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The problems with LGBTQ health care

first_img National strategies are needed to help control spiraling costs, panel says, and examples exist Drug story When disease strikes, gender matters The solution, according to panelists at a session sponsored by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, involves gathering more data to help identify specific health needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) population, along with educating health professionals so they better understand that there are differences in care needs, and that ignoring them can do damage.“There’s a ton of research, including by my colleagues here at Harvard — David Williams in particular — showing that experiencing discrimination is associated with a whole range of negative health outcomes,” said Logan Casey, research associate at the Harvard Opinion Research Program. “So if you’re experiencing this discrimination on such a widespread scale and it’s having all these negative health impacts and then on top of that you’re not going to a doctor … that is going to compound the effects of discrimination.”The forum, “Health in the LGBTQ Community: Improving Care and Confronting Discrimination,” featured Casey; Kenneth Mayer, co-chair and medical research director of the Fenway Institute; and Sari Reisner, assistant professor of epidemiology at the Harvard Chan School. Wednesday’s panel was moderated by Joe Neel, science correspondent and deputy senior supervising science editor at NPR. It was co-sponsored by the Harvard Chan School and NPR.The poll by the Harvard Chan School, NPR, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation examined the experience of discrimination in several populations, including LGBTQ adults. It found that discrimination is a common feature in their lives, with 57 percent saying they’ve been subject to anti-LGBTQ slurs and 53 percent to offensive comments about their identity.,In addition, 51 percent said they or a friend or family member who is also an LGBTQ person have experienced violence. The same percentage said they’d experienced sexual harassment, while 57 percent said they’d received threats or been subject to nonsexual harassment. In addition, just over a third, 34 percent, said they’d been harassed verbally in a bathroom.“We see these extremely high numbers of interpersonal violence being reported by members of the LGBTQ community,” Casey said.Within this population, Casey said, there are further disparities based on race. Black LGBTQ people had higher rates than whites of discrimination on the job and in interactions with police, and more often avoided calling police when in need because they were concerned about discrimination. Infectious disease rates are higher as well, Reisner said, with an estimated 50 percent of black transgender women suffering greatly from HIV.Awareness of the differing health needs of the LGBTQ community is rising, panelists said. The National Institutes of Health has made the community a priority population for research into health disparities, which include an increased risk of adverse health outcomes at two to five times that of the general population, according to Reisner.Panelists agreed that more data is needed on the health care needs of the LGBTQ population. They said questions about sexual orientation and gender identity should be added routinely to surveys to help illuminate those needs.Mayer said one of the biggest hurdles this population faces involves how unprepared most medical professionals are to take care of them — despite a push to improve the health care industry’s “cultural competence” and better understand the everyday lives and pressures on ethnic and minority patients.“The biggest challenge is that the health care system is woefully unprepared to take appropriate care of LGBTQ people,” Mayer said. “It’s a dawning idea that needs to gain traction, that there’s also a whole field of sexual-gender minority health that providers need to have an understanding of.”,Though providers often are reluctant to ask patients questions about sexual preference for fear of embarrassing them, Mayer said a recent survey said that 90 percent of patients don’t share that fear. A simple open question on registration forms — “Do you have sex with men, women, or both?” — can give a physician information and help establish communication that might prove important in understanding and treating health needs.One reason for optimism, said Neel, is that medicine has “a learning attitude,” meaning many physicians — once they become aware that a need exists — extend effort to better care for patients, whatever their background.Mayer said doctors may be motivated to educate themselves if it is emphasized that failing to ask about and consider sexuality isn’t just a missed opportunity to provide better care, but could be a prescription for worse care.“I’m optimistic,” Mayer said. “The hook, and it’s the right hook for providers, is you’re going to do a better job providing patient care. Did you really go into this profession to do a bad job? I think if we can get people to understand that, that will help turn things around.” Sorrow, frustration, hope in opioid crisis Experts in Harvard Chan School discussion say research, treatment need to be more sensitive to differences between men and women Nearly a sixth of LGBTQ adults have experienced discrimination at the doctor’s office or in another health care setting, while a fifth say they have avoided seeking medical care out of fear of discrimination, according to a recent poll.That combination, in a population that commonly experiences discrimination and even violence in their day-to-day lives, can lead to a cascade of health ills, experts say. People who experience discrimination, for example, have been shown to have an increased risk of heart disease, and that risk can be raised further by skirting routine medical care. Harvard panels share experiences, ideas in health, policy, law enforcement Relatedlast_img read more

