Is Settling in USA worth it for Indians

first_imgAs an Indian immigrant in the USA, I have been asking myself this question for a quite long time. The reality is 95% of the Indian immigrants are settling in the US and only 5% of the immigrants are going back to India. I wondered if the “Major chunk(95%) of people settling in the US are making a wise decision or the small chunk(5%) of people going back are making a bad decision?” So I asked this question to my friends and colleagues from the 95% category but I could not get any subtle or profound answers. It looked like people are just following the crowd or falling into the trap, and not be able to go back later in life. So I did my own research asking specific set of survey questions to different age people. So let me share my findings.Read it at Linkedin Related Itemslast_img read more

Read More..

Liverpool thrashes Maribor 7-0 in Champions League

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf PLAY LIST 01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC MOST READ LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary LATEST STORIES Liverpool’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, left, celebrates with Philippe Coutinho after scoring during the Champions League soccer match between Maribor and Liverpool at the Ljudski vrt stadium, in Maribor, Slovenia, Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)MARIBOR, Slovenia — Liverpool rediscovered its potency by thrashing Maribor 7-0, matching the biggest away win in Champions League history and emphatically securing its first win in Group E on Tuesday.Mohamed Salah scored twice to follow up goals from Roberto Firmino, in the fourth minute, and Philippe Coutinho as Liverpool took a 4-0 lead at halftime.ADVERTISEMENT Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF presidentcenter_img Rockets rally to spoil defending champion Warriors return BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Firmino added a second goal before Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain — his first for Liverpool — and Trent Alexander-Arnold completed the rout for Maribor’s heaviest loss in the competition.“Our attitude was outstanding — we were spot on from the first second,” Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutLiverpool started off with draws against Sevilla and Spartak Moscow, but this win lifted the English team to the top of the group on goal difference from Spartak, which thrashed Sevilla 5-1.Liverpool has struggled to turn chances into goals in recent games, notably draws in the English Premier League against Burnley and Manchester United that have dropped Klopp’s team off the title pace. Read Next “We had bad luck in the last three or four games,” Salah said. “Everyone was confident a good result was coming.”It was the biggest margin of victory for an English club away from home in the European Cup or Champions League.Two other teams have also won 7-0 in the Champions League: Marseille over MSK Zilina in 2010 and Shakhtar Donetsk over BATE Borisov in 2014.ADVERTISEMENT Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  View commentslast_img read more

Read More..

Eagles prey on Tams; Maroons post win No. 2

first_img‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Thirdy Ravena finished with another all-around game with 18 points, 11 rebounds and five assists, while Anton Asistio picked up 16 points, built on three triples as the Eagles won by twin digits for the third straight game.“We shot well from the field,” said Ateneo assistant coach Sandy Arespacochaga.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games opening“It’s a high scoring game and we shot well from the field, even from the three-point line. But we also gave a lot of points to FEU. They shot the ball well also, more than what we would’ve wanted.”Later, Paul Desiderio broke out of his early season slump, firing a season-best 28 points as University of the Philippines repulsed University of the East, 84-71. Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters View comments Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netAteneo failed to shut down Far Eastern U’s attack the way it planned, but the Blue Eagles’ red-hot shooting proved more than enough to get the job done.With seven players making at least a triple, the Eagles used a fiery start to crush another contender in the Tamaraws, 94-82, on Sunday and regain top spot in UAAP Season 80 basketball tournament at Smart Araneta Coliseum.ADVERTISEMENT Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextcenter_img MOST READ Making just 26 percent of his shots in the first two games, Desiderio went 9-of-15 from the field as the Fighting Maroons shook off a flat start to improve their record to 2-1 for solo third behind Ateneo and La Salle.Malinese center Ibrahim Ouattara delivered a breakout performance of 14 points and 18 rebounds for the Maroons who rallied from 13-27 down in the opening period.“I have to give credit to my guys because they were able to withstand UE’s strong start,” said UP coach Bo Perasol said.Playing their third game in eight days, the Eagles came out smoking in the first period with Asistio hitting three triples and Ravena chipping in 10 points in a 34-point explosion that helped erect an 18-point bulge.“Our shooting helped us throughout the whole game, Anton hit the shots early, and all the others contributed so props to my teammates,” said Ravena. “But it was hard to pull off the defensive game plan.”ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Racela rues Tams’ poor defense vs hot-shooting Eagles The Tamaraws came within nine points in the fourth quarter but the Eagles, already in the groove offensively, found an answer each time with Ravena, Vince Tolentino and Matt Nieto making big shots to snuff out any hopes of a comeback.Nieto also had three triples and finished with 11 points, while Isaac Go and Rafael Verano also accounted for a trey each as the Eagles continued their offensive juggernaut that saw them beat Adamson by 20 points last Sept. 9 and UP by 21 on Wednesday.Wendell Comboy had 12 points for FEU, which slid to 1-2.last_img read more

Read More..

Sania-Bhupathi pair crashes out of US Open in first round

first_imgIndia’s mixed doubles pair of Sania Mirza and Mahesh Bhupathi crashed out in the opening round of the US Open on Thursday, losing 3-6, 6-7 to Lucie Hradecka and Frantisek Cermak of the Czech Republic.The Indian pair was seeded 6th in the tournament.Sania had also crashed out of the women’s singles in the first round after going down to Israel’s Shahar Peer. She, however, advanced to the 2nd round of women’s doubles with partner Elena Vesnina.Bhupathi will also play in men’s double round 2 after having won his first round match with partner Leander Paes.last_img

Read More..

