World Summit action plan

first_img4 September 2002After more than a week of tough behind-the-scenes bargaining, over 100 heads of state and government at the World Summit on Sustainable Development have agreed on a plan of action to eradicate poverty and protect the environment, finally concluding negotiations that have taken place over nine months and on three continents.Negotiators at the Summit in Johannesburg finally reached on renewable energy sources, the last major stumbling block in the action plan. The agreed text calls on all countries to: “With a sense of urgency, substantially increase the global share of renewable energy sources, with the objective of increasing its contribution to total energy supply” – but without setting any percentage target or target date.The European Union had been pushing for a target of making 15% of energy come from “renewable energy” sources such as windmills, solar panels and waves by 2015. The US and Opec oil-exporting countries, however, were opposed to such targets.Children of the world present a message to the Summit (from left to right): Analiz Vergara (Ecuador), Liao Mingyu (China), Justin Friesen, (Canada), Julius Ndlovena and Tiyiselani Manganyi (South Africa). (Photo: UN Johannesburg Summit)The plan of action, together with a political declaration, was formally adopted at the close of the Summit.Among the provisions agreed on are commitments to increase access to clean water, proper sanitation and energy services, to improve health conditions and agriculture, particularly in drylands, and to protect the world’s biodiversity and ecosystems.Environmentalists scathing, politicians upbeatEnvironmentalists have slammed the plan as toothless, criticising it for, among other things, failing to set targets for the use of renewable energy sources, failing to ensure accountability of multinational corporations, and making no mention of the “ecological debt” that resource-greedy richer nations owe less developed nations.Ministers, however, have praised the plan, describing the environmentalists’ expectations as unrealistic.South Africa’s Trade and Industry Minister Alec Erwin told the Star newspaper that issues such as getting the United States and Japan to agree on specific renewable energy targets had been politically impossible to resolve, adding: “But we brokered a deal. There are no targets, but there’s no question about it – renewable energy is now a new issue on the sustainable development agenda.”Erwin said that South Africa’s technical and brokering skills in chairing the “Johannesburg Process” that led to final consensus had been appreciated by the world’s trade and environment ministers, adding that the plan contained “about 41 substantial agreements relating to the environment in one way or another”.Johannesburg Summit Secretary-General Nitin Desai said that renewable energy targets had been a worthwhile goal, “but the reality is that, with sustained action, we can build up the renewable energy industries to the point where they have the critical mass to compete with fossil fuel-generated energy. We have a commitment to make it happen, and now we need the follow-through.”South African Environmental Affairs and Tourism Minister Mohamed Valli Moosa said the Summit had made some very significant advances. “In some areas, it has made seminal advances.”Valli Moosa said the breakthroughs came during three days of round-the-clock ministerial negotiations. The idea of ministers sitting for days dealing with the “nitty-gritty” of the issues involved was a surprise, he said. “It represents the seriousness with which the [Summit] is taken by developing and developed countries.”The high-level negotiations were necessary, he said, because the remaining issues needed to be resolved at the political, not technical levels.Sustainable production and consumptionCountries have agreed to establish a voluntary world solidarity fund to eradicate poverty and promote social and human development that, without duplicating existing UN funds, will encourage the role of the private sector and individual citizens.Also agreed on was a provision that encourages countries to develop a 10-year framework of programmes to shift towards sustainable consumption and production – that asks countries, in other words, to live within the means of their supporting ecosystems.Desai, detailing some of the commitments, said that country agreements on water and sanitation were backed up by a United States announcement of an investment of $970-million in water projects over the next three years, and a European Union announcement to engage in partnerships to meet the new goals, primarily in Africa and Central Asia.The UN had received 21 other partnership initiatives in this area, with at least $20-million in extra resources.In energy, Desai said countries had committed themselves to expanding access to the two billion people that do not have access to modern energy services. He added that while countries had not agreed on a target for phasing in renewable energy, they had commited to green energy and the phasing out of subsidies for types of energy that are not consistent with sustainable development.Bolstering these commitments, Desai said, a group of nine major electric companies had signed agreements to undertake sustainable energy projects in developing countries, while the EU had announced a $700-million partnership initiative on energy, and the US had announced investments of up to $43-million for energy in 2003.On health issues, in addition to actions to fight HIV-Aids and reduce waterborne diseases and the health risks due to pollution, countries had agreed to phase out, by 2020, the use and production of chemicals that harm human health and the environment.Proposals for the Global Environment Facility to fund implementation of the Convention to Combat Desertification have already been adopted, and will have a major impact on improving agricultural practices in drylands. The United States had said it would invest $90-million in 2003 for sustainable agriculture, Desai said, and 17 partnership submissions to the UN contained at least $2-million in additional resources.There were many commitments made to protect biodiversity and improve ecosystem management, Desai said. These include commitments to reduce biodiversity loss by 2010; to restore fisheries to their maximum sustainable yields by 2015; to establish a representative network of marine protected areas by 2012; and to improve developing countries’ access to environmentally sound alternatives to ozone-depleting chemicals by 2010.These commitments were supported by 32 partnership initiatives submitted to the UN, with $100-million in additional resources, and a US announcement of $53-million for forest management in 2002-2005.“It’s impossible to know just how many resources the Summit has mobilised”, Desai said, “but we know they are substantial. Furthermore, many of the new resources will attract additional resources that will greatly enhance our efforts to take sustainable development to the next level, where it will benefit more people and protect more of our environment.”Boost for Kyoto ProtocolOn Kyoto, countries agreed in the Summit plan that states that have ratified the Kyoto treaty on global warming “strongly urge states that have not already done so to ratify the Kyoto Protocol in a timely manner”.The Protocol received a huge boost at the Summit, with Russia, China, Canada and Japan announcing their intentions to ratify the treaty, leaving the US and Australia as the only major powers holding out.Minister Valli Moosa told the Star that Russia’s surprise decision meant that the anti-global warming pact could now come into force, as it would bring a “big chunk” of carbon dioxide emissions into the equation.‘There is still the other half’The commitment to a target of 2015 for reducing the numbers of people who lack access to proper sanitation followed the already agreed upon goal of halving the proportion of people who lack access to clean water, one of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals.“It is hard to imagine how we can implement sustainable development when two billion people lack proper sanitation facilities”, said Desai. “This is an historic commitment, because for the first time the world has made the issues of water and sanitation a high-level political priority. We need this political commitment, and now we need the practical measures and partnerships to ensure that the new goals are met.”Desai cautioned, however, that the new targets, if met, would only bring clean water and proper sanitation to half of the people who lack these necessities. “There is still the other half, and we cannot stop until everyone benefits.”SouthAfrica.info reporter. Sources: Johannesburg World Summit 2002, United Nations: Johannesburg Summit 2002last_img read more

