The Supreme Court on Friday directed former Jharkhand Minister Yogendra Sao to surrender before a court in Ranchi by April 15 in cases related to rioting and inciting of violence. A Bench of Justices S.A. Bobde and S. Abdul Nazeer said: “The petitioner (Sao) is directed to surrender before the Additional Judicial Commissioner – 7, Ranchi, by April 15, 2019. The instant applications for modification and the miscellaneous applications stand disposed of accordingly.” Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Mr. Sao, said that there was no clarification in the SC’s order of April 4 as to where he should surrender. He said if the top court directs, Mr. Sao can surrender in Ranchi. Advocate Tapesh Kumar Singh, appearing for the Jharkhand government, said that Mr. Sao can surrender before the court of Additional Judicial Commissioner in Ranchi. He said all the case records have been transferred to Ranchi in compliance with the apex court’s order. The apex court order came on a plea of Mr. Sao seeking clarification and modification of the order on the place of his surrender. The apex court had on April 4 trashed Mr. Sao’s plea seeking to campaign for the Congress for the Lok Sabha poll and cancelled his bail, saying he had violated the bail conditions.
Even in the ignominious annals of India’s book censorship history, the Gujarat government’s decision to ban Joseph Lelyveld’s Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle with India has to be exceptionally embarrassing.Chief Minister Narendra Modi declared the book, which had not yet been released in India, “perverse … hurting the sentiments of those with capacity for sane and logical thinking” on the basis of a twisted review of an advance copy by a right wing, partisan British historian in the Wall Street Journal and a false and sensational cover story in a London tabloid, The Daily Mail, which labeled Gandhi a homosexual.In fact, the book, which only briefly explores the close relationship between Gandhi and one of his earliest Western disciples, the German architect Hermann Kallenbach, does not assert that Gandhi was homosexual and indeed goes to some length to refute such a reading. Lelyveld told Little India, that Gandhi “proclaimed himself a brahmachari and I believe he was a brahmachari …. It is a side issue and not very interesting, once you decide they were celibate.”But what has truth got to do with anything? A Google search for “Gandhi gay” throws up 6.4 million web links — nine times as many as for “Gandhi non violence,” for which he is most renowned. Characteristically, the precipitous, kneejerk reaction of the Modi government served only to fuel the media frenzy. Fortunately, the censorship juggernaut ran out of steam before other states and the central Indian government were stampeded into joining the ban. The book is now widely available throughout India and a Little India reporter was even able to find a copy in the library of the National Gandhi Museum in Rajghat in New Delhi, scarcely a center of perversity that Mr Modi would have us believe. The fabricated controversy (not that it would make a difference had the book actually made the claim it was alleged to have made) only served to bolster the book’s popularity — “helped sales quite a bit,” according to V.K. Karthika, chief editor of HarperCollins India, the Indian publisher of Lelyveld’s book. HarperCollins rushed its printing to capitalize on the buzz, tripling its normal print run. The company has not experienced any backlash or distribution problems anywhere in India and Karthika said Great Soul was “probably one of the top” books in first month sales in its genre. According to Karthika, the book had “one of the fastest launches” for a hardcover nonfiction book in the popular history/biography category, which is remarkable as “it is a fairly literary text for sophisticated readers.”“Insane and illogical” Gujarat residents can easily secure the book from a neighboring town across the border or even online. At this point, the backlash has had more ripples in the U.S., where two Indian American organizations in California and Massachusetts cancelled book readings by Lelyveld in the wake of the controversy.As we point out in our cover story, Gandhi himself would have taken the hoopla over his sexuality in stride, and very likely even encouraged and engaged it. He discussed his private life openly and once rebuked his Bengali translator at a prayer meeting for toning down his account of his controversial practice of sleeping naked with young women to test his vow of celibacy. Even more remarkably, when his stenographer Parsuram quit over these sexual experiments, Gandhi wrote: “I like your frankness and boldness… You are at liberty to publish whatever wrong you have noticed in me and my surroundings. Needless to say you can take whatever money you need to cover your expenses.”Clearly the self-appointed guardians of Gandhi’s legacy neither have read Lelyveld’s book nor have any understanding of the man they so venerate. Related Items
More often than not, it ends up as a messy broom closet. But it doesn’t need to. Here are some creative ways to use the space under the stairs. The staircase at the end of the living room has been worked into the overall decor scheme. Shelves have been installed,More often than not, it ends up as a messy broom closet. But it doesn’t need to. Here are some creative ways to use the space under the stairs.The staircase at the end of the living room has been worked into the overall decor scheme. Shelves have been installed in the space under the stairs to store books and knick knacks. Two upholstered chairs, with cushions in tones that match the stair railing, and a high table bearing a lamp create a cosy seating space.This is style at its most serious. The banister-less stairs slice through the space below till they kiss the ground. Other planks slide in horizontally to create a cross section of shelves that you can use for books, music, even wines. A word of caution: this design is not for you if you have small children or old people in the house.Make this your industrious corner. Create a cosy nook with simple shelves and a desk that you can use as a study station or a craft section, and stock supplies in drawers below the desk. You can even put in a PC if you like.Now this is truly an inspirational idea for those with a practical approach to life. Stow your fridge and washing machine below the stairs and save oodles of space.This kitchen uses the under-stair space for pullout drawers and cabinets. All you need is a counter for the stove and you’re sorted. A great idea for small kitchens.These occupants use the space for storing their outdoor gear: bags, coats, scarves and brollies. You can also stow away your sporting equipment here. Cover the space with a door if you want a neater look.We just love the way this homeowner has fit a powder room snugly into the area. Note the way the chequered tiles shimmy down the ceiling, creating a sense of drama.If you live in the colder part of the country, an electric fireplace works well under the stairs. In warmer areas, the space can be used to install a cabinet or a wall-mounted TV.advertisement
A straight sets victory by Czech tennis player Jiri Vesely helped the European side beat India 3-1 in the Davis Cup World Group Playoff at the Delhi Lawn Tennis Association complex on Sunday.The first reverse singles contest between Vesely and India’s Yuki Bhambri was enough for the World No.1 side to claim the contest. The Czech took two hours and 12 minutes to defeat the Indian 6-3, 7-5, 6-2 on the rebound ace hard court.India were already trailing the contest 1-2 by Saturday afternoon. The World No.40 Vesely’s win on Sunday was enough to keep the three-time Davis Cup champions in the World Group. India will have to compete in Group 1 Asia/Oceania for a chance to enter the group of 16 elite nations.Bhambri, who lost his singles contest on Friday, played much better on the last day of the tie. The 23-year-old occasionally hit some exquisite forehand winners but it was his backhand that faltered.The Delhi boy’s backhand errors, which regularly found the net, cost him crucial points which could have made the contest a lot tighter. He hit some good forehand winners which caught the 22-year-old Vesely on the wrong foot. But too many errors and the lack of consistency made him lose the first set.The one break of serve in the fourth game was enough for Vesely to seal the set in 42 minutes. The Indian, ranked 125, found rhythm in the second set and moved far better, helping him earn his first breakpoint opportunity in only the second game. But it was saved by Vesely.advertisementBeing 4-3 up, Bhambri had a great opportunity to consolidate on the advantage in the eighth game when he earned three breakpoint chances. However, he wasted all as the Czech fought back to hold serve.At 5-5, Vesely upped the ante just when it was required to break Bhambri for the first time in the set, and the second time in the match, to seal the second set.Vesely broke Bhambri twice in the third set to take a big 4-0 lead, which broke Bhambri’s resolve of making a comeback. The Indian saved two matchpoints but Vesely pocketed the match on his third chance.
Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time. Appreciating the efforts, the Chief Minister said, “With the vision of Gopichand and support of Dalmia Bharat, I am sure the performance centre will be one of the international standard training centre of our country. The state government has provided three acres of land for the centre.””The state government is also constructing a multi-purpose indoor hall inside Kalinga Stadium campus which will be ready by February 2020, where the high-performance centre can start functioning immediately. Promotion of sports by industrial houses is a winning combination. My government will always encourage such initiatives for the cause of sports in Odisha,” said Patnaik. badmintonbadminton academyChief Ministerchief minister naveen patnaik First Published: September 28, 2019, 9:31 AM IST Bhubaneswar: A new badminton academy will come up in the premises of Kalinga Stadium with the support from Dalmia Bharat Group said an official on Friday.Dalmia Cements Bharat Limited has committed to providing Rs30 crore through its corporate social responsibility initiative to set up a high-performance centre for badminton. Pullela Gopichand Badminton Foundation (PGBF) will provide coaching and technical support for the academy.The state government has already roped in PGBF to set up the high-performance centre for promoting badminton in the state.A presentation on the vision, design, road map for setting up a badminton academy with a high-performance centre was made before Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik who approved the final design of the centre.Gopichand Badminton Academy to be set up in Bhubaneswar. An iconic building will be created by December 2020 with @DalmiaBharat support. A unique model of partnership with corporates and elite sports persons to create world class facilities @Media_SAI @KirenRijiju pic.twitter.com/pa3NJQtkLr— Vineel Krishna (@rvineel_krishna) September 28, 2019Construction of the centre will start by December this year and will be completed by the end of next year. The academy will start functioning at the centre from December 2020, the official said. “We will provide coaching and technical support to the centre. We believe that in the years to come, we will produce many champions from this place,” said Gopichand. Hon’ble CM Shri @Naveen_Odisha reviewed the final designs of the Badminton High Performance Centre 🏸to be set up in collaboration with @DalmiaBharat group and Pullela Gopichand Academy.#OdishaForSports pic.twitter.com/NItach9lqW— Odisha Sports (@sports_odisha) September 27, 2019
AdvertisementNewly crowned WBO super bantamweight champion Isaac Dogboe is scheduled to return August 25th. The event will take place on ESPN or the ESPN+ app according to his manager.It’s expected that he’ll face a top 5 rated contender in the WBO ratings, keep in mind that Diego De la Hoya is the number one ranked WBO contender. At this point, it’s unlikely his cousin, Oscar De La Hoya, would put him in with Dogboe right now.Dogboe’s manager also revealed that a unification bout with WBA champion Danny Roman is being targeted for the end of the year. Roman is coming off of a impressive decision victory a couple weeks ago against Moses Flores. That fight took place on the undercard of Errol Spence vs Carlos Ocampo.A matchup between these two champions has war written all over it, both guys come to fight and have skills to match. Let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope that this fight materializes.Advertisement
Fleet-footed France will have to find a way past the tournament’s joint-meanest defenders Uruguay in the first of two inter-continental World Cup quarter-finals on Friday.The South Americans kept Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo at bay in their 2-1 last-16 win, and that goal conceded was the only one against them so far in Russia – a defensive feat only matched by Brazil, who play Belgium later on Friday.But France banged in four goals in their last 16 game against Argentina, and will be hoping their formidable attacking trio of Antoine Griezmann, Olivier Giroud and Kylian Mbappe can turn it on again at the Nizhny Novgorod stadium.2018 FIFA WORLD CUP: FULL COVERAGENineteen-year-old Mbappe scored two goals in the Argentina game, becoming the first teenager since Brazilian great Pele in the 1958 final to score two goals in one World Cup match.But it was his amazing 70-metre sprint earlier in the match, to win France a penalty, that stunned viewers worldwide.”I was wondering whether he was riding a scooter,” joked France midfielder Florian Thauvin of the teenager whom Uruguay’s defenders must be having nightmares about.On the surface, though, Uruguay look relaxed and their experienced central defenders Jose Gimenez and Diego Godin are relishing the chance to foil both Mbappe and their friend and Atletico Madrid team mate Griezmann.”We want to deny them space, stop them playing, make their strikers uncomfortable – that’s our weapon,” said midfielder Diego Laxalt at the Uruguay camp in a hotel outside Nizhny Novgorod which, oddly, is painted in the colours of Brazil.advertisementWith an impressive strike partnership of their own in Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani, the Uruguayans believe they can surpass their most recent best of a semi-final in 2010 – though Cavani is sweating on a calf injury that may keep him out.’Les Bleus’ will be inspired by the two-decade anniversary of their only World Cup win in 1998, while double winners Uruguay’s modern generation are desperate to recreate the black-and-white-era glories of their 1930 and 1950 trophies.The winners will play Brazil or Belgium, who meet in their quarter-final in Kazan on Friday evening, for a place in the July 15 final.(With Reuters inputs)