Haryana govt to empower banks to give loans to its employees

first_imgChandigarh, Mar 2 (PTI) The Haryana government will sign a Memorandum of Understanding with banks to facilitate loans to government employees to tide over the fund crunch which makes extending loans difficult.The state government which provided loans for housing, vehicles, computers and marriage etc to its employees, has decided to transfer the facility to the banks.”The cabinet decided to shift its portfolio to the banks. The State Government would sign an MoU with banks, which would ensure quick release of loans as and when required,” an official spokesperson said today after a cabinet meeting presided over by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.”The employees would now be able to avail the loans through scheduled banks at the same rate of interest as is applicable through the government. Also, now they will not have to wait for days to get their applications processed,” he said.It was observed that as a result of this decision, the cost of interest subvention would be reduced and there would be wide and fair competition between banks, he said.”There would be good and favourable terms and conditions for the employees. Also, there would be strict time limits upon forwarding of an employees loan application by Head of the Department or Managing Director or Administrative Secretary concerned. There would be quick release of documents and easy pre-payment terms,” he said.”The governments annual budgetary allocation does not suffice the need of all its employees. Therefore, there is discontent among them.”The decision would overcome discontent amongst the employees as all of them would be able to avail the facility. The amount of loan currently given can be diverted to developmental works,” the spokesperson said.advertisementAlso, the shift would increase the clients of the banks, he said.The rate at which the loan is provided to the employees is linked to the rate of interest applicable to Public Provident Fund (PPF) and is revised by the state government from time to time.He said as the banks might be charging a rate of interest higher than that linked to the PPF account, the state would provide interest subvention to the banks on account of differential between the prevailing rate of interest and the one to be charged by the banks.The state government would have to make budgetary allocation only to the tune of a maximum of three per cent of the existing allocated budget on account of interest subvention to be paid to the banks, he said.There are over 2.74 lakh government employees, out of whom only 24,507 have availed housing loan and 9,757 took vehicle loan. As many as 7,144 employees have taken computer loan and 16,887 marriage loan from the government till March 31, 2014. PTI AKA DIP SK DIPlast_img read more

Read More..

Chris Gayle ‘plans to sign up’ for Manchester United

first_imgIs Chris Gayle disillusioned with cricket?The West Indies batting star, apart from hitting a century against England at the ICC World Twenty20, earlier this year, has done nothing much on the cricket field. He had a poor season with Indian Premier League runners-up Royal Challengers Bangalore, managing only 227 runs from 10 matches.However, off the field the cricketer garnered a lot of attention with his recent media statements directed at female journalists. Starting from the infamous ‘Don’t blush, baby’ comment during an interview with Mel McLaughlin in the course of the Big Bash League  to his recent interview with a Times reporter, where Gayle boasted about his ‘big bat’, the Jamaican has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons.He was even slammed by former players and Cricket Australia for making the comments. Melbourne Renegades, his BBL franchise imposed a heavy fine and decided not to renew his contract. IPL authorities also took note of Gayle’s crude comments to Charoltte Edwardes and said action would be taken if a complaint was filed against him.  ‘VICTIM OF DOUBLE STANDARDS’ The Caribbean star did not hold back. When responding to the sexism row surrounding him, he said he had been a victim of ‘double standards’.It seems the tired cricketer now wants to quit the game. GAYLE MULLING UNITED MOVE Gayle, who is now planning to take to football, has knocked the right doors, as well. In a social media post, Gayle said he had initiated discussions with the new Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho to become part of the club.advertisementGayle was obviously joking. He remains one of the most sought-after cricketers by T20 clubs around the world. He does not have a BBL contract anymore but he showed flashes of his brilliance in a few innings for RCB this season.  At a time when Mourinho is looking to add more firepower to United’s armoury, Gayle’s signing could prove to a be a jackpot for the club. Having characters like Swedish star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is also widely rumoured to sign with the Red Devils, and Gayle in the same dressing room should be a treat for players and fans, alike.In a photo shared on Instagram, Gayle is seen wearing the famous red shirt and holding a red scarf outside the monumental Old Trafford Stadium in Manchester.The West Indies cricketer is currently in England, where he is playing in the Natwest T20 Blast for Somerset. Notably, Gayle smashed 328 runs in just three appearances last season.last_img read more

Read More..

ICC Champions Trophy withdrawal not in best interests of Indian cricket: CoA to state associations

