Kane Williamson named New Zealand Test captain

first_imgLeading batsman Kane Williamson has been confirmed as New Zealand’s 29th Test captain. The 25-year-old Williamson has already captained New Zealand in 34 one-day or Twenty20 internationals and will now succeed Brendon McCullum as captain in all three formats.New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White said Willimason “has been a leader within the team for a long time and already shown himself to be an extremely capable captain. He is respected by his peers and the wider cricket community for his professional approach both on and off the field, and has a superb cricket brain.”Williamson said he had learned a lot from McCullum and “the culture that he and Mike (Hesson) have cultivated has been a huge part of this team’s success in recent times.”last_img read more

The reason behind Karan Mehra’s exit from Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai is just sad

first_imgWhile Naitik Singhania from Star Plus’ Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai continues to be one of the most well loved characters of the small screen, the actor essaying the role has bid adieu to the show.Also read:After Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai, Amal Sehrawat to star in Gay Rishta Kya Kehlata HaiActor Karan Mehra who’s been playing the show’s lead male protagonist since 2009, finally decided to quit the show. While rumours about his exit from the show have been doing the rounds for sometime now, Karan was always prompt in denying the same.The actor shared the news of his exit with his co-stars on 10 June i.e. the last day of the shoot. Though this development will break the heart of his adoring fans, Karan’s decision to quit the show came about as a result of his worsening health. In a report published on Asian Age, the actor was quoted saying, “Honestly I never wanted to quit but I just could not continue anymore. My health woes were worsening day by day. I am on immunotherapy shots. I have developed HAH (High Altitude Headaches) & Back Spasms. My allergies have boomed and the doctor asked me to take it easy or i would collapse and reach the ICU. It was high time I looked after myself. So I left the show”.Also read:Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai: Kartik is like Ranbir Kapoor in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, says Mohsin KhanIn the same report he also shared a special message for his fans, wherein he promised to return to the screen to entertain them, once his health improves. He said, “My heart goes out to my fans. They have been very supportive over all these years. They are upset I know but I am sure they will continue loving me anyways, I assure them the moment my health gets better I will be back to entertain them.”advertisementNow that Naitik won’t be around, it will be interesting to see the way in which the makers will mould his onscreen wife Akshara Singhania’s (Hina Khan) love life.last_img read more

Yoga fever grips China ahead of UN International Yoga Day

first_img(Eds: Updating with fresh inputs)By K J M VarmaBeijing, Jun 18 (PTI) Yoga fever today gripped China ahead of the third International Day of Yoga as thousands of enthusiasts performed asanas in the Communist nation where scores of events have been lined up to organise the second biggest celebrations of the day in the world after India.Though yoga, which originated in India, has become immensely popular over the years in China vying with ancient indigenous physical fitness martial art form Tai Chi, it got an official sanction when Chinese Premier Li Keqiang joined Prime Minister Narendra Modi here in 2015 at a joint event during the latters visit.China also backed Indias move in the UN to make June 21 as International Yoga Day, giving a fillip to hundreds of yoga clubs and organisations.Beijings iconic Great Wall as well as numerous parks, lakes and resorts across China have become venues for the both official and unofficial yoga events being held with active support of the Chinese government.A first yoga college has come up outside India with joint collaboration of India and China in Yunnan Minzu (Nationalities) University in Kunming, which has also lined up several yoga events.”Since UN declared yoga day, June 21 has become a yoga festival day in all big and small cities in China,” Manmohan Singh Bhandari, an Indian yoga expert who along with his Chinese wife Yin Yan runs a yoga training school Yogi Yoga, told PTI here.Yoga now has become a trend with people practicing in parks. During this time of the year, yoga is being taught free all over China, said Bhandari who hails from Rishikesh.advertisementHis Yoga Yogi school has centres all over the country.The Indian Embassy here which has yoga specialist Umesh Babu besides Indian Consulates in Shanghai and Guangzhou will organise dozens of events. The main event would be held at the Great Wall on June 20.”In terms of the quality of participation of Yoga practitioners from India, the number of events at different locations in China and the expected outreach to Chinese Yoga lovers, the series of events planned for this year are poised to reach new heights,” the embassy said.For the first time ever, the Embassy, in collaboration with the Ministry of AYUSH and the Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga (MDNIY), has invited a group of 20 young Yoga ambassadors with expertise in performing advanced routines in Hatha Yoga.These young Yoga ambassadors – 10 girls and 10 boys between 22 and 30 years of age ? will capture the imagination of Chinese Yoga lovers with their dexterity and poise in demonstrating advance Yoga techniques. The yoga ambassadors will enable a direct connect with the younger population in China attracted to yoga, the embassy said in a statement.Meanwhile, Wenzhou today became the sixth city in Chinas eastern region to host the celebrations jointly organised by Consulate General of India, Shanghai along with Wenzhou Municipal Peoples Government.The celebrations were held at the scenic Dongtou Wanghai Pavilion and more than 1,000 yoga lovers from all over Wenzhou participated in the Yoga session.Yoga celebrations would be held across 12 cities in eastern China from June 17 to 25.In his inaugural address, Vice Mayor of Wenzhou Wang Chi, recalled the close association that Wenzhou city has had with India, including the recent establishment of the sister city relationship between Wenzhou and Lucknow on April 24.Given the natural sea side beauty of Dongtou county, he said that it would provide a natural platform to the long term and sustainable practice of Yoga.Consulate General of India, Shanghai arranged through Krishnamachari Yoga Mandiram a leading Indian Yoga teacher who conducted the Yoga session for over 1,000 Yoga practitioners, based on the Common Yoga Protocol sent by the Department of AYUSH.The event was extremely well received by the large number of Yoga follower community in Wenzhou, and was supported by the India China Economic Culture Center of Wenzhou.A delegation of Uttar Pradesh government officials who had participated in the India China (Wenzhou) Leather Dialogue Forum on June 17 also attended the celebrations.In the eastern China region of Shanghai, Zhejiang and Jiangsu, yoga celebrations are being organised by Consulate General of India, Shanghai from June 17 to 25, one day each across 12 cities with theme of “Ten cities, Ten Days, Bringing together 20,000 Yoga Lovers closer to India ? promoting healthy and harmonious lifestyles”.A special demonstration of yoga has also been held at the Opening Ceremony of BRICS Sports Meet in Guangzhou.Over a thousand people have taken part in the curtain raiser events in the Eastern China Region organised by the Indian Consulate in Shanghai.advertisementOfficials said that as compared to the last year, participation has doubled with youngsters showing more enthusiasm.The Indian Consulate in Guangzhou organised two big yoga festivals with Yoga Gurus from India. Other events included a five-day camp in Chengdu, India-China Yoga College, cities of Dongguan, Zhongshan and Foshan. PTI KJV UZM ZH AKJ CPSlast_img read more

