Congress to hold division-wise meetings to fix candidates

first_imgThe Congress will hold division-wise meetings from Thursday to decide the possible candidates for the Assembly elections and finalise the seats to be contested by the party. It will also hold a meeting in Navi Mumbai to take stock of the Konkan division. “I will visit each and every division of Maharashtra to understand the party’s strength on the ground,” State Congress president Balasaheb Thorat said. The party has received over 900 applications seeking candidature for the polls, which Mr. Thorat said is a positive sign. “Not every election is the same. We lost the Lok Sabha election, but we are confident of making a comeback exactly as we did in 1980. The people still trust us and the growing number of applications seeking a party ticket is an indication of that,” he said.The Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) held deliberations on seat sharing for two consecutive days. “We are confident about contesting the polls together. We also want all secular and progressive forces in the State to join us,” Mr. Thorat said. When asked if the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) leader Prakash Ambedkar would be a part of the seat-sharing discussions, Mr. Thorat said the Congress is always ready for talks. “We have informed the VBA that we want to hold talks and I am confident we will soon be doing so,” the State Congress chief said. Last month, the VBA had ridiculed the Congress, and had made an offer of 40 of the 288 Assembly seats in the State to the Congress. The Congress had termed the offer non-serious. Meanwhile, the Congress and NCP leaders said the alliance talks will continue for some time to sort out certain issues and chalk out a strategy to accommodate all the allies.last_img read more

Now, a tigress is lynched near Pilibhit Tiger Reserve, probe ordered

first_imgEven as the country looks for the likely release of the much-awaited tiger census on July 29, Global Tiger Day, an adult tigress was lynched on July 24 by villagers living in proximity to the Pilibhit Tiger Reserve in the Terai region of Uttar Pradesh, officials said on July 26.While the locals said the tigress attacked them when they were working in the fields, the forest department said the incident followed a youth trespassing into the animal’s “natural habitat” despite warnings to avoid contact.The assault on the tigress was also captured taken as a video in a mobile phone by a local of Matena village in Puranpur tehsil. He even provides a background commentary to justify the attack. He says it is retaliation for the tigress’ earlier attack on the youth.A total of nine persons were injured by the tigress in the entire episode, locals claimed, but Vaibhav Srivastava, District Magistrate, Pilibhit, said the figure appeared suspicious prima facie as the animal would not usually attack so many people at one go.The incident took place on Wednesday when one Guddu “suddenly went near the tigress without any reason,” following which the panic-stricken animal attacked him, said Naveen Khandelwal, Divisional Forest Officer, Pilibhit Tiger Reserve.The tigress was living safely in her “natural habitat” in Ghungchai compartment number 12 of the core zone of the tiger reserve, he said.When the youth raised a cry, villagers rushed to save him. Around 43 persons entered the jungle with lathis and ‘sujas’ (spears) and assaulted the tigress, leaving it seriously injured, said Mr. Khandelwal.Died “due to shock”The tigress died of its injuries on the intervening night of July 24 and 25. A post-mortem conducted by a three-member team of experts concluded that the tigress died “due to shock” as a result of blood haemorrhage, broken bones and numerous injuries with sharp and blunt objects.Villager Chandresh said the tigress attacked while they were in the field…in a populated area.” He accused the first officials of negligence and delay in reaching the spot of conflict.Another local told journalists that while working in the field a boy went to the edge of the field to defecate and that’s when the tiger attacked him. The other people working in the field rushed to rescue him but the tiger attacked them as well, he said.In the mobile phone clip of the beating of the tigress, dozens of locals can be seen wielding long sticks and mercilessly thrashing the animal, which lay on the ground helpless on its back and rolled about in pain.On one occasion, the tigress rolled back on to its belly, triggering panic among the villagers who retreated. However, the animal was too injured to strike back or chase them.The person who shot the video is heard complaining that no forest official had reached the spot to mitigate the situation.‘Forest officials attacked’Mr. Khandelwal, however, said the locals also attacked the forest officials monitoring the tigress and created obstacles in their work. Forest inspector Dinesh Giri and his team of security watchers tried to stop the attack on the tigress but had to escape from the spot after the villagers launched a “deadly attack” on them, said Mr. Khandelwal in his report.Mr. Srivastava said the animal could not be tranquillized as doing so would have led to its death given the injuries sustained by it.Legal action was being taken against the villagers who killed the tigress and an FIR had been lodged against several persons, said Mr. Srivastava.A magisterial probe has also been ordered to investigate the entire sequence of events.Around 98 cases of conflicts between humans and tigers, leading to human deaths and injuries have been recorded between 2000 to 2018 in and around the Dudhwa-Pilibhit Tiger landscape, as per the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), a leading nature conservation organisation that works with the State Wildlife Department.Since 2009, the WTI project team has rescued eight tigers from 36 human-tiger conflict situations, with four tigers successfully released back into the wild.Conflict casesA total of 136 humans have been attacked by tigers or leopards in 94 fringe villages of Dudhwa-Pilibhit forests in 151 reported conflict cases from 2000 to 2013, as per a 2018 report, ‘Living with the Wild—Mitigating Conflict between Humans and Big Cat Species in Uttar Pradesh,’ jointly undertaken by the WTI and the Forest Department.According to the report, attacks by tigers and leopards on humans and livestock marked a seasonal and geographical variation, with most attacks occurring during the day time, suggesting “that the larger proportion of tiger attacks on humans were accidental encounters.”Tiger attacks occurred largely inside forests or on their fringes (54.79%), while (31.5%) occurred in crop fields, primarily sugarcane. Only a small proportion of attacks (13.7%) were recorded to have occurred within houses or near homes.Tiger attacks were found to be higher in winter (42.5%), with the peak in February (19.2%), “which probably corresponds to a high influx of people collecting fuel-wood in forest areas,” followed by summers (39.7%).However, when it came to attacking livestock, the highest number of incidents involving leopards and tigers were reported during monsoons: 45-50%. Though full data is not available, official records from 2003 to 2012 reveal 474 livestock deaths across the Dudhwa-Pilibhit Tiger Reserve landscape, with tigers accounting for 58.6% of the deaths.The high number of attacks on livestock during monsoons “is in contrast to the seasonal patterns of attacks on humans by the two big cat species, and demands more detailed study to determine the underlying causality,” the WTI noted.Attacks by tigers were higher when people visited forests to collect firewood and other non-timber products (38.6%). A high percentage of tiger attacks (32.9%) also occurred when people worked in farms, and about 23.3% when people sat, moved, defecated or urinated in the village periphery or fringe forests.last_img read more

