The North’s performers — a 140-member orchestra with vocalists and dancers, an all-female 229-member cheering squad and a demonstration taekwondo team — have been a major attraction at and around the Games. That’s both because their presence itself is seen as a sign of eased tensions after a very rough year and because of the exotic appeal they have due to the general isolation of their country.The cheerleaders have been an especially big hit and an unmistakable part of every event they have attended — though their cheers usually have little connection to the action on the ice or snow.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutIt may seem odd or even self-defeating for the South to pay Pyongyang to send delegations that are heavy on propaganda vehicles like cheering squads or artistic troupes and light on athletes. In recent years, though, it has become something of a given.The North has sent big delegations similar to the one now stealing the off-competition spotlight at Pyeongchang three times before.For the Asian Games in Busan in 2002, it shelled out 1.35 billion won (about $1.3 million), then 890 million won ($836,000) for a Universiade in 2003 and another 410 million ($385,000) for the Asian Games in 2014. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:35U.S. urges Japan, South Korea to share intel00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:29Police 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 Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH Read Next LATEST STORIES Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC “The North Korean delegation’s participation in the 2018 Olympics will be an opportunity for cooperation and reconciliation between the North and South,” South Korea’s Unification Ministry said in a statement released on Wednesday that included the cost figure.The ministry said the expenditure is in line with its domestic North-South cooperation funding law, but it stressed the spending should not be considered a step back from Seoul’s global commitments.“We will continue to work closely with the international community regarding international sanctions against the North,” the statement said.The funds did not pay for a visit by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s younger sister and senior regime officials to attend the Games’ opening ceremony.During that three-day visit, Kim’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, invited South Korean President Moon Jae-in to Pyongyang.ADVERTISEMENT Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises Bieber, LeBron, other stars descend on LA for NBA showcase 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers View comments John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding North Korea’s Hwang Chung Gum and South Korea’s Won Yun-jong arrive during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — How much was it worth to Seoul for hundreds of North Koreans to attend the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics? Try $2.5 million.According to South Korea’s Unification Ministry, that’s the record amount the country has allotted to pay the bills of more than 400 North Koreans, only 22 of whom were athletes, at the Pyeongchang Games.ADVERTISEMENT AFP official booed out of forum
USA’s Dana Vollmer took the limelight in the pool at the London Olympics on Sunday as she wiped out the world record in women’s 100 metres butterfly final to claim a gold medal. Vollmer touched home in 55.98, toppling the previous world mark of 56.06 seconds set by Swedish world champion Sarah Sjostrom at the 2009 World Championships, Xinhua reported.Chinese sensation Lu Ying came from behind to take a silver at 56.87. The bronze medal went to Australian Alicia Coutts who finished 56.94.Vollmer, winner of the event at the 2011 Shanghai World Championships, was sluggish off blocks with a second lowest reaction time. But she managed to usurp the lead soon after and never looked back to touch the wall first.It is the second gold medal US took in swimming pool, following the one won by Ryan Lochte in men’s 400 metres individual medley on the opening day on Saturday.”I’m so excited and on top of the world right now. I’ve never had an individual world record and now gold medal. Everything went as I could have wanted,” said Vollmer after the race.”I didn’t feel so good in the last 50(metres). My second(swimming) cap came off, I haven’t had that happen before,” said the 25-year-old, laughing a little.”I had kind of a bad finish and that was the thing I was focusing on. I was just trying to get my hand on the wall.”Lu, bronze medalist at Shanghai Worlds, had a second reaction time off the block and was the fourth at the turn. But she launched a burst in the second 50 metres and got over rivals to finish second.advertisement”The first 15 metres I didn’t swim badly. At the end of the race I swam with all my personal willingness,” said Lu after the race.She said her performance was down to hard training, adding she still had to work harder to catch up with Vollmer.Coutts, silver medalist in Shanghai, also came from the eighth place at the turn and managed a super-fast last 50 metres.”I have got mixed emotions about the race but I am really glad to have come away with a medal as I chucked in the water with 50(metres) to go. I think I could have come away with a silver,” she said.Coutts congratulated Vollmer on her success, saying “I know she goes out really fast but I tried to stay to my race plan and not get caught up in her race plan.”Lu was the fourth Chinese swimmer to take an Olympic medal in London, following a glorious Saturday night of teammates Sun Yang, Ye Shiwen and Li Xuanxu.Sun had an emphatic win over South Korea’s defending champion Park Tae Hwan in men’s 400 metres freestyle, making himself the first Chinese male swimmer to claim an Olympic gold medal.The 16-year-old Ye shattered the world record to claim a gold in the gruelling women’s 400 metres individual medley, and compatriot Li took a bronze.