first_imgBCCI treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry has asked full members of the board to issue a letter to Amitabh Chaudhry stating that the Indian board has approved the decision to send a notice to the IBC/ICC to cure the breach as per the terms of the Members Participation Agreement immediately. (BCCI treasurer Anirudh Chaudhary tries to create unanimity among members on Champions Trophy boycott threat)A faction in the BCCI had over teleconference contemplated pulling out of the Champions Trophy of which India are title defenders.The decision, Anirudh, said in his letter to the full members, was taken during a conference call which was organised through the BCCI office “rather than the other channel for obvious reasons.” (No Champions Trophy decision without COA’s permission: Vinod Rai to BCCI)COA head Vinod Rai on Tuesday made it clear that BCCI office-bearers are not mandated to take any decision on India’s Champions Trophy participation without the COA’s approval. Rai’s comments came amid continuing speculation on India’s Champions Trophy participation after the BCCI was outvoted on its opposition to a revamped revenue and governance model of the ICC.”Yes, we have issued an instruction that any decision regarding the ICC Revenue Model should only be taken at the Special General Meeting (SGM). But the BCCI units have been told that they cannot issue any legal notice to the ICC with regards to Champions Trophy pull-out without our prior approval,” Rai told PTI.The COA was forced to issue a diktat after it was learnt that around 10 loyalists of former BCCI president N Srinivasan engaged in a teleconference where the options of pulling out and taking legal action against the global body were discussed. (BCCI misses deadline for naming squad)advertisementIndia Today has now learnt that the CoA has written to the state associations telling them that pulling out of the Champions Trophy was not in the best interests of Indian cricket and that it will move Supreme Court if any drastic steps are taken at the BCCI SGM scheduled on May 7. (BCCI isolated at International Cricket Council: Sources to India Today)Here’s the CoA letter to the states:1.We have been informed that a Special General Meeting of the BCCI has been convened on May 7, 2017 (“SGM”) to conduct the following business:”To apprise the General Body of the BCCI on the discussions held with representatives of other Member Boards of the ICC and on the decisions taken at the ICC Meetings held on the 24th of April, 2017 and the 26th of April, 2017 and to take all necessary decisions pursuant thereto.”2.We are addressing this communication to you with the intention of putting all relevant factors and issues in their proper perspective when you discuss and take necessary decisions at the SGM. You are all aware that a certain financial model was proposed in 2014 and accepted by the other cricket boards and the same was meant to commence in 2015/2016. However, soon after the said financial model had been accepted, there were discordant voices that emanated from other cricket boards (which have been noted by the General Body of the BCCI in February 2016) and the ICC decided to set up a working group to re-visit the said financial model.3.One of the members of the Committee of Administrators (Mr. Vikram Limaye) had attended the ICC Board meeting in February 2017 on behalf of the BCCI pursuant to the order dated January 30, 2017 passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court. The ICC Board meeting in February 2017 was within a week of the Committee of Administrators being appointed. At the said meeting, Mr. Limaye had proposed that instead of there being any voting on the revised ICC governance structure and revised financial model, the same should be taken up during the meetings to be held in April 2017 since there wasn’t sufficient time for BCCI to study the proposals and formulate its position. Also, the proposals presented had stated that there was no scientific basis for the revised financial model that was being proposed. However, on the insistence of a majority of the ICC Board, a vote was taken on the approval of the revised ICC governance structure and revised financial model. The same were approved ‘in-principle’ (with only Mr. Limaye and the representative from Sri Lanka Cricket voting against whilst the representative from Zimbabwe Cricket abstained), subject to the right of ICC members to raise any issues they have on the proposals in advance of the meetings to be held in April 2017.4.In order to ensure that the BCCI’s stand in relation to the revised ICC governance structure and revised financial model was placed on record with the ICC sufficiently in advance of the meetings to be held in April 2017, we instructed the CEO to address a detailed communication dated March 19, 2017 to the ICC (in response to an email addressed by the ICC to Mr. Limaye) setting out our preliminary observations on the revised ICC governance structure and revised financial model (See Annexure 1). We understand that this communication has already been brought to your attention during the Special General Meeting held on April 18, 2017. We would like to highlight that the said communication specifically draws the attention of the ICC to the Members Participation Agreement dated 12th October 2014 entered into between the BCCI and IBC (a subsidiary of ICC) (“MPA”) and states that the revised ICC governance structure and revised financial model will, if adopted, entitle BCCI to exercise certain rights under the MPA and also to avail remedies under applicable law.advertisement5.In order to ascertain the rights and remedies that may be available to BCCI under and in relation to the MPA and otherwise in the event the revised ICC governance structure and revised financial model are adopted, the Committee of Administrators had also asked the CEO to obtain necessary legal opinion(s) from appropriate foreign lawyers on the matter. We have been informed that this legal opinion has already been shared with the existing office bearers of the BCCI and we expect that they will appropriately brief you on the same.6.In the meantime, after the ICC Board Meeting held in February 2017, other cricket boards as well as the ICC were desirous of engaging in discussions and their representatives approached the Committee of Administrators for this purpose, since there were no functioning office bearers until the clarification issued by the Hon’ble Supreme Court on March 24, 2017. During the said discussions, we made it clear to the ICC and other cricket boards that Mr. Limaye had only been asked to attend the meetings to be held in February 2017 and he may not necessarily be asked to attend the meetings to be held in April 2017. Accordingly, the discussions between the ICC, other cricket boards and us were limited to ascertaining their respective positions and scope for negotiation. No commitment whatsoever has been made by us on behalf of the BCCI either to the ICC or to any other cricket board.7.During the course of the said discussions, the ICC and other cricket boards clearly communicated to us that the events that transpired in 2014 had led to an immense trust deficit between them and the BCCI and there was a need for trust-building in order to work together going forward. They acknowledged the fact that BCCI contributes much more to the ICC than other cricket boards and also recognized that BCCI should therefore get its due share under the revised financial model and were prepared to negotiate an amount that would be acceptable to BCCI and other cricket boards. At the same time, they made it clear that the share that was envisaged under the financial model that was put in place in 2014 was too high and not acceptable to them. They believed that a fair share could be something in between what was proposed in 2014 and the new financial model and could be negotiated between BCCI, other cricket boards and the ICC without the need for a vote. Our discussions indicated that the ICC Chairman and other cricket boards were keen to find an acceptable middle ground to resolving this matter in a collaborative/ non-confrontational framework.advertisement8.After the order dated April 17, 2017 passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court appointing Mr. Amitabh Choudhary as BCCI’s representative to the ICC, we had invited the existing office bearers for a meeting on April 21, 2017 so that we could update them on the above developments prior to the ICC meetings. Whilst the Acting President and the Hon. Treasurer expressed their inability to attend the said meeting, the Acting Secretary did meet with us on April 21, 2017 and we briefed him on our prior discussions with the ICC and other cricket boards so that he would be aware of their respective views/ positions.9.We believe that the outcome of the ICC Board Meetings held in Dubai during the last week of April 2017 could have been avoided if the resolutions passed during the Special General Meeting held on April 18, 2017 had authorized the Acting Secretary to arrive at a negotiated outcome (within certain parameters akin to those set out during an earlier Special General Meeting held on February 19, 2016) instead of directing him to either seek deferment of a vote and, if that was not agreed to by the ICC and other cricket boards, vote against the revised ICC governance structure and revised financial model. In fact, we had communicated our apprehension regarding the lack of flexibility available to the Acting Secretary to negotiate when we met him on April 21, 2017.10.The decision regarding what amount/ share and changes to the ICC governance structure the BCCI should finally agree to in the course of negotiations with the ICC and other cricket boards is certainly one that needs to be taken by the General Body of the BCCI as it has long term implications. However, since we have had the benefit of independently interacting with the ICC and other cricket boards as mentioned above, we consider it our duty to communicate our views on the matter to you prior to the SGM:(a) It is extremely unlikely that the ICC and other cricket boards will agree to the amount/ share envisaged under the financial model that was put in place in 2014.(b) The ICC and other cricket boards will certainly agree to an amount/ share that is higher than what is envisaged under the revised financial model.(c) It is in the interests of Indian cricket for the BCCI to continue negotiations with the ICC and other cricket boards to arrive at an amount/ share that is somewhere between that envisaged under the financial model that was put in place in 2014 and that which is envisaged under the revised financial model. An audio recording of the Special General Meeting of the Members of BCCI held on February 19, 2016 reveals that there was a recognition that the BCCI should work in a collaborative framework with ICC and negotiate a lower amount that is acceptable to all. BCCI should continue to adopt this approach in its negotiations with ICC. Specific details of the maximum reduction in the amount/ share that the then President and Secretary of the BCCI were authorized to negotiate and agree were verbally agreed although the same does not find mention in the minutes of the said Special General Meeting.(d) It is not in the interests of Indian cricket for the BCCI to take any drastic step/ measure which may result in breakdown of negotiations between the BCCI, ICC and other cricket boards, especially since there is sufficient time between now and the ICC Conference to be held in June 2017 for a negotiated outcome to be arrived at.11.We are aware that apart from the revised ICC financial model, issues relating to the revised ICC governance structure are also important for the BCCI. This is evident from the fact that a majority of the preliminary observations contained in the detailed communication dated March 19, 2017 addressed by the CEO to the ICC under our instructions (See Annexure 1) are in relation to the revised ICC governance structure viz. scheduling of bilateral tours, membership issues, powers of the ICC Chairman, voting issues, composition of committees, etc. We believe that the way to address these issues is also through negotiation with the ICC and other cricket boards and there is sufficient time between now and the ICC Conference to be held in June 2017 for a negotiated outcome to be arrived at. However, a negotiated outcome may be jeopardized if the BCCI takes any drastic step/ measure at this stage which will only precipitate matters.12.We wish to emphasize that we are committed to protecting the interests of Indian cricket including by ensuring that the BCCI gets a fair amount/ share in any financial model that is ultimately put in place by the ICC. However, our views and those of the Members of BCCI may (or may not) differ on what is a fair amount/ share for BCCI and what the priorities are in protecting the interests of Indian cricket.13.We trust that the Members of BCCI will take a mature and well-considered decision at the SGM which protects the interests of Indian cricket as a whole. We will extend all possible cooperation and support to such a decision and will stand firmly with the Members of BCCI in that regard. However, in the extremely unlikely event that the decision of the Members of BCCI at the SGM is one which, in our view, is against the interests of Indian cricket, we would be duty bound to bring such decision to the attention of the Hon’ble Supreme Court, communicate our views to the Hon’ble Supreme Court and seek its intervention in the matter as also to take such other steps that we consider necessary to protect the interests of Indian cricket.14.We look forward to discussing the above in greater detail when we meet on May 6, 2017.last_img read more