Will surrender in court in next 3-4 days: Anant Singh

first_imgControversial Bihar MLA Anant Singh, evading arrest in a case under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, has said he will surrender in court in the next three-four days. In a video message, the independent MLA from Mokama, who has several serious cases pending against him, also said he will interact with journalists on his return from hiding. “I am not afraid of getting arrested. I have come to see my ailing friend and will surrender in the court in next three-four days. But first of all, I will go to my flat and interact with journalists,” the legislator said in the video clip sent to media houses on Sunday.Mr. Singh was booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) after a police team raided his ancestral house at Ladma village in Patna district and seized an AK-47 rifle, a magazine, live cartridges and two hand grenades on Friday. Parliament had recently passed an amendment to the anti-terror law to give powers to the Centre to designate an individual as terrorist and seize his properties. The accused legislator claimed he had sought an appointment with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar but failed. Contending that he had not visited his ancestral house in the past 14 years, Mr. Singh asked, “Why would I keep weapons like AK-47 in a house which is shared by my enemy?” Feud with cousinThe legislator has a running feud with his cousin Vivekanand Singh, a gangster.Police conducted a second raid at the 1 Mall Road, official residence of Mr. Singh in Patna on Saturday but he was not present, Superintendent of Police Kantesh Kumar Mishra said. His accomplice Chhotan Singh was, however, apprehended from there.A sword and a mobile phone were also seized from the legislator’s official residence.last_img read more

Assam doctors attacked, hospital vandalised

first_imgLess than a month after tea estate workers lynched a 73-year-old doctor in eastern Assam’s Jorhat district, a mob assaulted a doctor and vandalised a government hospital in western Assam’s Goalpara district late Wednesday evening.The Assam Medical Service Association (AMSA) condemned the incident and lodged an FIR with the police in Dudhnoi, about 110 km west of Guwahati. The police said no arrest has been made so far.According to a nurse, three people injured in a road accident were brought to the hospital. The injured included a teenage girl.A doctor on duty declared one of the injured as having been brought dead, but some people who had gathered disagreed. They began vandalising the hospital before taking on Apurba Boro, the doctor.“I checked the patient and found him dead on arrival. But the people started pushing and shoving me while others started smashing the hospital property,” Dr. Boro said, adding that the police rescued him and the other staff before the mob could do more damage.AMSA president Paresh Kalita said the incident should not have happened when the doctor certified the accident victim as dead on arrival. “Such attacks are getting frequent and need to be campaigned against,” he said. On August 31, septuagenarian doctor Deben Dutta was lynched by tea plantation workers after a youth of Teok Tea Estate died. At least seven doctors employed in various tea estates resigned after the incident, citing insecurity.last_img read more