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. New York: Daniil Medvedev has been the US Open’s wacky villain, booed by fans after making an obscene gesture, while the Russian’s coach sees him as a misunderstood genius.But after apologizing to the crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium following his quarter-final victory Tuesday over Stan Wawrinka, Medvedev said he wants to show a “bright side” to capture who he really is. “What I have done is not so good, still people support me… What can I say. I like to be myself, guys,” said Medvedev. “I have to say, sorry guys, and thank you.”Boos greeted Medvedev as he walked onto the court, the frosty reception stemming from his obscene gesture and unsportsmanlike conduct in a third-round match, snatching a towel from a ballboy and lifting a middle finger to the side of his head.Medvedev was hit with a $9,000 fine for his antics, his third fine in as many matches.Subsequent taunts to crowds about how their jeers made an electric atmosphere that gave him inspiration to win didn’t help.Medvedev later called himself “an idiot” and admitted he needed better on court behavior.He got mixed applause and jeers after beating Wawrinka, a three-time Grand Slam champion, and hoped he has made peace with the notoriously loud and rowdy US Open spectators.”Hopefully. It’s not for me to decide,” he said. “What I got I deserved. Usually I’m not like this, as I was in the third-round match. I’m not proud of it. I’m working to be better. Hopefully I can show the bright side of myself.”In some fashion, Medvedev’s bad-boy manner can be traced to his childhood idol Marat Safin, the 2000 US Open champion from Russia.”Watching Marat when we were young, that’s why we threw racquet,” said Medvedev. “You’re watching him and you think it’s cool. You think, ‘OK, I’m going to be like Marat, I’m going to break my racquet right now.'”Cooler heads have prevailed in his older and wiser days, such as his coach, Frenchman Gilles Cervara, who says they haven’t spoken much about the controversy that has tagged Medvedev since the incidents.”We talked a bit but not that much. It’s easy with Daniil,” Cervara said. “He’s turned to the performance, so he’s smart enough to understand that if he did the wrong thing or not, if he continue to go in this way, it will put more trouble for him.”Of course he likes to play also with it, but he didn’t cross too much the line, I would say.”Cervara said Medvedev’s latest appeal to the spectators went well. “Quite well, I guess,” he said. “I hope so, because it was good talk to feel that he doesn’t have anything against anybody. I think it was a good one.”‘Like to coach a genius’ Cervara says they get along well because he understands Medvedev isn’t like normal people.”His game is like his personality — very different,” he said. “It’s like to coach a genius. Sometimes a genius, you don’t understand them.”It’s like this. They are different. And you have to connect to this guy like he is. I think we do it quite good.”It’s not long conversation. It’s smart conversation. Because Daniil is very different person. I have to find the small things to touch him and to give my message to him.”So it’s really tough to explain how we communicate together. Sometimes you don’t explain. Sometimes with people you don’t talk. It’s just energy between two people.” Daniil MedvedevMedvedevRoger FedererStan Wawarinka First Published: September 4, 2019, 8:14 AM IST
Kolkata, Mar 22 (PTI) The Election Commission is looking into complaints, lodged by a BJP delegation today, of alleged violation of model code of conduct by Trinamool Congress supermo Mamata Banerjee and her district party leader Anubrata Mandal.The written complaint lodged with Chief Electoral Officer of West Bengal Sunil Gupta alleged that Banerjee made some objectionable remarks in a public meeting at Sahudingi in Siliguri.”These are highly provocative words and against the norms of model code of conduct. We request you to take immediate and necessary measures as per violation of MCC to curb any further untoward utterances,” the letter signed by BJP leaders Locket Chatterjee, Ashim Sarkar and Shishir Bajoria read.When asked, Additional Chief Electoral Officer Dibyendu Sarkar said they were examining the complaint.Fresh complaints have also been made against Anubrata Mandal, Birbhum district president of Trinamool.”We have a committee for examining such complaints. We will also look for video footage of such comments which violate the rules,” he said.The Election Commission has already issued showcause notices against two Trinamool leaders – Anubrata Mandal and Abdur Rezzak Mollah – and CPI(M) MP Md Salim for allegedly violating the model code of conduct.In the second part of the first phase of polling, nominations ended yesterday and 167 candidates have filed their papers for 31 seats in West Midnapore, Bankura and Burdwan.For the second phase, polling for which will be held on April 17, nominations started today.The second phase has 56 seats in six districts of north Bengal. PTI NIK MD PVIadvertisement
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) says it will follow government instructions about the team’s Bangladesh tour in the wake of an unprecedented hostage crisis in Dhaka on Friday night.In the latest flare-up of Islamist militant violence, gunmen laid Holey Artisan Bakery, popular with expatriates and the well-to-do, under siege with people – including foreigners – trapped inside the caf.After about 12 anxious hours, a commando operation brought a bloody end to the hostage standoff on Saturday morning, leaving at least 22 persons killed in its wake.The board said it would work closely with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and assess the situation with inputs from its own security experts to reach a final decision about the tour, which was scheduled to begin on September 30, reported bdnews24.com on Sunday.An ECB spokesman said, “The safety and security of our players and management is always of paramount importance to ECB and this applies to all teams representing England on overseas tours.””We will continue to monitor and assess the situation in Bangladesh over the coming weeks and months and will undertake a thoroughgoing and robust pre-tour inspection of planned security arrangements for the England team.”Last year, Australia pulled out of a tour to Bangladesh following government warnings regarding potential threats from militants. Australia’s Under-19 team, too, withdrew from the youth World Cup in Bangladesh a few months later.The itinerary for the five-week England tour of Bangladesh was announced only last week. England have been scheduled to play two Tests and three One-Day Internationals (ODIs) against the Tigers in Dhaka and Chittagong.advertisementAfter the Mumbai terror attacks in 2008, England flew back home from India but later returned to play two Tests in Chennai and Mohali.