A-Roid Says Hi To Headley

first_imgTweetPinShare0 Shares TAMPA, Fla.— Chase Headley says Alex Rodriguez has “reached out and introduced himself.”Headley was signed to a $52 million, four-year contract by the Yankees, who plan to start him at third base and shift Rodriguez to designated hitter.Returning from a season-long suspension for violations of baseball’s drug agreement and labor contract, the 39-year-old Rodriguez hopes to win back his old job at third base.Headley said A-Rod contacted him shortly after he reached the agreement in mid-December.“We didn’t talk about that,” Headley said Feb. 16 after working out at the Yankees’ minor league complex.“It was just more of an introduction. I think we both care about winning. That’s the most important thing and that’s what we talked about. That (other) stuff will sort itself out. I’m not going to concern myself with that. I’m going to come out and try to do the best I can to do my job, and however that shakes out it will shake out.”Headley was acquired from the San Diego Padres last July, then became a free agent before signing with the Yankees.Rodriguez met with top Yankees officials Feb. 10 and apologized to the team as he prepares to report to spring training ahead of the first full-squad workout on Feb. 26.last_img read more

Rugby union: talking points from the weekend’s Premiership action

first_imgReuse this content Sale Share via Email Twitter Share on LinkedIn • Match report: Northampton 22-19 Gloucester4) Sale can dare to dream of return of glory daysAlmost 12 years have passed since Sale claimed their solitary Premiership title with victory against Leicester at a rain-soaked Twickenham. Not much has gone right since those heady days, but the new chapter being patiently written by Steve Diamond is starting to bear fruit. This latest success maintained Sale’s bid for a top-six finish and, dare it be said, a play-off spot. With Marland Yarde ineligible to play against his former club and Denny Solomona missing through injury, Sale were buoyed by impressive displays on the flanks by Will Addison and Byron McGuigan. Josh Charnley, who made a high-profile cross-code switch from Wigan Warriors more than a year ago, cannot even get into the team. Sale’s squad depth is increasing and is indicative of the desire of their owners to re-establish the club among the elite. Ross Heppenstall• Match report: Sale 30-29 Harlequins 5) Michael Rhodes’s scholarly display a boost for SaracensThe injury-enforced absences of Billy Vunipola and Maro Itoje inevitably commanded attention during Saracens’ bleak run of seven consecutive defeats, but to watch Michael Rhodes in action against Wasps was a demonstration of just how much they missed the South Africa-born flanker. He, too, has been afflicted by injury this season but he was to fore for the visitors at the Ricoh Arena and pivotal in Saracens shutting Wasps out during the second half. Rhodes has made clear that he wants to play for England and head coach Eddie Jones has been in contact with the Durban-born 30-year-old in the past. Rhodes is not eligible until after England’s summer tour of South Africa but performances like these do his longer‑term hopes no harm at all. Gerard Meagher Pinterest Premiership 3) Gloucester need to rediscover their reliable waysGloucester wasted the opportunity to move to second in the Premiership when they blew an 11-point lead. The way they succumbed resembled the spluttering Gloucester of old rather than the more reliable model engineered by Johan Ackermann, proof of the head coach’s insistence that change is gradual rather than instant. There were mitigating factors, a stomach bug that had afflicted a number of players in the week and Alan Gaffney’s arrival at Northampton which ensured his players found fight where in previous weeks they would have been scrabbling around for the white flag, but decision-making remains an issue. They were throwing the ball around in their own 22 a few minutes from the end when they were nursing a four-point lead. Ross Moriarty’s imminent return will supply ballast, but it is the head rather than the body that will determine whether they will be in the top four come May. Paul Rees • Match report: Leicester 19-15 London Irish2) Dean Richards is making a big difference at NewcastleWhen the team leading the Aviva Premiership by 10 points find themselves losing 25-3 at half-time to the side in eighth place, the relentless competitiveness of the English league is hard to dispute. Dean Richards has instilled a harder edge into his Falcons squad, typified by England’s newest training squad recruit, Gary Graham. The unsung Graham, making only his fifth Premiership start, was the outstanding player on the field at Kingston Park until he limped off with a nasty-looking hip injury after just half an hour. With Sinoti Sinoti also back in eye-catching form and collective self‑belief improving, Newcastle fans will be hoping the speculation linking Richards with the vacant permanent job at Northampton Saints proves groundless. Robert Kitson• Match report: Newcastle 28-20 Exeter Read more Leicester Read more Support The Guardian • Match report: Wasps 15-38 Saracens6) Josh Adams is deserving of a first Six Nations call-upJosh Adams failed to make it seven consecutive matches in which he has scored a try for Worcester on Friday but that is unlikely to dissuade the watching Wales assistant coach, Rob Howley, with the Six Nations looming. Adams, 22, has nine Premiership tries, which is all the more impressive considering Worcester’s struggles and when you throw in Wales’s injury problems on the wing – both Hallam Amos and George North are out of action – it seems almost certain that Warren Gatland will hand him his first call-up for the Six Nations. Worcester were ultimately overpowered by a Bath side desperate for a victory after three straight defeats but Adams can hardly carry the can for that and his form is testament to how individual class can still shine through at sides struggling at the foot of the table. Gerard Meagher Facebook Twitter Sportblog Billy Vunipola stars on return as revitalised Saracens see off Wasps Eddie Jones shows faith in old guard as England regulars toil for their clubs 1) Manu Tuilagi still finding his way back to formBecause it is Manu Tuilagi, the question had to be asked, but if he were picked for England now it would be more on faith than form, notwithstanding the cheeky and acrobatic manner in which he leapt over a writhing mass of bodies to score Leicester’s third try in their victory against London Irish at Welford Road on Saturday. Tuilagi had also played a part in their second try, but that was more in the vein of a Keystone Cop. “We need to have a realistic view of Manu,” said Matt O’Connor, the Leicester head coach afterwards. “He’s missed a lot of footy over the last three years. It’s going to take him a bit of time to get back to where he was. Eddie [Jones] will see what his squad looks like injury-wise and make an assessment towards the back end of the Six Nations, I imagine.” Michael Aylwincenter_img Since you’re here… Share on Pinterest … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Pinterest features Harlequins London Irish Exeter Share on WhatsApp Newcastle’s Dean Richards has been linked with Northampton. Photograph: Mark Runnacles/Getty Images Revitalised Northampton give winning start to Alan Gaffney against Gloucester Facebook Share on Twitter Topics Read more Newcastle Worcester’s Josh Adams faces up to Anthony Watson of Bath during the Premiership match. Photograph: Michael Steele/Getty Images Share on Messenger Share on Facebooklast_img read more