Read More..

London crowd boos Gatlin again, this time during medal

first_imgceremonyBy Philem Dipak SinghLondon, Aug 6 (PTI) Newly-crowned world 100m champion Justin Gatlin was today booed by the crowd at the Olympic stadium here once again, just hours after athletics world governing body chief Sebastian Coe said that the American should have been banned for life for a 2006 dope offence.The 35-year-old Gatlin, who has served two suspensions for doping offences, ruined retiring Usain Bolts fairytale farewell yesterday by beating the Jamaican sprint superstar in a highly anticipated 100m dash final.Bolt, who is expected to be a part of Jamaican title defence in mens 4x100m relay on August 12, came third, behind Gatlin and another American Christian Coleman.Stunned to see their favourite Bolt losing the race, the crowd booed Gatlin while chanting Usain Bolt! Usain Bolt!. Gatlin was simply cold-shouldered by the London crowd and the American had responded with a keep quiet gesture by putting his index finger on his lips.Today, during the victory ceremony held just before the afternoon session, Gatlin was booed again by the crowd.When bronze winner Bolts name was announced, the crowd responded with loud cheers. But as soon as the announcer in French began took Gatlins name, the crowd booed him. It was not a prolonged boo though as some sections of the crowd began to clap in acknowledgement of Gatlins victory.Gatlin took the boos on his chin as he stood stoically on the podium without showing any emotions.He called up Bolt and silver winner American compatriot Christain Coleman on the top podium to pose together for the shutterbugs.advertisementInterestingly, IAAF President Coe gave away the medals to Gatlin, Coleman and Bolt as it is customary for the global body chief to do the honours of the blue-riband event of the championships.Coe shook hands with Gatlin before honouring the newly- crowned champion with the gold medal, just as he did with Coleman and Bolt.Just a few hours back, Coe had said that Gatlin should have been handed a lengthier eight-year ban for his second dope offence in 2006 and that could have ended his career.”There have been two bans (on Gatlin) in the past. One got watered down, which made it very difficult for the second ban. The second ban, we went for an eight-year ban, which would have, in essence, been a life ban. We lost that,” Coe was quoted as saying by BBC Sport.Gatlin received a two-year ban in 2001 after failing a dope test for amphetamines found in prescribed medication he had been taking since a child for Attention Deficit Disorder. This suspension was later reduced to one year on appeal.The sprinter then tested positive for testosterone in 2006 and was suspended for eight years, avoiding a lifetime ban in exchange for his cooperation with the doping authorities.This ban, however, was also halved by an arbitration panel in 2007.”I would like (to see lifetime bans) and so would the majority of our sport. Im not going to close the door on lifetime bans but weve constantly tried it and lost it,” Coe, himself a double Olympic gold medallist in 1500m race, said.Talking about Bolt not being able to defend 100m gold in his final individual race, Coe said, “Im not eulogistic that someone who has served two bans has walked off with one of our glittering prizes. But he is eligible to be here.””Its not the perfect script. I thought Usain was very generous with the observations he made. That must have been a bitter event for him to swallow. He was bigger than the moment and it typifies his career,” the Briton said, referring to Gatlins claim that Bolt himself told him that he did not deserved to be booed.Coe, however, maintained that since Gatlin was eligble to run, he will have to be given some respect.”Gatlin is eligible to compete. Its not the most exciting day in prospect for me (to give away the gold mefal to Gatlin) but he has to be accorded some respect,” said Coe. PTI PDS ASK ASKlast_img read more

Read More..

New Davis Cup to look to next generation of tennis talent

first_imgMadrid, Oct 22 (AFP) The Davis Cup can succeed even without the likes of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal as the reformed tournament will target a new generation of tennis stars, the International Tennis Federation’s chief operating officer has said.Gerard Pique, the Barcelona defender and president of Kosmos, who are promoting an updated version of the 118-year-old competition, was optimistic last week when asked about the participation of Nadal, Federer and Novak Djokovic.There were also caveats, however, that all seem likely to materialise. Pique said Djokovic would play if there was no conflict with the ATP, who are yet to back down over plans to hold their own World Team Cup in January.Nadal’s involvement apparently relies on his fitness but the 32-year-old’s body is at its most vulnerable at the end of the season. He has withdrawn from six of the last 14 ATP Finals due to physical issues.For Federer, Pique insisted the “door remains open” but the Swiss is the least likely of the three to take part, given how selectively he manages his schedule these days.It leaves the ITF, who run the Davis Cup, looking beyond the sport’s most celebrated male trio, and ahead to the next generation.”That’s one of things we want to do,” said ITF chief operating officer Kelly Fairweather.”We know Croatia are playing in the final this year and both (Marin) Cilic and (Borna) Coric are supportive. (Alexander) Zverev is a big one too and after conversations Gerard had with him in Shanghai I think he’s more open now.advertisement”Take the football World Cup in the summer. Italy didn’t qualify and it wasn’t the end of the world, the tournament still went ahead.”If you have 18 teams and you have the best nations playing, it can still be a success. We’re convinced the collective is bigger than the individual.”The new format will involve a qualification tournament in February, from which 12 teams will reach the finals in November, along with the previous four semi-finalists and two wild cards.The finals will take place at the Caja Magica in Madrid between November 18 to 24, but the concern is players usually take time off around this period.”There are ongoing discussions about the calendar but for the time being we’re committed to November,” Fairweather said.”The benefit is players know when and where it will be. It’s much easier for them to plan.”Many may choose to prioritise the convenience of the ATP’s Team World Cup at the start of the season in January, over the Davis Cup’s history and prestige.The hope remains that the ITF and ATP can find an agreement to avoid the two tournaments rubbing up against each other.”We’re keeping those channels wide open,” Fairweather said. “If there’s a will there’s a way but it’s going to take some compromise on both sides.” (AFP) APAAPAlast_img read more

Read More..

