Sharad Pawar dismisses perception of his hand in Ajit’s decision

first_imgNationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Monday accused the BJP of “misusing the official machinery — from the Centre to the Governor of Maharashtra — to form a government by unconstitutional means”. He no doubt that the NCP, the Shiv Sena and the Congress would form a government, said Mr. Pawar in Karad.Mr. Pawar said the perception that he might have had a hand in his nephew Ajit Pawar’s rebellion and subsequent decision to align with the BJP was “meaningless”. He asserted that his party workers generally followed the line laid by him.“I have already said that this is not the party’s decision and we are not part of his decision. I take my party workers into confidence before making any decision and once we plot our course, my workers do not disrespect my decision… All our leaders, including Ajit Pawar, were present in all our internal meetings in which it was decided that we [the NCP, the Sena and the Congress] would jointly form a government. The decision that he took after that [to form a government with the BJP] was his personal one,” he said.“A person may have his opinion which he has the right to express in an internal party meeting. But the party’s decision is important and an individual can’t take such a decision,” he said. He had had no communication with his nephew since the latter’s rebellion.When asked whether Mr. Ajit Pawar would be expelled from the party because of his action, Mr. Sharad Pawar said the decision was not something for an individual to take. “This has to be decided collectively by the party when the matter comes up before it.” Mr. Sharad Pawar claimed he had no knowledge of whether senior NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal had met Mr. Ajit Pawar after the latter’s decision to ally with the BJP.On the question of the delay in forming a government by the NCP, the Sena and the Congress, Mr. Sharad Pawar said that while the Congress and the NCP were of the same ideology, the Sena’s was certainly different.“In this situation, a government can run for five years only if it has a clear common minimum programme [CMP]. Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s NDA government saw a socialist and a bitter RSS opponent like George Fernandes serving in it. But Vajpayee managed to bring together allies from different political hues and come up with a CMP. In our case, while the Sena’s stance differs from us in certain respects, our stand on certain issues may not be agreeable to them,” Mr. Pawar said, adding that it took time to iron out issues beforehand in order to ensure the formation of a stable government.The NCP chief further questioned the validity of Mr. Ajit Pawar’s claim of a faction of his party’s support to the BJP-led governmen. A way would be found out of the prevailing crisis and that he had seen several such crises during the 50-odd years of his political career, he said. “It’s a fact that the BJP do not have a majority and that is why they did not form a government initially. They had even written to the Governor that they do not have the majority and hence would not form a government. The question of who enjoys majority will be clear on the day of the floor test,” he said.Mr. Pawar was in Karad to pay tributes to Maharashtra’s first Chief Minister Yashwantrao Chavan on the latter’s death anniversary.last_img read more

Sylla brace props Global vs Kaya Makati

first_imgEvery 18 seconds someone is diagnosed with HIV “It’s Sylla’s third game for us and it’s our job to unlock his scoring chances,” said Global coach Marjo Allado. “It was good that he scored early. I hope he gets that habit of scoring in the league.”Despite missing Pika Minegishi, Global looked like it was cruising after scoring two goals in the first 16 minutes.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hosting BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast Tigresses lead BVR Ilocos leg champs BSP survey: PH banks see bright horizon amid dark global recession clouds Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast Cayetano dares Lacson, Drilon to take lie-detector test: Wala akong kinita sa SEA Games Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Palace: Duterte to hear out security execs on alleged China control of NGCP Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students PLAY LIST 01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR Global Cebu leaned on a brace from Sekou Sylla to overcome 10-man Kaya Makati, 3-1, Wednesday in the Philippines Football League at Rizal Memorial Stadium.Struggling in his first two outings, the Guinean striker scored in each half, after Dennis Villanueva opened the scoring in the fourth minute as Global raised its tally to seven points for second spot, behind Meralco Manila.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES View commentslast_img read more

IPL 2011: Pune in dire need of a win against Chennai

first_imgPune Warriors India would need to lift themselves up when they clash with Chennai Super Kings at their home venue, the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai, on Wednesday, less than 48 hours after being beaten by them at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.The Warriors, led by Yuvraj Singh, began their debut season on a high with back-to-back victories over Kings XI Punjab and Kochi Tuskers Kerala earlier this month, both at the DY Patil Stadium.But the defeat against Delhi Daredevils at home, despite scoring an imposing 187 for five started the Warriors’ slide and they lost successive ties to the Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium, and to the Super Kings.On a sluggish pitch, Warriors allowed the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led Super Kings to score 140-plus on Monday through less-than-perfect work on the field and their batsmen failed to get going in the run- chase.Two big defeats in the space of five days would be a dampener and the task in front of Warriors is to put the past behind and regroup as a winning combination in home conditions which suit their style of play.In fact, their home track has so far brought out the best in them as it helps the pacers get movement and allows batsmen like Yuvraj, Jesse Ryder and Robin Uthappa to play shots more freely because the ball comes on to the bat nicely.The return to the DY Patil Stadium could result in a call-up for Wayne Parnell at the cost of Nathan McCullum, who played in Chennai. With Jerome Taylor performing very well, the new ball bowling looks meatier, but the same cannot be said about the slow bowling as Murali Kartik has been below par.advertisementThe Super Kings, on the other hand, would be happy to get their title hunt firmly back on track.They have won all their three matches at home but are yet to win an away game.Michael Hussey’s form at the top of the order must be a very pleasing aspect for the team’s think tank and though Murali Vijay has not converted his starts to big scores, he has done his bit.But the indifferent form of key batsman Suresh Raina, who flopped in their last two games, must be a cause for some concern as he is an impact player for the defending champions with his flamboyant batting, outstanding fielding and effective bowling in this format.Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming said his team’s brilliant fielding performance made all the difference in Monday’s win and the side would look to replicate the effort in the coming matches as well.”We would look to replicate this standard of fielding in our coming matches.Today, we were desperate to win. This kind of fielding helps the bowler to be a bit more confident and gives the skipper much more confidence to dictate the game. We need to keep improving in that area. We were embarrassed with our fielding in the last game and we were desperate to make the difference,” Fleming said.The former New Zealand captain is reportedly the leading contender to replace Gary Kirsten as India coach, but he did not want to discuss the prospect.”I enjoy my relationship with all the Indian players and Dhoni is a special player I am involved with.He is a captain with free space. I have been working with Suresh Raina and others as well. Just about time that I do not want to be talked about as a potential Indian coach,” Fleming said.Yuvraj’s Warriors have lost three games in a row, including a defeat to Dhoni’s Super Kings in Chennai on Monday, and need to build momentum to keep their hopes alive- With inputs from PTIlast_img read more

