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EDR – Expression of Interest (EOI) Announcement

EDR/EOI-1/2024Consultancy Service for Strategic Plan DevelopmentProject Title: Consultancy Service for Strategic Plan Development Background: The Ethio-Djibouti Standard Gauge Railway Share Company (EDR) is seeking a consultancy firm to assist in the development of a ten-year strategic plan (2025-2034). EDR was established in April 2017 to operate and maintain the Addis Ababa – Djibouti Standard Gauge Railway Line. As EDR transitions to managing its operations independently, the need for a new strategic plan has arisen to ensure sustainability and profitability. Therefore, Ethio-Djibouti Standard Gauge Railway Share Company would like to invite interested and qualified bidders for the consultancy service in strategic plan preparation of our Railway, and we invite eligible companies to submit sealed per-qualification application for Expression of interest. Purpose and Objective of the Consultancy Work: The selected consultant will work closely with EDR’s Board of Directors and Executive Management to develop a new strategic framework that considers the current internal and external operating environment. The main objectives of this consultancy engagement include defining the scope of the Strategic Plan Development process, conducting consultative forums with key stakeholders, and drafting the Strategic Plan for validation and approval. Scope of the Work: The consultant will be responsible for determining the best approach to implement the strategic plan, conducting situational analysis (through appropriate tools), conduct stakeholder mapping, set strategic issues (vision, mission, values, objectives, pillars of excellence); goals, targets, activities, and implementation strategies of the plan including action plan, human resource development strategy needs to achieve the strategic plan, sustainability plan (programs and projects), financial requirements and Investment plan, risk analysis and management approaches, monitoring, evaluation and reporting framework to enable effective tracking of the strategic plan. The scope of work will cover all railway stations and maintenance workshops along the railway line in Ethiopia and Djibouti. Application process: Interested companies/firms/ must fill in the EDR qualification applications and submit relevant documents/information/ as to demonstrate that they are eligible to provide the required consultancy service. The result of the EOI qualification evaluation will be used for identification of the successful company to carry out the above indicated assignment. The application should consider the following application procedures & documents. The applicant shall bear all costs related to preparation and submission of this Expression of interest based on the scope of the work. EDR will not be responsible or liable for those costs regardless of the result of the selection process. All the pages of the EOI submitted must be numbered and signed by authorized person. Incorrect, incomplete, and inadequate application may lead to rejection of the application. All documents must be submitted in English language. Applicants may be requested to clarification on submitted document, EDR has the right to reject the application without, communicating the Consultancy company EDR shall not provide to applicants related to shortlisting & selection process, in this respect, EDR decision shall be, final and binding for all applicants. EDR has planed , after the selection process finalized to pay majority of the portion by ETB. After this EOI and selection process is finalized, EDR will highly encouraged for the consultants submitted their financial offer above 50% in Ethiopian Birr (ETB). Both International and Local companies are invited to participate in this EOI. Submission of documents shall as per the requirements in this EOI. Interested applicants may obtain further information at address Below: Ethio-Djibouti Standard Gauge Railway Share Company (EDR) Furi Lebu Railway Station, office Building, Corporate Planning and Program Management or Procurement and Logistics Departments Telephone No. +2519 14764276, +251920 615718 Participants: Prospective National & International companies who are legally registered we are invited to participate in the Expression of Interest (EOI). The applicants shall not be blacklisted in any governmental organization. Competent applications meeting all requirements should be submitted all necessary documents in sealed envelope by courier on June 04, 2024 on the Address below. Duration of the Work: consultancy assignment is expected to last three months and two weeks from the date of contract signing. But The completion date of the assignment shall depend on the requirement of the projects, and which will be determined during signing of the contract agreement. Requirements for Submission of Expression of Interest (EOI) The EOI shall contain following documents: A cover letter for submission of expression