Reconnecting leaders with the grassroots

first_imgA campaign launched by the Rajasthan Pradesh Congress to strengthen its presence at the polling booths ahead of the State Assembly elections due in December this year has attracted the party workers in large numbers as well as the local populace in the remote areas. The Congress has refuted the charge that it is a “gimmick” to display power.The ‘Mera Booth, Mera Gaurav’ (my booth, my pride) campaign has been devised to prompt the Congress workers to take pride in the party’s most fundamental unit and reinforce the organisational value of unity in its rank and file. Pradesh Congress president Sachin Pilot has addressed a large number of booth-level programmes in several towns and villages across the State. Mr. Pilot led a massive rally of party workers here on Monday to protest against the alleged misuse of government machinery and money by the ruling BJP during a dialogue meet held by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Jaipur on July 7. Mr. Pilot said the BJP, which had wasted the hard-earned money of taxpayers to gather the crowds of so-called beneficiaries of government’s schemes, had betrayed the public mandate.The campaign at the booths, on the other hand, is claimed to be an innovative way to motivate the party workers and strengthen the party at its core. “This is an innovation like no other. With other parties painting the picture of workers mobilising to strengthen the party leaders, we in the Congress have mobilised our party leaders to strengthen the core workers,” Pradesh Congress vice-president Archana Sharma said here.Besides Mr. Pilot, AICC general secretary Avinash Pande, former Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and AICC secretaries Vivek Bansal, Devendra Yadav, Qazi Nizamuddin and Tarun Kumar have attended the booth-level outreach programmes during the last one and a half months.‘Not a gimmick’ Ms. Sharma refuted the BJP’s allegation that the Congress’ campaign was a gimmick to display power and said it was nurturing the very roots of the organisation. “As a united front, we believe that a healthy organisation gives a healthy regime,” she said, adding that the party had reached out to more than 7,00,000 people across the State.During the programmes, the Congress leaders have highlighted the BJP government’s alleged failures and the previous Congress regime’s achievements through one-to-one contacts, street plays and pamphlets.BJP accuses Cong. Newly-appointed State BJP president Madan Lal Saini has accused the Congress of imitating the ruling party’s ‘Mera Booth, Sabse Mazboot’ (my booth, the strongest) campaign running for four years. At some places, the Congress workers and leaders were reportedly involved in scuffles because of ‘local politics’.After the completion of the campaign, Congress president Rahul Gandhi is likely to address a rally in the State next month to give a fillip to the party’s preparations for the Assembly polls.last_img read more

Gujarat land Bills cleared by President

first_imgPresident Ram Nath Kovind has given assent to two land amendment Bills in Gujarat that proposes to allot surplus agriculture land, meant for landless farmers, to industries and civic bodies.The two bills are the Gujarat Agricultural Lands Ceiling (Amendment) Bill 2015 and the Gujarat Agricultural Lands Ceiling (Amendment) Bill, 2017.Gujarat Congress had opposed the legislations, alleging that surplus agriculture land acquired during land reform days in 1960s that are meant for landless and marginal farmers will be handed over to industrialists.The Bill first introduced in 2015 under the then BJP chief minister Anandiben Patel was returned by the Centre twice, on grounds that it deviated from the original 1960 Act and would affect agricultural production. In its replym the Gujarat government had told the Centre that surplus land will be allotted to industries only in return for land somewhere else, thereby not affecting the land bank. According to the Agricultural Land Ceiling Act, 1960 there is a cap on holding agricultural land and the Act empowers the State government to acquire surplus land and allot it to landless farmers.”The State assembly had unanimously passed amendments to the Bill, but it was pending with the Centre for over two years. After the necessary changes were made by the State government in the legislation, it was sent to the President for assent,” said a senior home ministry official.Gujarat government had told the Centre that some of the acquired surplus land was not viable for farming. It also said that the civic bodies will be asked to use the land to construct schools or other public amenities.last_img read more

Indian Premier League 2016, Match 16, Rising Pune Supergiants vs Royal Challengers Bangalore: As It Happened