AAP demands Goels resignation over land allotted to NGO

first_imgNew Delhi, Aug 18 (PTI) The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) today demanded Union minister Vijay Goels resignation over an allotment of a plot of land to an NGO associated with him and said a thorough investigation should be conducted into the matter.It also alleged that the claims made by the Union sports and youth affairs minister regarding his links with the Vaish Aggarwal Education Society (VAES), the NGO, were “false”.According to a report published in a national daily yesterday, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) “changed” the norms and layout plan of the plot, which was earlier “earmarked for a post office”.Goel had termed the allegations against him as “baseless”.He had said, “The (news) report claimed that I was the vice-president of VAES, but I had resigned from that post in 2013 itself. I am not even active in the day-to-day activities of VAES.”AAPs Delhi unit secretary Saurabh Bharadwaj said, “He (Goel) had claimed that he had no connection with the NGO, but his own website says he is the vice-president of the Vaish Aggarwal Education Society. His children are closely involved in the running of the organisation.”Senior AAP leader Ashutosh demanded Goels resignation and a thorough investigation into the matter. PTI PR RClast_img read more

WWE SummerSlam: Rousey wins RAW women’s championship, Reigns beats Lesnar

first_imgRonda Rousey and Roman Reigns finally brought an end to the Alexa Bliss and Brock Lesnar’s championship dominance on Sunday at SummerSlam.While Rousey dominated Bliss before making her tap out to win her maiden WWE women’s championship while Reigns ended Lesner’s 504-day reign as the WWE Universal Championship with a spear to cap off the night in Brooklyn.ROUSEY THRASHES BLISSRousey was a dominating force in the match and constantly mocked Bliss as she struggled to match up to Rousey’s strength. At one point, Rousey sat down in the middle of the ring and asked Bliss to attack her.Alexa obliged but Rousey had enough it seemed and she decided to end the match with her trademark armbar and lift her maiden belt in the WWE.Following the match, she was greeted by her close friend Natalya and the Bella Twins as they celebrated Rousey’s success.Also read – WWE SummerSlam: Why AJ Styles said sorry to his wife and daughterEXCLUSIVE: BEHOLD your NEW, ROWDY #RAW #WomensChampion, @RondaRousey!!! #SummerSlam #RondaRousey #AndNew pic.twitter.com/X01TPdNhMNWWE (@WWE) August 20, 2018This was Rousey’s second singles match on a pay-per-view and third overall after she signed with the WWE in January. Her first singles match took place at Money in the Bank against Nia Jax for the RAW women’s title. In that match, Bliss had attacked Rousey and then pinned Jax to win the RAW women’s title after cashing in her Money In The Bank contract.That kick started the Bliss-Rousey rivalry and since then Bliss has only tried to evade Rousey until Sunday, when she was dominated and ended up losing her title.advertisementREIGNS SLAYS THE BEASTEXCLUSIVE: There was no alternative for #RomanReigns. He HAD to win the #UniversalTitle at #SummerSlam! @WWERomanReigns pic.twitter.com/b78HT0H7PKWWE (@WWE) August 20, 2018Reigns finally walked the talk on Sunday at the Barclays Centre when he pinned Lesnar to finally win the Universal title after numerous failed attempts.The match had drama throughout as Braun Strowman appeared just before the match began and said that he will be standing there and before the night ends one of the two will “get these hands.”The match began with Reigns mille on Lesnar. The moment the bell rang, Reigns nailed three Superman Punches and then hit a spear. Reigns hit him with a third but Lesnar pulled him down this time and hit him with a guillotine choke.Lesnar then dominated the proceedings as fans got into the act and jeered Reigns. The Samoan then looked to hit another spear but Lesnar sidestepped and he jumped straight onto Strowman, who was standing outside the ring and watching on.Lesnar then got down and hit Strowman with a ‘F5’ and smiled back. Lesnar then put Reigns back into the ring and looked to go in but Strowman held onto his feet but he avoided a beatdown after hitting Strowman with the briefcase, before throwing his briefcase away as Reigns recovered inside the ring. Lesnar then slams Strowman with steel chairs a few times and returned to the ring with that in hand but Reigns hit Lesnar with a spear and pinned him straight to begin his reign as the Universal champion.Other results:Seth Rollins beat Dolph Ziggler (C) to win the Intercontinental championshipSamoa Joe beat AJ Styles (C) via DQ (Styles retains WWE championship)Charlotte Flair beat Carmella (C) and Becky Lynch to win the SmackDown women’s championshipShinsuke Nakamura (C) beat Jeff Hardy to retain US titleThe Miz beat Daniel Bryan”The Demon” Finn Balor beat “Constable” Baron Corbinlast_img read more