of interest If joint venture, legal documents for the joint venture formation shall be submitted by the companies. Registration by Procurement Agency (if applicable). Complete organization profile, Company capacity statement, Financial, Manpower and equipment Registration Certificate from the Government Authority. License with Latest renewal of 2024 G.C. Tax clearance certificate that works to date of the submission of the EOI Attorney for the certification of the Authority, Financial flow statement approved by official Auditing entity, EOI document should be prepared in English language. The Deadline for document submission shale be on June 04,2024 At 5:00P.M. The Ethio – Djibouti Railway Share Company reserves its rights to reject any or all bids. A covering letter for EOI typed in organizations letter head with official seal. There should be a subject head, the reference no of EOI notice and clear indication of the name and address of the company. Works contracting Process From short list records, companies/firms will be selected to provide the consultancy service for the development of the Ethio- Djibouti railway share company 10-year strategic plan. The basis for selection for the /companies /firms will be evaluation result of company/firm and their willingness to participate in that regard. Key Deliverables:The key deliverable include an inception report, comprehensive document review and analysis, draft Strategic Plan, final Strategic Plan document, training session for EDR Council members, and review sessions at each stage. Confidentiality of Information:All documents and data collected during the consultancy will be treated as confidential and used solely for the assignment. Information shared by EDR shall remain the property of EDR and not be disclosed to third parties without permission. Provisions by EDR:EDR will support the strategic plan development process by providing office space, arranging venues for discussions and training, administrative support, necessary data and information, and establishing an internal working team to oversee the process. Expert Profile:Qualified and experienced consultants with expertise in Transport Planning, Railway Engineering, Strategic Planning, Organizational Development, or related fields are invited to apply. Consultants is encouraged to have a minimum of 10 years of experience in strategic planning document preparation and experience in the railway transportation sector. Experienced strategic planning development of at least five organizations; at least Two in the transport sector including Railway Companies. Minimum eligibility criteria Firms service providers minimum eligibility criteria are as under: Table 1: Eligibility Criteria Medium of Communication:The strategic plan document should be prepared in English, and all communication and document review discussions will be conducted in English. ANNEXES: ANNEX: Company profile contents TABLE 1-GENERAL INFORMATION Name of the Company Address Phone Number Fax Number Email Address Address of Other Offices if any Name and Designation of the Contact Person Legal Status (Provide certified copies of Registration) Registration number Place of Registration Principal place of business VAT Registration number Provide certified copies TABLE 2- COMPANY EXPERIENCE IN LAST THREE YEARS Starting Month/ Year & Ending Month/ Year Client Description of services Contract Amount Remarks (Provide documentary evidence) TABLE 3 – SIMILAR EXPERIENCE IN LAST THREE YEARS Year Client Description of works Contract Amount Remarks (Provide documentary evidence) Please include copies of completion certificates issued by former clients and / or performance appreciation /evaluation letters from former clients providing their contact details and approval to contact them. TABLE 4-ONGOING COTRACTS (If any) Client Description of Contracts Location Amount % of Completion (Provide documentary evidence) TABLE 5-ADEQUACY OF WORKING CAPITAL Source of credit line Amount Remarks (Provide documentary evidence) Please provide proof of financial competency and audited financial statements for the last three financial years. TABLE 6- LIST OF PERMANENTLY EMPLOYED STAFF Name Designation Qualification No. of Years of Experience Provide an organizational chart and detailed CVs for key management and technical Personnel in the Organization TABLE 7-ANY OTHER INFORMATION In addition to the required information, Companies may provide brochures and other Related documents. I, the undersigned, warrant that the information provided in this form is correct and, in the event of changes, details will be provided as soon as possible: Interested consultancy firms are invited to submit their Expression of Interest by [Deadline, June 04, 2024 ]. Ethio-Djibouti Standard Gauge Railway, EDR Furi Lebu Railway Station, office Building, Procurement and Purchasing Department. Share Company EDR Telephone No. +251-976-54-46-36, +251-920-61-57-18 Thank you for your interest in supporting EDR’s strategic planning process!!!