Hold the Aluminum, I’ll take the Ten Years! Cake

first_imgTennessee and Virginia geocachers put the sugar rush in 10 Years!If you follow tradition, the gift for a ten year anniversary is, of all things under the sky, aluminum.  You could buy your loved one some real nice aluminum siding or the fuselage of a plane.   Neither is very practical, unless you’re not the interested in making it far into your 10th anniversary.Geocachers celebrated 10 Years! this past weekend in a much more suitable style, with CAKE. They offered the loving gift of thousands calories and a five minute sugar rush, not kitchen foil.  Smart choice.There must be some nerve bundle deep in our cortex, some where near the command and control for your blinking and breathing, that mandates we snap pictures of the cake at events.  You should see the pictures on our Flickr and Facebook pages.  Australians know how to make cakes. And lets not forget about the pastry stylings of geocachers in Denmark.  All were impressive.What’s more impressive might just be the people who showed to eat the cake and celebrate ten years of geocaching together.10 years! Czech style. 10 Years! South Carolina, USA10 Years! Buenos Aires, ArgentinaThis decade has been quite a ride that spread geocaching from a lowly cache in Oregon to every continent on the earth and even to the International Space Station. More significantly the family-friendly adventure has spread inward, to this little nerve bundle in the cortex. Not only does the bundle fire control commands for blinking, breathing and urges to take pictures of cakes, it’s where geocaching has found a home for many.Share with your Friends:More SharePrint RelatedGeocaching is (literally) a Piece of Cake (sometimes)January 25, 2012In “Geocaching.com Souvenirs”Ten Years of Geocaching in AustriaJuly 12, 2011In “Community”Guide to hosting an unforgettable Last/First New Year’s eventNovember 27, 2018In “Community”last_img read more

