Electoral reforms: Lessons from Indonesia and South Africa   
Electoral reforms: Lessons from Indonesia and South Africa

The Constitutional Assembly in the Parliament of Sri Lanka hosted Dikgang Moseneke, the former Deputy Chief Justice of South Africa and an architect of the South African Constitution, to deliver a lecture on ‘Reaching a consensus on the Constitution: The South African Experience’

 

In his introduction, our Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, briefed the gathering about the progress at the Constitutional Assembly. Modalities of devolution are mostly agreed upon he said, but issues about the nature of the executive, centre-periphery relations and electoral reforms are yet to be ironed out. He further said that the present constitutional reform process is very different from the ones in 1972 or 1978 because this Assembly will not be debating a cut and dried document, but a document with options from which to choose for some of the key issues.

It would not be an exaggeration to say that the nature of the electoral systems to be adopted by the three levels of government is a key determinant of the other two key issues – i.e. the nature of the presidency and centre-periphery relations. In fact, the executive presidency, the current proportional representation system of elections and the centre-periphery power relations currently exercised through a governor appointed by the President are interdependent components of the present constitution and those should not been dismantled heedlessly.

Proportional Representation and Executive Presidency are linked for a reason
PR systems do not typically allow majority governments. The only time Sri Lanka had a governing party with a majority in Parliament was in 1988 and 2005, both being special circumstances. The Parliamentary election of 1988 was held during terrorism in the south led by the JVP. The Parliamentary election of 2015 was held during the euphoria that followed the defeat of terrorism led by the LTTE. In all other elections since the PR system was introduced in 1978, governments secured less than the 113 seats required for a majority in the Parliament.

The provision for awarding a bonus seat for the winning party in each of the 22 districts is in place to give an edge to a party which is close to getting a majority in Parliament, but in practice, the bonus seats have been distributed between the two major parties and a regional Tamil party, making the bonus an ineffective policy instrument.

The Executive Presidency has provided stability to governments in the past, but its excessive powers has led to abuse of that power. Powers of the President have been curtailed through the 19th Amendment to the Constitution but a total abolition is also on the table.

Idealists are looking to Germany for inspiration
Idealists want us to borrow ideas wholesale from Germany or New Zealand and argue for the wholesale adoption of those methods without considering the cultural or historical differences between our countries. In that regard it is heartening to see that the government has reached out to South Africa for good practices.

Another country to which we should pay attention is Indonesia, I believe. That country and Cambodia along with Sri Lanka are other three countries in Asia with a PR system of elections. Indonesia and Sri Lanka elect an executive president by popular vote and Cambodia has a monarchy (Table 1).

Bhutan and countries with British Commonwealth heritage (i.e. Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Malaysia, Pakistan and Singapore) continue to follow the FPP method while countries in East Asia have adopted “Mixed-Member Parallel” systems. However the PR component in such systems is nominal at ~20% in some cases. Nepal recently adopted a method where 55% of the seats are awarded on a PR basis and the other 45% returned by FPP contests at constituencies.


Indonesia – An example closer to home
The author’s inquiry to IFES Chief of Party for Indonesia and Sri Lanka at the International Foundation for Electoral Systems elicited the following response regarding the electoral system in Indonesia:

“Thank you for your email to David Ennis and Beverly Hagerdon, IFES’ Chiefs of Party for Indonesia and Sri Lanka, regarding information on electoral system reform in Asia. 1

As you might know, Indonesia switched to an open list system (with districts of roughly the same size as Sri Lanka) with the expectation that it would foster greater control by voters. However, for various reasons, the open list system seems to have contributed to vote buying and a weakening of party discipline. The Indonesian parliament is currently debating alternatives to the open list system, but has not yet adopted changes. One of the key issues it is debating is the size of electoral districts. Indonesia has both national and regional parliaments and the national parliament has already been reduced from 3-12 to 3-10 seats per district, but regional parliaments still have 3-12 seats per district. A proposal is being considered to reduce the size from 3-10 to 3-8 seats per district for national parliament. The range is obtained through an empirical study based on the representation of the political diversity of Indonesia.”

As can be seen, Indonesia, a neighbouring country, too is struggling to replace the PR with open lists or PR with preferential voting as we call it in Sri Lanka.

According to the election guide of IFES, in the House of Representatives (DPR or Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat) in Indonesia, 560 members are elected by open list proportional representation in 77 multi-member constituencies to serve five-year terms. Parties must receive at least 3.5% of the vote to win seats in the DPR. Each voter receives one DPR ballot listing all political parties and candidates running in their electoral district. The voter then punches one or two holes to vote for one candidate or one political party or both. Parties must clear a threshold of 3.5% nationwide, increased in 2012 from 2.5%. Each party list must include at least 33% female candidates.

Interestingly, the electoral system used for regional councils is the same PR-open lists but the local councils seem to elect members on a FPP basis.

