Maldives will seek Sri Lankas assistance to deport Nasheed

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“It is ironic that Nasheed and his legal team are accusing others of attempted kidnapping when he himself is a fugitive from the law for the well-publicised kidnapping of a Chief Judge,” Mohamed Hussain Shareef said. The Maldives says it will seek the assistance of relevant authorities in Sri Lanka to return former President Mohamed Nasheed using diplomatic channels, if required.Mohamed Hussain Shareef, Maldives’ Ambassador-designate to Sri Lanka said that Nasheed is a fugitive and left the Maldives midway through a jail sentence after being allowed to seek medical treatment overseas. International legal counsel representing former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed earlier raised concerns about a threat made by the Maldivian ambassador-designate to Colombo to detain their client in Sri Lanka and forcibly return him to the Maldives. Legal counsel Amal Clooney said any attempt by a Maldivian diplomat to detain President Nasheed in Sri Lanka would constitute a violation of international law as well as Sri Lankan criminal law.She had said President Nasheed should not be returned to the Maldives to serve a sentence that resulted from a sham trial, and it is incumbent on the Sri Lankan authorities to ensure that his rights are respected while he is in their country. He said that as the very first foreign official to personally visit and congratulate President Maithripala Sirisena following the 2015 electoral victory and having lived and studied in Sri Lanka for many years, it is a rare privilege for him to have the opportunity to serve in Sri Lanka. “With a massive boost in Sri Lankan investment in the Maldives in recent years, the Government of President Yameen is keen on working closely with the Sri Lankan Government in promoting ties at various levels. We also continue to abide by our long-held tradition of non-interference in domestic politics of neighbouring countries, a principle cherished by successive Sri Lankan Governments as well,” Mohamed Hussain Shareef added. (Colombo Gazette) “Should a relevant authority in the Maldives request the Embassy to seek the assistance of relevant authorities in Sri Lanka to return him or any other fugitive in accordance with our Constitution and laws, all avenues available through diplomatic channels will be utilised to fulfill the obligation,” Mohamed Hussain Shareef said.He also said that Nasheed and his supporters have continuously attempted to create diplomatic friction between Sri Lanka and the Maldives, including assertions of bias by the Sri Lankan Government.“Our ties with Sri Lanka are multi-layered and based on an age-old practice of non-interference in each other’s domestic politics. The close ties between our two Governments and responsibility of officials on both sides have been instrumental in avoiding misunderstanding in spite of erroneous claims by Nasheed and senior officials in his 2008 2013 regime. Among their most recent attempts is the ongoing social media campaign to create friction between the two Governments on the procedural issue of agreement to my appointment as Ambassador. I thank the Sri Lankan authorities for the speed with which our request was processed favourably, and look forward working closely with Sri Lankan authorities in promoting bilateral ties,” Mohamed Hussain Shareef said.

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Supreme Court decision means an end to crossborder beer runs Comeau

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Drake wins rap song Grammy Childish Gambino makes history