first_imgStar batsmen A.B. de Villiers and Virat Kohli smashed quick-fire half-centuries followed by a disciplined bowling effort which guided Royal Challengers Bangalore to a comfortable 13-run victory over Rising Pune Supergiants in an Indian Premier League (IPL) contest in Pune on Friday. (Scorecard)Highlights:Quotes!Virat Kohli: “That was closer than we thought at one stage. Good to cross the line though. We have been playing good cricket. We are the only team to win it twice after batting first but I would like to win the toss next time. With the power Perera has, you can never relax. On good wickets and with a bit of dew, these guys can take the game away in a couple of overs. It was a lesson for us. Watson showed a lot of composure and showed us the way. It was good to stay calm and not change too many things. Davey (de Villiers) told me to stay calm. When a guy is hitting well, you have to hit your area, and hope he misses and you hit. We spoke about 175-180 and ended up getting 5 extra. I wasn’t happy with my batting. Later, I accelerated my game. Great partnership with AB again. Such a world class player. Gave me the confidence to play the anchor role and made me feel better so that I could explode in the end.” Shane Watson: “I was a bit here and there tonight, but for Virat and AB to do their thing tonight was incredible. Some of the shots AB is playing at the moment is breathtaking. I’m happy to sit down and watch it at the moment. We knew if we bowl well, we can get home. It got a little bit tight in the end, especially when Thisara Perera was going. I was glad to get him out, otherwise the game could have been over.” advertisementMS Dhoni: “We lost three wickets for nothing. Faf got out, then KP got injured, and Steven Smith got run-out. It was a par-plus score. With three batsmen back in, I thought it was difficult to achieve. But I’m happy with the way we came close. Pietersen’s injury can be a blessing in disguise. We’re playing with six bowlers, yet our death bowling isn’t great. Maybe we can look to bring in Albie Morkel or Mitch Marsh in the next game. With the kind of players we’ve got, it has always been difficult to drop someone. We need to strengthen our bowling line a bit. I feel overall with less pressure and a few more games, M Ashwin will get better. Not really fussed with these results. I personally feel, we have to improve in all three departments. We have to admit there are a few slow fielders in the team, but as long as they are safe fielders and take their catches, I can’t ask for more.” Pune Innings:23.44 IST: Kane Richardson took 2 wickets and gave away just 7 runs in the final over of the match. 23.38 IST: Match Over!! Kane Richardson’s bowls a brilliant final over as Royal Challengers Bangalore (185/3) beat Rising Pune Supergiants (172/8) by 13 runs. RPS slump to their third successive defeat in IPL 2016. 23.32 IST: What an Over!!! Shane Watson’s penultimate over might just win the game for RCB, he gets 2 wickets for just 4 runs. Pune 165/6, need 21 runs off the last over to win the match. 23.29 IST: Big Wicket for RCB!!!! Shane Watson delivers at the right time for Bangalore getting the wicket of Thisara Perera, who departs after a quickfire 34 off 13 balls.  23.25 IST: SIX!!! Thisara Perera smashes 25 runs off Harshal Patel’s over to keep the home team in the hunt. Pune 161/4 after 18 overs, need 25 from 12 balls. 23.14 IST: That’s Out!!! MS Dhoni goes for a big shot but holes out to a superb catch from AB de Villiers at long-off. Pune 121/4 after 16 overs, need 65 from 24 balls. 23.12 IST: Meanwhile, Chris Gayle can’t wait to get back to the IPL action 23.06 IST: STUMPED!!! Required rate pressure gets to Ajinkya Rahane (60 off 46 balls) as he comes down the track looking for a big shot but misses the ball completely and KL Rahul does the rest. Tabraiz Shamsi gets his maiden IPL wicket. Pune 115/3 after 15 overs, need 71 from 30 balls.22.56 IST: Strategic Time Out!! Pune 94/2 after 13 overs, need another 92 runs from 42 balls at 13.14 runs per over. Rahane 58*, Dhoni 27*. Current partnership: 76 runs from 63 balls.22.49 IST: FIFTY!!! Ajinkya Rahane gets to his half-century in 37 balls. Pune 86/2 after 12 overs, need 100 runs from 48 balls.  22.45 IST: Meanwhile a fan has posted this on RCB’s twitter page. advertisementVery well said ! 484 runs in 4 games ! The only reason I watch IPL @imVkohli @ABdeVilliers17 @RCBTweets @IPL Mohamed Abuzaid (@abuzaid_abuzaid) April 22, 201622.41 IST: At the half way stage Pune are 73/2 with another 113 runs to go in 60 balls. Ajinkya Rahane batting on 43 from 31 balls, while Dhoni has made 21 off 22 balls. Required run rate has gone well over 11 now. 22.32 IST: Supergiants finally bring up their fifty in the eighth over. Pune 53/2 after 8 overs. Required run rate has jumped to 11.08. 22.22 IST: Strategic Time Out!! Early wickets along with an injury to Kevin Pietersen has completely stemmed the run flow. Pune 36/2 after 6 overs of the powerplay. Required run rate has climbed up to 10.71. 22.10 IST: MS Dhoni has decided to take control of the situation by promoting himself in the batting order. Pune 23/2 after 4 overs.22.05 IST: Run Out!!! Virat Kohli adds more misery on Pune as he runs out Steve Smith with a brilliant effort on the field. Pune 18/2 after 2.3 overs. 22.00 IST: More problems for Pune!! Kevin Pietersen is forced to leave the field after facing just one ball. Seems like he hurt his calf muscle as he was going for a single. Pune 12/1 after 2 overs. 21.56 IST: WICKET!!! Faf du Plessis fails with the bat as he hands an easy catch to Harshal Patel at mid-off. Pune 12/1 after 1.4 overs. 21.53 IST: Stuart Binny gets smacked in the first over. Pune 11/0 after 1 over. 21.50 IST: Rahane and Du Plessis are already out in the middle and taking guard. Stuart Binny will open the attack for Bangalore. 21.46 IST:  186 runs to defend. We’re sure all of you have your eyes on @shamsi90, tonight’s debutant! #RPSvRCB #PlayBold Royal Challengers (@RCBTweets) April 22, 2016 21.36 IST: Virat Kohli: “Well, the pitch was good to begin with. New ball bowlers were getting the swing. They probably didn’t hit the right areas. Wickets with new ball will be the key. The old ball was not quite bouncing. So, change of pace and squeezing the batsman for boundaries will be the key. Playing the anchor is how I play my game. Rahul, up the order, and ABD can bat around me. I’m not happy with the way I batted today. I thought I could have used 10 balls lesser. M Ashwin has variations, so we wanted to have the upper hand against him. ABD kept cheering me, he said my role was as important as his. If we bowl smartly, we can defend it.” Kohli is also the orange cap holder now.21.30 IST: Innings break!!! A 155-run stand between Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers powers Bangalore to 185/3 in 20 overs. De Villiers top-scored with 83 off 46 balls, while Kohli made 80 from 63 balls. Thisara Perera (3/34) was the pick of the bowlers for Pune. 21.26 IST: That’s Out!!! Thisara Perera provides a double blow as AB de Villiers top-edges a slower ball and gets caught by Ankit Sharma. De Villiers departs for 83 from 46 balls. 21.25 IST: WICKET!!! Virat Kohli departs after yet another fantastic innings for his side. He scored a quickfire 80 from 63 balls.advertisement21.17 IST: SIX!!! Virat Kohli smacks Thisara Perera for a big six. Bangalore 157/1 after 18 overs. 21.04 IST: DROPPED!!!! Ankit Sharma puts down an easy catch. Virat Kohli tried to slog sweep R Ashwin but only managed a top-edge which Ankit dropped at long-off. Bangalore 137/1 after 16 overs. 21.03 IST: This is the third century stand between Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers this season. 21.00 IST: Fifty for the skipper!!! Virat Kohli brings up yet another half-century this season. Current partnership: 101 off 69 balls. AB de Villiers batting on 68 from 34 balls. Bangalore 128/1 after 15 overs. 20.57 IST: Murugan Ashwin is having a torrid time on the field as de Villiers is taking him to the cleaners. He has conceded 29 runs in his 2 overs so far. Bangalore 122/1 after 14 overs. 20.51 IST: Hundred up for RCB!! Kohli and de Villiers are going great scoring at more than 8 runs per over. Bangalore 106/1 after 12 overs.20.43 IST: Fifty Partnership!!! Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers have brought up their third half-century stand in this tournament. Bangalore 79/1 at the half-way stage. 20.38 IST: SIX!!! AB de Villiers ends the ninth over with slog sweep which goes over the ropes. Bangalore 69/1 after 9 overs.20.35 IST: Dhoni has brought Ravichandran Ashwin into the attack now. Bangalore 57/1 after 8 overs. 20.30 IST: Average first innings score at the Maharashtra Cricket Association stadium in Pune is 151 20.27 IST: At the end of the powerplay, Bangalore are 48/1 after 6 overs. Virat Kohli 27* (3×4, 1×6), AB de Villiers 12* (2×4) 20.17 IST: WICKET!!! KL Rahul top-edges a delivery from Thisara Perera straight to Ishant Sharma at third man. Bangalore 27/1 after 3.4 overs. 20.13 IST: Virat smashes Ishant for a six and a four to get his innings off to a quick start. Bangalore 22/0 after 3 overs. 20.05 IST: Virat and Rahul take 9 runs from the first over. Bangalore 9/0 after 1 over.  19.58 IST: Virat Kohli and KL Rahul are all set for the big clash. Ishant Sharma starts off the proceedings for Pune.19.40 IST: Playing XIsRising Pune Supergiants: Ajinkya Rahane, Faf du Plessis, Kevin Pietersen, Steven Smith, MS Dhoni, Thisara Perera, Rajat Bhatia, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ankit Sharma, Ishant Sharma, Murugan AshwinRoyal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli, Lokesh Rahul, Mandeep Singh, AB de Villiers, Shane Watson, Sarfaraz Khan, Stuart Binny, Harshal Patel, Kane Richardson, Iqbal Abdulla, Tabraiz Shamsi 19.35 IST: Team Changes – Pune have brought back Rajat Bhatia and left out Irfan Pathan. While mystery spinner Tabraiz Shamsi will make his debut for RCB. 19.30 IST: TOSS!!! MS Dhoni wins the toss, Pune Supergiants will bowl first against Royal Challengers Bangalore. 19.15 IST: RCB boys leave for the stadium in Pune .@klrahul11, @AdamMilne19 & @ABdeVilliers17 get on the bus and the boys are off to the stadium! #RPSvRCB #PlayBold Royal Challengers (@RCBTweets) April 22, 2016 Preview:Rising Pune Supergiants and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will aim to return to winning ways when they meet in an Indian Premier League (IPL) clash at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium here on Friday. (Full IPL Coverage)Both teams started off in promising fashion by winning their respective opening matches, but lost their way thereafter with back to back defeats. A win on Friday will be crucial in getting their campaign back on track.Both teams are on one point each after identical records of one win and two defeats. But Pune are at the fifth spot on the points table, a rung above Bangalore, due to a better run rate.Pune are struggling to get going in both batting and bowling departments. They have star-studded batting line-up which includes the likes of Ajinkya Rahane, Kevin Pietersen, Steven Smith and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni. But with the exception of Faf du Plesis, none of the big names have lived up to their reputation so far.The Pune bowlers have not done too well either. The pace bowling department saw a couple of changes in their last match against Kings XI Punjab with Thissara Perera and Irfan Pathan replacing Mitchell Marsh and R.P. Singh. But the changes did not bring about the desired results as they could defend a 150 plus total.Ishant Sharma has also been largely ineffective despite his considerable international experience. Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has also not been in his best form so far. However, rookie spinner Murugan Ashwin and experienced pacer Rajat Bhatia have been promising.RCB also have an explosive batting line-up. They will miss star opener Chris Gayle, who has flown back home to Jamiaca following the birth of his first child. But the likes of captain Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Shane Watson have the ability to tear apart any bowling attack on their day. The young Sarfaraz Khan has also been promising.The bowling however, is a cause for worry. Pacers Varun Aaron, Kane Richardson, Adam Milne and David Wiese have been far too expensive and have also struggled to get wickets. The spinners have fared no better with Yuzvendra Chahal, Parvez Rasool and Iqbal Abdullah struggling due their lack of experience.The squads:Rising Pune Supergiants: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Kevin Pietersen, Faf du Plessis, Steve Smith, Mitchell Marsh, Jaskaran Singh, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ankit Sharma, Albie Morkel, Irfan Pathan, Ishant Sharma, Ishwar Pandey, Thisara Perera, Saurabh Tiwary, R.P. Singh, Rajat Bhatia, Ankush Bains, Baba Aparajith, Murugan Ashwin, Ashok Dinda, Deepak Chahar, Scott Boland, Peter Handscomb, Adam Zampa.Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (captain), Shane Watson, Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers, Stuart Binny, Iqbal Abdulla, Sreenath Aravind, Kedar Jadhav, Vikramjeet Malik, Kane Richardson, Varun Aaron, Mandeep Singh, Abu Nechim, Adam Milne, Yuzvendra Chahal, Harshal Patel, Travis Head, David Wiese, Sachin Baby, Lokesh Rahul, Parvez Rasool, Vikas Tokas, Sarfaraz Khan, Praveen Dubey, Akshay Karnewar.last_img read more