Cubs’ bullpen implodes in Game 2 loss to Nationals

first_imgFrontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Washington Nationals’ Ryan Zimmerman spreads his arms after hitting a three-run home run off Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Mike Montgomery (38) during the eighth inning in Game 2 of baseball’s National League Division Series, at Nationals Park, Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)WASHINGTON — Carl Edwards Jr. knew the ball was gone as soon as it left his hand. Mike Montgomery wasn’t sure until it went just over the fence.The sinking feeling was the same for each reliever, and the rest of the Chicago Cubs.ADVERTISEMENT Pedro Strop worked a scoreless seventh before Edwards got into trouble in the eighth. With one out and a runner on first, the wiry right-hander fell behind 3-1 against Harper and the 2015 NL MVP drove his next pitch into the second deck in right field.Citing the 26-year-old’s numbers against lefties, manager Joe Maddon called turning to Edwards “the right option” and “the only option.” Lefties hit .119 against Edwards this season and .135 over his career. But the Nationals were also 5 for 12 against him this season.“C.J. was the right man for the job,” Maddon said. “He made a bad pitch and the guy didn’t miss it, and that’s it. Sometimes that happens. Bryce is good. C.J. is good. Bryce got him.”Edwards said it was “the right pitch, just the wrong hitter.” Walking Anthony Rendon put Montgomery on the spot because Maddon wanted a ground-ball pitcher. Instead, the lefty allowed a single to Daniel Murphy and then the home run to Zimmerman that the wind carried over left fielder Ben Zobrist.“It’s a tough situation, but it’s the kind of situations I want to be in,” Montgomery said. “I prepared for that. It just didn’t go my way this time.”ADVERTISEMENT As much as the Cubs could feel the surprising turn of events, the memories of winning the World Series last year crept in not long after. Rizzo, who became the franchise’s all-time postseason leader in home runs and RBIs, said nothing is going to faze his team.“We’ve given up way bigger home runs than that before,” Rizzo said. “You’re not going to knock us down. We gave up a home run to Rajai Davis to tie the game in the eighth inning (in Game 7 of the World Series). It’s part of the journey. You’ve got to embrace it.”After that home run, Maddon turned to Edwards and Montgomery to get the final three outs for the Cubs’ first championship since 1908. So it’s not at all surprising that Maddon wants them back out there in the same situation soon and so do their teammates.“We’ve all been there, we’ve all given up big hits, we’ve all given up big homers,” Lester said. “Hopefully the situation arises on Monday and they go right back out there and dominate.” Read Next MOST READ Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City LATEST STORIES Edwards’ hanging curveball turned into a tying two-run homer by Bryce Harper and Montgomery’s pulled changeup became a three-run shot by Ryan Zimmerman. The five-run rally in the eighth inning lifted Washington to a 6-3 victory on Saturday, tying the NL Division Series at a game apiece.“It’s frustrating, but when you’re going up against good hitters, you’ve got to make your pitches,” Montgomery said. “We had them where we wanted them, and we couldn’t get the job done late in the game.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThe World Series champion Cubs wasted another solid playoff performance by Jon Lester and homers for Anthony Rizzo and Willson Contreras . Game 3 is Monday at Wrigley Field.Lester allowed one run and two hits in six innings in his 20th career postseason start. The left-hander threw 86 pitches before he was pulled in favor of a pinch hitter. Trump attends World Series baseball game in Washington DC PLAY LIST 01:04Trump attends World Series baseball game in Washington DC00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Demetrious Johnson breaks UFC record with 11th title defense BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight View commentslast_img read more

