While maintaining that that there is no scope for “confrontation in a healthy democracy”, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said that the Centre is expecting cooperation from the West Bengal government.During his visit to Kolkata, Mr. Singh, who interacted with party workers and journalists, was careful to avoid any direct criticism of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her government.Asked to comment on the law and order situation in the State as highlighted by several Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders, Mr. Singh said that law and order is a State subject.“The Centre will extend all help to control any kind of violence but it is for the State government to ensure that law and order is maintained,” Mr. Singh said.
Can the BCCI and Lalit Modi reach a compromise on the issue of the disciplinary committee set up to probe allegations against the former IPL commissioner? At least the Supreme Court has given the two parties time till Wednesday to try and reach a deal.Modi’s lawyer Ram Jethmalani told the Supreme Court on Thursday that a compromise was possible on the issue and was being attempted.This comes even as the BCCI has outrightly rejected Modi’s demand that the disciplinary committee be reconstituted. Modi’s plea has been that the committee is biased against him.Mehmood Abdi, one of Modi’s lawyers, said: “The proposal was floated mutually by the counsels of the two sides. I hope good sense prevails upon the BCCI and they agree to it.””We want an independent panel to look into the charges against Modi,” Abdi told Headlines Today. But even as a compromise was being attempted, Abdi has hit out at BCCI secretary N. Srinivasan over a police complaint filed against the former IPL commissioner.”The government machinery in Chennai is being used against Modi, which is why the case was filed in Chennai and not Mumbai,” Abdi said.
New Delhi, Jun 21 (PTI) Over 15,000 people, including 70 diplomats, today took part in International Yoga Day celebrations at seven venues in the national capital.At Connaught Place, where Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu was the chief guest and Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung and BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi also participated, 9,000- 10,000 people turned up for the event, according to a senior NDMC official.The AYUSH Ministry helped organise events at six other locations – Lodhi Garden, Nehru Park, Talkatora Garden, Swarn Jayanti Park in Rohini, Yamuna Sports Complex in Patparganj and District Park in Dwarka.At least 100 Resident Welfare Associations selected by the ministry also hosted Yoga Day events.At Nehru Park, approximately 2,000 people turned up for the event.Among those who were present were nearly 70 diplomats from 35 countries, including Japan, Sri Lanka and United States, according to an official of AYUSH Ministry.Thousands of police personnel too celebrated Yoga Day in all districts of Delhi Police.The Delhi government held a separate event at the Chhatrasal Stadium which was presided over by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.President Pranab Mukherjee too celebrated the Day with 1,000 people participating with him at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.Fifty-seven Union ministers across the country joined the masses to celebrate the day.Ten ministers, including Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Nirmala Sitharaman, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Maneka Gandhi attended yoga events in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh.Around 200 officials and employees of the Civil Aviation Ministry and Airports Authority of India (AAI), including Secretary R N Choubey, performed various Yoga asanas at the lawns of the Rajiv Gandhi Bhawan.advertisementGurgaon-based carrier SpiceJet participated in the exercise with 40-crew members undertaking a 10-minutes session on board.Doctors at the AIIMS, including its director MC Misra, also marked the day.”Yoga is a way of life and it should be part of every ones life. Yoga keeps several health complications away if done regularly with dedication,” said Misra.The participants also included many non-medical staff of AIIMS.Health Minister JP Nadda tomorrow will inaugurate a centre focused on scientific evidence of the therapeutic benefits of Yoga at the Convergence Block of AIIMS. PTI JC IAS MP DEY PR SID PLB TIR TIR
NEW YORK — The New York Rangers are not only closer to securing home-ice advantage for the playoffs, they are getting there with Henrik Lundqvist almost back in top form just a week after returning from a serious neck injury that sidelined him nearly two months.Lundqvist made 35 saves in a dazzling effort, Rick Nash scored his career-best 42nd goals and the Rangers won for the 50th time this season with a 6-1 victory April 4 over the longtime rival New Jersey Devils on Saturday night.“I feel like I am close to where I want to be and need to be moving forward,” Lundqvist said after falling a save short of matching his season-high. “So it’s a lot of fun to feel that progress.”Lundqvist missed 25 games with the injury and didn’t play well in his March 28 return against Boston. But he has started the Rangers’ last three games — all wins— and stopped 93 of 98 shots.“He looks like himself,” Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh said. “He’s talking like himself out there. He’s carrying himself like he’s back to normal. It’s a good sign for us for sure.”Keith Yandle and Dominic Moore scored 25 seconds apart to cap a big three-goal first period ignited by Nash, Derek Stepan added a short-handed goal in the second and Derick Brassard and Moore tallied in the third.The win tied the Rangers with Anaheim for the most points in the league with107. They are three ahead of Montreal and Tampa Bay in the race for the best mark in the Eastern Conference. New York has played one fewer game than the Canadiens and two fewer than the Ducks and Lightning. There are four games left in the regular season.