What next in rugby league’s obsessive pursuit of the perfect structure?

first_imgShare on Messenger “We just won’t listen to it! We said that to the boys straight after: don’t get carried away. We’re only four games in. Four good wins, but we’re not getting excited. I’ve known what these players can do since the start of pre-season so I’m not surprised. Our expectation is to be competing at the top. We know our capabilities, but there’s a long way to go.”All this with a team that has already featured nine Academy products, teenage prop Rob Butler coming on for his debut on Sunday. (In years to come I may recognise him when he squeezes into his car next to mine after the game to drive his family home to Medway.) With seven others in Super League this year and another half dozen at other Championship clubs, no other area outside the traditional Three Counties is providing so many pro players.“That says a good deal about the club and how we’re viewing our development here,” says Ward, who has coached in the Academy since retiring from playing. “We want to give London kids a chance and build a club around them. They’re turning into men now and the next wave is coming through. When you add some quality from up north and overseas, we’ve got a good mix.”Foreign quotaIt has been easy to get carried away with the success of Toronto Wolfpack and for Sunday’s humbling in Ealing to be a shock. However, assess their squad and it is fair to say that on paper they are merely a top Championship team, not Super League superstars. Only Joe Westerman – anonymous on Sunday – could be described as a top flight player in mid-career, but the experience of former NRL stalwarts Josh McCrone and Ashton Sims and a dozen players used to the upper echelons of the second divisions should still see them challenge for promotion.“While others put us on a pedestal, we don’t,” insisted a stunned coach Paul Rowley. “So I don’t think that has dented anyone’s egos as such, but it’s certainly dented some pride, and so it should. We were horrendous. We got what we deserved.”Rowley admitted he couldn’t believe they were still in it at half-time, the 21-12 score-line “not reflecting the game”. It was a sink or swim moment and the Wolfpack drowned, dismally. Rowley called it a “performance which let ourselves down” in which London “exposed some frailties”. This is another test of Coach Rowley and his illustrious squad who have had a rude welcome to the Championship so far. Goal-line drop-outThis talent transfer takes some beating: former Hemel Stags full-back Jerry Rice (no, not the NFL legend) put in a hugely impressive performance in the Skeleton at the Winter Olympics. In the final, the 27-year-old from High Wycombe – who played for Hemel in the RL Conference before getting a taste for bobsleigh on the Cresta Run a mere five years ago – improved his time in all four runs down the icy death shoot, finishing with a personal best that secured him tenth overall. Despite no rugby league being played there, the working class Buckinghamshire town of Wycombe was home to two current pros: Sheffield’s Scotland internationalist Oscar Thomas and Leigh firebrand Jamie Acton.Fifth and last Spending last week in Devon’s idyllic South Hams, I felt rather distanced from rugby league. But the 2021 World Cup could be coming to the far south-west. A major player in the Stadium for Cornwall project is former Melbourne Storm CEO and shareholder Mark Evans. Primarily the stadium will be the desperately needed new home for Cornish Pirates – currently mid-table in union’s Championship – and Truro City, the county’s biggest football club, of Conference South. But it will also bid for prestige occasions knowing that sports fans in Cornwall and Devon will trek miles in their thousands to watch any elite sport that makes the effort to get down to their fabulous far corner.And finallyThis the 100th No Helmets blog – four years, almost to the day, since the first – so thank you for your support. Here’s to the next ton!Follow No Helmets Required on Twitter and Facebook Guardian Sport Network Rugby league This unpublished report suggested a brave rethink that would see a top flight of the 10 biggest and best-run clubs, and a 16-team second tier comprising of six strong standalone clubs and 10 feeder clubs. Every club outside SL1 would have the option of becoming what our American friends call “affiliates” in a “farm system” or remaining independent. So those who miss the cut for the top 10 could retain their independence, as would ambitious Championship clubs. Smaller clubs with no desire to be in the top flight – such as Batley, Dewsbury, Rochdale, perhaps – would partner one of the 10 Super League clubs, as NRL clubs do in the NSW Cup.The report also proposed strategic player development and commercial alliances. Wigan could become responsible for London; Leeds would partner with York, the major untapped RL boom town to dominate North Yorkshire (over 4,000 saw their League 1 opener against with Bradford); and St Helens may be asked to work their development magic in Cumbria. Only standalone clubs would be able to get promoted, with Super League licenses and partnerships reappraised every three years.There are merits to this plan. However, as with the 10+10 system, the major problem is what to do with the clubs locked out of the party. The lack of a pathway to the top would sound a death-knell for some of them. While many of League One’s expansion clubs would be better off back in the strong amateur Conference competition, even without New York and Boston in the top 20, there could be some major historic names cut adrift. Frightening times.Clubcall: London BroncosThis winter London Broncos lost their successful head coach, appointed a rookie coach, said goodbye to their star half-back, cut their playing budget and only signed a couple of low-profile players. Most pundits predicted they would be fighting to avoid a relegation battle. Yet after four weeks of the season they are top of the Championship with a 100% record, following a surprisingly handsome 47-16 thrashing of Toronto Wolfpack on Sunday. Head coach Danny Ward claims the Broncos will just ignore the hype heading their way. Share on LinkedIn Super League XXIII (2018) Krisnan Inu inspires Widnes to inflict first defeat of season on Leeds … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Topics Share via Email London Broncos Support The Guardian Since you’re here…center_img The Recap: sign up for the best of the Guardian’s sport coverage Super League Leeds Rhinos features Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Read more Share on Pinterest Read more Share on WhatsApp Rugby League’s obsessive belief that changing how many teams are in each division is the root to solving its problems refuses to go away. In his recent rather misguided rant to esteemed league writer Steve Mascord about “piss-poor journalists”, Leeds Rhinos chairman Gary Hetherington dismissed the talk of Super League returning to the 14 clubs it had three years ago, saying nothing like that was being debated. Ironically, given his criticism of the media resorting to speculating on such matters, he added no meat to the bones.It was believed that clubs were at loggerheads over plans for a Super League comprising of two 10-team divisions. However, they may also be considering restructuring proposals put forward in an independent report from a highly experienced and world-renowned sports administrator commissioned last year by then RFL chief commercial officer Roger Draper. Reuse this contentlast_img read more

Quiz: how well do you know your World Cup balls?

