The Warriors’ Draymond Green in mourning after friend killed by train

first_img“It sucks … The Warriors’ Draymond Green was in mourning Monday for a friend who died over the weekend after being hit by a train in Albion, Michigan. Zachary Winston, 19, a student and basketball player at Albion College, intentionally stepped in front of the train, the Detroit Free Press reported, via the Battle Creek Enquirer.Zachary Winston’s brother Cassius plays for Michigan State, Green’s alma mater.CLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the video on a mobile devicelast_img read more


Romeo Kumalo: I am an Entrepreneur

first_imgBusiness leader Romeo Kumalo plays his part in promoting entrepreneurship in South Africa, sharing his vast experience in the information and communications technology sector.South African business leader Romeo Kumalo. (Image: M-Net)Brand South Africa’s partnership with the Industrial Development Corporation, Renault, MTN Business and MyStartUp on the ‘I am an Entrepreneur’ programme workshop series is aimed at promoting the spirit of entrepreneurship in South Africa.Mentors and business pioneers present very different but compelling stories about their enterprising journey with budding entrepreneurs in a masterclass set-up.The Bloemfontein chapter of ‘I am an Entrepreneur’ held a workshop on 7 October 2017 with business man Romeo Kumalo. He has more than 20 years of experience in the South African information and communications technology (ICT) sector, 10 years of which were spent with Vodacom. Now Kumalo has struck out on his own and is forging a new path to success.Kumalo says he wants to make his own dent in the universe – and he plans to do this through supporting budding entrepreneurs in South Africa.As a member of M-Net’s Shark Tank, he has been afforded the opportunity to get involved with young entrepreneurs and invest in businesses he believes will help solve societal problems in the country. In Shark Tank, budding entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to five industry leaders who decide whether the idea is worth investing in or not.This was a great platform to amplify the values of Play Your Part as it highlights the goals of the National Development Plan to eliminate poverty and build an inclusive society through, among other things, youth development, skilling and empowering women and entrepreneurship. This ultimately sees South Africa having higher employment rates and a more confident, skilled workforce.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more


NCP, BJP lock horns in graduate constituency

first_imgThe NCP has geared up to ensure the defeat of BJP candidate Niranjan Davkhare in the Konkan graduate constituency election to be held on June 25.The NCP will be fielding Najib Mulla, Mumbra MLA and close associate of party MLA Jitendra Awhad. Mr. Awhad said, “Najib will be taking on the BJP candidate Davkhare. We are fighting to win this election. Those who wanted to leave have defected from the party. Now those who have faith in the party will be given an opportunity. We will ensure the BJP loses this election.”Sources in the party said that NCP chief Sharad Pawar had held a meeting of senior party leaders last week and instructed the cadre to ensure Mr. Davkhare’s defeat. A senior NCP leader on condition of anonymity said, “First of all, party leaders are hurt over his decision to join the BJP. Secondly, letting him win the seat would send a wrong message among party activists that anyone who joins the BJP gets the position of power. We cannot let that happen and therefore he has to be defeated.”For the Konkan graduate constituency, which is spread across Raigad, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Palghar and Thane, the NCP have tied up with the Peasants and Workers Party. It is also likely to get support of other regional parties such as the Bahujan Vikas Aghadi. A day after Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray announced that his party would be contesting future elections on its own, the party said that Thane’s former mayor Sanjay More would be its candidate.Graduate and teacher constituencies in Mumbai will also go to the polls on June 25. The graduate constituency is currently being held by Health Minister Deepak Sawant of the Sena. The party is yet to announce its candidate. Kapil Patil , belonging to Sharad Yadav’s Loktantrik Janata Dal, currently holds the teacher constituency and will be contesting the June 25 poll.last_img read more