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Mike Collins Is the Hardest Working Troll in Congress

For a moment it seemed Rep. Mike Collins (R-GA) knew that, this time, he’d taken it too far. Last week, the prolific shitposter lauded a group of fraternity brothers at Ole Miss who jeered a Black pro-Palestine protester—including one who made racist monkey noises at the woman—as “Ole Miss taking care of business.” The mainstream media and left-leaning politicians’ response to Collins’ statement was swift and scathing. The archconservative freshman lawmaker is no stranger to controversy—in recent months he’s dubbed Haiti a “sh*thole” country and suggested an undocumented migrant be thrown from a helicopter—but this time, even Collins acknowledged his post amplifying naked racism warranted some damage control. While he said the racist taunting was not the “focal point” of the video he shared, “there certainly seems to be some potentially inappropriate behavior that none of us should seek to glorify.” (The video itself remains up on Collins’ X feed.) But instead of simply smoothing over the situation with his non-apology, Collins lost precisely the people he’s spent months attracting with his hard-right provocations. One verified anonymous account called Collins a “coward” for his conciliatory tone. “No wonder the GOP is a failing party,” they sniped. Another X account with nearly 150,000 followers describing itself as a “purveyor of ‘hateful conduct’” responded, “This is weakness. Tired of it.” It wasn’t long before Collins returned with another eyebrow-raising post that seemed perfectly calibrated to collect both another round of outraged headlines and the trust of his ultraconservative internet groupies. “You either die a Kennedy with a hole in the brain or live long enough to become a Kennedy with a hole in the brain,” Collins posted, comparing the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy to current independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s alleged brain worm. And with that, Collins was back on the board. “BALLSY AF!!” cheered far-right influencer Laura Loomer. As Collins has tried to forge a name for himself online—flouting all the internet etiquette presumed of a sitting congressman—he’s bringing the Republican party’s far-right internet underbelly to the spotlight. Collins told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in an April interview that he’s aware of the scrutiny around his posts, but that those outraged aren’t his target audience, adding that he’s being himself. “That’s people that probably weren’t ever going to be happy with me anyway,” he told the AJC. “But that’s OK.” He’s not the first Republican lawmaker to outwardly embrace ultraconservative rhetoric disguised as jokes, but he’s one who seems to be getting away with it. After months of posts decried in the media—both mainstream and social—as racist, antisemitic, and, at times, violent, some lawmakers on both sides of the aisle consider him little more than a burr in their side. The far-right internet culture Collins engages with has become as unremarkable to the Republican Party as it is intractable. As the GOP has tacked to the right under former President Donald Trump’s reign atop the party, shocking behavior like Collins’ posts have become routine. And yet, as far-right internet culture has become a major component of the GOP’s base, even mainstream Republicans in competitive races have to play ball with ultraconservative social media trolls, or risk being branded Republican in name only (RINO). “NEVER WAS A SECOND THOUGHT” Collins, of course, is an extreme example of this dynamic. But it didn’t start out that way in Congress. Capitol Hill circles got to know Collins’ X posts during last year’s weeks-long battle over the House speakership. Collins proudly became the so-called “memer of the House” delighting Capitol Hill with levity to break up the House’s chaotic, leaderless purgatory. Perhaps his most beloved meme from that era depicted a couple in bed. A woman stared at her partner wondering, “He’s probably thinking about other women.” The man, instead, was thinking, “Who can get to 217?”—the number of votes needed to elect a speaker. While Collins still shares plenty of innocuous humor on X, his social media presence has shifted noticeably rightward since then. In March, Collins responded to an anonymous racist account (calling itself “Garbage Human”) after it made a veiled reference to a Washington Post reporter being Jewish. “Never was a second thought,” Collins wrote in response. (Collins later said his comment was not antisemitic, but rather, his critics “just see stuff that ain’t there.”) Collins’ office did not respond to repeated interview requests or written questions from The Daily Beast. Despite his online persona, Collins keeps a relatively low profile on the Hill. Rep. Steven Horsford (D-NV)—the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus—told The Daily Beast that he wasn’t aware of a Mike Collins in Congress so couldn’t possibly weigh in on his social media posts. “I don’t know who he is,” Horsford said. Rep. Maxwell Frost (D-FL)—the first member of Generation Z in Congress—was at least aware of Collins’ social media persona, but struck a diplomatic tone to describe Collins, his neighbor in Washington, D.C. “He’s definitely posted some things, I think, that are not good to post. I saw he apologized for posting that video of the person and the racism,” Frost said. “I’m glad he did that.” Though Frost added, “I don’t really have much else to say though… I’m not as online as he is.” To be sure, Democratic lawmakers have called out Collins. Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), for one, replied to the Georgian’s post about Ole Miss with the comment, “Mike Collins is fueling white supremacy.” When Collins called Haiti a “sh*thole” country in March—parroting Trump’s infamous 2019 line—Democrats seized on the comment. Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-PA) said the post “displays the extraordinary contrast between how Democrats take a look at foreign affairs… versus those who just want to demean those who are suffering these things.” (Collins, for his part, doubled down, telling The Hill that it “seems like all the money we’ve spent over the years propping up Haiti was a bad investment, and current events should not be used as an excuse to import more foreigners into America.”) But for a Democratic Party seeking to highlight hard-right extremism as they try to reclaim the House of Representatives, the response to Collins has been relatively muted. Back in 2021, the House censured Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ)—a far-right lawmaker who had a history of associating with white supremacist and right-wing militia groups—for posting a cartoon video that depicted him killing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). Though Collins has not publicly advocated for violence against his fellow lawmakers, he stoked yet another round of social media fury in February when he suggested using “Pinochet Air” tactics against an undocumented migrant, referring to Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet’s use of so-called “death flights” to throw detractors from a helicopter into the ocean or the Andes mountains. (Even Elon Musk’s X admitted at the time that the post violated standards, but the statement remains public.) But House Republicans have repeatedly tried to censure Democrats for criticizing Israel’s military conduct in Gaza after Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack, successfully censuring Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) last year, and launching a new effort to censure Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) last week. If Democrats wanted to go tit-for-tat with their GOP foes, Collins social media posts are ripe for condemnation. Rep. Frost said that sort of thinking misses the point. “Should it be censured at all? I don’t know,” Frost said of Collins’ Ole Miss post. “They’re the ones that censure people every week, right? We’re focused on legislation.” In a chamber where the likes of Gosar and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA)—who once infamously blamed Jewish space lasers for California wildfires—routinely make attention-grabbing moves that are breathlessly written up in the media, Collins may be the least of Democrats’ problems. As his profile grows among the far-right online community, Collins hasn’t quite gotten the same warm reception within his own party on Capitol Hill. He reliably votes with conservatives and has a 100 percent rating from Heritage Action—which makes him more aligned with the conservative think tank than his fellow Georgian, Greene. THIRSTY FOR THE SPOTLIGHT Beyond his social media presence, his first major foray into the spotlight was in response to University of Georgia student Laken Riley’s murder by an undocumented migrant. Collins—who represents the district in which UGA resides—spearheaded legislation in Riley’s name that would require federal officials to detain undocumented migrants who commit crimes until they can be deported. Nearly 40 Democrats joined the entire House GOP conference to pass the bill which is under consideration in the Senate. At the State of the Union address in February, just weeks after the murder, Collins invited Riley’s parents to the address. They declined, and ultimately Collins’ attempts to draw attention to the issue were overshadowed by Greene interrupting Biden’s speech, demanding he “say her name.” But generally, lawmakers told The Daily Beast that Collins is not much of an operator. As is typical for first-term representatives, he has little sway as a junior member of committees. Even Collins’ fellow Georgia Republicans didn’t have much to say about him. Conservative Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA) put his description of Collins bluntly, “I guess, he’s a Republican.” “He’s a freshman. He’s new,” Clyde told The Daily Beast. “Give him some grace because he’s all right. He’s a pretty conservative vote, and so I’m happy about that.” Back in Collins’ home district, Charles Bullock—a University of Georgia professor and expert on Peach State politics—told The Daily Beast that Collins could hold the seat for years if he wanted to. Given his record, he’s safely inoculated himself from a challenge on the right. Plus, the district reliably elects Republicans despite encompassing the liberal enclave of Athens, Georgia, home to UGA. Bullock described Collins as a worthy successor to the district’s conservative tradition. “I haven’t heard any negatives about him,” he said of Collins. “He’s around. He’s visible.” Collins’ family is well known in the district. His father, Mac Collins, served as a Republican in Congress from 1993 to 2005, but had more of a moderate lean than his son. Collins is also the wealthy heir to a trucking dynasty that allowed him to self-fund over $500,000 for his 2022 campaign. That 2022 election offered an early glimpse at Collins’ inappropriate flair for the dramatic online. Collins ran against Trump-endorsed Vernon Jones, who had a background in Democratic politics. Jones also faced accusations of misconduct toward women. Though Jones denied the claims, Collins capitalized, distributing rape whistles with Jones’ name on it. Collins then took to X to write, “Although some use a rape whistle for protection against sexual assault, a 9mm is the more preferred form of protection.” Jones filed a police report against Collins for encouraging violence. It didn’t matter—by 9 p.m. on election day, Collins was on his way to beating Jones by over 50 percentage points.