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Nets star Kyrie Irving ruled out of Celtics clash

first_imgWhile he was absent midweek, the six-time All-Star and 2016 NBA champion was still taunted with chants of “Where is Kyrie?” and “Kyrie sucks.” Nets star Kyrie Irving will miss his eighth consecutive game after being ruled out of Friday’s showdown against former team.Irving sat out Wednesday’s 121-110 loss to the Celtics at TD Garden due to a right shoulder injury. KYRIE ANSWERS: Irving posts IG response to fansAnd Irving will have to wait to face the Celtics as he is set to miss the rematch at Barclays Center.Prior to his injury, Irving — who arrived from the Celtics in the offseason — had been averaging 28.5 points, 7.2 assists and 5.4 rebounds per game for the Nets this campaign.last_img read more

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Valtteri Bottas beats Lewis Hamilton to take pole position at Bahrain Grand Prix

first_imgValtteri Bottas beat Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton right at the end of qualifying on Saturday to take pole position for the Bahrain Grand Prix. It was the first pole in Bottas’ career.Hamilton took pole in the first two races of the season, and had the leading time until Bottas beat him on the last lap.”It took a few races, but hopefully it’s the first of many,” said Bottas, who is competing in his 80th F1 race but only his third with Mercedes. “I’m getting better with the set-up of the car. Feeling more comfortable.”Bottas became the first Finnish driver to take pole since Heikki Kovalainen at the British GP in 2008 – the race after Kimi Raikkonen’s pole at the French GP – and the fifth overall. Keke Rosberg and Mika Hakkinen also qualified first during their careers.”It’s a lot of races without a Finn on pole,” Bottas said.Bottas also denied Hamilton his 64th pole.”That’s how close qualifying should always be, it forces us to be on the limit,” said Hamilton, who had taken pole in Bahrain for the past two years. “I’m genuinely happy with the job I did.”Bottas clocked a leading time of 1 minute, 28.769 seconds over the 5.4-kilometer (3.3-mile) track in Sakhir, compared to 1:28.792 for Hamilton.Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was a bit disappointed with third.”I crossed the line, looked up and saw both were ahead,” said Vettel. “When I got the time I was a bit down to be honest. Four tenths was a lot more than I expected, given how good the lap felt.”advertisementThe 27-year-old Bottas will now aim for his first win.”I feel I’m now in the game,” he said.Bottas left Williams to join Mercedes this season as an emergency replacement for German driver Nico Rosberg – Keke Rosberg’s son – who quit F1 just days after winning the title last year. Bottas has 10 podiums with a best finish of second.Moments after they had climbed out of their cars, Hamilton grabbed Bottas, hugged him and shook him firmly by the hand.”Valtteri found some great pace,” Hamilton said.Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo was fourth, with Ferrari’s Raikkonen fifth ahead of Max Verstappen’s Red Bull.Although not as hot as Friday, drivers still had to deal with afternoon track temperatures of 37 degrees Celsius (99 degrees Fahrenheit) during P3. By the evening, the heat had dropped off to a more comfortable 30 C (86 F) – similar conditions to Sunday’s race, which starts at dusk and ends under floodlights.Hamilton and Vettel are level at the top of the championship standings. In an exciting start to the season, both have one win and one second-placed finish each, with Vettel winning in Melbourne and Hamilton responding in Shanghai.”It’s great how close it is between the teams, it brings out the best in each driver,” Hamilton said. “The more drivers you have in the mix, the more intense it gets.”Hamilton won in Bahrain in 2014 and 2015, on his way to his second and third world titles with Mercedes. Vettel won in 2012 and 2013 during a glittering run of four straight titles with Red Bull.Five drivers are eliminated from the first two parts of qualifying – Q3 and Q2 – to leave the best 10 in Q1. Hamilton topped Q3 and Q2.In a boost for Renault, both drivers made the top 10, with German Nico Hulkenberg seventh and Briton Jolyon Palmer 10th.But McLaren’s frustrations continued.The team struggled last year after switching back to Honda engines and it looks like things are getting worse. Fernando Alonso and teammate Stoffel Vandoorne have not scored a point yet.Alonso, a two-time world champion, did not even make it into Q2 after his engine’s power unit broke down. He will start from 15th and needs a new engine for the race.”It’s a shame,” the Spanish driver said.Vandoorne starts from 17th, making it unlikely that McLaren will get in the points here.Carlos Sainz Jr. had shown good speed during practice, but qualified 16th as his Toro Rosso was hit by a power failure late in Q1.In the third and final practice, Verstappen narrowly beat Hamilton – but the 19-year-old Dutchman could not carry that into qualifying.Still, starting from sixth on the grid will not faze him.Last weekend, Verstappen started from 16th on the grid and finished third.”It was definitely possible to be a bit further forward,” Verstappen said. “But last time I started a bit further behind and ended on the podium so anything is possible.”advertisementlast_img read more