World Cup 2019: Can’t pick favourites for India-Australia clash, says Sunil Gavaskar

first_imgFormer India captain Sunil Gavaskar said it’s difficult to pick a winner for the big ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 clash between India and Australia on Sunday at The Oval in London.Gavaskar pointed out that Australia have rediscovered their “old combativeness” when they recovered from early jolts during their 15-run win over West Indies on June 6 in Nottingham. Australia were reeling at 79 for 5 after a rejuvenated bunch of West Indies pacers made inroads into their top-order but Steve Smith and Nathan-Coulter Nile helped them post 288.Speaking to India Today ahead of Sunday’s clash between India and Australia, Gavaskar said India will have to be switched on and make sure they seize crucial moments and put pressure on Aaron Finch’s men.India had arrived for their final practice session at The Oval on Saturday after they were forced to train indoors due to the wet weather on London on Friday.”It promises to be a great game. It’s even stevens. You can’t say anybody is favourites. If you look at the way the Australians came back against the West Indies, that shows their character. That shows their old combativeness is back. They are a strong side. It’s even stevens,” Sunil Gavaskar said.”There will be slight door openings at various stages in the match. That is where India need to push the door wide open and then shut it down.”I thought West Indies had that opportunity after their pacers had Australia in trouble. At that stage, if they had stuck with their regular bowlers, it could have been a different story.”advertisementHarbhajan, Gavaskar back India to trouble Australia with spinMeanwhile, Sunil Gavaskar said the Indian spinners will be key to the team’s success if the weather holds up in London on Sunday. The batting great pointed out that Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal’s proven ability to strike in the middle overs is key if India are to restrict the power-packed Australian batting unit.”I think on a pitch like this, India have two quality spinners to choke up the opposition in the middle overs. That’s what has brought them success in the recent past in ODI cricket. It’s not just the Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar factor at top, it’s the middle overs where the wickets are taken has been India’s secret to success. If you don’t get wickets in the middle overs, then the opposition can go bang, bang towards the end and make up for the slow start,” Gavaskar added.”Our spinners getting the wickets in the middle overs is what makes India different.”What happened when @imkuldeep18 turned presenter on Chahal TVThe duo speak about #TeamIndia’s dominant performance in their #CWC19 opener against South Africa – by @RajalArora @yuzi_chahalFull Video https://t.co/GzHq6OmXt8 pic.twitter.com/KnOsVgQTncBCCI (@BCCI) June 6, 2019World Cup-winning off-spinner Harbhajan Singh also stressed the importance of troubling Australia with spin, 25-30 overs of them on Sunday.”Those middle overs are going to be crucial. If we have more spin in our bowling line-up, that’s where the game will turn into India’s favour. 25-30 overs of spin. If Indian spinners bowl well in the middle overs, I don’t think Australia will be able to chase or post a big total,” Harbhajan told India Today.India are heading into the match after a convincing win over South Africa in their World Cup 2019 opener on Wednesday. Australia, on the other hand, have won two on two and are on a 10-match winning streak in ODIs.Also Read | World Cup 2019: Net bowler hospitalised after getting hit on head by Warner shotAlso Read | AB de Villiers chose money over country: Shoaib AkhtarAlso See:last_img read more

Responsible Gambling Week Highlights Education Awareness

first_imgNova Scotians will have an opportunity to learn more about responsible gambling through programs and events scheduled for Responsible Gambling Awareness Week, Sept. 28 to Oct. 4. “Educating and raising awareness about responsible gambling is an important part of our mandate,” said Bob MacKinnon, president and CEO of the Nova Scotia Provincial Lotteries and Casino Corporation. “The 13th annual Responsible Gambling Awareness Week is a good example of how we interact with Nova Scotians to help ensure a responsible gambling environment in our province.” Like 2013, this year’s campaign concept draws from a common human insight — putting your foot in your mouth. Everyone has experienced that moment where they wished they had stopped talking but didn’t, and said the wrong thing. The campaign uses these moments as a way to illustrate how to draw a line by knowing when to stop. The goal is to start the conversation by making the topic of responsible gambling more approachable and positive. Responsible gambling ambassadors will visit five communities to speak with Nova Scotians to deliver responsible gambling information, and give them an opportunity to complete an online responsible gambling quiz for a chance to win a prize. This year’s community visits are in Halifax, Sydney, Amherst, Yarmouth and Dartmouth. The Responsible Gambling Resource Centres at both Casino Nova Scotia locations will also host open houses Saturday, Oct. 4, from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. They will encourage players to learn about responsible gambling by speaking with centre staff and using interactive responsible gambling tools. Nova Scotia Provincial Lotteries and Casino Corporation is the Crown corporation that manages the gaming industry in Nova Scotia. For more information on Responsible Gambling Awareness Week or for responsible gambling tips, visit yourbestbet.ca .last_img read more

Bihar cabinet expansion Eight JDU leaders take oath as ministers in Nitish

first_imgBihar: Eight JDU leaders took oath as ministers in Nitish Kumar’s government as part of cabinet expansion Sunday. Those who took oath as ministers today include Ashok Choudhary, Shyam Rajak, L Prasad, Beema Bharti, Ram Sevak Singh, Sanjay Jha, Neeraj Kumar and Narendra Narayan Yadav. Ahead of the expansion, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had met Governor Lalji Tandon earlier in the day and handed over the names of leaders who would take oath as the council of ministers in the Bihar government. Also Read – Dussehra with a ‘green’ twist The JD(U) on Thursday decided to not be a part of Narendra Modi’s new cabinet, saying it would not accept the BJP’s offer of only one ministerial berth. “They (BJP) wanted only one person from JD(U) in the cabinet, so it would have been just symbolic participation. We informed them that we do not need it (Cabinet berth),” Kumar had said. The JD(U) chief, who later attended Modi’s swearing-in ceremony, said, “It is not a big issue. We are fully in the NDA and not upset at all. We are working together. There is no confusion.” In the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, JD(U) won 16 seats in Bihar, while BJP bagged 17.Despite being a part of the NDA, the party was also not part of the last central government. The BJP, however, is sharing power in the Bihar government with its leader Sushil Kumar Modi.(With inputs from DNA)last_img read more

