Category: cmooudzs


Maharashtra BJP MP Chintaman Wanga dead

first_imgA senior BJP MP from Maharashtra Chintaman Wanga died in New Delhi on Tuesday, said doctors at Ram Manohar Lohia hospital. He was 67.The presentation of the Union Budget on February 1 is unlikely to be affected by Mr. Wanga’s death, sources in the Parliamentary Affairs Ministry said.An obituary reference would be read out by the speaker on February 1 when the House meets. There are no sittings of Parliament on Tuesday and Wednesday.Last year, the government went ahead with Budget presentation despite the demise of IUML leader E. Ahamed, who had collapsed during the President’s address to the joint sitting of the two Houses. The House did not meet the next day as a mark of respect.Mr. Wanga, a three-time MP, was brought dead to the hospital around 11.15 a.m. after collapsing in his Ferozeshah Road residence in the national capital.He is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter.His body will be taken to his village in Kawad in Talasari where the last rites will be performed on Wednesday, family sources said.“He was brought to RML hospital around 11.15 a.m. We tried to resuscitate him for 30 minutes but he could not be revived. He was declared brought dead at around 11.45 a.m,” the hospital’s medical superintendent Dr. V.K. Tiwary said.The cause of the death is being investigated, sources added.Mr. Wanga, who was born on June 1, 1950, was elected to the Lok Sabha from Palghar in Maharashtra. He was a Member of the 11th and the 13th Lok Sabha as well.An advocate by profession, he was the Thane district president of the BJP from 1990 to 1996. He was a member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Rural Development and the Committee on Welfare of SCs and STs.In his early days, Mr. Wanga stayed in the Vanvasi Kalyan Kendra at Talsari. He was closely associated with right-wing leader Madhavrao Kane and studied law in a college in Bhiwandi.In 1996, he was elected to the Lok Sabha as an MP from the Dahanu (ST) constituency and re-elected in 1999.In 2009, he was elected MLA from the Vikramgadh Assembly constituency.Mr. Wanga fought for the formation of a separate Palghar district, which came into existence on August 1, 2014. He had also vigorously taken up the issue of Dahanu Nashik railway link, but it is yet see the light of day.Condoling his death, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said Mr. Wanga was a very good functionary of the party and did a good job in the tribal belt of Thane district.“He took whatever role the party gave him and worked for the party even during hostile conditions. His demise is very sad and unfortunate…my condolences on behalf of the party and the government,” he said.He added that Mr. Wanga had appeared unwell the past few days. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, too, expressed grief over the senior leader’s death.“Shocked and saddened to know about the sudden demise of our MP from Palghar Shri Chintaman Vanga ji who was known for his simplicity,” Mr. Fadnavis tweeted.Several other leaders, including Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan, Maharashtra minister Vinod Tawde and MP Supriya Sule, also condoled his demise.last_img read more


David Torrence, Olympic 5,000m finalist, found dead at age of 31

first_imgFellow athletes paid tributes to Torrence. “No one was more dedicated to their running,” wrote Nick Willis, who won bronze in the 1500m at the Rio Games. “He got 100% out of himself every day. So so sad to hear of his passing.” Nick Willis (@nickwillis)No one was more dedicated to their running than @David_Torrence. He got 100% out of himself every day. So so sad to hear of his passing.August 29, 2017 Share on Facebook Topics Share on Messenger Share on WhatsApp Reuse this content Share on Twitter Share on Pinterest Since you’re here… US sports Rio 2016 The Olympic 5,000m runner David Torrence has been found dead in a swimming pool in Scottsdale, Arizona. He was 31.Torrence was from California and had come to Scottsdale to train a few weeks ago. Police said they were not treating the death as suspicious. “Firefighters removed the male subject from the pool and he was pronounced deceased,” said Sergeant Ben Hoster of the Scottsdale police department. “Detectives learned that there were no obvious signs of foul play.”Torrence began his career competing for the US, and held the national record for the indoor 1,000m, which he set in 2014 and still stands. He also had a successful college career and first broke the four-minute mile barrier in 2008. In 2016, he switched allegiance to his mother’s home nation of Peru and reached the Olympic final, where he finished 15th. Athletics Olympic Games Support The Guardian Share via Email news Share on LinkedIn … 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. Arizonalast_img read more