“There are winning ways in this locker room and guys really take pride in what we do here,” Yandle said. “It’s fun to come to the rink.”New Jersey, which helped the Rangers out April 3 by beating Montreal in a shootout, didn’t score until Tuomo Ruutu’s goal 3:30 to play.“You take a lot of pride in how you play, as a group,” Devils defenseman Andy Greene said. “You didn’t do it and we have to make sure we remember this and come out Tuesday (when the teams play again) and play hard and make sure it does not happen again.”Nash gave the Rangers the lead about five minutes after the opening faceoff, deflecting a Mats Zuccarello pass past Devils goalie Cory Schneider, who was replaced by Keith Kinkaid after giving up three goals on six shots.Nash’s 42 goals tie him with Phil Esposito (78-79) and Marian Gaborik (2009-10) for the 11th highest total by a Ranger in a season.Yandle stretched the lead to 2-0 at 11:59 with a shot from the right point on which he faked a pass and seemed to catch Schneider off guard. Moore got his first goal 25 seconds later after the Rangers caught the Devils on a counterattack and he beat Schneider in close.“We allowed some things to happen that haven’t been happening and there’s nothing to do about it,” Devils president and general manager Lou Lamoriello after one of the team’s worst performances in the past month.Stepan’s 14th goal of the season came on a breakaway set up by Nash with 2.7 seconds left in the second.Brassard scored early in the third on a shot that hit off a Devil defenseman, and Moore got his second with a deflection of a McDonagh shot.(TOM CANAVAN, AP Sports Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shares
James Anderson took five wickets in ideal swing-bowling conditions as England skittled India out for 107 on day 2 of the second Test at Lord’s on Friday.Rain prevented play on Thursday and more showers allowed only 8.3 overs before the first prolonged passage of play began shortly after 5 p.m.By that point England had reduced India to 15-3. Anderson removed opening pair Murali Vijay (0) and Lokesh Rahul (8) before the recalled Cheteshwar Pujara (1) was run out following a mix-up with captain Virat Kohli when play briefly resumed after lunch.India vs England 2nd Test Day 2 at Lord’s: HighlightsKohli had single-handedly made the first Test at Edgbaston competitive, his 200 runs failing to save India as England took a 1-0 lead in the five-match series, but he couldn’t repeat his heroics on a green wicket at Lord’s.India vs England 2nd Test Day 2 at Lord’s: As It HappenedChris Woakes – replacing Ben Stokes who is in court in Bristol on a charge of affray – had Kohli caught at slip for 23 and removed Hardik Pandya the same way to leave India 61-5.India vs England: Virat Kohli’s cheeky act at Lord’s Long RoomSam Curran and Stuart Broad chipped in with a wicket each, while Anderson dismissed Ajinkya Rahane (18) and scoreless duo Kuldeep Yadav and Ishant Sharma to end with 5-20.Arjun Tendulkar seen helping Lord’s ground-staff as rain hampers India TestPut in to bat after incessant rain completely washed out the opening day, India failed to recover from the early jolts of openers Murali Vijay (0) and Lokesh Rahul (8) before the showers disrupted the proceedings in the morning session.advertisementVirat Kohli’s mistake costs Pujara his wicket minutes before rain stoppageComing back to the side, No.3 Cheteshwar Pujara survived 25 deliveries for 1 run before a mix-up with skipper Virat Kohli (23), cut short the Saurashtra Test specialist’s stay even as rain stopped play once again.The teams then returned to the field after losing more than three hours, and with India struggling at 15/3, Kohli was joined by his deputy Ajinkya Rahane (18).Both Kohli and Rahane survived the early jitters from the English pacers to start the rebuilding work with a 34-run fourth wicket stand before the in-form India captain fell to Chris Woakes.Kohli, who was looking all at sea against Woakes, finally fell to the right-armer in his third over, with Jos Buttler making no mistake this time at second slip.Ben Stokes accused of lying to jury during Bristol pub-brawl trialThereafter, wickets began to fall in heaps with Hardik Pandya (10) falling to Woakes before left-armer Sam Curran took Dinesh Karthik’s (1) stumps for a ride.Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (29) then joined Rahane in the middle to add 22 runs for the seventh wicket before the old warhorse James Anderson came back to add more misery to the visitors with the dismissal of the Mumbai batsman.Rahane, who did all the hard work to survive 44 deliveries, nicked Anderson’s straight delivery to first slip Alastair Cook.Anderson immediately jolted India by trapping chinaman Kuldeep Yadav (0) plumb in front with a brilliant in-swinger, which the television replays also ruled in favour of the hosts.Anderson’s new ball partner Stuart Broad then joined the party with the wicket of Ashwin, who looked good during his 38-ball stay, that also included four brave hits to the fence.Towards the end, tailender Mohammed Shami struck a few lusty blows to guide India to the three-figure mark before fellow quick Ishant Sharma (0) was trapped by Anderson.(With AP inputs)