Since you’re here… At least in the second half the Saints improved marginally. And two touchdowns – by Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara – made the game safe. But it rather summed up the match when Cutler fumbled the football halfway through the fourth quarter – only for the three Saints players nearest to it to somehow all fail to grab it and the Dolphins to recover. Not that they made anything of their good fortune.Afterwards the Miami head coach, Adam Gase, urged his team not to panic despite dropping to 1-2. As he pointed out, they were 1-4 last season before reaching the play-offs. “We’ve been way worse than this,” he said. “But we want to figure what is going on, why we are stumbling, and fix the problem.”Cutler, meanwhile, admitted his team were “frustrated” and “embarrassed” after throwing for just 164 yards. “The first drive was clean but after that the penalties against us slowed us down. It’s frustrating. We are embarrassed. We feel like we are better but have to work out how to function better as a unit. There is no magic bullet, but the clock is ticking.”And fast. news Miami Dolphins Share on Twitter Read more Share on LinkedIn New Orleans Saints Topics … 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. Support The Guardian Share on Pinterest US sports The Patriots have nothing to worry about … except their entire defense Reuse this content Two second-half touchdowns and a couple of field goals from Wil Lutz were enough to give the Saints a comfortable victory. But it was as ugly as these wins come. The first points of the match were scored on the last play before half-time, there were few big plays, and the game’s stop-start nature was hardly helped by an astonishing 19 penalties.The Saints coach, Sean Payton, certainly was not getting carried away, despite watching his team go to 2-2 for the season. “It doesn’t have to be aesthetically pleasing to be effective,” he said. “It wasn’t perfect. The first half was fairly sloppy and there are a number of things we are going to have to clean up, but we won. That said, I thought defensively we did a lot of good things and getting the shutout was significant.”When the US national anthem was played beforehand just three Miami players – the wide receiver Kenny Stills, the safety Michael Thomas and tight end Julius Thomas – took a knee compared with 10 in their previous game against the New York Jets. New Orleans confined their protest to kneeling just before the anthem, having decided to stand up during it.In truth the anger at Donald Trump felt rather diluted compared with last Sunday at Wembley, when 27 members of the Jacksonville Jaguars and Baltimore Ravens kneeled in protest against the president and racial inequality, and dozens of others linked arms in support. And there was a discouraging sense, which was also reflected back in the later games in the US, that some in the NFL wanted things to move on.After the anthems, the Dolphins were greeted by a full-throated Wembley roar as they began their first drive. Miami have a relatively large fanbase in Britain, a legacy of having a strong team in the 1980s when Channel 4 first started showing the game in the UK, and they seemed to respond to the crowd’s urgings as the quarterback Jay Cutler led them down the field and deep into the red zone. But Cutler is a fitful leader, prone to errors, so it was no great surprise when his pass intended for Julius Thomas in the end zone was picked off by Ken Crawley.That drive was about as good as it got for the Dolphins, who failed to get anything going for the rest of the game. As their London-born running back Jay Ajayi, who carried the ball for 46 yards from 12 attempts, admitted afterwards: “We didn’t put any points on the board so it is extremely frustrating. It doesn’t make sense because we have the talent.”Not that the Saints initially looked much better as the game remained pointless deep into the second quarter. Wembley is used to witnessing plenty of dour 0-0 draws at half-time – but never before at an American Football game. However, the deadlock was finally broken when Lutz’s 43-yard field goal put New Orleans 3-0 up on the final play of the half. NFL NFL round-up: Cam Newton raises clenched fist as Panthers shock Patriots Read more For years, Americans have been told that to truly love soccer they must learn to appreciate a 0-0 draw. At Wembley on Sunday the New Orleans Saints and Miami Dolphins served up the equivalent for British NFL fans – an error-riddled, penalty-strewn, stodgy stinker of a match between two teams the wrong side of average. And yet, curiously, 80,000 people seemed to find it a good enough way to spend three hours as the Saints won the second London match of the season 20-0.There rightly remains a healthy degree of scepticism about whether a full-time London NFL team is viable. But perhaps this was another small step forward in realising the ambitions of the sport’s power brokers. If people tolerate this, perhaps a franchise will be next. Share on Facebook Share on WhatsApp Share on Messenger Share via Email
Ryan Sessegnon is heading to Tottenham to undergo a medical after Spurs agreed a £25 million deal (€27m/$30m) with Fulham.The agreement also involves Josh Onomah heading to the Championship club as Mauricio Pochettino looks to bring in more fresh faces on deadline day.Sessegnon pushed for a move away from his boyhood club as his contract had just one year left to run, with the transfer due to be finalised before the 5pm deadline for English clubs. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? There had been slow progress with talks all summer although Onomah’s inclusion in the deal led to a decisive breakthrough.Sessegnon is regarded as one of English football’s top talents and was part of the England squad for the Under-21 European Championship.He burst onto the scene at Craven Cottage as a 16-year-old, scoring 21 goals in 75 Championship appearances for the Cottagers over two seasons.The left-back, who can also play as a winger, struggled to repeat that form following Fulham’s promotion to the Premier League last season, however, as he found the net on just two occasions in his 35 appearances.Onomah, meanwhile, was keen to move to Fulham after only making 32 appearances for boyhood club Spurs, with him having moved further down the first-team pecking order.The 22-year-old academy graduate spent last year on loan at Sheffield Wednesday and he also had a temporary spell at Aston Villa before that.Spurs want to add further talent to their squad before the window closes and Real Betis midfielder Giovani Lo Celso has also agreed on a move to the Champions League finalists.Pochettino’s side have also reached a €70m (£65m/$78m) agreement with Juventus for Paulo Dybala although it appears unlikely they will be able to match the Argentine’s wage demands.Philippe Coutinho is another who is on the north London club’s radar, with Barcelona keen to secure a loan agreement with the Premier League club to allow them to focus their attentions on re-signing Neymar.Like the Dybala transfer, though, there is more scepticism that a move will actually go ahead, hence Spurs’s decision to push on with talks for Betis star Lo Celso.
