Messi needs to fire and crown himself in glory

first_imgThere is no bigger stage than World Cup final for Lionel Messi to become a hero.Football fever has been raging for over a month and even if one is not a hardcore fan, one would have got drawn into debates and discussions quite unknowingly.There is a sizeable percentage of global fans still mourning the exit of hosts Brazil but for all those who watched the semi-final live or later it was sheer capitulation at the hands of the sturdy Germans.With the clock ticking for the final at the Maracana, Germany vs Argentina is not exactly the script one had thought of when the event began last month. The heat and humidity of Brazil is a factor which the Germans have coped well with and there has been a steady rise in their fluency up front.Yet, for those who see this as not just a World Cup final but a stage for one man to explode into brilliance again, the wait has been agonising. As much as you fancy Germany, an innumerable number of football lovers are actually waiting for Lionel Messi to shine at the biggest stage.Messi has scored four goals till now in this World Cup but if the world’s most celebrated player is looking for ultimate glory, he has to lift himself further.To be sure, even with Barcelona this season, Messi did not look that hot. But he obviously knows there is no bigger stage than the World Cup final to emerge as hero and the world’s best player.advertisementThere are two types of great footballers: Either one is a Pele or a Maradona or a Zidane who corner glory on the biggest stage, or one is in the second category where names like Ferenc Puskas, who scored 84 goals for Hungary in 85 internationals. Add to it his exploits in club football at home and in Spain, and he was touted the world’s best but could not stop the Germans from winning the World Cup in 1954.Then again, people said the same about Alfredo Di Stefano, the Argentine great who died last week at the age of 88. Stefano rocked at home and also for Real Madrid in club football but World Cup glory eluded him.For the current generation, Messi is the biggest star and he needs to show that all the criticism regarding him is misplaced. For Messi to be bracketed alongside all-time greats like Pele and Maradona, he has to win Argentina the trophy.For a man who scores 65 to 70 goals each season in club football and is the most famous face one will see in merchandise sold around the world, Messi needs to do this for himself and the team. Agreed, football is a team sport and in this particular edition, teams relying on just one superstar have bombed. Ask Portugal or Brazil, without a firing Cristiano Ronaldo and an injured Neymar they looked average at the crunch.Ronaldo has been adjudged World Footballer of the Year several times, but has not yet sparkled at the biggest stage. Yet, what is surprising this time is without Messi being on fire, Argentina are in the final. There are millions praying for the icon to burst into brilliance as minus his dash and flair, Germany are simply too solid.The way they have gone about this World Cup is clinical.Be it Thomas Mueller or Miroslav Klose, they have strikers who can pump in goals effortlessly. Add to it the efficacy of Toni Kroos, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Mats Hummels further back, and they can do the damage with free-kicks. The German defence has looked very strong and how they handle Argentina remains to be seen.Overall, this has been a fantastic World Cup for Brazil from the organisational point of view. The local fans are distraught that their team was whipped 7-1 in the semi-finals where Germany played with tsunami force. Debates are still on in pubs after the loss where the general feeling is if Neymar had played it could have been a different story! Brazil needs to take heart from the fact that as organisers of world’s biggest sporting spectacle after the Olympics, they came out trumps. You and I were led to believe Brazil would not be ready for the World Cup and venues were still under construction! All that was wrong as the Brazilians put on a superlative show as hosts with each venue packed. Their love for football cannot be measured and as the hosts of the next Olympics in 2016 at Rio, they have caught the attention of the world. Forget what happened to their national team, their national prestige is soaring thanks to this beautiful World Cup.advertisements.kannan@mailtoday.inlast_img read more

Report: Dwayne Wade offered 3-year, $25M contract to play in China

first_imgAdvertisementFree-agent guard Dwyane Wade has been offered a three-year, $25 million contracts by the Zhejiang Golden Bulls, according to Chinese media reports. Wade remains without a contract after spending the 2017-18 season with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat. The Heat can only offer the 36-year-old their mid-level exception of $5.3 million to try to keep him in South Beach.He averaged 12 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 3.1 assists upon returning to Miami midseason. Those numbers jumped to 16.6 points, 4.2 boards, and 3.6 dimes during the team’s opening-round playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers.According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, because the Heat are currently above the NBA’s salary cap, the most they can offer Wade for next season is $5.3 million (the mid-level taxpayer exception).Wade has had ties with China since signing a deal with Chinese sportswear brand Li Ning in 2012. According to Tencent, the 12-time NBA All-Star will meet with his agents on Wednesday to discuss whether to accept the offer from the CBA club.Advertisementlast_img read more

Karun Nair saved as snake boat capsizes

first_imgTwo youth were still missing while upcoming Indian cricketer Karun Nair had a narrow escape as the snake boat in which around 100 persons were travelling, capsized in river Pampa in this Kerala district on Sunday, police said.Nair along with the others were taking part in a temple festival, “Valla Sadya’, a celebration of the Sree Parthasarathy Temple near here.Speaking to IANS, an official attached to the Aranmula Police station confirmed that Nair was in the snake boat.”The boat capsized and immediate rescue services was undertaken and managed to rescue all passengers, while two are still missing,” said the official.Nair, who hails from the state, plays for Karnataka and was in the recent Indian team which toured Zimbabwe.last_img read more

