Apparently incommunicado when VVS Laxman tried contacting him before announcing retirement, Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni paid rich tribute to the veteran batsman saying that his absence would be felt by the entire team.”The whole team will miss you VVS. One of the best human being I have ever met in my life. Spent a lot of time with him while batting and fielding and the chat would always be about the team. Will miss him whenever the team cuts cake, personally I will really miss you Lachu bhai,” Dhoni tweeted.On Saturday, while announcing his immediate retirement despite being selected for the upcoming two-Test series against New Zealand, Laxman had raised a few eyebrows by stating that he could not contact Dhoni despite trying.”I did try to get in touch with Dhoni but as you know it’s very difficult to reach him,” Laxman had said with a smile during an emotional press conference in Hyderabad.Meanwhile, tributes poured in for the stylish right-hander with not just cricketers but athletes from other sports lauding him.”Thank you for all the memories VVS. Cricket world will mourn, Aussie cricket will celebrate,” tweeted tennis star Mahesh Bhupathi.”India will miss VVS Laxman, rock solid batsman, a great ambassador for cricket and above all one of the best human beings I have met,” added Olympic silver-medallist shooter Rajyavardhan Rathore.Young Indian batsman Virat Kohli also took to twitter to applaud the veteran.”A very very special cricketer and a more special person. A true inspiration and class personified! You will be missed Laxman bhai. Take a bow,” he said.advertisement
Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town “Ultimately, Anthony made it clear to us that he wants to play and he gives our team the best opportunity to win games. Moreover, the Pelicans want to preserve the integrity of the game and align our organization with NBA policies,” Pelicans general manager Dell Demps said in a statement. “We believe Anthony playing upholds the values that are in the best interest of the NBA and its fans. We look forward to seeing Anthony in a Pelicans uniform again soon.”The Pelicans initially appeared inclined to move on without Davis and focus on the players who might help them going forward. Davis’ image has been removed from promotional materials, the club’s official website and even a team hype video that plays before home games on the Smoothie King Center’s expansive scoreboard screens hanging above the court.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesBut benching a healthy player could potentially infringe on NBA rules designed to protect the investments of ticket holders and broadcast partners alike against the prospects of star players being arbitrarily rested.Those rules, for example, prohibit clubs from “resting healthy players for any high-profile, nationally televised game.” Doing so, the rules state, “will constitute conduct prejudicial or detrimental to the NBA and result in a fine of at least $100,000.” MOST READ Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations — Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry has said the club had decided not to play Davis before Thursday’s trading deadline. However, he had offered no indication of what the club would do if Davis remained in New Orleans for the rest of the season.—Giving Davis playing time potentially creates an awkward situation in the locker room because he is essentially a lame-duck star. Also, his playing time could come at the expense of players the Pelicans want to develop for the future.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next — It would be in the Pelicans’ interest to avoid any risk of a basketball-related injury to Davis, given the likelihood of re-engaging a number of teams in trade talks after the season.—The market for Davis becomes clearer after the NBA draft lottery, when all teams’ 2019 picks have more concrete trade value.— In addition, the market for Davis should improve when the Boston Celtics are able to strengthen trade offers they make this summer.Boston, which has a stockpile of draft picks and promising young players as trade bait, is not eligible to trade for Davis under NBA rules until July 1, unless the Celtics also trade away Kyrie Irving. Irving is a factor because of what’s known as the Rose Rule, which says NBA teams cannot trade for more than one player who has signed an extension. Irving currently is playing under an extension signed with Cleveland that has an option year after this season, meaning it could be renegotiated in a way that also allows Boston to bid for Davis.—The NBA Players Association could have gotten involved on Davis’ behalf if he had been benched against his wishes.The union did not return messages left by The Associated Press on Thursday. Paul, who represents Davis, also declined comment.PLAYING DAVIS— Playing Davis helps the Pelicans put the best product on the court for fans in the stands and give them the best chance to win. New Orleans entered Thursday night’s action six games out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference with 27 games left.— The decision reduced the odds of a fight between the Pelicans and the union or discipline from the NBA.— Davis appears healthy. Before New Orleans defeated the Bulls in Chicago on Wednesday night, he was not on the club’s injury report, meaning he was technically available to play after recovering from a Jan. 18 sprain of his left index finger that had sidelined him the previous eight games. He was not listed on the Pelicans’ injury report released on Thursday afternoon in advance of the game against the Timberwolves. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants LATEST STORIES Triple-double magic from Russell Westbrook leads Thunder past Grizzlies SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting The Pelicans play next on Friday night at home against Minnesota, and the game is slated for national television.There is a gray area in that the rules provide for exceptions in “unusual circumstances,” but the Pelicans elected not to force the NBA into a position of having to rule on whether Davis’ public trade request through his agent, Rich Paul, constituted an unusual circumstance in this case.Public trade requests are also banned by NBA rules, and Davis was fined $50,000.Here are some other considerations the Pelicans had to weigh:SITTING DAVISADVERTISEMENT ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:48NBA: Kawhi, George seek more for Clippers than beating Lakers01:08Huge Toronto crowd celebrates Raptors’ historic win02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis, left, sits on the bench with center Julius Randle, guard E’Twaun Moore, second right, and guard Elfrid Payton, right, in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers in New Orleans, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)NEW ORLEANS — After Anthony Davis found out he wouldn’t be traded Thursday, the six-time All-Star learned the New Orleans Pelicans will let him suit up for the remainder of the season.While Davis had stated publicly that he’s ready to move on from New Orleans, he also had said he was prepared to play for the Pelicans as long as he remained under contract with them.ADVERTISEMENT View comments
SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations Terms of the Nike deal were not disclosed.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting A different approach LATEST STORIES Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:2760-40 sharing ‘fair’ as China will spend for WPS exploration—Esperon02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants In this Sunday Aug. 26, 2018 photo, the China eSports team play Taiwan in the eSports exhibition at the 18th Asian Games Arena of Valor, Britama Arena, Jakarta. (Dhemas Reviyanto,INASGOC via AP)Nike has made another push into the eSports market, partnering with China’s premier “League of Legends” circuit to become its official provider of apparel and footwear.The traditional sports brand announced a four-year deal Thursday with Legends Pro League in China, giving Nike a presence with one of the most watched eSports leagues in the world. The move comes after Nike tabbed Chinese “League of Legends” player Jian “Uzi” Zihao as its first eSports ambassador in October and used him in a marketing campaign alongside LeBron James.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Lacson backs proposal to elect president and vice president in tandem It’s a promising sign for “League of Legends” publisher Riot Games, which revealed concerns over revenues for its eSports leagues last summer despite massive global popularity — the league reported 99.6 million unique viewers for its world championship match last fall, just shy of the 100.7 million that tuned in for this year’s Super Bowl.Major advertising partners had been hard to come by, but Riot has signed deals with Nike and Mastercard in the past six months, creating new streams of revenue with non-endemic brands even after the company contended with backlash over claims it has fostered a sexist culture last summer.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesNike will design, produce and distribute jerseys and footwear for all 16 LPL teams and will aid in eSports science research with customized physical training programs for gamers.Similar apparel deals have become common between sports brands and individual eSports teams, and the Overwatch League recently added Fanatics as its official apparel provider, but the Nike-LPL partnership is the most prestigious pairing to date and yet another high watermark for the eSports boom. MOST READ P2.5 B shabu seized in Makati sting, Chinese national nabbed
As many as five Argentine cities would host World Cup 2030 matches if a joint South American bid were to be successful, officials said.In addition to “five or six” games in Argentina, there would be three or four fixtures in Chile and two each in Uruguay and Paraguay, government officials from Chile said on Wednesday, reports Xinhua news agency.It was announced after a meeting of organizers in the Chilean capital Santiago on Wednesday. Talks to coordinate the candidacy will resume in Paraguay’s capital Asuncion in July.”Our first goal is to put together a viable proposal that pleases the world,” Chilean sports minister Paulino Kantor said.The 2030 tourney will mark 100 years of Uruguay winning the inaugural World Cup as hosts.Argentina and Uruguay announced plans to vie for the event two years ago before Paraguay was added to the candidacy in October 2017. Chile became the fourth country to be included in February.The South American effort faces competition from a British-Irish proposal and a group comprising Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia.Argentina, Chile and Uruguay have each staged the World Cup in 1978, 1962 and 1930, respectively.Also Read | Germany confirm injured Toni Kroos to miss next two Euro 2020 qualifiersAlso Read | FIFA working on solution for Women’s World Cup ticketing issueAlso See
Narendra Modi is ready with a refurbished Union cabinet in his second term as the prime minister on the back of a massive mandate in the Lok Sabha election with the BJP winning 303 seats on its own and the National Democratic Alliance crossing the 350 mark.PM Modi has inducted several new faces in the government. The biggest surprise was induction of former foreign secretary S Jaishankar in the Union cabinet.Among those missing from the Modi’s new cabinet are Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj, both having opted out of the government citing health reasons. Uma Bharati, another Union minister in the previous government, also decided not to contest Lok Sabha eleciton and was not included in the new cabinet.On the other hand, there were many surprises in omission. PM Modi dropped many familiar faces of the previous government. Here are some of them:Maneka Gandhi: Weeks after courted controversy during the Lok Sabha election when she said Muslims should not approach her for work if they don’t vote for her in the polls, she found her name dropped from the list of ministers who took oath today. She was the women and child development minister in the previous government and was very active animal right activist.Jayant Sinha: He is the Lok Sabha MP from Hazaribagh parliamentary constituency in Jharkhand. He is the son of former BJP leader Yashwant Sinha, now a bitter critic of the Modi government. As MoS in the previous government, Jayant Sinha handled finance and civil aviation portfolios.advertisementSuresh Prabhu: Another surprise omission from the new Narendra Modi cabinet. In 2014, Suresh Prabhu had become a bone contention between the Shiv Sena and the BJP. Prabhu was a Shiv Sena leader back then but Narendra Modi wanted him in his cabinet. Prabhu quit Shiv Sena and the BJP made him as Rajya Sabha MP to have him in the Modi cabinet.Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore: A former soldier and Olympic medal winner, he was one of the young faces in the Modi government. He was given key portfolios of youth and sports, and also of information and broadcasting in the previous government. He played key role in pushing PM Modi’s flagship programme Khelo India in the previous government.Radha Mohan Singh: He was a surprise entry as the cabinet rank minister for agriculture. He is considered as one of the under-performing ministers of the previous Modi government. He failed to find ways to rescue agriculture from the crisis it is steeped in. Farm crisis, in fact, worsened under his watch.Jagat Prakash Nadda: He is said to be the next BJP president. In the previous government, JP Nadda maintained a low profile but handled the portfolio of health-implementing initiatives of PM Modi in the sector. Considered as a strong organisational leader, Nadda is tipped to be Amit Shah’s successor as the BJP president as the party eyes winning assembly elections in West Bengal, Maharashtra and Delhi over the next couple of years.Manoj Sinha: A low-profile but hard-working politician, who was praised for his handling of the railway ministry as MoS in the previous Narendra Modi government. He was left out of the Modi’s new cabinet owing to his loss in the Lok Sabha election.Anupriya Patel: As an MoS in the health and family welfare ministry, she failed to make a distinct mark during the five years of the previous government. Even though her party won two Lok Sabha seats, like 2014 polls, in the parliamentary election, Anupriya Patel was left out of the government.Among others who were dropped in the new cabinet are Jual Oram of the BJP and Anant Geete of the Shiv Sena.
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Chelsea defender Luiz: Sarri philosophy produced Crystal Palace winnerby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea defender David Luiz says N’Golo Kante’s winner at Crystal Palace came via manager Maurizio Sarri’s “philosophy”.The Brazil defender spotted Kante’s run and found him with a lofted pass, which the France midfielder chested down and shot left-footed under Palace goalkeeper Vicente Guaita.Luiz said, “It is never easy to play here or control it here especially when they play long balls but we did well.”We could have scored early but they also did a great match defensively which is why it was so difficult.”[The goal was about] the connection, about training every day and understanding the philosophy.”I just tried to put the ball in and time it for his run.”
Bayern Munich head coach Niko Kovac feels the strength of this year’s Bundesliga is part of the reason why his side are second in the table.Borussia Dortmund are six points clear at the top going into the winter break, with Bayern having been inconsistent under new coach Kovac.A run of five straight wins has cut Dortmund’s advantage, with Bayern appearing to be back on track in the last few weeks, while third-placed Borussia Monchengladbach have also impressed. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Bayern have won the title six years in a row and Kovac is relishing a battle with Dortmund over the second half of the campaign, which his side start at Hoffenheim on January 18.”I feel we’re the Bayern from the start of the season again, that we’ve restored our ease and confidence – and that the lads are fired up to give it everything and put up a fierce fight against Borussia Dortmund,” Kovac told Bayern’s official website.”It was a half year with many facets, very emotional, and certainly not boring. We had many good periods but also had to weather difficult ones. However, taken altogether we’re on a good track, and at the end of the day, our conclusion to the six months is positive.”Unfortunately we had a little barren spell. The coaching staff thought about it a lot: the reasons why. Maybe we allowed ourselves to be influenced too much by what was suggested: that we’re unbeatable and that we’ll clinch the championship title again with a huge cushion.”It creeps into your consciousness, and then everybody ends up lacking one or two per cent. In total that’s not enough. In my opinion, the Bundesliga is much more balanced and stronger than last year, which is why we had to fight. But the lads have recovered.”🗨️ “We’ve restored our ease and confidence.”📰 Niko #Kovac discusses the past few months, his hopes for 2019, and what the #FCBayern fans can expect next year:https://t.co/vj3pXZeAgg#FCBayern #MiaSanMia pic.twitter.com/NeSSpBcCZy— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) December 27, 2018Kovac was under pressure in October after a run of four games without a win in all competitions but the former Eintracht Frankfurt coach says he ignores criticism.”I kept it away as far as possible. I wanted to be free in my decisions, only relying on my impressions from training,” he continued. “I stuck to it until the winter break. I’ve basically passed up media reports for four to five months. I feel good this way, it isn’t a burden. Things are very fast-paced in this business.”What was good yesterday might be bad the next morning, so you have to keep calm. My coaches always told me that in the past. Fortunately, I had some very good coaches. I never panic.”Kovac’s tactical tinkering has been highlighted, with chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge criticising Bayern’s rotation, although he denied attempting to influence the coach’s decisions.”I’m not a friend of the rotation,” he told Kicker. “The football industry is a high-performance society, it’s about performance, and the best in training and in the game should probably be reused in the game that follows, to boost performance.”My point of view may also be related to my generation when the squads were even smaller when there were 11 top players who virtually always played.”We have had talks that Niko Kovac appreciates very much, but of course training, tactics and team composition are always exclusive to the coach. There is no discussion.”Kovac and Bayern could be without Rafinha for the 2019-20 season as he has confirmed he plans to leave the club when his contract expires at the end of this campaign.”My cycle at Bayern is coming to an end,” the 33-year-old Brazilian told SporTV. “There are many things that can happen in the next six months, but I think it’s my last year.”