Sonamarg (J&K): Empty houseboats, vacant hotels and deserted resorts present a gloomy picture of Kashmir’s tourism sector which is going through one of its worst phases due to the prevailing situation after the Centre abrogated provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution and reorganised the state into two Union territories. Kashmir has been facing unprecedented restrictions for nearly a month now, as normal life remains affected across the Valley with markets shut and public transport off the roads since August 5. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’Days before announcing the decision on Article 370, the state government had asked all tourists in Kashmir to leave the Valley. According to officials in the Tourist Department, about 20,000-25,000 visitors were present in the Valley, which was in its peak tourist season. Since then, the Valley is without tourists, which has brought the industry — believed to be the backbone of Kashmir’s economy — to its knees. Sonamarg — considered as the gateway to Ladakh region — is a picturesque resort in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district and usually remained crammed with visitors. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KHowever, the resort looks deserted with most of the hotels, restaurants and shops closed for business. A manager at a hotel here said the only business they had was of a few local visitors putting up for a night or two. “We have not seen tourists for the last few weeks now. There were a few of them here even after the advisory by the government. But after they left, we have had no tourists here. Only locals come for a night or two and then leave,” he said. According to official figures, 1.74 lakh tourists visited Kashmir in June, followed by 1.52 lakh, including 3,403 foreigners, in July. However, officials in the Tourism Department said the department has no record of tourist arrivals in August. “We have no reports of any tourist arrival. There may have been a few of them, but we do not have any records,” Nisar Ahmad Wani, director of tourism, Kashmir told PTI. Another official of the department, on the condition of anonymity, said while the department keeps no record of the domestic tourists because of the advisory which asked the visitors to leave, about 800 foreign tourists have been registered for the month. “The state’s CID registers the foreigners, so that number is officially available. But, since there is a ban on tourists, the number of domestic tourist arrivals is not officially taken,” he said. Stakeholders said the chances of revival of tourism in the Valley were bleak this year. “Summer season is our peak season and now the winter is approaching and it is considered a dull tourist season. With the situation as it is, we do not see much chances of any revival this year or till March,” a travel agent said. The famous Dal lake in Srinagar, which otherwise is a star attraction for the visitors, is calm and the only activity taking place there is of some locals trying their hands at angling. “With tourist arrivals severely hit, the business is zero. The problem has been accentuated by the non-availability of internet. We cannot communicate. We do not even know the status of bookings confirmed before all this happened,” a reputed travel agent, who did not wish to be identified, said. The travel agent — one of nearly 3,000 registered in Kashmir — said the tourism season began late this year due to the attack on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama in February in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed and then because of increased hostilities between India and Pakistan after the Balakote air strike. “The business picked up in May-June and we were hopeful of a good season after the culmination of Amarnath Yatra as queries and bookings had increased in July. However, the prevailing situation has dealt a virtual death knell to the sector and bouncing back from it looks very difficult,” he said. The official of the Tourism Department said hotels have asked their staff to leave till there was a turnaround in the situation. “What will they give to their staff when they do not earn anything,” he said, adding that “while some big hotels have either relocated or sent most of their staff on deputation to other states, others have asked their employees to utilise their leaves till the situation improved”. A reputed hotelier in Srinagar told PTI that job cuts were imminent if the current situation prolonged. “We have no option other than that if the situation does not improve. I do not want to do it, but I will be forced to,” he said. The loss of business has not only affected hoteliers or tour and travel agents, but houseboat owners, shikara walas, taxi operators and tourist guides. “There are about 11,000 registered pony wallas who provide services in Gulmarg, Sonamarg or Pahalgam. We have about 5,000 shikara wallas, 2,100 sledge wallas, over 1300 tourist guides. They do not have work as of now,” the official said. Some travel agencies have been forced to cut the salaries of their staff in order to avoid job cuts. “We either had to expel some of our employees or go for reduction in the salary till business bounces back. So, at our agency, we took a collective decision of cutting down the salary of our staff by 30 per cent,” a travel agency owner said. “We have taken loans from banks and we have to pay monthly installments. Wherefrom will we arrange that money?” houseboat owner Ahmad said, adding that he has to look at the possibility of trying his hands at an alternate source of income.
OTTAWA — Five things to keep in mind in the wake of Friday’s news that Canada and the U.S. reached an agreement to end punitive American tariffs on steel and aluminum exports:1. The devil is in the details. So far, it’s not clear what concessions Canada made in order to convince a famously stubborn White House to abandon the tariffs, which survived not only the reaching of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement last September, but also its ceremonial signing two months later in Buenos Aires. What, exactly, prompted the self-proclaimed “Tariff Man” to finally stand down? All that’s known is that Canada agreed to “prevent” the import of unfairly subsidized or “dumped” steel, and work with the U.S. to prevent transshipment — foreign steel that moves through either country to the other. Reaching an “agreed-upon process” to monitor metals trading is also part of the deal, which allows the U.S. to reimpose tariffs should import levels spike.2. Next, the new NAFTA. never mind Democratic intransigence on Capitol Hill; the tariffs emerged in recent months as the number-one obstacle to getting the USMCA ratified not only in the U.S., but in Canada and Mexico as well. It’s unknown if the tariff detente will jar loose the long-standing logjam in Congress, where conventional wisdom says many Democrats are reluctant to give President Donald Trump even a whiff of victory as the 2020 election approaches. However, there are signs that opposition may be dwindling: House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, widely seen as holding the fate of the agreement in her hands, sent positive signals about her party’s desire to “get to Yes” after a “productive meeting” earlier this week with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.3. The China conundrum. Canada has been caught in the crossfire between the U.S. and China ever since Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou was detained in Vancouver late last year at the behest of the U.S. Justice Department. Meng, who is caught up in an American indictment that accuses Huawei of violating U.S. sanctions against Iran, is awaiting an extradition hearing to determine whether she will be sent stateside to face charges. China has since detained two Canadians on claims of espionage and sentenced a third to death for drug smuggling. Friday’s tariff agreement, which enlists Canada’s help in policing the North American steel market against Chinese dumping, could be seen as pushing Canada even deeper into America’s corner.4. Canada’s election. With voters headed to the ballot box this fall, polls suggest Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in trouble. But Trump is deeply unpopular, and the tariffs haven’t helped; Friday’s news will give the governing Liberals the chance to portray themselves as the only party with experience — and success — in dealing with the famously unpredictable and combative commander-in-chief. Look for the hard-charging Conservatives to do their level best to counter that perception when the House of Commons comes back May 27 after next week’s break.5. America’s election. As 2020 approaches, look for Trump to mount a full-court press to get the USMCA ratified in Congress and give him badly needed campaign-trail ammunition. Will the Democrats, who control the House of Representatives and have never been known as free-trade fans, be willing to hand him a victory? Or are they content to fight other, higher-profile battles, wary of the blowback from constituents who want to see the deal passed?The Canadian Press