New York, Aug 21 (AFP) From the pits of despair in Paris, record-setting Novak Djokovic now eyes a third US Open title in New York where for the first time since Wimbledon last year, the sport’s ‘Big Four’ will be reunited. Djokovic became the first man to win all nine Masters titles with victory over Roger Federer at Cincinnati on Sunday. Having captured, against all the odds, a fourth Wimbledon in July, the 31-year-old Serb suddenly finds himself as joint-favourite with world number one Rafael Nadal to triumph at Flushing Meadows. Champion in 2011 and 2015, and a five-time runner-up, Djokovic sat out the 2017 US Open to nurse an elbow injury. His physical limitations were still evident when he slumped away from Roland Garros in June after a shock quarter-final loss to journeyman Marco Cecchinato, threatening to skip Wimbledon to mend his shattered self-confidence. Fast forward three months and Djokovic is once again the man to beat. “It’s a wonderful feeling. It’s been a couple of tough months for me with an injury but then winning Wimbledon and Cincinnati,” Djokovic said. Djokovic’s Wimbledon triumph took his Grand Slam title collection to 13, just one behind Pete Sampras. He also has 31 Masters, two back from Nadal but four more than Federer. He will head for New York buoyed by his dominance over his three major rivals as well — he leads Nadal 27-25, Federer 24-22 and Andy Murray 25-11. “He’s a great champion,” said Federer in praise of Djokovic in Cincinnati. World number one Nadal, who won the US Open last year to add to his 2010 and 2013 victories, skipped Cincinnati after triumphing in Toronto the week before.advertisement The Spaniard clinched an 11th French Open in June to take his majors tally to 17 before falling to Djokovic in a five-set, 5-hour 15-minute semi-final loss at Wimbledon. “Tennis is a high-demanding sport in terms of physical effort,” said 32-year-old Nadal. “I cannot forget that I am older every year.” Federer also knows that the clock is ticking. The 20-time Grand Slam winner won the last of his five US Opens in 2008. Now 37, Federer would become the oldest New York champion in the Open era should he lift the trophy again on September 9 and second oldest of all time. – Federer to end 10-year wait? -================================ But he was knocked out by 2009 champion Juan Martin del Potro in the quarter-finals last year having had to negotiate two five-setters in the opening rounds. Despite defending his Australian Open title in January, Federer’s hopes of a ninth Wimbledon were blown apart in a five-set loss to Kevin Anderson in the quarter-finals. It was his earliest exit at the All England Club in five years.”Hopefully I have a chance after 10 years to do something special again at the US Open,” said Federer. “I can’t wait for the US Open to come around.” Murray, the 2012 champion, is set to play his first Slam since a hip injury suffered at Wimbledon last year. His comeback has been far from smooth after spending almost a year on the sidelines and has played only seven matches since his return. The former world number one has even seen his ranking nosedive to 378 in the world — making him Britain’s eighth-best player! Outside of the ‘Big Four’, Del Potro, at a career-high three in the world, remains a dangerman. Amongst the widely-hyped ‘Next Gen’, world number four Alexander Zverev is still a work in progress. The German’s run to the last-eight at the French Open this year remains his best performance at the majors while his last two visits to New York ended in a pair of second-round losses. Greek 20-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas, at 15 in the world from 161 this time last year, is the in-form youngster. He was runner-up to Nadal in Toronto, beating four top-10 players on the way including Djokovic and Zverev. But a loss in his opener in Cincinnati proved a sobering reminder that most probably it will be either Nadal, Djokovic or Federer who will be a New York champion again this year. (AFP) ATKATK
Roger Federer claimed the 100th ATP title of his career by beating 20-year-old Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4 6-4 in the final of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Saturday.The 20-times Grand Slam champion became the second man in the Open Era to claim 100 titles after American Jimmy Connors who won 109.Swiss Federer also avenged his shock defeat by Tsitsipas in the Australian Open fourth round in January.”I’m delighted. It’s great to win my eighth here in Dubai and in combination with my 100th singles title,” Federer said.”Tough conditions and tough opponents. To win in Marseille and then come here was difficult for Stefanos.”Federer, who had been stuck on 99 titles since triumphing at his hometown Basel tournament in October, broke Tsitsipas in the first game of the match and saved two break points at 5-4 to claim the first set in 36 minutes.Tsitsipas, who will break into the top 10 for the first time on Monday, held firm up to 4-4 in the second set before the 37-year-old Federer switched gears to seal the decisive break and close out the victory.”I don’t know if Stefanos was born when I won my first title,” Federer joked.”It’s a privilege (to play against potential champions) because I’ll be watching them on TV. It was a treat to play Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi. I’m sure Stefanos will have a wonderful career.”Tennis is in good hands regardless if I’m there or not.”
Shah Rukh Khan, Badshah of Bollywood, is taking some time off from films and chilling with his family. After the failure of his big Bollywood film Zero, he is conscious of his choices and is yet to sign a movie in Bollywood. However, for the last couple of days, it has been rumoured that he will be seen in a cameo in Tamil film Bigil, which stars leading hero Vijay in the lead role.Speculation is rife that SRK will be shaking a leg with Vijay, who is known for his dancing skills. Another set of reports suggest that the Bollywood actor will be seen in a 15-minute role in the film as the antagonist. It was also reported that he will be shooting a stunt sequence with Vijay in the coming months.However, Vijay’s team vehemently denied the inclusion of Shah Rukh Khan in Bigil. A source close to the Bigil team told IndiaToday.in, “We don’t know what fuelled these rumours, but Shah Rukh Khan is definitely not doing a cameo or any role in the film. This is baseless speculation.”Earlier this year, Shah Rukh Khan and director Atlee (who is directing Bigil) were seen enjoying an IPL match in Chennai. After the Chennai Super Kings vs Kolkatta Knight Riders match ended, SRK was snapped at Atlee’s office in the heart of the city.This led to rumours about a possible collaboration between the two in the near future. It was also said that they would do a separate film together. At this point, talks could still be in the nascent stage as Atlee has his total concentration on Vijay’s Bigil, which is on the verge of completion.advertisementBigil marks the third collaboration between Atlee and Vijay after two blockbuster hits – Theri and Mersal. The sports drama, produced by AGS Entertainment, is about women’s football. The film also includes Nayanthara, Jackie Shroff, Yogi Babu, Vivekh, Indhuja Ravichandran and Varsha Bollamma among others.ALSO SEE | Shah Rukh Khan to do a cameo in Vijay-starrer Bigil?ALSO SEE | Thalapathy 63 is now Bigil: Vijay rocks in two roles as gangster and football playerALSO WATCH | Vijay’s Athirindhi cleared without cuts, says CBFC chief Prasoon Joshi