Virat Kohli on Wednesday dedicated India’s third Test victory against England to the people of Kerala, who have been suffering for days now due to the flood in the state.Nearly 400 people have lost their lives in flood-ravaged Kerala after the state witnessed the worst floods in almost a century. Flood waters have razed tens of thousands of homes, and washed away roads and bridges. Around 1.3 million are sheltering in thousands of relief camps.The state government is now seeking nearly USD 1.4 billion to finance reconstruction work due to the destruction.”We as a team want to dedicate this win to the flood victims in Kerala. (Applause from the crowd). A tough time there, and this is our bit that we can do,” Kohli said after being adjudged man-of-the-match at the post-match presentation.Also read – India complete historic Test triumph in England: Recapping all seven victories Nearly 400 people have lost their lives in flood-ravaged Kerala (Reuters Photo)India crushed England by 203 runs in the third Test at Nottingham to cut down England’s lead to 2-1 in the five-match Test series. This was India’s seventh Test victory in England and second at Trent Bridge.India needed just 1 wicket to win the match on the final day of the Test match. They bowled just 17 deliveries before Ravichandran Ashwin dismissed James Anderson as England, chasing an improbably target of 521, got bowled out for 317 in their second innings on the final day.Also read – Virat Kohli breaks Sourav Ganguly’s record as Test captainWhile Ashwin got one wicket in the fourth innings, it was fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah who turned out to be the wrecker-in-chief for India as he demolished the England batting lineup with his second five-wicket haul in Test cricket.advertisement”The victory was much-needed in this series and in context, and to have been clinical in all departments is a victory for the entire dressing room. A complete Test for us. There was no panic, and we were outplayed in only one game out of the last 5, and that was Lord’s.Also read – Anushka Sharma keeps me motivated, I dedicate my innings to her: Virat Kohli”We dominated in this game because we put runs on the board and then the bowlers did well, they were waiting and ready, even Ashwin did well with his injury,” Kohli said.The win also saw Kohli go past Sourav Ganguly’s record of 21 Test wins as captain of India. The 29-year-old is now the second most successful Indian skipper in history after MS Dhoni, who has 27 victories to his name.Also read – Jasprit Bumrah’s five-wicket haul scripts India’s 7th Test victory in EnglandThe match also witnessed Kohli score 200 runs in total with his 23rd Test hundred coming in the second innings. Kohli dedicated his hundred to his wife Anushka Sharma after the game.”I want to dedicate my innings especially to my wife. She’s motivated me a lot, kept pushing me. She’s the only one who keeps me positive out there,” Kohli said as Anushka looked on from the stands.Both teams will now have a gap of 8 days before the fourth Test which will be played at Southampton from August 30.
Indian Super League ISL 2017: Kerala Blasters striker Dimitar Berbatov – ‘For 50000 fans, you need to give something special!’ Rahul Bali Last updated 2 years ago 06:50 9/5/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(2) Getty Indian Super League Kerala Blasters Speaking exclusively to Goal, Dimitar Berbatov spoke about his switch to Indian Super League, Rene Meulensteen, the large Kerala fanbase and more… A couple of weeks ago, Kerala Blasters bolstered their Indian Super League (ISL) squad for the upcoming season by adding Bulgarian striker Dimitar Berbatov to their ranks. The former Manchester United and Fulham striker joins former teammate Wes Brown in what will be a grand reunion with former coach Rene Meulensteen for a new-look Kerala Blasters side.Speaking exclusively to Goal, the 36-year-old forward spoke about his switch to Indian Super League and how is relishing a completely new challenge. The former Premier League Golden Boot winner spoke of the crucial role that his coach Rene Meulensteen played in bringing him to the Yellow Army.”The big factor was the coach. We spoke on the phone, and he explained that he would like to work with me again. Knowing how he sees football, it was not a difficult decision to make. Of course, the club was showing they want me very much, always speaking with my agent, treating us with respect, and this was enough to convince me that I need to take this challenge in this new league!” revealed a delighted Berbatov. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! ‘I’m getting better’ – Can Man Utd flop Fred save his Old Trafford career? Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina The newly appointed Kerala Blasters coach was an assistant coach to Sir Alex Ferguson during Berbatov’s trophy laden stint in Manchester and he then later recruited the striker for Fulham during Meulensteen’s first managerial stint in the Premier League.”It’s the third time we are going to work together, he knows me very well, he knows how I like to play football, what I need in training to feel good and to be in the best shape for my years. We won some trophies together so let’s hope we can bring one to Kerala as well!” remarked Berbatov.Kerala Blasters are two-time finalists in the league but the Kerala crowd has had to go home disappointed on both occasions. The additions of Berbatov and Brown is expected re-vitalize the squad for a fresh title challenge in the fourth edition of the league. The former Monaco striker, however, has refused to speak of Kerala Blasters as the final destination in his football career.”I love football, I have been blessed to play for great clubs, with great players, win trophies, score goals, so I hope I can go a bit longer. With the right training methods, I think I can stay in shape and play more football in the future.” Berbatov also spoke of the similarity between Sir Alex Ferguson and Kerala Blasters coach Rene Meulensteen. “I think they both love football so much. They want to win every game. I think working for Sir Alex, is a great way to learn about football, get that winning mentality, and I am sure that Rene is fully prepared for the challenges that lie ahead of him.”The new Kerala Blasters striker also touched upon the large fan base of Kerala and hopes to turn it into a ‘theatre of dreams’.”When you fill the stadium every time with more than 50000 fans, then you need to give them something special. I always try to play beautiful football, always want to win, and I will try my best to do this with my new club!” he concluded.The striker, who has played alongside the likes of Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United, will now take the field with two of ISL’s top forwards Iain Hume and CK Vineeth.