‘File status reports on Nagada projects’

first_imgThe Odisha Lokayukta has issued notices to six State government officials to file reports on the implementation of development projects in Nagada village of Jajpur district, which hogged the headlines in 2016 for the deaths of 19 infants, mostly due to malnutrition.The State government had announced several focused development interventions in 2016 after the remoteness, inaccessibility and general backwardness of Nagada village were highlighted by the media and opposition political parties.Activists, however, pointed out that despite huge fund allocation and utilisation, the village continued to lag behind on various development parameters.‘Funds misappropriated’Pradip Pradhan, an RTI activist, had moved the Odisha Lokayukta alleging that funds meant for different developmental works were grossly misappropriated.“Most of the funds have been misappropriated and wrongly utilised by the officials of all line departments, for which there is no substantial improvement in the life and livelihood of tribal people,” Mr. Pradhan alleged in his complaint. He had demanded an inquiry into the alleged corruption in various works and legal action against the officials responsible for embezzlement of funds.Though ₹15 crore for the construction of a road from Ashokjhar foothills to lower Nagada was probably the most fund sanctioned for any road to a tribal village in Odisha, Mr. Pradhan said the road was so substandard that it became non-motorable within three years.As per RTI information, ₹1.8 crore was spent to provide electricity to Nagada households. “During our several field visits, we found that electricity connections had not been provided to any household in all three Nagada village settlements. Electricity motor, switchboards and wires were found dumped in the fields and backyards. It was sheer wastage of public money,” said the activist. In order to supply clean drinking water, the Odisha government had allocated ₹53.56 lakh. “The inquiry by civil society members suggests that the project has completely failed. Water filter supplied to each household is being used to store rice and other foodgrains. We found no water supply in the village. Tribal people continue to collect water from streams for drinking purposes,” he said.Taking note of the allegations, the Lokayukta has asked the project director of District Rural Development Agency, Jajpur, block development officer of Sukinda, executive engineers of rural development, power supply and water and sanitation and the district social welfare officer of Jajpur to file their replies on the allegations of misappropriation within six weeks. The Lokayukta is scheduled to hear the matter next on December 9.Earlier, the National Human Rights Commission had directed the Odisha Chief Secretary to submit a report as to why there had not been any perceptible change in the lives of people of Nagada despite the government spending crores of rupees.Most underdeveloped Nagada, inhabited by the Juang tribe, a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group, is one of the most underdeveloped areas in Odisha. It is close to Sukinda Valley, which has 90% of India’s chromite reserves. Several leading industrial houses of country are involved in mining in the valley.last_img read more

O.J. Simpson to be released from prison

first_img“He’s had perfect performance as a prisoner,” LaVergne said. “I anticipate he’s going to have perfect performance as a parolee.”At the hearing, Simpson said he was “at a point in my life where all I want to do is spend time, as much time as I can, with my children and my friends.”“Believe it or not I do have some real friends,” he said.From the NFL to Hollywood Simpson was convicted in October 2008 of armed robbery, assault, kidnapping and other offenses after he and five associates — two of whom were armed — ambushed the two sports memorabilia dealers in a casino hotel room.He was sentenced to a minimum of nine years in prison and a maximum of 33 years.Orenthal James “O.J.” Simpson shot to fame in the 1970s with the NFL’s Buffalo Bills after winning the prestigious Heisman Trophy — the award for the best player in American collegiate football — as a running back at the University of Southern California.He retired from football in 1979 after setting numerous rushing records and went on to become an advertising pitchman and actor (“The Towering Inferno,” “The Naked Gun”).In June 1994, Simpson’s 35-year-old ex-wife, Brown Simpson, and Goldman were found stabbed to death outside her Los Angeles home.Simpson was arrested after a low-speed car chase through Los Angeles that was broadcast live by television stations and watched by millions. Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Durham ready to play in semis despite sprained ankle Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games MOST READ View comments “He is getting very, very excited,” LaVergne told KTNV-TV in Las Vegas. “He’s feeling very upbeat.”Simpson was granted parole at a hearing in July and his earliest release date was set for October 1. Since that falls on a Sunday, Simpson is expected to be freed no earlier than Monday, according to his lawyer and media reports.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSimpson was found not guilty in 1995 of the grisly murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and a male companion, Ron Goldman, in a case that transfixed the country and became known as the “Trial of the Century.”But the former National Football League running back and actor was sent to prison in 2008 for his role in an armed robbery the previous year of two sports memorabilia dealers at a Las Vegas resort.center_img Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Simpson claimed at his trial that he was just seeking to recover personal items from the dealers and he repeated that explanation at his parole board hearing in July, where the four-member panel voted unanimously for his release.At that hearing Simpson initially did not express any remorse for his actions but eventually offered that he was “sorry that things turned out the way they did.”“I had no intent to commit a crime,” he said. “If I would have made a better judgment back then, none of this would have never happened.”LaVergne, Simpson’s attorney, told KTNV-TV that the former NFL star planned to relocate to Florida, play golf and be around his friends and family.LaVergne said he did not anticipate that Simpson would pose any problems.ADVERTISEMENT He was acquitted in October 1995 after a nine-month trial, a verdict that was greeted with disbelief by many Americans.Public views on the African-American athlete’s guilt or innocence divided sharply along racial lines.Simpson was subsequently found liable for the deaths in a 1997 civil suit and was ordered to pay damages totaling $33.5 million to the families of the victims.Simpson has been out of the limelight while behind bars, but fascination with his story lives on.“O.J.: Made in America,” a nearly eight-hour documentary about his murder trial, won the best documentary Oscar in February.And a television mini-series, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” starring Cuba Gooding Jr, won nine Emmy awards. FILE – In this July 20, 2017 file photo, former NFL football star O.J. Simpson attends his parole hearing at the Lovelock Correctional Center in Lovelock, Nev. Nevada’s parole board says it didn’t consider Simpson’s 1989 conviction for misdemeanor spousal abuse when it granted him parole in July because it wasn’t listed in the federal clearinghouse of FBI crime data. (Jason Bean/The Reno Gazette-Journal via AP, Pool, File )Disgraced American football star O.J. Simpson, whose racially charged 1995 murder trial riveted the nation, is expected to be released from prison as early as Monday after nine years behind bars for armed robbery.Simpson, 70, plans to relocate to Florida following his release from the Lovelock Correctional Center, the medium-security prison in Nevada where he has been serving his sentence, said his lawyer, Malcolm LaVergne.ADVERTISEMENT Read Next LATEST STORIES Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF presidentlast_img read more