Stan Kroenke’s abject US teams a warning things may get worse for Arsenal

first_imgColorado Avalanche Arsenal Arsenal supporters are rightly wondering if it can get any worse for their side. Two losses in three matches to open the Premier League season, a manager in Arsène Wenger who has seemingly lost his touch and precious little done during the transfer window to improve the talent on the pitch. But if Arsenal fans are dismayed at the way the club’s majority shareholder, Stan Kroenke, runs affairs at the Emirates, a glance at his US teams offers little hope things will improve.The metaphor that best describes Kroenke’s sports franchises is that of a dumpster fire. But, in his case, a raging trash fire isn’t a metaphor. Two years ago, before Kroenke’s NFL Rams team took on the Pittsburgh Steelers, the turf in St Louis’ Edward Jones Dome actually caught fire, delaying kickoff by nearly 30 minutes.Not surprisingly, the blaze was as exciting as it got for the Rams that day, as they went on to lose, 12-6, and four months later left the city of St Louis forever for Los Angeles. Kroenke’s exit from St Louis was arguably the lowest act by a team owner in a league with more than its share of men who give billionaires a bad name. Pinterest Share on LinkedIn Kroenke oversaw a Rams team that went 36-59-1 in his six years as majority owner in St Louis, only to then claim that fan apathy over the horrible product he put on the field necessitated a move to Los Angeles. Yes, to the City of Los Angeles, of all places, America’s leader in NFL apathy. When Kroenke pulled out of St Louis – following years of insisting he had no desire to ever do so – he left local taxpayers on the hook for the millions of dollars remaining on a loan the city took out in 1995 to build the Rams a stadium. And while that bill is a fortune to most, it’s pocket change to a man reportedly worth $6bn, a man who bought a ranch in Texas for $725m … and then proceeded to evict the tenants who lived on the ranch. Kroenke’s actions make him not just a villain by NFL standards, but in the bottom tier of soulless billionaires the world over. No small feat. Share via Email Share on Facebook Read more Sportblog Facebook Read more NFL At least if Kroenke stopped at nothing to put winning products on the field, it might be easier for some fans to excuse the man up top. But Kroenke’s teams are somehow as athletically inept as he is stupendously wealthy. Arsenal supporters have every reason to be down on Wenger, but he’s twice the manager Kroenke saddled the Rams with for nearly five seasons . Jeff Fisher’s legacy as a mediocre coach was clinched in 2010 after being let go by the Tennessee Titans (previously known as the Oilers), with whom he only had six winning seasons in 17 years.Fisher was hired before the 2012 season by Kroenke and hyped as the man to turn the franchise around. He then failed to record a winning season with the Rams. Despite all the losing, Kroenke signed off on a two-year contract extension for Fisher last season when the Rams were out of the playoff picture … only to then fire him two games later, one game before Fisher would have set the all-time NFL record for most losses by a coach. “This is the right time to make a change,” Kroenke said of the firing, made eight days after the team announced Fisher’s contract extension. “Our performance has not lived up to my or our fans’ expectations. We all are focused on improving as an organization and building a team that makes Los Angeles proud.”That seems unlikely to happen as long as Kroenke is at the helm. In a league in which the draft system and salary cap is supposed to ensure parity, and in which nearly 40% of the teams make the playoffs each year, Kroenke’s Rams haven’t been to the postseason since 2004 and haven’t even managed to finish a season above .500 since 2003 (a feat unmatched by any of the other 31 teams in the NFL). That isn’t likely to change this year or anytime soon.The Rams are currently stuck with a quarterback in Jared Goff whose long-term upside could optimistically be described as “adequate”. This for a player the Rams paid a heavy price for a year ago in order to trade up to take with the No1 overall pick in the NFL draft. The team’s new head coach is Sean McVay, the youngest in NFL history at just 31 years of age. McVay is considered a bright offensive mind, but his inexperience makes it likely his Rams tenure will be nothing but a learning experience for a future job with another franchise. Meanwhile, the team’s best player (and the best defensive player in the league, Aaron Donald) refuses to sign a new contract and the Rams’ joint, $2.6bn stadium venture with the Los Angeles Chargers is already a year behind schedule and may not even be open by 2021. Until then, the Rams will continue to play in Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, by any measure a more outdated venue than the facility the team left in St Louis. Perhaps it would be some comfort to Arsenal supporters if the Rams were the only sports franchise that Kroenke has failed to lead to greatness. Alas, that is not true. Kroenke is the head of Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, which also owns the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche and the NBA’s Denver Nuggets. When Kroenke took over the Avalanche in 2000, the team was one of the league’s best. In fact, with a star-studded core in place, Colorado won the 2001 Stanley Cup. But the franchise has gradually slid to irrelevance. The Avs have made the playoffs once in the past seven years and last season were the worst team in the NHL by a large margin. The Nuggets have somehow been even more irrelevant under his ownership, missing the playoffs in four consecutive seasons (in the NBA, 16 of the league’s 30 teams make the post-season) and only getting past the first-round of the playoffs one time in 17 years since becoming part of Kroenke’s portfolio of failure. Nor are Arsenal even the first soccer club Kroenke has invested in. His Colorado Rapids did win the MLS title in 2010 but they have been far from a model of consistency, and have missed the playoffs in three of the last five seasons. Arsenal’s continuing malaise at the heart of operations Share on Messenger Colorado Rapids St Louis Ramscenter_img Share on Twitter It’s unfair to pin every poor hiring or wasted draft pick on Kroenke. Even the most meddlesome owners don’t make all the moves. But it is fair to say that every sports organization Kroenke has touched – the Rapids possibly aside – has turned into an outright failure, and his fingerprints are all over Arsenal now, too.For all of Kroenke’s failures in pro sports, he has never had one of his team’s get relegated. But that’s only because relegation does not exist in the US major leagues. Arsenal aren’t so fortunate. Of course, the prospect of relegation for a club with the Gunners’ resources and history is almost unthinkable. But with Kroenke’s vying for the title of worst owner in international sports history, there’s no reason to think he can’t pull it off. A place in the Championship would be his coup de grace. City of St Louis files lawsuit against NFL over Rams’ move to Los Angeles Twitter Twitter Share on WhatsApp Richard Williams Topics features Denver Nuggets Share on Pinterest Pinterest Stan Kroenke’s MLS team, the Colorado Rapids, have been far from consistent. Photograph: Marc Piscotty/Getty Images Stan Kroenke speaks at an event to welcome The Rams franchise to LA but the move has been far from successful. Photograph: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters Facebook Los Angeles Rams Reuse this contentlast_img read more


