West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee gives ‘Oust BJP’ call

first_imgTrinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee on Friday gave ‘Oust BJP from India’ call and said Bengal would stand by all political parties which would fight the saffron one.Asserting that the BJP has “failed on all fronts,” including on having good relations with foreign countries, Ms. Banerjee announced that her party will launch the ‘Oust BJP’ programme from August 9.“We will oust BJP from India. It is our challenge. The Centre is trying to browbeat us with Sarada, Narada cases but we are not afraid of it. None of us is guilty. We will not bow our heads,” she told a massive rally in Kolkata.Ms. Banerjee said 18 opposition parties had come together and supported joint candidate Meira Kumar in the just-concluded presidential election.“This platform will expand in future to defeat BJP which thinks that it will have a cakewalk in the 2019 Lok Sabha poll. Things will not be that easy (for BJP),” she said.Expressing her party’s support to those who will fight the BJP, she said “Bengal will stand beside Sonia Gandhi, Lalu Prasad, Nitish Kumar, Arvind Kejriwal and all those who will oppose BJP.” “India’s relations with foreign countries have deteriorated under the BJP-led government at the Centre,” she alleged adding, “Why can’t it improve relations with Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh which have borders with Bengal?” She also accused the Centre of unleashing central agencies like CBI and ED against those who had opposed demonetisation and GST roll-out in haste.last_img read more

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Rewards in hockey and cricket can never be equal

first_imgThe furore over Hockey India handing out cheques of Rs 25,000 each to members of the men’s team which won the Asian Champions Trophy may seem well justified, but the reality is quite different. At a time when hockey is making news for the wrong reasons at home, with the Champions Trophy being shifted to Auckland, it was heartening to note the performance from the Indian team in Ordos, China.Yet, what followed was really ugly, as Hockey India came in for flak from all quarters, with sports minister Ajay Maken also ready to loosen the purse strings. While I am happy that the sports ministry is now promptly disbursing rewards, it is also being smart in making the Greater Noida Formula One hosts – JP Sports – pay Rs 10 crore to the National Sports Development Fund.It is well known that in India, barring cricket and golf, in almost every other sport, people play with the ambition of winning laurels for the country.Money is a secondary concern. Had the Indian team lost to Pakistan in the final last Sunday, there would have been outrage.My point is, why should people target Hockey India for being able to raise just Rs 25,000 each per player? People are making comparisons between cricket and hockey, and that makes no sense at all.But the bigger issue is why did the Indian players use the media to tell Hockey India they were not going to accept the paltry sum? Captain Rajpal Singh ought to have been smart and he could have quietly gone and returned the cheques.advertisementNo, but this is the age of sensationalising news. From the players to those in the business of providing news, this was a chance to belt the federation black and blue. And Mr Maken also did not waste the opportunity to criticise the federation.When any young player picks up a hockey stick in India, he rarely thinks of making money. It is pride in the heart and winning laurels which comes to his or her mind.For each budding star like Rupinder Pal Singh (our new penalty corner expert) to goalkeeper P Sreejesh, there is a success story.Who would have imagined that Kerala, where hockey is hardly a popular sport, would produce a good goalkeeper? As for Rupinder, he is not a face whom everyone would recognise.Back to hockey-versus-cricket, and let’s look at some hard facts.If you take the Indian cricket team, on an average if it plays 12 Tests a year and 40 ODIs, the players will be on television for 100 days a year.Whether they win or lose, people are bound to see them, so even if a Parthiv Patel has been away for years and comes back, you will recognise him.Then again, such is the format of cricket that in an ODI match lasting a total of 100 overs, there will be at least 98 minutes of advertisements. In hockey, the whole match lasts a few minutes over 70, including extra time and tie- breaker. It leaves little room for commercial exploitation by way of ad breaks.To compare these two sports makes no sense, more so with hockey hardly seen on television. So if people think hockey can be ‘sold’ like cricket, then they are talking bunkum.As the national game, hockey still remains close to our hearts.But in the absence of a proper domestic tournament structure, we don’t get to see the players often enough.Unless there are sufficient tournaments and there is adequate TV coverage of matches plus visibility on news channels, hockey cannot come anywhere close to cricket in popularity.While all this may seem very difficult, steps have to be taken to make this possible, since it’s not just the common man who may find it difficult to recognise Rupinder Pal on the streets, but even our TV anchors, who pontificate and say heads must roll! At a time when Indian cricket has hit the nadir, some people feel Formula One is getting all the sponsorship deals at home.Again, this is not true, as those who want to be associated with a unique sport like F1 have some kind of a business connect.Marketing hockey is very difficult and things can get worse if the team fails to qualify for the London Olympics.However, I still maintain that for the thousands who still play hockey in villages and small towns, it is passion and wanting to do it for India which is the real ambition.I sincerely hope the Indian hockey players never again appear to be an Oliver Twist or treat the federation boss like a Fagin. The problem actually lies in the Indian sporting system. What say, Mr Maken?advertisements.kannan@mailtoday.inlast_img read more