first_imgThe 1982 Tango España has what claim to fame? You got… Topics Umbro It was the first Tango matchball to appear at a World Cup The waves that crash against the west coast of France Torschnell It literally means “the quest for the stars” and 1994 marked the 25th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission The original detailing on the balls used in 1994 was a space scene of stars and planets Hambani Fevernova Beckham was a fan. He called the ball “exceptional”. Gianluigi Buffon disagreed: “It’s a ridiculous kiddy’s bouncing ball.” The Gallic cockerel, high-speed trains and the turbine It feels a bit of a stretch, though you can just about make them out if you stare at the ball long enough. Fifa say this is “the first multicoloured official match ball” Not great The ball for the 1962 tournament was so useless it was replaced by the one used in Sweden 1958 – the Top Star. The demise of the 1962 ball, made by Chilean manufacturer Zamora, is something of a shame as it had an eye-catching name. What was it? 1970 The new black and white design was apparently introduced to make the ball easier to see on black and white TVs. It’s simply Spanish for “victory” Share on Twitter Adidas held a poll to name the 2014 ball, with Brazuca getting over 70% of the votes. What were the other names on the ballot? Teamgeist The first ball to shy away from the 32-panel structure that had been de rigueur since 1970. This had just 14 1974 Mitre Winner, winner, chicken dinner Mr Spank It was the last fully leather ball used at a World Cup Four years later came the arrival of a polyurethane coating It is the heaviest ball ever used at a World Cup Share on Messenger Vuvuzela Admiral Slazenger The Slazenger Challenge was the one smacked home by Geoff Hurst in the final Share via Email Challenge your friends Tango 14 Africa Mr Crack In attempt to move ball design forward Zamora used octagonal panels rather than the traditional long ones. Not a great success, but the idea was solid – Adidas would get there a few years later Share on Pinterest Mr Whack Share on LinkedIn Samba and Copacabana Jo’bulani See what they did there? It is the name of the US city where the first football on American soil is believed to have been played Punkte Europass The Eiffel Tower 1966 Nigel De Jong crashes his boot into Xabi Alonso’s chest, presumably confused by the fact that, having played with the Jabulani for the whole tournament in 2010, a new ball was used for the final. What was it called? features Liberté, égalité and fraternité What’s the name of this ball being nodded away by the Germany head coach Jürgen Klinsmann? Below average World Cup Work to do It’s a portmanteau of the Spanish words for “quest for the gold” It was also used at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona Just outside the European places Useless Share on Facebook Share on WhatsApp These flourishes on the Tricolore, used at France 1998, are supposed to represent what? Mid-table safety Champions League level 1978 Share on Twitter The Divine Ponytail holds the Questra during USA 94. Why was it called Questra? Mr Smack The ball for the 2018 tournament is the latest iteration of the Adidas Telstar – the actually-pretty-smart-looking Telstar 18. When was the Telstar first used at a World Cup? What was the name of this underwhelming number next to David Beckham from the 2002 tournament in Japan and South Korea? Shuriken Share via Email Who made the ball at the 1966 tournament? Bossa Nova and Carnavalesca The Bossa Nova picked up just over 14%, Carnavalesca just over 7% World Cup 2018 Share on Facebook Boabola and Rapidez Starflight Europa League level Tamagoru So close! Joga ball-ito and Caxirola Submit answers Pretty poor Reuse this contentlast_img read more

Back from the dead: could Tiger really win a fifth Masters Green Jacket?

first_imgTopics The Masters Read more The turmoil of recent years barely needs repeating. On three occasions in 2014 and 2015, he had operations for back problems. The spinal fusion performed on Woods in 2017 felt to all intents and purposes like a last throw of the dice but the man himself was more stark about its necessity. “I couldn’t even go out for dinner. I couldn’t sit,” he explained. “I couldn’t get from point A to point B in the house.”Another journey had caused embarrassment; after his arrest on a charge of driving under the influence, police footage of a discombobulated Woods was beamed across the world.By the time Woods held the Tour Championship trophy aloft, he had flirted with glory at last year’s Open and US PGA Championships. “He will never be the standout best player in the world again like he was back in 2000,” says Rory McIlroy. “But I’d say there is a group of 10-15 guys right now who could stake a claim for being the best in the world and he is definitely one of them.“People don’t know the half of it, they really don’t. They don’t know the half of what he has been through. I was just hoping he would be able to have a life. To go beyond that and do what he has done? It’s unbelievable.”Woods is cagey on what a 15th major win would actually mean to him. It is left to others to pontificate on where such a victory would rank in the grand table of sporting recovery. “It would be special,” is as expansive as the 43-year-old will be when asked about the possibility of donning the Green Jacket for a fifth time. Generally, the more expansive Woods that emerged last year has regressed back towards more familiar, monotone territory.Tommy Fleetwood regularly enjoyed a close-up view last season, including at Augusta National, as Woods clawed his way back to competitive prominence. “If he wasn’t Tiger Woods and you didn’t know him, say he was a guy coming off the Tour, you’d say: ‘This is a guy who is gonna win at any time,’” Fleetwood says. “So I wasn’t that surprised when he did but I think it’s an amazing comeback, from not being able to swing a club or even move.“He showed at the Tour Championship that, once he gets it in play, he is the best iron player in the world. It’s sometimes easy to forget that he is the greatest golfer of all time, you just judge him as a competitor.” European Tour Reuse this content PGA Tour Tiger Woods wins at East Lake in September 2018 – one of the most evocative moments of his career. Photograph: Tim Bradbury/Getty Images … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. “He has probably surprised everyone because he has maintained great form after career-threatening injuries,” says Denis Pugh, the renowned coach who counts the Open champion Francesco Molinari among his pupils. “Everyone in the game – myself included – thought he would make a comeback, last about three months, then as soon as he was paired with a Rory or a DJ, break his back trying to keep up with them. He came out and his ball speeds were phenomenal. He had made no apparent concession to injury.“His balance is serving whatever it needs to do, his plane is excellent and his leverage is great. The swing he has now is more worth copying than the one he came on tour with. The 23-year-old version of Tiger didn’t swing as well as the 43-year-old. He has refined it, it is more copy-able.”But where can this technical improvement take him? “If he won the Masters this year, I wouldn’t be surprised,” says Pugh. “If you told me two years ago he could win the Masters in 2019, I’d have laughed at you. He has proven a lot of people who are supposed to be knowledgeable wrong. He is going to play until he knows he can’t win.”In the eyes of the public, Woods was once a fallen idol. That gallery mood towards him softened, before the outpouring of glee at East Lake, suggesting the United States felt Woods had suffered enough. “It was different, there was so much anticipation,” says Fleetwood of last year’s Masters, where he partnered Woods over rounds one and two. “I don’t think people saw him coming back.”Come back he did. Next stop, Augusta; where fairytales are part of the fabric. Share on Pinterest For far too long, excitement about what people wanted Tiger Woods to achieve overshadowed all evidence of what he actually could. Within hours of last autumn breaking, as thousands of fans invaded an Atlanta fairway, hope met reality. At East Lake, in one of the most evocative scenes of his incredible career, Woods was the victor once more, in the Tour Championship.Even Woods, never one to particularly revel in success, took time to relive the moment after the following week’s Ryder Cup, during which he looked the epitome of exhaustion. Golf, a sport driven in respect of commerce and profile for years by Woods’s very presence, hit fast forward to the coming week; he would return to Augusta National as a genuine Masters candidate. Read more Share on Facebook The Observer Facebook Twitter Share on Messenger Since you’re here… Rory McIlroy: ‘I don’t need to fill a void in my life by winning majors’ Pinterest Share on WhatsApp Tiger Woods Share on Twitter Augusta and Sky’s disagreements over Masters coverage will not be resolved in a bubble Share on LinkedIn US sports Ewan Murray features Golf The mere sight of Woods heading for dinner in a Mexico City hotel with Jordan Spieth in February after cultivating friendships with golf’s younger generation illustrates a change of approach. In his pomp, Woods was deliberately distant from virtually all of his opponents. “Tiger kept himself to himself,” recalls Darren Clarke. “You have to remember it was very tough for him to have any semblance of a normal life. Everyone, everywhere, knew exactly who he was.”There are recurring traces of the Woods machine still being able to shut down coverage it may regard as intrusive. In the course of researching this article, it made sense to seek input from the Texas Back Institute’s Dr Richard Guyer, who performed Woods’s fusion. On the obvious basis no doctor would speak about an individual patient – let alone such a high-profile one – the aim was to ascertain precisely what was involved in this medical procedure.Initially, the institute was forthcoming about the possibility of such an interview. After two weeks, it said that no such discussion would happen. Could it, then, point me in the direction of existing material relating to back fusion? “Sorry, TBI can’t participate in this story.”Those within golf are happier to discuss what would be the most significant chapter of Woods’s career, should it culminate in another Masters win. At 41, Paul Casey is perfectly placed to compare this version of Woods to the one who dominated his sport. Casey held off Woods by a stroke to win the 2018 Valspar Championship, after which the Austrian professional Bernd Wiesberger asked the Englishman how it felt to be “the man who killed Bambi”. Six months later, Casey stood on the East Lake clubhouse terrace to watch Woods deliver his marquee moment.“I went through it for so many years, when it was kind of impossible to hold off Tiger,” Casey says. “He wouldn’t ever make a mistake. At Valspar, everybody wanted Tiger to win but they could also see that he wasn’t quite there yet, that something was building. By the Tour Championship you thought: ‘This is it again, classic Tiger.’ So he almost won at Valspar with his B or C game.“There is no other way to describe it; I feel very lucky to have played with him, against him, at his peak. It was a joke, how much better he was. I kind of wish Rory, JT, Dustin, Jordan could see what we got to see. They don’t actually fully understand, I don’t think. They didn’t get to really see it. It was amazing, stuff happened on the course you couldn’t understand. It was incredibly frustrating as he would pull things out of a hat, but so cool.”David Duval, unlike Casey, occasionally got the better of the young Woods. Unlike Woods’s, Duval’s greatness didn’t stand the test of time. “I see appreciation for health, appreciation for the ability to play and compete,” says Duval of his one-time adversary.“Priorities change, life moves on. I see a person who has grown, aged and matured. We all get stuck in this thought that the person from 10 years ago is the same as now. I make the assumption that you hope you weren’t the same person as 10 years ago but we don’t allow athletes to mature and change. We want to assign them to a certain role. He is a 43-year-old man with children who has gone through a lot of stuff, been dealt some good blows; some self-inflicted.”Woods the commodity has never been fully rehabilitated from the infidelity scandal that trashed his image in 2009. It is hardly being cruel to suggest the position of Monster, the energy drink, as a key sponsor emphasises as much. Other brands ran for the hills. How much Woods’s body has been impaired by a series of surgeries remains a complete unknown: he admits an inability to practise as much as was once the case and that a hectic tournament schedule is not viable. Support The Guardian Share via Emaillast_img read more