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Retired Army Soldier Opens Fire On Neighbours In Gwalior, 3 Of The Family Critical

HomeBhopalRetired Army Soldier Opens Fire On Neighbours In Gwalior, 3 Of The Family Critical Retired Army Soldier Opens Fire On Neighbours In Gwalior, 3 Of The Family Critical Both the perpetrator and his associate have been arrested by the police. FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Monday, May 13, 2024, 02:15 PM IST Representative Image Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh): A shocking incident was reported from Madhya Pradesh’s Gwalior, where a retired soldier allegedly opened fire at his neighbour on Monday. Three members of the family have been critically injured. The incident occurred in the Rasidpur area of Gwalior on Monday morning, when a retired army soldier and his companion allegedly took the pistols and opened fire on the family living next door. The accused ex-soldier was furious after his neighbour objected to connecting his house’s electricity wire to the adjacent transformer. The open firing endured major injuries to two men and one woman. Two men and a woman from the victim family have sustained severe injuries. All three are undergoing treatment at the hospital and are said to be critical. Both the perpetrator and his associate have been arrested by the police. SP Gwalior Dharmveer Singh and ASP Shiyaz K.M. also arrived at the scene to gather information. Read Also Indore Shocker: 18-Year-Old Newlywed Woman Dies After Experiencing Extreme Swelling On Face & Hands According to information, this horrific incident germinated a night before. The retired soldier, identified as Yashveer Singh Bhadauria, was trying to connect his residence’s electricity wire to the adjacent transformer, apparently for free power supply. His neighbour, Rajveer Jatav, objected to this, which escalated into an argument. Fortunately, due to intervention from other family members and neighbours, the dispute was peacefully resolved at night. The next day, on Monday morning at 7 o’clock, when Rajveer was going to fetch some items, Bhadauria, along with his aide Ranjeet, targeted him and started firing. Seeing Rajveer surrounded, his younger brother, Dharmveer Jatav, rushed for rescue; however, he was also attacked. Hearing the bullet noise, Dharmveer’s wife, Meena, ran to save them but was shot in the leg. Dharmveer sustained severe injuries to the chest. Both the perpetrators fled the scene as soon as they stopped firing. The neighbours complained to the local police, and a quick response team was formed, which led to the arrest of the accused within an hour. Follow us on RECENT STORIES Retired Army Soldier Opens Fire On Neighbours In Gwalior, 3 Of The Family Critical MP Lok Sabha Elections 2024 Phase 4 LIVE: Over 48% Voter Turnout, Dewas Tops With 52%; Ujjain Man… MP Lok Sabha Elections 2024 Phase-4: Indore’s Famous Chappan Dukan Serves Free ‘Pohe-Jalebi’ &… MP Lok Sabha Elections 2024 Phase 4: Presiding Officer In Ujjain Replaced Amid Voting MP Lok Sabha Elections 2024: BJP Nominee From Khargone Gajendra Patel Casts Vote With Wife In…

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Over 100 million Indians can get gigabit connectivity by 2030 with robust digital infrastructure

New Delhi: As India continues to build a robust and resilient core digital infrastructure, the country can achieve gigabit connectivity to all households or at least 100-110 million households by 2030, industry experts have said. While India is the leader when it comes to data consumption on mobile broadband and is the fastest-growing mobile broadband market in the world, the country still lags in fixed or wired broadband as compared to developed nations. According to the independent think tank Broadband India Forum (BIF), data shows that there is an average data consumption of 187 GB per month in India which is still lower than the US data consumption of 641 GB per month. Furthermore, fixed broadband subscriptions in India are at a mere 2.85 per 100 people, and almost one-fourth of the global average. Speaking at a conference in the capital, the industry experts stressed the need for a much higher availability of optic fibre to cater to the exponentially increasing quantum of data. “With fixed broadband data usage reaching 10-20 times mobile data consumption per capita, we need a minimum 20 per cent annual growth rate in fixed broadband subscriptions over the next six years to reach 100 million additional fibre connections,” said TV Ramachandran, President, BIF. The conference dwelled on building key elements of digital infrastructure like, optic fibre, mobile towers, licensed spectrum, data centres and Wi-Fi, CDNs, undersea cables, etc. RS Sharma, former chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), said that India needs to aggressively work to create massive and inclusive optical fibre infrastructure to reach at par with China, US, and Europe in fibre broadband. “We also need to create millions of Wi-Fi hotspots in the country which ensures affordable broadband availability to our people in rural and semi-urban areas,” said Sharma.