Tgana Woman forest dept official assaulted TRS MLAs brother held

first_imgHyderabad: A Telangana woman forest department official was injured on Sunday when she was attacked by some people, allegedly led by the brother of a ruling TRS MLA, at a village in Komaram Bheem Asifabad district over a land issue.As a video footage of the attack on Forest Range Officer C Anitha went viral, police in a swift action arrested Koneru Krishna Rao, brother of Sirpur MLA Koneru Kannappa, and 13 others on attempt to murder and rioting charges among others. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity!In a related development, Deputy Superintendent of Police Kagaznagar Sambaih and Inspector Venkatesh were suspended for their negligence in duty in connection with the attack, a police release said Sunday night. Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) Working president K T Rama Rao condemned the attack and said no one was above the law even as opposition Congress and BJP slammed the K Chandrasekhar Rao government. Superintendent of Police Malla Reddy said Krishna Rao has been arrested and booked under various sections of the IPC. “We have registered cases against Krishna and arrested him. The presence of the leaders emboldened the villagers to attack,” Malla Reddy said. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killedThe police release said the accused have also been booked under IPC sections including those related to preventing public servant from discharging their duties. In a tweet, Rama Rao said: “I strongly condemn the atrocious behaviour of Koneru Krishna who attacked a forest officer who was doing her job. He has been arrested & a case booked already; no one is above law of the land.” A Forest department official said Anitha has been hospitalised. According to the official, Anitha had gone to Sarasala village with some officials to plant saplings as part of the government’s ‘Haritha Haram’ green initiative programme when some people, led by Krishna, attacked them with bamboo poles, claiming that the land belonged to them. The video footage showed Anitha climbing a tractor to escape and Krishna and other villagers attacking the vehicle. An unidentified man is then seeing hitting the woman official. Speaking to reporters at the hospital, Anitha alleged Krishna first hit her with a bamboo stick, followed by the others in the group. Telangana Principal Chief Conservator of Forest P K Jha said the land where the officials went belonged to the forest department and the MLA was also informed about it. He said the department would take up this issue seriously at a higher level. “It was forest land. I was given to understand that earlier there were some attempts to encroach it. That time our people got them vacated. It was totally under our control. There is no cultivation. His (MLAs) brother was there (during the attack),” Jha said. Kannappa could not be reached for his reactions.Krishna Rao was recently elected vice chairman of the Komaram Bheem Asifabad zilla parishad. The incident drew condemnation from Congress state president Uttam Kumar Reddy and the BJP. BJP spokesperson Krishna Sagar Rao claimed the attack showed failure of law and order in the state.last_img read more

IT dept attaches Ggn benami hotel linked to Kuldeep Bishnoi

first_imgNew Delhi: The Income Tax department on Tuesday attached Rs 150 crore-worth Gurugram’s Bristol Hotel in connection with a probe into the ‘benami’ transactions and properties of Haryana Congress leader Kuldeep Bishnoi, officials here said.The Benami Prohibition Unit (BPU) of the I-T department attached the 5-star hotel and said Bishnoi and his brother Chander Mohan had acquired a major stake in the property through a shell company registered in the British Virgin Islands. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c detailsThe I-T officials said Bristol Hotel was owned by one Bright Star Hotels, in which a front company registered in the BVI had acquired 34 percent stake. This front company was allegedly operated from the United Arab Emirates by people close to the Bishnoi family. In fact, one of the directors of Bright Star Hotels — the parent company of the attached hotel — is listed as Vikrant Bishnoi, a family member. The tax officials added that Bristol Hotel was attached under Section 24(3) of the Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act, 1988. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from ThursdaySources here added that the connection between Bishnoi and the Bristol Hotel surfaced during the recent I-T raids at locations related to the family. They said the July raids had revealed incriminating evidence about the ‘benami’ arrangement through which a large stake in the hotel was acquired. The investigators also maintained that the BVI entity, through which 34 percent stake in Bright Star Hotels was acquired, had shareholders who were “close confidantes” of the Bishnoi family.last_img read more

US cuts diplomatic staff in Cuba over injuries Canada not following suit

first_imgWASHINGTON – In a move that casts doubt on the state of a historic detente between two longtime rivals, the United States has ordered a sudden reduction in its diplomatic staff in Cuba, cutting the majority of its presence at the Havana embassy in the wake of bizarre injuries to employees.Announcing the move Friday, American officials linked it to 21 injuries from what they have begun describing as sonic ”attacks,” with symptoms including ear complaints, hearing loss, dizziness, headache, fatigue, cognitive problems and difficulty sleeping.It’s unclear what caused the problems and the FBI has been working with the Cuban government to determine who or what is responsible and whether the harm was intentional or the result of defective spying equipment.The U.S. is maintaining diplomatic ties with Cuba, re-established under former president Barack Obama. But in addition to withdrawing about 60 per cent of its diplomatic staff, it is also limiting visas for Cuban visitors. Remaining in the embassy will be the core staff necessary to handle emergencies.”The health, safety, and well-being of our embassy community is our greatest concern. We will continue to aggressively investigate these attacks until the matter is resolved,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said.”The decision to reduce our diplomatic presence in Havana was made to ensure the safety of our personnel. We maintain diplomatic relations with Cuba, and our work in Cuba continues to be guided by the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States.”Cuba has told us it will continue to investigate these attacks and we will continue to co-operate with them in this effort.”Canada is not following the Trump administration’s move.”We do not have any reason to believe Canadian tourists and other visitors could be affected,” said a statement from the Canadian government.”Canada currently has no plans to change its travel advice and advisory for Cuba or remove its staff from Cuba.”While several Canadian diplomats and their families also suffered injuries earlier this year, there have been no repeat incidents since the spring. The northern neighbour has long had normal diplomatic relations with Cuba, unlike the U.S. whose relationship was marked by decades of political estrangement, mass migration and ongoing economic sanctions that have opened a sliver in recent years.The historic move to reopen embassies in Havana and Washington came after lengthy, secret negotiations facilitated by the Vatican and the Canadian government. But the biggest U.S. critics of the Castro regime opposed the reopening.And some of them challenged Friday’s move as not severe enough.”Shameful,” tweeted Sen. Marco Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants. ”(The State Department) withdraws most staff from (the U.S. embassy) but Castro can keep as many as he wants in U.S.”last_img read more