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Nepal womens cricket team captain wants to play in Kashmir

first_imgBy Tariq A SofiJammu, Dec 25 (PTI) Nepal national womens cricket team captain Rubina Chhetri was initially unenthusiastic about joining Chief Ministers T20 premier league here due to fear factor but after spending time with local players she has developed a desire to play in Kashmir as well.Chhetri is among a dozen international women cricketers from Nepal and Bangladesh who are taking part in the first such tournament in Jammu and Kashmir, jointly organised by Jammu and Kashmir police and state Sports Council.”When I got an invitation for this league, I was scared to come here (because of militancy). After overcoming my fear, I feel I have made a right choice and I am enjoying my game. I wish I could visit Kashmir as well,” Chhetri told PTI.Besides the international women cricketers, 70 players from 15 different states of the country and 45 state players, including a half from Kashmir, are taking part in the tournament, Organising secretary and former Ranji Trophy player Rajesh Gill said.”We have mixed the players and formed eight teams with vice-captain and coach of each team being from the state as part of our efforts to provide an opportunity to the local girls to interact with national and international players to boost their morale,” Gill, who is also a member of state Sports Council, said.He said this was the first time in the history of women cricket in the state that international players are taking part in a tournament and “we hope their presence will ensure proper exposure and boost the confidence of our players”.advertisementChhetri said violence was the first thing which struck her mind on seeing the invitation for womens T20 tournament in Jammu and Kashmir.”I came to know that Jammu and Kashmir are different regions and violence is restricted to Kashmir region. After meeting the girls from Kashmir and coming to know about its scenic splendour, I am looking for the day when I visit that part too for a game of cricket,” she said.She said she has been to different states of India including Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Haryana and this was her first visit to Jammu and Kashmir.Chhetri said she was highly impressed by the cricketing skill and talent of the local girls.”I am sure one day they will represent India. They have capability to excel but need proper grooming and better infrastructure,” she said.Shathirya Jakir Jesy, former vice captain of Bangladesh national womens cricket team, said she is returning to the game after missing the tournaments back home due to pregnancy.”I became the mother of my first child 11 months back and started practicing four months ago. The tournament came as an opportunity and I availed it,” the right-arm off break bowler and right-handed batsman, said adding she has a dream to play cricket in Kashmir.”I have heard that Kashmir is known as paradise on earth due to its natural beauty. It is my dream to visit the place and I am hopeful that we will soon be part of the game there,” she said.Abida, a BCCI and National Cricket Academy certified coach from Srinagar, said womens cricket in Kashmir needs more focus and grooming to bring forth the hidden talent of the valley girls.”I have been in coaching for the last nine years and I am fully aware of the talent the girls in the valley possess. They are second to none but given the prevailing situation there, the focus need to be given in such a way that the women cricket do not suffer and the players be properly groomed to expose the hidden talent,” she said.She hailed the police and sports council for organising such a tournament and said it would definitely have a positive impact on the players.”This is the best tournament of my life in the state for the promotion of women cricket, where players were given an opportunity to interact with their counterparts from other states of the country and international players as well,” Abida said, demanding a similar tournament in the valley.Jammu and Kashmir police Chief SP Vaid said such tournaments help build comradeship among the players who become the goodwill ambassadors of the state.”It was�a joy to watch the girls playing and excelling in different fields. The youth, particularly the women, are bringing laurels to the state in the field of sports and also by passing civil service examination,” he said. PTI TAS PDS PDSadvertisementlast_img read more

