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“We are 100 percent sure that this election was legitimate,” Eorsi said

Yanukovych went ahead and declared victory, but his opponent Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, a leader of Orange forces, rejected the exit poll data and said Sunday’s race was too close to call.

“It is too soon to draw any conclusions,” she said, urging supporters to fight for every ballot.

Ukraine’s Central Election Commission reported early Monday that opposition leader Yanukovych was leading Tymoshenko by 51.3 percent to 43.3 percent with 27.4 percent of the vote counted.

The National Election Poll exit survey predicted that after the count, Yanukovych would capture 48.5 percent of the vote to 45.7 percent for Tymoshenko, with other voters mostly choosing “Against all.” The 2.8 percentage point gap is only slightly larger than the NEP’s margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percent.

The NEP poll initially showed Yanukovych with a 3.2 percentage point lead, but the later released revised figures. All other major exit polls had Yanukovych winning, some by larger margins.

The race narrowed sharply from the first round vote on Jan. 17, when Yanukovych held a 10 percent lead.

At the Yanukovych camp, top party officials broke into rapturous applause as they heard the exit polls announced, and Anna German, deputy head of Yanukovych’s Party of Regions, called on Tymoshenko to concede.

“The first rule for a true democrat is to accept defeat when that is the will of the people,” she said. “It is now Yulia Tymoshenko’s responsibility to do that.”

Tymoshenko has vowed to challenge a vote she claims was rigged by in Yanukovych’s favor, as it was in the 2004 elections that set off the Orange Revolution. After weeks of demonstrations, a court threw out the results of that 2000 vote contest and Yanukovych lost a court-ordered revote to Orange forces

Tymoshenko’s campaign chief Alexander Turchinov insisted Sunday there was evidence of fraud. “Intrigue still remains in place, we remain certain,” he said.

But Matyas Eorsi, head of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe’s election observation mission, called the balloting “calm” and “professional” and said there was no evidence the vote had been stolen.

“We are 100 percent sure that this election was legitimate,” Eorsi said. “All the international community, and even more important, the Ukrainian public can accept this result.”

A preliminary report by international monitors is expected later Monday.

Mikhail Okhendovsky, a member of Ukraine’s Central Election Commission, said the board had no evidence of large scale falsification but expects that the loser will challenge the results in court anyway.

“In keeping with the traditions of Ukrainian elections, the loser never accepts defeat,” he said before the polls closed.

The Central Election Commission projected the turnout among Ukraine’s 37 million voters at about 70 percent, 3.2 percentage points higher than the Jan. 17 first-round vote in which 18 candidates competed.

Early figures showed a heavier turnout in Yanukovych’s strongholds in Ukraine’s Russian-speaking east than in Tymoshenko’s districts in the country’s Ukrainian-speaking west.

Tymoshenko’s impassioned leadership of the 2004 Orange protests made her an international celebrity, and she fought hard in recent weeks to rekindle the heady emotions those days. At one point she debated an empty lectern to dramatize her opponent’s refusal to debate her.

She sought to depict herself as a populist whose appeal crossed Ukraine’s east-west divide but she bore the scars of five years of political battles with Yanukovych and her sometime Orange ally, outgoing President Viktor Yushchenko, and has struggled to cope with Ukraine’s severe economic crisis.

Ukraine has been among the hardest-hit nations in the global credit crunch. Its currency crashed in 2008, wiping out almost half of people’s savings, and the International Monetary Fund had to step in with a $16.4 billion bailout. GDP plunged more than 14 percent in 2009 and the country is expected to have only anemic growth this year, according to the World Bank.

As the election approached, Yanukovych, 강남 안마 awkward when speaking in public, tread carefully, sticking mostly with photo opportunities and bland statements to try to hang onto his lead.

He would not be drawn into a Russia-versus-West debate, and pledged to balance ties between Ukraine’s diverse neighbors.