The 64 Most Annoying Fan Bases In College Sports: Elite Eight

first_imgElite Eight of College Spun's Most Annoying fan bases.We’ve reached the Elite Eight of our ’64 Most Annoying Fan Bases In College Sports’ bracket, and the first 1-seed has gone down. Duke basketball fans, it turns out, aren’t quite as annoying as some of the other groups on our list. The other 1-seeds – Kentucky Basketball Fans, Notre Dame Football Fans and Alabama Football Fans – are holding strong, however.You can see the opening round matchups here, the ‘Round of 32’ matchups here, and the Sweet 16 matchups here. Here’s the updated bracket – you can vote on this week’s four matchups below.The 64 Most Annoying Fan Bases BracketElite8 Vote On The #BBN Region Below1. Kentucky Basketball Fans vs. 3. S-E-C ChantersbbnsecAuburn Football fans were no match for #BBN, as Kentucky Basketball Fans held serve to move onto the Elite Eight, 72%-28%. There, they meet up with S-E-C Chanters, who took down People Who Talk About Their NCAA Bracket Picks, 65%-35%. Will UK supporters join their basketball team in the Final Four?   More Annoying: Kentucky Basketball Fans or S-E-C Chanters?Vote On The #FSUTwitter Region Below2. Florida State Football Fans vs. 4. Fans Who Tweet At RecruitsfsutwitterIt’s a matchup between #FSUTwitter and, well, another group of annoying tweeters. Seminoles fans were voted more annoying than USC supporters, 63%-37%. Meanwhile, Duke Basketball fans became the first 1-seed to fall. Fans Who Tweet At Recruits scored the upset, 55%-45%. We’ll be shocked if they advance again, though.  More Annoying: Florida State Football Fans or Fans Who Tweet At Recruits?Vote On The #WeAre Region Below1. Notre Dame Football Fans vs. 5. Texas A&M Football FansndamNotre Dame Football Fans took down Michigan Football Fans, 58%-42%, in a matchup that perhaps should have been slotted for later in the tournament. Meanwhile, Texas A&M Football Fans were voted slightly more annoying than Texas Football Fans, 52%-48%. Perhaps it’s because they’re in the SEC now? Which group will move onto the Final Four? More Annoying: Notre Dame Football Fans or Texas A&M Football Fans?Vote On The #PAWWWL Region Below1. Alabama Football Fans vs. 3. Paul Finebaum CallersbamafinebaumIt’s beginning to look like Alabama Football Fans may be the most formidable force left in the bracket. Tide supporters took down Georgia Football Fans, 84%-16%, to set up a fitting all-SEC final in the #PAWWWL region. Paul Finebaum Callers, the 3-seed in the region, beat out Big East Nostalgists handily, 64%-36%. Good luck determining this one. More Annoying: Alabama Football Fans or Paul Finebaum Callers?Check Out The Sweet 16 Voting Here >>>last_img read more

Surveillance Video Shows Will Smith In Possible Hit-And-Run Before Former Ohio State Star’s Death

first_imgWill Smith's Mercedes G Wagon.Will SmithA surveillance video from a New Orleans’ restaurant appears to show Will Smith in a possible hit-and-run with his alleged killer before the former Ohio State star’s death on Saturday night. Smith, 34, was shot to death in the Lower Garden District of the city. It had been reported that Smith was involved in a road-rage incident that led to him getting shot multiple times. A man has been arrested for the killing. The video shows a Mercedes SUV bumping the rear end of a Hummer near the intersection of Magazine Street and St. Andrew Street, a location about two blocks from where Cardell Hayes allegedly killed Smith. Smith was driving a Mercedes G63 SUV on Saturday night, while Hayes was driving a Hummer H2.Here’s the video. Hayes’ attorney said his client was involved in a hit-and-run. “Someone hit him,” John Fuller said. “The person failed to pull over. My client trailed behind this person in an effort to get their license plate number. My client also called 911.”Hayes was arrested on Sunday on a second-degree murder charge.last_img read more

Elder trying to fill void of food insecurity in NWT with a

first_imgCharlotte Morritt-JacobsAPTN National NewsFood insecurity is a reality for many northern communities.But one elder in the Northwest Territories is helping bring fresh meat and fish to those who need them.The elder is doing so while upholding tradition.cmorrittjacobs@aptn.calast_img

