first_imgSANTA MONICA – Hundreds of Southern Californians concerned about climate change gathered at this city’s Third Street Promenade on Saturday to hear warnings about the effects of global warming and to be given pitches for products aimed at reducing its effect. The gathering along the large, open-air shopping district just blocks from the Pacific Ocean was one of about 50 events scheduled throughout Southern California under the banner Step It Up 2007. Nationwide, more than 1,400 rallies, hikes and other activities were scheduled, all part of an effort to push Congress to require an 80 percent cut in carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. “We have such a wonderful planet and it is really tragic for us to ruin it with global warming,” said Jim Stewart, organizing director of Earth Day L.A., which worked with Step It Up to put on the Santa Monica event. “The bottom line is everybody needs to be carbon-neutral. How do we get people to make good decisions to reduce their carbon output?” said Stewart, standing under overcast skies on the popular weekend gathering spot for shoppers and tourists. Other events included a hike up a steep canyon to a point just below the famous Hollywood sign. “It takes real passion to make a big difference – strength in numbers,” said Kara Thurman of Santa Monica. In Santa Monica, where approximately 500 people gathered early in the day, environmental activists manned an eclectic mix of 80 booths. The nationwide events were spearheaded by a group of recent graduates from Vermont’s Middlebury College, who organized a campaign of blogs, e-mail messages and word-of-mouth communications. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

first_imgAmid a tussle between the BJP and the Shiv Sena over government formation in Maharashtra, their ally Republican Party of India (Athawale) leader Ramdas Athawale on Tuesday said Sena should not be “adamant” on its demand for the chief minister’s post as it rightly belongs to the BJP.Mr. Athawale also said he is hopeful that Union Minister Nitin Gadkari would be able to resolve the situation as he enjoys respects across party lines.“I am going to meet Gadkariji and will discuss the current situation in Maharashtra. He is a senior leader respected by everybody and I am sure they will definitely find a way to resolve this crisis,” Mr. Athawale, who is a Union Minister, said.Since the Maharashtra assembly results were announced on October 24, the BJP and its ‘Mahayuti’ ally Sena are locked in a bitter battle over sharing of power in the next government. The bone of contention is the Sena’s demand for the post of Chief Minister on rotational basis with the BJP and a “50:50 formula” for allocating ministries.The BJP won 105 seats in the polls followed by ally Sena (56), the NCP (54) and the Congress (44) in the 288-member Assembly.“BJP is the single largest party and there is a sizeable gap between the seats of the BJP and others so the Chief Minister post rightly belongs to it and not to Shiv Sena. The Sena can be given deputy chief minister’s post,” he said.Athawale claimed that the BJP is ready for 50:50 allocation of cabinet portfolios and also to give some important ministries to Sena.The people of Maharashtra have given the mandate to the BJP and the Shiv Sena to form the government not to the Congress and the NCP, he said.“If Sena forms a government in alliance with the NCP and the Congress, it will not be in the interest of any political party… it will be against the mandate given by the people,” he said.Also read: If BJP-Sena fail, NCP will have to think of alternative: PatilHis remarks on Sena came a day after NCP supremo Sharad Pawar met Congress president Sonia Gandhi to discuss the current political situation in Maharashtra, which led to speculation about these three parties coming together.last_img read more

first_imgA day after food chain Burger Singh and mobile recharge site MobiKwik faced criticism for offering discounts in light of Indian Army’s surgical strikes at terror launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC), entertainment unit, Smaaash too joined the bandwagon. With outlets across the country, Smaaash sent out text messages offering discounts upto 15% which can be availed by using the coupon code, SURGICALSTRIKE at its Gurgaon branch.The message sent out by Smaaash.The entertainment unit which has in the past, hosted several eminent stars like Virat Kohli, Sachin Tendulkar, Brett Lee among others is a sports arena that offers several activities like bowling, video gaming etc at offer. Only yesterday, Delhi-based burger chain, Burger Singh sent out text messages promising a 20% discount, which was later increased to 30%.”In light of the surgical strike by India defence forces on terrorist camps(POK). We offer 20% off on all orders..” read Burger Singh’s text message to its many customers–some of whom took to Twitter and expressed what they really thought of the ‘offer’. The text message by Burger Singh. Picture courtesy: Twitter/ @FreakyLiteratiFrom sarcasm to downright dissapointment Twitter users didn’t hold back in pointing out the blatant lack of thought behind the marketing strategy. “You mixed up patriotism with jingoism. Celebrating a surgical strike with a discount on burgers is highly insensitive,” read one tweet. Whereas another went on to say, “hoping they have issued an apology and retraction by now. Hope it’s not an agency which thought of this one.” advertisementPicture courtesy: Twitter/ @FreakyLiteratiBut the burger chain wasn’t alone in cashing on a matter of national concern–mobile recharge site, MobiKwik too thought it sensible to voice a similar offer. While Burger Singh’s coupon code read “fpak20” MobiKwik decided to opt for “1STSRIKE” as a way to allure customers. Picture courtesy: Twitter/ @abhikprasadPicture courtesy: Twitter/@PranavDixitAlso Read: Claims denied: How Pakistan media is treating India’s surgical strike On being contacted by, a call operator at Burger Singh confirmed that the “phone had been ringing off the hook since the text message was sent out” and that the ‘offer’ could only be availed online.Also Read: Amid war clouds, Pakistani comedian’s post goes viral: How biryani, Sania, Katrina can keep us together “It was never our intention to hurt, harm or otherwise prejudice anyone or their beliefs. As a response to all the love and hate coming our way across social platforms, we announce an increase in discount to 30%. politically correct Coupon Code–strike30,” the owner of Burger Singh, Kabir Singh was quoted telling read more