160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Fans of Hunter S. Thompson will get an inside view of his elaborate memorial service in a film directed by Wayne Ewing. “When I Die” will be shown Saturday at the Starz Denver International Film Festival. The 60-minute movie depicts the creation of the 15-story tower that was used to blast Thompson’s ashes into the sky at a closed memorial service on his Woody Creek property in August. Apparently despondent over health problems, Thompson shot himself on Feb. 20 in his kitchen. He was 67. National and most local media were barred from the tribute to Thompson, who is credited, along with Tom Wolfe and Gay Talese, with helping to pioneer New Journalism – he dubbed his version “gonzo journalism” – in which the writer is an essential component of the story. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Ewing, who directed 2003’s “Breakfast With Hunter,” also shows the planning and governmental approvals that organizers needed in order to honor Thompson’s written wishes for his send-off. Johnny Depp, who played Thompson in 1998’s “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” paid the $2.6 million cost of the memorial.
The 2019 Local Elections have come to a close in Donegal and the 37 councillors have all been finalised.But who was elected where, when and by how many votes?Donegal County Council has broken down the stats and facts of the weekend into an interactive map for the public. Viewers can check out results in their electoral area, votes for individual councillors and see who was elected on what count on Sunday.The dashboard by Donegal Maps is built on Esri’s ArcGIS platform and shows changes since the 2014 election, gender balance in the council, the percentage turnout by electoral area and other information on the results.If you’re interested in analysing the numbers from the busy weekend, this is well worth a visit: http://donegal.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/25a57baa1aa04e2fbaf41e3dc847e44aElections 2019: New map breaks down stats from Donegal vote was last modified: May 28th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Donegal County CouncilDonegal mapslocal elections 2019
Janine ErasmusDelegates at the 10th African Union (AU) summit convened in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to discuss peace in the strife-torn western Sudan region of Darfur, strengthened relations between the African Union and the United Nations (UN), and conflict resolution in other African countries. The summit took place from 25 January to 2 February 2008.The proposed reform of the UN Security Council was also raised, with UN General Assembly President Srgjan Kerim noting that he hoped the AU leadership would help drive “the pressing need to make progress on Security Council reform”. Kerim also praised the AU for its “impressive history of constructive participation in the General Assembly’s work”.Africa has long been known as a particularly conflict-prone continent, and, said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, it is in the interests of all that bodies such as the AU and UN work together. In his address at the opening session of the AU summit Ban said, “Close partnerships are crucial for addressing the continent’s peace and security challenges.”As post-election violence continued to wreak havoc in Kenya, Ban urged President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga to “do everything possible to resolve the sources of the crisis peacefully”. At the same time the secretary-general mentioned that the UN was involved in peace initiatives in other troubled African nations such as Burundi, Sierra Leone and Guinea-Bissau.At a high-level UN Security Council meeting held in Pretoria in September 2007, Ban remarked that while African governments and people have made progress in some areas, on their own they could not tackle all the conflicts. He said that strengthened ties between the UN and regional organisations such as the AU would “enhance the capacities to address conflicts. Together, we must respond in a more timely and complementary manner to the crises in Africa.”At the same meeting South Africa’s President Thabo Mbeki highlighted the importance of Africans finding solutions for African problems, saying that greater resources would be needed to give the continent the best chance of successfully tackling key challenges and establishing a lasting framework for peace and security in Africa. South Africa is currently a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council – the country’s membership ends at the end of 2008.Fruitful collaboration between AU and UNSpeaking at the more recent AU summit, Ban Ki-moon described the establishment of a joint UN-AU peacekeeping force in Darfur as the advent of a historic phase in the “long-standing and fruitful” collaboration between the two organisations. The partnership between the UN and AU, said Ban, was also fundamental in helping to resolve conflicts elsewhere on the continent, such as in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), northern Uganda and Somalia.The UN and the AU have been working closely together towards a settlement to the Darfur crisis through negotiations currently taking place in Sirte, Libya, between the Sudanese government and opposing groups. South Africa has already participated in initiatives to resolve conflict in Burundi, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, and Kenya, among others – with varying degrees of success. In November 2007 the government of Sudan formally asked South Africa to