Loftus-Cheek, Abraham and Pickford given England debuts against Germany

first_imgGermany Reuse this content The Chelsea midfielder has played only 22 minutes as a substitute in the Premier League since his £35m summer move from Leicester City; he arrived hampered by a calf injury, which he aggravated in a late appearance off the bench in Sunday’s victory over Manchester United. Drinkwater was unable to complete the post-match warm-down on the pitch at Stamford Bridge and has been limited to light training in the period since, meaning he has been injured for, or withdrawn from, all of Southgate’s squads.“He felt he wasn’t ready yet to play at this level,” said the manager. “You’ve got to be able to cover the ground, you’ve got to feel you are in peak physical condition. If Danny didn’t feel he was ready for that, I can understand. He’s not been fit for the last three camps. You can’t do anything about that.“I’d say there are quite a few places in the squad [for the World Cup] still up for grabs. There are players who have played pretty consistently for us and made big contributions, but then there are a group who have supported that. Over the next couple of games some of those guys will get opportunities. Then there are the younger ones coming through who are also going to push that.”Abraham, like Loftus-Cheek a product of Chelsea’s academy, has scored four top-flight goals in 10 Premier League starts on loan at Swansea having impressed last year in the Championship at Bristol City. The 20-year-old has resisted overtures to represent Nigeria and will partner Jamie Vardy after more experienced players were overlooked for Southgate’s squad despite the withdrawals. Play Video Gareth Southgate shows he is not too nice to make bold calls for England Share on Messenger Gareth Southgate’s bold determination to promote youth will mean Tammy Abraham, Jordan Pickford and Ruben Loftus-Cheek making their senior debuts against Germany, and three under-21 forwards are likely to be drafted into the set-up for next week’s friendly with Brazil as the England manager resists the temptation to recall the old guard.Demarai Gray, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Dominic Solanke are set to join a senior squad already denied six of the manager’s original selections by injury after Friday’s European Under-21 Championship qualifier in Ukraine. Southgate prefers to blood them rather than turn to players such as Daniel Sturridge, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jermain Defoe.Danny Drinkwater, with whom the manager spoke this week after England’s midfield options were reduced, declined a call-up, citing a lack of match fitness. Share on LinkedIn Friendlies news Southgate has been in contact with Manchester United, after suggesting last week that Chris Smalling might not be up to the required standard on the ball, and intends to speak with Jack Wilshere after the international window to outline what the Arsenal midfielder, a fringe player at the Emirates, needs to do to break back into the squad.Wilshere’s game-time has largely been spent as a No10 over recent times, while Southgate’s 3-4-3 and its variants means the midfielder has to feature more often in a deeper role if he is to earn a recall.“I have a lot of respect for him as a player, and when he was with the squad last year I really liked his mentality and personality,” said Southgate. “I don’t think Jack is a No10. I think he is a deeper player but he is not playing deeper. But I want to be clear: I really like Jack Wilshere as a player, I think he is a talent and I really respect him as an individual.”Germany, too, intend to experiment in the game at Wembley, which should attract a near-capacity crowd, as Joachim Löw prepares to defend the World Cup in Russia. The RB Leipzig defender Marcel Halstenberg will gain a first cap but Toni Kroos could be omitted because of a stomach bug.“We want to play well but I want to experiment a bit,” said Löw. “We still have a few games to prepare for the World Cup. It’s a bit of a test phase still, this year. With the tournament in mind, I want to see not only those players who play regularly.” Gareth Southgate Share on Pinterest 1:14 ‘I never shut the door on England’: Ashley Young relishing his return Talk of England club v country row is a ‘nonsense’, says Gareth Southgate – video Share on Facebook Topics Share on WhatsApp England Share on Twitter Read more Share via Email Read more “For Defoe and Sturridge to come in and impress us in these games, that really is a big jump given the minimal amount of playing time they have had,” said the manager. “It doesn’t mean either of them are ruled out going forward.“They are both top goalscorers. But we’ve got some exciting young strikers playing with the under-21s – Solanke, Calvert-Lewin and Gray – and if we think we need cover we might look to call those players up [for the Brazil match].”Gary Cahill is still struggling with a back injury and will be considered only for Tuesday. So, in the absence of Harry Kane and with Joe Hart on the bench, Eric Dier will captain the side against Germany, with Southgate praising his “maturity and intelligence”. The manager still considers Hart his first-choice goalkeeper but will give Pickford, Everton’s £30m signing from Sunderland, a first cap after Jack Butland broke a finger in training and returned to Stoke.Loftus-Cheek, who boasts 12 Premier League starts of which six have come on loan at Crystal Palace from Chelsea this season, will partner Dier in central midfield.last_img read more