In the twelfth edition of In The Spotlight, the Queensland Spirit’s Tyson Brough speaks about his team’s preparation in the lead up to the Elite Eight. How does it feel to be a part of the 2011 Elite Eight series?It’s an honour to be part of the first Elite Eight series. It’s a new challenge for everyone and should be interesting to see how it goes. I’m sure this new concept should produce a terrific standard of Touch Footy.How is your team’s preparation going in the lead up to the event?Our preparation hasn’t been too bad. We’ve had a few players pull out so we have been chopping and changing every week. We lost a key player in Ash Farrow which didn’t help but we should be sweet. It’s good because Brisbane and Sunny Coast play the same sort of style so when we combined we all seem to gel really well. What would you say are the strengths of your team?We have a good mixture of youth and experienced players. With the likes of Sebe Ray, Chris Farrow and Michael Baartz leading its helped the young guys a lot. In saying that, the young ones have brought a lot to the team and everyone seems to be pretty happy. We also have players who fly under the radar and might surprise some people. Dean Taylor is the man to watch as he runs so fast he now no longer has any hair. Also we all get on really well which is a major part for any teams success. Who do you expect to be your toughest opponents?With the Elite Eight there are no easy games anymore so every one will be tough. You look through every team’s line up and they all have big game players. What would it mean to you to win the Elite Eight series?It would be amazing to win the inaugural Elite Eight competition and be the first name on the trophy. It would make the after party a lot better too. Carn’ the Spirit…Stay tuned to the website for the upcoming editions of In The Spotlight, which will feature every team in the Elite Eight series. To keep up-to-date with all of the latest news and information in the lead up to and during the 2011 X-Blades National Touch League, go to www.ntl.mytouchfooty.com and don’t forget to become a fan of Touch Football Australia on Facebook and Twitter by clicking on the following links:http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Touch-Football-Australia/384949403384 www.twitter.com/touchfootyaus
Advertisement Twitter Facebook Login/Register With: Justin Bieber Advertisement Justin Bieber confessed he was “struggling” with his mental health in a candid new Instagram post.The popstar opened up about his ongoing personal battle, and told his followers that he wasn’t feeling like himself.Alongside a black and white snap from 2016 of him praying with rapper Kanye West and manager Scooter Braun, the 25-year-old admitted he was in a “weird” place. “Just wanted to keep you guys updated a little bit hopefully what I’m going through will resonate with you guys,” he began. “Been struggling a lot. Just feeling super disconnected and weird. I always bounce back so I’m not worried just wanted to reach out and ask for your guys to pray for me. God is faithful and ur prayers really work thanks. the most human season I’ve ever been in facing my stuff head on.”According to People, the Canadian singer has been forced to postpone his second wedding to model Hailey Baldwin, just months after their intimate courthouse nuptials in September, as he seeks treatment for depression.“They will have a wedding ceremony with family and friends eventually,” a source told the outlet. “However, right now, Justin’s focus is getting well mentally.”The Sorry hitmaker recently admitted to previously suffering from an addiction to sex and the anti-anxiety drug Xanax, which he said left him feeling ashamed.“I found myself doing things that I was so ashamed of, being super-promiscuous and stuff, and I think I used Xanax because I was so ashamed,” he told Vogue. “My mom always said to treat women with respect. For me that was always in my head while I was doing it, so I could never enjoy it.“Drugs put a screen between me and what I was doing.” LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement
Patna: The BJP-led NDA in Bihar – which has been accusing the opposition of stalling a bill envisaging 33 per cent reservation for women in the Lok Sabha and legislative assemblies – has resorted to tokenism when it came to distribution of tickets to women in the general election. According to the list released by the NDA on March 23, only three women candidates have been allotted Lok Sabha tickets in the state – one each by alliance partners the BJP, JD(U) and the LJP. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ The opposition Grand Alliance – comprising the RJD, Congress, RLSP, HAM (S) and former Bollywood set designer Mukesh Sahni’s VIP – has so far named just nine candidates for the polls. Election to the 40 Lok Sabha seats will be held in seven phases in Bihar between April 11 and May 19. The ruling Janata Dal (United) has fielded Kavita Singh from Siwan constituency, while the Bharatiya Janata Party has nominated Rama Devi from the Sheohar seat. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K Veena Singh of the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) is contesting the election from the Vaishali constituency. In 2014, too, the NDA had given three tickets to women, two by the BJP and one by the LJP, while the JD(U) which was then not part of the BJP-led coalition, allotted two seats for women. The BJP had contested 30 Lok Sabha seats in the state in the last general election, while the JD(U) fielded candidates in all but two seats. As per the seat-sharing arrangement in the NDA this time, both the BJP and the JD(U) are contesting 17 seats each, leaving six constituencies to the LJP. The parties, in their defence, claimed that women did not get adequate representation in their list of candidates as they were contesting fewer seats this time. Devesh Kumar, the state unit vice-president of the BJP, contended that the party believes in “empowering women”, but the seat-sharing arrangement in the state did not leave them with much of an option. “Yes, it is important that women should be given more tickets in elections, but since we are contesting fewer seats this time as compared to the last time, we had to take many factors into consideration. “The BJP government at the Centre believes in empowering women. One can clearly see that women are holding important portfolios at the Centre – External Affairs (Sushma Swaraj) and Defence (Nirmala Sitharaman). Our Lok Sabha Speaker (Sumitra Mahajan) is a woman,” he pointed out. Echoing similar sentiments, JD(U) spokesperson and MLC Niraj Kumar said, “It was difficult for the party to accommodate more women this time as it was contesting just 17 seats in the state.” The JD(U) spokesperson also listed the decisions taken by the Nitish Kumar government in Bihar in the interest of women, such as 50 per cent reservation in urban local bodies and panchayati raj institutions and 35 per cent reservation in all government jobs. “Our party has been strong votary of women’s reservation bill. If the bill is passed, it would become mandatory for parties to give women tickets,” he added. Two regional parties have shown a way out of chronic tokenism in their distribution of tickets to women this time. In West Bengal, the ruling Trinamool Congress has fielded 41 per cent women candidates for the general election, which the Biju Janata Dal in Odisha has reserved 33 per cent of its tickets for women.