Green Archers get back at Fighting Maroons

first_imgFILE PHOTODefending champion La Salle gifted its head coach Aldin Ayo with a vengeful 85-62 win over University of the Philippines in the UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball tournament Sunday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.The No. 2 Green Archers improved to 7-2  after winning their fourth game in five while the Fighting Maroons dropped to fifth with a 4-5 card.ADVERTISEMENT Read Next LATEST STORIES For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Archers, Eagles favorites to win UAAP Season 80 PLAY LIST 02:36Archers, Eagles favorites to win UAAP Season 8002:34UAAP SEASON 80 PREVIEW: DLSU GREEN ARCHERS00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Desiderio, however, wasn’t as successful on the defensive end when he guarded Mbala as the MVP put up 27 points and grabbed 14 rebounds.Ricci Rivero added 20 points for the Green Archers.Jun Manzo led UP with 13 points, all coming in the third quarter.ADVERTISEMENT LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight View comments Federer beats great rival Nadal to win Shanghai Masters Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC MOST READ Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City La Salle ended the first half on a strong note as it built a 24-point lead, 51-27, heading into the third quarter.Santi Santillan then gave the Green Archers their biggest lead at 60-32 with 6:06 still remaining in the third.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“I think we thought of revenge a little bit after we lost in the first round,” said La Salle center Ben Mbala as La Salle suffered a 98-87 loss to UP in first round. “But we just have to stick to the game plan and find out what we did wrong earlier.”After lighting up La Salle with a career-high 30 points in the first round, Paul Desiderio struggled against the defense of Mbala who limited him to seven points on 2-of13 shooting with both of his field goals coming in the first half.last_img read more

Bounce back time

first_imgGlobe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH “We were too overconfident against KIA,” he said of the 98-94 loss, which almost made the Painters the butt of league jokes after losing to the team that got blown away by its last three foes by an average of more than 35 points. “I just told my players that those things happen and asked them na huwag na maulit.”The Road Warriors, of all the teams playing, have the longest losing streak at three and, in Garcia’s view, are the favorites in the 4:30 p.m. contest.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“They’re a bigger team than us, and if we can’t run, we will be in trouble,” Garcia said of NLEX, which opened up with two straight wins but has tumbled ever since. “Their lineup is superior (than ours) and we’re also hoping that they have an off night.”NLEX, fresh from a 109-98 setback to tournament leader San Miguel Beer, will actually be coming off one of its worthiest performances where it pushed the powerhouse Beermen to the limit. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netFour fancied squads coming off losses return to action on Friday, with one of those teams eager to get back on track after losing to the PBA Philippine Cup cellar dweller last week.“We’ve gotten over that,” Rain or Shine coach Caloy Garcia told the Inquirer over the phone after coming off “the best practice I’ve had with this team,” as the Elasto Painters slug it out with NLEX and their former coach at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.ADVERTISEMENT Phoenix has one of the league’s deadliest guns in Matthew Wright and has taken a defensive mentality ever since Louie Alas took over as coach at the start of the season.The Fuel Masters are also longing to have a dominant big man with Alas saying that they are “2 to 3 blue-chip players away” from contending with the league’s elite teams. Read Next Ababa, Paez fire 68, grab Pradera lead MOST READ Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:33Leo Austria, SMB wary of ‘more experienced’ Hotshots ahead of PBA Finals rematch01:28’Walang bigayan’: Expect all-out war between sister teams Magnolia, San Miguel01:29Police 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 John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LATEST STORIES Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises “We need to run against their bigs,” Garcia said.Kiefer Ravena, NLEX’s super rookie, will be coming into another game where most defensive guns will be trained on him.Garcia has the tools to throw at the 6-foot Ravena, who erupted for 31 points against Magnolia and is being groomed by Yeng Guiao to be more of a team player.Barangay Ginebra, meanwhile, comes into its 7 p.m. clash with Phoenix Petroleum seeking to put an end to a two-game slide even with cornerstone Greg Slaughter listed as doubtful for the second straight game.The 7-foot Slaughter sat out a 97-83 loss to Alaska last Sunday because of a reported hamstring pull, and if he is still injured, that levels things up a bit against the Fuel Masters.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencerslast_img read more