Will the US women’s soccer team win their battle for equal pay?

first_imgfeatures US women’s team sues US Soccer over ‘institutionalized gender discrimination’ Share on WhatsApp Megan Rapinoe Share on Messenger Share on Facebook Women’s football US sports Share on Twitter Read more Topics In an escalation of ongoing disputes over gender discrimination between the US women’s national team and US Soccer, the players have now sued their employer. Any hopes that these issues were close to resolution have now been dashed.Who on the USWNT is suing US Soccer and why?A group of 28 players on the US women’s national team, essentially the players that constitute the entire current pool, have signed on to a lawsuit accusing their boss, the US Soccer Federation, of gender discrimination. The lawsuit deals with accusations of wage discrimination and the notion that US Soccer paid the men’s team more, despite the men achieving far less. For instance, the lawsuit alleges that the men get bonuses of as much as $17,625. The Guardian understands that is more than twice the amount the women receive. Equal pay The men and women are paid differently through structures they each collectively bargained for – the women get salaries while the men are only paid through bonuses. But the lawsuit alleges that the federation made more compensation available overall to the men. If both teams played 20 friendlies in a year, the maximum that female players could have earned was $99,000 or $5,000 per game while the male players could have earned an average of around $263,000 or $13,000 per game.But the lawsuit also deals with non-monetary issues and the overall treatment of the women compared to the men. For instance, the men’s team allegedly took 17 US Soccer-funded charter flights to and from games in 2017 while the women took none. The women played 62 home matches on artificial turf – which is harder on the body –over a four-year span while the men’s team played just one. The US men’s team has also allegedly benefitted from more marketing and higher ticket prices for their games compared to the women.How long has this lawsuit been in the works?If some of these complaints sound familiar, there is a reason for that. This latest lawsuit builds upon a wage discrimination complaint five players filed in 2016 with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which is now effectively terminated. Back then, the complaint was filed by ex-goalkeeper Hope Solo, along current players Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Carli Lloyd and Becky Sauerbrunn, and this new complaint includes all of them except Solo, who is no longer with the team and has filed her own separate lawsuit against US Soccer.The legal team advising the players, Winston & Strawn, has clearly been building their case since that initial complaint was filed. When it became clear the EEOC was not going to handle the complaint in a timely manner, the players received permission to sue US Soccer directly and now the EEOC complaint is dead.It’s no coincidence that this lawsuit was filed on International Women’s Day, either.What is US Soccer’s response and how do they justify the disparity?US Soccer hasn’t formally responded to the complaint and it appears the federation was caught off guard. But we know from the 2016 complaint that one of the federation’s arguments will be that the women collectively bargained for the contract they have. In 2016, US Soccer essentially asked: how can it be discrimination if they agreed to the terms of the deal? After all, the men and women are paid very differently – the women get year-round salaries from the federation for playing with the national team and in the US Soccer-founded National Women’s Soccer League. The men only get paid for making rosters and playing in games, and the women aren’t asking to play under the same pay structure as the men’s team.But from the players’ perspectives, they would argue that they bargained for as much as they could get so they could continue playing soccer. Despite that, no one can bargain away their right not to be discriminated against. The lawsuit alleges that the players asked to receive equal compensation to the men in contract negotiations, and when that was rejected, the women asked for a revenue-sharing agreement, which the federation also rejected.In its defense, US Soccer has also cited higher revenues and higher game attendance for the men’s national team compared to the women. Historically, that’s been a strong argument for the federation but not so much lately: since 2016 the women’s team has brought in more revenue than the men. In the fiscal year for 2016, the lawsuit says, US Soccer projected a loss of around $400,000 but ended the year with $17.7m in profit due to the women winning the 2015 World Cup and surging in popularity. The latest financial picture released by the federation continues to show more revenue generated by the women. The men didn’t even qualify for the 2018 World Cup, losing out on what would have been big revenues.How strong is the case and can the women win?Without knowing how US Soccer intends to respond, it’s difficult to say right now. The specific numbers in the players’ lawsuit are certainly compelling. The lawsuit, for example, says US Soccer gave a team bonus to the men of $5.4m for their round of 16 exit at the 2014 World Cup, but the federation gave just $1.7m to the women for winning the World Cup in 2015.The public relations battle – not the legal one – could end up being the most important aspect of this case, however.Back in 2016, the five players who filed the EEOC complaint did a round of high-profile media, including the Today Show and 60 Minutes, which put the federation under public pressure. Discrepancies that were difficult to defend became major talking points and pushed public opinion to the players’ side in the fight. For instance, the men got per diems of $75 when traveling abroad while the women only got $60. The women earned $1.20 for every ticket sold to their games while the men got $1.50. The federation, embarrassed by these discrepancies, quickly sought to remedy them.What remains to be seen is whether something similar can happen again: will the case simply be decided by lawyers and judges, or could public pressure prompt US Soccer to start addressing some of the complaints from the women?What does the men’s team think?After the players filed their 2016 complaint, a narrative quickly emerged of the women’s team being pitted against the men’s. Some of the players on the men’s team made comments that were unsupportive of the female players’ efforts – Alejandro Bedoya, for example, argued that the sports business model was too unique to expect equal pay between men and women, and Graham Zusi awkwardly tried to make a distinction that the women deserve more without proclaiming pay should be equal.But the players union for the men’s national team, which is in the middle of its own contract negotiations, says it fully supports the lawsuit from the women and has made equal pay part of discussions with US Soccer.“We are committed to the concept of a revenue-sharing model to address the US Soccer Federation’s ‘market realities’ and find a way towards fair compensation,” read a statement issued by the union. “An equal division of revenue attributable to the MNT and WNT programs is our primary pursuit as we engage with the US Soccer Federation in collective bargaining.” Share on Pinterest Share via Email Share on LinkedIn USA women’s football team Reuse this contentlast_img read more