Washington, D.C. – While the UN Security Council’s new Resolution 2468 does not bring any major breakthrough that might suggest that the Security Council is moving decisively towards pressuring the parties to reach a mutually acceptable political solution, the new language it included gives a glimpse into the direction of the political process.For the most part, the resolution has maintained the same language and the same parameters of the UN-led political process as previous resolutions on Western Sahara, with an emphasis on “realism” and on the need for the parties to the conflict to cooperate in good faith with the United Nations Secretary-General’s personal envoy, Horst Kohler.The preamble of the resolution has once again given prominence to the Moroccan autonomy proposal in that it welcomes the “serious and credible Moroccan efforts to move the process forward towards resolution.” Meanwhile, the resolution has simply taken note of the counterproposal submitted by Polisario without giving it any credit for advancing the political process. But this language should not be regarded as a victory for Morocco, since it simply uses the same language in all but one resolution on the conflict since the start of the political process in April 2007.Read Also: Western Sahara: UN Resolution 2468 Calls for Compromise, RealismThe only exception to this practice was in Resolution 2285 of 2016, when the Security Council settled for taking note of Morocco’s autonomy proposal and the Polisario’s counterproposal without praising Morocco’s efforts to advance the political process.Algeria no longer a ‘neighboring’ countryThat being said, the Security Council has once more included Algeria on quasi-equal footing with Morocco.The main significant change that the new resolution brings is the fact that it mentions Algeria five times in the resolution, three times in the preamble and twice in the operative paragraphs. Mentioning Algeria five times in the resolution carries political weight and suggests that the Security Council is moving progressively towards considering it as a full-fledged party in the conflict.Since the start of the political process until October 2018, Algeria had never been mentioned in any Security Council resolution on the conflict. It took Morocco a sustained diplomatic effort to convince the Security Council to come to terms with the obvious reality that Polisario would not exist without Algeria’s military, financial, diplomatic, and logistical support.The first time the Security Council included Algeria in a resolution on the conflict was in Resolution 2440 of last October. That resolution mentioned Algeria three times. That the Security Council mentions Algeria five time in its new resolution is a significant change that plays in Morocco’s favor.In addition, while in paragraph seven of Resolution 2440’s preamble the Security Council described Morocco and Polisario as “the parties” and Algeria and Mauritania as “neighboring states,” this time around that distinction has disappeared. The resolution has named the four parties on equal footing.New emphasis on compromiseThe other significant change lies in paragraph six of the preamble. In Resolution 2440, the council reaffirmed its commitment to assist the parties to “achieve a just, lasting, and mutually acceptable political solution, which will provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara.”The new resolution has the same language but adds the phrase “based on compromise.”Read Also: Making Sense of Security Council Resolution 2440 on Western SaharaThe Security Council reaffirmed “its commitment to assist the parties to achieve a just, lasting, and mutually acceptable political solution, based on compromise, which will provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara” in paragraph six of Resolution 2468.The new language indicates that the Security Council is stressing more than ever before that any resolution has to be reached “based on compromise.” The new resolution, in fact, emphasizes the need for compromise five times.To gauge the political weight of the new language, one has to compare it with the previous resolutions, especially the resolutions adopted between April 2007 and April 2017. During this period, with the exception of Resolutions 1754 and 1783 which made no mention of such term, the need for the parties to be guided with the spirit of compromise was mentioned as little as one time in all the resolutions.But the trend changed with Resolution 2414, which called for the need for compromise three times, and Resolution 2440, which mentioned that principle four times. While there has been an incremental call on the parties to be guided by the spirit of compromise, there has also been an incremental emphasis on the need for the parties to be guided by “realism” and a realistic approach.While in each of the resolutions adopted between April 2008 and October 2018, the need to show “realism” was mentioned only one time, this emphasis was strengthened since the adoption of Resolution 2440, which mentioned the principle twice.In addition, that resolution added new language that emphasized the need for the parties to “achieve a realistic, practicable and enduring political solution based on compromise.” This language has been confirmed in Resolution 2468.Realism might mean no referendumTo Algeria and Polisario’s dismay, the text indicates that the option of a referendum of self-determination and the approach of “winner-take-all” are off the table.This explains why Russia, which abstained from the vote, has expressed its displeasure with the language of the new resolution. In his explanation of the vote after the adoption of Resolution 2468, the Russian representative said that his country rejects “attempts to prejudge the course of negotiations or alter already agreed parameters.”The Russian representative voiced his concerns that the amendments in the new resolution “undermine the Council’s neutral role.” He added that all his attempts to restore “previously agreed language were ignored.”The same level of frustration was expressed by South Africa’s representative. While explaining why his country abstained, he said the new language gives “little clarity on the use of such terms as ‘realistic’ and ‘realism,’ as well as ‘compromise,’” and regretted that the new resolution attempts to “unduly influence the direction of the political process nor pre-empt any final status of the negotiations.”The South African diplomat further regretted that the new resolution makes no distinction “between the parties to the conflict – namely, Morocco and the Frente Polisario – and the neighboring States, Algeria and Mauritania.”Handling John Bolton effectivelyThis new development suggests that Morocco has adapted well to the presence of John Bolton in the Trump administration and has succeeded in thwarting all attempts to undo the diplomatic achievement Morocco has made in the past few years.A few days after the adoption of Resolution 2440 last October, Algeria signed a lobbying deal with Keene Consulting, owned by David Keene, Bolton’s friend and long-time Polisario supporter. Algeria has sought to use Keene’s friendship with Bolton