Why Do We Pamper These Losers in Blue?

first_imgTeam India is down and out of the ongoing World Cup. Its trip to the 2007 tournament lasted a brief and eventful seven days, the cricketing equivalent of a week-long Caribbean cruise. Indian bowler Zaheer Khan, second from left, celebrates with wicket keeper, Mahendra Dhoni, center, and Harbhajan Singh, right, after taking the wicket of Sri Lanka’s Sanath Jayasuriya during the Cricket World Cup match with Sri LankaRunners-up of World Cup 2003, India began its campaign this time on Saturday, March 17 with a shocking defeat at the hands of lowly Bangladesh. The following Monday, after a weekend of stunned introspection by Indian fans and player alike, it thrashed an even more lowly Bermuda by a whopping 257 runs. In beating this “Popatwadi” side – the pithy Mumbai street slang for the weakest side of any tournament – the Indian “tigers” shattered the world records for the highest total in World Cup history (413 for 5 in 50 overs) and for the highest victory margin in all One-Day International matches ever played.Later that same week, it was back to painful reality on 23 March – one of the blackest Fridays in Indian cricket. The team capitulated before a well-oiled cricketing machine called Sri Lanka, and was effectively eliminated from contention in the very first round. By the end of that evening, the tigers had metamorphosed into a line of lambs trudging listlessly to the slaughter house. The Indian bowlers, particularly Ajit Agarkar, began reasonably well, but lost steam along the way, allowing the Lankans to break loose in the final overs and reach a decent 254. Only one word can adequately describe the Indian batting that followed: spineless.This however is not the first time that the Indians – particularly the Big Three of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Saurav Ganguly – have flattered to deceive in a crunch game. Forget, for a moment, the once-in-four-years World Cup tournament. We have a dubious record of losing umpteen finals even in routine tri-nation series matches during regular seasons. And the pattern has persisted over the last decade or so. India’s batsman, Virender Sehwag celebrates his century against Bermuda in the Cricket World CupOne quibbles not so much with the fact of a defeat, as much as the manner of the defeated. I seen several past Indian cricket teams lose matches and yet cover themselves with glory for having tried their hardest by playing out of their skins against formidable opposition. Team India – significantly after the mid-1990s when brash commercialism in the form of cable television and big sponsorship began dictating the game and its players – has seldom shown that kind of raw spunk. Rarely, if ever, have recent matches ended after a well-fought contest. And rarely, if ever, has the opposing side beaten us: it’s our boys who have forfeited the contest by a shameful lack of grit, morale, application and commitment.So why, oh why, do we pamper this bunch of losers and non-performers? What is it about cricket and cricketers that gets us Indian fans so weak-kneed and mushy that we’re ready and willing to give them an interminably long rope? We don’t do that to our politicians, do we? We vote them out of power even when we aren’t sure that their successors will deliver the goods. We don’t suffer film stars either, do we? We simply stop patronizing their movies,  which is also called voting them out with our feet.But cricket is another story for the Indian fan. Or, truth to tell, another religion. We deify our cricketers and not even their repeated failures can shake our devotion. We thought nothing of allowing a straggling old warhorse like Kapil Dev to continue to tag along and play for the country during the last stages of his career in the early to mid-1990s in his quest to break Sir Richard Hadlee’s world record for the largest number of Test wickets. We thought nothing of the cost of this “offering” we made to the demi-god Dev (in return for the 1983 World Cup?) in terms of the matches we lost or failed to win, or even in terms of the delayed entry of an exciting pace prospect in Javagal Srinath. No other country – least of all, champion Australia. which ruthlessly axed One-Day utility players like Michael Bevan and Andy Bichel when they were just past their best – would tolerate players the way India has done.I recognize that the public reaction back home to the latest World Cup debacle is rather sharp and alarming. Three fans succumbed to heart attacks in Pune, Ahmedabad and Hyderabad, and one in Thane (on the northeastern outskirts of Mumbai city) killed himself after the Sri Lanka match. Tour operators are left holding hundreds of trip cancellations to the Caribbean, and corporates running Cup-specific ad campaigns are in a “depression” of sorts. As we go to press, irate fans have attacked the houses of Yuvraj Singh (in Gurgaon) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (in Ranchi) as well as Zaheer Khan’s restaurant in Pune. Promptly, security at the homes of all other team members was beefed up as well. Wags are having a field day on the Internet and mobile SMS. Angry fans demonstrate against the team after India’s humilating World Cup lossPhoto: FotocorpBut is this anything more than a knee-jerk reaction of extreme disappointment and let-down not uncommon after a major defeat, and hopefully not long-lasting either? Ajit Wadekar’s Bombay apartment was stoned after the dismal England tour in 1974-75, the humiliating defeat made all the more palpable by the earlier series victories in West Indies and England in 1971. And more recently, Mohammed Kaif’s bungalow in Allahabad met a similar fate after he scored a duck in the 2003 World Cup Final. Both these cricketers faded out of the reckoning soon after.The loss in this World Cup has also exposed our cricket officialdom. Traditionally, the Board of Control for Cricket in India has been dominated by professional politicians. The situation today is different only in that the economic stakes are a lot higher. BCCI honcho Sharad Pawar – whispered as being the country’s richest politician – and his lackey Rajeev Shukla are reciting the mantra of “new young players” and have thrown Coach Greg Chappell to the wolves. Pawar told reporters the coach’s contract, valid till World Cup 2007, would be reviewed. Privately, BCCI sources are certain that Chappell’s will be the first head to roll.Greg Chappell probably knows in his heart of hearts that his excessive experimentation with the team contributed in no mean measure to the overall debacle. Witness for instance the havoc he played with Irfan Pathan who began as an all-rounder of promise a few years ago and has ended the World Cup tour without playing a single match owing to lack of form, focus and confidence. Chappell’s case wasn’t helped in the least by his outburst at the post-match news conference where he hrefused to accept any responsibility for the defeat against Sri Lanka and for the Cup elimination, and claimed instead that he was not answerable to anyone save his employer, i.e. BCCI. We now know that we can’t trust the future of Indian cricket in the hands of a man just because he’s a firang. But how far can we really trust its future in the hands of politicos like Pawar and Shukla who appear to have discovered their love for the game only after the BCCI became known as the world’s richest cricketing body? Greg Chappell probably knows in his heart of hearts that his excessive experimentation with the team contributed in no mean measure to the overall debaclePhoto: FotocorpAre we prepared to