Michigan Football Hosting 4 Major Recruits This Weekend

first_imgHead coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines reacts to a roughing the kicker call against his team during the first quarter against the Ohio State Buckeyes.ANN ARBOR, MI – NOVEMBER 28: Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines reacts to a roughing the kicker call against his team during the first quarter against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Michigan Stadium on November 28, 2015 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)This is the last weekend before the early signing period opens on Wednesday. That means a lot of recruits are heading to campuses for late official visits. Michigan football has four pretty big potential Wolverines on campus.According to SB Nation’s Maize ‘N’ Brew, a pair of four-star players, as well as a pair of three-stars are heading up to Ann Arbor.After losing five-star safety Daxton Hill to Alabama, Jim Harbaugh definitely wants to finish this recruiting cycle strong.The four-star players visiting Michigan football this weekend are wide receiver Cornelius Johnson and linebacker Anthony Solomon.Johnson is the No. 256 overall and No. 39 wide receiver in the 2019 class. He recently visited Penn State, another team in his top five, along with Alabama, Notre Dame and Stanford.He’s committing on the 19th.Top 5!I will be announcing my commitment next Wednesday, December 19th, 2018 at Brunswick School!— Cornelius Johnson (@CorneliusNation) December 11, 2018The 247 crystal ball for him is extremely split. Michigan has 14-percent of the predictions, but Notre Dame and Stanford are just ahead at 29-percent each. With those numbers, it is hard to take stock in it, so a good visit here could be huge for Harbaugh and company.Solomon is a heavier Michigan lean, with all 10 experts that have logged predictions choosing him to head to UM.The St. Thomas Aquinas (Fla.) star is the No. 193 player and No. 10 outside linebacker in the class of 2019.Michigan official this week— SOLO 11™️ (@Solomon_STA) December 12, 2018 Three-star tackle Danielson Ike and tight end Sam Snyder are also heading to campus.Ike is coming off of a trip to Indiana, one of his top options. Miami and Oklahoma are also after the 6-foot-6, 300 pound Kansas City native.Snyder was a Louisville commit until recently. Obviously the Cardinals have had a staff overhaul which has changed things. Baylor is also involved for the Orange Park, Florida native.[Maize ‘N’ Brew]last_img read more


Local Government Minister Urges Collection of Fees

first_imgStory Highlights Local Government and Community Development Minister, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, is urging Municipal Corporations to maximize the revenue generating potential from the requisite payment of fees by businesses and residents for services the councils administer, in keeping with the beneficiaries’ statutory obligations. Among the categories of revenues, which he said are at the Corporations’ disposal, are: property taxes, trade license and building permit fees. The Minister was addressing the St. Mary Municipal Corporation’s monthly meeting in Port Maria in October 12. Local Government and Community Development Minister, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, is urging Municipal Corporations to maximize the revenue generating potential from the requisite payment of fees by businesses and residents for services the councils administer, in keeping with the beneficiaries’ statutory obligations.Among the categories of revenues, which he said are at the Corporations’ disposal, are: property taxes, trade license and building permit fees.Mr. McKenzie said maximizing the outturns of these was imperative in order to supplement the Government’s budgetary provisions allocated to each Corporation through the Ministry.“I know that councillors continue lament the fact that they are not getting as much as they want. But you have to help yourselves, in this regard, (as) the Ministry will not always be able to provide you with all of the resources that the you need,” he stated.The Minister was addressing the St. Mary Municipal Corporation’s monthly meeting in Port Maria in October 12.While noting that Municipal Corporations are not faring badly in revenue inflows, Mr. McKenzie said they are “not doing as well as they ought”, based on the level of arrears for statutory obligations.He argued that if councils can collect as much as 40 per cent of outstanding sums, “then the Ministry wouldn’t have to be struggling to find money to support the work of the local authorities.”“These are revenues that the councils need to step up their approach on in collecting, and I am urging councillors to go on an extensive drive to collect those outstanding revenues,” Mr. McKenzie emphasized.last_img read more


Jammu and Kashmir Updates If situation normal why cant we visit asks

first_imgNew Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi along with a delegation of top opposition leaders from CPI(M), DMK and NCP will visit Srinagar on Saturday to “see the ground situation in the state”, where restrictions have been in place since the first week of August. However, hours after their decision was announced, the J&K administration asked political leaders “to cooperate and not visit Srinagar”. Even as authorities have announced relaxation of prohibitory orders in phases across the Valley, people have been observing a near total market and transport shutdown over the last few days against the government’s decision to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and its bifurcation into two Union Territories. Meanwhile, senior officials told The Indian Express the Centre has reached out to two former chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah of National Conference and Mehbooba Mufti of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, raising the possibility of re-opening some space for political dialogue in the Valley.(With inputs from Indian Express)last_img read more