Health minister Aglukkaq unveils another tool in battle against diabetes

first_imgAPTN National NewsIt’s hard to believe, but a survey of First Nations in Saskatchewan in 1937 did not find a single case of diabetes.Today, however, the numbers are staggering.Aboriginal people are up to five times more likely to get diabetes than the rest of the population.To mark world diabetes day, Canada’s minister of health has announced a new strategy to attack the epidemic.APTN National News reporter Donna Smith has this story.last_img

Alberta energy firms split on call for government imposed production cuts

first_imgCALGARY — Oilsands and refining giants Suncor Energy Inc. and Husky Energy Inc. are rejecting a call by rival Cenovus Energy Inc. for government-imposed production cuts to reduce an oversupply of oil in Alberta linked to steep price discounts.Suncor spokeswoman Sneh Seetal says the company has no exposure to the “differential” between Western Canadian Select bitumen-blend crude and New York-traded West Texas Intermediate and therefore shouldn’t have to reduce its production.She says the company’s position is that the market should operate freely and that Suncor should be allowed to benefit from the refineries and upgraders it has built and the pipeline space it has contracted that insulate it from local price discounts.Husky spokeswoman Kim Guttormson says her company also believes in a “market-based solution,” noting that intervention entails economic and trade risk for Canada.In a report, analyst Phil Skolnick of Eight Capital says the temporary cuts suggested by Cenovus and supported by some other producers of bitumen would work to clear clogged storage and quickly reduce price discounts on Alberta oil to the benefit of the province.But he adds that he expects discounts to moderate as companies voluntarily reduce output, crude-by-rail exports rise, U.S. refineries come back on line after fall maintenance shutdowns and the 80,000-barrel-per-day Sturgeon Refinery begins processing bitumen early next year.Skolnick estimates recent WCS-WTI heavy oil discounts, if held for a year, would equate to an Alberta royalty loss of about $4 billion, an oil industry-related Canadian federal income tax loss of about $13 billion and an annual U.S. federal income tax gain of about $12 billion from higher U.S. refining earnings. The Canadian Press Companies in this story: (TSX:SU, TSX:HSE, TSX:CVE)last_img read more

Moroccan student engineer wins Les Défricheurs Award in France

Rabat – In a competition organized on Monday by the French weekly news and political magazine Le Point, Salah Ghamizi, a Moroccan student engineer at the “Ecole des Mines de Nancy” in France, won the “les Défricheurs” award for his start-up “Waza Education.”The Moroccan student was able to convince the jury – composed of experts and journalists of Le Point – of the innovative nature of his start-up that aims to improve and create a bridge between businesses and universities.During the five minutes allotted to him to explain his start-up, the Moroccan engineer student quickly managed to sway the jury and the public of his innovative business plan. In an interview with Le Point, Salah Ghamizi, said, “My father is a researcher teacher in Morocco.”“At the end of his career, he has conducted a lot of paperwork instead of looking for funding and partners. And when I arrived in France for my engineering studies, I found that the problem was not just in Moroccan, but a problem with all universities,” he added.Given these facts, the Moroccan student said that he found himself obliged to find a way to link research and enterprises.Ghamizi had already made his name in inventions and creativity.In 2014, he invented the “HandSpeaker,” a translation device for sign language, which is composed of a pair of gloves and a mobile application that translates the sign language into speech. Using sensors positioned on the digital glove, HandSpeaker translates the signals into spoken words by sending signals to the smartphone, which analyzes the motion of the glove, and transcribes them into words and phrases by a voice box.The 23 year-old student previously won the National Award of “entrepreneurial,” “Startem” price and the Bank of France contest “Créactiv’Est,” before taking his project “Hand-speaker” to the “World Cup,” organized by Enactus, organized in 2014 in Beijing, with participants from 38 countries.Asked by Le Point if Steve Jobs is a model to follow, the Moroccan inventor responded negatively, stressing that Salman Khan the better example to follow. The educator Salman Khan is the founder of Khan Academy, which is a non-profit educational organization created in 2006 with the aim of providing a “free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere.” read more