Yun’s the one: South Korea gets men’s skeleton Olympic gold

first_imgTrending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:35U.S. urges Japan, South Korea to share intel00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics01:29Police 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 Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH Read Next MOST READ John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding LATEST STORIES Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises Yun Sungbin of South Korea celebrates in the finish area after his gold medal winning run during the men’s skeleton final at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — Yun Sungbin left no doubt. It’s his track. It’s his gold medal.The most decisive Olympic skeleton champion ever is a 23-year-old who had no idea what he was doing on a sled a few years ago and now stands taller than anyone else in the sport.ADVERTISEMENT View commentscenter_img NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers AFP official booed out of forum Happy New Year, indeed. On a national holiday in Korea — the start of a lunar new year — Yun became a national hero. He is the reigning World Cup overall champion, is now the Olympic champion and his career is only just starting.“If you see the Korean guy, he has the best material,” Spain’s Ander Mirambell said. “He will win this easy.”It was the biggest victory margin in Olympic skeleton, topping 1948 when Italy’s Nino Bibbia topped Jack Heaton of the U.S. by 1.4 seconds in a six-heat race.The only drama in the final heat was who would finish second. Tregubov won that battle, edging Dom Parsons of Britain. Latvia’s Martins Dukurs, the winningest World Cup men’s skeleton racer in history, struggled in the final run and slipped to fourth.For the U.S., 2014 Olympic bronze medalist Matt Antoine was 11th and three-time Olympian John Daly was 16th.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Yun won in commanding fashion at the Pyeongchang Games on Friday, his four-run time of 3 minutes, 20.55 seconds easily coming in 1.63 seconds ahead of silver medalist Nikita Tregubov of Russia. Most skeleton races are decided by tenths or hundreths of a second, but Yun was dominant from start to finish — the fastest slider, in every way, in every heat.He stepped onto the award podium shortly after finishing, arms skyward as thousands of his fellow South Koreans roared. They showed up early on a bright morning in the Taebaek Mountains, fully expecting to see the sort of dominance he himself envisioned when taking thousands of training runs on the track that was built for these Olympics, the track he knows better than anyone else in sliding.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“Yun! Sung! Bin!” they chanted, over and over. “Yun! Sung! Bin!”Yun delivered. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Sweet Distraction? North Korea’s feminine touch at Olympicslast_img read more

Seoul footing record $2.5M tab for North Korea at 2018 Olympics

first_imgThe 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 stingcenter_img 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 forumlast_img read more

Nietes wants either Gonzalez or Sor Rungvisai next

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. Pussycat Dolls set for reunion tour after 10-year hiatus Well-rested Wangs-Letran blasts JRU, ends 2-game skid “There has been talk of me fighting ‘Chocolatito’ (Gonzalez) next. That’s a fight I want. I’d also like to fight [Sor Rungvisai],” Nietes said in an interview with BoxingScene.com after improving to 41-1-4, 23 KOs.Gonzalez (46-2, 38 KOs), who was widely considered as the top pound-for-pound fighter until he lost to Sor Rungvisai in March of last year by majority decision.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThe two fought again six months later and this time, the Thai champion didn’t leave anything to chance by knocking out the hard-hitting Nicaraguan in the fourth round.Sor Rungvisai (45-4-1, 40 KOs) also kept his belt on Sunday after edging Mexican challenger Juan Francisco Estrada by majority decision in a slugfest. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Read Next John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC MOST READ Families in US enclave in north Mexico hold sad Thanksgiving View comments LATEST STORIES Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics PLAY LIST 00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics03:39Ancajas willing to fight Chocolatito if given a chance01:54Nietes wants move up to super flyweight: ‘My dream fights are there’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City LOOK: Iya Villania meets ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ cast in Mexico AFP official booed out of forum Google honors food scientist, banana ketchup inventor and war hero Maria Orosa AFP PHOTOSDonnie Nietes, the longest reigning Filipino champion, isn’t the type of fighter who settles for a second-rate opponent.Nietes, who retained his IBF flyweight title after stopping Argentina’s Juan Carlos Reveco in the seventh round Sunday in the US, wants either former four-division champion Roman Gonzalez or WBC super flyweight titleholder Srisaket Sor Rungvisai next.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

Down under

first_imgMore 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.advertisementlast_img read more