Ohio State Football Star Announces NFL Draft Decision

first_imgUrban Meyer interacting with Ohio State football team.COLUMBUS, OH – SEPTEMBER 09: Head coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes stands with his players before the game against the Oklahoma Sooners at Ohio Stadium on September 9, 2017 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)An Ohio State football star has officially announced his NFL Draft decision – and his status for the Buckeyes’ Rose Bowl game.It’s good news and bad news for Ohio State fans.Ohio State star defensive lineman Dre’mont Jones will not be returning to the program in 2019. He’s deciding to declare for the NFL Draft.Jones, though, will be playing in Ohio State’s Rose Bowl matchup against Washington.The star defensive lineman had hinted at his NFL Draft decision earlier in the year, but made it official today.“Despite reports to the contrary, Ohio State’s Dre’Mont Jones confirms he will play in the Rose Bowl. Jones also confirmed it will be his final game as he will declare for the 2019 NFL Draft,” Eleven Warriors tweeted.Despite reports to the contrary, Ohio State’s Dre’Mont Jones confirms he will play in the Rose Bowl. Jones also confirmed it will be his final game as he will declare for the 2019 NFL Draft. pic.twitter.com/YhDYG3duu2— Eleven Warriors (@11W) December 12, 2018Jones is one of a couple of top NFL Draft prospects playing on Ohio State’s defensive line. He’s considered to be a first-round prospect.The Buckeyes’ star quarterback, Dwayne Haskins, is also considered to be a first-round prospect. Haskins, though, has yet to announce his NFL Draft decision. Like Jones, he’ll be playing in the Rose Bowl.Ohio State is set to play Washington in the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. E.T.last_img read more

El Faro’s Final Inspection Found No Issues

first_imgzoom The final inspection of the ill-fated cargo ship El Faro did not show any signs of mechanical or structural issues, the latest round of hearings held by the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Board of Investigation revealed, according to local media.On the fourth day of the hearings, the board listened to a testimony from a surveyor with the American Bureau of Shipping, Mark Larose, who inspected the vessel some three months before its final voyage.He said that, during the inspection conducted in June 2015, the 20 percent of the ship which was inspected that year did not show any mechanical or structural issues, adding that they only inspect 20 percent of a ship each year over a 5-year period.Larose further said that if he had noticed any issues during the inspection, he would have reported those to the Coast Guard immediately.Previous hearings held in the second round of the Coast Guard’s investigation revealed that the US-flagged cargo ship received outdated weather forecasts before it encountered Hurricane Joaquin. Furthermore, the former El Faro master, Capt. Jack Hern, earlier testified that he had raised concerns over the ship’s stability, citing water integrity-issues, wear on hatches and boilers that often needed maintenance as key vulnerabilities.On May 16, the board listened to the testimony of Captain Eric Bryson, who helped launch the El Faro on its final voyage, as he testified that the ship’s captain had said that he planned to avoid the storm in the Caribbean, which led to the loss of the vessel and its 33 crewmembers near the Bahamas on October 1, 2015.The second round of hearings into the loss of El Faro, which was launched by the Coast Guard Marine Board of Investigation on Monday, is set to last until May 27.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more