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Russia-Ukraine war: Army locked in ‘fierce’ border battles amid Russian assault, Zelenskyy says

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian troops are locked in intense battles with the advancing Russian army in two border areas, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said, while the death toll from a Russian apartment building collapse blamed on Ukrainian shelling rose to 15. Zelenskyy said “fierce battles” are taking place near the border in eastern and northeastern Ukraine as outgunned and outnumbered Ukrainian soldiers try to push back a significant Russian ground offensive. “Defensive battles are ongoing, fierce battles, on a large part of our border area,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address Sunday. The Kremlin’s forces are aiming to exploit Ukrainian weaknesses before a big batch of new military aid for Kyiv from the U.S. and European partners arrives on the battlefield in the coming weeks and months, analysts say. That makes this period a window of opportunity for Moscow and one of the most dangerous for Kyiv in the two-year war, they say. The new Russian push in the northeastern Kharkiv region, along with the ongoing drive into the eastern Donetsk region, come after months when the about 1,000-kilometer (620-mile) front line barely budged. In the meantime, both sides have used long-range strikes in what largely became a war of attrition. The Kharkiv incursion may be an attempt to create a “buffer zone” to protect Belgorod, an adjacent Russian border region battered by Ukrainian attacks. Russian emergency services on Monday finished clearing the rubble in the region’s capital city of Belgorod, where a section of a residential building collapsed following what authorities said was Ukrainian shelling. Fifteen bodies were pulled from the rubble, Belgorod regional Gov. Vyacheslav Gladkov said, and 27 other people were wounded. Another three people in the city of Belgorod were killed by shelling late Sunday, he said. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday replaced Sergei Shoigu as defense minister in a Cabinet shakeup. Shoigu was widely seen as a key figure in Putin’s decision to send Russian troops into Ukraine in February 2022. Russia had expected the operation to quickly overwhelm Ukraine’s army and for Ukrainians to broadly welcome Russian troops. Zelenskyy said fighting in the Donetsk area is “no less intense” than in Kharkiv. He said the Kremlin aimed to “spread our forces thin” by opening a second active front in Kharkiv. He described the area around Pokrovsk region, just inside the Ukrainian border in Donetsk, as “the most difficult.” Pokrovsk was a town of around 60,000 people before the war and was until recently a two-hour drive from the front line. Now it is less than half that. The capture of the Donetsk city of Avdiivka in February opened a door for the Kremlin’s troops to push westward, deeper into Donetsk. Russia illegally annexed Donetsk and three other regions in 2022 shortly after it invaded Ukraine, and taking control of all of Donetsk is one of the Kremlin’s main war goals. ___ Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

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Princeton University students end anti-Israel hunger strike ‘due to health concerns’

Students at Princeton University protesting Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza have called an end to their hunger strike after just 10 days. Princeton Divest Now, the student protest group that is calling for the New Jersey Ivy League university to divest from America’s Middle Eastern ally due to the high civilian death toll in the Gaza Strip, said additional strikers would be continuing their efforts. “Due to health concerns of the 13 strikers who fasted for 10 days, the first hunger strike wave ended, and the second wave has begun,” it wrote in a post shared on Instagram. It added: “In the tradition of rotary strikes, seven new strikers are indefinitely fasting for a free Palestine.” HEZBOLLAH TERROR FLAG FOUND AT PRINCETON’S ANTI-ISRAEL ENCAMPMENT, CRUZ TORCHES THE PROTESTERS The end of the “hunger strike” came after members initially vowed not to eat or drink again until a pair of demands were met. “Participants will abstain from all food and drink (except water) until our demands are met. We commit our bodies to their liberation of Palestine. PRINCETON, hear us now! We will not be moved!” the group wrote in a post on May 3. The post included the demands: “(1) Meet with students to discuss their demands for disclosure, divestment, and a full academic and cultural boycott of Israel; (2) Grant complete amnesty from all criminal and disciplinary charges for participants of the peaceful sit-in. Reverse all campus bans and evictions of students.” Students at the university are not the only ones who went without food since an encampment formed on the campus to protest Israel’s military campaign to eradicate Hamas, as faculty apparently participated in a 24-hour hunger strike. JEWISH STUDENT SLAMS PRINCETON FOR PERMITTING TERROR GROUP FLAGS, ANTISEMITISM ON CAMPUS: ‘MUST BE STOPPED’ The faculty’s 24-hour hunger strike, which began on Friday morning at 10 a.m., ended Saturday. “Our daylong solidarity fast is meant to emphasize the efforts of our students who are undertaking this strike, putting their bodies on the line to show their solidarity with the Palestinian people of Gaza and the West Bank, who are being subjected to a forced famine and a genocidal assault by the state of Israel,” a faculty member said at a presser on Friday. The brevity of the 24-hour hunger strike was mocked on social media and many related the strike to intermittent fasting, a dietary trend where participants go without food for lengthy periods of a day. “24 hours?! I do this once a week for f—ing fun. This is embarrassing,” one person tweeted on X. “I do 3/4 of a Princeton faculty hunger strike EVERY DAY!” another X user wrote. “I am commencing a hunger strike between now and breakfast. Estimated duration of hunger strike: 10 hours. Join me. Be strong,” a third commentator joked. CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP The student protest group has announced it will hold its next rally at Princeton on Monday, May 13. Fox News’ Andrea Vacchiano contributed to this report.