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SPORT-OLY-MEDALS

first_imgRio de Janeiro, Aug 22 (PTI) Final 2016 Olympics medals Rio de Janeiro, Aug 22 (PTI) Final 2016 Olympics medals table. Country G S B Total United States 46 37 38 121 Great Britain 27 23 17 67 China 26 18 26 70 Russia 19 18 19 56 Germany 17 10 15 42 Japan 12 8 21 41 France 10 18 14 42 South Korea 9 3 9 21 Italy 8 12 8 28 Australia 8 11 10 29 Netherlands 8 7 4 19 Hungary 8 3 4 15 Brazil 7 6 6 19 Spain 7 4 6 17 Kenya 6 6 1 13 Jamaica 6 3 2 11 Croatia 5 3 2 10 Cuba 5 2 4 11 New Zealand 4 9 5 18 Canada 4 3 15 22 Uzbekistan 4 2 7 13 Kazakhstan 3 5 9 17 Colombia 3 2 3 8 Switzerland 3 2 2 7 Iran 3 1 4 8 Greece 3 1 2 6 Argentina 3 1 0 4 Denmark 2 6 7 15 Sweden 2 6 3 11 South Africa 2 6 2 10 Ukraine 2 5 4 11 Serbia 2 4 2 8 Poland 2 3 6 11 North Korea 2 3 2 7 Belgium 2 2 2 6 Thailand 2 2 2 6 Slovakia 2 2 0 4 Georgia 2 1 4 7 Azerbaijan 1 7 10 18 Belarus 1 4 4 9 Turkey 1 3 4 8 Armenia 1 3 0 4 Czech Republic 1 2 7 10 Ethiopia 1 2 5 8 Slovenia 1 2 1 4. (MORE) PTI CM CMlast_img read more

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Hardik laughed at me for conceding 50-plus runs in Brisbane: Krunal Pandya

first_imgKrunal Pandya became the third most expensive Indian bowler in a Twenty20 International when he conceded 55 runs without picking a wicket in the first T20 against Australia in Brisbane last week.However, Krunal produced a better performance in the second T20 before his match-winning show in the third T20 that helped India level the series against Australia.Krunal set a new record in the third and final match against Australia on Sunday as he registered the best bowling figures by an Indian in the format on Australian soil.Pandya picked up a four-wicket haul and gave away just 36 runs from his four overs to help India restrict Australia to 164 for 6. India then chased down the target with 6 wickets in hand.Also read – Took me a while to back myself after going for 55 runs in Brisbane: Krunal PandyaHis younger brother Hardik, who is recovering from a back injury, was not picked in the side for T20Is and the Test series Down Under.In Hardik’s absence, Krunal is making the most of the opportunities in the national side.It’s a known fact that the two share a great chemistry and also never miss a chance whenever there’s an opportunity for a banter.READ – Sydney T20I: Krunal Pandya records best T20I bowling figures by a spinner in Australia”Hardik I don’t talk about cricket too much. We did talk, but he was laughing at me for conceding 50-plus runs (in Brisbane). I also joke when he plays badly, so that’s our thing,” Krunal wrote on his Instagram account.advertisementKrunal made his India debut during the T20 series against the Windies at home earlier this month.Krunal and Hardik became the first pair of brothers since Irfan and Yusuf Pathan to represent India in T20Is.He matched a unique record set by Hardik. Krunal bowled a wicket-maiden in his second over and that is exactly what Hardik did against Australia on his T20I debut in Adelaide back in 2016.The 27-year-old returned figures of 1/15 from his four overs and scored 21 off 9 balls in a tricky chase to guide India home in the first T20I against the Windies.Also watch –last_img read more

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Report: Zenit 3 Celtic 0 (3-1 agg)