transcend the impulsive acts of wanton rage by fans and the petty, myopic manipulations of officials? Do we have the sagacity and the integrity to take a clear hard and  objective look at the state of our cricket?If we do, we must discount the statements of the likes of Harbhajan Singh’s mother who told a TV channel that her son’s team lost to Sri Lanka not because they didn’t play well enough, but because God was not on their side that day. We must also discount that biggest hoax and subterfuge our players resort to in post-match interviews: After all, it’s just a game. Just a game, my bloody left foot! Let’s accept once and for all, that cricket stopped being just a game and turned into a real big and serious business in the 1990s. When you get paid obscenely huge amounts of money and get backed by a billion hopes, it is nothing short of criminal to be dismissive about your mission. To call your vocation “just a game” is, for a modern international cricketer representing India, a cunning escape-clause to duck your responsibility to the country, to the spectator and finally to the game itself. Are our cricketers so cavalier about their celebrity status – which derives solely from their association with the game – when they’re negotiating sponsorship deals with the corporate biggies?Do coaches get murdered for just a game? Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer’s murder has vitiated not only the atmosphere in the ongoing World Cup in the Caribbean, but also highlighted the dangers of letting money in the “game” of cricket go berserk. Suspicions abound that Woolmer – who emerged untainted despite being South Africa’s coach in the heydays of the Hansie Cronje match-fixing controversy – was on the verge of revealing details of the cricketer-bookie nexus in a forthcoming bookand thus found himself in the murderous cross-wires of the international gambling syndicate that has many star cricketers on its payroll.Is there a way out of this snowballing mess of corruption at the highest level of international sport? I believe there is – at least for Indian cricket. If the root of the evil lies in too much money resulting in too little concentration and commitment to the game, let’s deal with it head-on. The ultimate question is: how do we transform this beautiful game of cricket to its original pristine glory from its present gaudy and commercial incarnation? The solution is two-fold. It involves the Indian fans on the one hand and the BCCI on the other. BCCI President Sharad Pawar. How much can we trust the sport in the hands of politicos who discovered their love for the game only after BCCI became known as the world’s richest cricketing body?Photo: FotocorpThe fans first. I beseech all my countrymen – and I include NRIs among them – to boycott all products endorsed by cricketers, at least till they win another World Cup. What will this achieve? To begin with, it will keep commercial sponsors out of dressing rooms, in a manner of speaking, and help relegate money to a secondary position in a cricketers’ priority list. Several Indian cricket stars are known to skip practice sessions and “minor” matches to accommodate lucrative commercial deals. Even if the star has his priorities right, shooting schedules for TV commercials do take their toll on a cricketer’s time and stamina, leaving him drained and exhausted for the real job of practising for and playing top-class cricket. (It’s not easy being a poster boy, you know? Ask Dhoni.) A boycott will jolt the cricketer back to the primary task at hand. And no, such a boycott won’t pauperize him. No way. Match fees by themselves ensure that he’s a millionaire and more within months of selection. The sponsorships put him instantly in the multi-billionaire bracket. For players, most of them in their teens and 20s, it’s definitely too much money too soon in life for doing too little.The BCCI’s role is in some ways even more central. It involves suitable penalization of match-fixing cricketers, and strengthening the domestic cricket infrastructure. The first is self-explanatory. The second includes rescheduling Indian cricket’s international calendar to make way for greater participation by the players in local Ranji and Duleep Trophy matches. It also includes making greater allocations to the National Cricket Academy at Bangalore for training new budding talent and rehoning old skills. Not too much of an ask for a Board with billions in its kitty.A stronger domestic program fueled by the cricket academy will develop a larger larger pool of talent for Test and One-Day selection. (Australia is a prime and successful example of this solid professional approach.) We will then no longer be reliant on non-performing stars whose arrogance stems largely from the realization that there is no ready substitute to replace them. There is currently talk of changing the captain and radically overhauling the team after the dismal World Cup performance. But the talk stops short of taking names. Reason: we just don’t have the reserve-bench strength of decent quality in any department.Furthermore, time at the academy and in domestic tournaments will give players opportunities to iron out their technical blemishes and improve their all-round game, fitness and confidence. They will no longer have to resort to “buying insurance” for anticipated failures by downplaying expectations before a big challenge. Look what happened even before the Indian team left for the World Cup. They stretched themselves, not so much in their match preparations, but in promising fans they would aim at the Semi-Finals and would most probably feature in the Cup Final. A senior player like Saurav “Dada” Ganguly, who in the past has expressed disgust at always being the bridesmaid and never the bride, was reduced to playing safe: “…there is no reason why we won’t be contesting for the honors on April 28.” Today, of course, that reads like a sad joke. On the eve of the tournament it hreflected a strangely diminished and wimpy mindset. Why not aim for the top slot – the World Cup – no less?I recall my teacher at elementary school who always admonished those who lowered the bar of ambition. “If you jump for the moon, you will at least reach the tree-top,” she’d philosophize with an endearing sense of drama, “but if you jump for the tree-top, you will end up in the ditch.” There’s a lesson there for a team which went to the Cup aiming to play the Semi-Finals or at most, the Final – and ended up being eliminated in the very first round.It’s never too late to go back to school.Laugh It Off!Here are a few jokes doing the email and sms rounds after India’s World Cup elimination.A family court judge was deciding on a little girl’s custody.Judge: Baby, would you like to live with your Daddy?Little Girl: No, he beats me Judge: Then you’d like to live with your Mummy?Little Girl: No, no. She beats me too.Judge: (exasperated): Then who would you like to live with?Little Girl: The Indian cricket team. They don’t beat anybody.Q. Who’s responsible for India’s exit from the World Cup?A. Indira Gandhi. She created Bangladesh.Team Manager: Hello.Voice: Can I speak to Sachin? This is his wife.Team Manager: Sorry, he’s just gone out to bat.Voice: Okay, I’ll hold on.Q. What is the height of optimism?A.  Dhoni coming out to bat with sunscreen on his face.Q. Why can’t Virgin Airlines ever become the sponsor of the Indian cricket team?A.  Not with the way we keep getting f—-dIndia is a cricketing nation. It walks, talks, eats, drinks, breathes and sleeps cricket. Too bad it doesn’t play it.– S.H Related Itemslast_img read more