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Imbiba’s investment in boutique gym firm 1Rebel will see site numbers increase

Imbiba, a leisure and hospitality investor, has injected funds into the boutique gym chain 1Rebel to fuel its expansion, following the closure of a new £90million fund. This investment will drive the establishment of additional gym locations for the brand which currently operates 13 venues. Darrel Connell, managing partner at Imbiba, said 1Rebel, is the “best in class” in the UK and recognising its potential for further growth. The announcement comes as Imbiba, known for supporting brands like Pizza Pilgrims, Farmer J, and F1 Arcade, verifies the closing of their oversubscribed second investment fund worth £90 million. This fund will be channelled towards high-growth ventures in the leisure, lifestyle, wellness, and entertainment industries. Mr Connell attested to 1Rebel meeting Imbiba’s conditions of being a “proven” business set on scaling and launching new sites. He said: “We see the macro-economic headwinds that are widely written about, but actually there are lots of really good businesses out there that are doing really well, working really hard, and 1 Rebel is a classic example. “It is absolutely thriving now. People prioritise certain things as their discretionary spend comes down and people in that environment prioritise paying for a 1Rebel class.” Presently, the company runs 10 fitness centres in London and three in Australia and the Middle East. James Balfour, the co-founder and chief executive of 1Rebel, said: “Securing this investment from Imbiba marks a pivotal moment for our business. “We are thrilled to have their support and confidence as we continue our mission to redefine fitness and wellness. With this new infusion of capital, we’re poised to accelerate our growth, expand our reach, and further enhance the 1Rebel experience for our members.”

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Met Police’s Madeleine McCann investigation reduced to just four officers in the UK, force reveals

There are just four UK-based police employees still investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann as enquiries continue in Germany and Portugal to find out what happened to her. The investigation team, Operation Grange, at present has one detective chief inspector, two detective constables and one member of police staff who are investigating the circumstances around Madeleine’s disappearance from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, in the Algarve, southern Portugal, on May 3, 2007. Operation Grange remains under review and its resources are dependent on updated information. DCI Mark Cranwell, who oversees the British investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann told The Mirror: “We continue to support Madeleine’s family to understand what happened on the evening of 3 May, 2007 in Praia da Luz. Our thoughts remain with the family. “ The revelation comes as Madeleine’s parents Kate and Gerry McCann shared a heart-breaking Facebook message on what would have been her 21st birthday. “Happy 21st birthday Madeleine. Still missing, still missed, still looking,” the message uploaded to the official Find Madeleine Campaign on May 12 read. Madeleine vanished after Kate and Gerry left their three children – including toddler twins Sean and Amelie – sleeping in their apartment as they dined at a tapas bar less than 400 yards away. When Kate returned to check on her children at about 10pm, she discovered Madeleine was missing. Convicted paedophile Christian Brueckner, 48, is one of the prime suspects in Madeleine’s disappearance. He has denied any involvement in the incident. In 2020, German investigators identified Brueckner as a potential suspect and two years later Portuguese prosecutors launched a formal investigation into his alleged involvement. Investigator Hans Christian Wolters said in May 2022: “We are sure he is the murderer of Madeleine McCann.” Brueckner, who is currently serving a prison sentence in Germany over the rape of a pensioner in the Algarve, was born in Germany in 1976 before he moved to Portugal in his late teens. It is believed he lived in a campervan close to the holiday resort at the time of Madeleine’s disappearance. Operation Grange has been searching for leads into the the case for more than 10 years. Over the years millions of pounds have been spent trying to uncover what happened to Madeleine. It was previously revealed that a further £192,000 had been granted by the Home Office for the Scotland Yard investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance. The confirmation of the latest annual funding was recently revealed in a parliamentary written answer by Home Office minister Lord Sharpe of Epsom. Responding to a parliamentary written question by Conservative peer Lord Black of Brentwood, Lord Sharpe said: “For the year 2024-25 the Home Office has agreed to provide up to £192,000 to the Metropolitan Police Service through special grant funding for Operation Grange, the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. At March 31 2024, the total cost of the investigation was £13.2 million.”