Rishkhor: Students at Al Qaida training camps in Afghanistan get degrees in murder

first_imgTHE EPILOGUE: A Northern Alliance soldier rifles through papers found at the Al Qaida camp at Tora Bora”Kal Roos ko bikharte dekha tha,Ab India toot ta dekhenge,Hum barq-e-jehad ke sholon mein,America ko jalta dekhenge.(We saw Russia disintegrate,Now we will see India fall apart,In the flames of jehad we will see,THE EPILOGUE: A Northern Alliance soldier rifles through papers found at the Al Qaida camp at Tora Bora”Kal Roos ko bikharte dekha tha,Ab India toot ta dekhenge,Hum barq-e-jehad ke sholon mein,America ko jalta dekhenge.(We saw Russia disintegrate,Now we will see India fall apart,In the flames of jehad we will see America ablaze).”-Mujahideen ki Lalkaar (War Cry of the Mujahideen), a poem found in a terrorist’s notebook at Rishkhor, Afghanistan.The algebra of evil can be infinite. Or it can unfold with stark simplicity over 1,086 pages.The manual in neatly printed Arabic and accompanied by clear, hand-drawn illustrations is possibly one of the most comprehensive urban terrorist encyclopaedia. It was found at the Rishkhor Military Garrison located 15 km south-west of Kabul, set in the idyllic burnt beige landscape typical of the Afghan countryside.Rishkhor was among the largest and most efficiently organised terrorist training camps of Al Qaida. Just a 30- minute drive from Kabul, Osama bin Laden had established his University of Terror here.Run as a joint venture with Pakistan’s dreaded Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, its teachers were retired Pakistani military personnel and its syllabus one of frightening magnitude. It was here that impressionable young men-they called themselves jehadis-from as far away as China and Chechnya imbibed the mechanics of mayhem laced with religious overtones.YESTERDAY’S WAR: Al Qaida men storm a house during a drill at Al Faruq training camp; (top right) destroyed artillery at the siteThe lessons told terrible truths in the plainest of languages. “For an assassin, reconnaissance is an art. The target has to be well observed. You have to know where he comes and goes, the places he frequents, his friends. Come as close to him and even try and build a relationship with him … the safest way to assassinate someone is by booby-trapping his car, using letter bombs or poisoning him using chemicals which cause heart attacks.”What September 11 had made amply clear, Rishkhor only reiterated: this was not a random group of rebels, the fanatics faithful throwing themselves at the non-Islamic world. This was a motivated, organised army in the making.According to US intelligence sources, close to 25 camps throughout Afghanistan tutored an estimated 11,000 youths, turning them into the multi-skilled Swiss army knives of the jehad.advertisementThe cadres were meant not only to help realise bin Laden’s objective of expelling the US from the Gulf, but also to topple Islamic governments and ultimately help re-establish an Islamic Caliphate.Rishkhor was one of his most powerful indoctrination plants. Its success lay in its ability to fit the hand of medieval ideology into the glove of rigorous scientific military training.The Al Qaida manual leaves nothing to chance. Every element of an act of violence, from the materials and means used for preparation, execution and the aftermath is explained, catered to and taught.Recruits received detailed instructions on techniques of murder: remote-controlled explosives, assault rifles, cars, poisonous chemicals, gases and letter bombs filled with slivers of plastic explosives. There were instructions about the means of getting to a target: by diverting the attention of his security group, creating a fire or staging a street quarrel.The manual instructs further: “To stop the target’s car without shooting in a two-way street, speed up your car and hit his car on the left so it spins around and stops. As soon as it stops, the driver and the hit man start firing.”Close to 25 camps spread throughout Afghanistan transformed nearly 11,000 youth into multi-skilled Swiss army knives of the jehad.For the jehadis’ own use, the manual details first-aid in emergency situations: how to prevent blood loss from wounds and how to survive extreme cold in high mountains, surveillance techniques, briefings about the various intelligence agencies like the CIA and Mossad and a listing of ciphers and codes used by the Al Qaida.Instructors often used perverse analogies faithfully noted by their students. One notebook records how to