Top UN human rights official in Nepal calls for political stalemate to

3 May 2010As a nationwide strike in Nepal enters a second day, the top United Nations human rights official in the South Asian country is calling on political leaders to neutralize what could be a potentially violent situation before it hinders the peace process. “It is increasingly clear that the current situation cannot hold,” said Richard Bennett, the Representative of the UN Human Rights Office in Nepal (OHCHR-Nepal).“Nepal’s political leadership on all sides needs to come together to find a peaceful solution to the current stalemate, and avoid an extended strike that will have a negative impact on the ability of all citizens to exercise their rights.”The extended strike or “bandh,” which started yesterday, comes amid stalled talks between the Nepalese Government and the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoists (UCPN-M).The two sides signed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2006, which ended a decade-long civil war that killed some 13,000 in Nepal. The country’s nearly 240-year-old monarchy was abolished two years later. The country now faces the challenge of writing a new constitution to replace the interim document currently in place, but that process and peace talks overall have reached a “difficult phase,” according to the UN Special Representative Karin Landgren.As they had previously announced, the Maoists staged largely peaceful May Day celebrations on Saturday. UN officials are concerned, however, that the situation will become increasingly unpredictable in coming days.In his statement today, Mr. Bennett noted the large number of children present at demonstrations, “some of them actively participating in enforcing the bandh.”He was also concerned about complaints by local residents about the impact of the bandh and the “practice of coercing business owners to make donations in support of the demonstrations.” read more

A pattern of instability emerging in Liberia UN relief official says

In a statement released in the capital Monrovia, the Special Humanitarian Coordinator for Liberia, Ross Mountain, said: “A pattern of instability, characterized by sporadic weapons fire, looting and human rights violations is emerging across the north-central Liberian counties of Bong, Lofa and Nimba.”Civilians fleeing violent clashes between government and rebel units in all three areas have created growing refugee problems, he said, including internally displaced persons and refugees who have fled into the Guinean town of Fassankoni.Mr. Mountain said that testimony collected from recently internally displaced persons by the United Nations indicates that acts of physical violence against civilians are continuing.”At a time when the United Nations and our non-governmental organization (NGO) partners have begun to make significant inroads in terms of access to civilians, it is disturbing that these pockets of insecurity remain,” he said. read more

German lost art register posts further pictures details of Munich haul

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email German ‘lost art’ register posts further pictures, details of Munich haul by The Associated Press Posted Nov 21, 2013 11:36 am MDT BERLIN – German authorities released more pictures and details Thursday of the massive trove of art that was discovered in a Munich apartment last year.Prosecutors gave the official “Lost Art” website permission to put a further 54 entries online, taking the total to 79. The new items include works by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch, French painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and German impressionist Max Liebermann.The pictures, possibly including some seized from Jewish owners during the Nazi regime, are among more than 1,400 artworks that German authorities found in the home of recluse collector Cornelius Gurlitt in early 2012. The 80-year-old is under investigation for tax offences, but prosecutors are also examining whether the paintings, prints and drawings he says he inherited from his father — who traded art for the Nazis — were “misappropriated.”German authorities have come under intense pressure to release as much information on the pictures as possible. Officials in Bavaria and Berlin had kept their investigation under wraps for almost two years until German magazine Focus revealed the case earlier this month.The head of the European Jewish Congress has urged Germany to consider lifting its 30-year statute of limitations that legal experts say could prevent the pictures from being handed back to their previous owners.“The concept that those benefiting from criminality should hide behind apparent principles of statutes of limitations and other convenient legal tools is unacceptable,” said Moshe Kantor. “Claims for ownership of recently discovered looted art not previously known to still be in existence should therefore not be time-barred.”Several heirs of Jewish collectors persecuted by the Nazis have already come forward to claim individual artworks in the Gurlitt collection.___Lost Art site: http://www.lostart.de/Webs/EN/Datenbank/KunstfundMuenchen.html read more

Writers lawsuit says Disney copied his plans for Zootopia

Writer’s lawsuit says Disney copied his plans for ‘Zootopia’ by The Associated Press Posted Mar 21, 2017 1:25 pm MDT Last Updated Mar 21, 2017 at 2:40 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email LOS ANGELES, Calif. – A screenwriter and producer sued Walt Disney Pictures on Tuesday claiming the studio copied his ideas to create the Oscar-winning animated film “Zootopia.”Gary L. Goldman, whose credits include work on film adaptations of “Total Recall,” ”Minority Report” and “Big Trouble in Little China,” filed the copyright infringement lawsuit Tuesday in a federal court in Los Angeles. His lawsuit states he pitched his “Zootopia” concept to Disney in 2000 and 2009 and there are substantial similarities between his project and last year’s animated blockbuster.Disney rejected the lawsuit’s claims in a statement. “Mr. Goldman’s lawsuit is riddled with patently false allegations. It is an unprincipled attempt to lay claim to a successful film he didn’t create, and we will vigorously defend against it in court.”The lawsuit states Goldman pitched Disney his “Zootopia” concept as a way to explore life in America through a civilized society of animals. Disney’s “Zootopia” explores prejudice through a bunny’s quest to become a respected police officer in a city where predator and prey co-exist side-by-side. The film won the best animated feature at last month’s Academy Awards.“About five years ago, almost six now, oh my god, we got this crazy idea to talk about humanity with talking animals in the hopes that when the film came out, it would make the world just a slightly better place,” said Byron Howard, one of the film’s directors during his acceptance speech at last month’s Oscars.The lawsuit includes drawings Goldman commissioned for his pitches to Disney. He contends the ideas of his project and the animated film, as well as the style of some of its characters, are substantially similar.“Both works explore whether the societies can live up to utopian ideals and judge and credit others fairly as individuals not as stereotypes, based on conceptions of merit not natural order, and the protagonists are challenged to strike a balance between the utopian and counter-utopian positions, optimism and pessimism, nature and individuality, and self-acceptance and self-improvement,” the lawsuit states.In Disney’s film, Ginnifer Goodwin plays the bunny character, Judy Hopps, who strikes up an alliance with a sly fox played by Jason Bateman to thwart a conspiracy that threatens peace in their metropolis. Goldman’s lawsuit states the two main protagonists of his pitch were a doe-eyed squirrel named Mimi and a hyena named Roscoe.The lawsuit does not state how much damages Goldman and his company, Esplanade Productions, are seeking. He is asking a federal judge to block Disney from future “Zootopia” projects until the case is resolved. read more