Twitter The Observer Share via Email Topics Women’s rugby union Natasha Hunt, restored to the starting lineup at scrum-half, took a tapped penalty and scored a third as the one-way traffic continued. Breach grabbed her second after a kick ahead by Emily Scarratt and England were out of sight.Kelly Smith darted over after the England scrum had powered forwards, taking advantage of some poor tackling and, as the rain lashed down, Scotland were engulfed by the white tide, with Poppy Cleall driving over. Things went from bad to worse for the visitors when the referee Joy Neville showed a yellow card to Scotland’s captain Lisa Thomson and while the centre was off the field the England pack drove Amy Cokayne over with the last move of the first half.After the break England brought on the experienced pair centre Rachael Burford and flanker Marlie Packer and the flow of tries continued, Sarah Bern crashing over by the posts and Hunter touching down as the pack drove forwards. Scarratt scored the tenth try with a well-timed gallop from the Scottish 22 and Cleall grabbed her second try. Daley-Mclean ended the game in the sin-bin for not rolling away from a ruck but it was an otherwise perfect night for the fly-half. For Scotland it was not quite as bad as their worst defeat, 89-0, here but it was not much better.P W D L F A B PtsEngland 5 5 0 0 278 45 5 28France 4 3 0 1 166 71 4 16Italy 4 2 1 1 60 92 2 12Ireland 4 1 0 3 73 132 3 7Wales 4 1 1 2 35 121 0 6Scotland 5 0 0 5 37 188 1 1Today Wales v Ireland 1.30pm;Italy v France 1.30pm match reports England’s women secured their 14th Six Nations grand slam on Saturday night in a match that was a little more predictable than the one that preceded it. Sarah Hunter led her side to score 12 tries as Scotland were blown away in gale-force wind and rain.Many of Scotland’s players now play in England’s Tyrrells League but they were no match for newly professionalised England. The England pack dominated possession and behind them the fly-half Katy Daley-Mclean mastered the horrible conditions with some astute tactical kicking. It was an unalloyed triumph for England and this was their most complete performance of the competition but perhaps not so great for the Women’s Six Nations which has a lopsided look to it this season.Jess Breach, the England right-wing, is fast becoming a one-woman try-scoring machine and the Harlequin grabbed two more here to take her tally in seven Tests to an astonishing 20. England were 45-0 up by the interval and, although Scotland tackled until they dropped and were much more competitive after the break it was a long evening for them. In an evening of tumbling records England broke their own with their aggregate of points for the competition.It took less than three minutes before Sarah Beckett crossed the Scottish line by the posts. The young flanker has been one of England’s most outstanding players this year and was in the thick of the early action. Daley-Mclean then sent a well-judged cross-kick towards the corner which bounced perfectly for Breach to dab the ball down. Pinterest Share on Facebook Rugby union Share on Twitter England women’s rugby union team Reuse this content … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Support The Guardian Share on WhatsApp Since you’re here… Share on LinkedIn Share on Pinterest England’s Kelly Smith goes over for one of England’s 12 tries. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Observer Share on Messenger Facebook
Many Nova Scotians agree government should take a cautious approach when returning the finances back to balance, said a summary report released today, March 30, by Finance Minister Graham Steele. The report summarizes the ideas put forth by 1,495 Nova Scotians during public sessions held in more than 20 communities from January to March. When asked how quickly government should balance the budget, 56 per cent of participants indicated three to five years as a realistic time frame. “The report indicates groups were clear from the start that the gap would be very difficult to close in a short time frame without creating hardship for many Nova Scotians or damaging the economy,” said Mr. Steele. “I am really happy with the response to our Back to Balance initiative,” said Mr. Steele. “Based on these consultations and everything we have heard in the past two months, we are ready to take on the hard work and make the tough decisions necessary to get our finances back to balance.” The purpose of the public sessions was to discuss Nova Scotia’s financial challenge and give citizens an opportunity to define the values and priorities