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Nick Cannon And Nerds Unite To Stomp Out Bullying

first_imgLet’s face it: we’re all nerds. WONKA, the maker of NERDS candy, has announced that more than 10,000 fans have joined NERDS Unite! in a nationwide stand against bullying.Natasha Madan, Wonka Marketing Manager, left, Nick Cannon, actor and STOMP Out Bullying Global Ambassador, center, and Ross Ellis, founder and CEO of STOMP Out Bullying join Wonka to celebrate NERDS Unite!Credit/Copyright: Matt Sayles/Invision for NERDS Unite/AP ImagesTo commemorate National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month in October, and to celebrate the success of the first-ever “NERDS Unite!” anti-bullying campaign, WONKA also revealed results from a new national survey that asked 1,000 teens and young adults about their views around bullying and personal identity.Findings of the “NERDS Unite!” survey, commissioned by WONKA and conducted by independent market research firm Toluna, were shared today during a media event at the new Dylan’s Candy Bar store at The Original Farmers Market in Los Angeles. Together with “NERDS Unite!” fans and supporters, including actor Nick Cannon, WONKA presented a check in the amount of $25,000 to STOMP Out Bullying, the leading national anti-bullying and anti-cyber bullying organization.Nick Cannon, actor and STOMP Out Bullying Global Ambassador, left, poses with Mario Lopez after joining Wonka to celebrate NERDS Unite!Credit/Copyright: Matt Sayles/Invision for NERDS Unite/AP Images“WONKA is thrilled by the success of and positive response to ‘NERDS Unite!,’” said WONKA spokesperson Tricia Bowles of Nestlé USA Confections & Snacks. “We’ve been surprised and encouraged to hear from teens around the country about what it means to be nerdy and why embracing their nerdiness or individuality is so important to help prevent bullying.” Bowles added, “Through ‘NERDS Unite!,’ WONKA has built a dialogue with those who are passionate about anti-bullying. We are proud to bring more attention to this important cause on behalf of the entire NERDS community.”Amongst the survey findings: more than 54 percent of teens consider themselves as “nerds” about something, and 57 percent think being a “nerd” is cool, demonstrating today’s teens are open to reinvent the original definition of a “nerd.” Also, 60 percent admitted to having been bullied, with more than 57 percent citing “at school or at a school-related event” where bullying is mostly likely to take place in their community. Teens overall shared, with the help of family and friends as resources for support and help, they are more likely to stand up for themselves against bullying.While teen awareness of anti-bullying efforts steadily grows across the country, the national survey results also found: 86 percent of teens and young adults surveyed believe “differences in people” is a good thing 85 percent of boys/men polled would stand up for themselves against bullying, versus only 69 percent of girls/women 55 percent of all surveyed believe bullies pick on others due to “insecurities, peer pressure and lack of understanding”“What we love about ‘NERDS Unite!’ is that it really empowers teens to embrace who they are, to be nerdy and accept others’ nerdiness, which is a great message to combat bullying,” said Ross Ellis, founder and CEO of STOMP Out Bullying. “With our celebrity advocates embracing their nerdiness, ‘NERDS Unite!’ is really giving teens permissibility to be different, and that’s a wonderful thing.”With its namesake rally cry, “NERDS Unite!” began in late May 2012, and was led by actor and “NERDS Unite!” spokesperson Wilmer Valderrama. He challenged teens everywhere all summer long to join the anti-bullying movement and share online what they are “nerdy for” in order to promote a positive message that embraces individuality, “nerdy” passions, and differences.Bolstered by additional support from celebrity friends who appeared with Valderrama in a “NERDS Unite!” video at the start of summer, including actor Nick Cannon (America’s Got Talent), singer/actress JoJo, actress Francia Raisa (Secret Life of the American Teenager), and actress Erin Sanders (Zoey 101), WONKA had announced that if 10,000 teens joined the movement this summer, WONKA would donate $25,000 to STOMP Out Bullying. During the summer, “NERDS Unite!” was featured backstage at the TEEN CHOICE 2012 and backstage at the 2012 MTV Movie Awards, where even more celebrities signed up for the movement, adding to the growing numbers of “nerds” united against bullying.There’s still time to join “NERDS Unite!” and proudly tell the world what you’re nerdy about by visiting Facebook.com/Wonka and clicking on the “NERDS Unite!” tab.Source:BusinessWire.comlast_img read more