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Zoe Ball makes BBC Radio 2 return after mum’s death with heartfelt message

Zoe Ball has made her return to BBC Radio 2 following her late mother Julia Peckham’s death last month. It was announced last month that Julia had passed away, 74, following the news that she had been diagnosed with cancer. Zoe, 53, paid tribute at the time and has been absent from BBC Radio breakfast show for a few weeks. She returned to the show on Monday morning, after having been covered by Gaby Roslin, 59. Zoe took the opportunity to thank the stand-in presenter for her support and also expressed gratitude towards viewers who had reached out. Addressing listeners, Zoe said: “Good morning gang! Aww, how are you all you lovely sorts? First text in this morning – Lesley from Eastbourne [said] ‘Morning Zoe, so good to have you back.’ You say that now Lesley, give me ten minutes, you might change your mind! Lesley I hope you had a terrific weekend.” Zoe continued: “So how are you all doing? Did you manage to enjoy some of the glorious weather this weekend? Even if five minutes in a busy weekend – so good for the soul. Thanks so much to Gaby for being here for you guys for the last few weeks and for being here for me. I’m so grateful to you all for your amazing messages about my dear mum.” Zoe paid tribute to Julia when announcing that her late mother had passed away last month. Zoe said: “Sleep tight dear Mama. thank you for teaching us how to love unconditionally, to always show courage and empathy, and how, even in the darkest of days, laughter is the greatest of gifts. we are bereft without you but will hold so tight to each other. your grace & your smile that lit up every room you were in, will light the stars to guide us.” The radio host had previously revealed that her mother had been diagnosed with cancer, having shared the news following an absence from BBC Radio in the days prior. She later shared that Julia had moved into a hospice. Zoe wrote previously: “Heartbreakingly our beautiful Mama Julia has been diagnosed with cancer. As many of you know from experience, these are extremely tough times. Mum is being incredibly brave. My brother Jamie & I are completely in awe of the brilliant doctors, nurses & support teams looking after Mum. Thank you. Gratitude to our families & our extended family & friends at home & at work for their support at this time.” She added: “Sending out love to people reading this who are battling cancer, or awaiting diagnosis & also to the folk looking after their dear ones who are poorly. I’m trying to be at work on breakfast as often as I can but occasionally need to be home with my Mama. Thanks to Gaby for stepping in. Lots of love.” The Macmillan Support Line offers confidential support to people living with cancer and their loved ones. If you need to talk, call us on 0808 808 0000. Follow Mirror Celebs on TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Threads.

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UPSC recruitment 2024: Apply for 83 MO, ARO, Asst Mining Engineer and other posts till May 30

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has invited online applications from eligible candidates for recruitment to various posts of Marketing Officer, Assistant Commissioner, Assistant Research Officer and other posts under Advt No 09/2024. Eligible candidates can apply for the vacancies on the official website upsconline.nic.in till May 30, 2024. The recruitment drive aims to fill up a total of 83 vacancies. Candidates can check the vacancy details, educational qualification, pay scale, and other details available in the notification below: Application Fee The applicants (Except Female/SC/ST/Persons with Benchmark Disability candidates who are exempted from payment of fee) are required to pay a fee of Rs 25. No fee for SC/ST/PwBD/Women candidates of any community. Steps to apply for UPSC recruitment 2024 Visit the official website upsconline.nic.inGo to “ONLINE RECRUITMENT APPLICATION (ORA) FOR VARIOUS RECRUITMENT POSTS”Apply for the post, fill in the details, and upload the required documentsPay the fee and submit the formTake a printout for future reference For more details, candidates are advised to visit the official website here.

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