This is why Touch is excited about the new NRL women’s program

first_imgNRL CEO Todd Greenberg said that, for the first time, a Women’s Premiership will be held in 2018, featuring up to six teams aligned with NRL Clubs.Why is this a good thing for NRL Touch Football? It provides our female athletes with yet another pathway. Touch Football’s origins are in rugby league, and now, female Touch Footy players not only have the opportunity to play Touch Football at the top level – through the Elite 8, State of Origin, Trans Tasman, World Cup, etc – but also opportunities to play rugby league at the highest level if they wish.The NRL and Touch Football Australia formed a partnership back in 2013, and NRL Touch Football CEO Steve Mitchell is excited about the ever increasing opportunities for female Touch players with our partner sport.“We know that a lot of our Touchies have an interest in both our game and rugby league. Many of them follow both, some of them play both..We also know that some girls start out in Touch Football, eventually start playing rugby league, then return to Touch Football, since Touch is a lifetime sport that some play into their sixties and beyond.”There are so many former Touch Football players that play in the men’s NRL comp. And many World Cup-winning Jillaroos superstars – including Caitlin Moran, Maddie Studdon, Ali Brigginshaw, Nakia Davis-Welsh, Isabelle Kelly and Sam Bremner – either still participate in Touch Football or came through that pathway.Let’s hope we see plenty of Touch Footy athletes make it into the brand new NRL women’s program.In case you missed it, Mr Greenberg said the new NRL women’s program will feature:The Premiership, scheduled to be played as ‘double-headers’ in the lead up to and during NRL Finals matches;A stand-alone State of Origin match (formerly known as the Interstate Challenge) between New South Wales and Queensland, played during the NRL’s representative weekend in mid-June;State League competitions, with Grand Finals to be played as double-headers prior to Women In League Round matches;A National Championships Carnival and Talent Combine, congregating the best state talent on a national stage and providing a sequential pathway for female players to progress to the elite level;The Harvey Norman Jillaroos playing international matches in the Pacific and New Zealand;The Jillaroos competing in the Commonwealth Games Championship in Redcliffe, ahead of the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games;In addition, Mr Greenberg said an initial 40 players would receive Jillaroos contracts, which would include payments for matches and participating in a series of high performance camps, as well as access to high performance staff and elite athlete training programs year-round. This month the NRL unveiled a new era in rugby league for women – a program of events covering everything from an NRL Women’s Premiership to a stand-alone State of Origin match and Jillaroos international matches.last_img read more

Joey Bosa Trolls Marcus Mariota, Oregon With “O, No” Instagram Post

first_imgJoey Bosa trolls Marcus Mariota with Instagram post.Ohio State sophomore defensive lineman Joey Bosa of one of the most promising young players in the nation. He also seems to be quite skilled in the trash talk department.Tuesday morning, following his team’s 42-20 College Football Playoff National Championship win over Oregon, Bosa took to Instagram to poke a bit of fun at his opponent. We’re not sure if he’s just responding to the fact that the Ducks were favored in the contest or whether he had words with some of Oregon’s players during the game. But considering he posted a photo of Mariota lying on the ground (after this hit), with the words “O, No”, we think it’s safe to say he feels justified rubbing it all in.It’s quite likely that Mariota and Bosa will see each other at the next level. But for now, it’s Bosa and the Buckeyes who have bragging rights.last_img read more

PM Narendra Modi biopic is Vivek Oberoi saying Phir Ek Baar Modi Sarkar, Lok Sabha 2019 and 2024

first_imgPM Narendra Modi biopic is Vivek Oberoi saying Phir Ek Baar Modi Sarkar, Lok Sabha 2019 and 2024Vivek Oberoi, who stars in and as PM Narendra Modi, has been closely associated with the Bharatiya Janata Party for several years now.advertisement Next Samrudhi Ghosh New DelhiApril 10, 2019UPDATED: April 10, 2019 17:22 IST Vivek Oberoi at the trailer launch of PM Narendra Modi in MumbaiOmung Kumar’s PM Narendra Modi was scheduled to hit the theatres on April 11, the very same day that the first phase of Lok Sabha polls begins. The conveniently timed release had several claiming that the biopic of the incumbent prime minister is nothing but a surreptitious advertisement for ‘Phir Ek Baar Modi Sarkar’.However, earlier today, the Election Commission stalled the release of the PM Narendra Modi biopic, on the grounds that it could influence the votes of the audience.Vivek Oberoi, who plays the eponymous role in PM Narendra Modi, has been a vocal supporter of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and campaigned for Narendra Modi in Varanasi in 2014. He even attended the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May 2014. On both occasions, he prominently sported a lotus (the symbol of the ruling party) on his ‘Modi jacket’. When asked about his close association with the party, Vivek told India Today Television, “I don’t belong to the BJP, I belong to India.” Interestingly, this year, he is among the star campaigners for the BJP in Gujarat and will travel to various constituencies in the state to attempt to woo voters.Even though the BJP has no ostensible connection with the PM Narendra Modi biopic, the film has their stamp of approval. If the first poster was launched by BJP leader and Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis, the second poster was supposed to be launched by BJP president Amit Shah.Perhaps, Vivek is laying the groundwork for joining the BJP a few years from now. At a recent interaction with students in Vadodara, he opened up about the possibility of him contesting the Lok Sabha election 2024.advertisement”If I join politics, I might think of contesting from Vadodara in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections just because of the love and affection people gave PM Narendra Modi when he contested from here,” he said.Whether it is showing up at the trailer launch in his Narendra Modi attire or bringing his warcry – Modi hai toh mumkin hai – to the event, Vivek is making no bones about the fact that he is endorsing the prime minister.”Maine film bhakton ke liye nahi, deshbhakton ke liye banayi hai,” he told India Today Television.Vivek emphasised during the interview that the PM Narendra Modi biopic is not an attempt to sway voters in favour of the BJP. “It is just a coincidence that the film is releasing ahead of the election. It is not a propaganda film. I am an individual who has a credible body of work over the last 18 years, more than 45 films and more than 26-27 awards. So I stand my ground there. I don’t need to make him appear as a hero. He is a hero to billions of people across the world,” he said.Like these ‘billions of people’, Vivek too has found a hero in PM Narendra Modi. Come 2024, BJP might just give the actor a ticket to contest the Lok Sabha polls from Narendra Modi’s own constituency: Vadodara.ALSO READ: PM Narendra Modi biopic stalled by Election Commission. No release on April 11?ALSO WATCH: Vivek Oberoi says PM Narendra Modi biopic is an inspirational story of a man who inspires millionsHowever, looks like we will have to wait another week to see the biopic on PM Narendra Modi.Also Read | Vivek Oberoi on PM Narendra Modi: Did the biopic because Prime Minister inspires meAlso Read | Lok Sabha Election 2019: All dates, full schedule, constituency-wise details, all you need to knowAlso Watch | It is my Army, it is Modi’s Army: Vivek Oberoi ahead of Modi biopic releaseGet real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Tags :Follow PM Narendra ModiFollow Vivek Oberoilast_img read more