Manika Batra, Dutee Chand request constant support from government

first_imgSporting stars Manika Batra, Lakshya Sen, Dutee Chand, Mehuli Ghosh and her coach Joydeep Karmakar made their presence felt at the India Today Mind Rocks 2018 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi in a session ‘Ready, Steady, Aim The Gold Rush’.Manika Batra, who won two gold, one silver and one bronze medal in table tennis at the Commonwealth Games and then bagged a bronze medal at the Asian Games 2018, shared about her growth as a player and what she needs to do in order to fight off the dominant Asian players in her sport.Lakshya Sen, a former junior world No.1 and Junior Asian Championships gold medallists, spoke about what all he had sacrificed to maintain a healthy lifestyle in order to be good at the sport of badminton.Dutee Chand, who won two silver medal at the Asian Games in Jakarta, described her hardships from the time she was called a man in 2014 to fighting her case and then how all of that culminated into glory in Indonesia.Mehuli Ghosh and Joydeep Karmakar spoke about the work that’s going on at the ground level in shooting and the Commonwealth Games silver-medallist Mehuli shared how she celebrated the biggest moment of her young career so far.Also read – Dutee Chand proud of being first athlete to fight against hyperandrogenism ruleHere are the quotes from the entire session.HOW INDIA IS PROGRESSING IN THE OLYMPIC SPORTSManika Batra: Indian performances are getting better for the past one year, not just me but everyone else. Everyone is working hard and everyone wants to beat China. We are working hard and for the last two years, we have been receiving support from the government, SAI and the federation, which boards well for us.advertisementAsian Games is a very tough event and if we have defeated Asians there, I will try my best to beat them at the Olympics.Lakshya Sen: The seniors are doing well and the results are coming. I am making a transition from junior to senior and it’s tough but I’m doing my best. A lot of sacrifices have to be made to keep a healthy diet and we have to leave a lot of things that we love like for me it’s chocolate, ice cream and especially cold drink.HOW DUTEE CHAND FOUGHT ALL ODDSDutee Chand: 2014 was very tough for me, I had prepared a lot of CWG but four days ago, I was thrown out of the team. It was very tough and then it was said that I wasn’t a girl and it felt really bad and people spoke really bad things. But then I fought a case with the support of my family. I came back to the track and got success. I have struggled to come here and if it would have been others, either they would have left sports or life.I have seen Usain Bolt live at the Olympics. He’s not a machine but runs like one. These people get a huge team along with them to take care of their body but that’s not the case in India, so the performance suffers. The government has come out in support now, so I want to go abroad and train well.Olympics is huge and top athletes from around the world come there. Also athletes from different countries have a different physique. We are all working hard but I would to request the public to please pray for us and keep supporting us.THE REASON FOR SUCCESS OF JUNIORS IN SHOOTINGMehuli Ghosh: I have Youth Olympics next month in Argentina and then Asian Airgun and then nationals.He’s [coach Joydeep Karmakar] not that strict but he tells me what all to do and I try to follow that. Joydeep sir, Apurvi Chandela and Abhinav Bindra are my role models.Joydeep Karmakar: A wide spectrum of performance is coming from shooting — from the seniors to the juniors. The youth is fearless but I have a word of caution. From what we have seen, failure is inevitable but you have to make the wins count and they have to win the big ones. Failure teaches you a lot and then they will rise but it is about sustaining it.Rio was a debacle and after that a lot of changes happened in shooting like setting up the youth program and the results of which is showing in later championships. If I ask people in the auditorium to sacrifice social media they won’t be able to and that is why these kids are special, they have been sacrificing day in and day out. I am glad we have such a huge audience today because there are times when there is not even a single person in the stadium and yet these people perform.advertisementHOW DIFFERENT HAS LIFE BEEN FOR MANIKA BATRA SINCE CWG 2018Manika: When I came back from CWG my life changed. Now people recognise me and it feels great that people who did not watch table tennis now understand how difficult it is and have hope from the sport in Olympics and big tournaments.HOW LAKSHYA SEN SEES INDIA DETHRONING CHINA IN BADMINTONLakshya: China is a powerhouse of badminton but these past years, Indian men’s and women’s singles players are defeating Chinese and it’s not that big a deal anymore. Earlier, people used to be scared but now people feel confident and that is the big change. Now other countries are also defeating Chinese like Carolina Marin from Spain and Denmark players.Determination in Sindhu and Saina for performing is inspirational. When I saw Saina didi play, I saw professionalism. She never talked much and joked around, her discipline, she would come, practice and go and we need to learn that. Even Sindhu didi’s fighting spirit is amazing.HOW ATHLETES ARE GOING TO GET DEVELOP IN NEAR FUTUREManika: We need support from everywhere like how we are receiving now. Secondly, like Lakshya was saying, Saina Nehwal and Sindhu are very determined and focussed, we have to keep our own focus as well. Thirdly, I can say about myself again, if we have to compete with the Chinese and other Asian players, we need to work on fitness a lot.Dutee: For kids who want to study, when they get everything they do well. Similarly, athletes need help because they do want to work hard. In abroad, they do a lot of scientific training but that is not how it works in India, nobody looks at it here. India is not a country where the weather remains the same throughout and so focus is even more important.When I was branded as a non-girl, I did not feel like leaving the sport but only wanted to work harder and represent India. I also want to thank the media who write about the players when they face a problem and because of which we get support and are able to fight.I am proud that I am the first girl who fought against the rules [hyperandrogenism — a medical condition where a woman has excessive levels of male sex hormones] and I won as well. Now according to rules, at least we can run 100m, 200m. We are still fighting to expand the scope of the new rule.HOW MEHULI, DUTEE CELEBRATED THEIR SUCCESSMehuli: When I won gold in Asian airgun I could not express but I was super happy. I celebrated it very well at home with family and coach.advertisementDutee: I think everyone saw that [how I celebrated by Asian Games wins] on TV. So many people came at the airport to felicitate me. First time I saw so many people at the airport. It felt very nice. We win medals for the country and when we are recognised and felicitated it feels very nice.last_img read more