mediate in the Sirte peace talks.The Darfur peace talks follow on from the July 2007 endorsement by the UN and the Sudanese government of the joint UN-AU peacekeeping force. The joint force, headed by Nigerian General Martin Luther Agwai, officially took over from the AU peacekeeping mission on 31 December 2007. The AU mission was installed in June 2004 following an AU-mediated ceasefire, but for various reasons has been largely ineffective. These reasons include insufficient troops, equipment and training, as well as a lack of consistent funding from the AU, although the European Union, the United States and other donors have contributed.In fact, the AU mission was set up mainly for the purposes of monitoring but as civil violence continued in Darfur the force’s mandate was expanded in October 2004 to include the protection of endangered civilians it encountered during the course of its normal operations. While the AU force numbered a mere 7 000, the new force will include up to 26 000 personnel although currently only a third of that number has been installed. According to an AU spokesman it will take some months to build up the force to its full capacity – it will then be the largest peacekeeping operation in the world.Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Aziz Pahad, speaking at a briefing on 18 January 2008 at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, said that South Africa has already deployed about 900 troops and around 100 police officers as part of the joint force. He added that the country would willingly contribute more personnel if required.Joint AU-UN operation in Darfur is “unprecedented”In a 2007 interview with the Council on Foreign Relations, assistant secretary-general for UN peacekeeping operations Jane Holl Lute described the joint operation as unprecedented, adding, “Never before in the history of the United Nations have the UN and UN peacekeepers worked explicitly with another international organisation – in this case, the African Union – in a single integrated operation that is fully funded by the United Nations assessment mechanism and under the integrated command structure and the rules, procedures, and processes of the UN.”The Darfur Peace Agreement, signed under AU auspices on 5 May 2006 between the Sudanese government and one of the rebel factions (two other factions rejected the agreement), has also failed to halt the violence in the region.While the Sudanese government and UN approved the joint force in July 2007, it was only on 4 February 2008 – after months of international pressure on Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to admit the troops – that an agreement regarding the terms of deployment was reached. This represents a significant step forward, said officials, as the lack of consensus in this regard was seen as a major barrier to progress.However, reports say that the Sudanese government is not yet wholly satisfied with the agreement and may seek further discussion.The Darfur crisis has already led to the death of some 200 000 people and the displacement of another 2.2 million – these people, states a report from the independent non-governmental organisation Human Rights Watch, are living in camps. Thousands more have fled to refugee camps in neighbouring Chad. In addition to those displaced, there are an estimated two million additional people who are regarded as “conflict-affected” by the UN – many of these need assistance in obtaining food.Millennium Development GoalsBan also reiterated the UN’s commitment to working with developing African nations to fulfil the Millennium Development Goals, a set of eight goals adopted by the UN in 2001 to help people triumph over obstacles to progress such as extreme poverty, gender inequality, lack of education, and poor health services. These goals are also commonly accepted as a framework for measuring development progress.Looking to strengthen ties between the AU and UN, the secretary-general held meetings with leaders from several African nations including Algeria, Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso. Discussions ranged from humanitarian issues and elections to the UN Security Council. Ban also met with the prime ministers of Somalia and Guinea and the presidents of Benin and South Africa.Useful linksThe African UnionUnited Nations Security CouncilHuman Rights WatchCouncil on Foreign Relations
15 August 2008Airports Company South Africa has spent over R5-billion on improving facilities at airports around the country, and remains committed to delivering “quality aviation infrastructure” to meet the country’s needs for the 2010 Fifa World Cup and beyond.Presenting the company’s financial results in Johannesburg this week, Acsa chairman Franklin Sonn said the company had also started a five-year, R22-billion capital expenditure programme to cater for future growth in air travel.Of this amount, he said, about 62% would be spent in the first three years leading up to the World Cup.Also at the presentation was Transport Minister Jeff Radebe, who said the government would work closely with the airports operator. “We will stay close to Acsa to ensure business sustainability and timely delivery of the critical infrastructure necessary for the biggest marketing opportunity for our country, the 2010 Fifa world cup,” he said.Investment tripledHighlighting some of the key features of the financial year under review, Radebe said Acsa nearly tripled the previous year’s investment infrastructure developments by spending R5.2-billion.This sum included upgrades and new developments worth R1.7-billion on OR Tambo International Airport outside Johannesburg, R603-million on the Cape Town International Airport and R298-million on smaller domestic airports countrywide.In addition, R1.9-billion was allocated for both upgrades at Durban International Airport, as well as the greenfields international airport development at La Mercy, to the north of Durban.