they want to see reflected in the province’s multi-year plan to return to a sustainable financial path. The report, prepared by facilitator Fourth Wave Strategies Inc., outlines the process, the questions addressed, and the broad themes of responses. “This was never just a pre-budget consultation, although the April 6 budget will be the first time people see tangible results from the process,” said Mr. Steele. “That is why I encourage everyone to listen to or read the budget speech. This year, we’re providing more options to hear or see the budget than ever before.” Nova Scotians can watch the minister deliver the budget address live on Legislative Television, EastLink TV or via webcast at www.gov.ns.ca . The budget documents will be available at the same address, along with a video summary. Nova Scotians can also, for the first time, follow the budget address on Twitter(nsgov). Back to Balance sessions were held in Whitney Pier, Port Hawkesbury, Antigonish, Stellarton, Amherst, Truro, Wolfville, Kentville, Digby, Yarmouth, Liverpool, Bridgewater, Tantallon, Lower Sackville, Halifax, Dartmouth, Eastern Passage, and Sheet Harbour. Another public session was held in French, linking Acadian communities by video-conference. In addition to the public Back to Balance sessions, Mr. Steele held about a dozen other sessions with business and union leaders, chambers of commerce, and aboriginal leaders. The complete Back to Balance summary report is available online at www.gov.ns.ca/finance.
COLCHESTER COUNTY: Plains Road, Debert Plains Road in Debert at the railway crossing will be closed while repairs are carried out to train on the tracks. A detour is in place, with the road expected to reopen Friday, Oct. 15. Local Area Office: 902-893-5738 -30-
New Delhi: About 146 kg of gold jewellery worth over Rs 82 crore has been seized by the ED after it raided the premises of a Hyderabad-based jewellery group and its associates in connection with a post demonetisation money laundering case, the agency said Thursday. It said the searches were conducted at the showrooms of Musaddilal Jewellers at Hyderabad and Vijaywada, its promoter Kailash Gupta, a company named Balaji Gold and its partner Pavan Agarwal, another company Ashta Laxmi Gold, its proprietor Neel Sunder Tharad and chartered accountant Sanjay Sarda over the last few days. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ “For tracing the proceeds of crime, simultaneous searches were conducted in the premises of the accused persons which resulted in the seizure of 145.89 kg of gold jewellery worth Rs 82.11 crore,” the Enforcement Directorate said in a statement. The agency had filed a criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against these people based on an FIR of the Telangana Police and a complaint of the Income Tax Department for “blatantly misusing the scheme of demonetisation by illegally depositing huge amounts of unaccounted demonetised cash in their accounts.” Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K “For this purpose, they (accused) fraudulently created around 5,200 back-dated fabricated advance sale receipts dated November 8, 2016 for an amount less than Rs 2 lakh to avoid furnishing PAN (permanent account number) details,” the agency said. Describing the alleged modus operandi deployed in the case, the statement said that soon after after the notes ban was announced, the accused “illegally deposited Rs 110.85 crore in their bank account falsely claiming that within a few hours they had received advances of less than Rs 2 lakh each from more than 5,200 customers on the night of November 8, 2016 for purchase of gold and jewellery from their firms”. The ED said all these invoices were “bogus.” It also analysed CCTV footage of the firms’ offices and that of the neighbourhood that showed that “no such activity” of purchase of gold was carried out during that period. It said that out of the total Rs 110.85 crore alleged illegal funds, about Rs 80 crore was transferred to the bank accounts of various gold and bullion dealers like Ashta Lakshmi Gold, Shri Balaji Gold and others on the pretext of purchase of gold. “The accused have admitted that they created fake sale invoices. The accused failed to give any satisfactory account of the source of this illegal cash and also failed to provide the details of the accounts regarding the utilisation of about 270 kg of gold purchased out of this money,” the ED alleged. The demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 was declared by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the night of November 8, 2016.