More Recreational Opportunities for Bedford

first_imgBedford will soon have more land to use as part of a larger $10- $15 million dollar project to build recreational facilities for the community. The Rocky Lake Development Association will purchase 20 hectares of land for recreational purposes with the help of a $1.5 million loan from the provincial government. “Bedford is one of the fastest growing areas of the province and it’s very important we provide quality recreational facilities,” said Barry Mason, head of the non-profit, community-based association. “This land purchase will allow us to pursue a number of recreational options for the Bedford-Waverley-Fall River area.” A four-year, fully repayable loan from the Office of Economic Development is secured through a mortgage on the land. “Providing healthy living opportunities for families through recreational facilities will help develop vibrant communities,” said Jamie Muir, acting Minister of Economic Development. “Such communities provide a quality of life attractive to businesses and their employees.” The Rocky Lake Development Association was formed to promote the development of community recreational infrastructure in the Bedford-Waverley-Fall River area. The Rocky Lake development currently includes upcoming construction of a three ice rink complex as well as a field house for children in basketball, indoor soccer and other indoor sports. The group also plans to build outdoor soccer fields and will consider upgrades like an all-weather field and tennis courts depending on the results of fundraising in the community. A children’s safety village, modeled on other similar facilities in Canada, is also part of the development. “Local kids have been waiting for this for a long time,” said Mr. Mason. “There are about 900 kids in hockey now, and many more wanting to play. This loan is a major milestone in helping our kids.”last_img read more

Kristen Bell Joins Opening Act Artistic Advisory Board

first_imgOpening Act, an innovative nonprofit that provides free after-school theater programming to New York City’s most under-served public high schools, today announced the launch of its Artistic Advisory Board (AAB), whose members will serve as ambassadors of the organization.The launch of the AAB coincides with Opening Act’s 8th Annual Benefit Play Reading at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on Broadway on May 12, 2014. Tickets are available to the public via www.telecharge.com – 1 800-447-7400.“We are thrilled to be welcoming great talent from across the theater, television, and film industries to bring attention to the need for impactful theater programming for New York City high school youth,” said Suzy Myers Jackson, Executive Director of Opening Act. “The AAB’s support makes it possible for us to fill the void in areas around New York City where there exists a tremendous arts shortage in public schools, giving students – often for the first time – an opportunity to have their voices heard and applauded. That transformative experience goes well beyond an artistic accomplishment; students tell us over and over again they wouldn’t have graduated high school if it weren’t for Opening Act.”Opening Act’s star-studded AAB is comprised of 14 members committed to supporting the group’s work in high-need New York City public high schools that have little to no arts education programming. Board members include: Actors Uzo Aduba (Orange is the New Black), Kristen Bell (Frozen), Andrew McCarthy (Pretty in Pink), and Cecily Strong (Saturday Night Live), as well as Opening Act advocates and supporters Marcus Gardley (playwright, dance of the holy ghosts: a play on memory), Jared Gertner (actor, Book of Mormon), Richard Hester (production, Jersey Boys), Matt Hoverman (playwright, The Glint), Kobi Libii (actor, Amazon’s Alpha House), Donald Margulies (playwright, Collected Stories), Michael Mastro (actor/director, West Side Story), Susan Mufson (Opening Act supporter), Lizabeth Newman (Opening Act supporter), and Jean Smart (actor, Designing Women).“After participating in a Masterclass with Opening Act last fall, I found myself so impressed by the level of excitement from the students towards the organization and the level of passion coming from the educators,” said AAB member Uzo Aduba. “Opening Act’s determination to make a difference in these young lives through artistic expression is what has committed me to this organization. I believe in their mission and want nothing more than to be an aid on the beautiful road Opening Act has already paved.”Recent reports have shown that instruction in the arts is positively correlated with higher student grades and rates of college enrollment. However, in low-income areas like the South Bronx and central Brooklyn there exists a severe arts shortage. In fact, more than 42 percent of schools without a full-time, state-certified arts teacher are located in those areas. Opening Act strives to fill this void by providing their programming free of charge to these schools. Over ninety percent of Opening Act’s programs are located in the South Bronx and Brooklyn.The launch of Opening Act’s AAB coincides with the 8th Annual Benefit Play Reading, starring Tony Award winners Courtney B. Vance (Nora Ephron’s Lucky Guy, Law & Order: Criminal Intent), and Lillias White (Fela!, The Life), as well as Uzo Aduba, in a one-night only reading of dance of the holy ghosts: a play on memory, by Marcus Gardley, to benefit Opening Act’s after-school theater programs.Opening Act is a unique nonprofit that brings 12 free, long-term theater programs to 35 of New York City’s most under-served public high schools. Through theater, Opening Act students gain confidence, pride, and the knowledge that they can succeed at anything in life. Opening Act’s vision is to see that every New York City public school student has access to an artistic space where they can develop commitment, community, and leadership through their artistic achievement. Please visit www.openingactnewyork.org to learn more about Opening Act’s programs.8th Annual Play Reading of dance of the holy ghosts: a play on memory
to benefit Opening Act
will take place on Monday, May 12, 2014, performance beginning at 7:00 P.M. The Samuel J. Friedman Theatre is located at 261 W. 47th Street in Manhattan.Tickets are $550 Premium Ticket (best seating – includes a Rising Star Sponsorship in Opening Act’s Adopt a School Program, which supports one student for an entire year of programming, program recognition, plus all benefits of a VIP ticket), $225 VIP Ticket (priority seating – includes admission to an exclusive Post-Show Discussion and champagne toast with the play’s creative team and members of the cast, plus all benefits of an Event ticket), $150 Event Ticket (includes performance, open wine bar, and hors d’oeuvres).For tickets – www.telecharge.com or 1 800-447-7400
. For more information on the event and exclusive group ticket packages – www.openingactnewyork.org.Source:PR Newswirelast_img read more