Tanker Investments Plunges Further into Red

first_imgzoom Challenging market conditions plagued by the oversupply of vessels have pushed tanker owner and operator Tanker Investments Ltd (TIL) further into the red in the third quarter of the year.Namely, TIL reported a net loss of USD 9.4 million for Q3, widening its loss from the corresponding quarter a year earlier which stood at USD 2.9 million.For the nine-month period, net loss was USD 12 million, a  major downturn when compared to the net income of USD 28.5 million for the corresponding period in 2016.Generated cash flow from vessel operations was USD 5.6 million in the third quarter of 2017, compared to USD 7.6 million in the previous quarter.“The third quarter was particularly challenging for the tanker market,” said William Hung, TankerInvestments’ Chief Executive Officer. “The combination of OPEC cutbacks and oversupply of vessels outweighed strong oil demand which impacted rates during the seasonally weak third quarter. As we move through the fourth quarter, we expect tanker rates to increase as seasonal weather delays will dampen effective vessel supply along with a slowdown in vessel deliveries. Looking ahead to 2018, we expect a recovery will continue as the bulk of the orderbook will have delivered in 2017 and, with oil demand continuing to grow, we expect to see an increase in fleet utilization due to demand for longerhaul voyages.”The results have been released ahead of the special shareholders’ meeting scheduled for November 17 when TIL’s shareholders are going to decide on the proposed merger with Teekay Tankers.During Q3 total revenues decreased to USD 21.4 million from USD 26.6 million in the same quarter last year due to lower spot tanker rates earned across the fleet. During the nine months ended September 30, 2017, total revenues decreased to USD 80.9 million from USD 120.2 million in 2016.The global tanker fleet grew by 24.5 million deadweight tons (mdwt), or 4.4 percent, in the first nine months of 2017.The tanker fleet growth is expected to moderate in the coming months, as the peak of newbuilding deliveries has passed and as the pace of scrapping is expected to pick up.A total of 7.1 mdwt of tankers was scrapped in the first nine months of 2017, a significant increase from 2.5 mdwt of scrapping for the entire year of 2016.For 2017 as a whole, TIL forecasts tanker fleet growth of just over 5 percent, down from approximately 6 percent in 2016. Lower fleet growth is expected in 2018 and 2019 as the orderbook continues to roll-off and as tanker scrapping increases, with additional upside from potential further cancellations of newbuilding contracts due to the lack of available refund guarantees.last_img read more

Appui provincial à un programme littéraire au profit des élèves

first_imgUn programme régional qui permet l’ajout continu de nouveaux livres intéressants dans la bibliothèque de chaque école élémentaire inspirera un plus grand nombre d’élèves de la province à lire. Aujourd’hui 14 septembre, la ministre de l’Éducation, Marilyn More, a livré une collection de livres pour enfants à l’école Hawthorn à Dartmouth à l’appui du programme de Prix littéraire Hackmatack – Le choix des jeunes. Ce programme offre la possibilité aux jeunes élèves de lire des livres d’une liste d’ouvrages remarquables du Canada et du Canada atlantique, puis de voter pour leur livre préféré. Cette année, les élèves pourront lire des livres d’une liste de 40 ouvrages sélectionnés dans les catégories de fiction et de documentation, en anglais et en français. « Nous sommes fiers d’appuyer un programme qui fait la promotion de la littératie, qui célèbre les auteurs du Canada atlantique et qui fait naître chez nos élèves un amour de la lecture, a dit Mme More. Notre appui au programme Hackmatack représente également notre engagement continu envers les bibliothèques scolaires. » Le programme Hackmatack, seul programme bilingue de prix littéraire pour les enfants au pays, est destiné aux lecteurs de la 4e à la 6e année. Les élèves qui font partie de groupes de lecture inscrits lisent des livres choisis par le comité de sélection du programme Hackmatack, et au printemps, ils voteront pour leur auteur préféré dans chaque catégorie.last_img read more

Strengthening relations

first_imgPrime Minister Narendra Modi’s first port of call after his second swearing-in will be the Maldives. He is expected to make a two-day visit to capital Malé on June 7 and 8. There is a possibility of his making a short trip to Sri Lanka as well either on his way to or on way back home from the Maldives. Five years of the first NDA government’s neighbourhood diplomacy did not bring much success to write home about. Nepal continued to drift closer to China. In Sri Lanka, there was a power struggle within the government. President Maithripala Sirisena of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party who was considered friendly to India suddenly dismissed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe of the United National Party and inducted former president and one-time rival Mahinda Rajapaksa in his place. Eventually, the Sri Lanka Supreme Court invalidated Rajapaksa’s appointment and reinstated Wickremesinghe as PM. But the cold war between the President and the Prime Minister continues. Unfortunately, the name of India’s intelligence agency RAW was dragged in the internal politics of the island nation. Also Read – A staunch allyChina remained as hostile to India as ever. Only under international pressure did it agree to declare Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as an international terrorist. Relations with Myanmar were so-so. After initially agreeing, Seychelles turned down India’s request for constructing a military base on the Assumption island, apparently under Chinese pressure. Only in the Maldives did the political developments took place in a way conducive to improving friendship and cooperation between the two countries. In the elections held in December last year, President Abdulla Yameen’s Progressive Party of Maldives was voted out by the people. Maldivian Progressive Party of deposed president Mahomed Nasheed stormed back to power, winning 81 seats in the 87-member House. Nasheed’s close associate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih became the new president. Under Yameen, Maldives came under the dominant influence of China. Yameen ruled the country with an iron hand. Democracy was suppressed, all opposition leaders were imprisoned. India-Maldives relations took a nose dive. Also Read – Cuban pathosIt is against these recent developments in the Maldives that Prime Minister Modi is making his first trip abroad after his electoral victory. Yameen’s pro-Beijing policy has cost the country heavily. It has landed itself in a debt-trap. The Maldives owes China nearly $1500 million or a per capita debt of $8000! It does not know how to repay this loan. Incidentally, Maldives is not an exception. ‘Communist’ China has been pursuing the age-old imperialist policy of economic colonialism and many countries are now in huge debt to China that they can never repay. The Maldives expects India to come to its aid in economic development. However, for India, helping the Maldives out of the Chinese debt trap is out of the question. India can build infrastructure projects in the Maldives in a way that will prove beneficial to both countries. But the problem of liquidating the Chinese debt will have to be faced by Nasheed and his government. Tourism and fishing are two major sources of Maldives’ revenue. The archipelago consists of nearly 1200 atolls only 200 of which are inhabited. The possibility of making some other islands habitable and turning them into tourist spots should be explored; India can play a positive role in this. The Chinese navy is expanding rapidly and Beijing is eager to extend its footprint in the Indian Ocean. Maldives’ location makes it strategically important to both India and China and hence will continue to be at the centre of India-China competition for dominance in the Indian Ocean Region. Important shipping routes pass by the Maldives archipelago. China has been trying, without success, to make a naval base in the Maldives. So India will have to take a long-term view of its relations with Maldives vis-à-vis China. Cooperation in the defence field assumes importance in this context. India can also help the Solih government in strengthening the democratic foundations of the country so that another Yameen-like takeover can be prevented. The Maldives faces another challenge of radical Islam. Little known to the outside world, radical Islam has been growing fast in the Maldives. A couple of years ago there were reports that some two hundred Maldivians had joined the ISIS along with militants from other Muslim countries. The Constitution adopted in August 2008, makes Islam the State religion of Maldives. Section ‘D’ of Article 9 of the Constitution debars non-Muslims from acquiring citizenship of Maldives. During the heyday of Yameen’s rule when democracy was suppressed, Islamic extremists became active. There were reports of liberal bloggers being stabbed to death by extremist elements. A journalist, Ahmed Rilwan, who opposed both the Yameen regime and radical Islam, was abducted. The inquiry into his mysterious disappearance was stopped by Yameen. Rilwan was officially declared dead just after December elections and before the new government came to power. A liberal blogger, Yameen Rasheed, was stabbed to death for holding liberal views. If the rise of Islamic radicalism is not checked it is very likely to lead to a drop in tourist traffic. That will directly impact the Maldivian economy. Tourism accounts for nearly a quarter of the country’s GDP. However, President Solih is aware of the threat posed by radical Islam. After the exit of Yameen, there is a new mood prevailing in the country. Radical Islam will no longer enjoy State patronage. (The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