“We trust that you will continue focusing on efficiency in revenue and cost, while keeping your eyes on 2010 deliverables,” he said, commending the airports company for delivering good financial results despite the challenging economic environment.Non-aeronautical revenue growthAcsa MD Monhla Hlahla pointed out that infrastructure investment had increased by 215% to R5.2-billion, while revenue had increased by 9% to R2.797-billion.“Departing passenger volumes increased by 106% to R18.2-million [and] commercial and other non-aeronautical revenue increased by 20.2% to R1.4-billion,” she said.The robust growth in non-aeronautical revenue was mainly attributable to increases from activities such as property, core retail, car hire, as well as advertising.Acsa said that it continued to experience strong growth in traffic and non-aeronautical revenues due to strong positive growth in passenger numbers against a backdrop of positive economic growth, particularly in the first nine months of the financial year.“These results are good and reflective of the difficult operating and economic regulatory climate,” Hlahla said. “We will continue to focus on being efficient and deliver excellent service to our customers.”Source: BuaNews
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest This picture is one of the most iconic pictures in the history of agriculture. Back in the early 80s you couldn’t go to a farm house, implement dealer or sale barn without seeing this poster somewhere on the wall. Seeing it recently for the first time in a long time piqued my curiosity and I wanted to know what ever happened to these two boys (who are in there 40s now)? So I Googled it. Here is what I found.One of the first links that popped up was a Pinterest posting from 2009. The mother of the two bib-donning photo stars, Deni Overton, wrote about how the picture came to be and the interest it garnered for years to come. She wrote:Have you seen this picture before?I took this picture of my twin sons in September, 1978.Did you know that it is one of the most recognized posters in history? Believe it or not, over one million copies have been sold all over the world. If you are connected with farming or live in a farming community, you most likely have seen it many times.Whenever someone I know sees the poster somewhere, they usually report back to us. Reports range from Europe to most of the mid-Western U.S. to Canada.I’ve also heard some versions of where it was taken, when it was taken, and how it was taken that were totally false!So, as Paul Harvey always says…”Now you know the rest of the story”…or you will, if you read all of this!I have to admit, it’s a pretty cool story for just starting out as one of many, many proud mom’s photo opportunities!!When I took this picture of my twin sons, Matt and Chris, in September, 1978, they were only 1-1/2 years old. At that time, we lived on “the mesa”, just across from a little town called San Miguel, CA (northern San Luis Obispo County). An overnight visitor was on her way home that morning and wanted a couple pictures of the boys before she left. So, I got my camera out and took a few also. After all, they had their brand new OshKosh overalls on!When the photos came back, there was that one extra-special shot–the lighting was just right, the focus just right, and the expression was priceless. I enjoyed showing it off to people, and decided to enter it in the San Luis Obispo County Fair (now known at the Mid-State Fair). Well, there were 2 other photos in the same class as mine-and mine came in 3rd place! But, it drew a crowd. So many people liked it that they were looking up my name in the phone book in order to ask if they could buy a reprint.Over the next couple of years the photo was used on a Guernsey cow breeder’s magazine, a Babson Bros. dairy equipment company calendar and then a Saturday newspaper supplement cover that was syndicated across the U.S. I sold a number of 8 x 10’s to many people over this time period. I also mailed a copy to the OshKosh company. They sent back a very nice letter and a couple of OshKosh bandannas for the boys with this explanation: “Thank you for sending your photo; however, we have no plans at this time to use children in any of our advertising.” I can only speculate that they thought the boys looked so cute in those overalls that they decided to start a children’s line of clothing. They certainly do well with their children’s line!Anyway, one day in 1982, I got a telephone call. By this time, we had just moved to Hanford, CA in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley–BIG farming area! The call was from a man named Roy Reiman, a publisher of magazines mainly geared to “country” type people. His company is based in Wisconsin.His daughter took him to somewhere on her college campus where the photo of Matt & Chris was hanging on a bulletin board. From that he somehow tracked me down and called. He said he had an idea for using the picture on the first issue of a new magazine he was about to publish–Country Kids. He got my address so that he could make an offer in writing on the use of the photo. I remember him acting like a contract was only a formality for him because he was so honest and believes in