Facebook TORONTO and MONTREAL, March 27, 2017 – The Canada Media Fund (CMF) and Telefilm Canada, have once again partnered with Canadian industry leaders to feature compelling content at this year’s MIPDoc and MIPTV.Three thought-provoking Canadian documentaries will share the spotlight at MIPDoc, taking place in Cannes on April 1 and 2. Three innovative Canadian virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) productions will also take centre stage at MIPTV, between April 3 and 6. Canadian producers will have the opportunity to share their expertise and showcase their quality productions to over 10,000 international global audiovisual industry leaders attending the subsequent events.Canada: a factual content production powerhouseAccording to the Canadian Media Producers Association, the documentary genre accounted for the largest single share of projects produced in Canada in 2015-2016. Canadian producers made 449 documentaries in that year, which accounted for approximately one-third of all film and television projects produced by Canadians and 40 per cent of all Canadian official coproductions. Canadian documentary production volumes reached $322 million, an increase of 18 per cent over the previous year. The CMF and Telefilm will feature the following three documentary projects at the MIPDoc session on April 2, 2017 at 11:15 am (CET), entitled “Canadian Documentary: When Creative Talent Takes Over.”Abandoned, Vice Canada (Ontario): Skateboarder Rick McCrank explores abandoned places with the people who love them long after the lights have gone out.Rhino’s Cry (Le Cri du Rhinocéros), Groupe Fair-Play (Québec): Actor Marc Labrèche tackles the difficult question of whether artists’ creativity has an “expiry date” by taking viewers on a touching journey into the lives of renowned Québec artists whose careers have spanned many years.Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World, Rezolution Pictures (Québec): The story of a missing chapter in the history of North American music: the Indigenous influence. This Sundance Film Festival award-winning documentary features music icons such as Jimi Hendrix, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Randy Castillo, and others; while showing how these talented Indigenous musicians helped shape the soundtracks of our lives.“Beginning with the National Film Board of Canada in the 1940s, our country has a long tradition in documentary filmmaking,” said Carolle Brabant, Telefilm Canada’s Executive Director. “So it’s with great pride that we witness one of the most interesting developments in 21st-century content creation: the rising popularity of this art form. With their ability to inform, challenge, shock and delight audiences in equal measure, Abandoned, Rhino’s Cry and Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World all promise to have successful international careers.”Through the Theatrical Documentary Program, in partnership with the Rogers Group of Funds, Telefilm supports Canadian production companies looking to finance feature-length documentary projects in production and post-production.Canadian VR and AR continue to soar highAccording to a Digi-Capital forecast, by 2020 the global VR market will reach US$108B. The International Data Corporation forecasts that Canada will spend $723M on AR and VR products and services in 2017 — an increase of more than 535% over last year. Canada’s market is predicted to reach $7.1B by 2020. From entertainment to healthcare, through education and industrial applications, new ways of using AR and VR are constantly being developed.The quality of VR and AR content is progressing exponentially thanks to the creativity and innovation of creators around the world, many of them in Canada. Recent data indicates that, currently, 22.5M people consume VR content around the world. A figure which is expected to reach 154M by 2020.“Creators around the world are turning to VR projects as a way to produce experiences that push the limits of art and technology. Canadian companies are at the vanguard of innovation in this technological and creative revolution,” said Valerie Creighton, President and CEO, CMF. “Since 2012-2013, the Canada Media Fund has invested in 59 innovative VR and AR projects, totaling $24.4M in funding. We also continue to promote Canadian VR at major markets such as MIPTV. We are eager to see what the future of VR holds and are certain that our investments in this new medium will deliver increasingly high-quality, immersive content for all to experience.”The following three Canadian AR and VR projects will be featured at a session on April 4, 2017 at 11:15 am (CET), entitled “Discover How Canadian VR and AR Give a New Dimension to This Artform.”Quand la foule devient cirque (When Spectators Become Performers), Ingrid Ingrid (Québec): Using their smartphone, spectators will take part in an urban and collective experience that reinvents the notion of a live show by transforming their experience from one of spectators to that of performers.Multi-Sensory Virtual Reality Historical Vignettes, SimWave Consulting (Ontario): A VR experience transporting users to the Great War trenches in 1917 France, with a particular focus on the impact Canadian Soldiers had in the battle of Vimy Ridge. This will be coupled with another multisensory VR experience taking users inside the train which carried King George VI and Queen Elizabeth on their 1939 Royal Tour across Canada.Welcome to Wacken, Secret Location and Banger Films (Ontario): An interactive VR documentary that takes viewers deep into Germany’s Wacken Open Air, the biggest heavy metal festival on earth. With the ability to hop across the grounds in an instant, users are granted impossible access to the event’s most restricted areas.Alongside the three featured VR projects, the CMF and Telefilm will exhibit an additional two Canadian VR productions at the MIPTV Canada Pavilion. These are Trek by Quebec’s Minority Media VR, and Bear 71, produced by the National Film Board of Canada’sVancouver studios.For more information on the Canadian exhibitors at MIPDoc and MIPTV, please click here.About the Canada Media FundThe Canada Media Fund (CMF) fosters, develops, finances and promotes the production of Canadian content and applications for all audiovisual media platforms. The CMF guides Canadian content towards a competitive global environment by fostering industry innovation, rewarding success, enabling a diversity of voice and promoting access to content through public and private sector partnerships. The CMF receives financial contributions from the Government of Canada and Canada’s cable, satellite and IPTV distributors. Please visit cmf-fmc.ca.About Telefilm Canada—Inspired by talent. Viewed everywhere.Celebrating 50 years in 2017, Telefilm is dedicated to the cultural, commercial and industrial success of Canada’s audiovisual industry. Through funding and promotion programs, Telefilm supports dynamic companies and creative talent at home and around the world. Telefilm also makes recommendations regarding the certification of audiovisual treaty coproductions to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, and administers the programs of the Canada Media Fund. Launched in 2013, the Talent Fund accepts private donations to principally support emerging talent. Visit telefilm.ca and follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/telefilm_canada and on Facebook at facebook.com/telefilmcanada. Advertisement Advertisement Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: Twitter
The Trinidad board is unanimously supporting the Precision offer and rejecting a previous hostile takeover bid of $1.68 per share cash from Ensign Energy Services Inc., also of Calgary, that was announced on Aug. 30.However, the transaction requires approval from two-thirds of votes cast by Trinidad shareholders and a simple majority of Precision shareholders at separate special meetings.A combined Precision-Trinidad would have more than 200 active rigs in its North American fleet after the transaction, and 322 total rigs. Of those, Precision has identified 50 that would be held for sale.It projects more than $30 million in annual synergies from the combination, through improved corporate efficiency and facility consolidations.Precision shares closed Thursday at $4.44, making the offer of 0.445 share worth about $1.98 per Trinidad common share. Trinidad shares closed Thursday at $1.84 per share on the Toronto Stock Exchange.(THE CANADIAN PRESS) CALGARY, A.B. – Two of Canada’s largest oil and gas drillers have agreed to combine in a deal worth about $1.03 billion, positioning them to have the third-largest contract drilling fleet in the United States.Under the friendly deal reached by the two Calgary-based companies, Precision Drilling Corp. will buy Trinidad Drilling Ltd. in exchange for shares worth about $540 million. Precision will also assume $477 million in debt.If the deal closes as expected, Trinidad shareholders will own about 29 percent of Precision, which is Canada’s biggest contract drilling company.