“Ukraine will never be a friend with Russia at the expense of Europe, or Europe at the expense of Russia,” said Boris Kolesnikov, deputy leader of Yanukovych’s Party of Regions. “That will guide the foreign policy under the Yanukovych presidency.”

But Yanukovych represents the hopes of many Russian speakers in eastern Ukraine, who feel they have been relegated to second-class status behind the urban elite who favored the Orange reform forces.

Yanukovych supporters have been camped out in front of the Central Election Commission headquarters and other key points in Kiev in an apparent effort to prevent Tymoshenko supporters from staging mass demonstrations like those of the Orange revolt.

If Yanukovych wins, it will be an impressive reversal of fortune. During the 2004 protests, foes cast him as a Kremlin lackey. But he battled back, serving for a time as prime minister under his main Orange adversary, Yushchenko.

He gained ground as voters said they were weary of broken promises, a dysfunctional economy and political chaos under the Orange government.

Casting his ballot in Kiev, once an Orange bastion, Yanukovych said the election would mark the “first step in overcoming the crisis.”

“The people of Ukraine deserve a better life, so I voted for positive changes, stability and a strong Ukraine,” he said.

Tymoshenko voted in her hometown, the industrial center of Dnipropetrovsk, in Yanukovych’s stronghold of eastern Ukraine.

“I voted for a new Ukraine — a beautiful and European Ukraine — and for people to live happily. I will serve Ukraine with all my heart,” Tymoshenko said, standing next to her husband.

Sunday’s vote may shift the balance of power in Ukraine, but it will not heal the country’s deep divisions.

“I am voting against the return of our Soviet past,” 40-year-old businessman Vladimir Khivrenko said at a polling station near the Maidan, the central square in Kiev, the capital. “Tymoshenko has promised us a new path to Europe, and I believe her.”

Tatyana Volodaschuk, 60, said she was sick of political uncertainty.

“I want stability and order,” she said. “Yanukovych offers us the guarantee of a normal life.”

Harold Perrineau, who plays the character last seen betraying his fellow crash survivors to save himself and his son, will return to the show next season, ABC said Wednesday

fc2user18404d blog \ubbf8\ubd84\ub958Harold Perrineau, who plays the character last seen betraying his fellow crash survivors to save himself and his son, will return to the show next season, ABC said Wednesday.

ABC Entertainment President Stephen McPherson didn’t offer any details of what’s in store for Michael. He also didn’t say whether Walt, the son played by Malcolm David Kelley, will be seen again.

The pair fled the mysterious island where the crash victims were struggling to survive against the dangerous “Others,” with desperate Michael turning over his friends in exchange for escape.

The network had planned to make the “Lost” announcement at Comic-Con International, the comic book and pop-culture show starting Thursday in San Diego. But McPherson, speaking to a meeting of the Television Critics Association, 강남 마사지 was pressed for the information.

McPherson initially balked at talking, instead joking about what the announcement might be.

“I’ve cast Don Imus on ‘Lost,'” McPherson quipped.

Earlier this year, ABC said will run for three more seasons, concluding in 2009-10. The series will return for its fourth season in January.

Haiti Earthquake – Latest CoverageHaiti Quake: How You Can Help Reports started filtering in about tremendous loss of life. It was an unimaginable crisis in a country that long suffered years of poverty, neglect, and corruption. I had been there before when Baby Doc Duvalier and his wife fled the country after years of crippling rule by the DuValier family. Chaos descended on the country then ,forcing US troops to be rushed in to stabilize the country. Now the U.S., along with the world community, would have to come to the rescue again for this most cruel of natural disasters. My bosses at CBS asked me if I would volunteer to go. We were not sure how I would get there. Within an hour I was racing out the door to the Fairfax County Virginia Search and Rescue headquarters. The search team from there is one of the best in the world for earthquake disasters. They have been sent before to far-flung places like China, Taiwan, Turkey, Italy and Mexico to search for survivors in the immediate aftermath of strong quakes. When I arrived at the fire station in Virginia, dozens of men and women with search dogs at their side, were busy packing their equipment and preparing to launch their mission. They travel under the auspices of the U.S. government “AID” program. In this case, the government was desperately trying to find transport to Haiti. I was told we would either have to travel to Dover Air Force base in Delaware for a military transport to Haiti, or we would travel by a civilian charter aircraft from nearby Dulles airport. The search and rescue team was allowing CBS to accompany them on the mission. We were the only journalists to go along. We waited 13 hours through the night until word came we had transportation. I never slept, thinking we could be leaving at any moment. I soon got to know the brave men and women of this very specialized group as we sat all night keeping each other awake. Little did I know that I would remain awake literally for 72 hours, never closing my eyes. Adrenaline kicked in and somehow I kept my wits about me. When we left the airport, we set up our base camp on the ground of the American Embassy, outside of the capital. It was a vast campus of buildings that had withstood the earthquake. Many Haitian-Americans desperately stood outside seeking help. They had walked for miles. Some camped out on the lawns within the compound. Others were there to seek medical help. The lobby of the embassy was set up like a triage center. Patients were being treated by an embassy doctor and staff with limited facilities. But options were few and hospitals were overrun with the injured. These, of course, were the lucky ones that survived. Many others were missing or entombed in the rubble of concrete buildings around the city An advance team from Fairfax county Virginia was sent out with their trained German shepherds to look for signs of life at various locations. Within an hour they came back to the embassy with a positive hit. We raced through the night to an area of Port-au-Prince called Delmas. This is halfway between downtown and the more affluent suburb of Petionville up the mountain. We were going to the collapsed United Nations headquarters building. Along the way, though, we passed literally thousands of people sleeping in the streets. There were no lights and the only way our trucks avoided running the people over was the cinderblocks surrounding the survivors sleeping in the streets. Small branches stuck out of the cinderblocks to indicate there were people there. What I didn’t know until I looked closely was that mixed in with the survivors were the dead covered in white shrouds. The back drop – building after building collapsed like a layer of pancakes. Seven hours later the lone survivor, a 33-year-old Estonian man was extricated from the rubble. Miraculously, he survived with very minor injuries and climbed the few last steps out of the rubble without being held by his rescuers. Those of us on the ground watching clapped and cheered for the man and his heroic rescuers. This was one of the few positive moments for me over the next 14 days. Yet there was no hope for the 100 colleagues left behind in the rubble. My cameraman and I hitched a ride in a pick up truck down the mountainside to get our video back to the satellite feed location. Along the way we saw many corpses lining the streets and chaos everywhere we looked. My colleague had never been to Haiti before. I told him if you took away the collapsed buildings and the bodies in the streets, nothing had changed since my last visit so many years ago. The earthquake just added to the misery already there for decades. CBS was broadcasting from the site of a collapsed bank building on Rue Delmas. Moments before my arrival, Katie Couric arrived to broadcast the news from Haiti that night. I told her about the story of our rescue and we incorporated this into her report that night. That evening we made our way back to our base camp. It was near the Port Au Prince airport. It was a one-story motel called “La Maison.” We theorized it was normally a brothel or room-by-the-hour type of location. It had not been damaged and had a fence around it. We could secure it, as we did eventually, with armed guards with shotguns. Of course, we had food and water trucked in from the Dominican Republic in the coming days and needed protection from the desperate Haitians. I remember when the truck came with MREs (meals ready to eat). The Haitians saw us through the gate off-loading the food and water. That was a mistake. The crowd surged and tried to get in to our compound. I thought we would have to make a run for it. Later we covered the fence with blue tarps so that no one could peer in to see what we had. Each day we covered several stories ranging from rescue operations to assistance operations to get food and water to the masses. I was also assigned to cover the visit of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who came down to Haiti for the day. In this case, it was my job to cover her movements for all five networks. Her visit was limited to the airport, as it would have tied up too many important resources to show her around the city. She met with what was left of the Haitian government, along with the U.N. leadership in this operation. Of course she also met with U.S. military officials leading rescue efforts there. She held a news conference along with Haitian President Rene Preval. Her message to the Haitian people: “America was with the people of Haiti.”. Welcome words to Haitians very distrustful of their own government’s abilities to do anything for the people, given their track record in even the best of times! Afterwards, Clinton granted interviews to each network. The interviewers ranged from Andrea Mitchell of NBC, Kate Snow of ABC, Greta Van Susteren of Fox, Dr Sanjay Gupta of CNN and your’ s truly from CBS. I had traveled with Clinton last summer to India and Thailand and she knows me. Of course, I don’t think she was prepared to see me disheveled like this. The other correspondents traveled with her that morning from Washington and were clean and well dressed. I was filthy, with a beard and dirty clothing . My CBS baseball cap hid my greasy uncombed hair. Without access to running water I had not bathed during my entire time in Haiti. When she extended her hand to shake mine, I said, “Madam Secretary, I wouldn’t recommend that.” She laughed as she looked at me a bit closer. CBS had a variety of correspondents pass through Haiti at this time. Katie Couric and Byron Pitts of “60 Minutes” along with Kelly Cobiella were among the first there. Later, Harry Smith of the “Early Show” was joined by correspondents Seth Doane and Bill Whitaker. All were super to work with and all were moved by what they saw along with the rest of us. At times like this, it is hard to separate your professional responsibilities from your personal feelings of compassion. We all did our best to cover the stories and make people at home understand the need for assistance. We also stepped back and did what we could to help people. One incident left an indelible imprint in my mind. Our correspondent Seth Doane and his producer Chloe Arensberg had done a moving story involving a little boy named Wilson Benoit. He was found by our team and our British security guard Andrew Stephen wandering around while they were shooting a story. While he sat with Wilson, a man from the United Nations World Food Program happened to appear nearby. Andrew approached the man asking for help to get some protection for this little 7-year-old. The man a, a French national, agreed to take young Wilson to a special place that UNICEF had set up for children – a type of safe house to protect them and get them off of the increasingly mean streets of Port-au-Prince. I had not physically seen Wilson until this moment. Raw emotions then hit me as I watched the child being turned over to the man from the United Nations. Here Andrew, the 6’5″ security man, held on to the emaciated body of Wilson. He bid him farewell. I watched from several yards away and my eyes welled up with tears. I told Andrew how impressed I was by what he had done and the concern he showed for the little boy. He told me he just had to do it, thinking of his own two children back home in the north of England. Two weeks had passed and I never let my emotional guard down, but this small act of kindness made me reflect on so many things I had witnessed. This small act of kindness weighed heavily in my mind. There would so many more Wilsons out there, symbolic of the population so devastated by this terrible earthquake. I thought about that for my remaining days in Haiti. When it was my time to leave the country, I was faced with the task of helping to pay our drivers translators. They were very happy to have had a way to earn good money during this time of tragedy. While the money was something they wanted, most begged me for a tent or a generator, or food and water. Those items were something that even cash could not buy at that moment. Their families were sleeping out in the streets, their homes destroyed and their stomachs empty. We did our best to help each and every one of them before we broke down our camp. One of our translators named William helped run a small orphanage. He came with a small truck that we loaded with medical supplies water and food. Much to my surprise many of our Haitian staff came to me with small gifts of thanks. I had not expected this. They were small pieces of Haitian art. One was symbolic of a doorway, metal and wood on a board. Another was a painting of a little Haitian child eating a small piece of mango. Then there were small brightly painted piece of wood, one shaped like a boat. All were touching gestures from people wanting to be gracious even in these difficult circumstances. I do have hope for the Haitian people. They are resilient. They have suffered for decades of hunger, natural disasters and corrupt governments. I’m not so sure that my fellow countrymen could endure the life that these Haitians have been dealt. It will surely be years before Haiti can be rebuilt. I’m convinced, though, it will take the persistence and administration of the outside world to make it work.