Barrett injured as Ohio State comes from behind to top Michigan 4228

Members of the OSU football team huddle before a game against Michigan on Nov. 29 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won, 42-28. Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorWith Ohio State holding just a seven-point lead in the fourth quarter against Michigan, a record crowd at Ohio Stadium fell nearly silent.Redshirt-freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett — thought by many to be a Heisman Trophy candidate — was down on the field with trainers huddled around him. Barrett wound up being carted off the field after sustaining what appeared to be a right leg injury.After the game, OSU released a statement saying Barrett’s injury is a fractured right ankle that will keep him on the sidelines for the rest of the season. The release said he is scheduled for surgery on Sunday.Senior tight end Jeff Heuerman said Barrett didn’t seem to realize the extent of the injury immediately following the play.“I know he didn’t because he was trying to get me to help him up, and I was like ‘dude, you can’t get up,’” Heuerman said after the game.Redshirt-sophomore quarterback Cardale Jones entered the game and came up short on a third-down run, but the Buckeye defense forced a punt on Michigan’s next possession.OSU found itself in a fourth-and-one at the Wolverines’ 44-yard line when sophomore running back Ezekiel Elliott found a hole to his left and went untouched for a touchdown, paving the way for the Buckeyes’ 42-28 win Saturday afternoon.Co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tom Herman said the win came with mixed emotions after the Buckeyes lost Barrett for the season. He initially replaced currently-injured senior quarterback Braxton Miller just 12 days before the opener when Miller tore the labrum in his throwing shoulder.“You’re really happy, really happy for this team,” Herman said after the game. “You’re happy for what we’ve accomplished in the regular season, you’re happy to beat our rival at home and get a third pair of gold pants. But at the same time, your heart goes out to J.T. because he’s — not only meant so much to this team, but this team has meant so much to him in his growth as a young man.”OSU (11-1, 8-0) topped the Wolverines (5-7, 3-5) for the third consecutive season and eliminated Michigan from bowl-game contention in front of 108,610 fans at the Horseshoe.Coach Urban Meyer said he was honored as he became the first Buckeye coach to beat Michigan in each of their first three seasons in Columbus since the 1930s.“We’ll take that as a coaching staff and team,” Meyer said after the game. “That’s a hell of an honor.”The win marked the Buckeyes’ third-straight undefeated run in Big Ten regular-season play.Barrett addressed the team after the game, and senior defensive lineman Michael Bennett said the signal caller stressed the importance of winning the game above his own health.“He said ‘it’s not about me, it was about winning this game,’” Bennett said. “I think that hit us a lot because you see all he’s done, he stepped in when Braxton went down. He’s been humble throughout the whole process.”After tying the game just before halftime, OSU took a 21-14 lead on the opening drive of the second half with Barrett’s second rushing touchdown in as many drives.Michigan responded with a touchdown of its own, set up by an 18-yard pass from redshirt-sophomore running back Drake Johnson to redshirt-senior quarterback Devin Gardner. But in a game of swings, the Buckeyes took the lead back minutes later with a two-yard touchdown run by Elliott.After Barrett’s injury and Jones failed third-down run, the Buckeye defense took a bend-but-don’t-break stance, forcing a Wolverine punt that bounced into the end zone for a touchback. Elliott’s touchdown run on the next drive extended OSU’s lead to 14 with 4:58 remaining.The Buckeyes scored again exactly a minute later when redshirt-freshman linebacker Darron Lee picked up a Gardner fumble and ran 33 yards for a touchdown.“When I scooped, I turned and I just ran,” Lee said of the play. “I didn’t even wanna look and see if anybody was around me to try and strip me.“I knew I was gonna get in the end zone, and it felt really good.”The fumble was forced by defensive lineman Joey Bosa as he sacked Gardner. Bennett called the play the “nail in the coffin” and Bosa said he’d been hoping for that chance throughout the day.“I was waiting for it all game,” Bosa said. “I had one that was called back and that just killed me. My other defensive lineman kept my head up and it just felt really good to get that play.”The late second-half surge for OSU came after an opening 30 minutes in which the Buckeyes were outgained, 203 yards to 176.Lee credited Bennett for the Buckeyes’ turnaround on defense in the second half after the co-captain spoke to the team during the third quarter.“It didn’t feel right, the way they were scoring,” Bennett said. “We expected them to do a bunch of screens and draws and all that stuff, but they just straight up ran the ball down our field and scored, and that’s not all right.”Gardner was intercepted by sophomore safety Vonn Bell on the second play of the game, setting the Buckeyes up in Wolverine territory.OSU’s ensuing drive was capped off by a touchdown pass from Barrett to redshirt-junior tight end Nick Vannett to put the team ahead 7-0. After two sacks by OSU forced a Michigan punt on its next drive, the Buckeyes stalled and momentum swung in the Wolverines’ favor.Gardner found sophomore tight end Jake Butt on a 12-yard touchdown to tie the game before a Michigan drive that lasted more than seven minutes put the visitors ahead with 7:34 to play in the first half.OSU punted on its next possession, but a holding penalty and a sack by senior defensive lineman Michael Bennett forced Michigan into a third-and-29 and an eventual punt. The Buckeyes took over with 2:15 to play before the break.Barrett capped OSU’s drive with a 25-yard touchdown scamper to tie the game at 14 going into the half.Meyer said he considered running out the clock going into halftime, but changed his mind and it paid off for the Buckeyes.“(Former college football coach) Lou Holtz always said the last five minutes of the first half, first five minutes of the second half, that’s where all the momentum is,” Meyer said. “And we went into the locker room with a lot of momentum.”Before leaving the game, Barrett had 176 passing yards and another 89 on the ground. Elliott ran for 121 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries while senior wide receiver Devin Smith led OSU with 52 receiving yards on one catch.Barrett’s touchdown pass to Vannett was his 43rd total touchdown of the season, giving him sole possession of the Big Ten record. Through 12 games as the starter, Barrett has accounted for 45 touchdowns.Jones finished the game two for three on pass attempts for seven yards and had two carries for another 18 yards. Herman said the replacement quarterback did well as he finished out the game, apart from one missed throw.“Great, mentally. He missed the one pass to (redshirt-sophomore wide receiver Michael Thomas), but mentally he was very in tune,” Herman said. “He keeps a headset on the entire game, so he’s in tune to everything we’re talking about.”Lee finished the game with nine tackles, one sack and two tackles for loss to go with his touchdown return as the Buckeye defense totaled five sacks and 10 tackles for loss.Gardner finished the day with 233 passing yards and two touchdowns with one interception. Johnson ran for 74 yards and two scores for the Wolverines while junior wide receiver Devin Funchess had 108 yards receiving on seven receptions.The win came after OSU honored 24 seniors before the game on Senior Day, but one senior — defensive lineman Kosta Karageorge — was not part of the festivities.Karageorge was reported missing on Thursday and was last seen around 2 a.m. on Wednesday. Bennett said he’s hoping for Karageorge’s safety, and added he hopes the former OSU wrestler had a chance to watch the Buckeyes come out victorious in The Game.“Hopefully he was somewhere watching this game, we got this one for him,” Bennett said.The Buckeyes — who clinched the Big Ten East Division crown with a win over Indiana last weekend — are set to play in the Big Ten Championship game on Dec. 6 in Indianapolis. OSU will take Wisconsin at 8 p.m. in Lucas Oil Stadium. read more