CBI-SAHNI 2 LAST

first_imgCBI had filed a charge sheet against Sahani alleging thatCBI had filed a charge sheet against Sahani alleging that he, in collusion with other persons, used forged e-tickets and fake boarding passes to defraud Rajya Sabha to the tune of Rs 23.71 lakh as travel and dearness allowance reimbursement without undertaking the actual journey.Besides Sahani, whose term in Rajya Sabha ends in April 2018, others named in the CBI chargesheet were Anup Singh Panwar, an employee of Delhi-based Air Cruise Travels Private Limited, N S Nair, then Office Superintendent (Traffic), Air India and one Arvind Tiwari.Members of Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha get 34 free air tickets in a year for themselves, their family members and associates for domestic travel. PTI SNS SUS SMNlast_img read more

Hope to inspire more Indians to take up wrestling, says WWE champion Jinder Mahal

first_imgNewly-crowned WWE Champion Jinder Mahal hoped that his achievements can inspire more Indians to take up wrestling and felt that hard work is the key to greatness.On Sunday, Jinder Mahal defeated 13-time champion Randy Orton for the WWE Championship in SmackDown exclusive pay-per-view Backlash in Chigaco.Mahal is only the second Indian-origin WWE Champion after the Great Khali, who won the World Heavyweight Championship in 2007.”India is such a passionate place when it comes to WWE, it has a special place in the WWE universe. The most passionate fans are from India and I hope that I can motivate more Indians to pursue wresting or any athletics for that matter and become champions,” Mahal said in an interview to Times of India.Mahal said that there is no dearth of talent in India but there needs to be more representation from the country in all sports at the world platform.”I hope they go on to represent India because in sports there is lack of Indian athletes. I think we have lots of talent there, we have everything and hopefully this (win) kick-starts and motivates younger people to pursue their dreams – whether it is WWE or cricket or anything like this,” Mahal added.Mahal felt great to be representing India on such a big platform and having defeated a legendary wrestler like Orton, he wanted to achieve more.”It feels great. Randy Orton is one of the greatest WWE superstars of all time, 13-time WWE champion and to knock off somebody like him, the ‘Apex Predator’ is a great feeling; being a WWE champion and to be representing India is tremendous. Hopefully this will be the first of many WWE title reigns to come,” Mahal said.advertisementMahal answered the criticism he had received for his drastic physical transformation and said that it was all his hard work and strict diet.”I don’t know what kind of criticism that was. I worked hard in the gym a lot. All the WWE talents are drug tested by a third-party agency and I have been tested multiple times and never had an issue, so you know my transformation is all diet, all hard work.”Mahal thanked his Indian fans for all their support and urged people to play sports and stay healthy. He specially advised the youth of Punjab to leave drugs and respect their body.”I want to say thank you to everybody for supporting me. I also want to send a message to India’s youth. Anything is possible. Especially in Punjab, there is a huge drug problem right now. Stay away from that, take care of your body and respect yourself. Play sports, do exercise, stay healthy, get a good education and better your life,” Mahal signed off.last_img read more

Keino one of seven Kenyan officials charged over 2016 Olympics graft

first_imgNairobi, Oct 15 (AFP) Two-time Olympic gold medallist Kipchoge Keino was one of seven Kenyan officials charged Monday in a scandal involving the mismanagement of funds during the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.Four of the suspects were in court while the others, including former sports minister Hassan Wario and Keino — who headed the Olympic committee — were charged in absentia.Magistrate Douglas Ogoti said he would issue arrest warrants against the absent parties if they did not turn themselves in by Thursday.Wario is out of the country, as he serves as Kenya’s ambassador to Austria.Those present pleaded not guilty and were released on bail of one million shillings (USD 9,900, 8,500 euros).The men were slapped with charges ranging from abuse of office to failing to comply with laws on the management of public funds.They cover the alleged crimes of embezzlement, the purchase of unauthorised air tickets, overpayment of allowances and expenditure on unauthorised persons, all to the amount of 55 million shillings.Graft is rife in Kenya, with millions of dollars of public funds going missing each year, and the country was left red-faced in 2016 over graft during its Olympic campaign which also saw athletes’ team uniforms stolen by officials. (AFP) APAAPAlast_img read more

Mysterious Redmi Go smartphone pops up in certifications, what is Xiaomi up to now?