Does a singleuse plastics ban make sense Would it work

first_imgIn today’s Big Story podcast, the oceans are clogged with plastics. Our recycling system is broken. Is it time to ban them wherever we can? The Liberal government’s new proposal to ban single-use plastics “as soon as 2021” could make that happen — but there’s an election in the way, not to mention that the proposal doesn’t have overwhelming public support.But as we do on The Big Story, we’ll attempt to explain what this would mean and how it would work for normal humans — the sort of people who have a plastic bag filled with other plastic bags under the sink, or go through a plastic fork and knife with every second workday lunch. Would this proposal actually help? Would it change behaviour? What are the alternatives to these plastic products? And what do the people who spend their lives fighting for cleaner oceans think of it?GUEST: Sarah King, head of Greenpeace Canada’s Oceans and Plastics campaignAudio Playerhttps://media.blubrry.com/thebigstory/s/rogers-aod.leanstream.co/rogers/thebigstory_dai/tbs_06132019_dai.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.You can subscribe to The Big Story podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google and Spotify.You can also find it at thebigstorypodcast.ca.last_img read more

Alberta contributes 33M for huge solar farm in remote Fort Chipewyan

first_imgEDMONTON, A.B. – Alberta will work with Indigenous groups in the province’s remote northeast corner on what the government says will be Canada’s largest off-the-grid solar power project.The plan is for 7,500 solar panels to be erected at the power plant near the airport at Fort Chipewyan.It’s expected the solar farm will be operating by next year and replace the equivalent of 800,000 litres of diesel fuel _ about 25 percent of the community’s energy use. “In addition to reducing costs, this project helps make life better for residents by reducing pollution and increasing safety,” Indigenous Relations Minister Richard Feehan said Thursday.The project is expected to make roads safer by reducing tanker-truck traffic.Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam said his First Nation wants to be part of the solution to climate change.“While our regional economy depends on the oil industry, we feel the effects of climate change in our community and see the growing impacts on our delta lands,” he said. Alberta is contributing $3.3 million for the project with local Metis and the Athabasca Chipewyan and Mikisew Cree First Nations.Fort Chipewyan is not connected to Alberta’s electricity grid and must burn diesel fuel for heat and power.The project’s size and storage capacity is required because of the lack of sunlight in the winter at that latitude.Sunlight in the region swings from about six useful hours a day in winter to 18 hours in the summer.The battery capacity will allow excess energy to be stored for use at night and in winter periods.The total cost of the project is $7.8 million.last_img read more

Minister Highlights in Toronto Promising Prospects of Moroccan Mining Sector

Toronto – Energy minister Abdelkader Amara highlighted, on Saturday in Toronto, the large-scale reforms and promising prospects of the Moroccan mining sector which has always been a pivotal component of the national economy.Speaking at a conference on the Moroccan mining sector, held on the sidelines of “Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) 2015”, Amara underlined that the importance of this vital sector for the Moroccan economy is due to the existence of a favorable geological context which helped develop the mining activity in several regions in the country.During the conference, initiated by the Energy ministry in partnership with the Canadian Mineral Industry Federation, Amara affirmed that the mining sector contributes in the GDP with 10% and its share in national exports is over 22%. He also said that Morocco, which has large reserves of phosphates that make it rank as first exporter and third producer in the world, also has a prominent place at the global and African levels thanks to a number of minerals such as zinc, lead, barite, fluorite, cobalt and silver.However, he said that the mining sector still faces many challenges, mainly the need for discovering new mineral deposits and ensuring their sustainable development, adding that the Morocco adopted a national strategy for development of the mining sector. read more