Revenge is foremost on India’s mind

first_imgIt’s revenge time for India. The unexpected defeat at the hands of Bangladesh during the 2007 World Cup is still fresh in the minds of most Indian players and avenging that loss will be on top of their must-do agenda as they clash with the co-hosts in the opening match of the World Cup in Dhaka on Saturday.That defeat was instrumental in sending India out of the tournament in the first round itself and the hurt can still be felt in the Indian camp. Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni just doesn’t want to talk about it. “Never even thought about it because we don’t want to repeat what happened in 2007,” he said on the eve of the big game that millions of people are looking forward to. In several ways, the result of the day-night encounter at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium could set the tone for the 14-nation, 45-day tournament. If it turns out to be a closely fought encounter, it will be a good advertisement for the 50-over format – which some people feel is under threat from Twenty20 – and will make investors/advertisers and some others smile.Already, an anonymous punter has put a bet of 82,000 bet – the biggest ever laid on a one-day game – with a London bookmaker on India winning the World Cup. But Dhoni would again not like to think about it, otherwise it would add to the pressure on him. Bangladesh have managed to eke out only two wins in 22 matches against India in more than 22 years of bilateral ODI history, but the one they managed on March 17, 2007, was the most telling. And when Dhoni, who failed to score in that game but took three catches, goes out for the toss, his mind would surely go back to that defeat.advertisementHe may have given a new name to pressure, “added responsibility”, but he can’t just shrug it away from his mind. One consolation for India is that pacer Mashrafe Mortaza, who bagged four wickets and was man of the match in that game, is not in the team. Seven of the 11 players who lost that game are still in the Indian team and would be itching to avenge that embarrassment.Interestingly, India and Bangladesh could be in different mindsets as they returned contrasting results just before the World Cup. While India lost the five-match ODI series 2-3 in South Africa last month, Bangladesh blanked New Zealand 4-0 at home and then thrashed Zimbabwe 3-1 in December and would be high on confidence.For India, pace spearhead Zaheer Khan is suspected to be a doubtful starter due to an injury. But Dhoni was confident he would play. “Zaheer is fit as of now. I have not spoken to the physio. If there is something, I will let you know,” he said. Left-armer Zaheer bowled at the nets on Friday evening, but did not go full throttle. Maybe, Dhoni wants to preserve him for the more important matches coming ahead. Maybe, the bowler is still not 100 per cent match fit. The answers will be known on Saturday afternoon when Dhoni exchanges the team sheets with his Bangladesh counterpart Shakib Al Hasan at the toss.Dhoni said spinners could play a big role in the tournament as pitches in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka largely support slow bowlers. Bangladesh too would depend largely on spinners, who happen to be their strength, especially on home turf.The India skipper too acknowledged this. “All three Bangladesh spinners are good. They have got two good part-timers who can bowl off-spin and leg-spin. It’s a good side. In the sub-continent, they rely a lot on their spinners because here they get more assistance than anywhere else,” he said.Shakib was gung ho about Bangladesh’s prospects. “Our bowlers are in good form, the batsmen have been doing their job and our fielding has improved a lot,” he said, looking confident.”This tournament is not only about playing India. We have six league matches to play and we have to perform in all of them. If we get our basics right, we will do well.”Bangladesh will no doubt receive wholehearted support from vociferous home fans. But the experienced Indian players are not new to playing and winning in adverse conditions. And they are expected to do the same on Saturday.last_img read more