AP source Fox gets Thursday night football for 5 years 3B

first_imgBLOOMINGTON, Minn. – Fox and the NFL have agreed to a five-year deal for Thursday night football games.Those games previously were televised by CBS and NBC, two of the league’s other network partners. Fox announced Wednesday that it will televise 11 games between Weeks 4 and 15, with simulcasts on NFL Network and Fox Deportes.Fox, which has the Sunday afternoon NFC package, will produce all of the games under the deal, which is worth a little more than $3 billion, according to a person with direct knowledge of the terms of the deal who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the league didn’t announce its value.“This is a single partner deal, we are not splitting the package,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a conference call. “We had tremendous amount of interest from all the broadcast partners, all of whom wanted it exclusively. We felt this was the best opportunity for the NFL to grow the Thursday night package.”Goodell added that the league is exploring partnerships with digital outlets, also in conjunction with Fox.The NFL has broadcast deals “five years out” with its other partners — ESPN has the Monday night package — so five years on this agreement made sense.“Fundamentally, Fox was built on football,” said Peter Rice, president of 21st Century Fox, nothing that 25 years ago, the NFC package “helped launch a fledgling network into what it is today.”“These opportunities come along very, very infrequently,” he added. “You either have the rights to the most-watched content in media or you don’t. If you don’t take the opportunity, this won’t come up again for five years. We believe in buying the very best rights, and the best rights are the NFL.”CBS and NBC each paid $450 million for the previous two-year package.“We explored a responsible bid for Thursday Night Football but in the end are very pleased to return to entertainment programming on television’s biggest night,” CBS said in a statement. “At the same time, we look forward to continuing our terrific long-term partnership with the NFL on Sunday afternoons, with more than 100 games per season including next year’s Super Bowl 53.”Fox could have a conflict if weather causes a World Series game to be postponed from Wednesday to Thursday. In recent years, Series Game 2 and 6 have been scheduled for Wednesday.“In that hypothetical kind of a scenario, the World Series game would stay on Fox and our Thursday night game would become an FS1/NFL Network simulcast,” Fox spokesman Eddie Motl said.Goodell noted that the Thursday night games are a place for innovation.“One of the things we’ve taken into consideration with Thursday night in general is to evolve this package, to use it as an opportunity to learn, to understand where these various platforms are going, and what we can do to make it a more attractive experience for our fans,” he said. “We will look at that in that context, and the term will be consistent with what it will take to make sure that we continue to evolve that platform as well as the experience for our fans.”That means streaming outlets, of course.“We have accepted bids for digital partners,” Goodell said. “We have very healthy competition. In fact, I would say it’s unprecedented competition from a number of digital partners.“As I say, we put our focus on the broadcast package first. … We are not required to go coterminous with the broadcasts. We can do any length of deal that we get to an agreement on with that digital partner. As I mentioned earlier, we will be doing this in co-operation with our Fox partners.”___For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFLlast_img read more

TV viewers may soon switch service providers without changing set top box

first_imgNew Delhi: TV viewers may be able to switch their DTH or cable service providers without changing the set top box (STB) by the end of this year, according to regulator Trai’s Chairman R S Sharma. “Since last two years we have been trying to make STBs interoperable. Large part of problem has been resolved. There are some business challenges (which) remain… we are looking at this to happen by end of this year,” Sharma told reporters at an event here Tuesday. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalHe added that interoperability in a product should not come as an “after thought” but should be in place at the product planning stage itself. “Open systems are going to be the future. Entire back-end of Aadhaar has been developed on open source software except biometric de-duplication system,” Sharma said. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) chairman released a study on open ecosystem for devices in India, prepared by the Indian Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA) and consultant firm KPMG, which showed that 89 per cent of mobile phones in the country work on open source operating systems. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostSharma cited interoperability as one of the key factors behind the success of the Indian mobile phone industry where no subscriber is required to buy a new phone if he wants to change his service provider. “Many apps/services are being accessed primarily on smartphones now. Prevalence of the Open OS has also facilitated smartphones supporting multi-lingual capabilities and also led to the enhancement of the Skill India program by the government,” ICEA Chairman Pankaj Mohindroo said. The report found that Open OS mobile operating systems have expanded the smartphone market in India by reducing barriers to entry. According to the study, smartphones sold in India increased from 2 million units in 2009-10 to 117 million units in 2017-18, corresponding with the increase in smartphone makers from seven in 2009 to around 80 in 2018. India overtook the US to become the second largest mobile phone market in the world in terms of number of units, with the Indian smartphone market growing at a compound annual growth rate of 37 per cent (in value terms) to reach Rs 1.43 lakh crore in 2017.last_img read more