16 October 2009Some 16,000 volunteers will take to the streets of Juba, the capital of southern Sudan, next month in a United Nations programme to tackle health hazards caused by public dumping of waste in a rapidly growing metropolitan area that has endured repeated fatal outbreaks of cholera, water-borne diseases and malaria. The project is part of a £20 million United Kingdom-funded project to improve the sustainable use of natural resources in Africa’s largest country, to be carried out by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) over the next three years. UK Minister of State for International Development Gareth Thomas was visiting Juba today to launch the segment that aims to establish long-term waste management capacity in Southern Sudan.“The Juba clean-up not only marks the beginning of an important project that will have concrete and positive impacts on the population of southern Sudan – it also takes forward UNEP’s collaboration with Sudan to improve environmental management as a critical pre-requisite of sustainable development,” UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said in Nairobi, Kenya.The clean-up, which will be replicated in the nine states of southern Sudan, will be coupled with a sustained awareness-raising campaign to encourage the citizens of Juba to adopt an environmentally friendly attitude towards the disposal of waste in the city. UNEP’s country-wide programme seeks to help the people of Sudan, a country ravaged by several current and recent conflicts, to achieve sustainable peace, recovery and development by improving the management of natural resources. The recently established UNEP office in Juba will also provide technical support to the Government to manage its forests and other valuable natural resources in a sustainable manner, and work to build the capacity of Government ministries to tackle environmental issues.After a peace agreement in 2005 ended two decades of war between the Government in Khartoum, in the north, and southern Sudanese rebels, UNEP conducted a post-conflict environmental assessment, making 85 recommendations and outlining a detailed $120- million action plan over three to five years.
17 December 2010Statistics experts from Asia and the Pacific, meeting under the auspices of the United Nations, today agreed to implement a strategic plan designed to strengthen the capacities of countries in the region to develop statistical records on population, social-economic issues and the environment by 2020. At a meeting of the Committee on Statistics of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in the Thai capital, Bangkok, the experts said reliable national statistical systems would make available the information required to guide long-term development planning.Thailand’s Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Chuti Krairiksh, welcomed the Committee’s strategic plan, which he said would focus on “capacity-building for national statistical offices in our region to produce, disseminate and analyze data in accordance with internationally agreed standards and good practices.”The Committee’s two-day session that ended today also endorsed a strategy of regional statistics development that focuses on modernizing statistical information systems in response to the changing information management tools.First convened in February last year, the Committee on Statistics is a unique forum for leaders of national statistical systems in the Asia-Pacific region to discuss matters of strategic importance, exchange views and formulate regional positions on major statistical issues to influence decision-making at national and global levels.This week’s second session was attended by 142 delegates from ESCAP member States and associate members and 31 officials from intergovernmental and international agencies.
Police say two men are facing drug-related charges after they were allegedly found trespassing at a home in Hamilton.Officers were called to a residence near Sandford and Aikman avenues shortly after 8 a.m. on March 24. Police arrested several people who had “no legal right” to be at the home. They also found an assortment of knives and drug paraphernalia. “While searching two individuals, police located illicit drugs in their possession along with an undisclosed amount of Canadian currency believed to be related to drug trafficking,” said Hamilton police in a news release.Two Hamilton men, aged 34 and 57, have been charged with possession of controlled substance for trafficking – heroin, possession proceeds of crime under $5,000 and possession of controlled substance for trafficking – fentanyl.They are being held in custody and are scheduled to appear in court later Monday.
“If the parties do not clearly demonstrate their will and intention to end the violence and attacks against civilians, including incitement to commit violence, I believe the Council should consider taking additional measures against the parties to prevent the situation from deteriorating further,” said Adama Dieng, the Secretary-General’s Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide.Earlier this week, Mr. Dieng and High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, who also briefed the Council today, travelled to South Sudan, where a conflict that began in mid-December between pro- and anti-Government forces has left thousands dead. The joint visit came in the wake of the recent mass killings in the towns of Bentiu and Bor. Mr. Dieng said the brutal attacks in the two towns, on virtually opposite ends of the country, seemed to have “changed the trajectory” of the conflict, and if such attacks are not immediately halted, it could plunge South Sudan into serious violence that could spiral out of control. Also, there are elements of the current situation that could be categorized as risk factors of genocide and other atrocity crimes, he noted. These include the separation of persons based on ethnicity, as well as the reported use of radio in some areas to spread messages constituting incitement to violence, including sexual violence, against those purported to support the Government. “All leaders in South Sudan must assume greater responsibility to ensure that those under their authority do not commit serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law,” stated Mr. Dieng. “They should send strong messages to call for the unity and respect of all South Sudanese, and take immediate measure to end the violence.”He added that reports of the homogenization of the security forces by both camps are “worrying” in light of the risk of atrocity crimes. “The perception that those supporting Riek Machar are predominantly ethnic Nuer and those who support President Kiir are predominantly Dinka has heightened the risk that individuals could be