Justin Biebers Somebody to Love lawsuit dismissed

first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Justin Bieber and Usher’s Somebody To Love copyright infringement lawsuit has been voluntarily dismissed.The pop collaborators were hit with the $10 million plagiarism lawsuit in 2013 after songwriters Devin ‘De Rico’ Copeland and Mareio Overton alleged the original song and its remix, which featured Usher, bore striking similarities to their tune, also titled Somebody to Love, which they had written and recorded for Copeland’s 2008 album, My Story II. Advertisement Login/Register With: Facebook Twitterlast_img


Greenpeace Canada taking Ont govt to court over repeal of cap and

first_imgTORONTO – An environmental advocacy group is turning to the courts in an effort to halt the Ontario government’s plan to scrap the province’s cap-and-trade system, alleging the lack of consultation on the issue violated rights entrenched in law.A legal challenge filed on behalf of Greenpeace Canada on Tuesday alleges Premier Doug Ford and his Progressive Conservative government failed to consult the public on a regulation ending Ontario’s cap-and-trade program and a proposed bill that would alter the province’s legislative regime for tackling climate change.The group said the Environmental Bill of Rights, legislation unique to Ontario, states that the province’s residents have the right to a 30-day consultation process on environmentally significant regulations and legislation.In its application for judicial review, the group alleged the province’s decision to bypass mandatory notice and consultation was “unreasonable and incorrect, procedurally unfair, and therefore unlawful.”“Basically, any policy, regulation or legislation that affects the environment has to be go through the EBR consultation process, and they’ve tried to skip that saying the election campaign constituted equivalent consultation,” Keith Stewart, a senior energy strategist with Greenpeace Canada, said in an email.Greenpeace said it has obtained an expedited hearing, tentatively scheduled for Sept. 21, so that the case can be heard before the government’s legislation on tackling climate change passes. The group said it is also seeking to have the regulation that scrapped cap and trade revoked.A spokesman for Ontario Environment, Conservation and Parks Minister Rod Phillips said the ministry would not comment on the specifics of the legal action, which contains unproven allegations.“We consulted extensively with the people of Ontario during the (election) campaign, and they spoke clearly,” Andrew Brander said in an email Tuesday evening.“The legislation has been posted to the registry and we are confident that it will meet all necessary requirements as we continue to undertake a full range of consultative steps,” Brander said.The Ford government is facing other legal challenges on controversial moves such as the scrapping of a modernized sex-ed curriculum. It has also been engaged in a legal battle over the size of Toronto’s city council.Legislation to slash Toronto’s council nearly in half in the middle of the municipal election campaign was struck down by the courts this week after a judge found it violated the right to freedom of expression for both candidates and voters.But the premier has said he will invoke a rarely used charter provision known as the notwithstanding clause to push ahead with his plan, and is expected to recall the legislature Wednesday to do so.Stewart said the notwithstanding clause could not be used in Greenpeace’s legal challenge because the case relies on procedural rights under the Environmental Bill of Rights, not charter rights.Ontario’s cap-and-trade system aimed to lower greenhouse gas emissions by putting caps on the amount of pollution companies in certain industries could emit. If companies exceeded those limits they had to buy allowances at quarterly auctions or from other companies that came in under their limits.The province made close to $3 billion in a series of cap-and-trade auctions since the system was introduced by the Liberals last year.Ford vowed to eliminate the system and fight Ottawa’s carbon pricing plan during the spring election campaign.His government has since introduced legislation to scrap cap and trade and cancel programs financed through its revenues, which include rebates for energy-efficient renovations, transit projects and a fund for school repairs.Ontario also announced this summer it was launching a legal battle against Ottawa over its carbon tax plan, saying the provincial government received a clear mandate during the spring election to fight the federal tax for provinces that don’t have their own carbon pricing system.The federal carbon tax is scheduled to kick in on Jan. 1.last_img read more


DPR of Korea requests UN aid in fighting bird flu among chickens

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has formally appealed for United Nations and other international help in its fight against bird flu among chickens, including diagnostic tools and technical aid for control strategies and vaccination, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).The appeal was made public at an international conference on bird flu last week in Paris, jointly organized by FAO and the World Animal Health Organization (OIE), a 167-member inter-governmental organization, in collaboration with the UN World Health Organization (WHO).OIE and FAO welcomed the DPRK’s request as a sign of improved transparency and international cooperation. Both organizations said that they are ready to extend their technical support to ensure an effective control of the disease in the country, which so far has not been reported to have claimed any human victims.FAO experts are already on the ground supporting the Government in obtaining data on the extent of the outbreaks and designing control strategies. OIE has been asked to assist in the training of veterinary experts.Last week’s meeting brought together some 300 key veterinary experts and scientists to discuss the current scientific information on the virus, which has spread to humans in other Asian countries, and to address different aspects of disease surveillance and control strategies.As of last week 33 human cases of H5N1 virus, 15 of them fatal, had been reported since mid-December in Viet Nam in the latest outbreak of a disease that in a worst-case scenario could kill tens of millions people worldwide.The conference appealed to donor countries to provide more funds, with some $100 million being urgently needed. So far only Germany, Japan and the Netherlands have expressed a willingness to financially support affected Asian countries.Overall there have been more than 80 reported infections, nearly 50 of them fatal, since the first human case was linked to widespread poultry outbreaks in Viet Nam and Thailand in January last year.WHO has repeatedly warned that H5N1 could mutate into a new human virus with pandemic potential. The so-called Spanish flu pandemic of 1918-1920, unrelated to the present virus, is estimated to have killed between 20 million and 40 million people worldwide.Nearly 140 million domestic birds have died or been culled over the past year in an effort to curb the spread of the disease. WHO is concerned that continuing transmission to humans might give avian and human influenza viruses an opportunity to exchange genes, facilitating a pandemic. read more