Gambhir retires from all forms of cricket (Lead)

first_imgNew Delhi, Dec 4 (IANS) India discard Gautam Gambhir on Tuesday announced his retirement from all forms of cricket. The Ranji Trophy game between Delhi and Andhra starting on Thursday at the Feroz Shah Kotla here will be his last game.”The next Ranji trophy match against Andhra will be my last game in the sun. It is all coming to an end from where it started at Feroz Shah Kotla,” Gambhir said in a video message on social media.”As a batsman I have always valued timing. I know the time is just right and I am sure it’s sweet as well,” he added.The 37-year-old Delhi batsman has played 58 Tests (4154 runs), 147 One-Day Internationals (5238 runs) and 37 Twenty20 Internationals. He has also played 197 first-class matches.While reflecting on some of the high points of his career, Gambhir admitted that the dreaded feeling that his ability to play at the highest level is decreasing has haunted him for sometime.”Grounds, dressing rooms, wash rooms, you name it the thought has rarely deserted me. Each time I got out playing for India or KKR or Delhi Daredevils this thought would turn into a sharp, disturbing noise and walk with me all the way to the dressing room shouting: “IT IS OVER GAUTI”.”It slapped me hard when I got those three ducks in a row in 2014 IPL. Then again when I had a dreadful tour to England the same year. In 2016 I was on my knees again. I was dropped after Rajkot Test match against England. But once again I refused to pay attention. I wanted to beat this noise. Instead of getting knocked down, I punished my body even more.”After a decent 2017 domestic season I entered this year’s IPL with confidence as my best buddy. My feet seemed to have got fresh batteries. My head was still as a pond. And my game, roaring as a raging ocean. I thought all those negative noises were dead. But I was wrong. Six games of IPL for Delhi Daredevils it was back. And this time it was louder than before. Perhaps, my time was up. Yes, my time was up,” he said.”So, here I am, after more than 15 years of cricket for my country I want to retire from playing this beautiful game. Despite all the aches and pains; fears and failures I won’t mind a repeat of this in my next life too. But obviously with a few more wins for India, a few more hundreds and in the next life may be a few 5-wicket hauls as well.”While reflecting on the high points of his career, he said: “The historic series wins in New Zealand and in CB series in Australia will be reflected upon fondly. But I do hope the current Indian team Down Under can overshadow our feats. I won’t say the list is satisfactory as I feel I was good enough for a lot more.””This may sound a little wishful but then I have seen wishes do come true. Two World Cups, highest run-getter in finals of both these games is a stuff dreams are made of and I only had this dream of winning the World Cup for you all. I think someone up there was writing my script but looks like now he has run out of his ink.”But along the way he wrote some fascinating chapters. Somewhere on the top is being part of the number one Test team in the world. A trophy that I look at very fondly is the one that I got for being awarded ICC Test batsman of the year in 2009. For a purist like me it is a reward of somewhat knowing where my off-stump was,” he added.The former India opener also thanked everyone he has encountered during the course of his career.”Next on my thank you list are the curators, groundsmen and numerous dressing room attendants across India. They toiled for little or minimal returns for what is essentially treated as a thankless job. I hope their life standards improve from that they are now. A big thanks to each one of you. I’d also like to thank numerous net bowlers who bowled to me so that I can become a better batsman. They travelled long distances just to help me practice. Thank you very much.”My cricket coach Mr Sanjay Bhardwaj stood with me during thick and thin of life. Whenever in trouble I could count on him. “Sir, I don’t know if I have you proud but I can assure you sir I gave it all that I had.” Sanjay sir introduced me to the other coaching influence of my life, the late Mr Parthasarthy Sharma. He was an institution in the art of batting. A lot of credit for my ability to play spin bowling should go to him. I hope I was worth his time,” he said.”The thing that I will miss the most is the camradrie of an Indian team’s dressing room. It was a wonderful place to be in. Yes, there are pressures of international sport but then when you have team-mates like I had these pressures look elementary. I learnt heaps from each one of them. I will miss all of that and more. Thank you guys, you all will be my one, big family,” he added.”Thank you DDCA and BCCI for helping me realise my dreams. Thank you KKR for giving me an opportunity to express myself as leader.”Gambhir also thanked the fans for their support.”Along this journey I have fostered some meaningful partnerships. None more than with you guys, the supporters of Indian cricket, the most important stakeholders. I have always disapproved of the terms “fans” or “crowd”. Its quite demeaning because I think at the end of the day it is you guys who make cricket or cricketers what they are,” he said.Talking about the support from his family, Gambhir said: “In the end I’d like to thank all my family members for their love and support. My parents, grand parents, both the mamas and maamis, my wife and my two little angels who took all my tantrums and mood swings.””I’d like to begin with the original talent scout of my family, my mom. It was she who took me to a proper cricket academy at the age of 10 and rest is history. In my tough times Mom was and is my favourite punching bag. I am extremely sorry mom I have been an absolute jughead. My dad took more pressure than me whenever I played. He never shared with me but his colleagues would tell me he’d never watch TV when my game was on. Dad, you too can relax now.”–IANSajb/sedadvertisementadvertisementlast_img read more

Read More..