NEW DELHI: In last seven decades, Delhi in the Lok Sabha elections has elected only seven women lawmakers compared to 60 men MPs, and over half of the Lok Sabha houses since Independence have seen no women representation from the national capital. However, Delhi did elect its first woman MP right in the first parliamentary elections and the winner was Sucheta Kriplani, a freedom fighter and an associate of Mahatma Gandhi.Kriplani contested from New Delhi on a ticket of the Kisan Mazdoor Praja Party, founded by her husband Acharya Kripalani. She defeated Congress’ Manmohini Sehgal, a member of the Nehru-Gandhi family. In 1957, Kriplani switched to the Congress and was re-elected. After a long gap, she was followed by Subhadra Joshi of the Congress. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderJoshi, who was also the first woman MP from Punjab, was elected from Chandni Chowk seat, defeating Bharatiya Jan Sangh’s Ram Gopal Shalwale by over 45,000 votes in 1972. During the Emergency in 1975-77, she opposed every move by Sanjay Gandhi, the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s son, to demolish structures in her constituency to “beautify” the city. She had earlier defeated Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 1962 in Balrampur in Uttar Pradesh. After Joshi, Delhi elected Sushma Swaraj (South Delhi) and Meira Kumar (Karol Bagh) in 1996 and 1998 respectively. Sushma Swaraj (BJP) defeated Congress’ Kapil Sibal by 1.14 lakh votes and later Ajay Maken, also of Congress, by 1.16 lakh votes. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsMeira Kumar (Congress), who created history in 2009 when she was elected the first woman Speaker, defeated BJP’s Kalka Das in 1996 by over 41,000 votes. She defeated BJP’s Surender Pal Rathawal in 1998 but her victory margin shrunk to 4,826 votes. Similarly in 1999, Anita Arya (BJP) was elected from Karol Bagh, the only reserved constituency in Delhi, defeating Meira Kumar. Meanwhile, in 2004 and 2009, Krishna Tirath of Congress was the lone woman candidate to won from Delhi. In 2004, she defeated Anita Arya in Karol Bagh and BJP’s Meera Kanwaria in 2009 from North West Delhi. In 2014, amid a ‘Modi wave’, Meenakshi Lekhi won from the prestigious New Delhi seat and became Delhi’s seventh woman MP. She defeated Aam Aadmi Party’s Ashish Khetan by 1.6 lakh votes. It is worth mentioning that out of these seven women MPs, some of the Delhi women MPs held key positions during different governments. Such as Kripalani had later became India’s first woman Chief Minister –when she was given charge of Uttar Pradesh. Similarly Meira Kumar became the first woman Speaker of the Lok Sabha, while Sushma Swaraj was the first woman Chief Minister of Delhi. She is also the second woman to become India’s External Affairs Minister after Indira Gandhi. On the other hand, former Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit, Union minister Smriti Irani, author Jenis Darbari and AAP leader Rakhi Birla have also contested from Delhi but have not been lucky. Dikshit contested from East Delhi in 1998 but was defeated by BJP’s Lal Bihari Tiwari. She later served as Delhi CM for 15 years till 2013. Irani, who joined politics after working in television serials, lost to Kapil Sibal in Chandni Chowk in 2004. Similarly Jenis Darbari contested in 1999 and 2004 from South Delhi as an independent but lost. She was selected as Honorary Consul General for Republic of Montenegro in New Delhi. AAP’s Birla, who was later Deputy Speaker of Delhi Assembly, was defeated by BJP’s Udit Raj.
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Ottawa has announced a $300-million investment in Pratt and Whitney Canada to help the company develop and build the next generation of jet engines.The government says the money will help support nearly 1,500 jobs over the next five years.Pratt & Whitney Canada, a unit of United Technologies Corp, said it will invest more than $1-billion over 4.5 years in research and development spending, which includes the $300-million from Ottawa.Industry Minister James Moore and Infrastructure Minister Denis Lebel made the announcement at company facilities in Mississauga, Ont., and Longueuil, Que., where much of the work will be done.The contribution by the government is a $300-million repayable contribution through its Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative.Pratt and Whitney Canada employs 6,000 in Canada.The company is building the new geared turbo fan engines that are being used on Bombardier’s CSeries aircraft which is undergoing flight tests.The Canadian Press, with a file from ReutersCanada’s R&D subsidies are too rich, require review: University of Calgary studyOntario considering new tax incentives to spur R&D investment, improve productivity
When autumn rolls around, sports fans usually have plenty to be excited for. Basketball stars return to the court, hockey players hit the ice and baseball and soccer teams head for their playoff stretches.There is no shortage of games, but attending them can be a costly affair, so many season seat holders sell some of their tickets to recoup a portion of their cash.Cory Lucas, a realtor who owns six Edmonton Oilers seats, has been selling some of his tickets for the last four years.Lucas usually sells his tickets at face value, which he bases on a list the Oilers provide him. However, the Oilers’ rough last season meant he had to price some of his seats below face value.He recommends prospective resellers avoid selling single seats because most people want at least two. If you have to break apart a set of seats, leaving one unsold, he says it’s worth factoring it into your price because it will be hard to make money off a lone ticket.When pricing seats, he also suggests thinking about which teams are playing.“When the Leafs come through town, it is actually disgusting how much you can sell them for,” he says. “Prime games like that are the ones I usually hold and try to get a little more for.”The timing of the game should also be factored into the price, Lucas says. Games around the December holidays can usually fetch a pretty penny because they’re often given as gifts and Saturday night matches tend to be a money-maker too, he says.“Try to go a little higher on those ones… and don’t discount until you absolutely have to,” he says.If you are going to price tickets significantly higher than face value, beware of teams that try to discourage resellers from marking up the price of their spare seats by doling out consequences.Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, the owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors, Argonauts and Toronto FC, for example, reportedly began charging people they suspected of being “commercial resellers” a 30 per cent premium to renew their seats last season.Lucas likes to sell many of his tickets to friends, family and clients, but says he often has some of his best luck online.He recommends sellers look for Facebook groups dedicated to fans looking for tickets. Lots of members and plenty of recent posts are often a good indicator of a promising group.Sellers can also use online platforms including Stubhub and Ticketmaster, but Lucas warns they often take a cut of the sale or come with surcharges.Many resellers like to put most of the tickets they have for sale at the start of a season to avoid a scramble just to make any money off them, if their team tanks down the road.“If there is a big game coming up, most people, if it’s something they really want to go to, they’ll just look well in advance,” said Lucas. “The cheapest time to ever get a ticket is…four hours before the game, when the people who are stuck with their tickets are just trying to unload them.”Aside from big games and ones on Saturday night or around the holidays, he recommends trying to sell seats when you can.“My first year I was trying to be a little too greedy and there was a little bit of a surge for a game and I missed it because I was holding out and I ended up selling for less than I probably could have,” he said. “Don’t get greedy because you are better off selling them for $15 less than you think you should so you don’t have to scramble and get rid of them later on.”In all his years of reselling, Lucas has never dealt with a scammer. He avoids shady buyers by never sending his tickets over before he receives a payment. Sometimes, he takes the step to meeting buyers in person to ensure a buyer is credible.If you’re selling multiple seats and are leery about making the transfer online, he recommends asking for half the payment to send over one seat before transferring the rest.“You have to be careful,” he says. “Once your tickets are gone, they are gone.” Tara Deschamps, The Canadian Press