to shape the new US policy on Western Sahara to its advantage.Read Also: Morocco Should Stay Alert to John Bolton’s Influence with TrumpBut in light of the language introduced in the new resolution, Algeria has so far lost this battle. Not only Keene Consulting and Foley Hoag—Algeria’s main lobbying firm—have failed to change the language of Resolution 2440 and remove any mention of Algeria in the new resolution. Instead, the Security Council has moved further to considering Algeria a full-fledged party to the conflict.This also suggests that despite appearances and the unpredictability of the Trump administration, Morocco can still rely on career diplomats and officials in the Pentagon and in the national security apparatus to speak on Morocco’s behalf, make the case for its strategic interests, and prevent any decision that might put the US-Morocco strategic alliance in jeopardy.What Russia’s abstentions meanDespite Morocco’s successful efforts to preserve its achievements, a final political solution to the conflict in line with Morocco’s approach is still out of reach. Yesterday’s vote on Resolution 2468 suggests that even if the US were to adopt a position clearly in favor of Morocco’s Autonomy Plan, Russia would not let that happen.That Russia has abstained in the past four resolutions that have been perceived as slightly in favor of Morocco indicates that if push comes to shove and the US tried to impose the Moroccan Autonomy Plan as the only basis for negotiations, Russia might use its veto power.What reduces the chances of a solution any time soon is that even in the US government there has been no unanimity on its Western Sahara position.More than two decades after the US urged Morocco to present an autonomy proposal and committed to supporting it as the only basis for a future solution, it has failed to honor its engagement.Because of the impact of lobbyists and interest groups in swaying US decision-makers and shaping their views on foreign policy and the existence of opposing views even within the State Department, the US position on the conflict has evolved from considering Morocco’s Autonomy Plan as the only feasible solution to the conflict to considering it as simply “a solution” that could help solve the conflict.With John Bolton in the Trump administration and his desire to leave his stamp on the conflict, the chances of American support for Morocco’s position on the conflict are nonexistent. Algerians are aware of that and will work harder than ever before to undo the progress that Morocco has achieved in recent years.Samir Bennis is the co-founder of Morocco World News. You can follow him on Twitter @SamirBennis.,Samir Bennis is the co-founder of Morocco World News. You can follow him on Twitter @SamirBennis.
Lisa Goulet stands near her photo, Rebirth.Skaters on the Rideau Canal Skateway in Ottawa this winter will be treated to a photo by Visual Arts student Lisa Goulet.Goulet’s photo was chosen as part of the National Capital Commission’s Eco Art exhibit, a celebration of youth during the Rideau Skateway’s 41st season.Thirty-two works of art will be displayed on the canal skateway, which gets about a million visitors a year.Goulet’s photograph is entitled “Rebirth.”Related link:• Young talent featured in skateway’s Eco Art | Ottawa Sun
NEW YORK — At a four-hour meeting last month, Michelle Abdow’s staffers got to experience some of the sights, sounds and even smells they could encounter if someone invaded their office and began shooting.Security experts and local law enforcement officers gave Abdow’s 23 staffers active shooter training — explaining what could happen and what they could do to remain safe during a shooting at their company, public relations firm Market Mentors. The visitors acted out scenarios that helped staffers understand what a real shooting might be like.“It was very intense, much more than most other training where people watch videos,” says Abdow, whose company is based in Springfield, Massachusetts. “But I surveyed everyone after, and there was not one negative comment. Everyone was grateful.”The shootings in public places in recent years have made many small business owners and managers aware that they and their staffers need to be educated about workplace violence. They need to know not only how to improve their chances of survival but also how to recognize any warning signs, a possibility if the assailant is a current or former employee or is involved in a domestic dispute with an employee. Security consultants and human resources providers say they’re getting more inquiries and requests for training sessions following this month’s shooting that killed 22 people and wounded dozens of others in an El Paso, Texas, Walmart — than they did after previous mass shootings.Engage PEO, a human resources provider, began getting more calls from small businesses after the February 2018 shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas School in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 students and staffers and wounded 17 others.“It went from almost nothing to a regular occurrence,” says Julie Cirillo, vice-president of risk management at Hollywood, Florida-based Engage PEO. The inquiries range from asking about security cameras to a request for active shooter training for their staffs.The shootings were on Abdow’s mind when she asked one of her clients, a company that provides active shooter training, to come to her company.The training opened with staffers listening to a recording of a 911 call made by employees when a former co-worker entered their workplace and began shooting. The trainers explained what the caller did right, and wrong, in reporting the incident. They talked about the mindset of a shooter during an attack, discussed ways of running and hiding, and gave tips like, silence your cellphone so the shooter can’t hear where you are. During the course of the session, they fired a gun so staffers would know how gunshots sound and smell.The trainers also went over Abdow’s premises and pointed out hiding places. The local sheriff’s department, recognizing that the meeting was likely to be anxiety-provoking, brought a therapy dog to ease everyone’s stress.Consultants like Cirillo advise business owners that the assessment of threats should begin internally — most workplace shooters are disgruntled current or former employees or someone in a turbulent relationship with an employee. Bosses and employees should all be on the lookout for signs of trouble. In 2016, there were 320 people intentionally shot to death in U.S. companies, according to Labor Department statistics. Relatives or domestic partners were responsible for 40% of the women killed in the workplace.Engage PEO advises owners on what to look out for with troubled staffers, including those who are in difficult or violent domestic situations.“We tell them to be aware of signs and symptoms of employees or spouses, even colleagues and co-workers, to be aware to take every complaint and issue seriously,” Cirillo says. For example, look for a change in a staffer’s behaviour. Employees also need to learn that if a co-worker says they’re in a relationship that is or could turn violent, that the boss needs to know — even if the information was shared in confidence.But many times, employees are afraid to speak up.