blow up a helicopter: “1,000 gm hashoon aap uske qabool fuel tankon par rakh kar usko ba-aasani Rajiv Gandhi ki tarah sati kar sakte hain. (Place 1,000 gm of explosives on its fuel tanks and watch it blow up like Rajiv Gandhi).The entire manual has been deliberately given a religious twist, with a liberal sprinkling of quotations from the Koran on instances of subterfuge and psychological warfare to illustrate examples.Chapters usually begin with inscriptions from the Koran like, “It often happens that a small force has beaten a large army.” What follows is a 10-page lesson on infiltration, which makes for chilling reading.advertisementIt talks about the need to travel light, carry minimal food, clothing and arms- “remember, clothes aren’t as important as speed”. Besides guerrilla warfare, the course includes street-fighting techniques, full-frontal military assaults in populated urban areas using tanks, troops and armoured cars.Students were given “practicals” in the open, thin-air laboratory of Rishkhor which involved stripping and assembling small arms, lessons on unit leadership and use of explosives. Rishkhor’s students were taught to destroy practically every modern invention known to man-bridges, battle tanks, helicopters, power pylons.Al Qaida’s bomb- making manuals give precise recipes for the quantity of explosives to be used for damaging and destroying targets: 1 kg to destroy a truck’s fuel tank and 1.2 kg split in six pieces to destroy a railway intersection.The section on timers for explosives lists a range of switches, from complex to crude, including those that can be made from mousetraps, electrical fittings or even ordinary clothes pegs.Students were also given lessons on Indian political parties with notes describing the Bajrang Dal as aThe trained cadres could be deployed anywhere: with the Taliban, in military offensives against the Northern Alliance or in a suicide attack against a US target or an assassination bid. In the case of Alliance military commander Ahmed Shah Masood’s murder, Al Qaida operatives performed a text-book operation. They posed as journalists and used plastic explosives hidden in a video camera.There were rudimentary courses on politics, on Indian political parties and their leaders. Qari Mohammad Irfan from Bahawalpur, Pakistan, scrawled two pages on “extremist Hindu organisations” and their leaders.The parties include the RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal, BJP, ABVP, Swadeshi Jagran Manch, Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh and the Shiv Sena. The Bajrang Dal is a “gundon ki tanzeem (party of thugs)” and the Sena is identified as the party that fights against Muslims (“musalmanon ke khilaf ladai karta hain”).It isn’t clear if these organisations were ever targeted by the Al Qaida or its allied groups. But whoever was targeted faced an enemy painstakingly instructed by the indigenous encyclopaedia of terror.When the INDIA TODAY team arrived in Rishkhor, three AK 47-toting government boy soldiers, no older than 22, led it around. One room served as a food store stocking cans of Pepsi and Rose Petal luxury tissues made in Lahore.Around this compound lay the jehad factory’s flotsam-tiny carpets of dust-caked papers, most of them in Urdu and Arabic, but none in the locally spoken Dari and only a few in Pushto.Scattered in the compound around a busted anti-aircraft gun today are papers, hundreds of them, like fragments of the camp’s library: pages from London’s A to Z street map, a bio-chemistry textbook, a US gun magazine, pages from the Koran, dozens of photocopied notes and manuals, the monthly Al-Muslim magazine published from Karachi.There was also a request to the ammo depot for fresh stocks of arms and ammunition and notebooks extensively detailing war fighting techniques.IN LINE OF FIRE: Al Qaida men learn how to operate a Soviet SA-7 missile at the Al-Faruq camp; (left) a ruined office building at RishkhorRishkhor’s students were all foreigners, most of them drawn from the hardline Deobandi madarsas of Pakistan. Apparently, not all adapted well to the Afghan weather. A notebook dated June 26, 1999, lists 48 Pakistani occupants-hailing from cities like Karachi and Bahawalpur-laid up in the camp’s sick bay with complaints ranging from fever to stomach ailments.Today, the camp is empty, its buildings bombed-out hollow shells. This could be the epicentre of an earthquake, yet strangely Rishkhor’s rural idyll seems to be reclaiming its turf from the destruction unleashed on it.Village youth cheekily