Pan American Health Organization set to vaccinate 15 million children

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said it organized the Vaccination Week to prevent neonatal tetanus, maintain measles interruption – no cases have been reported in the region for six months – and to give impetus to efforts to end rubella. PAHO also aims to maintain polio eradication, which was officially declared in 1994. “This is a Pan American initiative aimed at achieving equity in vaccination, so that the most disadvantaged get protection against vaccine-preventable diseases. Thus, they will grow up and have the chance to develop to their full potential and enjoy a better life.” PAHO’s Acting Chief of the Immunization Unit Héctor Izurieta said. With the overarching goal of vaccinating 95 per cent of the continent’s children, some 200,000 health workers will travel to border areas, isolated communities, and marginal urban populations to reach those who have never been immunized or who have not completed their series of vaccines, according to PAHO. The workers will focus on vaccinating groups with low immunization rates in areas considered “pockets of susceptibility,” where an imported case of measles could trigger an outbreak, Gina Tambini, PAHO’s Manager of the Family and Community Health Area said. Activities have been planned in each participating country but also in key border areas. Peru, Bolivia and Brazil have scheduled a joint effort in a remote border area in the Amazon and health authorities from all three countries will visit border villages and see health workers off as they embark on boats to vaccinate children. PAHO said it is collaborating with the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to support the countries to make the campaign a success. The organizers hope that the Vaccination Week will become an annual Pan American and Ibero-American event. read more

Pfizer Takeda settle Protonix patent case with generic drugmakers for 215 billion

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Two generic drugmakers will pay $2.15 billion to Pfizer and Takeda Pharmaceutical to settle a patent fight over the heartburn treatment Protonix.Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., one of the world’s largest generic drugmakers, will pay $1.6 billion, while India’s Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. will pay $550 million for selling their versions of Protonix before the patent protecting the drug expired.Pfizer Inc., based in New York, said Wednesday that it will receive 64 per cent of the settlement proceeds.A jury had decided in 2010 that the patent protecting Protonix was valid, and the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey then upheld that decision. The companies reached their settlement shortly after the start of a federal trial to determine damages.Its lawsuit aimed to recover some of the money lost after Protonix started competing with cheaper generic drugs. Drugmaker Nycomed had developed Protonix before that company was purchased by Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Nycomed had licensed Protonix to Wyeth, which Pfizer has since purchased.Nycomed had said U.S. sales for the drug reached $1.9 billion in 2007 but tumbled significantly afterward.Teva had started selling its generic version of Protonix in December 2007. Sun then launched its own version in early 2008 before the drug’s U.S. patent expired in 2011.Teva and Sun had used a tactic called an “at-risk launch,” meaning they started selling their versions before the patents on the original expired. They hoped to either get the patents overturned in court or reach a settlement that would allow them to start selling their products before the patents ran out.Teva, based in Israel, said it expects to incur a second-quarter charge of about $930 million tied to the settlement.Shares of Pfizer rose 34 cents to $28.76 in Wednesday morning trading, while U.S.-traded shares of Teva fell 27 cents to $39.56. by The Associated Press Posted Jun 12, 2013 8:47 am MDT Pfizer, Takeda settle Protonix patent case with generic drugmakers for $2.15 billion AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

NDP loosening rules for Alberta pubs

by audreywhelan Posted Jun 3, 2016 7:57 am MDT NDP loosening rules for Alberta pubs An announcement is coming Friday that will impact bars and pubs in Alberta.NDP MLA Graham Sucha will highlight policy changes that will provide greater flexibility for drinking establishments around the province.The event starts at 2 p.m. at Dixon’s Public House on Bannister Road in the southeast. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email (Stock Photo: Pexels.com) read more