Solid Resources confident in Spain and its mining potential

first_imgRecord-high jobless figures in Spain this week have led to speculation of more stimulus from central banks. The developments in Spain will be weathered with confidence by Solid Resources, a Canadian company with several assets in the Iberian country. “The government of Spain have a healthy view of wanting to ‘dig their way out of a recession’ through their support of mining,” says Greg Pendura, CEO and president of Solid Resources. “The recession battered economy is immersed in a double-dip recession after failing to recover convincingly from the collapse of a decade-long property boom in 2008, an economic disaster that has sent the unemployment rate soaring to a record 27%.”                                   Among Solid Resources assets in Spain is the 1,030 ha Cehegín iron ore property, located in the province of Murcia, in the southeast. The other is Alberta-1, a mining exploration project located in the region of Galicia in northwest Spain. The property consists of 3,690 ha in a north-south direction, hosting numerous pegmatite dykes (type of rock that hosts rare metals). Alberta-1 contains significant commercial tonnage of rare metal pegmatite hosting tin, tantalum and lithium.“You won’t find a country with longer and richer mining history than Spain,” Pendura says. “Digging up rocks has been a staple of the southern Spanish territory for the past 5,000 years, and its mineral wealth attracted the Phoenicians, Romans and many others over the centuries. This is the place that gave birth to mining giant Rio Tinto, and its namesake copper mine may be the oldest in the world.”Solid Resources has been in Spain since 2000. The company’s management had the foresight in the early 2000s to understand the importance of tantalum in the near future with the onset of new electrical technologies coming on stream. The Alberta-1 concession, which was a former producing tin mine has shown to contain vast amounts of this rare metal. Beginning in 2003, Solid has undertaken four drill programs (2003, 2005, 2011 and 2012) to prove out commercial values of tantalum, tin and lithium on Alberta-1.“The latest drill program is on time and below budget,” Pendura says. “We are excited about entering the final phase of the project and working towards the implementation of a commercially viable mining operation once this permit has been obtained.”With economical average grades of 800 ppm of tin, 110 ppm of tantalum and 0.5% lithium, Solid Resources is anticipating making its submission to the Spanish Mining Authority by the end of May 2013.The Cehegín iron ore property is comprised of 62 separate concessions, formally owned by the Spanish iron works company Altos Hornos de Vizcaya. The property produced a premium grade of iron ore (over 65% Fe) up until 1989. Three of those concessions (Maria, Colossus and Soledad) could be moved into production in 18 to 24 months. “There is excellent infrastructure already in place – the deep sea Port of Cartagena is 100 km away, connected by rail and an excellent toll-free highway, hydro and water on site,” explains Pendura.Solid Resources is busy analysing the vast amount of historical geological and production data on the property. The company intends to make this historical data compliant with the standards of the NI 43-101 to allow these three concessions to commence production.The possibility of increased stimulus to boost the Spanish economy should not pose any concern to potential investors, he adds.“Spain is a mine friendly jurisdiction,” says Pendura. “You have a very strong and stable government; you have probably the best infrastructure in the world; you have a huge and talented workforce right there, and you’ve got better than average taxation rates of 30%. Spain, with one of the worst fiscal problems is embracing mining.” Solid Resources received maximum subsidies on their Alberta-1 tin and tantalum exploration of 20% for both 2011 and 2012.“The local governments and mining authorities of for region of Galicia and Murcia where each of the tin, tantalum and iron ore projects are based are very supportive to expedite each project into production,” Pendura says.Solid Resources is one of numerous foreign companies that have taken the plunge into exploration in Spain, and rediscovered the benefits of working in a stable environment with plenty of first-world benefits.“In essence, it’s the anti-Congo,” explains Pendura. “Spain is considered Ground Zero for the European mining revival, where dozens of companies have active projects. It should come as no surprise the Iberian Peninsula is attracting the most interest. It still holds great mineral potential after thousands of years of mining.last_img read more