first_imgWhen it comes to the budget smartphones, Xiaomi really knows its ways to offer some of the best value for money smartphones. The recently released Redmi 6 series of budget smartphones offered a host of modern features reserved for premium smartphones at extremely affordable prices. However, Xiaomi is never content with its budget models and aims to push the boundaries at never-seen-before prices. Rumours of the upcoming Redmi 7 series were doing rounds of the Internet and another mysterious Xiaomi device has popped up on the certifications, hinting towards an imminent launch.According to a report from Nashville Chatter, a bunch of certifications have crept with regards to a new Xiaomi smartphone from the Redmi series. The device will be called the Redmi Go and will come with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity built-in. Some of the specifications have also been listed for the handset, which clearly points towards this one being an entry-level Android smartphone. The device will carry dimensions of 141 x 71 mm and will measure 150mm diagonally. This means that the device could end up sporting a 5.9-inch display with an aspect ratio of 18:9. No other information has been shared as of now.Going by past experiences, there could be a high chance that Xiaomi may be unveiling an Android Go device. The new Android Go smartphone could end up ditching Xiaomi’s customization-heavy MIUI interface and go for a stock Android Go interface for smooth user experience. The inclusion of Android Go also indicates that the device could be featuring extremely low-end specifications such as 1GB RAM and 8GB of onboard storage. The Redmi Go could mark Xiaomi’s foray into stock Android smartphones for the entry-level segment in a similar way the Mi A1 introduced Xiaomi’s solid midrange smartphone with Google’s stock Android interface.advertisementThe Redmi Go is expected to be unveiled in Singapore in early 2019. However, we may see Xiaomi bring the Redmi Go to India at an extremely affordable price, undercutting the Redmi 6A by a few thousand Rupees. The entry-level segment in India has seen Android Go smartphones from various manufacturers such as Samsung, Nokia, Micromax and Lava. The Android Go smartphones offer an optimised Android experience for devices with extremely low-end hardware. Google has built a suite of specific Android Go apps that consume lesser space on the storage. With the advent of the Redmi Go, we could be seeing some intense action in the sub-Rs 5,000 smartphone segment.ALSO READ | Mi A2 is the first Android One phone from Xiaomi to get Android 9 Pie’s sweetness, global rollout begins todayALSO READ | Poco F1 Android 9 Pie update now rolling out, but some Pie features are missingALSO READ | This is the Xiaomi Play launching on December 24, and not Redmi 7 Pro or Redmi 7last_img read more

Mack Brown wants Texas to be more like OSU

first_imgPhoto Attribution: US PresswirePhoto Attribution: US PresswireAh, we were always headed here, weren’t we?This is just fantastic.Mack Brown has ditched his dream to become Alabama and is headed down the Oregon/Oklahoma State/Baylor path of “run as many plays as possible and get the oxygen ready for our defense.”Here’s what he had to say in the Austin American-Statesman the other day:We’re not going to be the option type team that Oregon is, but we are going to run Oregon’s tempo. But we still gotta (become) physical. We are not changing our offense; we are changing our tempo.So where does the Oklahoma State comparison come in? How about here:I thought Todd Monken did as good a job staying physical and running no huddle as anybody. We’ll head in that direction.Texas actually wasn’t terrible on offense last year. They averaged 6.34 yards per play (22nd in the country) and they finished 23rd in the nation in points per game — the problem with that is that there were six (!) Big 12 teams that finished ahead of them in points per game.Texas also averaged 2.99 points per drive last year, OSU averaged 3.21 so there’s evidence that Texas could actually pull this up-tempo move off quite seamlessly.Here’s the Horns’ dirty little secret though (well, besides Major Applewhite’s dirty little secret) — they weren’t very good on defense.They gave up MORE total points than OSU did, despite being on the field for 145 fewer plays.OSU defense – 1034 plays – 367 points given upTexas defense – 889 plays – 380 points given upSo while the new offense in Austin might work just fine, I’d be careful about tossing a defense that repeatedly got torched last year out there for 10-12 more plays a game.But I also don’t make $5 million/year like Mack.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!last_img read more

England team news: Alexander-Arnold handed debut

first_imgWorld Cup England team news: Alexander-Arnold handed debut against Costa Rica as Vardy leads the line Chris Burton Last updated 1 year ago 02:07 6/8/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Trent Alexander-Arnold England Getty World Cup England England v Costa Rica Costa Rica Friendlies The Liverpool full-back will make his senior bow in the Three Lions’ last fixture before heading to Russia for the 2018 World Cup Liverpool full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold has been handed a senior England debut in a pre-World Cup friendly date with Costa Rica.The 19-year-old defender has made three outings for the Three Lions at U-21 level, but will make a step up in a final fixture before Gareth Southgate’s side head to Russia.Alexander-Arnold is one of several changes made by England to the side which edged out Nigeria 2-1 in their last outing. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now With Southgate eager to take a look at as many players as possible heading into a major tournament, those on the fringes of the fold have been given an opportunity to impress at Elland Road.Leicester striker Vardy is unlikely to dislodge prolific captain Harry Kane from a starting berth, but he will get the chance to enhance his international goal record against Costa Rica.Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford will also be hoping to catch the eye in a central striking berth.Ruben Loftus-Cheek has impressed in his England outings to date and can prove to Chelsea that he is deserving of a chance in 2018-19.At the back, Leicester’s Harry Maguire comes back in, while Danny Rose replaces Ashley Young at left-back and Jack Butland gets the chance to stake a claim for being the first name on the team sheet.England team: Butland; Rose, Stones, Maguire, Jones, Alexander-Arnold; Delph, Henderson, Loftus-Cheek; Rashford, Vardy.Costa Rica team: Navas; Gamboa, Waston, González, Calvo, Oviedo; Venegas, Guzmán, Borges, Campbell; Urena.The rest of England’s 23-man World Cup squad will be available to Southgate from the bench, while those on standby – Tom Heaton, Adam Lallana and Jake Livermore – will also take up a position among the substitutes.last_img read more