Crystal Palace hand Manchester United their 1st defeat of Premier League season

first_imgCrystal Palace hand Manchester United their 1st defeat of Premier League seasonJordan Ayew and Van Aanholt scored for Crystal Palace as they stunned Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United at Old Trafford in their Premier League meeting on Saturday. advertisement Reuters ManchesterAugust 24, 2019UPDATED: August 24, 2019 21:50 IST Manchester United slumped to their 1st defeat of the new season at home on Saturday (Reuters Photo)HIGHLIGHTSVan Aanholt scored a stoppage-time goal to seal Crystal Palace’s winMarcus Rashford missed a 2nd-half penalty for UnitedPaul Pogba’s howler highlights United’s horror show at Old TraffordA stoppage-time goal by defender Patrick van Aanholt gave Crystal Palace a memorable 2-1 win at Manchester United after a toothless display by the home side in the Premier League on Saturday.Van Aanholt powered a shot past United keeper David De Gea following a howler by Paul Pogba after Daniel James scored in the 89th minute to cancel out a first-half opener by Jordan Ayew for the visitors.Ayew scored against the run of play in the 32nd minute as Palace punished United’s lack of creativity in midfield and bite up front, with Marcus Rashford missing a 70th-minute penalty for the home side.Palace were rewarded for their first foray into the United half, as Jeffrey Schlupp headed on goalkeeper Vicente Guaita’s punt upfield and Ayew steered a low shot past De Gea after taking the ball in his stride.With time running out for United, Wales winger James equalised when he curled a delightful shot into the top corner but the home side’s joy was short-lived as Palace grabbed the winner several minutes later.Pogba, who missed a penalty in Monday’s 1-1 draw at Wolverhampton Wanderers, compounded another poor performance when he gave the ball away in the danger zone and Van Aanholt pounced to beat De Gea with a low shot from 12 metres.Also Read | Andres Iniesta spoils Fernando Torres’ retirement gameAlso See:For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAkshay Ramesh Nextlast_img read more

American Beer Gardens: Hip Summer Hangouts

first_img1. Bayou Beer Garden in New Orleans offerds domestic and imported brews. 2. Estabrook Beer Garden in Milwaukee has strong German roots. 3. Prost is one of two authentic beer gardens in Portland, Oregon. 4. The Bohemian Beer Hall & Garden in Astoria, Queens, has been serving the NYC community for more than 100 years. How to Drink Absinthe and Live to Tell the Tale Americans love summer and summer means heading outside to eat, drink and be merry. Instead of imbibing with friends in a dark and stuffy pub, why not drink your favorite brew at a beer garden? This quintessentially German institution, with its convivial atmosphere, plethora of beer and outdoor seating, is taking the U.S. by storm. Here are our favorites around the country:Estabrook Beer Garden, Milwaukee, WisconsinMilwaukee has strong German roots and once had a plethora of beer gardens. Today, Estabrook Beer Garden, on the banks of the Milwaukee River, is bringing the concept back to life. It’s not a large space but it gets the job done. Sit at one of the picnic tables and enjoy the water view. Guests can order pretzels, German sausage and half liters and liters of beer daily, from noon until 10. Enjoy live music in the early evening but leave the credit card at home. It’s cash only.Bayou Beer Garden, New Orleans, LouisianaNew Orleans is synonymous with fun. And the Bayou Beer Garden promises a lot of that. Situated on Jefferson Davis street in Mid City, the Bayou is a relaxed place to while away the time, play trivia, watch sports or just socialize with friends and locals. The beer garden offers an extensive list of domestic and imported beer as well as cider, wine and spirits. The open plan concept offers cover when the weather turns rainy during winter month, and a soft breeze during the hot and humid summer.Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden, Astoria, QueensNo list would be complete without mention of the Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden in Queens, New York. For more than a century, New Yorkers have been heading to this rustic beer garden in the heart of Astoria to drink Czech beer and dine on East European food. But don’t expect your beer in a stein or mass. You can only order by the mug or pitcher, with selections limited to Czech and American brews. The beer garden isn’t just about brews, however. It plays hosts to events such as the Czech and Slovak Festival and dance parties during off-peak hours. Although it has become increasingly popular in recent years, it still has a laid back, almost take-it-or-shove-it vibe. So leave the attitude in Manhattan and Brooklyn.Prost, Portland, OregonPortlanders are beer aficionados and most drink local brews. But sticking to that would be a shame. Prost on bustling Mississippi Avenue in North Portland serves only German fare and German beer, the latter in their proper glasses just like in an authentic German beer garden. Prost is packed whenever a German soccer match is televised, with guests spilling over the outside patio. But the bartenders are attentive and the clientele is fun, if a bit rowdy at times. The spot is so popular that the owners opened another beer garden in NE Portland called Stammtisch. The crowd is older and the food more varied. Where else in town can you order hasenpfeffer? 10 Lawnmower Beers You Should Sip This Summer Editors’ Recommendations center_img The Best Oktoberfest Beers to Sip On This Season Session Wines Are Your Best Easy-Drinking Buddies 9 Best Fall Beers to Drink This Year, According to the Brewing Experts last_img read more

TVO transmitters being shut down

first_imgThe New Democrats say they’re deeply concerned Liberal government cuts to T-V Ontario (TVO) have resulted in a decision to eliminate broadcast transmitters to eight Ontario communities, including two in the Quinte Area.NDP culture critic Sarah Campbell says ending over-the-air transmission of TVO is unfair to families in the affected communities and will have a disproportionate impact on children and families in the north.Transmitters in Belleville, Cloyne, Chatham, Kitchener, London, Ottawa, Thunder Bay and Windsor are to be shut down on July 31st. Advertisement Facebook TVO says it estimates it will impact less than one per cent of Ontario households.COURTESY OF INQUINTE Advertisement Twitter LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Login/Register With:last_img read more