first_imgZenit 3 Celtic 0 (3-1 agg): Ivanovic inspires second-leg turnaround Rob Lancaster Last updated 1 year ago 03:59 2/23/18 Zenit-Celtic_cropped Mark Runnacles/Getty Images Defender Branislav Ivanovic celebrated his 34th birthday with the opening goal as Zenit knocked Celtic out of Europe. Branislav Ivanovic was the key as Zenit overturned a first-leg deficit against Celtic for a 3-0 victory that sent them into the last 16 of the Europa League.Having missed the 1-0 defeat in Scotland a week ago, birthday boy Ivanovic proved the unlikely inspiration for Zenit’s impressive turnaround at a raucous Krestovsky Stadium.The veteran defender celebrated turning 34 by scoring the opening goal in the seventh minute, powering in a header from a corner to make it 1-1 on aggregate, before setting up Zenit’s third in the second half. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player A 25-yard shot from Daler Kuzyaev somehow slipped beyond Dorus De Vries to double the Russian side’s lead before the half-hour mark, leaving Brendan Rodgers’ team in need of an away goal to keep their European campaign alive.However, Aleksandr Kokorin bundled in Ivanovic’s low cross just after the hour to make sure Roberto Mancini would triumph in the battle between the two former Premier League managers.12 – Celtic haven’t kept a clean sheet in any of their last 12 away games in the Europa League, with their last one coming back in November 2009 (0-0 at Hamburg). Porous.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 22, 2018Rodgers kept faith with the same XI that started the first leg in Glasgow, hardly a surprise after he branded their performance at Celtic Park as “brilliant” in the immediate aftermath. Yet their narrow advantage – given to them by Callum McGregor’s 78th-minute strike in the first leg – did not last long. After Leandro Paredes’ curling shot was turned around the post by De Vries, Ivanovic lost his marker at the resulting corner to head his side on level terms.While De Vries had little chance with the opener, he would have expected to do better with Kuzyaev’s strike that put Zenit in charge of the tie in the 27th minute.The midfielder’s attempt carried plenty of power but seemed to be heading straight at Celtic’s experienced goalkeeper, who failed to set his feet in time as the ball flashed through his outstretched arms and into the middle of the net.The shot-shy visitors, in contrast, failed to bother Andrey Lunev at the other end of the field, despite dominating possession against opponents happy to work on the counter.Rodgers reacted to such a tepid opening 45 minutes by sending on Tom Rogic in place of Eboue Kouassi. The substitute wasted no time in trying his luck from distance, though his speculative attempt drifted comfortably over the bar as Celtic struggled in attack.The tie was put beyond them when Kokorin’s run caught out Mikael Lustig, allowing the alert forward to convert Ivanovic’s teasing centre from the right at the back post.With a lead to protect and the clock on their side, Zenit comfortably held firm through to the final whistle to secure a place in Friday’s draw for the next round. Celtic, in contrast, will now focus on domestic matters, as they aim to complete the domestic treble for a second successive season.F/T – Zenit 3-0 Celtic. Goals from Ivanovic, Kuzyaev and Kokorin send us through to the last 16 of the @EuropaLeague and the Scots crashing out 3-1 on aggregate. #ZENCEL #UEL pic.twitter.com/yhQl6fAZRa— FC Zenit in English (@fczenit_en) February 22, 2018Key Opta stats:- Zenit advanced from a European tie after losing the first leg for the first time since 2010-11, when they beat Young Boys 4-3 on aggregate in this competition.- This was Celtic’s heaviest defeat in the Europa League/UEFA Cup since October 1991, when they lost 5-1 away at Neuchatel Xamax in the last 32.- Celtic have not kept a clean sheet in any of their last 12 away games in the Europa League, with their last one coming back in November 2009 (0-0 at Hamburg).- Branislav Ivanovic has scored three goals in the Europa League this term. No defender has netted more than him in the competition. read morelast_img read more

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Jim Harbaugh’s Getting Crushed For His Comments On Recruiting

first_img “Harbaugh, who has made plenty of enemies south of the Mason-Dixon line since taking over at Michigan, has poked the cages of SEC coaches repeatedly and in the book, speaks to the disparity in spending by simply telling Bacon, “(It’s) hard to beat the cheaters.”It’s unclear what exactly Harbaugh means by “cheaters,” but it’s probably not too difficult to imagine. Michigan’s head coach is probably implying that certain programs in the SEC are paying players or offering impermissible benefits.SEC fans aren’t too happy with Michigan’s head coach now.His program is 6th in recruiting spending according to the article. Only two SEC programs higher that UM on the list. Don’t get where the ‘cheating’ comes from— Justin (@EaglePoint34) August 22, 2019How does this explain letting Ohio State beat him up every year?— Parrish Walton (@ParrishWalton) August 22, 2019Losers make excuses. Winners find a way.— BigOrangePruitt (@BigOrangePruitt) August 22, 2019It’s hard to beat the cheaters with a crappy QB and sh*tty play calling too.— Dave Filipi (@DFilipi1) August 21, 2019This segment was hilarious.With the “Mercedes loaner program “ he is directly naming Alabama.Directly talking about TN and Bama raising their cost of living, which by the way, 100% legal.Harbaugh is such a pansy. Can’t compete, go back to coaching in NFL, oh wait…..— 🤙🏻 (@rabdaawg) August 21, 2019The book, “Overtime: Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan Wolverines at the Crossroads of College Football,” is expected to be released in early September.Michigan opens its season on Aug. 31 against Middle Tennessee.It’s a huge year for Harbaugh, as the Wolverines enter the year with College Football Playoff expectations, ranked inside the top 10. A closeup of Jim Harbaugh wearing a Michigan hat and jacket.PISCATAWAY, NJ – NOVEMBER 10: Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines coaches against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights during the third quarter at HighPoint.com Stadium on November 10, 2018 in Piscataway, New Jersey. Michigan won 42-7. (Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images)Michigan head football coach Jim Harbaugh is facing some criticism on social media for his latest comments about college football recruiting.Harbaugh said it’s “hard” to beat the “cheaters” on the college football recruiting trail in a new book set to be released.The Wolverines’ head coach spoke about the unfair advantages that certain programs down South have in comparison to his Ann Arbor school.Harbaugh told the book’s author, John U. Bacon, it’s tough to beat the cheaters.last_img read more