Electoral system in South Africa
In South African elections the political parties reign supreme. Voters have one vote each at the elections to the National Assembly. Seats are allocated in 10 multi-member constituencies via party lists. One constituency is a national or ‘at large’ constituency and nine others represent each of the nine provinces.

If Sri Lanka used a similar system, voters in each province in Sri Lanka will be presented with a closed list of candidates from each political party contesting in the province and the all the voter has to do is to vote for a party. For example if three parties contest in a province and the seats are distributed proportionately as. say, 35, 30 and 3, among the three parties, the highest ranked such number of candidates from each party list are returned as MPs. Presently under discussion is such closed list system but for constituencies returning three to five MPs such that the MPs are closer to the voters.

Of the 400 members of the National Assembly in South Africa, half are selected from national lists and the remaining half are selected from regional lists. The regional elections too are held according to a ‘PR-closed list’ method, but local council elections are held according to an MMP system.

Electoral systems vary widely across level of government
As we can see, electoral systems vary across countries and within countries they vary across different levels of government, In Germany national and provincial elections are conducted under MMP systems but local elections under the PR-closed-list method.

Implications for Sri Lanka
It is unfortunate that our Parliament has been discussing electoral systems since 2003 without seeking adequate outside expertise. Electoral reforms considerations in Sri Lanka are driven by formulas and ways of optimising formulas without a deep understanding of the concepts behind those numbers or good practices across the world.

Currently we have legal provisions for an MM-Parallel system enacted for local councils and the old PR system is still in play for Provincial Councils and Parliament. An MMP system for the Parliament is on the agenda, but the document put forward by the steering committee is just another set of numbers without an in-depth analysis situating such numbers in a larger electoral reforms framework.

To my knowledge only a Norwegian consultant secured by the Center for Policy Analysis was invited to make presentations to the committee. He advocated an MMP system having already decided it is the best method for Sri Lanka. I too have been discussing MMP method as an option since January 2015, but our Parliament and the public deserve the services of a technical committee bringing wider range of experiences and outlooks.

Following up on the visit by Moseneke of South Africa, the Constitutional Assembly should convene a team of technical experts with international experience to present to Parliament the options for electoral reforms not just for Parliament but for all three levels of government. Such reforms should take into consideration the issues that are already on the agenda for the devolution of power and the nature of the executive presidency. Such a team could include experts from Indonesia and South Africa, the consultant from Norway who has already done much work and personnel from the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, for example.
Better late than never.

Dr.Sujatha Gamage

http://www.ft.lk


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          1 Oak Island At Finolhu Maldives Launches Summer Lovin’ Finolhu Beach Festivities With Performances By Robin Thicke & More   
1 OAK Island will be Hosted by Finolhu With the First Ever Summer Lovin’ Finolhu Beach Weekend (July  2017) – Finolhu, Maldives is gearing up for the highly-anticipated launch of ‘1 Oak Island’, its #1OAKMaldives partnership with 1 Oak at a spectacular Summer Lovin’ beach extravaganza. For three-days, Finolhu will be transformed into 1OAK Island, […]
          Kandolhu Maldives honoured with Tripadvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Awards distinctions and Certificate of Excellence, 2017   
The best kept secret in the Maldives isn’t a secret anymore after being bestowed a Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence award this month, for the third year running. Thanks to steadily positive reviews by dedicated travelers year over year, this accolade lands them on the top rung once again as a much sought after small contemporary […]
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          Courage   


Earlier this year I was commissioned to illustrate a feature package on the subject of Courage for Middlebury magazine. We read about acts of bravery everyday in the news; strife, personal and environmental hardship, and oppression are prevalent across the globe. I found it to be a humbling experience to contemplate imagery for such a profound topic. In this feature package the theme of personal courage was illuminated through eight first-person essays. The editor Matt Jennings wanted the cover to reflect a triumphant spirit. I tried to make the figure riding the lion as gender neutral as possible.









The cover and opening images needed to address the general theme. For the opening image I decided to focus on depicting fortitude and perseverance.



In the cover essay, Ellen Hinsey, a veteran reporter, writes about what makes a person courageous; where courage comes from.



Portrait of Zaheena Rasheed "A young woman journalist in the Maldives, Zaheena has had her life threatened repeatedly because of her reporting on her country's authoritarian government. In the days after a colleague was kidnapped, she awoke to find a note pinned to her door with the words "You're Next." Holding it in place was a machete. Yet Zaheena continues to work. " Matt Jennings





Portrait of Frederick C. Kelly "The 93-yr-old WWII vet, a pilot of a B-24 bomber airlifting supplies and intelligence agents behind enemy lines to support the French Underground. On his fifth mission, the plane was shot down. Though our pilot was thrown halfway threw the windshield—held in place by the parachute attached to his waist—he was among a handful of the crew to survive. They were hustled into hiding by the French Underground and began a clandestine journey to make their way to Allied territory."  Matt Jennings  



It was a privilege and delight to work with art director Pamela Fogg on this profound topic and extensive assignment.