French Authorities Extend Moroccan Singer Saad Lamjarreds Custody

Rabat – The French Authorities are keeping an eye on Saad Lamjarred. The Moroccan singer must stay 24 more hours in custody, according to AFP.The 32-year-old artist was arrested on Sunday morning in Saint-Tropez in southeastern France after police received a new rape complaint from another alleged victim. According to AFP, the rape was alleged to have been committed in a Saint-Tropez establishment Saturday night. Police conducted an investigation following a complaint by a woman for “facts characterized rape.” The public prosecutor’s office referred to “a complex affair” which took place “in the context of a meeting in a nightclub” with “two diametrically opposed versions [which] collide,” requiring “the continuation of investigations and the hearing of any useful witness.”Laura Prioul, who is currently pursuing a court case against Lamjarred for rape, reacted to the news on her Facebook page in support of the “new victim” and denouncing the lack of justice in the Lamjarred case.“I support with all my heart this new victim who wouldn’t have lived this drama if the justice was tougher,” she wrote. According to French outlet Var le Matin, the woman who accused the singer of “Casablanca” is a 29-year-old seasonal worker in Saint-Tropez. Lamjarred’s criminal case Lamjarred’s previous rape charges are not helping him prove his innocence. Bachir Abdou’s son was arrested on October 26, 2016, for the sexual assault of Laura Prioul. The trial has not yet commenced.French authorities temporarily released the artist on bail under electronic surveillance on April 13, 2017, after he spent nearly six months at the Marriott Champs Elysées in Paris pending his trial.Lamjarred also faced a rape charge in the United States. A woman told the American daily, New York Post in May 2016 that the Moroccan singer sexually assaulted her in a New York apartment in 2010. The prosecutor later dropped the charges when the alleged victim withdrew her story, reportedly due to a settlement. read more

Over 2 million Afghan refugees registered in Pakistan UN refugee agency reports

16 February 2007A four-month drive to officially register Afghan refugees residing in Pakistan ended yesterday with more than 2 million of them – three out of five being women and children under five years of age – registering with the Pakistani Government, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The data collected from this exercise will help UNHCR and the Governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan plan and manage the refugees who have fled decades of violence in their homeland, the agency said. The newly-registered refugees, numbering 2,161,984, now hold Proof of Registration cards which are valid until the end of 2009 and recognize them as Afghan citizens temporarily living in Pakistan. Afghans without these cards, who are considered illegal migrants by the Pakistani Government, will have a six-week window between 1 March and 15 April to voluntarily return to their homeland with UNHCR’s assistance, the agency’s spokesperson, Ron Redmond told reporters in Geneva today. UNHCR and the two Governments agreed last week to the closure of four refugee camps in Pakistan, accommodating more than 230,000 Afghan refugees in total, primarily due to security concerns. New incentives for voluntary repatriation measures have also been announced, and Proof of Registration cardholders will receive an enhanced reintegration package of $60, double the amount distributed to those without cards, if they deregister them upon returning to Afghanistan. The two countries have agreed to pool resources to increase this package to $100. Displaced Afghans in Pakistan cite the scarcity of land and shelter as one of the top reasons why they cannot return home, according to a 2005 refugee survey. To this end, Afghanistan has launched several initiatives aimed at helping refugees returning home, including a land allocation scheme establishing 50 townships, with further plans to set up a total of 100 townships within three years. read more

Ban leads call for greater efforts to end silent war of sexual

19 June 2008Noting that an increasing number of women and girls are falling victim to the “silent war” of sexual violence in conflict areas, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today led a chorus of United Nations officials in urging greater efforts to combat the scourge. “Violence against women has reached unspeakable and pandemic proportions in some societies attempting to recover from conflict,” Mr. Ban told a Security Council debate focusing on sexual violence in situations of armed conflict.Today’s meeting comes almost eight years after the Council adopted its landmark resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, and is chaired by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice of the United States, which holds the 15-member body’s rotating presidency for this month.Mr. Ban stressed that responding to this “silent war against women and girls” requires leadership, comprehensive strategies and the involvement of everyone, from the UN and national governments to rape survivors and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). In March the Secretary-General launched a global campaign to end violence against women, including the practice of sexual violence in armed conflict. He announced today that he will soon appoint a UN envoy tasked entirely with advocacy for ending violence against women.In response to calls from women’s groups, rape survivors and NGOs, he is also bringing together a dozen UN entities in a concerted effort called UN Action against Sexual Violence in Conflict. It brings together experts on various issues, including peacekeeping, HIV/AIDS and human rights, to help stop rape and other sexual crimes in conflict-ridden countries. Mr. Ban noted that the UN can act more forcefully when the Council adopts resolutions with strong language on sexual and gender-based violence, and called for all future mandates of UN operations to contain clear provisions on protecting women and children in conflict. And on the issue of UN operations, the Secretary-General added, “Let me be clear: the United Nations and I personally are profoundly committed to a zero-tolerance policy against sexual exploitation or abuse by our own personnel.”He also called for the greater involvement of women in conflict prevention, peace negotiations and recovery after the guns fall silent. “By creating a culture that punishes violence and elevates women to their rightful role, we can lay the foundation for lasting stability, where women are not victims of violence, but agents of peace,” he said.Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro also addressed today’s meeting, saying that sexual violence has not only grave physical and psychological health consequences for its victims but also direct social consequences for communities and entire societies. “Impunity for sexual violence committed during the conflict perpetuates a tolerance of abuse against women and girls and leaves a damaging legacy by hindering national reconciliation,” she said. The Deputy Secretary-General added that tackling this complex problem on all fronts will require the combined effort of all, including governments, the UN system, civil society organizations and NGOs. She called women “one of our greatest assets” in the fight against such horrific crimes. “If we promote the full and equal participation of women in the security sector, we can ensure that security services effectively identify and respond to their needs.”General Assembly President Srgjan Kerim noted that while both the Assembly and the Council have adopted groundbreaking resolutions on the issue, stronger and more coordinated efforts are need to address sexual violence against women.“Clearly we all have to do more to prevent human rights violations against women and girls in situations of armed conflict, do more to punish the perpetrators, and end the impunity of war crimes violators.”He added that women must be assured equal and full participation in conflict resolution and peace-building processes, and represented in the structures and institutions realized from any peace dividend to ensure that it lasts. read more

Dayasiri caught making fun at Sajith over his speech

Jayasekera said he told Premadasa if he had made a similar speech a few years ago he (Jayasekera) would not have left the UNP.“His face turned red,”Jayasekera said of Premadasa’s reaction. Sport Minister, Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) member and former United National Party (UNP) member Dayasiri Jayasekera was caught making fun at Minister Sajith Premadasa during a media conference.At the SLFP media conference, Jayasekera is heard telling Ministers Mahinda Amaraweera and Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena that he had a good chat with Premadasa over his May Day speech. Jayasekera, not knowing what he was saying was being recorded, said that when he met Premadasa he commended him about his speech and added that he should have made the same speech two years ago. The Sports Minister said that Premadasa had, in his speech, spoken highly of UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. Premadasa had in the past been very critical of Wickremesinghe’s party leadership and had even pushed for his removal. (Colombo Gazette)Click Here For Video read more