Telecom giant BCE buying AlarmForce for 166M to grow its position in

first_imgTORONTO – Telecom and media giant BCE Inc. says it will buy Canadian home security service AlarmForce Industries Inc. in a deal worth about $166 million.George Cope, CEO of BCE and Bell Canada, says the acquisition will allow Bell to leverage its network in millions of Canadian homes in order to grow its position in security and automation services.The deal will see BCE purchase all issued and outstanding common shares of AlarmForce (TSX:AF) for $16.00 per in an all-cash offer.AlarmForce says the purchase price represents a 71 per cent premium to its closing share price of $9.34 on Nov. 6 and a 70 per cent premium to the 20-day volume weighted average price for the period ending Nov. 6.Shareholders may also elect to receive BCE common shares (TSX:BCE) in lieu of cash, subject to proration and capped at 49.5 per cent of the total equity value.Subject to customary closing conditions, the transaction is expected to be completed in January.last_img read more

Magna reports Q3 profit and sales up trims forecast for full year

first_imgAURORA, Ont. – Magna International Inc. trimmed its outlook for the year in its latest earnings results but says overall volumes in the auto industry remain strong.The company’s expectations of total light vehicle production from North America have dropped by about 400,000 vehicles since the start of the year to 17 million, including 200,000 from last quarter, but are still favourable, said Vince Galifi, Magna’s chief financial officer on an earnings call Thursday.“They are healthy volume levels. Sure it’s come off a bit, but some of them are at really good levels. The macroeconomic environment in the United States is still very favourable.”The forecast for European production was lowered to 22.5 million from 22.6 million.The company is also seeing some slowing in the Chinese market, with an expected dip of about six per cent next quarter compared with last year.So far tariffs on steel and aluminum as well as on Chinese exports have not had a dramatic impact, but could get worse said company CEO Don Walker.He said his expectation would be that steel and aluminum tariffs would be gone by the end of the year but that there is much that remains unknown.“There is a lot of moving pieces here. If they remain longer, it will make more pressure to the supply chain, we’re going to have more discussions with our customers.”The company, which reports in US dollars, said tariffs cost it about US$8 million in the quarter. If tariffs remain into next year costs could go to $15 million, said Galifi.“That impact could be about $15 million a quarter, but again what happens if the tariffs go to 25 per cent, if the U.S. tariffs go away, the retaliatory tariffs go away, there’s a whole bunch of open questions at this point.”The Aurora, Ont.-based company said Thursday it earned $554 million or $1.62 per share for the quarter ended Sept. 30, up from $512 million or $1.38 per share a year ago.Revenue totalled nearly $9.62 billion, up from $8.86 billion in the same quarter last year.Magna International Inc. reported its third-quarter profit grew compared with a year ago as revenue also climbed higher, but the auto parts maker trimmed the outlook for the year.In its outlook, the company now expects total sales between $40.3 billion and $41.4 billion this year, down from between $40.3 million and $42.5 billion.Magna also lowered its profit expectations for 2018 to between $2.3 billion and $2.4 billion, compared with its earlier forecast of between $2.3 billion and $2.5 billion.Companies in this story: (TSX:MG)last_img read more

Come to Sri Lanka to know the truth – MR

Rajapaksa had commenced his two-day pilgrimage to India with a visit to Mahabodhi temple in Bodh Gaya in Bihar, where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment.Various Tamil Nadu parties, including DMK and MDMK, staged protests charging him with making efforts to “annihilate” the ethnic Tamils in the island republic. Leading the protest in Chennai on Friday, DMK chief M Karunanidhi, whose party is a key UPA ally, had alleged Rajapaksa was not only attempting to “annihilate” Tamils but also the Tamil language. Rajapaksa had arrived in Tirupati from Bodh Gaya on Friday evening on a 17-hour pilgrimage amid protest by activists of DMK, MDMK and some outfits from Tamil Nadu who were taken into preventive custody. Amid tight security, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his wife Shiranthi on Saturday offered worship at the famous hill shrine of Lord Venkateswara near Tirupati. Rajapaksa was in the temple for about 40 minutes.Before offering worship, he took part in the ‘Suprabhatha’ recitation ritual in the sanctum sanctorum, temple sources said. Later, the temple priests blessed the couple while the shrine’s management presented them with a sacred silk cloth, prasadam and holy water. Reacting to the widespread protests against his visit, Rajapaksa said in a democratic country like India every body has the right to protest. “You people come to Sri Lanka to know the truth….,” he said. The protest was held under the banner of the Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation, which Karunanidhi had revived some months ago. Tight security arrangements had been put in place at the airport, along the 33-km road from the airport to Tirumala. (Ibn live) read more