first_imgLOS ANGELES (AP) — Drake surprised the music world Sunday when he emerged on the Grammy stage to accept the best rap song trophy but told the room of musicians that winning awards isn’t necessary if you have real fans attending your concerts and singing your songs.Drake, who rarely attends awards shows, won the honor for his massive hit “God’s Plan.”“You’ve already won if you have people who are singing your songs word for word, if you’re a hero in your hometown. Look, if there are people who have regular jobs who are coming out in the rain and the snow, spending their hard-earned money to buy tickets to come to your shows, you don’t need this right here. I promise you. You already won,” he said at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.DRAKE’S HERE! “You’ve already won if you have people singing your songs word for word.” – @drizzy wins Best Rap Song at the #GRAMMYs #CitytvGRAMMYs He tried to continue speaking but was cut off as the ceremony suddenly went to a commercial.Rap has endured a longtime losing streak at the Grammys. The last time a rapper won album of the year was in 2004, with Outkast. Only a handful of rappers have won best new artist.Drake has a chance to become the first rapper to win record of the year later in the show. Childish Gambino made history when his track “This is America” became the first rap-based song to win song of the year. Gambino has won three awards so far, including best music video and best rap/sung performance.The Grammys kicked off with a group of powerful women, including Michelle Obama and Lady Gaga, describing the role of music in their lives — a display that came a year after female voices were somewhat muted at the 2018 ceremony.“Music has always helped me tell my story,” said Obama, who surprised the audience with her appearance. “Whether we like country or rap or rock, music helps us share ourselves. It allows us to hear one another.”Lady Gaga, from left, Jada Pinkett Smith, Alicia Keys, Michelle Obama and Jennifer Lopez speak at the 61st annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)Gaga told the crowd: “They said I was weird, that my look, that my choices, that my sound wouldn’t work. But music told me not to listen to them.”Jada Pinkett Smith and Jennifer Lopez also spoke and stood in solidary with Obama, Gaga and Alicia Keys, who is hosting the show airing on CBS.“Yes, ladies,” Keys said. “There’s nothing better than this.”The opening contrasted with last year’s Grammys, where male acts dominated in nominations and the only woman competing for the top award, Lorde, didn’t get a chance to perform onstage.But this year, Gaga, Brandi Carlile and Kacey Musgraves won three Grammys each.Carlile took three honors in the Americana category and will compete for the three biggest awards during the live show: album, song and record of the year.Gaga also won three, including best pop duo/group performance, a win she shared with Bradley Cooper.Gaga, now a nine-time Grammy winner, won best pop solo performance for “Joanne,” while hit “Shallow,” from “A Star is Born,” was named best song written for visual media. The song is nominated for an Oscar and also won at the Golden Globes, the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards and the Satellite Awards.Women have a strong presence in the top categories. Five of the eight album-of-the-year nominees are women, including Carlile’s “By the Way, I Forgive You,” Janelle Monae’s “Dirty Computer,” Cardi B’s “Invasion of Privacy,” Musgraves’ “Golden Hour,” and H.E.R.’s self-titled album are also in contention.Six of the best-new-artist nominees are women, including H.E.R., Chloe x Halle, Margo Price, Dua Lipa, Bebe Rexha and Jorja Smith.When asked about the lack of women in the top categories at the 2018 Grammys, Recording Academy CEO Neil Portnow said women need to “step up.” He later acknowledged that it was a “poor choice of words,” and his much-criticized remarks forced the academy to launch a new task force focused on inclusion and diversity.Musgraves picked up best country album for “Golden Hour,” best country solo performance for “Butterflies” and best country song for “Space Cowboy.”“I never dreamed that this record would be met with such love,” she said onstage.She also gave a shout-out to her husband in the audience, saying she wouldn’t have been able to make the album if he “didn’t open my heart like you did.”Musgraves performed “Rainbow” from “Golden Hour” during the show, and hit the stage for a second time to honor Dolly Parton. Musgraves and Katy Perry joined forces for “Here You Come Again,” later joined by Parton herself. The icon sang a duet version of “Jolene” with Miley Cyrus, who often covers the classic song. But the country music icon truly shined when she sang “Red Shoes,” with country foursome Little Big Town providing background vocals.Diana Ross earned a standing ovation when she emerged onstage in a bright red dress to perform “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand)” and “The Best Years of My Life.” She celebrated her 75th birthday early with the performance, saying afterward, “Happy birthday to me!” Her actual birthday is March 26.R&B singer H.E.R., who won best R&B performance for “Best Part” with Daniel Caesar, stunned as she played her guitar and sang. Monae grooved onstage during “Make Me Feel,” backed by several dancers. Post Malone performed with Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Cardi B grinded onstage during her latest single, “Money.”Laura Daigle poses in the press room with the awards for best contemporary christian music performance/song for “You Say” and best contemporary christian music album for “Look Up Child” at the 61st annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)All four acts are nominated for album of the year.Ariana Grande won her first Grammy in the same week that she publicly blasted Grammys producer Ken Ehrlich and accused him of lying about why she was no longer performing at the show.“I know i’m not there tonight (trust, i tried and still truly wished it had worked out tbh) and i know i said i try not to put too much weight into these things … but (expletive) … this is wild and beautiful,” she tweeted after learning about her win.Tori Kelly and Lauren Daigle won two awards each. 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US State Department Warns Americans Against Travel to Algeria

by Ghita Benslimane Casablanca — The U.S. State Department has updated its travel advisory yesterday, warning Americans against travel to Algeria. The alerts and warnings page for Algeria hadn’t been updated since March 1, 2016. But as of December 13, the Department of State “continues to warn U.S. citizens against travel to remote areas in southern and eastern Algeria, as well as isolated parts of the Kabylie region, due to a high threat of terrorist attacks and kidnapping.” Terrorist groups, says the US DoS, remain active in those regions. “While major cities are heavily policed,” it states, “extremists have conducted attacks (often using bombs, ambushes, or false roadblocks) in the mountainous Kabylie region (provinces of Boumerdes, Tizi Ouzou, Bouira, and Bejaia) an the southern and eastern border regions, including the Chaambi mountains area, south of Souk Ahras, near the Tunisian border.” The DoS further warns that although most terrorist attacks are directed at Algerian authorities, civilians and other foreigners are still at risk. To make its point, DoS recalls the murder of a French citizen in the Kabylie region in September 2014.In November, the DoS issued similar travel warning for Europe and other North African countries ahead of the holiday season, when travel tends to increase. As of right now, the only two North African countries the U.S. says it’s safe to travel to are Egypt and Morocco. And as for Europe, the State Department continues to alert “U.S. citizens to the heightened risk of terrorist attacks throughout Europe, particularly during the holiday season.”

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