Laurentian Bank raises quarterly dividend as Q2 results beat expectations

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Laurentian Bank raises quarterly dividend as Q2 results beat expectations by The Canadian Press Posted Jun 6, 2012 11:41 am MDT MONTREAL – Laurentian Bank of Canada boosted its quarterly dividend for the third time in a year and announced a major acquisition Wednesday as it beat expectations by earning $33.9 million in the second quarter.The Montreal-based bank said its quarterly dividend will rise two cents, or four per cent, to 47 cents per common share, payable Aug. 1. It previously raised the payout by three cents per share in December and last June.The latest increase comes as Laurentian recorded its best ever second quarter by earning $1.22 per share for the period ended April 30, up from $1.17 per share, or $31 million in the prior year.It also announced that its subsidiary B2B Trust will acquire the trust operations of Toronto-based AGF Management Ltd., with the deal set to close in August.Revenues increased to $198.7 million from $183.2 million in the year-ago period. The contribution from the acquisition of MRS Companies was $10.7 million.Return on common shareholders’ equity was 12.1 per cent, down from 12.7 per cent in the second quarter of 2011.Excluding transaction and integration costs related to its acquisition of the MRS Companies, which was announced last September, net income grew 17 per cent to $36.3 million or $1.31 diluted per share.The bank (TSX:LB) was expected to earn $1.19 per share on $194 million of revenues, according to analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.“I am pleased with our solid performance for the second quarter considering the ongoing economic concerns and the challenging banking environment,” stated CEO Rejean Robitaille.He said the bank again maintained momentum and generated organic loan and deposit growth in all its business lines and benefited from excellent credit quality.The bank’s provision for loan losses decreased 37 per cent to $7.5 million in the quarter, reflecting strong credit conditions in Canada and the quality of the its loan portfolios.However, the bank said remains cautious amid the ongoing economic uncertainty.In the latest expansion for Laurentian, the bank’s B2B Trust announced it will pay $415.5 million to acquire the trust operation of AGF Management Ltd. (TSX:AGF.B), a Toronto-based mutual fund and wealth management company.AGF Trust currently provides investment products such as guaranteed investment certificates and lends money for investment and real-estate transactions.It has been operating through about 20,500 financial advisers and 1,050 mortgage brokers across the country.“This significant transaction evidences our continued investment in our growth engines in order to further develop the bank’s competitive advantage and positioning, improve its profitability and create long-term shareholder value,” Robitaille added.Laurentian secured a $120-million private placement, including $100 million from the Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec and $20 million from Quebec’s Solidarity Fund.“Laurentian Bank has been part of the Quebec landscape for more than 165 years and has carved out a place in the Canadian financial markets, notably through a subsidiary specialized in banking services distribution,” stated Normand Provost, executive vice-president of private equity with the Caisse.At the end of the second quarter, the bank had a record of more than $30 billion of assets.Total loans and bankers’ acceptances stood at $23.1 billion, up $1 billion or five per cent from Oct. 31 and nine per cent from the prior year.Laurentian Bank Securities partnered with Investissement Quebec to provide financing for a northern Quebec resource company. It also participated in the first investment related to Quebec’s Plan Nord development.Unionized employees approved a six-year agreement that raises salaries by 13 per cent over six years plus up to another one per cent depending on the bank’s results in the final two years.Net interest income increased to $128.3 million from $122.1 million a year ago.On the Toronto Stock Exchange, Laurentian’s shares gained 78 cents, or 1.9 per cent, at $42.02 in morning trading.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version stated that the salary raise was 11.5 per cent. read more

Ontario lowers deficit to 113 billion but says revenue dropping in 2014

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Maria Babbage, The Canadian Press Posted Apr 3, 2014 2:23 pm MDT Ontario lowers deficit to $11.3 billion, but says revenue dropping in 2014 TORONTO – Ontario’s deficit has narrowed to $11.3 billion for the year that just ended, about three per cent less than predicted in the 2013 budget, but the province may not be able to meet its target this year, Finance Minister Charles Sousa said Thursday.A sluggish economy and smaller transfer payments from Ottawa means there won’t be as much money in provincial coffers, he said. Revenue will be $3.5 billion lower in the current fiscal year, which started April 1, than was forecast last year.“Our economy is growing more slowly than anticipated and less than experts expected,” he said during a lunch speech to the Canadian Club of Toronto.“Revenues are not only significantly lower than forecasted in 2010, they’re even lower than we expected just last year.”Sousa said the government still plans to balance the books in 2017-18, but their roadmap may change.“As a result of federal cuts and slower economic growth around the world, short-term deficit targets over the next year may not be met,” he said.The Liberals will preserve Ontario’s cherished public services and make investments to create jobs and stimulate the economy, he said.“We’re going to continue to invest in infrastructure, we’re going to continue to invest in skills and training, and we’re going to maintain a very dynamic climate so that we can attract more business investments to do business here in Ontario,” he told reporters.“And in the result of that, we may not meet our short-term target. But we have a number of initiatives that’s going to be coming out in the budget that’ll display and highlight how and why we will, in fact, balance the books by 2017-18.”However, the Liberals are also predicting that Ontario’s economic growth will average 2.1 per cent between 2014 and 2035, lagging behind the national and U.S. averages.Sousa didn’t provide any details about how the Liberals will meet their deficit elimination target with a slower-than-expected economic growth and less money coming in, such as raising taxes and cutting spending.“What we do is we adjust as necessary,” he said.The bottom line is that the Liberals have no plan to kill the deficit, which threatens health care and education, said Progressive Conservative critic Vic Fedeli.“Leave it to the Liberals to celebrate the fact they’re spending $11.3 billion more than they’re taking in,” he said.If you do the math, it’s clear that the Liberals didn’t beat their target last year, Fedeli said. The $11.7-billion estimate included a $1-billion emergency reserve.“The deficit should have been $10.7 billion if it met those numbers, because it wouldn’t have to use those reserves.”On Tuesday, the Tories released leaked documents that they said show the Liberals plan a month-long spending spree before a May 1 budget that will increase spending by nearly $6 billion.The government refused to confirm details but did not deny that the documents were authentic.The fate of the minority Liberals rests on this year’s spending blueprint, which could trigger an election if both opposition parties vote against it. read more

Homeowners on the hunt for a new house must choose whether to

Homeowners on the hunt for a new house must choose whether to buy or sell first by Aleksandra Sagan, The Canadian Press Posted Sep 8, 2016 8:00 am MDT Last Updated Sep 8, 2016 at 8:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email TORONTO – Buying a home can be difficult. House hunters must save for a down payment, may face bidding wars and even forgo conditions once considered staples of a home purchase offer, like financing or an inspection.But those who already own a home and want to move into a bigger place or downsize must also decide whether it’s best to buy or sell first.The choice depends on the people, the house and the city, realtors say, though there are some constants that hold true for most situations.“If it’s a seller’s market, then you need to be buying first. If it’s a buyer’s market, then you need to be selling first,” said Ara Mamourian, broker and owner of Spring Realty in Toronto.About half of Mamourian’s clients face this decision and, in Toronto’s red-hot real estate market, he often advises they purchase a new home first.The number of new listings this August in the Greater Toronto Area was down 1.2 per cent year-over-year, according to the Toronto Real Estate Board’s monthly market watch report.Mamourian said the limited listings mean homes sell fast and buyers should prepare for long periods before making a successful offer.It’s a different situation in cooler markets, like Calgary, where there’s a plethora of available housing and homes take longer to sell, he said. In that city, new listings were up 0.88 per cent this August year-over-year and sales were down 4.32 per cent, according to the Calgary Real Estate Board.“There’s no guarantee of how long it’s going to take you to sell that home,” Mamourian said, adding it’s better to sell first and then choose to buy one of the many homes available in less competitive markets.On the other hand, those who sell first can find themselves faced with a time crunch and settling for a home that they otherwise wouldn’t buy or overpaying for a home to ensure their offer beats out the competition, Mamourian said.“It’s a very stressful home hunt when you’ve already sold,” he said. “Buyers make irrational decisions when they’re in that kind of pressure situation.”Before someone decides to hold off on selling until they’ve committed to a new purchase, it’s important to analyze how attractive their property is to potential buyers, said John Pasalis, president and broker at Realosophy in Toronto.“You need some certainty that your house is going to sell quickly,” he said.Rural acreages, houses with atypical designs or layouts, and luxury condos may stay on the market longer than most other listings, he said, even in a hot market.Pasalis suggests those who do buy first arrange for a faraway closing day — at least 60 or 90 days into the future — to give them time to offload their other home.Both realtors advise owners prepare their home for its upcoming sale during their house hunt. That means painting, decluttering and minor renovations that may have previously been ignored, said Pasalis, so a realtor can stage, list and sell it quickly after an offer is made.Despite that prep work, things can still go wrong if the listing drums up little interest from prospective buyers.Mamourian encourages clients budget for their new home with the worst-case scenario sale price for their current home in mind rather than an inflated figure they hope to get.Even in a seller’s market, the idea of being on the hook for two homes — mortgages, utilities, property taxes and all — might still be daunting.Pasalis has worked with clients who are not prepared to expose themselves to any amount of risk by temporarily owning two homes. Often, he said, these are individuals who have experienced a previous real estate slowdown and appreciate that the market can turn at any moment.“They’re not going to buy first.”Follow @AleksSagan on Twitter. read more