Business Highlights

___Justice Department launches antitrust probe of Big TechWASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Justice Department says it is opening a sweeping antitrust investigation of big technology companies and whether their online platforms have hurt competition, suppressed innovation or otherwise harmed consumers. It comes as a growing number of lawmakers have called for stricter regulation or even breaking up of the big tech companies, which have come under intense scrutiny following a series of scandals that compromised users’ privacy.___US economy dodges the threat of painful spending cutsWASHINGTON (AP) — The budget agreement that congressional leaders and President Donald Trump forged late Monday spared the economy from a series of deep spending cuts that were set to take effect under a far-reaching budget law enacted in 2011. The agreement nullified those cuts and boosted spending by $320 billion over two years. Still, that additional spending isn’t expected to deliver a significant jolt to the economy.___Senators unveil compromise to reduce drug costs for seniorsWASHINGTON (AP) — Two senior senators — one Republican, one Democrat — are unveiling a rare compromise to reduce prescription drug costs for millions of Medicare recipients, while saving money for federal and state taxpayers. Staffers for Iowa Republican Charles Grassley and Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden said Tuesday they’re hoping for a committee vote this week. The bill for the first time would limit on drug copays for people on Medicare, capping the patient’s out-of-pocket costs at $3,100 a year.___Trump sues House panel, NY to protect state tax returnsNEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump is suing the House Ways and Means Committee and New York state officials to prevent his state tax returns from being turned over to the congressional committee. The lawsuit, which was filed Tuesday in Washington, seeks an injection to block a new state law. The law, which went into effect earlier this month, would allow the Democratic-controlled House and Ways Means Committee to obtain the returns.___Johnson’s win elevates ‘no-deal’ Brexit risks to UK economyLONDON (AP) — With Boris Johnson confirmed as the next leader of the Conservative Party and British prime minister, the outlook for the British economy has become murkier — and potentially more perilous. Johnson’s victory has made it more likely that Britain could leave the European Union on Halloween without a withdrawal agreement, leading to tariffs and disruptions to trade.___Coke shares hit all-time high as new drinks win customersATLANTA (AP) — Coca-Cola shares rose to a record high after the company upped its full-year revenue expectations and said its new healthier drinks and iced coffees are winning customers. Shares of Coca-Cola Co. rose 5% to $53.82 in early trading Tuesday.___Opposition rallies as Venezuela blackout eases in some areasCARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela’s opposition sought to harness anger over a massive blackout that deepened hardship nationwide, but turnout at a Caracas demonstration was relatively modest as many Venezuelans despair of an imminent solution to their plight. Lights came back on in parts of the capital and other areas of Venezuela overnight following a nine-hour outage that the government blamed on an “electromagnetic attack” against the power grid. Government opponents say mismanagement and corruption are to blame.___UPS adds pickup spots at retailers, seeks to fly more dronesNEW YORK (AP) — United Parcel Service is responding to the growth in online shopping and pressures for speedy delivery by seeking to expand its drone deliveries and adding thousands of new spots where customers can pick up packages. The Atlanta-based package delivery giant says it is adding 12,000 new package pickup locations inside CVS, The Michaels Co. and Advance Auto Parts stores. It is also setting up a subsidiary that to expand its drone-delivery operations.___US home sales fall 1.7% with prices high and supply lowWASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home sales tumbled 1.7% in June. Rising prices and scarce inventory have locked out many Americans from ownership. The National Association of Realtors says that homes sold last month at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 5.27 million units. Sales have shriveled 2.2% over the past 12 months, despite positives such as a robust job market and falling mortgage rates.___FDA warns top marijuana company for making CBD health claimsU.S. regulators have issued a warning to a leading marijuana company for making unproven health claims about CBD. The Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday it has warned Curaleaf Inc., of Wakefield, Massachusetts, for illegally selling unapproved drugs. The company says it will work with the FDA to resolve the issues.___Stocks close higher following solid earnings resultsNEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks marched broadly higher on Wall Street Tuesday as several major companies reported solid second quarter results. Investors pushed stocks closer to the record highs they reached just over a week ago. Coca-Cola, Stanley Black & Decker and Hasbro all soared after beating Wall Street’s profit forecasts. JPMorgan Chase and several other banks gained ground as bond yields rose. Utilities lagged.___The S&P 500 index rose 20.44 points, or 0.7%, to 3,005.47. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 177.29 points, or 0.7%, to 27,349.19. The Nasdaq composite rose 47.27 points, or 0.6%, to 8,251.40. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks rose 10.18 points, or 0.7%, to 1,554.96.The Associated Press read more

World Court ruling on Israeli barrier forwarded to UN General Assembly

After the International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued today its advisory opinion on the Israeli-built barrier in the occupied Palestinian territory, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan forwarded the decision to the UN General Assembly, which had requested the Court’s advice on the legality of the structure.The Hague-based ICJ said on Friday that the construction of the barrier was “contrary to international law” and that Israel was “under an obligation to cease the works of construction of the wall” and to “dismantle forthwith” the structure situated in the occupied Palestinian territory, including in and around East Jerusalem.In a statement issued in Bangkok, where the Secretary-General is attending a meeting on AIDS, a UN spokesman said Mr. Annan received the opinion from the Court and had forwarded it to the General Assembly, “which will determine how to proceed on this matter.”In its opinion, the ICJ – the principal judicial organ of the UN – also said the General Assembly and the Security Council should consider what steps are necessary “to bring to an end the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall.”Last December, the General Assembly adopted a resolution during an emergency special session asking the ICJ to urgently render its opinion on “the legal consequences of the construction of a wall in occupied Palestinian territory.” read more