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45 Persons Receive Prime Minister’s Youth Awards

first_imgForty five outstanding young persons were recognised on March 24 at the Prime Minister’s Youth Awards for Excellence, an initiative which highlights the achievements of young Jamaicans between 15 and 24 years of age.The event, organised by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), a department of the Ministry of Youth and Culture, was held at Emancipation Park in Kingston, under the theme, ‘Youth on a Mission…Project 2062’. In her address, Prime Minister the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller said she was extremely proud of the nominees and awardees for their invaluable contributions locally and internationally.“You have imagined a life of achievement, a life of excellence and you have refused to accept mediocrity; you have refused to believe that obstacles were in the way that you could not fulfill your dreams, you have refused to place limits on yourself,” she said.The Prime Minister urged the young people to continue to display optimism and encouraged them not to be daunted by the criticisms.“I ask you that no matter your circumstances at birth, you are achievers and you can achieve greatness,” she added.The Prime Minister said the awards were presented because of the hard work of the recipients and urged them to continue in this pattern.“Jamaica cannot maximize its potential for greatness and achieve what we need in the next 50 years without hard sustained work. You must try to build a quality society, a society that is characterised by excellence,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said.Responding on behalf of the nominees and awardees, Basillia Barnaby, the Journalism award winner for 2012, thanked the Prime Minister for the prestigious awards and for championing the cause of the poor, the disabled and vulnerable groups. “We applaud you, Mrs. Simpson Miller for your efforts, your contribution and most importantly your passion and your love. Through your humanity, your humility, your empathy and your care, you have become more than our Prime Minister, you are the symbol of the mother of the nation,” she said.Miss Barnaby, who currently works at LOVE 101FM, said the Prime Minister’s recognition of the talent and contribution of young Jamaicans to nation building and her statement of encouragement and commitment to her cause, represents a significant gesture, “which I and all the nominees will continue to be so grateful.”Recipients of the awards were chosen from nominations for 2011 and 2012. For 2012, a total of 20 young persons received awards, while for 2011, 25 were awarded.Youth in Service Award winner, 18 year-old Jordon Bennett, who is the founder of a non-profit organisation known as Feeding of the 5,000, told JIS News that he was elated to be a recipient of the award.“It’s unbelievable. It is the best feeling that I could have. My heart was pounding before they called my name and even after,” he said.Jordon’s programme aims to feed 5,000 destitute Jamaicans by 2013. He started the project in April 2012, when he and his team of volunteers distributed hundreds of lunches, utilizing five cars to transport them to various locations. He said a concert will be held on July13, 2013 to raise funds for the programme.Also excited about getting an award in the field of Arts and Culture was young Michael Dane Lewis, who has excelled in visual art, theatre and culinary art.His future plans include completing a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mass Communication at the University of Technology (UTech) or the University of the West Indies (UWI) and becoming one of Jamaica’s leaders in the areas of news and business.By E. Hartman Reckord, JIS Reporterlast_img read more

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Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi says arena talks with Flames arent dead

first_imgCALGARY – Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi says the city remains at the negotiating table for a new NHL arena even though the Flames have declared they’ve pulled out of talks.The NHL team is frustrated with “spectacularly unproductive” negotiations, according to team president Ken King.“We remain ready to negotiate in good faith,” the mayor countered Wednesday.“Council understands the importance of the Flames to this city, council understands the importance of having the Flames downtown.“We worked very hard to come up with a deal that makes sense in this economy without impacting people’s taxes that nonetheless participates in both the risk and the upside.”The initial $890-million CalgaryNext project the Flames pitched two years ago included an arena, football stadium and field house built on the west side of downtown.The Flames’ owners offered $200 million of their money and proposed a $250-million loan be repaid through a ticket surcharge, with the city covering the rest.Council disagreed with the CalgaryNext price tag saying the project would cost approximately $1.8 billion when cleanup of creosote-soaked soil was included.CalgaryNext moved to the back burner when council showed more enthusiasm for building an arena closer to the 34-year-old Scotiabank Saddledome in a planned arts and entertainment district on the downtown east side.Councillors voted Wednesday to allow Nenshi to release financial details on the “Victoria Park” option, which the mayor said he would do soon.The Globe and Mail reported Wednesday the city offered to pay a third of the cost, but that money had to be paid back.“I can tell you that what has been reported — the one-third, one-third, one-third deal — as the basis, but there’s a lot more to it than that,” Nenshi said.“I can tell you the city has a very fair offer on the table. One I think many Calgarians, most Calgarians will see as eminently reasonable. There is another offer on the table that most Calgarians will see as eminently unreasonable.”King said the Flames’ contribution to the Victoria Park option was “substantial.”“You know the kind of commitment we were prepared to make to the west village, the kind of ratio that was,” he said Tuesday.“It wouldn’t come as any surprise to anybody to understand it might be a similar ratio on this side.”While King denied making the arena an election issue, the timing of the team’s bombshell seems designed to turn up on the heat on the mayor and councillors ahead of the Oct. 16 civic election.“If you’re trying to influence the general public, I think putting that on the table right in the midst of the election ultimately can achieve better results from their perspective,” said Coun. Andre Chabot, who is one of nine candidates running for mayor.Nenshi, who seeks a third term, has at times downplayed the economic benefit of a new arena, which created tension between the NHL team and the mayor.The trigger for the Flames’ withdrawal seemed to be Nenshi speaking to media earlier this week about how an arena fits into his vision of revitalizing an area known as the East Village.King said after he talked with Nenshi’s chief of staff Monday, the Flames owners met with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman to inform him they were pulling the plug on talks.“The mayor’s campaign seemed to kick off with a vision for Victoria Park,” King said.“I wanted to really understand if in fact his announcement of the vision and what they deem to be a fair deal was maybe the signal they were prepared to do our deal. It was made very clear to me that they were not.”The Flames players report for physical testing Thursday. King said the team is not leaving Calgary any time soon despite no firm agreement on a new building.Former federal cabinet minister Jason Kenney, who is running for the leadership of the province’s United Conservative party, urged both sides to continue talking.“I would, like most Calgarians, encourage both sides to sit down and discuss this in good faith,” Kenney said.“None of us want to jeopardize the presence of an NHL team here because two can’t sit down and have a grown-up conversation in good faith.”———Canadian Press reporter Bill Graveland contributed to this story.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version had an incorrect figure for council’s projected cost of CalgaryNext project and had the incorrect date for the upcoming civic election.last_img read more