Ambassador Marks Launches Jamaica Roots Competition

first_img Ambassador to the United States (US), Her Excellency Audrey Marks, has announced the launch of a competition called Jamaica Roots aimed at nationals in the US who have lost connection with their homeland. Story Highlights Ambassador to the United States (US), Her Excellency Audrey Marks, has announced the launch of a competition called Jamaica Roots aimed at nationals in the US who have lost connection with their homeland.The competition, which will run from November 5, 2017 to February 4, 2018, provides the opportunity for Jamaican-Americans to win a trip to the island. Monthly draws will be broadcast on Facebook Live.Ambassador Marks pointed out that Jamaica Roots, as the name suggests, is about reconnecting Jamaicans to their heritage and culture.It is a chance for persons to re-establish links and to learn more about the country from which their family originated.She said the ultimate objective is to encourage members of the diaspora to invest their time, talents and resources for Jamaica’s development.Ambassador Marks explained that under the pilot programme, winners will receive a one-week free accommodation at a hotel, or stay with a family member; travel the island on guided tours; learn about their family history; and experience life in the community of their roots.She pointed out that to be eligible, each applicant must be at least 21 years old at the time of travel; have Jamaican roots (able to prove themselves a citizen, or the child, grandchild, great-grandchild, great-great-grandchild of a citizen); have a valid passport; and have lived outside of Jamaica for at least 10 years.Entries can be submitted at http://s.heyo.com/c9ca7e. All rules and requirements can also be found on Facebook @AmbassadorMarks. The competition, which will run from November 5, 2017 to February 4, 2018, provides the opportunity for Jamaican-Americans to win a trip to the island. Monthly draws will be broadcast on Facebook Live. She pointed out that to be eligible, each applicant must be at least 21 years old at the time of travel; have Jamaican roots (able to prove themselves a citizen, or the child, grandchild, great-grandchild, great-great-grandchild of a citizen); have a valid passport; and have lived outside of Jamaica for at least 10 years.last_img read more

CMA CGM Preparing a New Round of Boxship Orders

first_imgzoom French shipping major CMA CGM appears to be laying the groundwork for further fleet rejuvenation with a fresh order for up to twelve 14,000 TEU containerships said to be in the making.The company has signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) with Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) for six firm plus six optional vessels set for delivery in 2020, Allied Shipping Research said in its latest report.Under the contract, CMA CGM has an option to fit the ships with dual-fuel engines, the report claims.The price of the ships was not disclosed.When approached by World Maritime News CMA CGM said it did not want to comment on the report.The French company was among the first companies to break the boxship ordering silence in 2017, which lasted for almost two years, with a mega-order for nine LNG-fulled 22,000 TEU containerships announced in September 2017.Chinese shipyards Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding and Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding (SWS) have been contracted to build the containerships under a USD 1.2 billion contract.The first ships from the order are scheduled to come into service from the end of 2019.According to Alphaliner, additional orders are expected to be announced in the coming weeks by containership owners and carriers as they look to renew their fleets.The fleet rejuvenation is being pursued ahead of the anticipated impact of the new environmental regulations including the 2020 Sulfur cap and the Ballast Water Management Convention.Major liners, including Maersk Line and Evergreen Line, have added newbuilding capacity over the past couple of weeks.Furthermore, Taiwanese shipping company Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation and Korean shipping line Hyundai Merchant Marine are expected to announce new orders as well.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more

Weekly Traffic Advisories

first_imgNEW WORK INVERNESS COUNTY: West Lake Ainslie Road The Hayes River Bridge on West Lake Ainslie Road has a 15 tonne weight restriction. CONTINUING WORK HALIFAX REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Highway 111 The southbound lanes of Highway 111, between Exit 6 and Pleasant Street in Dartmouth, are reduced to one lane during construction daily from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. on weekdays and from 7 p.m. to 8 a.m. on weekends. The speed limit is reduced to 60 km/h during construction and the work is scheduled to be completed on Sunday, July 31. PICTOU COUNTY: Route 348, East River East Side Road Route 348, East River East Side Road, is closed to traffic between Bridgeville Road and Sunny Brae Eden Road to replace cross culverts until Friday, July 8. Detour signs in place COLCHESTER COUNTY: Route 246 Sections of Route 246, from 200 metres west of Kennedy Hill Road for about six kilometres west to Marshall Road, are reduced to one lane for upgrading including paving, slope stabilization, and guardrail repairs until Wednesday, Aug. 31. Traffic is stop-and-go, and work takes place from daylight to dusk. CUMBERLAND COUNTY: Highway 104 The eastbound lanes of the Amherst Viaduct Bridge on Highway 104 have alternating lane closures for repairs until Monday, Oct. 31. Work takes place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and traffic will be controlled by concrete barriers and signs. The bridge has a 4.5 metre width restriction and an 80 km/h speed limit. HALIFAX REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Highway 101 Bridge The Highway 101 Bridge over Highway 102 near Bedford is reduced to one lane on both the inbound and outbound lanes for repairs on weekends. There will also be a lane drop each way on Highway 102. Work starts on Fridays at 6 p.m. and ends on Mondays at 6 a.m. until Friday, July 15. HANTS COUNTY: Highway 101 The eastbound lanes of Highway 101, from the Kings County line for 1.5 kilometers to Exit 8, are reduced to one lane for road repairs until Wednesday, Aug. 31. Work is on weekdays from 9 a.m. until sundown. Drivers should expect delays, slow down in construction zones, and be prepared to stop. HALIFAX REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Highway 107, Partridge River Bridge Until the end of July, traffic on Highway 107 near Exit 18 in Lake Echo could be reduced to one lane with stop-and-go traffic between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. The speed limit is reduced to 80 km/hr. DIGBY COUNTY: Highway 101 Highway 101, from Yarmouth/Digby County line to seven kilometres west of Exit 28, is reduced to one lane to install centerline rumble strips until Friday, July 8. Signage and traffic control people on site. Work takes place from sunrise to sunset. PICTOU COUNTY: Montreal Road Montreal Road, from Route 289 to Gairlock Lake Road, about four kilometres, is reduced to one lane for repaving until Thursday, June 30. Traffic control people are on site. Work will take place from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. HANTS COUNTY: Vaughan Road Vaughan Road, from Trunk 14 to Route 236, will be reduced to one lane for gravelling and chip sealing from Monday, June 27 until Friday, Sept. 30. Work is from Monday to Friday from sunrise to sundown. Drivers should expect delays, slowdown in construction zones, and be prepared to stop. VICTORIA COUNTY: Gillis Bridge Gillis Bridge, on North Branch Road, just past Uisge Bàn (USH-KA BAN) Falls Provincial Park, is closed until further notice. Access to the park is not affected. -30- PICTOU COUNTY: Highway 106 (Exit 3A) Construction of the new roundabout is underway in the Town of Pictou. Construction vehicles will be turning on to West River Road off of Highway 106, Exit 3A, and turning into the former entrance of the visitor information centre during this phase of the project. Work is anticipated to be completed Friday, Sept. 30. PICTOU COUNTY: Green Hill Road Green Hill Road from Trunk 4 westerly, about five kilometres, is reduced to one lane for repaving until Thursday, June 30. Traffic control personnel are on site. Work will take place from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. LUNENBURG COUNTY: Highway 103 Sections of Highway 103 from Exit 12 for about nine kilometres to Northfield Overpass, have alternating lane closures for repaving and upgrading until Monday, Oct. 31. Work takes place from sunrise to sunset. PICTOU COUNTY: Route 348Route 348 from Bridgeville Road easterly for about seven kilometres is reduced to one lane for culvert replacement and repaving until Wednesday, Aug. 31. Traffic control people are on site. Work takes place from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. INVERNESS COUNTY: Crowdis Bridge, Valley Mills Crowdis Bridge, in Valley Mills on Marble Mountain Road, is closed until further notice. Detour via Eden Road, Barren Road, Northside River Denys Road and Southside River Denys Road. Signs are in place. COLCHESTER/CUMBERLAND COUNTY: Highway 104 Sections of the westbound lane of Highway 104 for about 19 kilometres from Londonderry to Westchester Station, are reduced to one lane for paving, widening, and the installation of rumble strips and guardrail until Wednesday, Aug. 31. Work takes place from dawn to dusk. HANTS COUNTY: Highway 101 The northbound lanes of Highway 101, from Ellershouse Bridge to Exit 5, are reduced to one lane for road work until Wednesday, Aug. 31. Work takes place weekdays from sunrise to 4 p.m. and from 6 p.m. until sundown. Drivers should expect delays, slow down in construction zones, and be prepared to stop.last_img read more