systematically targeted on the basis of ethnicity. This polarization is further compounded by reports of exclusion, discrimination on the basis of ethnicity.”Both Mr. Dieng and High Commissioner Pillay said that the culture of impunity in South Sudan has contributed immensely to the current crisis, and stressed that those responsible for crimes must be held to account. “Today’s violence in South Sudan is not motivated by the desire to change the country but rather by self-interest goals related to accessing oil wealth and development resources,” Mr. Dieng added. “The international community must not be complicit in this agenda.” Ms. Pillay voiced similar sentiments, saying: “I fear that South Sudan’s leaders are locked in a purely personal power struggle, with little or no regard for the appalling suffering that it inflicts on their people.”She noted that the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and regional leaders “share the same outrage” as the rest of the world. “They see the conflict as a showdown between two leaders for political power and the control of oil revenues.”The High Commissioner, who met with IGAD officials in Ethiopia, said that the regional body is pushing for the quick deployment of the proposed Protection and Deterrent Force, which will provide protection for the monitoring and verification teams responsible for monitoring the implementation of the cessation of hostilities signed in January.“The head of IGAD sees this as, in his words, ‘a game changer’ in reducing the ongoing violence,” she stated. “Despite egregious violations of the cessation of hostilities by both parties, the monitoring and verification teams have not investigated any reported violations.”More people have been killed after the cessation of hostilities was signed than before, she noted, calling on the Council to support the initiative to deploy a protection force. She recalled that the Council, in December, agreed to increase the number of peacekeepers serving with the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) from 7,700 to 13,200. However, the contributing countries have still not supplied some two thirds of the extra troops. “The world’s youngest country has a long history of suffering. Its people look to this Council to exert its authority to ensure a speedy political solution to this dreadful conflict,” said Ms. Pillay.
Jody Avirgan: Neil, my favorite little tidbit from the the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference was the fact that each day, all the stats nerds streamed into the building toward panel discussions about sports analytics, waltzing right past — actual sports! There was a massive regional volleyball tournament taking place in the same building, and as far as I could tell, no one stopped to check it out. And, honestly, part of me thinks that it could have been an NFL game and people would have still hustled upstairs to talk about sports rather than just watch them. There was a panel discussion called “Is Analytics Taking the Fun Out of Sports.” This felt like a nice parallel to that idea.Neil Paine: “Hey, nerds — get your heads out of those volleyball spreadsheets and try watching a match!” (Said no one ever.) But seriously, the juxtaposition was interesting, particularly considering that we had the opportunity to speak with some people who do sabermetrics for volleyball. It seemed like this should have been a big moment for them — considering their sport was on display for all Sloan-ites to see — but instead it was just another smaller sport that can sometimes go neglected at an event geared more toward basketball, baseball and football.But not by us — right, Jody?Jody: Never. We contain multitudes. That said, I know next to nothing about volleyball. And while there is obvious strategy involved — you can see play fakes and how teammates work together — I hadn’t really thought about how you would evaluate the merit of particular plays. The main thing I learned from Mila Barzdukas and Giuseppe Vinci was to think about the setting pass. Is it one that leaves the team with no options but to flail and punch it over the net? Or is it a pass that multiple people could spike, from a wide range of unpredictable angles? That is, in essence, the goal of every possession — a versatile set pass. And it’s graded on a scale of 0 to 3. If you’ve got three options of attack from a given set, that’s a success.And the thing that makes it so intriguing is that the quality of the set is related to the pass before it, which is related to the serve before it. … It’s impossible to untangle each pass from the others. Which might be kind of unique among all sports, right? And, I imagine, a real metrics challenge. …Which is where I saw your wheels turning. Have we found your new beat?Neil: It’s possible. Not really having played volleyball since high school gym class, I’d never considered how oddly well-structured it is for analysis, in terms of the way each rally progresses and the fact that outcomes for individual players can be counted with relative ease. (Even at the 14- to 15-year-old level we observed, Vinci and Barzdukas insisted that coaches were tracking basic pluses and minuses — that is, positive and negative plays — for their players during matches.) It’s still not as perfectly suited to analytics as baseball (what is?), but it wouldn’t be unfair to liken it more to basketball than sports with more moving parts, such as hockey, soccer and football.The strategy of maximizing your passing options on any given setting opportunity struck me as particularly fascinating because it seems like one of those statistical best practices that can suddenly bring focus to a coach’s entire game plan. It that way, it may be much like how conserving outs should be the all-consuming imperative of a baseball offense or how resisting mid-range jumpers has become the mark of smart offensive basketball. (Even hockey has recently found a version of this: Playing dump-and-chase is the equivalent of cutting off your setter’s passing options.)The beauty of sports analytics, though, is that they’re a beginning, not an end. Finding the right strategy is just the first step in a journey that (hopefully) ends with the right players putting it to use. And with an actual volleyball tournament in such close proximity to analytics experts, both components of the odyssey were placed side-by-side, however briefly.Jody: Well said, Neil. Nice setup. Even the most grizzled volleyball coach would say you’re “passing a 3.” OK, folks, watch the video. Mila Barzdukas, Giuseppe Vinci, Neil Paine and Jody Avirgan in front of a regulation size volleyball. CORRECTION (March 10, 10:37 a.m.): An earlier version of this article mischaracterized the number of passes in a volleyball point. It’s two, not three.