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Mom of Indigenous man shot dead by police What did he do

first_imgTORONTO – The grieving mother of a young Indigenous man killed by police in northern Ontario spoke out Thursday, saying the family remains in shock and still doesn’t understand why her son died.In a statement from the remote community of Fort Albany, Ont., Micheline Knapaysweet said the family needs answers about the death of her son, Joey Knapaysweet.“What did he do that was so bad that he had to be shot and killed?” Micheline Knapaysweet said. “I am so heartbroken, with so many questions unanswered.”Police in Timmins, Ont., shot 21-year-old Joey Knapaysweet on Feb. 3, in an as-yet unexplained incident that raised racial tensions in the city and sparked anger from the Indigenous community.The province’s police watchdog, the Special Investigations Unit, is looking into the incident and has said officers responded mid-morning to a health-care building and a man fled.“There was an interaction between the man and officers, and one of the officers discharged a firearm,” the unit said in a statement. “The man was struck. He was taken to hospital where he was later pronounced dead.”His death prompted scores of people to attend a vigil — among them Timmins Mayor Steve Black — and denunciation from Indigenous leaders.Joey Knapaysweet was from the James Bay community of Fort Albany — more than an hour’s flight from Timmins. He had gone to Timmins to “seek help in dreams for betterment of his life,” according to his mother’s statement.His mother also released two photographs, including the last one of them together just before he left home.“I cannot sleep at nights, I need answers,” she said. “This is my son, my child.”The family asked for privacy, saying they were not yet ready to speak directly to the media.Black, who urged calm after what he said was a rare shooting, has acknowledged that relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in the city took a hit.Knapaysweet died the same weekend as Agnes Sutherland, an ailing 62-year-old also from Fort Albany, who had been in police custody after an incident at a shelter. The Special Investigations Unit is looking into her death as well.The deaths, along with the acquittal last week of white farmer Gerald Stanley in Saskatchewan in the 2016 killing of a young Cree man, Coulten Boushie, have cast a harsh spotlight in recent weeks on attitudes toward Indigenous people.The Stanley verdict sparked protests across the country along with condemnation from the federal justice minister, with critics calling the justice system biased against Indigenous people.last_img read more

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Veteran Liberal Dominic LeBlanc recovering from cancer will seek reelection

first_imgMONCTON, N.B. — Veteran New Brunswick Liberal MP Dominic LeBlanc, recovering from cancer, says he will be a candidate in the next federal election in his riding of Beausejour.LeBlanc stepped away from his duties as federal minister of intergovernmental and northern affairs in April after being diagnosed with a form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a type of blood cancer.In a video posted online today, LeBlanc thanks all those who supported him during the past two months, saying his treatments are going well and he is looking forward to seeing his constituents during the campaign.The 51-year-old LeBlanc, one of the party’s best-known figures in Atlantic Canada, has lost all of his hair because of treatments.It’s the second time LeBlanc, who has represented the eastern New Brunswick riding since 2000, has been struck by blood cancer. He was diagnosed in April 2017 with chronic lymphocytic leukemia and was declared in complete remission last October.LeBlanc is the son of Romeo LeBlanc, who was a Member of Parliament for many years before becoming a Senator and, in 1995, Governor General of Canada.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Govt. Promises to Expedite Al Hoceima Development Projects