TORONTO – Ontario’s budget watchdog says the Liberal government is still withholding key information he needs to do his job.Financial accountability officer Stephen LeClair says his office made six information requests of government ministries and agencies in its first year of operation, but received only four partial answers.LeClair says ministries too frequently cite a cabinet confidentiality exemption that he believes does not apply to forecasts of future government revenue and spending, and make it more costly and difficult to do his duties.He says it’s difficult toknow if a bill is a good idea without having access to the government’s forecasts of its impact, or to know if there are areas of uncertainty that his office should point out to MPPs.LeClair made similar complaints about being refused government information when he released a report last fall into the Liberals’ plans to privatize Hydro One.The Progressive Conservatives say they wonder what the Liberals are hiding by refusing to co-operate with the financial accountability officer, while the New Democrats say the government clearly has a problem with independent oversight.“The Liberal government has tried to undermine the auditor general, they’ve fought with the ombudsman and they are refusing to give the FAO the information he needs to do his job,” said NDP finance critic Catherine Fife.“A premier that’s so focused on keeping secrets clearly isn’t interest in what’s best for Ontario families.”The Liberals agreed to create the financial accountability office to get the NDP’s support for the 2013 Ontario budget when they were in a minority and needed votes from another party to avoid triggering an election campaign. Financial accountability officer says Ontario Liberals refuse info he needs by The Canadian Press Posted Jul 26, 2016 12:15 pm MDT Last Updated Jul 26, 2016 at 1:33 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email
“With the ATT, the world has decided to finally put an end to the ‘free-for-all’ nature of international weapons transfers,” Mr. Ban said at a special event marking the Treaty’s opening for signature.“The ATT is substantive and robust, but its effectiveness will depend on the willingness of States to ensure its full implementation.”Mr. Ban appealed to major arms-trading countries in particular to be “first movers” and bring their national legislation in line with the requirements of the treaty, which will come into force 90 days after it has been ratified by 50 nations.Although the ATT will not control the domestic weapons use, once ratified, it will require States to establish national regulations to control the transfer of conventional arms and regulate arms brokers, among other objectives. “The eyes of the world are watching arms traders, manufacturers and Governments as never before, Mr. Ban said. “The treaty will provide an effective deterrent against excessive and destabilizing arms flows, particularly in conflict-prone regions,” Mr. Ban said. “It will make it harder for weapons to be diverted into the illicit market, to reach warlords, pirates, terrorists and criminals, or to be used to commit grave human rights abuses or violations of international humanitarian law.”The ATT is the first international treaty regulating the global arms trade. It was overwhelmingly approved two months ago in the UN General Assembly by a vote of 154 to three – Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Iran and Syria – with 23 abstentions. The vote was the culmination of a decades-long push to halt illegal shipments of weapons such as missiles, combat aircraft and attack helicopters.Mr. Ban underlined that the ATT brings hope “to millions of women, men and children who live in deprivation and fear because of poorly controlled international arms trade and the proliferation of deadly weapons,” and added that it will also enhance the enforcement of arms embargoes imposed by the Security Council and help promote social and economic development.During the special event this morning, Angela Kane, UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, said that the day opens “a new chapter in which States will sign up to an international contract bringing responsibility and transparency to the global arms trade.” While the treaty is “not perfect,” she said it is certainly “robust.”
“Partnership is the backbone for effective coordinated efforts to implement a human-rights based approach while addressing this multi-faceted phenomenon,” said the human rights experts from the United Nations, the Council of Europe and the Organization for Co-operation and Security in Europe (OSCE), on the occasion of the European Anti-Trafficking Day.“Cooperation between origin, transit and destination countries, but also with regional and international mechanisms, as well as private stakeholders such as multi-national corporations and civil society organizations, is essential for comprehensive responses to trafficking in persons.”The UN Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children, Joy Ezeilo, underlined that trafficking is a grave violation of human rights which leads to further abuses.“The rights of victims should be the beating heart driving all efforts towards eradicating this phenomenon which leads thousands of women, girls, men and boys in situation of profound exploitation and violence,” Ms. Ezeilo said. “The victims, whose rights are stolen, have to be protected, assisted, provided remedies, and re-integrated.” Human trafficking is a multi-billion dollar industry which has trapped some 21 million men, women and children in forced labour. According to 2005 estimates released by the International Labour Organization (ILO), profits generated in the sex industry alone are as high as $32 billion a year. Furthermore, nearly one-third of all victims of human trafficking officially detected around the world between 2007 and 2010 were children, according to a report released in December 2012 by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) citing data from 132 countries.The President of the Council of Europe Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA), Nicolas Le Coz, emphasized that countries have a responsibility under international and European law to provide protection to victims to ensure their moral and physical integrity and prevent re-victimization, including by prosecuting and punishing the traffickers.“Given the worrying proportions human trafficking has taken, there is a need to move from a national security model to a human rights-based approach in order to better identify and assist victims of trafficking who are often undocumented migrants,” Mr. Le Coz said. For the OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, “the realization of a victim’s right to effective remedies is at the core of the human rights-based approach as redress and compensation are the key stepping stones on the path to full recovery and social inclusion without fear or stigma.” The three international expert mechanisms stressed that “a universal human rights-based approach is paramount to end human trafficking in the world today.”