“There needs to be some sort of way for employees to anonymously raise a red flag,” says Heidi Wysocki, co-owner of First Defence Solutions, a security training firm based in Plano, Texas. While large companies have anonymous hotlines, smaller companies might want to use an anonymous texting program, she says.Owners who learn that a staffer is struggling with personal issues should offer the company’s resources — for example, an Employee Assistance Program — or be able to assist the employee in getting help. If a staffer is difficult, becomes moody or distant and the owner has any reason to fear violence, they should consult with a human resources provider or employment attorney.While owners can become unnerved by high-profile shootings and consider getting their companies prepared, many don’t follow through. Wysocki’s company has gotten more inquiries from small business owners since the Walmart shooting, but concern is often soon replaced by denial.“We get a lot of, ‘I can’t believe it can happen here,’” Wysocki says. Concerns about workplace violence led Wysocki and business partner Ed Pietrowski to found their security training firm after 14 people were killed and 22 others were wounded by two shooters at a workplace holiday party in San Bernardino, California, in December 2015.The July 28 shooting that killed three people at a festival in Gilroy, California, convinced Earl Jones that he needed to make his new office in Sunnyvale, California, as secure as possible. He’s planning to install a security system and get advice on how to make the insurance agency that bears his name safer.Despite the randomness of mass shootings, Jones says he’s aware that many workplace attacks have been at the hands of disgruntled or unhappy workers or relatives of workers.“That could have been my office. It could have been anybody,” he says._____Follow Joyce Rosenberg at www.twitter.com/JoyceMRosenberg . Her work can be found here: https://apnews.com sJoyce M. Rosenberg, The Associated Press
2009F -11.3% 2,131,795 213,300 SMMT typically revises its forecasts on a quarterly basis with a panel of industry market analysts. The next forecast is due in January 2010. 337,741 187,200 New cars “The Scrappage Incentive Scheme has had a demonstrably positive impact on new car registrations in 2009 and will continue to do so into 2010. SMMT’s latest forecasts confirm that the recovery remains fragile and government needs to continue to give priority to measures that support consumer and business confidence.” said Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive. 2007 Pre scrappage the lowest forecast for the 2009 market was 1.658 million units. Notes:The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) is one of the largest and most influential trade associations in the UK. It supports the interests of the UK automotive industry at home and abroad, promoting a united position to government, stakeholders and the media. % change % change The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has revised its new car registration forecast for 2009 up by 100,000 units since the last quarterly revision in July 2009, to reflect the positive impact that the Scrappage Incentive Scheme is having on new car registrations. Total new car registrations are anticipated to be down 9.6% for the full year with a further decline expected in 2010. The outlook remains challenging for vans but stability should occur over the next 12 months with further recovery in 2011 but volumes will remain below pre-recession levels. 1,777,100 2010F 13.9% 182,800 4.6% New vans 2.4% The automotive industry is a vital part of the UK economy with £51 billion turnover and £10 billion value added. With over 800,000 jobs dependent on the industry, it accounts for 65% of total manufacturing turnover and invests £1 billion each year in R&D. In the last ten years, huge strides have been made to reduce the environmental impact of its products throughout the life cycle. Improvements in production processes mean energy used to produce each vehicle is down 24%, water use is down 45% and 57% less waste enters landfill sites. Average tailpipe CO2 emissions have also been slashed and are down 20% compared to 1999 levels. For more details, download SMMT’s tenth annual Sustainability Report or annual facts booklet from the SMMT website www.smmt.co.uk/category/reports/.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) -14.3% 2,404,007 UK new car and van registration volumes 2007 to 2011 3.2% 2011F 289,463 -36.8% -9.6% 2008 2.5% 1,928,100 -7.8% 1,858,700
Ohio State junior forward Jae’Sean Tate slams home a dunk against Navy on Nov. 11 in Annapolis, Maryland. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo EditorFollowing the attack that occurred on the Ohio State campus in Columbus, the Buckeyes men’s basketball team took a moment during their Tuesday press conference to reflect on the events, and express their thanks for the University Police officer who responded.“We got to keep issues off the court, but, I mean, it’s scary,” said OSU junior forward Jae’Sean Tate. “Somebody lost their life yesterday, and more people were injured. It’s terrible but I’m glad that we have police around who responded very quickly, contained the situation before it got even more out of hand.”While the investigation is ongoing, and students and staff on campus attempt to return to life as usual in Columbus, the Buckeyes will play at No. 6 Virginia on Saturday evening. The Cavaliers are 6-0, and have defeated their opponents by an average of more than 29 points per game.Virginia already was going to be a stout challenge coming into the game, but Monday’s events might weigh heavily on the minds of those in attendance and on the athletes. Senior forward Marc Loving said the Buckeyes will be looking for focus even after the attacks.“I know some things that happened yesterday are going to be in our mind during the game,” he said. “Things that happened could have a negative effect on, obviously, the morale on campus and this team. But when we step in this gym, we try to block out all aspects whether it’s the classroom, or it’s any distraction that’s possibly going on and just hone on in the time we have in practice together and just get better.”Saturday’s contest will be just the second true away game for the Cavaliers. Led by redshirt junior guard Darius Thompson with a 10 points-per-game average, Virginia is coming off an Elite Eight finish in the NCAA tournament.Last season, Virginia finished with a 29-8 record, and was behind only North Carolina in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Tate said OSU will be focusing on quicker ball movement in practice to try and overcome the challenge ahead.