Kirk Cousins Is Not Better Than Joe Montana So Lets Fix Passer

Chad Henne2008-181,95975.555.3-20.3 Cam Newton2011-183,89186.466.1-20.3 RatingsRatings In the original conception of passer rating, an average rating was about 67. In 2018, only one qualified passer (Arizona Cardinals rookie Josh Rosen) fell below that threshold, and even then just barely (his rating was 66.7). But what if the standards for what makes a good or bad performance had evolved as leaguewide numbers changed? Pro-Football-Reference.com does a great job of adjusting for era with its Advanced Passing indices, which are centered on an average of 100 with 15 points representing 1 standard deviation in either direction. But I wanted to rescale the building blocks of passer rating itself to see how today’s passing numbers would translate to a rating if the NFL had simply allowed its rating system to change with the times.To do that, I looked at the distribution of stats in each category that goes into passer rating — completion percentage, yards per attempt, touchdown percentage and interception rate — from the sample originally used to craft the formula back in the early 1970s (qualified passers from 1960 to 1970). Specifically, I figured out the spread of values (relative to the league) that, in a given category, led to the minimum number of points (0), the average number of points (1) and the maximum (2.375). Under the hood, passer rating is built around these ranges; it hands out points on that 0-to-2.375 scale in each category, then sums up the four values, divides by 6 and multiplies by 100. (Hence, 67 is supposed to be average — a 1.0 in four categories, divided by 6, times 100.)For any era, we can rescale what performance “should” lead to a given value in each category to keep the relative leaguewide distribution the same as it was when passer rating was first conceived.2Just like with PFR’s advanced passing stats, I calculated these distributions using qualified passers in rolling three-season periods to avoid a strange spread in one season causing overly volatile results. (To qualify, a passer needed at least 14 attempts per team game.) So while, say, Alex Smith’s 62.5 percent completion rate in 2018 was worth 1.0 point, so was Don Meredith’s 49.5 percent mark from 1962. Do this for every category in every season, and you have a stabilized version of passer rating that no longer spirals uncontrollably upward with each innovation in the passing game.Some ultra-high ratings change less than you might expect under this new method. Rodgers’s single-season record of 122.5 from 2011 tumbles all the way down to … 121.1. (He was very good that year.) But other seemingly immortal ratings, such as Kirk Cousins’s 99.7 mark this season, get knocked down quite a bit — in Cousins’s case, he falls to a much more reasonable 81.5 rating. (Anyone who watched a Vikings game this year would surely argue that this is more appropriate.) Similarly, Ryan Fitzpatrick’s 100.4 mark this season — yes, that is real, look it up — gets heavily penalized in the interception category (his 4.9 percent INT rate was more than double the league average), taking him down to an adjusted rating of 77.4.Moving further down the list, Joe Flacco’s decent-sounding 84.2 classic rating properly falls to a mediocre 62.8 after our adjustment, while the 30.7 rating of WOAT candidate Nathan Peterman becomes an 11.6 — perilously close to the minimum possible rating of 0.0. (If Peterman had thrown enough passes to qualify, that 11.6 rating would have “surpassed” Ryan Leaf’s 19.1 from 1998 as the lowest-rated season since 1950.)All told, the new ratings are once again grounded in a world where an average quarterback scores about 70 — not exactly 67 because the rolling distribution includes multiple seasons for comparison3Causing 2018 performances to score slightly higher on average, since this year was a better passing season than 2017. — and as a result, the numbers make far more intuitive sense at a glance than the ludicrously inflated official ratings of 2018: According to the NFL’s official passer rating system, the most efficient quarterback in NFL history is Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers, with a lifetime mark of 103.1.1Pro football’s passer rating has a possible range from 0 to 158.3. That makes sense: Rodgers is generally regarded as one of the greatest QBs to ever play the game. But if you scroll further down the list, the results become much harder to explain. In the world of passer rating, Kirk Cousins is better than Joe Montana; Derek Carr and Matt Schaub top Dan Marino; and, after one season, Broadway Sam Darnold is running circles around Broadway Joe Namath.Passer rating is often criticized as Byzantine (have you seen that formula?), incomplete (it does not include data on rushing plays or sacks) and arbitrary (again, have you looked at the formula?). Yet its biggest shortcoming might be the way it is unmoored from changes in the game itself. Passing has never been more efficient than it was this season, in which the league’s average QB posted a rating of 92.9. That is remarkably high considering that a quarterback who posted a rating of 92.9 would have led all qualified passers in 15 separate seasons from 1950 through 1986. Clearly, the scale needs recalibrating. 28J. FlaccoBAL84.262.8 PlayerTeamOldNew 12S. Jurgensen197482.782.927N. Lomax198882.778.1 26J. WinstonTB90.264.9 14R. FitzpatrickTB100.477.4 * Minimum 14 pass attempts per team gameSource: Pro-Football-Reference.com 10K. CousinsMIN99.781.5 Ratings According to the NFL’s official system, there have been 93 qualified quarterback seasons since 1950 with a passer rating of at least 100.0, and nine of those happened in 2018 alone. After our adjustment, though, there have been only 46 such seasons since 1950,4Four QB seasons cracked the 100.0 mark under the new system but didn’t under the classic passer rating. and only one of those happened this year — the 103.3 mark Drew Brees put up with the Saints. It’s still a golden age for passing, as nearly half of those 46 seasons have happened since 2000, but we’ve also filtered out 51 “false 100s” — seasons that cracked 100.0 on the old scale but not the new one — of which 47 have happened since 2000.The result of our passer rating adjustment is a much more reasonable career leaderboard that features qualified quarterbacks from a variety of different eras: Deflating the ratingClassic and adjusted passer ratings for qualified* 2018 NFL quarterbacks 8D. Brees201897.785.423J. Unitas197378.378.9 Ryan Fitzpatrick2005-184,28581.160.2-20.9 5P. RiversLAC105.587.3 12D. PrescottDAL96.979.0 Case Keenum2013-181,84484.561.8-22.6 * Minimum 1,500 career pass attemptsSource: Pro-Football-Reference.com 9A. RodgersGB97.683.0 PlayerTeamOldNew 8J. GoffLAR101.183.3 30B. BortlesJAX79.854.5 7C. WentzPHI102.285.1 32J. AllenBUF67.937.1 2P. MahomesKC113.898.5 22R. TannehillMIA92.768.8 23M. StaffordDET89.968.6 PlayerYears PlayedAttemptsOldNewDiff. 6D. WatsonHOU103.185.3 13T. BradyNE97.778.8 A new all-time passer rating hierarchyCareer classic and adjusted passer ratings for qualified* NFL and AFL quarterbacks, 1950-2018 13L. Dawson197582.982.728F. Ryan197078.078.0 29C. KeenumDEN81.256.2 Jameis Winston2015-181,92287.864.0-23.8 4M. RyanATL108.193.4 6R. Staubach197983.486.721J. Garcia200887.579.6 33J. RosenARI66.735.9 Ratings 4T. Brady201897.687.219C. Pennington201090.179.9 * Minimum 1,500 career pass attemptsSource: Pro-Football-Reference.com 25A. DaltonCIN89.666.1 PlayerLast YearOldNewPlayerLast YearOldNew 1S. Young199996.794.216F. Tarkenton197880.480.7 18E. ManningNYG92.472.3 31S. DarnoldNYJ77.649.7 21M. MariotaTEN92.370.6 5P. Manning201596.587.120M. Ryan201894.979.8 Ratings The biggest beneficiaries of our changes are 1950s-era passers like Otto Graham, who originally rated in the 70s (discarding his eye-popping pre-1950 numbers, which were compiled in the upstart All-America Football Conference) but leaps up into the mid-80s after judging him in comparison with his peers. San Francisco 49ers legend Steve Young also gets a boost relative to other great QBs from history, reclaiming the No. 1 slot that he’d held in real life before Rodgers and friends came along.At the other end of the spectrum, nobody loses more points of career rating than Blake Bortles, who somehow has an 80.6 mark under the classic system but falls to 55.2 with our adjustments. Here are the biggest losers between the old and new QB ratings: 7R. Wilson2018100.485.422B. R’lisberger201894.379.0 9T. Romo201697.185.024D. Fouts198780.278.4 10O. Graham195578.284.725R. Gannon200484.778.4 Marcus Mariota2015-181,60589.467.5-21.9 2A. Rodgers2018103.192.517B. Starr197180.580.7 3R. WilsonSEA110.996.5 14D. Marino199986.481.429B. Jones198278.578.0 15K. Anderson198681.981.230J. Kelly199684.478.0 Blake Bortles2014-182,63280.655.2-25.4 15B. R’lisbergerPIT96.575.7 Who’s been overrated in traditional passer ratings?For qualified* NFL and AFL passers since 1950, the biggest shortfalls between adjusted and classic passer rating 1D. BreesNO115.7103.3 11A. LuckIND98.779.1 3J. Montana199492.390.018P. Rivers201895.680.5 17M. TrubiskyCHI95.473.2 Ryan Tannehill2012-182,91187.067.2-19.8 11K. Warner200993.783.726B. Griese198077.178.3 24N. MullensSF90.866.3 Mark Sanchez2009-182,32073.352.5-20.8 16D. CarrOAK93.974.0 27A. SmithWSH85.764.5 20B. MayfieldCLE93.771.7 Derek Carr2014-182,80088.868.4-20.4 19C. NewtonCAR94.271.7 A change like this wouldn’t fix the rest of passer rating’s deficiencies, and it wouldn’t include all the fancy bells and whistles you’ll find in a metric like ESPN’s Total Quarterback Rating. But passer rating itself has always been a surprisingly decent metric within any self-contained era; the team with the higher passer rating (by any margin) in a game wins about 80 percent of the time. It’s the comparisons across eras that have become distorted as the game has changed over time. But a simple fix tethering modern stats to the standards contained in passer rating’s formula would go a long way toward restoring sanity to the metric you still see in every NFL box score and broadcast. The Blake Bortleses of the world might not like seeing their shiny 80-something ratings get dumped into the 50s, but it’s a change whose time has come.Check out our latest NFL predictions. read more