LG to launch budget smartphone with triple rear camera setup in India

first_imgEarlier this year, LG launched two flagship devices – the LG V50 ThinQ and the LG G8 ThinQ – at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019. But even before launching its V series and G series devices, Lg launched a budget smartphone – the LG K12 Plus – with a MediaTek processor. And now, word is that the Korean electronics giant is planning to launch a new smartphone that is targeted at Indian users.According to a report by 91 Mobiles, LG is working on a new smartphone that is targeted at the affordable segment of the Indian smartphone market. The new budget smartphone, whose name hasn’t been determined yet, will come with a triple rear camera setup and it will be sold within the country via online channels only.While not much is known about LG’s upcoming budget smartphone right now, the images shared by the publication indicate that the phone would feature a gradient colour scheme at the back and the triple rear camera setup of the phone would be stacked vertically on the top left corner of the phone with a camera sensor encircled in red colour. The LED flash would be placed directly beneath that.In addition to this, LG’s new budget phone would come with a fingerprint sensor that is placed in the top quadrant of the phone’s back – a feature that it is likely to share with some of the company’s previous phones like the LG G7 ThinQ and the LG V40 ThinQ. Images also reveal that the volume control buttons and the power button would sit on the right side of the phone. There is no word on if the phone would sport a separate button to invoke Google Assistant yet.advertisementIn addition to this, the text on the images indicate that the phone would come with a Full Vision display and AI features. Sources told the publication that the phone would get several features from the company’s V-series and G-series smartphones. This means that LG’s upcoming budget smartphone is likely to come with features like the Triple Preview modes which gives a live preview of all the three cameras simultaneously and the Triple Preview modes which gives a live preview of all the three cameras simultaneously. It is also likely to come with LG’s AI camera technology.Notably, no additional details about the phones are available at the moment. And we will have to wait till officially unveils its budget smartphone to know more about the device.ALSO READ: | LG K12 Plus with a MediaTek processor and Android 8.1 spotted on Google Play ConsoleALSO READ: | LG G8 ThinQ: Full specifications, top features, India price & everything you need to knowALSO READ: | LG V50 ThinQ: Full specifications, top features, India price & everything you need to knowlast_img read more

Read More..

10 months agoSouthampton boss Hasenhuttl: I know my January targets

first_imgSouthampton boss Hasenhuttl: I know my January targetsby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveSouthampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl says he’s better prepared for the January transfer window after the hectic festive period.The Austrian looks lightly to make some acquisitions next month with Saints currently sitting one spot out of the drop zone on goal difference.”I knew it from the beginning when I was coming here. I knew exactly what a brutal schedule is waiting for us in the first weeks,” he admitted.”To prepare a new team, to know the new players, how they play and what they can do for you and that’s an important part today to give players a chance. I saw them only for now just practicing and not under pressure in a Premier League game.”If I want to make decisions in January about new transfers I need to know everyone in the team.”Therefore, I need the impressions that I got and it’s an important game for me.”I saw a young Kayne Ramsay who made a good job, I saw Prowsey performed really well and that’s important for me so I can make decisions in January.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Read More..

a month agoBarkley insists Chelsea have proven they can beat Liverpool

first_imgAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Barkley insists Chelsea have proven they can beat Liverpoolby Freddie Taylora month agoSend to a friendShare the loveRoss Barkley believes Chelsea have already shown they can beat Liverpool.The two clubs will meet at Stamford Bridge this Sunday for their second meeting of the season after Liverpool defeated the Blues on penalties in the Super Cup final last month.”Every side is beatable on the day. It just goes down to hard work, putting extra yards in, being clinical as well and a bit of luck. The big games bring the best out of all players,” Barkley told reporters.”As you have seen in the Super Cup final and how well we performed in that game, and we can perform to those levels again on Sunday and hopefully it goes our way.”We are joint-third [in the league on points]. We’re not doing badly. We won at the weekend, scoring goals. We have got a confident bunch of lads in the team. We have got a big game on Sunday and we are confident we can win the game.” last_img read more

Read More..

Travel Bucket List: 4 Seriously Dangerous Things to Do in South America

first_imgAmong U.S. travelers, South America doesn’t get the same recognition as many of the world’s more popular destinations. But, for hardcore adventurers, it’s arguably the most exciting continent on earth. Here are four of the most dangerous experiences to prove while South America should be on your travel bucket list.Biking the Death Road (Bolivia)North Yungas Road carves a path down one side of Bolivia’s Cordillera Oriental Mountain Chain. The majority of it is unpaved and devoid of guardrails. To one side of the road, a sheer rock face; to the other, a 2,000-foot drop into a lush rainforest abyss. The warm, humid, Amazon climate guarantees fog and heavy rain most days of the year, making rockslides and mudslides a common occurrence. As many as 300 people are believed to die on the road every year, earning it the unenviable title of World’s Most Dangerous Road. To tourists and many locals, it’s known simply as “El Camino de la Muerte” or “Death Road.” Naturally, many local companies like Gravity Bolivia guide mountain biking tours down its harrowing 40-mile stretch.Hiking the Darién Gap (Colombia/Panama)The Pan-American Highway stretches nearly 20,000 miles from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska south to Ushuaia, Argentina, making it the world’s longest “motorable road.” However, this is misleading thanks to a gap in the road where Panama abuts Colombia. This is the Darién Gap: a dense, lawless, 100-mile stretch of jungle ruled by rebels, drug smugglers, and paramilitary groups. The Gap features virtually zero roads or obvious paths, and so the only way out is through. Hikers must typically bushwhack through the inhospitable wilderness full of poison frogs, jungle scorpions, and lots of spiny, deadly flora. To be very clear, hiking the Gap is dangerous, bordering on suicidal. Still, an unknown number of foolhardy travelers attempt it each year. In the words of one hiker who survived his trek there: “Even the most adventurous, or well-seasoned traveler should not give into their ego and think that they can go it alone. It’s way too easy to get lost in its vastness, or fall prey to those who hide in its uncontrolled boundlessness. I’ve been all over the world and hiked in untamed wilderness, but this is a world unto its own.”Climbing Ojos del Salado (Argentina/Chile)Straddling the border of Argentina and Chile, on the edge of the Atacama Desert, is Ojos del Salado (loosely translated from Spanish, “Eyes of the Salty One”). Set in the Andes Mountains, it’s the highest active volcano in the world, earning it a place on the elusive Seven Continental Volcanic Summits list. With an elevation of 22,615 feet — just 200 feet shorter than Aconcagua — the real danger here is altitude sickness and the perils that come with intense physical exertion at such high elevations. Plus, it’s still an active volcano. While it hasn’t erupted in more than 1,000 years, one millennium is the blink of an eye in geological terms. Anyone who’s reasonably fit can tackle the summit independently. But, given the elevation and inherent risks, it’s best to go with a group expedition like this one offered by Adventure Peaks. As a bonus, the permanent crater lake near 21,000 feet is believed to be the highest in the world.Trekking the Amazon RainforestTo be sure, hiking or paddling the Amazon rainforest is, like almost everything in life, as dangerous as you make it. Going with a guided expedition — someone who understands the dangers of the local flora and fauna — almost guarantees you’ll emerge from your journey unscathed. But many travelers (like the two woefully inexperienced Polish brothers who undertook a harrowing paddle-bike journey downriver) decide to go it alone. The litany of reasons why this is a terrible idea is a long one. To boil it down: Every last thing in the Amazon is designed to kill you. However, if it’s true adventure you’re after, you’ll find it here. Professional Climber Adrian Ballinger on the Savage Mountain, No-Oxygen Climbing, and YouTube Editors’ Recommendations The World’s 12 Most Grueling and Insane Endurance Races There’s Never a Bad Time to Visit Whistler, the Four-Season Outdoor Playground 8 of the Most Dangerous Hikes in the World 14 Best Outdoor Stores in the United Stateslast_img read more

Read More..

