ATP blacklists companies for links to cluster bombs, mines

first_imgIt also added Russian manufacturer Motovilikha Plants JSC, Chinese firm Norinco and South Korean weapons and machine tools maker S&T Dynamics to the list.According to details on ATP’s exclusion list, S&T Dynamics is being excluded because of anti-personnel mine manufacture, whereas the other six corporates were added because of cluster bombs.The exclusion list now contains 28 companies.Cluster bombs work by ejecting smaller bombs over a wide area mid-flight and because of this are said to be dangerous for civilians – both during attacks and for a long time afterwards, as many remain unexploded for some time.Their use is prohibited by countries that have ratified the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions.According to Dutch peace campaign group PAX, cluster bombs have been used in the past decade in Iraq, Lebanon, Israel, Georgia, Cambodia, Libya, South Sudan, Ukraine and Syria — where they are still being used. Denmark’s DKK700bn (€66.6bn) labour-market supplementary pension fund ATP has added seven stocks to the list of companies it will not invest in on social responsibility grounds, with most of the newly blacklisted firms found to be involved in making cluster bombs.ATP said it added the seven companies to its exclusion list even though the pension fund did not actually invest in them.“The companies are either directly or indirectly involved in the production of weapons that contravene conventions,” it said.ATP said it was blacklisting Romanian military aerospace technology manufacturer Aeroteh, Israeli weapons and auto components manufacturer Ashot Ashkelon, China Aerospace International Holdings – the Hong Kong subsidiary of China’s main satellite developer China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation – and China Spacesat.last_img read more

3 suspected nCoV patients in Bacolod discharged

first_imgMayor Evelio Leonardia also orderedthe mobilization of barangay health emergency response teams to monitor andprovide information to the city mayor about residents and visitors in theirrespective barangays who have arrived from a nCoV-affected country./PN Tan said the patients that are stillin quarantine are now in stable condition and waiting for theirconfirmatory result. Familiaran, who chairs the BacolodCity Inter-Agency Task Force Against the nCoV, said the three PUIs include a43-year-old Canadian national, a 12-year-old boy and a 59-year-oldfemale. Last week, the City Council approved aP10-million funding support to the inter-agency task force for the preventionand control of nCoV. Tan said that the BCPO was also taskedby the city in case there will be resistance from the PUIs. Meanwhile, CHO Environment andSanitation Division head Grace Tan, spokesperson of the city’s 2019-nCoV taskforce, disclosed that more PUIs are set to be discharged today. BACOLOD City – Three patients underinvestigation(PUIs) have been discharged from the hospital over the weekendafter testing negative for the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) acuterespiratory disease. As of Monday, the City Health Office(CHO) reported six PUIs over their travel to nCoV-hit areas and were admittedin tertiary hospitals here. Familiaran said the new PUI is afemale and resident of this city. She was confined in a hospital here just inthe afternoon yesterday. She added that the task force throughthe CHO will purchase protective equipment to be utilized by the medical teamof the hospital specifically in the Corazon Locsin Montelibano MemorialRegional Hospital. Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran confirmedthis on Monday, saying all patients are now in stable condition. last_img read more

Rebellious fashion: Saudi women embrace sports abayas

first_img0Shares0000In Saudi Arabia, a sports-friendly version of the abaya gown is becoming the new normal and being seen less as a symbol of cultural rebellion © AFP / Amer HILABIJEDDAH, Saudi Arabia, Apr 18 – Colourful and oozing defiance, a sports-friendly version of the abaya gown was once considered a symbol of cultural rebellion in conservative Saudi Arabia, but it is fast becoming the new normal.Pictures of female athletes running in the garb in the Red Sea city of Jeddah went viral last month, setting off a new debate on sartorial freedoms for women in a country where the typically all-black, body-shrouding garment is obligatory in public. Some cultural purists vented fury online, calling it a breach of tradition, but opposition has been largely muted following recent comments from powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that the abaya — any abaya — is not mandatory in Islam.Until a formal edict comes however, designers such as Eman Joharjy are cashing in on the growing popularity of the so-called sports abayas, as many women push back against traditional attitudes of equating chastity with dress code.“There is a big demand,” Joharjy told AFP at her fashion studio in Jeddah.“Having them in different colours is empowering.”Akin to a zippered jumpsuit, sports abayas envelop a woman’s body but offer greater mobility for sporting activities, in contrast to the classic baggy version where tripping on the hem of the flowing garment is a common risk.The 43-year-old’s designs come in colours like pistachio green, beige and white — more tolerable in the kingdom’s scorching heat — and she uses natural fabrics, including French poplin, that do not cling to a sweating body.One of the early pioneers of the trend, Joharjy said she was branded a social outlier and jeered by some as “batman” when she began designing — and donning — sports abayas publicly in 2007.Designers in Saudi Arabia are making the most of the growing popularity of sports abayas, which are often colourful and zippered © AFP / Amer HILABI“There was a little bit of rebellion but I designed it for myself, because it’s practical,” she said.“You zip up and are ready to go.”– ‘Soccer-themed abayas’ –Joharjy has defied a popular maxim in Saudi Arabia: “If it’s not black, it’s not an abaya.”Abayas have evolved over the years, with new patterns, fabrics and embellishments, and they are sometimes worn in the kingdom with baseball-style caps over headscarves.The latest fad is an eye-catching ensemble of “soccer-themed abayas” — in the colours of the local teams, a new way for female sporting fans to cheer for their favourite players.Such fashion trends are gaining momentum amid the kingdom’s liberalisation drive, including a historic royal decree allowing women to drive from June and enter sports stadiums for the first time.The government is also seeking to jump-start women’s sports and is moving toward compulsory physical education classes for girls, after a ban was lifted in 2014.Saudi officials recently announced that women would be able to participate next year in the Riyadh international marathon, previously a male-only event.Sports abayas still envelop the female form but offer greater movement than the classic baggy version whose flowing hemline would be a handicap © AFP / Amer HILABIWomen exercising in public were long a target for the kingdom’s austere religious police, which has largely been neutered in recent years.And the once-unthinkable idea of doing away with the abaya appears to now be gaining traction.“The laws are very clear and stipulated in the laws of Sharia: that women wear decent, respectful clothing, like men,” Prince Mohammed told CBS Television last month.“This, however, does not particularly specify a black abaya. (It) is entirely left for women to decide what type of decent and respectful attire to wear.”– ‘Modest look’ –Muslim cleric Sheikh Ahmed bin Qassim al-Ghamdi added a new wrinkle to the debate when he dismissed the long-held view that black was the only colour for abayas permissible in Islam.“The cloak is meant for maintaining a modest look and it does not have to be black,” the former chief of the religious police in the holy city of Mecca, told Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya television last month.Sports abaya trends are gaining momentum amid Saudi Arabia’s liberalisation drive, including a historic royal decree allowing women to drive from June and enter sports stadiums for the first time © AFP / Amer HILABIBut the risk of a social backlash is real in a society steeped in conservatism.“They look like cleaners!” a tweet said, in response to viral images of athletes dressed in sports abayas.“Their purpose is not sports. We have all been running in full body veil,” tweeted another.Back at Joharjy’s studio, a longtime client Marwa al-Hadi walked in wearing one of her designs with magenta sneakers.“Abaya is like the Indian saree, it is part of our identity,” Joharjy told her, as they weighed in on the future evolution of the garment.“But at the same time, if God did not want women to do sports, we would not have muscles or a body.”Hadi nodded.“It is no one’s business to stop and question what I’m wearing,” she said.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more