“We hold onto the ball a little too long,” he said. “Other than that, you know when we catch the ball we immediately know what we’re going to do with it, not catch it and think about what we’re going to do and allow the defense to set up and get back in the gaps.”On defense, Virginia is allowing just 41.8 points per game which gives it a +31.5 scoring margin when matched with the team’s average points per game. Combine that with a with a suffocating defense that has picked up 7.7 steals and 5.0 blocks per game, and the Cavaliers are by far the biggest test for OSU so far this year. Even with the seemingly insurmountable task ahead, OSU coach Thad Matta is ready to see what his team can do. “I like where this team is,” he said. “I mean, obviously, we’re playing not a really good basketball team, we’re playing a great basketball team. Very, very impressed with Virginia. I’m excited to play them all night just to … you know the game ends and we get a pretty good gauge where we are. I think that we’re making strides in the right direction.”Tipoff is scheduled for 9 p.m. in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Sophomore guard Cait Craft (13) looks for an open pass during a game against Old Dominion Nov. 22 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won, 75-60.Credit: Liz Young / Campus editorThe Ohio State women’s basketball team entered day two of the Big Ten Tournament as the only remaining team in the tournament with a losing record.The Buckeyes proceeded to pull the biggest upset in the conference this year, upsetting No. 1-seeded Penn State, 99-82.The 99 points scored by the Buckeyes were the most points ever scored in a single game in the 20-year history of the women’s Big Ten Tournament. OSU also broke the record for most points scored in the first half as it jumped out to a 58-34 halftime lead.OSU coach Kevin McGuff said post-game that he was pleased with the energy his team came out with against the Nittany Lions.“I am really proud of our players,” McGuff said in a post-game interview with the Big Ten Network. “We played incredibly hard and we played to win the game. I think that was the most important thing.”The Buckeyes caught fire early, hitting on 10-14 3-point shots in the first half, nine of which came from sophomore guards Ameryst Alston and Cait Craft.Recently named first team All-Big Ten, Alston recorded a career-high 33 points to go along with nine assists. It was her fourth 30-point performance in her last six games.Craft has her highest scoring game since scoring 29 against Florida Atlantic Nov. 10, as she finished with 24 points and six assists.Craft said the Buckeyes are playing with nothing to lose.“They were the No. 1 seed, they had all the pressure on them, and I think our group realizes that this could be the last time we ever play with each other,” Craft said in a post-game interview with the Big Ten Network. “Everybody is just playing for each other right now, trying to do what we can for one another.”Five Buckeyes scored in double-figures, including senior centers Ashley Adams and Darryce Moore, who combined for 22 points and 11 rebounds. Adams, who finished with 11 points, did all of her damage in the second half after not playing in the first.Despite trailing by as much as 27 points in the second half, Penn State was able to trim the Buckeye lead to just nine with under four minutes to play, something McGuff said he wasn’t surprised to see.“They were going to make a run because they are a good team, but we really stayed relentless,” McGuff said.Contributing to the Penn State run was two-time Big Ten player of the year, senior guard Maggie Lucas, who scored 13 of her 21 points in the second half, including a fade-away 3-point shot that made her the Big Ten’s all-time leader in 3-pointer shots made. The Nittany Lions also received a big game from senior forward Ariel Edwards, who scored a team-high 29 points while pulling down 10 rebounds.Although she scored 21 points, Lucas was held to just 5-16 shooting thanks in part to the defensive effort put forth by Craft.“You just have to stay glued to her,” Craft said. “My teammates trusted me to guard her so I just take that in stride.The Buckeyes scored more points in the quarterfinal game (99) than they did in their first two games against Penn State combined (96), losing to the Nittany Lions both times.The Buckeyes are scheduled to play the winner of Iowa against Purdue Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
Two things that aren’t new today: 4TB hard drives and disk platters that hold 1TB of data. We’ve been hearing about 4TB hard drives for over a year now, with Hitachi being the first to announce one, and Samsung managed to fit 1TB of data per platter back in March 2011. But what is new, is a 4TB hard drive shipping that only uses 4 platters.That’s what Seagate is claiming at least. The Seagate Desktop HDD is the world’s first 4TB hard drive to use 1TB platters, and it’s available to buy for around $190 for the bare drive or $205 as a kit. For comparison, Amazon lists Hitachi’s 4TB Deskstar drive for between $215-$254, while Western Digital’s 4TB Black drive is $302.By using just 4 platters it should cut down on manufacturing costs for Seagate, which in turn will mean lower prices for consumers. But performance is also given a boost. The drive spins at 7200rpm and uses a 64MB cache to achieve an average data rate of 146MB/s. At the same time, Seagate claims that power use compared to other 4TB drives is 35 percent lower. So it’s a faster drive that’s cheaper to run while remaining competitive on price.The move to 4 platters should hopefully pave the way for larger drives beyond 4TB capacity. It’s also inevitable that work will continue to squeeze even more data on to each platter.How soon larger drives will appear may be down to competition and pricing rather than demand, though. Remember, Seagate has actually been using 1TB per platter drives since May 2011 as part of its GoFlex Desk range. But they were limited to 3TB capacities. With no competition beyond that, the launch of a 4TB drive could be delayed and a price premium kept on the 3TB models. There’s no reason to think that won’t continue when 5-6TB drives become a reality.
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram With cash-strapped Greece selling its islands at bargain-basement prices, Hollywood royalty Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie reportedly have their hearts set on a heavenly Hellenic isle.According to the US edition of OK! Magazine, the celeb couple are considering forking out a modest $4.1m for the 17 hectare island of Gaia, located in the Echinades group of the Ionian sea. The island, near Kefalonia, is being advertised by Private Islands Online and has already received approval for the construction of six villas.Touted as the perfect millionaire’s playground, Gaia is promoted as “an idyllic paradise surrounded by calm crystal clear waters”.Pitt and Jolie recently sold their $6.5 million New Orleans property which they acquired after Hurricane Katrina and are now reported to be looking to invest. “Angie fell in love with it,” a source told OK! Magazine. “It will need development, but at that price, they’ll have no problem building the vacation home of their dreams [and] the kids would finally be able to run around freely without worrying about paparazzi.” In Greek mythology, Gaia was the personification of the great mother of all, the primal Greek Mother Goddess, creator and giver of birth to the earth and all the universe.