Father of suspected BC killer seeks access to video taken before sons

first_imgVANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — The father of a suspected killer of three people in northern British Columbia is trying to access a video his son took which details his last wishes before his death.A lawyer for Alan Schmegelsky says he became aware of the video earlier this month when his son, Bryer Schmegelsky, and Kam McLeod were found dead from self-inflicted gunshot wounds in the northern Manitoba wilderness.Sarah Leamon says she has been in contact with the RCMP on behalf of her client so he can watch the video for closure. Bryer Schmegelksy’s father is grieving, she says, and has a right to see the video his son recorded in his last moments.“We can’t even imagine the type of emotional distress he’s been put through as a result of everything that’s gone on around his son’s death,” Leamon says. “He just simply wishes to see that video so that he can gain some clarity and gain some closure. So that he can feel as though he has some degree of comfort in an extremely uncomfortable and horrible situation.”RELATED: Canada manhunt suspects recorded ‘last will and testament’ before taking their own lives: reportShe says Alan Schmegelsky is concerned about seeing the video for the first time when it is released to the public.“He wants to see it in private and have a private moment,” she says. “We can’t lose sight of the fact that my client is a father, and he’s a father who lost his only son, his only child under extremely harrowing circumstances.”An email of the exchange obtained by The Canadian Press says the video is about how Bryer wanted his body to be dealt with after his death.In the email, the RCMP says the information about Bryer’s wishes was passed on to his mother and that police plan on publicly addressing the video in a media release in the next few weeks. Police have not publicly confirmed the existence of the video.Leamon says she doesn’t know how the email became public, but she verified its contents.The RCMP did not immediately respond to a request for comment.last_img read more

Former Tangerine CEO to head medical marijuana company CannTrust

first_imgTORONTO – The former chief executive of Scotiabank’s online bank Tangerine is now CEO of marijuana company CannTrust.The Ontario-based licensed medical cannabis producer says Peter Aceto has been appointed to the top job, effective immediately.CannTrust says co-founder and CEO Eric Paul has stepped down from his role at the helm and has been named chairman of the board and special adviser.Aceto was president and CEO of online bank Tangerine, formerly ING Direct Canada, from 2008 to 2017.Scotiabank acquired ING Direct Canada in 2012, and later changed its name to Tangerine.Aceto’s appointment as CannTrust CEO comes just weeks before Canada legalizes marijuana for recreational use on Oct. 17.Companies in this story: (TSX:BNS, TSX:TRST)last_img read more

Wimal warns Sri Lankan community in Europe

Leader of the National Freedom Front, Parliamentarian Wimal Weerawansa has warned the Sri Lankan community in Europe that Sri Lanka’s future is under threat.Weerawansa is on tour in Europe to meet Sri Lankans living abroad and to brief them on the dangers faced by Sri Lanka in the near future. As part of the visit Weerawansa visited Berlin and addressed the Sri Lankans living in Berlin on the topic “The Injustice done to a Nation by a White man’s court”. (Colombo Gazette) Photos by Chinthaka de Silva and Helmut Ulmann read more

Afghanistan UNESCO seeks 27 million to rebuild countrys education system

The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said the effort would focus on rehabilitating Kabul University, training education professionals, and developing non-formal and distance learning programmes to tackle the country’s illiteracy rates, which are among the highest in the world. According to UNESCO, over the past two decades, Afghanistan lost an estimated 200,000 education experts and academics, while its 17 universities and institutes were left devastated by conflict. In response, the agency has set up a computer training centre at the journalism faculty of Kabul University, along with an Internet café. UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura said a “massive effort” had already begun to re-open schools and enable Afghan children to get back into class. “This first phase must now be followed up by longer-term activities to rebuild the education system, including the formulation of sound policies and the strengthening of Afghanistan’s professional capacities,” he said. The agency and the Afghan authorities have jointly outlined a series of projects to present to donors. The initiatives incorporate outreach to out-of-school youth and the illiterate adults who make up an estimated 70 per cent of the population, including the vast majority of women. Children with special needs, such as orphans and the disabled, will also be targeted. read more