Judges reserve decision on whether to quash Northern Gateway pipeline approval

VANCOUVER – The fate of the Northern Gateway pipeline project is now in the hands of a trio of Federal Appeal Court judges who reserved their decision on whether to uphold or quash the government’s approval of the controversial project.Over six days of legal arguments in Vancouver, the court heard the government didn’t get aboriginal consent or consider the impact on the environment when it approved the project, while proponents claimed a decision to overturn the pipeline approval would kill the project.The government approved the $7-billion Enbridge (TSX:ENB) Northern Gateway project in June 2014 with 209 conditions, following the recommendations made by a review panel considering the environmental impacts of the interprovincial pipeline.A collection of First Nations, environmental groups and a labour union launched the appeal, asserting that the panel tasked with reviewing the pipeline proposal didn’t adequately consult with aboriginal groups nor sufficiently consider the environmental impact.“At its heart, the duty to fair consultation is a conversation to reach mutual understanding and the Crown simply failed to do that,” said lawyer Robert Janes, speaking on behalf of the First Nations.“What could have been used here was a bit more diplomacy rather than what I would say is the somewhat dishonourable approach that the Government of Canada took to dealing with the core issues of title and governance rights.”Janes also dismissed the suggestion that First Nations’ concerns could be addressed further along in the regulatory review process.“The submissions made by Canada and Northern Gateway that, like Orphan Annie looking forward to tomorrow, the real consultation is yet to come simply cannot be sustained,” he said.The project’s proponents have argued throughout the appeal that the review process was thorough, fair and reasonable.Lewis Manning, lawyer for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, which is an intervener in the proceedings, told the court the Joint Review Panel made “every conceivable effort” to accommodate participation and did its best to mitigate concerns.“That some parties chose not to participate is truly a shame,” he said. “Those who didn’t participate in the process lost the opportunity to make their views known.”Federal government lawyer Jan Brongers acknowledged there might have been flaws in the process, but he raised the question of how much imperfection should be allowed.“It would be hard to imagine a truly perfect consultation,” he said. “In our submission the process was reasonable.“Detailed information was provided to the First Nations about the impacts the project would have. They had an opportunity to be heard. Their concerns were taken seriously,” he said. “They were not dismissed out of hand, and accommodation measures were implemented where possible. And when not, an explanation was given.”In a statement released Thursday, Northern Gateway president John Carruthers said the company still has more work to do to secure aboriginal support.“Northern Gateway is open to change,” said Carruthers. “We will continue to adapt and address First Nation and Métis concerns as they arise and seek opportunities for meaningful, respectful dialogue with all groups.”Northern Gateway would see a 1,177-kilometre double pipeline installed that would carry diluted bitumen from Alberta’s oilsands to B.C.’s coastline for export overseas.The company estimates it would boost Canada’s gross domestic product by $300 billion over 30 years, as well as provide employment opportunities and sizable tax and royalty revenues.— Follow @gwomand on TwitterNote to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version misspelled Robert Janes’s name. Judges reserve decision on whether to quash Northern Gateway pipeline approval by Geordon Omand, The Canadian Press Posted Oct 8, 2015 12:49 pm MDT Last Updated Oct 9, 2015 at 7:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

Benefits of Indian cash overhaul elusive as deadline passes

Benefits of Indian cash overhaul elusive as deadline passes NEW DELHI – Fifty days ago, India yanked most of its currency from circulation without warning, jolting the economy and leaving most citizens scrambling for cash. As the deadline for exchanging the devalued 500- and 1,000-rupee notes for new ones hit on Friday, many Indians were still stuck waiting in long bank lines.Empty ATMs and ever-changing rules prevented people from withdrawing money, and many small, cash-reliant businesses from cinemas to neighbourhood grocery stores suffered huge losses or went under.Despite those problems, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his Nov. 8 demonetization decree succeeded in uncovering tax evasion and cracking down on graft. The Indian government is urging patience, insisting it’s playing a long game that will eventually modernize Indian society and benefit the poor.So far, despite the widespread inconvenience and costs, most of the country’s 1.25 billion citizens appear to be taking Modi’s word for it.Here are a few things to know about India’s massive cash overhaul:___HARDSHIP FOR THE POORModi’s announcement that 500 and 1,000 rupee bills — making up 86 per cent of India’s currency — were no longer legal tender has posed an enormous hardship for millions of people who use cash for everything from salaries to cellphone charges.Almost immediately, serpentine lines appeared at banks and ATMs as people waited hours to deposit or exchange old currency notes for new bills. Since authorities only began printing the new bills after the policy was announced, demand vastly exceeds supply and cash machines often run dry. Daily commerce in essentials including food, medicine and transportation screeched almost to a halt.Worst affected were the country’s hundreds of millions of farmers, produce vendors, small shop owners and daily-wage labourers who usually are paid in cash at the end of a day’s work. Many lost their jobs as small businesses shut down, compounding their poverty.Pankaj Aggarwal, owner of a clothing shop in the Old Delhi neighbourhood of Chandni Chowk, says his sales crashed by 70 per cent.“You can imagine what our business is like now. It will be some time before our sales normalize,” he said.Modi appears to have succeeded in promoting the cash overhaul as a “pro-poor” policy, tapping into deep anger among the have-nots toward wealthy elites.“The first two months have been so bad for us, we don’t even have enough money to buy food,” said daily wage labourer Neeraj Mishra, 35. “Overall, I think Modi has done some good. People with a lot of money are the ones who have been troubled. I don’t have enough cash for it to bother me much.”Political scientist Sreeram Chaulia, dean of the Jindal School of International Affairs in New Delhi, describes the strategy as “classic populism.”“Some people are outraged, but are hesitant to come out and say it because they don’t want to be branded as anti-national or self-centred,” he said.___A BRUISED ECONOMYThe wide impact of the demonetization won’t be known until the government issues its next quarterly GDP figures in February, but the Reserve Bank of India already has shaved half a per cent from this year’s GDP growth forecast, to 7.1 per cent.Since domestic commerce drives most economic activity, analysts have expressed alarm over the scale of economic and social disruption and are warning a contraction is likely in coming quarters.“The countless unpredictable consequences that will continue to show in the coming weeks and months mean that it is, in effect, a huge gamble,” said Jan Zalewski, an Asia expert with the Britain-based risk assessment firm Verisk Maplecroft. “Inflicting such huge costs for what is an uncertain outcome is problematic.”Real estate, tourism, transportation and gold and gems have been hit the hardest, along with informal sectors that rely mostly on cash.Prices are forecast to rise since the cash crunch is pinching supplies of all sorts of goods.The country’s banks, however, are seeing banner business. The central bank said old notes worth 13 trillion rupees ($191 billion) had been deposited as of Dec. 10, with many more expected by Friday’s deadline.That should improve bank liquidity and in turn encourage more lending to boost economic growth.___MIXED MESSAGES, CHAOTIC RULESThe Finance Ministry and central bank have issued at least 60 different directives, some of them contradictory, about such issues as how much money can be withdrawn from bank accounts and which documents are needed for depositing old cash. The mixed messages have compounded the overall chaos and shaken investors’ confidence.“There appears to be less trust in many institutions, including the Reserve Bank and other banks. That is one important behavioural change that has been ushered in,” said Mihir Sharma, senior fellow at the Observer Research Foundation, a New Delhi-based think-tank .Financial experts are baffled about how to evaluate the move.“One of the major problems with the demonetization move is that success is so difficult to measure,” Zalewski said. “In and of itself, it can’t end black money, stop terrorism funding and the counterfeiting of notes.”___NEW BILLS, OLD HABITSThe idea that swapping old currency notes for new ones would wipe out tax evasion has already been proven naive. Over the last seven weeks, Indian income tax authorities uncovered more than 32 billion rupees ($477 million) in undeclared wealth held in new notes, foreign currency, gold and other commodities.The Finance Ministry found enormous stashes of new currency bills secreted away by corrupt bank managers. Axis Bank’s CEO Shikha Sharma said she was “embarrassed and upset” after it was found managers at the bank had used the stolen funds to fake accounts and launder customers’ untaxed savings for a premium.___A GLOBAL TREND?A month after Modi scrapped the high-denomination notes, Venezuela’s president announced that the 100-bolivar notes that account for more than three-quarters of the country’s cash would be taken out of circulation.Skyrocketing inflation had taken the value of the Venezuelan notes to 2 U.S. cents from 10 cents in the past year.But while India’s cash overhaul has been relatively peaceful, Venezuela’s was not.When no new bolivar notes appeared to replace the old ones, riots and looting erupted in towns across Venezuela, whose economy was already in shambles. Hundreds of grocery stores were damaged or destroyed. Ultimately, the government extended use of the old 100-bolivar notes until Jan. 2.Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro declared the abrupt cash overhaul an economic triumph, claiming people were racing to deposit the old notes into banks. He did not say how much was deposited.In Pakistan, opposition lawmakers passed a resolution last week calling for the withdrawal of the country’s highest-denomination note from circulation. The government rejected that move, saying there was no need to discontinue the country’s 5,000-rupee note, worth about $48.“The very notion of cancellation of such convenience in transactions is preposterous and unequivocally denied,” the Finance Ministry said in a statement.___Associated Press writers Fabiola Sanchez in Caracas and Munir Ahmed in Islamabad contributed to this report.Follow Katy Daigle and Nirmala George at www.twitter.com/katydaigle and www.twitter.com/NirmalaGeorge1 by Katy Daigle And Nirmala George, The Associated Press Posted Dec 30, 2016 6:14 am MDT Last Updated Dec 30, 2016 at 7:00 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