Life on rent

first_imgBefore you go gaga over the girl sporting her chic Gucci glasses, Louis Vuitton bag and kitschy Nicola Fenetti dress, there are chances that ‘the look’ might have been rented. From swanky interiors, select artworks to high-end designer labels, Mumbai is renting it all. And if that was not enough, a unique library offers to rent interactive toys and books on hire to keep your kids busy. Borrowing everything without spending a bomb is the new trend catching up in the city.Rent an artworkWho: Dilip Ghevaria, 60At: Art Intaglio, WorliWhat: Ghevaria, a businessman, deals in manufactured plastic tubes but his real passion lies with art. He has been collecting art for the last ten years. It was only two years ago that he decided to give it a more organised shape. “I had collected almost 5,000 paintings from all over the world including India,” he says. So he decided to set-up Art Intaglio, to rent out the collection and reach out to people who want to own art work but don’t spare the cash.How: The gallery offers prints of works by famous artists from MF Husain to Jehangir Sabavala. One can get the art works for nine percent of its actual cost for a period of three months and if the customer wants to keep it for longer duration, they have the option of buying it too.Rent a dressWho: Chole Vasishtha, 34At: BandraWhat: Vasishtha, an Australian fashion designer shifted base to Mumbai after marriage. Along with her came more than 2000 dresses. Her collection comprises her own label-Kloe and a set of vintagewear-that includes famous brands like Versace, D & G, Gautier and Moschino.How: Renting high-end designer brands might be a trend in New York, but Mumbai is catching up. Depending on the labels, jackets, party or casualwear can be taken on rent for Rs 3,000 to 10,000 for a night. “Vintage dresses are a rage in Australia. They are a piece of history from a celebrated designer’s collection. However, the understanding in India is still at a nascent stage,” says Vasishtha. She wants to reach out to young girls, middleaged women who want to look their best and to women who love to flaunt international designer labels. Her collection is also open for commercial purposes like ad films and Bollywood.advertisementRent a toyWho: Karishma Zaveri, 31 and Hetal Zaveri Amin, 30At: Out of the Box Toy Library, Vile ParleWhat: Bored with their regular life and dull professions, the duo decided to break the monotony. Two years ago, Zaveri and Amin, both on a sabbatical from their respective professions, teaching and interior designing, decided to do something out of the box. The girls set-up a toy library.How: This unique toy library offers international toy brands like-Orchard, Learning Resources, Kindaroo and SmartGames. Apart from cuddly soft toys and board games, the library also stocks educational toys which offer a great medium to learn and enjoy. “Parents can avail a three-month membership for Rs 1,800 which includes a refundable deposit of Rs 700 and Rs 300 admission charges. According to this plan, one can rent two toys and a book,” says Zaveri. Over 2,000 children books including picture dictionary and musical books are stocked in this library. No more cranky kids, parents can keep their children busy with these colourful books and mindful games. Zaveri claims that it’s a perfect library for parents who have children aged between one to 10 years. Instead of buying overpriced toys that would eventually wear out after the little ones grow up, they can now take it on rent.Rent a tieWho: Amar Lodaya, 26 and Lucy Mehra, 26At: AL’z Creation, Masjid Bunder.What: It was launched last year by Lodaya and Mehra, management graduates. The two were colleagues at an insurance firm and set-up this full-time business of manufacturing and renting ties. “We wanted to experience the rare combination of hard work with fun. We weren’t satisfied with the regular humdrum in the office and hence we decided to start this business,” explains Lodaya.How: They offer ties in various materials- microfiber, jacquard and silk. A set of 10 ties is available at Rs 750 for a month, with a refundable deposit of Rs 1,500. “Buying a good quality tie could cost anywhere between Rs 600 to Rs 1,200. We offer the same quality at an economical rent,” explains Lodaya.Within a year, the store has acquired a smart clientele comprising corporate employees, especially from the sales and insurance sector. Lawyers, doctors and students also hire ties on regular basis.Rent your furnitureadvertisementWho: Ashutosh Pandit, 43At: Memrito Infrastructure Management Limited, Goregaon.What: Pandit is an architect. With Memrito Infrastructure Management Limited, he aims to offer interiors on hire.How: If you are new to the city and don’t have the addresses of plush interior stores then just give seven days to Memrito. His team will furnish the whole house, including the electronics and the carpets of your choice. The whole package is available for a monthly rental of Rs 50,000 for three years, Rs 60,000 for two years and Rs 75,000 for a year. “We cater to people all over India. Our customers are generally expats. Most of them have transferable jobs and prefer to take our services,” says Pandit.last_img read more

Mercury Rising

first_imgM J AkbarWhen you buy tickets to a circus you expect to see a few clowns. A clown is not a fool. It is far more difficult to make people laugh than to annoy them. A good clown must silence his ego, for he has to reduce himself to the lowest common denominator to maximise the laughs. He is a professional. But he is also, inherently, a character, or he would be just another diligent accountant, trapped within the limitations of safety-first. It is this characteristic that impels him to leap into the unexpected.Sports, it was drilled into me at boarding school, builds character. Judging by the opening bouts of the cricket World Cup, sports builds characters. Perhaps it is the panorama, the scale on which a game that began on a village green, with the pub as the sole source of entertainment, is being played. A cricket star now lives in a universe second only to the football idol, with money to match. Money has this curious propensity to travel in two directions simultaneously: it goes to your head at a much faster pace than it travels to your bank. This heady feeling is even more seductive when you are young. Talent is best nurtured in incremental steps; the happiest god is one who has reached divinity through stages. The sudden transition from obscurity to hero-worship can easily breed illusions when you are in your early twenties. You lose the difference between a tantrum and an honest expression of emotion within the hothouse of intense competition. Stardom can be contagious. Even a starlet like Billy Bowden, the pesky umpire from New Zealand, gets affected, searching for the bizarre within the fine print of cricket legislation.advertisementI was quite determined to be sceptical about the 2011 World Cup. The geopolitics of the tournament, spread across the realm of the British Raj, seemed more interesting than the game itself. You could see, for instance, how far the two wings of the Pakistan of 1947 had flown apart. Bangladesh has the worse team and the better environment. The playing fields of Pakistan are lost to those for whom war is sport, rather than the other way around; Pakistan has become, by common consent, too dangerous for recreation. The ruling planet of Pakistan is now obviously Mercury; mercury has entered the bloodstream of its players. Shoaib Akhtar might have been Shoaib Akhtar irrespective of which country he played for, but a Kamran Akmal is either above or beyond the law. I never fully understood the meaning of the phrase ‘on a wing and a prayer’ until I saw Shahid Afridi praying with soundless lips at a crucial moment during the match with Sri Lanka. Divine intervention worked that day, but the Lord surely cannot be biased, no matter how fervent the appeals to Him.The playing fields of Pakistan are lost to those for whom war is sport, rather than the other way around; Pakistan has become too dangerous for recreation.It is predictable to report that the hook returned to my cricket-hungry soul during the brilliant tie between India and England. But that was a game that exposed the weakness of two self-appointed triumphalists: neither have bowlers who can survive much daylight, and there is a lot of sunshine coming. Tidbits during commentary were amusing, but not entrancing. I was pleased to learn that Imran Khan banned hamburgers and never forgave anyone who got out to Kapil Dev. But that was not worth a wait.Epiphany came during a match whose tickets were safe even from the gluttony of the BCCI and its multiple parasites. Ireland is not going to win this World Cup, but Kevin O’Brien’s innings against England had the majesty of a rebellion against centuries of colonisation. It was the Easter Uprising all over again as Ireland resurrected from 111 for 5 to 293 for 6 by the 45th over. Ireland believed in themselves, which is always the true starting point of a sporting miracle. When they touched 300 for 6, the World Cup became a holy grail. If W.B. Yeats were alive he would have written an ode to O’Brien. When the unknown John Mooney backed away and smashed a four through cover, English captain Andrew Strauss’s stiff upper lip crumbled. Story over, although we still had to wait for Mooney to hit the winning four in the last over and raise a triumphant yell. The magic of sport lies in the triumph of the unexpected.Stiff upper lips are not quite the fashion in cricket anymore, although the game remains a preserve of the Commonwealth. There is more than cricketing skill on display, of national purpose. A post-war bounce is on parade in Sri Lanka, as it places its newest city on the world stage. Bangladesh is determined to prove that 40 years after independence, it is one of the big boys. Multi-ethnic Canada is visibly as colourful as the Commonwealth. The clowns are pickle at the feast; the main meal is wonderful cuisine. Time to share the joy.advertisementM J Akbarlast_img read more