drive donkeys laden with firewood through the ruins and fat-tailed goats munch the grass spiked with live anti-aircraft shells and ferrous remains of dead battle tanks. A forlorn letter, written in Pushto, blows in the wind. “I’m in the jehad. I’m happy here,” it says.advertisementMaulavi Izzatullah Wakif of the madarsa of Chauhar-Asiya was writing to his family in Pakistan. Wakif’s contentment was rudely shattered by precision laser-guided US bombs that spun out of the October night skies and turned Rishkhor into a death zone.In its heyday, the camp was divided into two sections: one made up of a dozen, single-storey, yellow-and-white buildings surrounded by 10-ft-high brick walls. The second, a row of C-shaped barracks and dozens of houses ringed with conifers.Today, six bomb craters, some 12 ft deep, mark the spot where Rishkhor took its body blow. It was among these ruins that the Taliban hanged mujahideen leader Abdul Haq, captured trying to foment a Pashtoon insurrection. Verses from the Koran are inscribed on the walls of several buildings, with one calling for the liberation of Kashmir.A small hill-with an unmarked stone memorial at the centre – which served as an assembly area, is now littered with a dozen Taliban heavy-artillery guns, prayer mats and armoured personnel carriers.CAPTIVES OF IDEOLOGY: Khalid (left) with other Taliban prisoners of war at Barak Jail; (below) Al Qaida’s young recruitsThree years ago, this five-acre camp housed the Afghan Army’s 7th Infantry Division. In 1998, the Taliban handed it over to bin Laden after the first US cruise missile strikes against his camps.In no time, Rishkhor turned into a fortress, the dusty road leading to it heavily guarded with barriers and machine guns. The lookout posts on hills further isolated it from the public.The camp was run by bin Laden’s deputy Qari Saifullah who occupied an Italian-style mansion with its own swimming pool on a small hill behind the camp. The barracks were divided into various sections.Rooms served as offices with filing cabinets, electronic equipment repair sections and ammunition depots, some still littered with belted, light machine-gun rounds, live grenades and rockets.While the Taliban enforced their medievalism in Afghanistan and farmers cultivated wheat and barley in the scenic valley, the camp was raising its own lethal crop: 500-1,000 recruits were trained at a time in courses lasting up to six weeks.It was a simple, spartan lifestyle: recruits woke up at dawn, said their prayers and did exercises which included push-ups, jogging and running up hillsides. After breakfast they began their training which lasted until noon.The course was divided, in a macabre replica of all conventional science courses, into theory and practicals. Students squatted in open compounds scribbling in Urdu and Arabic on regular ruled notebooks as teachers taught their sciences-not the workings of the solar system or the fragile biology of a flower, but analyses of all major infantry weapons, from AK-47s, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars to surface-to-air missiles, and the very elementary physics and chemistry used to work them.Bin Laden is said to have visited Rishkhor several times in the past few years but locals say they never saw him. “We were never allowed anywhere near the camp when he visited,” says Mohammed Haya, a wizened old villager.The universities of terror may be shut down but the world’s biggest worry now is where its students choose to use their lessons.WHO were the recruits who attended these camps? The answer lies deep in the Panjshir Valley, in the mud-walled Barak Jail ringed by steep ridges of the Hindu Kush.The jail holds nearly 100 Taliban fighters, including Pakistanis, Arabs, Chechens and even an Uighur from China’s Xinjiang province. All sport turbans and regulation long beards. Among many, like Salahuddin Khalid, 27, a Pakistani from Chagai trained in camps in southern Afghanistan, the flame of jehad still flickers.Khalid, whose beard and thick-rimmed spectacles lend him the air of an Islamic scholar, agrees the war in Afghanistan is over. But he has already becgun looking east. He smiles at his Indian visitors, “Hame aur bhi jang ladni hai. Iske baad hum Kashmir jaayenge. (We have to fight more battles. After this we will go to Kashmir.)”The universities of terror may have been smashed, but Rishkhor’s alumni have proved to be adept and apt pupils. Where they choose to use the lessons learnt must now be the biggest worry of the civilised world.last_img read more