that good ol’ “country handshake” being as good as a legal contract.When I received the offer, he had decided he wanted to do a poster instead of the cover and then he would offer one poster free for each new subscription to Country Kids. He offered me $250 for that use or else ½ cent for every poster that they sold. Since my clothes dryer had just died, the prudent thing really seemed to be to take the enclosed check for $250. (Yeah, yeah, don’t say it!) The agreement was made for posters only, though.The poster came out with the caption “You been farming long?” on it and that seemed to be exactly what it took for people to love it. A few months later, I found out that the Reiman Company had started making note cards that were just like the poster. I contacted an attorney. That was the smart thing I did! He negotiated with Reiman and came to an agreement that 6% of the gross sales was to be paid to me on a monthly basis for the use of the photo on anything other than the posters. From that point on, I received a monthly royalty check from Reiman. They sent a statement of amounts sold along with each check. They were selling anything and everything they came up with in the line now known as “Little Farmers”-playing cards, figurines, salt & pepper shakers, porcelain dolls-and they sold like hotcakes! The company grew and grew over this time, and the royalty checks were pretty nice–especially around Christmas time.When Matt and Chris were about 8 years old, Reiman called and asked me to take an “update” photo. He wanted the boys to dress the same as they did in the original photo for submission in an article “Where are they now?” kind of thing. Well, we did it-and it didn’t translate to a great photo. I didn’t think it worked at all. They also had our local paper come out and take a photo of the 3 of us for the same article. They asked again when they were about 13–same thing. The last time they asked for an update photo, I told them no way–don’t ask again. Here’s why:About 5 years later, I noticed that the checks had kind of dwindled but they were still coming out with new “Little Farmer” items in their catalog, especially a lot of figurines where they would have Matt (red hat) alone or Chris (blue hat) alone. When I checked my printouts, I realized that they were not paying royalties for any of these–and hadn’t been for quite awhile. By my calculations, they owed me thousands of dollars in unpaid royalties. I contacted Reiman–and then my attorney. It seems somewhere along the line they had gotten “too big for their britches”! They told me that the single figurines were not necessarily a likeness of Matt & Chris’ photo–only the double figurines were! Somewhere the company had decided that honoring their agreement, whether of the legal or “country handshake” variety was no longer important. Actually, it probably never was if they could find a way around it. And they did. They told me that if I pushed the issue-they would just stop selling Little Farmer items altogether. They made a settlement for about 1/6 of what they owed-and told me to “like it or lump it” (my words)! They have not ever come out with new “Little Farmer” items since that time anyway.The good side of the story is that I know my picture has brought many people pleasure, and for some it’s nostalgic of their early childhood, etc. So, royalties aren’t everything! To be able to bring such feeling that someone would write to me to express it is worth more than money can buy!Then I came across a post on a message board that I frequent, New Ag Talk, but I missed this particular conversation when it originally happen last year.A person with the screen name “Big Ben” had the same curiosity I had when he saw the picture show up again on social media. He wrote:I saw a post on Facebook with a picture of this famous poster, and couldn’t help but wonder if anyone on here knows more about it. Where was it taken? What are the boys doing now?A few months later, after many memories were shared on the message board about the picture, someone with the screen name Blue Cap chimed in:It is nice to see so many people with good memories of our picture. I like to look up the phrase “You been farming long” to see what turns up, and it always brings a smile to my face. My name is Chris, and I am the one on the right in the blue cap. My brother and I live in Fresno, CA and are now 38 years old. We both have children now who are much more photogenic than us. My brother has a two year old boy and I have two girls, ages four and six. My Mom, who took the photo, now lives in the little town of Lompoc, CA. She has looked into the copyright, which is now owned by Reader’s Digest. The problem is that they are a huge organization and this contract that would give them exclusive rights is just an old piece of paper buried in an old file cabinet somewhere. It isn’t really worth their interest and I suspect they may not even know where to look to find it (if they even still have it). Aside from the unpleasant business with Reiman, we have a lot of good memories of this old picture and don’t feel like it is worth more unpleasantness to try to get the contract out of Reader’s Digest. We are all doing fine, and so we need not make ourselves miserable over a little money. Thank you again for all the kind words and for sharing your memories. God Bless, Chris JacobsNo, thank you Chris! That one split second with your brother, captured by the quick snap of your Mom’s camera has been a staple of American agriculture from the moment it was printed. And it’s nice to hear that you’re all are doing well.