Woman sentenced to five months in jail for vehicular assaultDUI

first_imgA Vancouver woman who was driving under the influence when she crashed head-on into another vehicle on Northeast Fourth Plain Boulevard in November was sentenced Tuesday to five months in jail, court records show.Susan L. Johnson, 51, pleaded guilty in Clark County Superior Court to vehicular assault-DUI in connection with the Nov. 13 collision. She may be able to serve her sentence through the jail’s work-release program, which allows inmates to work outside in the community and be confined when they’re not working.Police responded shortly after 6:30 p.m. to Northeast Fourth Plain Boulevard and Northeast 131st Avenue and saw fire personnel working to extricate the driver from a 1999 Buick Park Avenue, according to a probable cause affidavit. That driver, identified in court records as David McMullin, suffered a broken left femur.Two witnesses told police the crash was caused by Johnson, who was driving a Nissan Altima, the affidavit states.Police said Johnson smelled strongly of alcohol and had slurred speech and bloodshot, watery eyes, according to court documents. Johnson was adamant that McMullin’s vehicle struck hers. However, she admitted to drinking beer several hours before the crash and failed a field sobriety test, court records said.A preliminary breath test estimated she had a blood-alcohol level of 0.243 percent more than an hour after the crash, the affidavit shows, three times the legal limit of 0.08 percent.last_img read more

Top Fisheries Officials Trial Adjourned to October

first_imgBy Kebba JeffangThe trial of nine senior fisheries officials at the high court in Banjul is differed to the 26th October 2015 following the court’s vacation period. During the proceedings yesterday, Wednesday, 29th July 2015, before Justice Ateh Abi, it was expected that a new indictment would be filed as announced earlier by the prosecution headed by Director of Public Prosecution (DPP).The accused persons are Amadou Saine, former Permanent Secretary, Nfamara Dampha, former Director of Fisheries, Famara Darboe, former acting Director of Fisheries, Dr.Bamba Banja, former Permanent Secretary, Kebba Konjira, Joseph Gabiddon, Musa Jawla, Abdoulie Njie and Momodou Njie.In a crowded courtroom, the clerk of the court announced that “the case of Amadou Saine and others has been adjourned to 26th October, 2015 at noon.”The accused persons and their defence counsels were also seen in court.Earlier, the DPP had told the court that due to some developments and investigations going on regarding the case, they could not file a new bill of indictment yet. He told the court that he needed two weeks to file a new indictment which was granted to him. After the period had passed, the DPP again told the court on the 2nd June that only three people will be charged in the new bill of indictment. However, he did not disclose the names of the three concerned former fisheries officials but only added that investigations are ongoing. Since then, a new indictment has not been filed before the court.]]>last_img read more

Oregon fighter wing plans night training this week

first_imgThe Oregon Air National Guard’s 142nd Fighter Wing will be conducting routine F-15 night flying training tonight through Thursday.The missions allow the wing to stay current with mandatory Air Force requirements. Night flying is conducted almost monthly as it provides essential training for nighttime maneuvers. Training flights will be completed each evening before 10 p.m. Since Sept. 11, 2001, the 142nd Fighter Wing has flown more than 47,000 hours in support of the Aerospace Control Alert mission to ensure the Pacific Northwest skies remain safe.last_img read more