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Transatlantic budget flying gets a reality check

first_imgREYKJAVIK, Iceland — For those hoping for ever cheaper fares on long-haul flights, this month’s takeover of Icelandic airline Wow is not good news.The struggling airline, which specializes in ultra-cheap flights between North America and Europe, was taken over by Iceland’s flagship carrier, Icelandair, for just $18 million. Its rescue is a reality check for an industry hoping to apply the budget flying model to long-haul routes.And for now it means that passengers from, say, Washington will likely have to pay more than the $99 teaser rates previously offered for the six and half-hour trip to the Icelandic capital, which serves as a stopover to mainland Europe.“It simply costs more than $99 to fly between continents and Wow air has not found ways around it,” said Kristjan Sigurjonsson, editor of local travel news site Turisti.While Wow will continue as a separate brand for now, Sigurjonsson says it’s unclear whether Icelandair will have it continue offering such low fares in an attempt to compete with Norwegian Air, which is offering cheap flights at a loss to gain market share.But for now, the numbers don’t add up for budget long-haul flying.Part of the business model for low-cost flying across the Atlantic depends on getting cheaper airport slots, both by departing at odd hours and by flying to smaller cities in the United States. Wow flies to St Louis and Pittsburgh, for example. The low fares, in turn, mean planes are typically full.Wow flies across the Atlantic with single-aisle, narrow-body Airbus A321 jets. Being smaller than a widebody plane makes them easier to fill, an important consideration in keeping down costs per seat. They are also cheaper than two-aisle planes. Wow’s jets are relatively new, meaning they are more fuel-efficient than some competitors’ fleets.However, those savings have been squeezed in the past couple years as oil prices have risen. The U.S. benchmark for oil has risen 50 per cent from late 2016 to a peak of $75 in September this year, before easing back somewhat.For a budget airline like Wow, where margins are already tight, that means a direct hit to earnings. On top of that, wages have been rising sharply in Iceland, where its employees are based.Founded in 2012, the airline expanded fast to 37 destinations and reported up to 60 per cent annual growth in passenger numbers. Its revenue per passenger, however, has not kept up and fell by about 20 per cent in 2017, according to the last earnings report.About 70 per centper cent of Wow’s passengers travel between Europe and North America. Combined with Icelandair, the airlines will carry about 3.8 per cent of transatlantic passengers, according to analysts at Icelandair.Experts say that what budget airlines like Wow lack is the big source of money from transatlantic flying: business travellers. The New York-London route is the most lucrative in the world, thanks to the amount of business travelling done between the two financial hubs. British Airways takes in a reported $1 billion a year between those cities alone.Budget airlines have been trying to tap that market. Wow created a new business-class scheme and in a presentation to investors this year it predicted that would help it make a profit this quarter. Norwegian Air has also offered “Premium class without the premium price,” reportedly with modest success.But it remains to be seen whether companies booking trips will agree to pick budget airlines over established carriers that are often seen as more reliable because they have bigger fleets and deeper pockets.“The established airlines have loyalty programs that hold tight to the most lucrative clients,” said Skarphedinn Steinarsson, former CEO of low-cost carrier IcelandExpress and the director of the Icelandic Tourist Board. “It takes longer to win this group over than the typical bargain-hunter.”For now, it is the flagship carrier coming out on top.Wow founder and CEO Skuli Mogensen urged his staff Monday to “look at this as an opportunity to continue our journey now as a part of a much stronger group”.The charismatic boss, who has in the past mocked Icelandair as “outdated” and used his image to represent the airline, acknowledge defeat with much understatement: “It was not part of the original game plan.”Egill Bjarnason, The Associated Presslast_img read more

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German Cabinet approves plan to expand jobseeker visas

first_imgBERLIN — Germany’s Cabinet has approved a plan to expand a system of visas allowing people from outside the European Union to seek jobs as it tries to tackle a shortfall of skilled workers.Ministers also approved Wednesday a plan to resolve the status of rejected asylum-seekers who have found long-term work in Germany and are well-integrated.The limited-period visas, currently available to university graduates, will be expanded to migrants with professional qualifications and German language knowledge. Labor Minister Hubertus Heil said the aim is to have the system, which ministers agreed to in principle in October, take effect at the beginning of 2020.Like many other European countries, Germany is trying to strike a balance between the needs of its labour market, an aging native population and concern about immigration.The Associated Presslast_img read more