Myanmar Ban welcomes agreement in Kachin

This article has been amended as of 1 June 2013.Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the agreement reached between the Government of Myanmar and the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), calling it a first step towards reconciliation in the country. “The Secretary-General notes the seven point agreement as a significant achievement that could lay the basis for a genuine process of national reconciliation in the country,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said in a statement.Among the points in the agreement, the two parties agreed to establish a political dialogue and hold discussions on resettling more than 75,000 people who have been displaced since fighting began almost two years ago. “He commends the leaders of both delegations for their courage and perseverance. He also hopes this agreement will allow the two parties to address the concerns and needs of the people of Kachin State.” This is the first meeting between the Government and the KIO inside the country since conflict broke out in June 2011. Mr. Ban’s Special Adviser Vijay Nambiar was an observer at the talks on behalf of the UN, along with representatives from the Chinese Embassy and Myanmar’s ethnic nationality groups. In January, the Government announced a unilateral ceasefire following a three-week offensive against ethnic Kachin rebels. A month later, the parties held talks in China, where they agreed to work on an overall framework to de-escalate the conflict. “The Secretary-General underlines the continued support of the United Nations and his Special Adviser to the parties as they continue work towards de-escalating the conflict and toward a comprehensive political dialogue that could bring lasting peace to Myanmar,” the statement said. read more


Telegraph invites Sir Philip Green to drop the MeToo injunction Lawyers for The Telegraph have written to lawyers for Sir Philip Green asking him to drop an injunction against this newspaper.It comes after the Topshop boss was named in Parliament by Lord Hain as the leading businessman who had gagging orders against members of his staff and this newspaper which prevent details of claims of sexual harassment, racial discrimination and bullying made against him from being made public.In a letter to Schillings, lawyers for The Telegraph invited them to “withdraw these proceedings and agree to the discharge” of the temporary injunction issued by the Court of Appeal on Tuesday.It comes after Sir Philip issued a statement refusing to discuss what had happened in court or in Parliament but denying any unlawful sexist or racist behaviour.The letter adds: “In the circumstances, including the very wide coverage given to this matter throughout the media, we do not see what continuing purpose there can be in maintaining the injunction any longer.“If your clients do not agree our clients will pursue this matter to trial as quickly as possible.”Earlier this week the appeal court overturned a previous High Court ruling which found that publication of the allegations would be overwhelmingly in the public interest and would significantly contribute to debate in a democratic society. The letter to Sir Philip Green It indicated that the confidentiality of contracts were more important than freedom of speech in this case and ordered a trial. As well as re-igniting the #MeToo debate, the gagging of The Telegraph has renewed controversy about the use of injunctions to limit British press freedom.Read the letter here:  The letter to Sir Philip Green Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more


Chinese among those interested in financing Ironclads iron ore project

first_imgChinese investor interest in South Australia’s resources sector remains high with one of the State’s developers confirming potential China-based financiers were among its forward options for the Wilcherry Hill iron ore project on the Eyre Peninsula. Addressing the first day in Adelaide of the Paydirt 2009 South Australian Resources & Energy Investment Conference, Ironclad Mining’s General Manager, Andrew Bennett, said the company was currently considering financing options for development of its 80% owned Wilcherry Hill magnetite ore body. The remaining stake is held by Trafford Resources.“While we are having discussions with many potential financiers, the Chinese particularly head the groups with which we are engaging,” Bennett said. “It would be our preference that in any financing agreement, however, that we link it to some product offtake option as well. We are actively looking for a development and offtake partner as Wilcherry Hill has a premium magnetite product, low development cost and is very close to export infrastructure at Port Bonython.”Bennett said the style of the mineralisation meant the mine could use a mobile processing plant, negating the need for a ball mill and related higher energy costs. “This delivers a much lower capital cost profile for Wilcherry Hill, enhancing its appeal to our potential financiers. We are also considering eventual dry magnetic separation and that will keep production costs lower as we expand production.”Ironclad is proposing an initial 2 Mt/y throughput from a multiple open-pit operation at the resource, with some of the mineralisation presenting as Direct Ship Ore potential – “offering early cash flow” Bennett said.last_img read more