IT’S SOMETHING THAT we never think will happen to us, but the chances of your phone being robbed or getting lost is higher than you would expect.With over 12,000 mobile phones stolen in the last year, you should take some measures in case it does happen to you further down the line.Considering how much information we store on it, it can be very worrying when it happens, but there are a number of steps you should take first to ensure you’re not left in a panic.Set a lock codeAn obvious one, but at the very least, your phone should require a code to unlock it.All phones set PINs as the default choice, but they’re not the most secure method. If you’re a iPhone and Windows Phone user, you can create a more complex password – similar to the passwords you use to log into your email or social media accounts – through settings.Android users have that and more to choose from including a pattern password, and face unlocking, which while handy, isn’t as secure as you would expect.iOS and Windows Phone users have the option of wiping the phone clean after a number of failed attempts.An example of some of the type of lock codes you can place on Android.Limit access on the lock screeniPhone and Android users can access the control center or widgets straight from the lock screen. While this is handy for you, it could also allow someone who stole your phone to access your phone. You can turn these features off in settings.Activate Find My PhoneAll smartphones have a find my phone feature that allows you to control your phone remotely as well as track its location. Through it, you can either get it to ring, lock your phone, or erase its data entirely, but you need to activate the feature first.The option can be found in settings. For iPhone users, it’s under iCloud. Android users can find it under Security and Device Administrators, while Windows Phone users can find it under settings.Once you’ve that done, you can activate it from your browser. Remember that the phone must be switched on for the feature to work. However, if the phone is turned off, you won’t be able to track it.How the find my phone feature works for iOS.Backup all dataSomething that you should do after you’ve updated your phone with your contacts, schedule, photos and any other necessary information is back it up as soon as you get the chance.You can backup your data on your computer, on the cloud, or on both. iOS, Android and Windows Phone all have their own cloud versions and once you have it connected to the cloud, your phone will automatically backup your data when it’s connected to WiFi, locked and connected to a power source.While these services are useful, it’s recommended that you connect up to Dropbox, Google Drive or Microsoft Skydrive as well so that all new photos, videos other documents are uploaded each time.Which one you settle for is entirely down to preference, but it’s worth mentioning each service offers a different amount of data for free as well as paid services. Here’s what the three main cloud services offer: Dropbox – 2GB (increase to 15GB when you complete tasks)Google Drive – 15GBMicrosoft SkyDrive – 7GB (Currently offering an extra 20GB for the year if you sign up before the end of January)Get your phone code If you enter *#06# on your phone, it will bring up its International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number. This is important as the code allows your service provider to deactivate your phone straight away.Take a note of it and store it in a place where you can easily access it, in case your phone is stolen.If you don’t have it, you can still get your provider to deactivate your phone once you give them the necessary details, but having your IMEI number will make things go faster.Always be alertWhen everything is said and done, it’s essentially down to you to ensure it’s safe. Apply common sense to the situation and keep your phone on you at all times.If you keep it in your bag, you won’t know it’s been taken until it’s too late so have it in your pocket or in front of you so you always know where it is.Read: Everything you should know before shopping online >Read: EU passes deal on universal mobile phone charger >
Members of Red Hill’s Greek Orthodox Church were left devastated after an icon of the Virgin Mary was stolen from the church on Saturday night, along with donations of gold and silver.In an interview with the Herald Sun, Panagia Kamariani Monastery secretary Georgie Marinis expressed the parish’s shock over the incident, which was the second time the icon and its adornments had been taken in 18 months.But she stressed parishioners were more concerned about the icon, than anything of monetary value.“She’s a miraculous icon … Father Eleftherios Tatsis would take the icon to sick persons because they have the faith that she will help them get better,” Ms Marinis said.“There are a lot of miracles through cancer healing. There are also child bearing couples who can’t have children – a lot of them have had children through our lady. She is very special to us.”The earlier theft took place in July 2014 when close to $300,000 worth of jewellery was stolen. But Police confirmed on Friday morning that the icon had been found on Thursday by the side of White Hill Road, a few hundred metres from the church.Though some of the jewellery was found, the majority remains missing. The monastery has since decided that they will no longer be leaving any valuables placed on the icon on site when unattended. If you have any information regarding the theft, contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit www.crimestoppersvic.com.au/ Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram