George Groves remained on course for a world title shot by stopping Noe Gonzalez in the fifth round at the O2 Arena.Hammersmith’s unbeaten super-middleweight, 25, showed his promise with a slick performance, landing effectively with his left jab and several stiff rights before ending the contest in brutal fashion.Groves, the Commonwealth champion, floored Gonzalez with a crunching right to the chin and although the Uruguayan got to his feet, he looked groggy and referee Terry O’Connor opted not to let the fight continue.Gonzalez, 34, came to the ring having lost only twice – against former world champions Felix Sturm and Adonis Stevenson – and had won both his previous bouts in the first round.But Groves, whose leaky defence has previously caused some concern, held a tight guard when necessary and deceived his opponent with clever movement before delivering the decisive blow.The victory took his record to 19-0 and he is expected to fight again in September ahead of a possible world title challenge later in the year.See also:Booth rules out Groves-Magee encounterFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
Kelebogile Boikanyo and Aubrey Lodewyk play the parts of lovers Musetta the singer and Marcello the painter in Opera Africa’s production of La Bohème. (Image: Opera Africa) Sandra and Hein de Villiers’s passion for opera has led them to mortgage their house to fund a production – not once, but twice.Sandra is the CEO of Opera Africa, the company she started in 1994 “with the vision of fostering new audiences for opera that were previously excluded from enjoying this genre, and to promote talented young soloists and choristers”. Hein has been Opera Africa’s artistic director since 1995. Like his wife, he brought with him a distinguished track record from more than two decades in music education, as both teacher and administrator.Together with a band of similarly committed individuals – and, of course, some extremely talented performers, directors and visual artists – the pair have been the driving force behind staging a host of operas in South Africa over the last 15 years, including such favourites as Carmen, Faust, La Traviata and Aida.The name of the company is usefully ambiguous; inserting different prepositions between the words “Opera” and “Africa” gives you some idea of both its ambitions and successes. For starters, there is the slightly contentious question of opera in Africa – does a Eurocentric high-art form such as opera have a place in post-apartheid South Africa?Well, yes. First, there are musical and aesthetic strong affinities between opera and South Africa’s well-established choral tradition. Second, in an era of unprecedented globalisation and migration of cultures, there is little value in essentialising what it means to be “African” or “European”.A fine example of such hybridisation is, in fact, Opera Africa’s Princess Magogo – the first full opera sung entirely in isiZulu. First staged in 2000, this is an opera about Africa, depicting the life and times of one of the Usuthu-Buthelezi dynasty’s most famous daughters, herself a renowned composer and singer, with a score by Mzilikazi Khumalo and libretto by Themba Msimang.Princess Magogo and the company’s other productions have appeared across South Africa, in major urban centres as well as in more remote rural areas – opera for Africa, one might say. But they have also toured internationally, in cities as far afield as Chicago, Amsterdam and Oslo, demonstrating that there is such a thing as opera from Africa.Opera Africa’s latest enterprise is La Bohème, which will run at the State Theatre in Pretoria in March 2010 before moving to the Joburg Theatre Complex in Johannesburg in April. (The company has established a good working relationship with these two major Gauteng theatres since relocating from Durban six years ago.)La Bohème is, after Madama Butterfly, the most popular work by Italian composer Giacomo Puccini. Based on Henri Murger’s novel, Scenes from Bohemia, the opera is set in 19th-century Paris and centres on the love affair between Mimi, a seamstress, and Rodolfo, a poet.Over the course of its 110-year performance history, La Bohème has contributed substantially to the modern archetype of the poor artist, struggling in a freezing garret to create immortal works of art but also finding ways to indulge in bouts of hedonism. This archetype has had more recent manifestations in, for instance, the Broadway musical Rent or Baz Luhrman’s film Moulin Rouge.The themes of poverty and illness have obvious echoes in contemporary South African society. While previous Opera Africa productions have foregrounded such similarities by presenting “African” settings, however, the artistic team behind La Bohème have chosen not to do so here. Instead, the production will be “an exquisitely imagined period piece” taking for granted that the “universal and timeless themes” of Puccini’s opera will resonate with local audiences.Andrew Verster, who has worked with Opera Africa as set and costume designer on numerous occasions, will again weave his visual magic, and Themi Venturas, whose Opera Africa repertoire includes Princess Magogo and the 2007 Opera Extravaganza, will direct the stage action.Musically, the production promises to be of the highest standard. Conductor Timothy Myers, who has previously worked with orchestras in New York and London, will have the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra under his baton. And the company has recruited a formidable group of divas and divos to give voice to the lead roles.Soprano Hanli Stapela, joining Opera Africa for the first time, brings an international reputation to her reprisal of Mimi’s tragic story. Tenor Stéfan Louw, who has likewise been widely acclaimed for his performances in previous productions of La Bohème, will portray the equally unfortunate Rodolfo.Two rising stars of the South African opera scene, Kelebogile Boikanyo and Aubrey Lodewyk – both products of the Tshwane University of Technology’s vocal arts programme – will sing the parts of Musetta and Marcello, the singer and painter whose tempestuous on-off relationship mirrors that of Mimi and Rodolfo. Otto Maidi completes a quintet of bohemian characters as Colline, the philosopher. Veteran bass Rouel Beukes will contribute his idiosyncratic combination of gravitas and levity to two roles: Benoit, Rodolfo’s landlord, and Alcindoro, the wealthy government minister who fancies Musetta.And it’s worth mentioning that the production is sponsored by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund – so Sandra and Hein won’t need to mortgage their house again.
Beautiful seascapes greet the hiker on the Harkerville trail. The rugged Garden Route coastline.(Images: Emily van Rijswijck) MEDIA CONTACTS • SANParks Regional Office Harkerville Forestry Station +27 44 532 7770 or +27 82 803 0701 RELATED ARTICLES • Garden Route’s new national park • Hiking the dragon’s back • Unforgettable SA hiking trails • Walking for Eden, and elephants • Slackpacking in the CederbergEmily van RijswijckSouth Africans sometimes forget that they live within easy reach of the most beautiful and accessible wilderness areas in the world – some, literally on their doorstep.One such treasure is the Harkerville Trail on the southern Cape coast, a hike which can pack the punch of a longer trail in just one weekend.But it’s not just the ocean and the giant yellowwoods. There is so much more to treat the senses – the smell of the forest floor and the sea spray; sudden outbursts from red-billed wood hoopoes; and rows of edible-looking cup-shaped fungi marking the paths.Spoilt for choiceInhabitants of the greater Cape area are generally spoilt for choice when it comes to hiking in the aptly named Garden Route, with the Outeniqua, Tsitsikamma and a host of other popular trails concentrated just in this area.The Harkerville, however, remains a favourite for hikers who appreciate its diverse offerings, all squeezed into just two days.This trail is rated “moderate to difficult” by those in the know. Port Elizabeth resident André Moolman has done the Harkerville 10 times and says it is the perfect benchmark trail to see if you are ready for more strenuous hikes, like the Fish River Canyon and the better known Otter, South Africa’s oldest hiking trail.In size, the Fish River Canyon takes second place only to the mighty Grand Canyon in the US and forms the natural border between South Africa and Namibia.“The Harkerville trail is a good measure for me to see if I am fit enough,” says Moolman, adding that it offers probably the most beautiful scenery a hiker will encounter in South Africa.The Harkerville HutA challenging 27 kilometres in length, the trail starts and ends at the Harkerville Hut at the Harkerville Forestry station located between Plettenberg Bay and Knysna.This is also the end point for the seven-day Outeniqua Trail, and energetic hikers may combine the two into a nine-day trek.Day one is a 15km hike which starts off with a long stretch in the forest before you are suddenly greeted by a break in the foliage to a beautiful view of the sea far below you.While nothing should be taken away from the forest and the mountain fynbos sections of the hike, it is the part trailing along the edge of the sea which brings the real thrill.The use of “edge” in this instance is deliberate as you will find yourself with the sea spray flicking your feet and the waves charging in with purpose if the tide happens to be high during your crossing. Though the ledges across the rock face are not excessively high, hikers with fear of heights may feel nervous.But, once safely over the rocks, the calm refreshing pools of seawater will delight you, while little fish and other creatures swim with you, sometimes taking a precautionary nibble at your feet. It’s worthwhile remembering to squeeze a pair of diving goggles and some flippers into your backpack.Californian RedwoodsIn this little piece of indigenous paradise, the remnants of an experimental plantation of Californian redwoods, planted in 1925, are still to be found.These remaining trees are all to be cut down but for one giant specimen of about 33 metres in height and more than a metre in diameter, which will mark time and location. The redwood is native to the west coast of America where it can grow up to 300 metres in height.Harkerville is also a place where the smallest creatures have right of way, from the large black shongololos (Ndebele word for millipede, widely used in South African lingo) to the very common forest spider, a creature seemingly intent on building his web exactly at face height.But as nature lovers tend to be mindful of these things, hikers manoeuvre carefully around these delicate webs, while a “mind the shongololo” from a fellow hiker is not uncommon.Sinclair HutThe second night is spent at the comfortable Sinclair Hut, situated on higher ground. While the hut does not have beautiful views of the ocean, some points of this rocky coastline are close by and it’s worth a 700m stroll to watch the sun setting over the Indian Ocean.During the whale season which starts to peak in October, it is not impossible to get excellent sightings of these magnificent creatures from various vantage points along the trail. The Southern Right whale is a common sight in these parts from around July to December as pods travel north from the Antarctic region to mate and breed.In fact, the small coastal town of Hermanus, further south along the coast, is considered to be the best land-based whale watching area in the world and has its own whale festival and full-time whale crier.The second part of the trail winds for 12km with some challenging parts over rocky ledges and pebbled beaches, before hikers tackle the stiff climb up to the car park and picnic spot located on top of the hill.With muscular strain setting in, the last stretch through the forest is easy enough to walk even barefoot, with a soft forest carpet of leaves and twigs easing the way. Sunburnt and exhausted, you will know that you have finished a serious hike in just two days when finally you reach the Harkerville Hut once more.But, every step would be worth it.
Limit the extreme registers of highlight or shadow detail using the Soft Clipping feature in DaVinci Resolve.DaVinci Resolve and a drool worthy color grading suite [via Blackmagic]A small but powerful feature in Davinci Resolve called “soft clipping” makes a huge difference in the way I work. A component of the software for several years now, soft clipping allows me to bend footage far further than I normally could by limiting the extreme registers of the highlight or shadow detail. Since I use it in every single session, I really can’t undersell using this powerful feature.Soft clipping is found inside the Color page, in the middle, bottom-half of the screen within the first Curves tab. Select the second drop-down to modify the soft clipping. You’ll see the red, green and blue curves, but these react differently than the main curves; here, you won’t be able to draw points on the curve to change the contrast of the image. Rather, you’ll be able to change where the high and low ends of the shot begin clipping.You can change the soft clip of the channels individually, but by default the three channels are grouped, or “ganged,” together. Unless you’re dealing with an image that has, say, a bright red traffic light that causes a spike in only the red channel, the default ganged style is my my choice each time.In practice, a colorist can initially limit the highlights on a particularly bright image where, for example, light bulbs or sunlight are blown out, as you’re performing your primary grade. As you balance the image, you can white balance the highlights to taste as you’re controlling the clipping or utilize the soft clip while you’re lifting any part of the image. I find it useful when working with commercial clients who are trying to achieve a bright, saturated look where the image is naturally dark. Consider an image of several people inside a living room with bright afternoon sunlight outside. The filmmakers have exposed for preserving the highlights that are streaming in, leading to an underexposed interior where the people are. This is a perfect time to use soft clipping.Pumping the mids and highlights will only get you so far before the upper range of the image begins to clip. To continue brightening the image, the soft clipping rolls off just the last few percent of the image and allows you to keep cranking in brightness. The effect is similar to that of using an S-curve in the standard curves feature, but it’s a quick way to limit the high or low-lights when you are working in a quick commercial atmosphere. You can also quickly wreck the image if you use the curves improperly, but this doesn’t seem to happen as much with soft clipping.My usage of soft clip can go extreme, depending on the shot and what the client’s trying to achieve. I often max out the High Soft at 100 to preserve as many highlight details as possible. I use this maximum value that Resolve allows as a sort of bar for determining if I’m pushing the image too much. If I really need an extra push, I can also pull the sides of the channels down to limit the highs or lows even further.Preserving highlights is the name of the game. It is much more important to preserve highlights than to have overly crushed blacks, although in a video featuring very high contrast I will frequently limit the darks to have that detail in there. Still, having detail in the highlights is one of my highest priorities, as any clipping means a dip in the overall video quality, even so much as to make it look much less filmic, or beautiful, to many people. I would say it is one of the defining characteristics of good filming technique.Have you had success with the soft clipping feature? Have you seen any downsides in using it or find it difficult to work with? Let us know in the comments.
The Cheapskate Turo is kind of like Uber meets Airbnb: You borrow someone’s car, but you do all the driving. I’ve used it many times and found it a great alternative to traditional car-rental services — in part because you get to choose exactly the vehicle you want (not just, say, “midsize”) and in part because you can often do pickup and dropoff right outside baggage claim.Between now and Sept. 1, the first 300 people to check out can get $30 off any Turo rental with promo code LDW30. Spotify and most other streaming services rely on compressed audio, which robs the listener of full fidelity. Enter Tidal, the only “major” service that delivers lossless audio — meaning at least on par with CD quality, if not better. Want to see (er, hear) the difference for yourself? Grab this excellent extended trial while you can. It’s just $6 for three months, and it’s good for up to six listeners. Read the Rylo camera preview 2 Lenovo Smart Clock: $59.99 (save $20) Tags Share your voice Best Buy Tidal 3-month family subscription: $5.99 (save $54) Sarah Tew/CNET $999 See at Amazon See It Tags Share your voice Amazon $999 Comments WORLD’S LARGEST BEE: Take a look at Wallace’s Giant Bee!It’s the biggest bee in the world and hasn’t been seen in over 30 years … until now. pic.twitter.com/KB1MjDBCdh— CBSDenver (@CBSDenver) February 21, 2019 Sarah Tew/CNET Turo: Save $30 on any car rental Free Echo Dot with an Insignia or Toshiba TV (save $50) Read DJI Osmo Action preview JBL Soundgear wearable speaker: $90 (save $160) TVs Speakers Mobile Accessories Cameras Laptops Automobiles Smart Speakers & Displays Chris Monroe/CNET $90 at Daily Steals via Google Express I thought this might be a mistake, but, no, the weirdly named HP Laptop 15t Value is indeed quite the value at this price. Specs include an Intel Core i7 processor, 12GB of RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive and a 15.6-inch display. However, I strongly recommend paying an extra $50 to upgrade that display to FHD (1,920×1,080), because you’re not likely to be happy with the native 1,366×768 resolution. Recently updated to include digital-photo-frame capabilities, the Lenovo Smart Clock brings Google Assistant goodness to your nightstand. It’s a little smaller than the Amazon Echo Show 5, but also a full $30 less (and tied with Prime Day pricing) during this Best Buy Labor Day sale. Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. $6 at Tidal Sarah Tew/CNET Google Nest Hub: $59 (save $70) $59 at eBay $520 at HP What’s cooler: A snapshot of a firework exploding in front of you, or full 360-degree video of all the fireworks and all the reactions to seeing them? Oooh, ahhh, indeed. At $250, the compact Rylo dual-lens camera is selling for its lowest price yet. And for an extra $50, you can get the bundle that includes the waterproof housing.This deal runs through Sept. 3; it usually costs $500. Sci-Tech,I’m shocked — shocked! — to learn that stores are turning Labor Day into an excuse to sell stuff. Wait — no, I’m not. As much as I respect the original intent of the holiday (which became official back in 1894), to most of us, it’s just a bonus day off — one that’s blissfully tacked onto a weekend. So, yeah, stores; go ahead, run your sales. I’m listening. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Labor Day doesn’t bring out bargains to compete with the likes of Black Friday (which will be here before you know it), but there are definitely some sales worth your time.For example:We’ve rounded up the best Labor Day mattress deals.We’ve also gathered the best Labor Day laptop deals at Best Buy.The 2019 Vizio P Series Quantum is back under $999.Be sure to check out Amazon’s roughly three dozen Labor Day deals on TVs and audio. Google Express is having a big sale as well, one that includes deals on game consoles, AirPods, iPhones, laptops and more.Below I’ve rounded up a handful of individual items I consider to be the cream of the crop, followed by a handy reference guide to other Labor Day sales. Keep in mind, of course, that products may sell out at any time, even if the sale itself is still running. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. Use promo code 19LABOR10 to get an unusually good deal on JBL’s interesting hybrid product — not quite headphones, and not quite a traditional speaker, but something you wear like neckphones to listen to music on the go. DJI Osmo Action camera: $261 (save $89) The problem with most entry-level laptops: They come with mechanical hard drives. That makes for a mighty slow Windows experience. This Lenovo model features a 128GB solid-state drive, so it should be pretty quick to boot and load software, even with its basic processor. Plus, it has a DVD-burner! That’s not something you see in many modern laptops, especially at this price. 7 See It Read Lenovo Smart Clock review “It was absolutely breathtaking to see this ‘flying bulldog’ of an insect that we weren’t sure existed anymore,” Clay Bolt, the photographer who took the rediscovered bee’s first photos, said in a statement. The report describes the bee as being about the size of an adult thumb, with a wingspan of about 2.5 inches (6.35 centimeters). That means it’s four times larger than the European honey bee. It is a very big boy and we’re in awe of the size. Read the AirPods review Though not technically a Labor Day sale, it’s happening during Labor Day sale season — and it’s too good not to share. Nationwide Distributors, via Google Express, has just about the best AirPods deal we’ve seen (when you apply promo code ZBEDWZ at checkout). This is for the second-gen AirPods with the wireless charging case. Can’t imagine these will last long at this price, so if you’re interested, act fast. See at Turo Apple iPhone XS $261 at Daily Steals via Google Express CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Turo Boost Mobile An Echo Dot makes a fine match for any Fire edition TV, because you can use the latter to say things like, “Alexa, turn on the TV.” Right now, the 24-inch Insignia Fire TV Edition starts at just $100, while the 32-inch Toshiba Fire TV Editions is on sale for $130. Just add any Fire TV Edition to your cart, then add a third-gen Echo Dot, and presto: The latter is free. $60 at Best Buy Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) Sarah Tew/CNET See it Comments $999 Lenovo 130-15AST 15.6-inch laptop: $210 (save $90) $999 Sprint See It Formerly known as the Google Home Hub, Google’s Nest Hub packs a wealth of Google Assistant goodness into a 7-inch screen. At $59, this is within a buck of the best price we’ve seen. It lists for $129 and sells elsewhere in the $89-to-$99 range.This is one item of many available as part of eBay’s Labor Day Sale (which, at this writing, doesn’t specifically mention Labor Day, but that’s how it was pitched to us). Other Labor Day sales you should check out Best Buy: In addition to some pretty solid MacBook deals that have been running for about a week already, Best Buy is offering up to 40% off major appliances like washers, dryers and stoves. There are also gift cards available with the purchase of select appliances. See it at Best BuyDell: Through Aug. 28, Dell is offering an extra 12% off various laptops, desktops and electronics. And check back starting Aug. 29 for a big batch of Labor Day doorbusters. See it at DellGlassesUSA: Aug. 29 – Sept. 3 only, you can save 65% on all frames with promo code labor65. See it at GlassesUSALenovo: The tech company is offering a large assortment of deals and doorbusters through Labor Day, with the promise of up to 56% off certain items — including, at this writing, the IdeaPad 730S laptop for $700 (save $300).See it at LenovoLensabl: Want to keep the frames you already love and paid for? Lensabl lets you mail them in for new lenses, based on your prescription. From now through Sept. 2 only, you can save 20% on the blue light-blocking lens option with promo code BLOCKBLUE. See it at LensablSears: Between now and Sept. 7, you can save up to 40% on appliances (plus an additional 10% if you shop online), up to 60% on mattresses, up to 50% on Craftsman products and more. The store is also offering some fairly hefty cashback bonuses. See it at SearsNote: This post was published previously and is continuously updated with new information.CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page, and find more great buys on the CNET Deals page. Simon Robson, honorary professor of biology at the University of Sydney and Central Queensland University in Australia, with Wallace’s giant bee. Fanie Heymans The world’s largest bee has resurfaced after 38 years. In January, conservationists found Wallace’s Giant Bee, or the Megachile pluto, on a group of Indonesian Islands known as the North Moluccas, the Global Wildlife Conservation reported Thursday. The Global Wildlife Conservation is a nonproft that’s been searching for “lost” species, or species that might not actually be extinct, but haven’t been seen in a decade or more. Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case: $155 (save $45) $299 at Amazon $155 at Google Express Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone X HP Laptop 15t Value: $520 (save $780) Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR Read Google Home Hub review DJI’s answer to GoPro’s action cameras is rugged little model that’s shockproof, dustproof and waterproof down to 11 meters. It normally runs $350, but this deal drops it to $261 when you apply promo code 19LABOR10 at checkout. Angela Lang/CNET Rylo 5.8K 360 Video Camera: $250 (save $250) $210 at Best Buy Rylo
People gather to attend a vigil outside Finsbury Park Mosque, close to the scene of a van attack in Finsbury Park, north London on June 19, 2017. Ten people were injured when a van drove into a crowd of Muslim worshippers near a mosque in London. Photo: AFPLondoners bearing flowers and messages of solidarity gathered Monday at the spot where a man ploughed a van into Muslims leaving prayers at a mosque, the fourth terror strike in Britain in four months.Eleven people were injured in the attack, which took place early Monday near Finsbury Park mosque, north London, raising fears of retaliation against Muslims after recent assaults by Islamic extremists.One elderly man, who had collapsed just before the incident, was pronounced dead at the scene, but it is not yet known whether his death was directly linked to the van assault.Among the roughly 100 people at the vigil, some carried signs reading “United Against All Terror”.“One of the things that all these terrorists share is a perverse ideology that wants to fuel division and divide our communities. We’re not going to let them,” said Mayor Sadiq Khan, speaking after prayers at the Muslim Welfare House on Monday evening.Flowers were left at the scene where hours earlier the 47-year-old van driver was pinned down by locals and shielded from violence by an imam, before being detained by police.The driver was later arrested on suspicion of “the commission, preparation or instigation of terrorism including murder and attempted murder”, the police said.The suspect was identified by British media as Darren Osborne, a father of four who lived in the Welsh capital Cardiff.As police searched a property, five residents speaking to journalists from the Press Association news agency identified images of the arrested man as their neighbour, Osborne.Security Minister Ben Wallace told BBC radio that the suspect was “not known to us”.Stepped-up police presenceLondon police chief Cressida Dick said the incident was “quite clearly an attack on Muslims” and promised a stepped-up police presence near mosques as the holy month of Ramadan draws to a close.Witness Abdiqadir Warra told AFP the van “drove at people” and that some of the victims were carried for several metres along the road.“He was shouting: ‘I want to kill all Muslims’,” another witness, Khalid Amin, told BBC television.The Finsbury Park Mosque said the van “deliberately mowed down Muslim men and women leaving late evening prayers” at the mosque and the nearby Muslim Welfare House shortly after midnight.Eleven people were hurt, all Muslims, with nine requiring hospital treatment. Two were in a very serious condition, police said.One Algerian man was among those injured, the north African country said.Locals pinned down the driver and the imam of the Muslim Welfare House stepped in to stop him receiving a mob beating.France and Germany quickly condemned the attack and Egypt’s Al-Azhar institution, the leading authority in Sunni Islam, condemned it as “sinful”.“Al-Azhar affirms its total rejection of this terrorist, racist, sinful act, calling on Western countries to take all precautionary measures to limit the phenomenon of Islamophobia,” it said in a statement.US President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka expressed solidarity with the worshippers in a tweet but her father has so far not commented.Community in shockPrime Minister Theresa May, who was heavily criticised for failing to meet survivors of a devastating fire in a London tower block last week, visited Finsbury Park Mosque where she met local faith leaders.May condemned the assault as “sickening”, saying Britain’s determination to fight “terrorism, extremism and hatred… must be the same, whoever is responsible”.The use of a vehicle to mow down pedestrians drew horrifying parallels with this month’s London Bridge attack.In that incident, three men slammed a van into pedestrians before embarking on a stabbing spree—an attack claimed by the Islamic State group.In March London was hit with another car and knife rampage, that one near parliament. It was also claimed by IS.This time the attacker deliberately targeted Muslims, according to the police.“Over the past weeks and months, Muslims have endured many incidents of Islamophobia and this is the most violent manifestation to date,” said Harun Khan, head of the Muslim Council of Britain, an umbrella body.After the London Bridge attack, the mayor’s office reported a 40-percent increase in racist incidents in the capital and a five-fold increase in anti-Muslim incidents.Mohammed Kozbar, chairman of the Finsbury Park Mosque, described the attack as “cowardly”.“Our community is in shock,” he said, urging people attending prayers to remain vigilant.‘Extraordinary city’It was the third major incident in the capital this month, after the London Bridge attack and last week’s devastating fire in the Grenfell Tower block, in which 79 people are thought to have died.“This is an extraordinary city of extraordinary people,” May said outside Downing Street after chairing an emergency government meeting.“Diverse, welcoming, vibrant, compassionate, confident and determined never to give in to hate.”Last month, a suicide bomber blew himself up outside a pop concert in Britain’s third city of Manchester, killing 22 people, many of them children.The Finsbury Park Mosque was once a notorious hub for radical Islamists but has changed markedly in recent years under new management.Its former imam, Abu Hamza, was jailed for life in New York on terrorism charges in 2015.Despite the change in leadership and the focus on bolstering inter-faith relations, the mosque reported it had received a string of threatening emails and letters in the wake of the Paris attacks.
Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain and Moudud AhmedFollowing the party’s disastrous defeat in the 11th national election, two BNP standing committee members on Friday suggested a change in the party leadership through holding a council, reports UNB.Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain and Moudud Ahmed came up with the suggestion at a discussion organised at the Supreme Court Bar Association auditorium to celebrate the 83rd birth anniversary of party founder Ziaur Rahman.Speaking at the programme as the chief guest, Mosharraf Hossain said BNP must stage a comeback. “We must stage a comeback and reorganise the party…the party will have to be revamped through holding a council.”He also said the tested party men will have to be put in the leadership.Earlier, Moudud Ahmed said, “Today, the party will have to be reorganised newly. Those who worked for the party in its tough times should be at the helm. If necessary, we, who have become old, will take a leave. But, the party should survive. The only way for it is to arrange a council which should be held within months.”BNP’s last council was held on 19 March 2016.Presiding over the discussion, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir claimed that democracy has been ‘assassinated and ruined’ completely in the country.He said it is time for the youth to come forward to save the country.Fakhrul also underscored the need for forging a strong movement together with the country’s people to free BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia and ‘democracy’.The 83rd birth anniversary of BNP founder Ziaur Rahman will be celebrated on Saturday.