Rabat – The Head of Government and the president of Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima region have announced that they will meet the demands of the ongoing Rif protests by expediting socio-economic development projects in the region.Government head Saad Eddine El Othmani met with regional president Ilyas El Omari and parliamentary representatives of the region to discuss the demonstrations in the city of Al Hoceima and the surrounding areas.“We agreed on implementing and speeding up the realization of regional development projects to meet the demands of the population of the region,” El Othmani told the press following the meeting. El Othmani, who stated that the meeting aimed to establish a dialogue with local representatives, affirmed that the projects will be completed in due time.The Head of Government explained that Al Hoceima is a now priority because there is an “emergency” in the region. He promised that similar meetings with regional elected officials and MPs of other regions will be held in the future to create further cohesion between the executive branch and regional representatives.El Omari stressed on the need to work hand-in-hand to implement what was agreed upon to meet the social and economic demands of citizens in Al Hoceima.“Some projects have been launched. Others will be launched [soon]. We need everybody to be involved, especially the citizens of Al Hoceima,” he said.The Al Hoceima native official said the delay in the realization of the MAD 6.5 billion development program Al Hoceima Manarat Al Moutawsit was discussed during the meeting, adding that the government promised to complete the projects by 2019. read more

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PAFFREL urges IGP to ensure LG polls are free and fair

The IGP was also urged to investigate reports of processions being staged by some political parties when nominations were handed over, violating election laws.The IGP was also urged to investigate if any of the candidates contesting the elections in February have a criminal background. (Colombo Gazette) People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) today urged Inspector General of Police (IGP) Pujith Jayasundara to take steps to ensure the Local Government (LG) elections is free and fair.PAFFREL met the IGP at the Police Headquarters today and had talks with regards to the election. read more

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Meager gains leave US indexes at new records Boeing slump holds back

by The Associated Press Posted Jul 12, 2013 4:18 pm MDT Meager gains leave US indexes at new records; Boeing slump holds back the Dow; Banks gain AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email A last-minute turnaround is leaving the stock market with small gains for the day — enough to leave major U.S. indexes at new all-time highs.The Dow Jones industrial average eked out a gain of three points, just 0.02 per cent, to close at 15,464 Friday.The Dow was in the red for most of the afternoon because of a sharp drop in Boeing following a fire in a 787 Dreamliner parked in London.The Standard & Poor’s 500 rose five points, or 0.3 per cent, to 1,680.The Dow and S&P also closed at record highs Thursday.The Nasdaq rose 21, or 0.6 per cent, to 3,600.UPS sank 6 per cent after cutting its earnings forecast as customers chose cheaper shipping options.Banks rose after Wells Fargo and JPMorgan beat earnings forecasts. read more

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New Brunswick unveils new natural gas royalty plan to chagrin of critics

FREDERICTON – New Brunswick has released a new royalty plan for natural gas that the province’s energy minister says will encourage exploration and give the province a greater share of profits.But industry opponents say they fear the government is forging ahead without listening to their concerns, particularly over shale gas development.Craig Leonard said it was necessary to come up with a new royalty regime.“We needed to get the regime in place so industry could see what it would be costing for the resource in New Brunswick so they can base their investment decisions on that,” Leonard said in an interview Monday.Under the new plan, companies will pay a four per cent royalty based on the wellhead cost until a company pays off its capital costs and starts making a profit. At that point, the royalty jumps to 25 per cent of the well’s profits.Leonard said the previous royalty structure, whereby the province received up to 10 per cent of the costs of a wellhead, was not good enough for the industry or the government.“This new model corrects that by providing an upfront royalty rate at the early stages that is relatively low and competitive with other jurisdictions, but when the project hits its stride, the profits will share quite extensively,” he said.“We have to strike a balance between encouraging investment and making sure that New Brunswickers receive the most possible from our resources.”Terry Wishart of the Fredericton chapter of the Council of Canadians said the release of the royalty regime is discouraging.“Obviously it is a sign they are intending to move forward,” Wishart said.“That’s not going to be a reality for them because we plan to stop the industry from taking root here.”He said the government needs to take a lesson from Newfoundland, where the government announced Monday it is imposing a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The process involves injecting water and chemicals into a well to fracture layers of shale rock to release trapped pockets of natural gas.But Wishart says his group wants an outright ban on shale gas development because of environmental concerns.Wishart and other opponents plan to demonstrate in Fredericton on Tuesday as a new session of the provincial legislature opens.Leonard said the province will now begin work on a revenue-sharing formula to determine how much of the 25 per cent royalty fee will go to landowners and First Nations.A spokesman for Leonard said the new royalty plan is expected to take effect in the next few months. by Kevin Bissett, The Canadian Press Posted Nov 4, 2013 11:25 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email New Brunswick unveils new natural gas royalty plan to chagrin of critics read more

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Somalia worst harvest since 2011 with more than 2 million expected to