Lack of homes on the market to drive Toronto real estate prices

Lack of homes on the market to drive Toronto real estate prices, realtors say A real estate sold sign hangs in front of a west-end Toronto property Friday, Nov. 4, 2016. A lack of homes for sale is expected to drive Toronto’s sizzling housing market to another year of double-digit price increases, the city’s real estate board said Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy by The Canadian Press Posted Jan 31, 2017 6:46 am MDT Last Updated Jan 31, 2017 at 11:00 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email TORONTO – A lack of homes for sale is expected to drive Toronto’s sizzling housing market to another year of double-digit price increases, the city’s real estate board said Tuesday.The Toronto Real Estate Board said the average price for all types of housing is forecast to rise to about $825,000 — up from $730,472 in December and $729,922 for the 2016 calendar year.The largest year-over-year price increases will be for low-rise types of housing such as detached and semi-detached homes and townhouses, said the board, which represents about 46,000 real estate brokers and salespersons.“While changes to federal mortgage lending guidelines and higher borrowing costs may impact some would-be homebuyers, the big impediment will be the lack of inventory,” Jason Mercer, the board’s director of market analysis, said in a statement.The number of listings at the end of December were at their lowest since before 2000, Mercer said.“It is unlikely that the shortage of listings will improve to any great degree over the course of the next year,” he said. “This will put a ceiling on sales growth.”The board estimates there will be between 104,500 and 115,500 home sales this year through its MLS system — more or less similar to the 113,133 recorded last year.The group is repeating its call for the private, public and not-for-profit sectors to seek solutions to increase the supply of properties for sale in the Toronto region rather than attempt to reduce demand from would-be buyers.It said a foreign buyers’ tax, which some called for to rein in Toronto house prices after such a levy was implemented in Vancouver, would be misguided. It pointed to a survey it conducted among its members late last year that concluded 4.9 per cent of transactions in the Greater Toronto Area involved foreigners.After a tax on foreign nationals buying property in Vancouver was introduced in August, the city saw a whopping drop in the number of homes sold — in some cases, monthly sales fell between 30 to nearly 40 per cent on a year-over-year basis. read more

Grieving parents victim impact statement was redacted so as not to upset

The parents of a four-year-old girl killed by a speeding car thief, had their victim impact statement edited in court to prevent upsetting the defendant when he was being sentenced, it has emerged.Glenn and Rebecca Youens’ daughter, Violet-Grace, died after Aidan McAteer, who had been travelling at 83mph in a 30pmh zone, ploughed into her in a stolen car.But when he appeared in court his lawyers successfully objected to her parents’ impact statement being read out in full in open court.McAteer’s barrister persuaded the judge that his client would find the experience “too upsetting”, if the statement was read out in full.As a result part of their comments about their devastation at their daughter’s loss were redacted.Marie Rimmer, who is the MP for Mr and Mrs Youens, is now calling for a change in the law to prevent a similar situation occurring in the future. Marie Rimmer has raised the issue with other MPs Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Speaking during a debate in Westminster Hall, Ms Rimmer told MPs that McAteer’s barrister had applied for the statement to be edited ahead of sentencing. She explained: “The judge accepted this and the CPS barrister gave the parents a copy of their impact statement with parts they could not read out in open court highlighted.” Marie Rimmer has raised the issue with other MPsCredit:PA She said the law had to be improved for victims and survivors and said it was unacceptable that the needs of the defendant were being put first.She said: “The whole purpose of the victim impact statement is the impact on the victims and the survivors, not the defendant. Guidance should be given to the judiciary that the overriding consideration is for the victim and their family, not whether the impact statement may upset the defendant.”Violet-Grace was killed in March 2017 and McAteer, who was 23 at the time was jailed two months later for nine years and four months after admitting causing death by dangerous driving.Her father Glenn told the Guardian: “We were told that we wouldn’t be able to read the full statement because it was upsetting. We were quite shocked at this but mostly angry that we had to protect our daughter’s killer from becoming distressed.“We were the ones that had lost our daughter yet we were made to feel like we had to put her killer first … it made us lose faith in the justice system.”Her parents have launched a petition calling for tougher sentences for dangerous drivers.Ms Rimmer, who is the Labour MP for St Helens South and Whiston said she knew of at least two other hearings in which impact statements had been edited after pleas by defence lawyers. read more

Police destroys ganja farm discover abandoned bikes

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedPolice destroy more marijuana camps at Millie’s HideoutFebruary 26, 2019In “Crime”8,500 ganja plants destroyed during Police swoop down in Upper Demerara RiverJanuary 13, 2019In “Crime”25,000 ganja plants destroyedJuly 11, 2019In “Crime” One of the motorcycles found hidden along the trailPolice in ‘F’ Division (Interior Locations) have destroyed a marijuana farm they found at Eight Miles, Ituni Road, Upper Demerara River.According to reports, acting on intelligence gathered, ranks went to the location at about 15:30h on Tuesday, where they found a five-acre plot of marijuana cultivation with about 5000 cannabis plants, measuring from three inches to five feet in height, with an estimated weight about 400 kilograms.A quantity of dried cannabis estimated about 50 kilograms was also found.The ganja farm with the makeshift camp in the backgroundIn addition, there were two makeshift camps with four hammocks, kitchen utensil, clothing, groceries and farming tools.The plants, dried cannabis and camps were photographed and destroyed by fire and the grid location was marked for further investigation.Meanwhile, the ranks also discovered two motorcycles on the trail leading to the ganja farm.No one was arrested at the farm. read more

