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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with his wife Sophie Gregoire, daughter Ella Grace and son Xavier, greet the people during their visit to the holy Sikh shrine of Golden temple in Amritsar

Canadian and Indian officials scrambled on Thursday to explain how a convicted Sikh extremist was invited to a New Delhi reception for Justin Trudeau, the latest misstep in the Canadian prime minister’s bumpy eight-day trip to India.

The tour has been overshadowed by suggestions of a lukewarm reception by the government and a series of photo ops featuring the Trudeau family in coordinated Indian attire that have raised eyebrows in both countries.

The latest flashpoint, a swiftly cancelled invitation by the Canadian delegation to Jaspal Atwal — convicted in 1986 of the attempted murder of an Indian politician visiting Canada — came just days after Trudeau had assured his hosts he would not support anyone trying to revive a separatist movement in India.

“The fact that an invitation, which was already extended to Mr. Atwal, has been withdrawn, it basically shows (Canada) have taken into account the concerns which we have,” said Raveesh Kumar, a spokesman for India’s Ministry of External Affairs.

Atwal’s invitation was withdrawn once his links to an organisation banned in India came to light. Trudeau told reporters on Thursday that a Canadian parliamentarian on the trip had taken responsibility for the mistake.

A largely unrecognized figure in India, Atwal was a trending topic on Twitter across the subcontinent on Thursday after images of him in the company of Trudeau’s wife and other Canadian ministers surfaced online.

The trip, partly aimed at shoring up support for Trudeau’s Liberals among the politically important ethnic vote in key regions, has also been criticized for being light on official government business.

Support from Canada’s large and concentrated South Asian community helped Trudeau’s Liberals gain power in 2015, and all three of Canada’s main parties — including the New Democratic Party, lead by Jagmeet Singh — are courting the Indo-Canadian vote ahead of the 2019 election.

“I don’t know if Justin Trudeau thinks that international trade missions are reality TV shows, but they are not,” Conservative party leader Andrew Scheer, Trudeau’s main opponent, told Reuters.

Trudeau on Tuesday cited C$1 billion in deals between Canadian and Indian companies announced in Mumbai, and said the trip was “not just about political ties” but improving business and cultural ties.

The Atwal controversy came as the Trudeau family’s ornate traditional Indian attire raised eyebrows, with the prime minister at one point donning formal wear typically worn by bridegrooms.

“FYI we Indians don’t dress like this every day sir, not even in Bollywood,” tweeted Indian politician Omar Abdullah.

Earlier this week, Trudeau rejected suggestions that he had been snubbed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Modi tweeted a welcome to Trudeau late on Thursday, on the eve of a bilateral meeting between the two, six days after the Canadian leader arrived in the country, adding: “I hope PM @JustinTrudeau and his family had a very enjoyable stay so far.”
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The deputy director of the United Nations children’s agency UNICEF resigned on Thursday, saying he did not want coverage of past mistakes he had made to damage the organisation or other aid bodies.

Save the Children UK said on Wednesday concerns were raised about inappropriate comments and behaviour by Justin Forsyth, the charity’s then chief executive, in 2011 and 2015. It said reviews in both cases had resulted in “unreserved apologies” to the women involved.

In a statement, Forsyth said his decision to step down from UNICEF was not because of “the mistakes I made at Save the Children”.

“They were dealt with through a proper process many years ago,” his statement said.

“I apologised unreservedly at the time and face to face. I apologise again. There is no doubt in my mind that some of the coverage around me is not just to – rightly – hold me to account, but also to attempt to do serious damage to our cause and the case for aid.”

His decision to step down comes as charities in the aid sector pledge to overhaul their approach to dealing with allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment.

Britain and the European Union put their funding of Oxfam under review after reported abuse by some staff in Haiti after an earthquake in 2010.
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Serie A leaders Napoli came agonisingly close to pulling off a dramatic Europa League comeback when they won 2-0 at RB Leipzig but went out on away goals at the last 32 stage on Thursday.