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Coq said the case would be assigned a judge and a verdict could take three months

The missionaries were taken to a downtown courthouse Friday to appear before an investigative judge in a closed hearing, said Jean-Louis Martens, a senior Haitian judicial official.

They were escorted into the building one by one by Haitian police who covered their heads with a blue sheet so that they could not be photographed. None of the Americans responded to reporters’ shouted questions.

Defense attorney Edwin Coq told reporters he would ask the judge to grant the missionaries “provisional release,” a type of bail without money posted, until their trial, a date for which has not been established.

“I hope that they will be released today,” Coq said.

Who is Laura Silsby?Haiti Earthquake – Latest CoverageHaiti Quake: How You Can Help

The investigating judge charged the Americans on Thursday with kidnapping for trying to take 33 children across the border into the Dominican Republic on Jan. 29 without documentation.

Coq has said that the group’s leader, Laura Silsby, knew she couldn’t remove the youngsters without proper paperwork, but he characterized the other nine missionaries as unknowingly being caught up in actions they didn’t understand.

“They were naive. They had no idea what was going on and they did not know that they needed official papers to cross the border. But Silsby did,” he said.

Silsby waved to reporters Thursday but declined to answer questions as the missionaries were taken back to the holding cells where they have been held since Saturday. She had expressed optimism before the hearing. “We expect God’s will be done. And we will be released,” she said.

The missionaries’ detention has raised concerns among other countries including France, whose foreign ministry on Friday urged the Haitian government to quickly set up a bilateral commission to look into adoption procedures. French families have taken in 277 Haitian children since the quake.

Family members of the detained Americans released a statement late Thursday saying they were concerned about their relatives jailed in a foreign country.

“Obviously, we do not know details about what happened and didn’t happen on this mission,” the statement said. “However, we are absolutely convinced that those who were recruited to join this mission traveled to Haiti to help, not hurt, these children.”

A CBS News employee who witnessed Thursday’s court proceedings says Silsby told the judge: “We were trying to do what’s best for the children.”

When the judge asked, “Didn’t you know you were committing a crime?” Silsby quietly answered, “We are innocent.”

But CBS News correspondent Bill Whitaker reports there are serious questions tonight about Silsby’s motives. The 40-year-old business woman, who convinced members of Idaho’s Central Valley Baptist Church to follow her dream of an orphanage in Haiti, has a troubling financial history.

She’s been the subject of eight civil lawsuits, 14 for unpaid wages, Whitaker reports. Her Meridian, Idaho house is in foreclosure. She’s had at least nine traffic citations in the last 12 years including four for failing to register or insure her car.

The Baptist group, most of whose members are from two Idaho churches, had said they were rescuing abandoned children and orphans from a nation that UNICEF says had 380,000 youngsters in that plight even before the quake.

But at least two-thirds of the children involved in the case, ranging in age from 2 to 12, have parents, although the parents of some told The Associated Press they gave them up willingly because the missionaries promised the children a better life.

Each was charged with one count of kidnapping, which carries a sentence of five to 15 years in prison, 전주 마사지 and one of criminal association, punishable by three to nine years. Coq said the case would be assigned a judge and a verdict could take three months.

The magistrate, Mazard Fortil, left without making a statement. Social Affairs Minister Jeanne Bernard Pierre, who earlier harshly criticized the missionaries, declined to comment. The government’s communications minister, Marie-Laurence Jocelyn Lassegue, said only that the next court date had not been set.

“Obviously this is a matter for the Haitian judicial system,” U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told reporters Friday.

“We’re going to continue to provide support, as we do in every instance like this, to American citizens who have been charged and hope that this matter can be resolved in an expeditious way. But it is something that a sovereign nation is pursuing based on the evidence that it presented.”

Members of Idaho’s congressional delegation said in a statement Thursday that they are working to ensure the missionaries have access to legal help and medical attention.

Silsby had begun planning last summer to create an orphanage for Haitian children in the neighboring Dominican Republic. When the earthquake struck she recruited other church members, and the 10 spent a week in Haiti gathering children for their project.

Most of the children came from the ravaged village of Callebas, where people told the AP they handed over their children because they were unable to feed or clothe them after the quake. They said the missionaries promised to educate the children and let relatives visit.

Their stories contradicted Silsby’s account that the children came from collapsed orphanages or were handed over by distant relatives.

She also said the Americans believed they had obtained in the Dominican Republic all the documents needed to take the children out of Haiti.

The Dominican consul in Haiti, Carlos Castillo, told the AP on Thursday that the day the Americans departed for the border, Silsby visited him and said she had a document from Dominican migration officials authorizing her to take the children from Haiti.

Castillo said he warned Silsby that if she lacked adoption papers signed by the appropriate Haitian officials her mission would be considered child trafficking. “We were very specific,” he said.

A poll published Feb

Immigration Minister Eric Besson, who initiated the debate, submitted proposals based on the 350 local meetings held around France since early November.

It was not clear whether any firm steps would be taken after the government meeting. Besson said Friday that several concrete measures on better integrating immigrants can be expected, and that his proposed initiatives also concern fighting discrimination and building a European identity.

French newspapers reported that among the proposals being discussed Monday are a special oath for new French citizens and 천안 안마 a “young citizen’s card” for schoolchildren.

The national identity debates often focused on France’s growing immigrant population, and racist comments occasionally popped up on the interactive Immigration Ministry Web site dedicated to the debate, though were quickly removed.

The debate has divided public opinion in France, with some critics claiming it was a ploy by the governing conservative party for more extreme right votes before March regional elections. Numerous intellectuals have opposed it and, minus a few exceptions, the rival Socialist party refused to participate.

The meetings in towns and cities around France coincided with a debate on whether to ban the face-covering Muslim veil, a subject that overlaps with immigration issues.

Prime Minister Francois Fillon has said the national discussion on France’s identity was “perfectly necessary” and now wants the full government to weigh in on the results.

“Every minister must say what he thinks of the debate and what he thinks of the proposals,” Fillon said last week on Europe-1 radio. They will be called on to “select those which merit being put into place and which justify rules or laws,” he said.

A poll published Feb. 1 by Obea-Infraforces showed that more than one French in two were critical of the debate and nearly 62 percent said it did not help them “define what it is to be French.”

However, Besson justified the debate with another poll, conducted for the Immigration Ministry and made public Friday, that showed that 74 percent of those polled think France’s national identity is weakening, with 30 percent attributing that to immigration and 18 percent to cultural and ethnic issues.

While 75 percent of those polled for the ministry said they were proud or very proud of being French, a full 25 percent were not particularly proud.

The poll for the ministry by the TNS-Sofres firm consulted 1,000 people, the same number as in the previous poll. Margins of error were not provided but in a poll of that size it would be plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Besson wants to continue the debate, perhaps in a different form, through the end of the year.

The spat over the loan has long festered between London and Tehran, and comes against the backdrop of increasingly tense Iranian-British relations

The spat over the loan has long festered between London and Tehran, and comes against the backdrop of increasingly tense Iranian-British relations.

Tehran is under heavy pressure from the West over its nuclear program, and has accused Britain and other foreign governments of interference in domestic policies and of stoking the country’s postelection street protests.

The artifact is a 6th century B.C. clay tablet with an account in cuneiform of the conquest of Babylon by Persian King Cyrus the Great. It describes how Cyrus conquered Babylon in 539 B.C. and restored many of the people held captive by the Babylonians to their homelands.

Called the Cyrus Cylinder, it has been described by the U.N. Web site and elsewhere as the world’s oldest human rights document.

According to officials in Iran, the piece was to have been lent to Tehran by Sunday for an exhibition agreed on by the museum and the Iranian government.

Vice President Hamid Baqaei, who is also the head of Iran’s cultural heritage and tourism organization, 천안 안마 was quoted by state Press TV as saying that the ties would be cut on Monday. It wasn’t immediately clear if this has happened.

Baqaei said the British Museum’s failure to keep its promise is “not acceptable.”

He said the British Museum initially was to lend Tehran the Cyrus Cylinder last September but postponed the deal, citing technical reasons and the postelection unrest following Iran’s disputed June presidential election.

“The Cyrus Cylinder has been turned from a cultural issue into a political one by the British,” Baqaei said, adding that Iran “will sever all its ties with the British Museum, which has become a political institution.”

Baqaei said Iran would send a protest letter the U.N. education agency, UNESCO, over the matter.

The British Museum expressed “great surprise” at the Iranian announcement, saying it had informed Tehran and Baqaei himself earlier this month that the loan would go ahead in the second half of July.

Two additional pieces belonging to the tablet that were only recently discovered in the museum’s possession were also to be lent to Tehran, the museum said in a statement, in line with its policy of cultural exchanges with other nations “independently of political considerations.”

“The British Museum has acted throughout in good faith, and values highly its hitherto good relations with Iran,” it said. “It is to be hoped that this matter can be resolved as soon as possible.”By Associated Press Writer Ali Akbar Dareini; AP Writer Danica Kirka contributed to this report from London

About 400 people, including 30 civilian workers, were at the training centre, but the avalanche hit only one portion of the facility

The avalanche slammed into the army’s High Altitude Warfare School at about 11 a.m. and swept away the soldiers during a training session, said army spokesman Col. Vineet Sood. It was the worst avalanche in the area in many years, he said.

Seventeen bodies were found and 53 troops were rescued about six hours after the speeding mass of snow and ice struck the centre high on a Himalayan slope, senior police officer Qayoom Manhas told The Associated Press.

Manhas said of those rescued, 17 needed emergency medical care.

About 70 troops were taking a skiing test when the avalanche came crashing down, he said.

Rescue efforts involving army, police and civilian officials were “very timely, swift and coordinated,” Manhas said.

The accident occurred near Gulmarg, a ski resort about 30 miles northwest of Srinagar, the main city in Indian Kashmir, 부산 마사지 said Sood.

About 400 people, including 30 civilian workers, were at the training centre, but the avalanche hit only one portion of the facility.

Incessant snow and rain complicated rescue operations.

G.M. Dar, a tourist official in the area, told the AP about 400 tourists skiing in Gulmarg were safe.

Frequent rain and heavy snowfall often trigger avalanches and landslides in Kashmir, blocking roads and cutting off tourist resorts like Gulmarg. Gulmarg is also close to the Line of Control, a highly militarized cease-fire line dividing the Himalayan region of Kashmir between India and Pakistan.

The claim over Kashmir has caused two wars between the archrivals since they became independent from Britain in 1947. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers are posted along either side of the Line of Control.

Last year in April, an avalanche hit an Indian army post in a separate region close to the de-facto border with Pakistan, killing seven soldiers and injuring at least eight others.

French newspapers reported that among the proposals being discussed Monday are a special oath for new French citizens and a “young citizen’s card” for schoolchildren

Immigration Minister Eric Besson, who initiated the debate, submitted proposals based on the 350 local meetings held around France since early November.

It was not clear whether any firm steps would be taken after the government meeting. Besson said Friday that several concrete measures on better integrating immigrants can be expected, and that his proposed initiatives also concern fighting discrimination and 부산 마사지 building a European identity.

French newspapers reported that among the proposals being discussed Monday are a special oath for new French citizens and a “young citizen’s card” for schoolchildren.

The national identity debates often focused on France’s growing immigrant population, and racist comments occasionally popped up on the interactive Immigration Ministry Web site dedicated to the debate, though were quickly removed.

The debate has divided public opinion in France, with some critics claiming it was a ploy by the governing conservative party for more extreme right votes before March regional elections. Numerous intellectuals have opposed it and, minus a few exceptions, the rival Socialist party refused to participate.

The meetings in towns and cities around France coincided with a debate on whether to ban the face-covering Muslim veil, a subject that overlaps with immigration issues.

Prime Minister Francois Fillon has said the national discussion on France’s identity was “perfectly necessary” and now wants the full government to weigh in on the results.

“Every minister must say what he thinks of the debate and what he thinks of the proposals,” Fillon said last week on Europe-1 radio. They will be called on to “select those which merit being put into place and which justify rules or laws,” he said.

A poll published Feb. 1 by Obea-Infraforces showed that more than one French in two were critical of the debate and nearly 62 percent said it did not help them “define what it is to be French.”

However, Besson justified the debate with another poll, conducted for the Immigration Ministry and made public Friday, that showed that 74 percent of those polled think France’s national identity is weakening, with 30 percent attributing that to immigration and 18 percent to cultural and ethnic issues.

While 75 percent of those polled for the ministry said they were proud or very proud of being French, a full 25 percent were not particularly proud.

The poll for the ministry by the TNS-Sofres firm consulted 1,000 people, the same number as in the previous poll. Margins of error were not provided but in a poll of that size it would be plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Besson wants to continue the debate, perhaps in a different form, through the end of the year.

Normally, only about one to two cases of infection per million contact lens users occur in the United States, according to the U.S

A British man was forced to have his eye removed after a contact lens infection spiraled out of control, and now he’s sharing his story so others won’t suffer the same consequences.

Long-time paramedic Andrew Carthew, 59, wore prescription contact lenses for years and said he was always careful not to sleep or shower or swim with them in. But in June of 2015, he woke one morning with a “weepy eye,” the UK’s Daily Mail reported online. 

He thought it was conjunctivitis, a common, treatable eye infection.

But the eye became painful and sensitive to bright light within a day or two, Carthew said. He ended up in the emergency room. His symptoms didn’t improve and he soon learned he had a rare infection called acanthamoeba keratitis — a serious condition caused by an amoeba. 

Symptoms of acanthamoeba keratitis include:

Doctors can diagnose the infection based on symptoms, or the amoeba can also be identified by a scraping of the eye or by viewing it through a process called confocal microscopy.

The infection is treated with one or more prescription medications. In Carthew’s case, antibiotics did not help, so his doctors then performed a corneal transplant. But the infection was so severe they finally had no choice but to remove his eye.

After a year in and out of medical care and adjusting to the loss of the eye, UK news outlets are reporting that Carthew is now getting the word out to help other contact lens wearers avoid the same fate.

The parasite is common in nature, where it can be found in lakes and oceans, the soil and even air. It’s also present in tap water. About 85 percent of infections occur in people wearing contacts that got contaminated.

Normally, only about one to two cases of infection per million contact lens users occur in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But between 2005 and 2007, an acanthamoeba keratitis outbreak infected at least 138 people in 35 states.

About 41 million Americans wear contact lenses, and while they are typically a safe and effective alternative to glasses, they can cause serious problems if wearers don’t follow instructions on how to care for them.

“While patients, especially younger patients, are really excited about being fitted with contact lenses, I stress to them that contact lenses are medical devices that have to be properly fitted, evaluated and that they must adhere to proper contact lens care,” Dr. Andrea Thau of the American Optometric Association (AOA), told CBS News in August when a new CDC report came out warning contact lens users to be vigilant about eye care.

Here’s what to do to avoid infections and other vision complications, according to the AOA:

You can’t be careful enough, as Carthew learned. A health professional himself, 대전 안마 he said he followed contact lens cleaning guidelines, but he said that it’s possible he handled his lenses with unwashed hands at some point, which might have led to his infection.