ENRCs Kakanda mine orders FLSmidth equipment package

first_imgDRC-based Boss Mining SPRL, owned by Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation PLC (ENRC), has awarded FLSmidth four different orders for equipment at its copper operation in Kakanda in the Katanga Province of the DRC. The value of this bundled equipment package makes it one of the largest orders placed with FLSmidth in South Africa for minerals processing equipment since its acquisition of Dorr-Oliver Eimco in 2007. The package comprises a mill contract and a gyratory crusher contract, both awarded in June 2011, and two contracts – for thickeners and flotation equipment respectively – signed in September 2011. Most of the equipment is scheduled to be on site at Kakanda by the third quarter of 2012 with installation starting before the end of that year leading into commissioning in 2013.ENRC has integrated mining, processing, energy, logistical and marketing operations. It operates in Kazakhstan, China, Russia, Brazil, the DRC, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa. “ENRC came to know of our full solution offering through a product directors’ session that FLSmidth hosted in 2010 to showcase the latest developments in our technology,” said FLSmidth’s Terence Osborn. “We continued the dialogue with ENRC during a reference visit to Northern Zambia to visit two copper operations where our equipment is operating. This gave the company’s representatives a first-hand view of our capabilities in the copper sector. Konkola Copper Mines was the site of the first concentrator we built as a turnkey project, while at Lumwama Mine we installed and commissioned equipment at the largest operating copper concentrator in Africa. We also have a significant established footprint in the DRC copper belt, with equipment operating at Freeport-McMoRan’s Tenke Fungurume mine, Metorex’s Ruashi mine and Glencore’s Kamoto operation. Our 22 ft diameter ball mill at Tenke Fungurume is very similar to that required at Kakanda and a similar flow sheet comprising a gyratory crusher, grinding mills, flotation cells and thickeners is in operation at Lumwama. Effectively therefore, during the site visit ENRC was able to see all the equipment it was sourcing already in operation and clearly well-selected for the application.”The Top Service gyratory crusher (Model TS1100) ordered for Kakanda features a 1,100 mm opening, with 450 kW of installed power and a throughput of 910 t/h, while the grinding mill is a 22 ft dual pinion run-of-mine ball mill harnessing 2 by 5,500 kW of power, with a throughput of 480 t/h. The flotation installation comprises 13 Wemco Smartcell self-aspirating flotation machines for oxide and sulphide rougher duty, with a volume of 130 m3 and a throughput of 480 t/h and 11 Dorr-Oliver RoundTank forced air flotation machines for cleaner/scavenger duty, with a 50 m3 volume and a throughput of 123 t/h. The thickener section comprises one Hi-Rate 35 m diameter bolted tank design thickener for tailings, with a throughput of 307 t/h, a Hi-Rate 24 m diameter bolted tank design thickener for the oxide concentrate, with a throughput of 86 t/h and a Hi-Rate 15 m diameter bolted tank design thickener for the sulphide concentrate, with a throughput of 30 t/h.last_img read more

Significant delays on Dart due to rushhour points problems

first_imgDELAYS ARE EXPECTED for passengers taking the Dart during rush hour today after a a major points failure at Connolly station.According to Iarnród Éireann, the problem is solved now, but a backlog is causing a 40-minute delay on “all services through Connolly”. Source: Twitter/Garrett WalshPassengers on board Darts this morning were annoyed – with a lot of users saying that delays on Dart services were too regular.Others were annoyed about the lack of information given to passengers about the delays. Source: Iarnród Éireann/Twitter By Gráinne Ní Aodha Mar 9th 2017, 8:39 AM 40 mins waiting on DART outside Connolly would have been less frustrating by knowing why 3 diesels passed us. INFORMATION @irishrail is key— Noelle Ameijenda (@NellJenda) March 9, 2017 21 Comments Read: Not bad for March: Sunny spells and temperatures in the mid-teens Share6 Tweet Email No notice or announcement at Hazelhatch or on trainI could have taken Hueston train instead without issuePoor communication— Mark Bohan (@BohanMark) March 9, 2017 I have, I’m thinking of treating myself to a scone, can’t face the porridge after this!!— Iarnród Éireann (@IrishRail) March 9, 2017 Source: Iarnród Éireann/Twitter http://jrnl.ie/3278324 Thursday 9 Mar 2017, 8:39 AM at least sort out your communications it’s insanely bad.— Ken Byrne (@thearthritictri) March 9, 2017 Source: Ken Byrne/Twitter Short URL Source: Noelle Ameijenda/Twitter Source: Mark Bohan/Twitter The person manning Iarnród Éireann’s twitter account said they would be passing the complaints on for investigation.Others felt sorry for the person in charge of the Iarnród Éireann twitter account, saying they should treat themselves this morning. Residual delays of up to 40mins remain to services through Connolly due to earlier points problem— Iarnród Éireann (@IrishRail) March 9, 2017 11,964 Views Significant delays on Dart due to rush-hour points problems Passengers on board Darts are complaining about a lack of communication from Iarnród Éireann’s drivers. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Migrants arrive in Lesvos

first_img“Excuse me, what country am I in?” a young Syrian man who just minutes earlier had come ashore on Lesvos island asked the reporters in perfect English.The famished man, who had been travelling for days from Turkey to Greece, was only carrying a small bag and his mobile phone in a sandwich bag. He and over 200 others who left their home in the hope of escaping civil war, had paid the smugglers thousands of euros.Dozens of infants and young children arrived on the shores of Lesvos, cold and wet, crying for food.Pregnant women, helped by civilians and coastguard officers, knelt and kissed the ground of this unknown country.More than 40,000 have arrived on Greek territory this year and it’s not even the peak of the smuggling season.Thousands of migrants from Eritrea and Syria are expected to set foot on the shores of Greece and Italy, especially after the new Migration Agenda bills that were approved last week. Meanwhile, Greece is struggling to rise above its own crisis and is unable to support any more migrants.Lesvos island has no available facilities to accommodate the refugees, as another 1,000 people are being kept in a detention centre.The mayor has used community money to build a makeshift campsite, while the locals are offering the migrants blankets and food as the island’s authorities are lacking supplies. “Now is the time for Europe to stand up and do something to help these people,” a shop owner in Lesvos said.“People and infants are sleeping on the streets, we can’t handle this situation by ourselves.”Source: Infomobile Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more