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BC protesters rally against Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline plan

first_imgSupporters of the pipeline project are scheduled to host their own rally in downtown Vancouver this afternoon.A B.C. Supreme Court judge granted Kinder Morgan an interim injunction Friday aimed at preventing anti-pipeline activists from protesting construction at two terminals in Burnaby.The injunction restricts protesters from coming within 50 metres of the facilities until Wednesday, when a hearing on the matter will continue.(THE CANADIAN PRESS) BURNABY, B.C. – Indigenous leaders and environmentalists beat drums and sang as they protested Kinder Morgan’s $7.4-billion Trans Mountain pipeline in southern B.C. Saturday morning.Members of the Tsleil-Waututh, Squamish and Musqueam First Nations, who led the rally and march in Burnaby, say they want to send a message to government, the company and investors that they do not have consent to twin the existing pipeline.The Trans Mountain pipeline is set to increase the capacity of oil products flowing from Alberta to the B.C. coast to 890,000 barrels from 300,000 barrels.last_img read more

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Flood watch issued for the Pine River

first_imgUPDATE as of July 22 at 11:30 a.m. – The flood watch for the Pine River has ended.  The Pine River and tributaries have peaked at the 5 to 20 year return period flows. The Peace River and tributaries have peaked yesterday or are peaking today at about the 2 year return period flows. The rainfall is easing and the river levels are receding now or expected to recede later today. No major flood risks are expected in this region recently though small rises of river levels are still possible.FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Heavy rainfall in the B.C. Peace has caused river levels to increase.The River Forecast Centre has upgraded the forecast for the Pine River and it’s tributaries to a flood watch.  Based on the current modelling, the Pine River and tributaries are expected to peak at the 10 to 20 year return period flows Saturday night or Sunday morning, similar to peak levels reached in June 2016.  The Peace River is also expected to see moderate increases in water levels. The public is cautioned to stay clear from rivers and the unstable riverbanks during this high water period.Real-Time Hydrometric Data that shows the increase in the river flow of the Pine River at East Pine.The River Forecast Centre is also maintaining a high streamflow advisory for the Peace Region, including the Kiskatinaw, Pouce Coupe and Dawson Creek rivers and their tributaries.The River Forecast Centre will continue to monitor conditions and update this advisory as conditions warrant.For more on flooding in Chetwynd, click here.  Caribou Road Services is also working to contain flooding in the South Peace.  Click here for details about that.last_img read more

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‘Modi was posing for cameras at the time of Pulwama attack’

first_imgDehradun: Congress president Rahul Gandhi launched his party’s campaign for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls in Uttarakhand on Saturday, saying Prime Minister Narendra Modi was posing for cameras at the Corbett National Park for a documentary when CRPF jawans were being killed in Pulwama.At a rally here, in which BJP veteran and former Uttarakhand chief minister Bhuvan Chandra Khanduri’s son Manish Khanduri joined the Congress, Gandhi also said his party would introduce a scheme of guaranteed minimum income for the poor if elected to power. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity!”Immediately after the Pulwama attack, in which 40 CRPF jawans were killed, the Congress had said it was with the government and the country. I had cancelled all my programmes. “Everyone knows what Narendra Modi was doing when our jawans were being killed in Pulwama. He was posing for the cameras to shoot for a National Geographic documentary,” Gandhi said to loud cheers from a large gathering at the Parade Ground. “Modi shoots for three-and-a-half hours on a day something like Pulwama happens and he still talks about patriotism,” the Congress president added. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killedThe ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had rejected the charges when they were first levelled by the Congress. On the issue of the Rafale fighter jet deal, Gandhi reiterated his charge of Modi backing industrialist Anil Ambani in getting a related offset contract, a charge repeatedly denied by the government. “All of you must have heard of Anil Ambani. Can he make an aeroplane? He cannot even make a paper aeroplane as children do,” he said, holding up a piece of paper. “Still, Modi took him along with him as part of his delegation to France to ensure that he got the deal worth Rs 30,000 crore,” he added. Gandhi asked why the defence deal, negotiated by the previous UPA regime at Rs 526 crore per aircraft, was finalised by the Modi government for Rs 1,600 crore apiece. Reiterating the “chowkidar chor hai” (the watchman is a thief) barb, the Congress president said he had posed four questions to the prime minister in Parliament on the Rafale deal. “The prime minister delivered a long speech lasting one-and-a-half hours in Parliament, but failed to answer even one of my questions. All he did was keep looking up, down and sideways. Why? Because he is guilty,” he said and asked the youth of the state to pose the same questions to Modi when he comes to Uttarakhand for campaigning.last_img read more

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