Nozzl was founded by a team of ex-newspaper reporters and engineers. They got out when it was clear the newspaper industry was in trouble, but now they aim to give something back by bringing together the real-time, programmatic possibilities of the web with the reporting of the newspapers. Reporters have for decades written programming scripts that repeat database queries over and over again to extract public data for bulk analysis. The Nozzl team has taken that to the next level and combined it with new social media.The company put up a demo page for Portland, Oregon news that anyone can look at today. The public records streams are the big value-add and are fully customizable per newspaper. Visitors can then type live filter terms into the box at the bottom of the widget to zero in on topics of interest to them. That’s the nozzle in Nozzl Media.User Experience is Hard For RobotsUnfortunately, there are two big issues here. First, the flow of Tweets is overwhelming and undifferentiated. On the demonstration site you see almost nothing else unless you can think of something to filter for. If automated Twitter feeds hold value for local news, they will probably require some smart pre-proccessing before being presented to the reading public.There have always been people who like to listen to police radio scanners. Myself, I like to read restaurant health inspection reports, building permit applications and liquor license applications. If Nozzl had some categories I could choose between, that would be very helpful.The second, and more interesting, problem is that the public records that are extracted are exciting in theory but relatively unreadable in practice. The truth is, Nozzl didn’t exactly tell me that there was an unconscious person reported at Nike HQ today – it told me with code from a form that there was an UNCONS/UNRESPONSIVE report at 1 SW Bowerman Drive, in Portland. A little Mad-Libs style transformation of forms into human-readable sentences and some pre-fetching of names associated with addresses could go a long way. Run the name associated with that address through a News search engine and tell me if it’s an entity that’s been reported on in the past – if so then it’s probably high-priority news to push live again. The company needs to put these machine-readable pages it displays into coherent English sentences, or find some other solution. Don’t Forget the HumansAmbulances to Nike’s Headquarters to help someone unconscious today? That sounds like it could be news. Even if the technology presented the information this clearly – it may take a human eye to pick a story like that out of a list of automatically captured ambulance reports. Having a human available to pick up a phone, call Nike HQ and ask who was found unconscious there this afternoon would add another element of value to this data – but that’s not what Nozzl is looking to do. The company is serving up raw data to news consumers.In the end, human reporters and raw robot feeds sound like a great combination. That appears to be what Nozzl is aiming to create by offering its widgets to established news organizations. The company says that a mobile application could be in its future, too. That’s something I’m very excited about. Be it a widget or a mobile app, Nozzl’s robot reporters need more polish before they are ready to win back the hearts of fast-leaving newspaper readers. As a picture of the future, though – Nozzl is very inspiring.Interested in what companies like Nozzl Media mean for the future of the web? Check out our profile of Nozzl and ten other case study companies in our recent research report The Real-Time Web and Its Future. One hour ago, three emergency vehicles responded to a report of an unconscious person at the world headquarters of Nike Inc. in Portland, Oregon. How do I know? An automated form-pumping robot from startup company Nozzl Media told me.Nozzl Media today unveiled a demonstration of its first product, a widget intended for newspaper websites seeking to display real-time local information derived from Twitter messages, blog posts and automatically extracted public records like restaurant health inspections, building reports and public safety emergency responses. It’s like a little robot reporter and the company plans on offering it as a mobile app in the future as well. Nozzl raises questions, though, about what constitutes news and whether or not human reporters are expendable in the news process. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#news#NYT#web Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… marshall kirkpatrick Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market