Like old photos memories fade over time

first_imgLike old photographs, the visual quality of our memories declines over time, according to a study. When people remember the past, they remember it with varying degrees of clarity. Sometimes people remember lots of details about an event, as if they are reliving the moment as it happened, said Maureen Ritchey, an assistant professor at Boston College in the US. Other times, it seems like the memory has faded, and the details are fuzzy, according to the study published in the journal Psychological Science. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainPrevious research has shown that emotionally significant events – like a car accident – are remembered more vividly than everyday events. “We wanted to know whether this feeling of memory vividness is related to not just what is remembered, but how it is remembered – the visual quality of the memory,” Ritchey said in a statement. She said people reported changes to their memories akin to using a filter to edit a picture. “A simple analogy is what happens when you post a photo on Instagram. You are cued to apply a filter that changes the brightness or colour saturation of the image,” Ritchey said. Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma AwardIn three experiments, participants studied emotionally negative and neutral images that varied in visual quality – luminance and colour saturation. They then reconstructed the visual qualities of each image in a subsequent test. The findings revealed that memories were recollected as less visually vibrant than they were encoded, demonstrating a novel memory-fading effect, the researchers said. Negative emotions subjects experienced when viewing the images increased the likelihood that images would be accurately remembered but did not influence memory fading. In addition, subjective ratings of memory vividness were lower for less accurate memories and for memories that had visually faded, the team found. These findings provide evidence that the vibrancy of low-level details – such as colours and shapes associated with an event – fade in memory while the gist of the experience is retained. People may remember going to a music festival and watching their favourite band, but the intensity of that sensory experience, including the bright stage lights and strength of the bass, will slowly fade. “We found that memories seem to literally fade: people consistently remembered visual scenes as being less vibrant than they were originally experienced,” said post-doctoral researcher Rose Cooper. “We had expected that memories would get less accurate after a delay, but we did not expect that there would be this qualitative shift in the way that they were remembered,” Cooper said. The fading effect happened less for memories that were rated as subjectively stronger. “We were also surprised to find that emotional memories did not influence the amount of fading, only the likelihood with which people remembered the images at all,” she added.last_img read more

Millions vote in LS battle BJP worker killed

first_imgNew Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress President Rahul Gandhi were among the millions who voted on Sunday in the sixth and penultimate round of the Lok Sabha elections in which a BJP worker was killed in West Bengal. Kovind flashed his inked finger after exercising his franchise along with his wife at a polling booth at the Rashtrapati Bhawan as voters trooped to polling booths in large numbers in 59 constituencies across seven states. The polling began at 7 a.m. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange framework A total electorate of 10.17 crore is eligible to vote in the 14 constituencies of Uttar Pradesh, 10 in Haryana, eight each in Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal, seven in Delhi and four in Jharkhand. Nearly 40 per cent of the electorate had voted till 2 p.m. A BJP activist was killed in Jhargram in West Bengal while Trinamool Congress supporters sustained bullet injuries at Keshpur in West Midnapore district as a number of incidents of violence were reported in the state. Also Read – Trio win Nobel Medicine Prize for work on cells, oxygen In Uttar Pradesh, where the contest is intense between the BJP and the SP-BSP alliance with the Congress becoming the third factor, street clashes were reported both in Jaunpur and Sultanpur, where Union Minister Maneka Gandhi is the BJP candidate. In this phase, the BJP is defending 45 seats — seven in Bihar, eight in Haryana, all four in Jharkhand, seven in Madhya Pradesh, 12 in Uttar Pradesh and all seven in Delhi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has already voted in Gujarat, urged everyone to vote and added that youngsters should do so in record numbers. “After all, their participation makes the polls even more special.” Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah made a similar appeal, saying India needed a “strong government again”. He underlined that the Modi government had transformed India from being a terror-stricken country to one that enemies were now scared of. Rahul Gandhi asserted after voting — he went walking to the polling booth — that his party was set to win the mammoth battle. Accusing Modi of injecting hatred and asserting that the Congress spread love, he said: “Love is going to win.” He declined to comment on the number of seats the Congress could get. “The people will decide that.” Delhi Chief Minister and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal voted with his wife after urging voters to reject “hatred”. Sonia Gandhi and Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi also voted in the national capital. Prominent among the 979 candidates include three-time Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, who faces state BJP chief Manoj Tiwari in Delhi North East, Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav from Uttar Pradesh’s Azamgarh, former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh against BJP’s Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur in Bhopal, former cricketer Gautam Gambhir (BJP) in East Delhi against AAP’s Atishi and Olympian boxer Vijendra Singh (Congress) in South Delhi against AAP’s Raghav Chadha and incumbent MP Ramesh Bidhuri. Also contesting are Union Ministers Maneka Gandhi, from UP’s Sultanpur, Radha Mohan Singh from Bihar’s East Champaran, Harsh Vardhan from Delhi’s Chandni Chowk and Rao Inderjeet Singh from Gurugram, Congress General Secretary Jyotiraditya Scindia from Madhya Pradesh’s Guna and former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda from Sonipat. Bengali film hero Deepak Adhikari ‘Dev’ (Trinamool Congress) will lock horns with the BJP’s Bharati Ghosh, a former IPS officer and once a trusted lieutenant of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, in Ghatal. The Trinamool had won all the eight seats going voting on Sunday in West Bengal. The seven-phase Lok Sabha elections started on April 11 and will end on May 19. The vote count will take place on May 23.last_img read more