Neetu Chandra switches sports and states

first_imgNeetu ChandraNeetu Chandra, 26, the taekwondo champion from Bihar represented Maharashtra in a national All Star Basketball Championship on April 9 at Mumbai.That’s not all. She even has Vipul Shah’s Kuch Love Jaisa besides a Tamil film Aadhi Bhagavan and her debut production Deswa, a bilingual thriller drama in Bhojpuri,Neetu ChandraNeetu Chandra, 26, the taekwondo champion from Bihar represented Maharashtra in a national All Star Basketball Championship on April 9 at Mumbai.That’s not all. She even has Vipul Shah’s Kuch Love Jaisa besides a Tamil film Aadhi Bhagavan and her debut production Deswa, a bilingual thriller drama in Bhojpuri and Hindi.”Everyone in the family can watch it together, not something that can be said for most Bhojpuri films.” If you say so.last_img read more

Maharashtra: 30 activists held during protests in support of Ramdev

first_imgAround 30 members of Bharat Swabhiman Sanghatana and Yuwa Swambhiman Manch were detained during their protests in support of yoga guru Baba Ramdev, on Sunday.The activists held demonstrations at a couple of places and tried to burn the effigy of a central minister, police said, adding that the protesters were later released.Meanwhile, BJP leaders, led by city president Anil Sole, launched a 24-hour satyagraha here to express their solidarity with the yoga guru.Similar protests and demonstrations were reported from neighbouring districts of Wardha, Chandrapur and Bhandara, police said.- With PTI inputslast_img

26/11: Headley plans to pen book, make movie on his life

first_imgPakistani-American LeT operative David Headley, who has confessed to his involvement in the Mumbai attacks, plans to pen a book and make a movie on his life.Headley also wants to teach the world about Islam after he is released from prison, and would like his kids to do the same. “I believe there are a lot of wrong impressions about Islam in media,” he said in a Chicago court during the recently-concluded trial of Mumbai attack co-accused Tahawwur Rana.50-year-old Headley said he had also instructed his wife Shazia to read the the Bible and Quran. The confessed terrorist, who surveyed the targets for the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people, said that he planned to write a book and make a movie about his life.Headley also said during the trial that his brother Hamza and uncle Saulat were involved with LeT militants, and helped him while he was in Pakistan. When Headley got arrested in October 2009, he told Shazia on phone to tell Hamza to change his phone number to avoid getting caught, even though he knew that the phones were being tapped by FBI.”Hamza is a government employee and I did not want him to lose his job,” Headley told prosecutor Daniel Collins during his testimony.While Headley’s two other wives went to the FBI and reported that he was engaged in terror activities, Shazia was the only one who supported him, though she had not yet been charged.Headley also posted emails on Abdalian Forum – his school Abdal Hasan Cadet College forum – and used strong language online against the cartoons of Prophet Muhammad published in Danish newspaper Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten in 2005.advertisement- With PTI inputsFor more news on India, click here.For more news on Business, click here.For more news on Movies, click here.For more news on Sports, click here.last_img read more