Safe and Sound Go Beyond the Webinar Return to article. Long DescriptionOn January 17, 2019, our second webinar in the five-part Kids Serve Too! Series, was brought to you by the Military Families Learning Network (MFLN) and Sesame Street for Military Families (SS4MF). MFLN’s Family Development concentration area took the helm to host this particular webinar on the impact of childhood trauma and community violence.Sabrina Huda and Antonio Freitas of Sesame Workshop facilitated part two of this series and provided tons of great resources focused on preventing trauma and violence in communities, as well as shared strategies and activities to help children cope.Here are some of the highlights of this latest Kids Serve Too! Series webinar:A brief overview of Sesame Street for Military Families including the topics they cover they cover on their website.The introduction of Sesame Street in Communities, the sister site of SS4MF. Talked over the site features and topic content that they specifically focus on.Antonio and Sabrina talked about the history of Sesame Street in Communities and their mission to address childhood trauma and community violence.They went over the common signs of stress that children might exhibit after a traumatic event and ways for adults to help.They shared six strategies that families can implement to help kids cope after a traumatic event and provided resources they have on their site.Several resources and ideas on how to help children cope with trauma were included in the chat pod during our live webinar. These ideas included:Using stuffed animals and children’s books to help relay messages of understanding and comfort.Sabrina Huda shared some great activities. One of those is a video called “Give yourself a Hug.” Another is simply called “Breathe” and teaches kids how to do deep belly breathing!A final activity was shared that stressed the importance of parents taking care of themselves called “Self-Care: Digging Deep.”In case you missed it, be sure to watch our archived version of this fantastic webinar here: “Safe and Sound: Caring in Our Community.” This is part 2 in our Kids Serve Too! Series, with part 3-5 still to come! Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list for this series on the homepage here. Finally, to get caught up, here is the link to part one of the series, “Sesame Street Overview on Military Resources.”
The ruling BJP in Gujarat won 47 out of 75 municipalities, down from 59 it held before the local elections, while the Opposition Congress won 16, in results announced on Monday.Though the BJP retained its urban base in towns, winning most municipalities, it saw a decline in the total number of seats, while the Congress made some inroads. “In the elections to 75 municipalities, the BJP has won 47, the Congress 16, the NCP 1 and the BSP 1, while in 6 municipalities, no one got a majority, and Independents got 4,” State Election Commissioner Varesh Sinha said.BJP bags 1,167 seatsIn terms of total seats, the BJP has won 1,167 seats, the Congress 630, Independents 202, the NCP 28 and the BSP 15, while 18 seats have gone to other parties.After the elections for municipalities in semi urban towns, elections will be held for two district panchayats and 17 taluka panchayats this month.“People of Gujarat have once again reposed their faith in the BJP,” State BJP president Jitu Vaghani told media persons. He, however, denied that the Congress made inroads in urban pockets, which have been BJP bastions.Mr. Vaghani said that in all places where the Congress won Assembly polls recently, the BJP won the municipality polls.He gave the example of Amreli district, where the Opposition party lost municipality polls despite winning all five Assembly seats in the district.Both the BJP and the Congress made claims regarding improving of their performance because this was for the first time in a decade that the parties contested local bodies elections on party symbols.