Lucky Peter nabs an iPad

first_imgEleven year old Peter Giasoumi was one of the many eager consumers to have bought an iPad on Friday at Chadstone Shopping Centre’s Apple store. “I will use the iPad to take to Greece and I will be looking at photos with it as well as play games” young Peter said to Neos Kosmos. He was keen to point out, “I have two Apple computers and two iPhones” When pressed about why he had two iPhones by Neos Kosmos, Peter came clean, “Well they are actually mum’s and dad’s but I play with them.” Friday saw the Australian release of the iPad. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img


Anime food art brings fandom to your belly

first_imgToo cute to eat? We don’t think so!Our bellies shall not be satisfied by taste alone. Nay. Our fervor for all things fandom brings us anime nerds to devour that which we love in the form of anime food art!Come and behold the most adorable, intricate, and awesome anime-inspired food we’ve gathered from around the web. Designed to feed your penchant for husbandos and waifus, as well as actual hunger, you’re sure to leave this list hungry for more! Vash the Stampede still loves donuts.1/12For all you Trigun fans, check out this amazing Vash bento, complete with Kuroneko the black kitty and a donut-munching Vash. Bento Anarchy is responsible for this adorable boxed lunch.<><> Got more anime food art you’d like to show off? Let us know in the comments!last_img


BitLounger wants to save your SNES game boxes with a cartridge organizer

first_imgThe organizer solves the “keeping your box mint” problem by removing your boxes from the equation completely. Instead, your SNES cartridges sit securely in a high quality acrylic tray, with ten carts fitting in each one. The 16BITSN trays are not cheap, though, costing $29 each, $50 for two, or $100 for five. If you’re an avid collector then that $100 deal is definitely the best option.There has definitely been a resurgence in the popularity of original cartridge use for old systems including the NES, SNES, Game Boy, and Mega Drive. The main driving force behind that is the existence of the Retron 5, which supports carts from nine different systems while offering crisp graphics on HD screens. So having your cartridges easily accessible from a tray while your boxes can be stored safely elsewhere is going to be appealing to many retro gamers. I’m also increasingly seeing auctions for “cart-only,” as boxes get lost or damaged beyond repair. <> If you grew up in the era of 16-bit gaming then you’ll be well aware of how difficult it is to keep a game in mint condition. Nintendo games in particular are a pain because the packaging is mostly cardboard. Every time you open the box you’re flexing that cardboard, creating new or deeper creases, and risking a tear. BitLounger wants to solve that problem with a cartridge organizer.As is typically the case now, if you want to fund a new product you turn to Kickstarter. And that’s what BitLounger has done (and succeeded in doing) for the 16BITSN SNES Cartridge Organizer.center_img BitLounger has already met it’s rather low $500 Kickstarter funding goal, so the 16BITSN is happening. And if you aren’t a SNES gamer, then keep an eye on the BitLounger website as they are promising cartridge organizers for other systems. I’d like them for Euro/Japanese SNES cartridges, too.last_img read more


This TextBased Lie Detector Can Spot False Police Reports

first_imgStay on target If I’ve learned anything from watching too many true-crime shows, it’s that verbal and physical tics can betray a lie.But what about textual trembles?Scientists from Cardiff University and Charles III University of Madrid developed a computer tool that can spot a fake police statement based entirely on words contained in the document.Using automatic text analysis and advanced machine learning, the VeriPol system can recognize patterns common with bogus robbery claims: types of items reported stolen, finer details of incidents, descriptions of a perpetrator, etc.The tool has been rolled out across Spain, where it aims to save police officers time and effort by complementing traditional investigative techniques. Ideally, VeriPol (which boasts a success rate of more than 80 percent) will deter people from filing false statements—which, in some places, is considered a serious crime with serious consequences.Trained on archival police statements recognized as fakes, the system is “extremely effective in discriminating between false and true reports,” according to Cardiff University.In an initial study of more than 1,000 accounts from the Spanish National Police, VeriPol identified a number of common themes, like shorter statements focused more on stolen property than the incident, a lack of precise details, limited information about the attacker, and a lack of witnesses or other hard evidence.“As an example, our model began to identify false statements where it was reported that incidents happened from behind or where the aggressors were wearing helmets,” study co-author Jose Camacho-Collados, a research associate at Cardiff University, said in a statement.Descriptions that include brand names (Apple or Samsung) were more often associated with false claims—probably someone trying to scam a high-end handset—than those referencing bicycles or necklaces.During a one-week pilot study in Spain last summer, VeriPol detected and helped close 25 cases of false robbery in Murcia and another 39 in Malaga.Comparatively, over the course of eight years (from 2008 to 2016), the average number of fake reports detected and cases closed by human police officers in the month of June was 3.33 for Murcia and 12.14 for Malaga.“Our study has given us a fascinating insight into how people lie to the police,” Camacho-Collados said, adding that, “Ultimately we hope that by showing that automatic detection is possible it will deter people from lying to the police in the first instance.”Results of this study were published in the journal Knowledge-Based Systems.More artificial intelligence coverage on to Build Robots at Shanghai FactoryMove Over, Chanel No. 5: AI is Creating Perfumes NowThis Is What ‘Solo’ Would Have Looked Like Starring Young Harrison Ford McDonald’s Plans to Serve AI Voice Technology at Drive ThruCIMON Returns to Earth After 14 Months on ISS last_img read more