Softball Ohio State opens season ready to continue previous years success

Ohio State then-junior shortstop Lilli Piper rounds third base with the intent to score against Wright State on Sep. 24. Credit: Gretchen Rudolph | For The LanternKelly Kovach Schoenly has experience in leading Ohio State to victory. Over the past six seasons as the softball head coach, she has accumulated 199 wins, including 13 wins against Top 25 opponents. However, in her tenure with the Buckeyes, she has not had a better season than the one she had last year. Ohio State had a record of 36-16, the program’s highest win total since 2010. The Buckeyes also won 14 of 22 Big Ten games this past season, but winning only two of four games in their NCAA regional.“We represented Ohio State very well. We competed with the very top teams all the way to the end,” Schoenly said. Now, the Buckeyes are preparing to try and not only match, but exceed last season’s successes. “We worked very hard,” sophomore catcher Claire Nicholson said. “I think it’s ended too early for us. I think we have a lot more coming this year.”Ohio State will have six seniors returning for the 2019 season: pitcher Morgan Ray, pitcher Katya Duvall, catcher Emily Clark, shortstop Lilli Piper, outfielder Bri Betschel and outfielder/first baseman Megan Choinacky.Piper was the major contributor for the team a season ago, leading the team with a .404 batting average, which was 48th-best in the country, 20 home runs, tied for eighth-most in the NCAA, and 58 RBI.  The expectations for Piper remained the same heading into 2019, as she was named to the preseason USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year watch list prior to the start of her senior season.With Schoenly saying that the senior class has contributed to where the team is today, Ohio State will still look a bit different than it did last season.The Buckeyes added four freshmen — outfielder Meg Otte, infielder Ashley Prange, outfielder Kaitlyn Coffman and pitcher Jessica Ross — and a transfer in sophomore Lauren Rice, who spent her freshman season at Missouri. Ohio State also added a new assistant coach in the offseason in Jordan Clark, the former volunteer assistant coach at Arkansas. “She has brought in a lot of new ideas,” Nicholson said. “We got to teach her a new culture too. It’s really great to have Jordan with us.”Schoenly said she is excited to develop a new identity this season and is excited to start again. But even with the change, Nicholson said the culture of the team will remain the same. “We have a culture that is just unbelievable,” Nicholson said. “There is definitely a way of life we like to stick to and we have a lot of things very important to us. So we get excited to share that.”Ohio State will begin its season Friday in Orlando, Florida, when the Buckeyes take on George Mason, Ole Miss, North Florida and UCF in the Friends of Jaclyn Tournament. read more

Massive influx of project evaluations in Chile

first_imgChile’s environmental evaluation service SEA received $720 million worth of mining projects for evaluation in December, according to information compiled by BNamericas. “A total of 54 projects were submitted for evaluation last month. The environmental system was flooded with new projects in the run-up to December 24, when new permits rules took effect,” BNamericas said. “Seven of the projects failed to meet the necessary paperwork requirements, while a single project was removed from the evaluation process by its controller. The other 46 projects continue to be under evaluation.“The largest was the $120 million non-metallic project presented by local iodine producer Algorta Norte.” The project involves the expansion of its facilities in northern region II where it extracts nitrate salts.“Next up was the $85 million upgrade of the Puquios open-pit copper project submitted by mining company Cuprum Resources. The project entails changes in the location and design of the heap leaching SX-EW processing plant, among other modifications.“Of the other projects submitted in December, three involve planned investment of over $50 million and eight with planned investment between $10 million and $50 million. The remaining 41 projects have an average investment of $1.7 million.last_img read more