Sajad Lone of the Peoples Conference (PC) said here on Friday that his party was caught unawares by the coming together of the National Conference (NC), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Congress. Their sole aim was to stall the “PC from forming a government in J&K”.“We continue to have the requisite numbers [for government formation]. PDP president Mehbooba Mufti did not have the support of a majority of former PDP legislators. This contemptuous presumption that elected leaders are cattle and can be herded is ridiculous. I am ready to prove it on the floor of the Assembly,” Mr. Lone said.However, Mr. Lone said, he respected Governor Satya Pal Malik’s decision to dissolve the Assembly. He dared Ms. Mufti to challenge the dissolution in court. Mr. Lone on Wednesday evening staked claim to form a government with the BJP’s support. He claimed to have the backing of 18 MLAs from other parties. The PDP had also claimed the support of 56 MLAs in the 87-member Assembly.Denying reports of any horse trading, Mr. Lone said money was with those people and leaders who ruled the J&K in the past. “Where will I raise money to do horse trading,” he asked. He said the PDP was not serious about forming a government. “The party was lying. Even the letter shot off to Mr. Malik was not written to stake claim for forming a government,” he said. ‘Blatant lie’“The claim that the alliance of NC, PDP and Congress was formed to protect Article 35A and Article 370 was also a blatant lie. The Congress eroded the special status 95 times and made amendments at least 52 times,” he said.Describing Article 35A and Article 370 as “sacred for the people of J&K”, Mr. Lone said his party would reach out to the people and contest the next elections. “The PC has emerged as an alternative to the traditional politics of exploitation and misrule practised by the twin-family political monopoly that has used blackmail and expedient ideological ambiguity to deprive J&K of peace and prosperity. What I speak in Delhi is what I will say in Srinagar,” he said.On the BJP alliance, Mr. Lone said it was no sin as both Ms. Mufti and Mr. Abdullah had allied with it in the past.As for BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav’s remarks against Pakistan being behind the NC-PDP-Congress alliance, which he later backtracked on, Mr. Lone said, “I would not be surprised if the accusation proves true.”Mr. Lone was joined by former PDP legislator Imran Ansari, who joined the party. “There is a queue to join us. You will see more faces joining us soon,” Mr. Ansari said.
Biju Janata Dal (BJD) candidate Rita Sahu registered an impressive victory in the Bijepur Assembly constituency in western Odisha when results of the bypoll were declared on Thursday. She defeated Sanat Gartia of the Bharatiya Janata Party by a record margin of 97,990 votes.Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik, who had campaigned for two days for the bypoll, congratulated Ms. Sahu for her “huge historic win, breaking all records in Odisha’s electoral history”.While Ms. Sahu polled 1,35,957 votes, Mr. Gartia secured 37,967 votes. Congress nominee Dillip Panda put up a dismal performance by bagging only 5,873 votes.CM vacates seatThe bypoll was necessitated after Mr. Patnaik, who contested from two Assembly seats for the first time in the elections held earlier this year, vacated Bijepur and retained Hinjili seat in his home district Ganjam in south Odisha.In fact, Mr. Patnaik was elected from Bijepur by defeating Mr. Gartia by 57,122 votes. He had bagged 1,10,604 votes, while Mr. Gartia had secured 53,482 votes and Congress nominee Ripunath Seth had got 14,344 votes.In the previous bypoll in Bijepur that was held in February 2018 following death of Ms. Sahu’s husband and then Congress MLA Subal Sahu, she had won as a BJD candidate by a margin of over 41,000 votes.The Congress, which had won the Bijepur seat in the three elections held before the February 2018 bypoll, has been gradually losing its vote share in the seat in the last three elections, primarily due to its weak leadership at the State level.Vote share upBut what came as a surprise for many this time was the drastic decrease in the BJP’s vote share within a short span of time. The party’s decline from 53,482 votes in the elections held earlier this year to 37,967 votes in the current bypoll has left many leaders of the party dumbfounded. The bonhomie between the party and the BJD in the aftermath of the general election was said to have been the contributing factor.While the Chief Minister led the BJD’s campaign, the BJP’s effort was led by Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who campaigned for two days. The campaign for the Congress was led by the party’s State unit president Niranjan Patnaik.