The Italians lost 3-1 at home in last week’s first leg with a performance that embarrassed coach Maurizio Sarri, although he has emphasised that winning Serie A is the priority.

They restored some pride in the return as Piotr Zielinski scored from a rebound in the 33rd minute and Lorenzo Insigne turned in Jose Callejon’s cross with five minutes to go.

That set up a rousing finale and Callejon could even have won the tie in stoppage time but his shot sailed over.

Lazio striker Ciro Immobile scored a hat-trick to lead his side to a 5-1 win over FCSB, formerly Steaua Bucharest, after a 1-0 defeat in the first leg.

Russian pair Lokomotiv Moscow and Zenit St Petersburg both won at home in frigid conditions to also progress.

Igor Denisov’s first-half goal gave Lokomotiv a 1-0 win over Nice, completing a 4-2 aggregate victory, while Zenit beat Celtic 3-0 to go through 3-1 with goals from Branislav Ivanovic, Daler Kuzyaev and Aleksandr Kokorin.

“We dominated the game. We didn’t concede any chances until the 70th minute,” said Zenit coach Roberto Mancini after a match which kicked off in a temperature of minus 13 Celsius.

“After 70 minutes we tired a bit but this is normal, but in the end we deserved to win.”

Atletico Madrid, leading 4-1 from the first leg, completed the formality at home to FC Copenhagen when Kevin Gameiro’s early goal gave them a 1-0 win, while Dynamo Kiev, Sporting, Viktoria Plzen and Olympique Lyonnais also reached the last 16.
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The Bayelsa State Government, on Thursday, said it would arrest and prosecute parents, who refused to send their children to school to acquire formal education.

The order was issued following the signing into law of the Compulsory Primary and Secondary Education Bill by the state Governor, Mr. Seriake Dickson.

Speaking after the 89th State Executive Council (SEC) meeting‎, the Commissioner for Education, Jonathan Obuebite, said the new law prescribed that every child of school age must be enrolled into the various model schools of the government.

Obuebite maintained‎ that any child caught loitering or hawking on the streets during school hours would be picked up while their parents or guardians would be dealt with as provided in the new law.

He explained that the move was to underscore the‎ importance the government attached to education, adding that it would ensure full utilisation of the huge investment made in the sector.

He said: “We have spent over N70bn building and equipping our schools. Today we have quality infrastructure and facilities across our schools in every local government area. We feel it is important to have this law to protect that investment.

“The law will be fully implemented. We want to thank His Excellency for his assent and members of the assembly for passing it into law. Clearly the law is to demonstrate our commitment to education in the state”.

Also speaking, the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Ebitimitula Etebu‎ said the council expressed delight with the bill establishing the School of Midwifery which was also signed ‎into law by Dickson.

He said the law would further boost primary healthcare delivery in the state adding that the new Primary Healthcare Development Board would be given the responsibility of coordinating and managing all health facilities built in every community.

Also speaking, the Commissioner for Tourism Development, Ebiere Irene Musa noted that with the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Bristow Helicopters, shuttle services for the company’s seaplane from Yenagoa to other states in the Niger Delta as well as Lagos and Abuja had commenced.

“We have brought our tourism potentials out ‎to the world. Just after the commissioning of the magnificent Grand Pavillion and Boat Club, Oxbow lake, we have today signed an MoU with Bristow helicopter. So it is a thing of joy that from Oxbow lake you can connect Lagos, Abuja and other states in this region”.

The Commissioner for Lands and Survey, Kuroakegha Dorgu‎, further explained that the council resolved to acquire the land opposite the Grand Pavillion in Oxbow lake to expand the tourism site.

He said fishing, farming, dredging and other related commercial activities had been banned to allow for smooth tourist operations in the area.

Also, the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, said henceforth any community not receptive to some projects risked losing such development in their domain.

Iworiso-Markson said the council frowned on the attitude of indigenes of some community who were always preventing the presence of meaningful development in their area because of their selfish purpose.