Delayed rains during what is known as the “Gu” peak season for crop growing (April-June), and parched river beds, have produced harvest levels up to 70 percent below average in some parts, according FAO’s Food Security and Nutrition Analysis United (FSNAU) latest data report, with severe hunger looming for more than 2 million people in desperate need.“In the absence of humanitarian assistance, up to 2.1 million people across Somalia face severe hunger through December,” the UN warned, citing the 2019 Post-Gu report’s conclusion that this would bring the total number of Somalis expected to be food insecure, to 6.3 million by year’s end.Erratic climate and widespread vulnerabilityThe problem goes back to 2018, when poor October-December rains preceded a harsh dry season early this year. Unpredictable rainfall, followed by drought conditions during April and early May resulted in significant crop and livestock production shortfalls for July, which account for about 60 percent of Somalia’s total cereal output, according to FAO’s most recent country analysis.These “climatic shocks” the UN said, “coupled with widespread poverty and vulnerability, are key drivers that have trapped millions of Somalis in severe hunger and malnutrition.”Around 2.2 million people are estimated to be severely food insecure, falling under phases 3 and 4 of the five-scale Integrated Phase Classification (IPC). Phase 3 denotes “crisis” situations with high or above-usual acute malnutrition, and phase 4 indicates “emergency” levels of acute malnutrition, and high death rates.The figure is more than 40 percent higher than food insecure population estimates by FAO from just the beginning of this year, with an estimated 2.6 million people internally displaced, and living in makeshift settlements outside urban areas, facing hunger. “If interventions are not scaled up,” the UN stated, “one million children are projected to be acutely malnourished over the next year, including 180,000 who are likely to be severely malnourished.”Though climatic shocks exacerbate needs, they “do not have to lead to large-scale catastrophe”, said Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management for the Government of Somalia, Hamza Said Hamza.“We must continue to work collectively to strengthen the capacity of Somalia to withstand these climatic shocks and identify durable solutions.”Heavy rains forecasted, but response plan needs beefing-upRainfall predictions indicate 45 to 55 percent probability of above average precipitation for the next “Deyr” cropping season, from October to December, the UN reported; meaning a wetter season which “will be crucial to avoid a deterioration of the food security situation in Somalia.”The Humanitarian community and Somali Government jointly launched a Drought Response Plan (DIRP) to cover June through December 2019, however the $487 million in funding received so far meets less than half of the requirement.The nation’s acting Humanitarian Coordinator, George Conway, urging additional resources and a more collective response from donors, saying that“humanitarian partners stand ready to respond, by they cannot do so without sufficient resources. read more

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A 14Team NFL Playoff Wouldnt Bring More Parity

New York Giants President John Mara said Tuesday that the NFL would probably not expand its postseason field from 12 to 14 teams for the 2014 season. But make no mistake, expansion is coming sooner or later. The television ratings for playoff matchups — even for early rounds — are so monstrous that it makes sense from a revenue-maximizing perspective to add postseason games.But how about from a football perspective? ESPN’s Stats & Information correctly points out that, even with 14 playoff qualifiers, only 43.7 percent of NFL teams would earn postseason berths, which is still lower than the 53.3 percent qualification rates in the NBA and NHL. Then again, both of those sports play best-of-seven series to determine who advances to the next round; the NFL’s postseason is a single-elimination tournament. (And, 2013 excepted, the NFL playoffs are trending toward less predictable outcomes as it is.)Even in a 12-team playoff format, the best team in football fails to win the Super Bowl far more often than not. But would a 14-team bracket add another layer of randomness? Using the power of Monte Carlo simulation and the theoretical distribution of true talent in the NFL, we can estimate how often a team of a given ranking in “true talent” wins the Super Bowl under both the 12-team format and the proposed 14-team arrangement. For both formats, I assigned each team a true-talent rating at random (from a normal distribution with a mean winning percentage of .500 and a standard deviation of .146) and simulated the 2013 NFL schedule 10,000 times, recording how often a team of a given talent ranking won the Super Bowl. Here are the results:As it turns out, a 14-team playoff format wouldn’t change much for the favorites’ chances of a Super Bowl victory. The No. 2 seed in each conference would be forced to play an extra game (rather than receiving a bye during the wild-card round), but that doesn’t move the needle a lot — mainly because the No. 1 seeds still get byes into the divisional round.What would really shake things up, though, would be a move to a 16-team bracket, which would give the NFL a playoff participation rate closer to the NBA and NHL (although the NFL would still be lower). If we run the same simulation process above but plug teams into a 16-team playoff format, the following probabilities emerge:Forcing the top seed in each conference to play an extra game would drastically shift the Super Bowl odds for the NFL’s three most talented teams, redistributing much of their current probabilistic advantage across the rest of the league. The move to a 16-team playoff would be a much bigger change than from 12 teams to 14.The remaining question is whether that’s a bad thing. A 16-team playoff would increase the role of chance in the NFL’s postseason — an element which has already been on the rise in recent seasons. The NFL’s landmark popularity over the past decade suggests that such parity has moved the league closer to the optimal mix of determinism and randomness. (By contrast, a system designed to turn the NFL playoffs into a science experiment always yielding the most deserving champion would be tedious and unpopular.) But it’s not clear whether there are diminishing returns to the NFL’s parity formula. read more