Rep Young suggests guns couldve saved Jews during Holocaust

first_imgU.S. Rep. Don Young. (Photo by Wesley Early, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage)Speaking at a conference in Juneau last week, Alaska Congressman Don Young argued against gun control by suggesting Jews might not have died in the Holocaust if they had been armed.Listen now“How many millions of people were shot and killed because they were unarmed? Fifty million in Russia,” Young said. “How many Jews were put in the ovens because they were unarmed?”The recording was provided by Dimitri Shein, an Anchorage  Democrat who is running for Young’s seat. Shein was in the audience for Young’s speech to the Alaska Municipal League and he asked Young about school safety, which prompted Young to bring up the Holocaust.The argument that gun control allowed the rise of Hitler has circulated among gun-rights advocates for several years.Here’s CNN’s Wolf Blitzer challenging then-presidential candidate Ben Carson about it in 2015:“ –So what is your point: If there had been guns in Germany, there might not have been a Holocaust?” Blitzer asked.“That was only one of the countries I mentioned,” Carson retorted. “There were a number of countries where tyranny reigns and before it happened they disarmed the people.”A 1938 Nazi law prohibited Jews from owning weapons, but there were numerous instances of armed Jewish resistance during the war.The Anti-Defamation League says it’s ludicrous to claim Germany’s Jews could have stopped the Third Reich with personal firearms when the military might of entire European countries could not.Congressman Young is a long-time board member of the National Rifle Association. He said last week he favors allowing teachers to carry firearms. He points to video games and the breakdown of families as possible causes of school violence.last_img read more

MEEKOSAM Joint Collector unhappy over officials attitude

first_imgEluru: Joint Collector M Venugopala Reddy expressed his displeasure over the attitude of the officials in shying away from their responsibility of solving representations given by people at Meekosam programme by simply transferring the issue to another department or simply showing it as resolved. Addressing the coordination committee meeting here on Monday, he said that while 204 representations were received from people during Meekosam on June 17, the officials wrongly showed in their report that 136 of them were resolved. Any representation can be said resolved when it is addressed as the people desired while submitting the representation, he said. Also Read – Women docs appointed in key posts in Tirupati Advertise With Us He said some officials have been lacking commitment to solve people’s problems and showing zero reports. In any case the officials could not solve the petition by Friday of the same week, they can show the problem under pending category. Justice should be done to the applicants who come with hope and confidence in the system. If the officials runaway from their responsibility, how can the problems be resolved, he questioned. He asked the officials to ensure all the unresolved petitions readdressed providing a solution to the applicants.last_img read more

BLocal Intiative Aims to Help Local Minority and Women Owned Businesses

first_imgBack Row: Joe Sullivan (CEO Legg Mason), Bishop Miles (Zion Baptist Church), Michael Cryor (CEO OneBaltimore), Calvin Butler (CEO BGE), Neil Jurgens (VP Global Corporate Real Estate & Campus Under Armour) and Ron Peterson (Johns Hopkins Hospital & Health System President)  Front Row: Ron Daniels (JHU President), Elijah Cummings, Diane Bell-McKoy (ABC President), Pastor Prentice, Jody L. Clark (COO Beatty Development Group)On April 4, 25 businesses in the Baltimore metropolitan area came together at the Zion Baptist Church in Baltimore to announce the launch of the new BLocal initiative with the goal of investing millions into the city’s most underserved neighborhoods through local and minority hiring, buying and building.BLocal, which includes HopkinsLocal, the extensive economic inclusion plan launched in 2015 by Johns Hopkins University, will inject an estimated $69 million into targeted areas over the next three years. This initial investment is intended to support the purchase of goods and services from area vendors and the construction and renovation of new projects.“HopkinsLocal is our comprehensive approach to leverage Johns Hopkins’ economic power to do more to build, buy, and hire locally,” JHU President Ronald J. Daniels said in a statement. “Building on that promise, BLocal aims to help bolster a local economy, not on a project-by-project basis, but through a collective, deep-seated change approach.”Daniels is the co-chair of the BLocal initiative along with Ronald R. Peterson, president of Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System, and Calvin G. Butler Jr., chief executive officer of BGE.“BGE’s roots in Baltimore go back 200 years and we are committed to the city’s stability, economic vitality and community spirit,” said Butler. “Our commitment is made stronger by joining with others who care deeply for Baltimore to share knowledge and help direct resources where they make the biggest difference. BLocal gives us a platform to make important and meaningful connections.”the BLocal companies are projecting an opening investment of $53 million in renovation and construction projects, and another $16 million in goods and services purchased from businesses headed by local and MWBEs (Minority and Women Business Enterprises) through 2019. Once more of the BLocal collaborators ascertain how much they will invest in the initiative and in what specific areas, that preliminary investment is expected to increase.Along with the university and Hopkins’ medical institutions, some of the participating businesses include 1st Mariner Bank, BGE, Brown Advisory, The Cordish Companies, DLA Piper, KPMG, Legg Mason, M&T Bank, OneBaltimore, T. Rowe Price, Under Armour and Whiting-Turner. All the partners are pledging to expand their investment in Baltimore by spending more on design and construction contracts with local, minority-owned and women-owned businesses, hiring from distressed communities and spending more purchasing dollars with the same kinds of businesses.“I applaud the leadership of Johns Hopkins and the companies who have committed to the BLocal initiative,” Congressman Elijah E. Cummings said. “This innovative partnership will help rebuild Baltimore by providing real economic opportunity to our residents.”Congressman Cummings was on hand for the announcement as many of the targeted areas fail within his 7TH congressional district.One growth and development opportunity for Baltimore residents and businesses has already come from this initiative. A number of the 25 companies have come together to offer a Contractor’s College that will provide construction and business training for small, local – minority owned, women owned and disadvantaged – Baltimore based businesses.  This program is intended to help these firms grow the key competencies and relationships necessary to drive future growth in Baltimore City.last_img read more