Families react to final report of the TRC

first_imgAPTN National NewsFamilies make up the bulk of the evidence provided to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.Their stories are painful, and in many cases, told for the first time.APTN’s Annette Francis talked to some of the families who were at the release of the final report.afrancis@aptn.caFollow @aptnafrancislast_img

Read More..

Father son arrested for death of youth in Kalighat

first_imgKolkata: Two persons have been arrested for beating up a youth to death at Kalighat. The son and father duo has identified as Kanai Patra and Bapi Patra.According to sources, Bapi was arrested earlier. But later from his statement and local witnesses police came to know that Kanai was the prime accused. He had badly beaten up Sankar Mondal (25). Kanai confessed to crime on Sunday morning. Police came to know that a few persons had threatened Mondal on Sunday and in the next morning his body was found. Police also came to know from local witnesses that a few local residents tied Mondal to a tree and asked him to return a mobile phone. A source of police identified Kanai from the CCTV footage. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaMondal was beaten around 2:30 am on Saturday night. He was tied to a tree and assaulted by more than one person. Some locals informed the police about it. Sleuths found the CCTV footage but it was not clear enough to identify any person, sleuths are trying to find who were present there at that point time. Some locals alleged that he was being beaten for allegedly stealing a mobile phone. But no mobile phone was found on Saturday night when Mondal was beaten up.last_img read more

Read More..

Rahul aprabuddha unlimited Krishna

first_imgBengaluru: Former minister for external affairs S M Krishna Tuesday called Congress president Rahul Gandhi ‘aprabuddha unlimited’ (unintellectual unlimited) following a rap from the Supreme Court for wrongly attributing it to the Rafale case. “When somebody acquires a reputed position, especially in the case of the Congress president whose party has a history of 125 years, the sign of intellect should have been that the views are expressed cautiously after much deliberation. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ It’s a sign of maturity. But today what we witnessed today is unintellectual unlimited,” Krishna said at a press conference here. The former Karnataka chief minister, who played a long innings in the Congress before joining the BJP, said the opposition “lacked truth and evidence” before making allegations. “Whatever the allegations are being made against the prime minister lacks truth, gravity and documentation. For example, we can see how the Congress president has incurred the wrath of Supreme Court due to his immature behaviour,” the BJP leader said. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K He was referring to the apex court’s order seeking explanation from Rahul Gandhi by April 22 for ‘incorrectly attributing’ to it in the Rafale deal case. The Supreme Court Monday made it clear that the remarks made by Rahul Gandhi in the media on the Rafale case verdict were “incorrectly attributed” to the apex court and directed the Congress chief to give his explanation by April 22. The top court gave a categorical clarification that in its Rafale judgement there was no occasion for it to make a mention of the alleged contemptuous observation that “Chowkidar Narendra Modi chor hain” as has been attributed to it by Gandhi. The former union minister said the ‘unintellectual’ has grown so big that the Congress president was caught in a difficult situation. He (Rahul Gandhi) may have to stand in front of the top court as a criminal on April 23, Krishna said. Noting that Gandhi’s statement symbolised “political discourse” touching a low ebb, Krishna said the Congress leader cannot escape by saying that his statement has been misquoted because they were video recorded. When asked how he saw the future of the country if Gandhi became the prime minister, Krishna said, “You should ask Mayawati or Akhilesh Yadav.” “Why has Congress become untouchable? In Uttar Pradesh the alliance of SP-BSP gave only two seats to Congress by taking pity on them. Do you need any other evidence than this to show how serious condition the Congress is in today?” he asked. On the NYAY scheme, Krishna sought to know how resources would be mobilised to materialise the scheme. The Congress, in its manifesto for the Lok Sabha elections, has said Nyay assures up to Rs 72,000 a year or Rs 6,000 a month income to 20 per cent of India’s poorest families.last_img read more

Read More..

Video Moroccans and Algerians Celebrate Algerias AFCON Victory at Border

Rabat – Near the Morocco-Algeria border in Oujda, in Northeast Morocco, the Algerian football team’s victory against Senegal in this year’s Afcon final was celebrated with resounding messages of “fraternity” and “open the borders” as Algerian and Moroccans joined to rejoice and show solidarity.From the moment Morocco’s Atlas Lions were precociously and disappointingly eliminated from this year’s Africa Cup of Nations, Moroccans started rooting for  Algeria, which most of them tellingly call their “second country” or “sister nation.”As Les Verts—one of the two nicknames of the Algerian team—overwhelmed Guinea 3-0 in the round of 16, sent Ivory Coast out in penalty shootout after a tense and laborious 1-1 draw in the quarter-finals, and dramatically defeated Nigeria 2-1 in the semis after Riyad Mahrez, Algeria’s star player, sent home a late-minute screamer of a free-kick, the now epic “1, 2, 3; Viva Algeria” chant soon found its home in Moroccan cafes and streets. The emotion, as the Algerian team impressed and swaggered, has been one of shared pride and fraternity.But yesterday’s celebrations at the Moroccan-Algerian border were different, wilder, and more rapturous. The message was as unmistakable as the significance of the outpouring of shared joy among two people divided by politics but united in everything else.The celebrations meant, as the crowd of Morocco-Algerian supporters made it plain in their ecstatic chants, of the urge to remind politicians in both countries to take into account the deeply entrenched bonds of brotherhood and shared culture between the two peoples across the borders.“Look at the people in Oujda celebrating as though the victory was Morocco’s Atlas Lions,” one Moroccan tweeted. “How beautiful that is! Let’s open the borders,” said another.That “open the borders” message was not simply a plea in the rapturous chants as Moroccans and Algerians celebrated at the border near Oujda. More than a chant or a message, it was a palpable feeling, a lived reality that politicians have so far failed to catch up with.“Viva Algeria.” “We are all brothers.” “Let them open the borders.” The slogans changed throughout the celebrations. But the undertone, the underlying sense—or feeling—remained unchanged.This was people using the kind of wild happiness that only football can bring (at least across Africa) to rise above the kind of divisiveness and animosity that only politics can cause.And, as the crowd rose above the political divide and decades-long hostility between their two countries, they may have shown—which after all was their motivation in the first place—that the closed borders policy now in force between their two counties is not only anachronistic; it has never really been a reality in how the two peoples relate to each other on a daily basis.Hier soir près de Oujda, on dirait que c’est l’équipe marocaine qui a gagné la coupe africaines pic.twitter.com/fxA7aaJZgy #Maroc #Morocco— RTwittoma (@RTwittoma) 20 juillet 2019A #Saidia ( #Maroc), les supporters marocains laissent éclater leur joie à l’annonce de la victoire de l’Algérie #CAN2019 pic.twitter.com/kFASbeAYm2— atlasinfo (@atlasinfo) 19 juillet 2019Oujda fi Alger, l’oujada gue3 Alger !! la fête entre frères #Maroc #Algeriens #alger #SENALG #CAN2019 #LesVerts #LesFennecs pic.twitter.com/pcZrRa9eup— Oussama (@Ouuss95) 19 juillet 2019Regardez ce que c’est beau !! OUVRONS LES FRONTIÈRES !! #Maroc #Algerie pic.twitter.com/zZG566M7aU— Xav (@XAVSMA) 19 juillet 2019 read more