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Shrinking Himalayan glaciers have been granted status of living entities

first_img Apr 8th 2017, 11:04 AM Short URL By AFP 8,954 Views Saturday 8 Apr 2017, 11:04 AM http://jrnl.ie/3327059 Image: Shutterstock/Johannes Asslaber Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Image: Shutterstock/Johannes Asslaber 14 Comments AN INDIAN COURT has recognised Himalayan glaciers, lakes and forests as “legal persons” in an effort to curb environmental destruction, weeks after it granted similar status to the country’s two most sacred rivers.In a decision that aims to widen environmental protections in the mountainous region, the court granted the legal standing to glaciers Gangotri and Yamunotri that feed India’s venerated Ganga and Yamuna rivers, which won the status in a landmark judgement in March.“The rights of these entities shall be equivalent to the rights of human beings and any injury or harm caused to these bodies shall be treated as injury or harm caused to human beings,” the highest court in Himalayan state of Uttarakhand said in its ruling last week.It said Yamunotri glacier, which is the source for Yamuna river was shrinking at an alarming rate.Gangotri, which feeds the river Ganga and is one of the largest glaciers in the Himalayas, is also “receding fast”, the court said.“In over 25 years, it has retreated more than 850 metres (2,800 feet),” a two-judge bench of justices Rajeev Sharma and Alok Singh said.The court also extended the status of “living entity” to swathes of the Himalayan environment, including waterfalls, meadows, lakes and forests.On 20 March, the same court ordered that both Ganges and Yamuna rivers should be given “living entity” status to conserve them, in a decision cautiously welcomed by activists who expressed hope that it would signify more than just a symbolic gesture.Both rivers are considered holy by millions of Hindus, who ritualistically bathe, drink and scatter the ashes of their dead in the water.The rivers which criss-cross most of the country before flowing into the sea have witnessed massive pollution near human habitations mainly due to dumping of untreated sewage and industrial waste.The court argued the unusual step was necessary because the hallowed rivers upon which Hindu rites are conducted were “losing their very existence”.New Zealand earlier last month recognised its third-largest river, ancestral and spiritual waters for its Maori people, as a living entity.Successive governments in India have attempted with limited success to clean up the Ganges, which snakes 2,500 kilometres (1,553 miles) across northern India from the Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal.© – AFP, 2017Read: How toxic water ruined a ‘paradise’ lakeRead: ‘National guidance’ on solar farms needed after Ireland’s biggest project is rejected Shrinking Himalayan glaciers have been granted status of ‘living entities’ An Indian court made the decision because the glaciers were “losing their very existence”. Share5 Tweet Email last_img read more

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Heat wave is waving goodbye

first_imgAfter Friday, the third consecutive day of mid-90-degree heat, today should feel like a relief with a predicted high of 83.Get used to it, says a meteorologist.“It will be the last day of 90-degree heat for a while,” said Dave Elson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Portland, on Friday. “Over the next few days, marine air will cool things down a bit and temperatures will top out in the low to mid-80s.”But Clark County still had to endure another sizzling day. The thermometer peaked at 95 degrees just before 4 p.m. Friday at Vancouver’s Pearson Field, according to the National Weather Service. This came after 95-degree and 97-degree scorchers Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.Officials had feared smog levels would rise as the heat wave wore on and continued a smog alert through Friday for the Vancouver-Portland area. But the levels of ground-level ozone remained moderate in the afternoon, thanks in part to a steady breeze circulating the region.“We think we are OK,” said Paul Mairose, chief engineer for the Southwest Clean Air Agency. “We are not going to see an exceedance.”The call volume for emergency officials also didn’t seem to spike Friday. Vancouver firefighter-spokesman Jim Flaherty said he didn’t know of any emergency calls relating to heat-related illnesses, though that’s not to say they weren’t out there.last_img read more

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Lighting the way to the holidays in Vancouver

first_imgLaura Hixson of St. Mary’s Services attaches holiday lights to a tree Friday at Esther Short Park in downtown Vancouver. It takes a crew of four an entire day to string more than 20,000 lights in preparation for the community tree-lighting, which will take place at 6 p.m. Friday. (Psst: Santa will be there!) As part of the Downtown Holidazzle, there will be a variety of activities and entertainment during the afternoon and evening. From 3 to 7 p.m., there will be train rides around the park, and Vancouver Farmers Market vendors will sell their goods. The Dixieland Jazz Band will play at the Vancouver Hilton at 3 p.m., the Vancouver Community Concert Band will perform at 4 p.m., and the Vancouver Pops Orchestra will perform at 6:20 p.m. Just before the tree-lighting, at 5:30 p.m., Vancouver high school choirs will sing in the park.last_img read more

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Battle Ground garage fire stopped before it could spread

first_imgFirefighters in Battle Ground stopped a garage fire before it could spread to the rest of the house, according to Clark County Fire & Rescue.The fire was reported about 7 p.m. Saturday at 1705 N.W. Fourth Ave. in Battle Ground. Units arriving at the scene saw smoke coming from the eaves and fire in the garage.CCF&R Battalion Chief Tim Dawdy said crews quickly cut through a garage door to gain access and extinguished the blaze.There was no fire, water or smoke damage in the house itself, he said.The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Crews from Clark County Fire & Rescue, Fire District 3 and the Vancouver Fire Department responded.The house is owned by John Davidson, according to county property records.last_img read more

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