Now that each team has played at least half its games in the 2016 NFL regular season, we’ve got ourselves an excuse to look at who might take home the major year-end awards if they were handed out today. Note that these are not projections of who will win these awards at the end of the season, but who is most deserving through nine weeks of play.Most Valuable Player: Matt Ryan, QB Atlanta FalconsThe AP Most Valuable Player award has gone to a running back or quarterback in every year since 1987. In all but seven of those years, a quarterback won the award.1This includes 1997, when Brett Favre shared the award with running back Barry Sanders, and 2003, when two quarterbacks (Peyton Manning and Steve McNair) were also co-MVPs. In eight of the last nine seasons, including the last three, a quarterback won the award. And by nearly all measures, Ryan is on pace to outproduce those last three winners: Peyton Manning in 2013, Aaron Rodgers in 2014, and Cam Newton last year. 2014A. Rodgers34152065.64,3813858.7 2015C. Newton29649559.83,83735107.2 YEARQUARTERBACKCMP.ATT.CMP%YARDSTDSINT.ANY/A Source: pro-football-reference.com Ryan’s high completion percentage and low interception total are even more impressive considering how far he’s throwing the ball downfield: His average completion has come 7.83 yards downfield, the farthest in the league according to the NFL’s Game Statistics & Information System.Ryan’s remarkable 9.30 adjusted net yards per attempt average would rank third all time if it holds up, and while Tom Brady (10.68) is currently ahead of him, Ryan has thrown 179 more passes than Brady has this year. As good as Brady’s been, four games can’t compare to nine, especially when those nine have been this good. Ryan has the 8th-highest passer rating through nine weeks of any quarterback since 1960,2Minimum 150 attempts, and six of the seven quarterbacks ahead of him on that list wound up winning the AP MVP that season.3The exception was Milt Plum, who had a magnificent season but played on a run-first team (he barely made the cutoff with 151 pass attempts through nine weeks) led by Jim Brown.Offensive Player of the Year: David Johnson, RB Arizona CardinalsThe Cardinals running back leads the league with 1,112 yards from scrimmage through eight games. He’s averaging over 80 yards rushing and 50 yards receiving per game, which has only been accomplished by four other players in NFL history. But what’s most impressive has been his consistency: Johnson has gained at least 100 yards from scrimmage in every game this year, making him just the 12th player since 1960 to do that in each of his team’s first eight games. Every other player this year has at least three team games in which they failed to gain 100 total yards.4Murray is the only other player with at least six such games, but his Titans have already played nine games. He’s also averaging 4.5 yards per run and 11.6 yards per reception while scoring eight touchdowns, showing that Johnson’s season hasn’t been fueled only by a heavy workload.Defensive Player of the Year: Von Miller, OL Denver BroncosWith J.J. Watt injured, this award is — theoretically, at least — up for grabs. But Miller has left no doubt as to the identity of the league’s top defender, picking up where he left off in last year’s Super Bowl. Miller leads the NFL in sacks, with 9.5, and is the driving force behind the most dominant pass defense in the NFL. As a team, the Broncos bring pressure on a league-high 38 percent of QB dropbacks — only two other teams are above 30 percent. Miller is also underrated against the run, and combined with Denver’s No. 2 ranking in defensive DVOA through eight weeks, this all make him an easy choice.Offensive Rookie of the Year: Dak Prescott, QB Dallas CowboysPrescott and his backfield teammate, Ezekiel Elliott, have been the best two rookies this season by a large margin. Elliott not only leads the NFL in rushing with 891 yards, he also has the third-most rushing yards of any rookie through eight games since 1960. Elliott has exceeded the lofty expectations associated with the fourth overall pick, and yet….The AP began issuing this award in 1967, and until 2003, just one quarterback had won the award.5That was when Buffalo’s Dennis Shaw edged out Dallas running back Duane Thomas for the honor. But six of the last 12 winners have been quarterbacks. How does Ryan compare to the last three QBs to win MVP? 2016M. Ryan (prorated)38855669.65,2984179.3 2013P. Manning45065968.3%5,47755108.9 Average of above36255864.94,5654388.3 That reflects both the growing importance of the quarterback position, and fact that young quarterbacks are playing earlier and better than ever. And, arguably, no rookie quarterback has been more impressive in his first eight games than Prescott. He’s averaging 8.75 adjusted yards per attempt, the highest rate of any rookie passer through eight games since at least 1960; his 7-1 record is also the best of any true rookie.6Technically, Dieter Brock had a 7-1 record through his first eight games in the NFL, too. But Brock was a rookie in name only: He had a long career in the Canadian Football League before joining the NFL at age 35. And forget rookies: He currently ranks second in the NFL in Total QBR. Prescott has been every bit as good at his position as Elliott has, so the tiebreaker goes to the quarterback for excelling at the more valuable position.Defensive Rookie of the Year: Jatavis Brown, LB San Diego ChargersBrown leads all rookies in solo tackles with 42, and that’s despite missing yesterday’s game with a knee injury. He’s recorded six tackles for loss, tied for second most among rookies. He’s one of just three rookies with multiple forced fumbles, one of seven rookies with at least four pass breakups, and one of seven rookies with three or more sacks. An inside linebacker, Brown shows up with the top rookie defensive backs in some categories and top rookie defensive linemen in others, all while providing solid run support. Without Brown, the Chargers defense allowed five touchdowns against Tennessee, furthering Brown’s argument for defensive rookie of the first two months.Comeback Player of the Year: Tie: DeMarco Murray, RB Tennessee Titans, and Melvin Gordon, RB San Diego ChargersA year ago, DeMarco Murray had just had one of the largest dropoffs in running back history, rushing for just 46.8 yards per game a year after averaging 115.3 yards per game in 2014. Most had written off Murray when he signed with Tennessee after battling hamstring injuries and Chip Kelly’s system during his one year in Philadelphia.Melvin Gordon’s 2015 may have been even worse. He was labeled a bust after his rookie season, when he failed to score a touchdown and averaged just 3.5 yards per carry. His season ended with him on injured reserve, and he had microfracture surgery in January.And yet, along with Johnson and Elliott, these have been two of the best four running backs in the NFL. Both Murray and Gordon rank in the top three in rushing yards, rushing first downs, rushing yards after contact, and total touchdowns. Neither player had high expectations entering this season, making their comeback seasons even more impressive.Coach of the Year: Jack Del Rio, Oakland RaidersThe New England Patriots are, by a good measure, the best team in the NFL. The Dallas Cowboys are 7-1, and have far exceeded expectations after Tony Romo went down in the preseason. Bill Belichick has masterfully guided his team, per usual, and the Patriots seem well-positioned to make another Super Bowl run. Jason Garrett has used his offensive prowess to coax historically great seasons out of a pair of rookies.And yet, the Oakland Raiders are 7-2. Jack Del Rio, owner of a perfectly average 82-82 career record, probably isn’t the coaching equal of Garrett, to say nothing of a comparison to Belichick. But for one half-season, Del Rio has had the magic touch this year, hitting the right button in Week 1 and not letting up since. Oakland has a 1533 Elo rating, the highest for the team in over five years. The Raiders may not yet be great or their success sustainable — the team has outscored opponents by just 22 points so far this year — but through nine weeks, Oakland’s success has been one of the main stories of the season. And while assigning the head coach credit for surprising seasons is an inexact and frustrating habit, the Raiders’ progress under Del Rio — an improvement from 3-13 to 7-9 last season, and the hot start this season — is undeniable.