Read More..

DR of Congo UN food agency to resume airlifts to feed war

WFP said the operation would enable the agency to transport food to at least 24,000 people in the northern Katanga province, which remains cut off by war.”Tens of thousands of people continue to come out of their hiding places in the woods, attracted by food distributions provided in nutritional centres,” said Felix Bamezon, WFP’s Representative for DRC. “The majority of these people are women and children whose nutritional status is precarious.”When the war that started in 1998 spilled into Katanga, hundreds of thousands of people fled their homes and sought refuge in the bush. The deployment of UN peacekeeping forces encouraged thousands to emerge from their rural hiding places and seek aid in urban centres.The current WFP airlift, costing $950,000, will provide 1,100 tons of urgently needed maize meal, pulses, corn soya blend, vegetable oil, sugar and salt to feeding centres in eight villages.Despite the success of the earlier airlifts, and the one under way, WFP said it was deeply concerned about hundreds of thousands of people still living in isolated villages without food. As frontline fighting in the area continues, the villagers’ fields are regularly plundered by various armed forces operating in the area. read more

Read More..

Ottawa must hinge Muskrat Falls loan backing on regulatory review watchdogs say

Ottawa must hinge Muskrat Falls loan backing on regulatory review, watchdogs say ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – Ottawa should not back a loan guarantee for the Muskrat Falls hydro megaproject in Labrador until it passes an independent regulatory review, say public spending watchdogs.The federal government says the proposed $7.4-billion project is viable and that it’s working with a financial adviser to finalize a loan guarantee. Prime Minister Stephen Harper promised financial help — decried by Quebec as an unfair subsidy — during the 2011 federal election.Ottawa’s backing could shave hundreds of millions of dollars off borrowing costs for the plan to bring hydro power from Labrador’s lower Churchill River to Newfoundland and Nova Scotia using subsea cables.But Kevin Lacey, Atlantic director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, says Ottawa should insist that Muskrat Falls be approved by an impartial regulator.“It has not been put to a full independent review that is separate from the (provincial) government,” he said Thursday from Halifax.“The taxpayer is the one that’s going to be shouldering most of the burden and, as a result, should be afforded the right to see all of the documentation before an independent review.“It has not been willing to do that,” Lacey said of the Newfoundland and Labrador government. “And until it does, the federal government should not be putting taxpayers’ money into a venture that it can’t be assured it’s going to get back.”Tyler Sommers of Democracy Watch, an independent citizens advocacy group for government accountability, says any federal support for Muskrat Falls should be tied to an impartial review.“Typically, what you would expect is that the loan guarantee would be conditional on the project receiving a regulatory approval,” he said from Ottawa. “It’s important to protect taxpayers’ interests because obviously the government isn’t using their own money. They’re using taxpayer money.“The question is whether or not this is the best use of taxpayer dollars.”Premier Kathy Dunderdale says world-class consultants hired by her government have endorsed the project — as promoted by Crown corporation Nalcor Energy — as the best option for future energy needs.“We’ve had every expert that we could put our hands on look at this project and review the expertise of Nalcor,” she told reporters Wednesday. “We’ve just had other experts from around the country and around the world validate their work.She said the work has been audited, validated and explained at public meetings around the province.But critics say a recent barrage of government commissioned reports supporting Muskrat Falls do not amount to regulatory review.“Given the magnitude of the project … what it has done so far is just insufficient,” Lacey said of the province’s information offensive. “The billions that are being talked about here, and the risk that is being talked about should not go forward until the province does a full examination.”Dunderdale has said for weeks that the promised loan guarantee or financial equivalent is almost complete.“We’re working through it,” she said of almost daily contact with federal officials. “And we will have the loan guarantee before we go to sanction.”The province’s majority Progressive Conservative government is expected to officially approve Muskrat Falls in coming weeks despite projected costs that have risen to $7.4 billion from an estimated $6.2 billion in 2010.Nalcor is partnering in the megaproject with private utility Emera (TSX:EMA) of Nova Scotia, which will fund a subsea transmission link to bring power to that province. The link’s estimated cost of $1.2 billion has not been finalized pending a regulatory review scheduled over the next several months before Nova Scotia’s Utility and Review Board.Dunderdale has dismissed her own province’s Public Utilities Board from any review of Muskrat Falls since it declined to endorse the project at an earlier stage. The board said it had insufficient time and documentation to assess whether Muskrat Falls is a necessary and least-cost option.In response to an interview request, federal Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver said in an emailed statement that work continues with a financial adviser on terms of the loan guarantee.“Our financial analysis shows that the Lower Churchill project continues to be economically viable,” it says, adding that Muskrat Falls will create thousands of jobs and cut greenhouse gas emissions.Work on the promised financial support is happening against a backdrop of increasing economic gloom. Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s fiscal update earlier this week projected the deficit at $26 billion, up $5 billion from the March budget forecast.The bad news comes as the 17-country eurozone slips back into recession and the United States stares down the so-called fiscal cliff of potential spending cuts and tax increases. by Sue Bailey, The Canadian Press Posted Nov 15, 2012 4:55 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

Read More..