Chandigarh: Haryana has taken initiative to take further the Jal Shakti vision of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, and in this series, it has been decided to launch Special Water Conservation Campaign in 81 Dark Zone blocks of the 19 districts of the state from July 1 to September 15, 2019, which will be run later in the entire state.This information was given in the meeting of State Level Monitoring Committee constituted for Jal Shakti campaign under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary, Keshni Anand Arora, here on Tuesday. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity!Keshni Anand Arora said under the flagship scheme of the Government of India, Jal Shakti Abhiyan, rainwater will be collected and recharging of ground water will be done. Apart from this, water will also be conserved by installing digital water meters. She said in order to make the campaign successful in the state, there is a need for quick planning and speedy implementation for which various sub-committees have been constituted. She said that a sub-committee has been constituted under Principal Secretary, Irrigation Department for water conservation and storage of rainwater, and renewal of traditional and other water bodies/tanks, and block and district water conservation scheme. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killedAnother sub-committee has been constituted under Secretary, Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Department for re-use and borwell recharge structure and a sub-committee for intensive forestation under Principal Secretary, Forests Department. Arora said that plantation is also an important goal under the Jal Shakt Campaign, which would have to be completed soon. She directed the officers to promote plantation of trees in three urban local bodies namely Gurugram, Faridabad and Karnal. Apart from this, with an estimate of 500 plants for every village, a target has been set to plant 30 lakh saplings in the rural areas of the state. It was informed in the meeting that for the recharging of ground water, such bore wells will be checked in the next few days, which can be recharged. For this, a target of 100 borewells has been fixed for every district. It was decided in the meeting that digital water meters will be installed on the tube wells of the Panchayat and Public Health Engineering Department to save water. For this, Central Controlling Station will be set up at the block level.
unite4:good, the global movement for humanity, and Variety announce the 2015 honorees for the 2nd annual unite4:humanity event to be held at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, CA on Thursday, February 19.The entertainment industry’s brightest stars from the worlds of film, television and music will be recognized and honored for their philanthropic commitment, alongside seven community heroes and leaders who are using their voices and platforms for positive change.Academy Award-winning actress Halle Berry will receive the Creative Conscience Award for her work with the Jenesee Center; global film star Ewan McGregor will receive the International Humanitarian Award for his work with UNICEF UK; Lauren Paul and three-time Emmy-winner Aaron Paul will receive the unite2gether Award for their work with the Kind Campaign; three-time Grammy-winner Pink – who will also perform at the exclusive soiree – will receive the Music Visionary Award for her work with No Kid Hungry; Hunger Games star Josh Hutcherson will receive the Young Humanitarian Award for his work with Straight But Not Narrow. Emmy-winner Christina Applegate will receive the Saint Vintage Love Cures Award for her work with Right Action for Women.The unite4:humanity event will serve as a pre-cursor to the conference4:change, which will take place on March 14 at the University of Southern California, and will explore ways in which media makers can integrate and inspire social change through their projects. Hosted by unite4:good, Variety and USC’s Media Institute for Social Change, the conference will bring together writers, producers, directors, actors, musicians and studio, network and broadcast executives into discussions and breakout groups aimed at transforming the enthusiasm for change generated at unite4:humanity into measurable action.“The mission of unite4:good is to empower people to give back and contribute to their communities through acts of kindness and service. unite4:humanity will honor exemplary community heroes, and also recognize leaders in the entertainment arena who have used their influential voices for good while making a personal commitment to service,” said Anthony Melikhov, global philanthropist and Founder of unite4:good. “The entertainment industry has the most powerful reach of any in the world, and through this event and the conference4:change, we hope to inspire the industry to use its collective creative voice to highlight social causes, develop more avenues for positive content and truly unite to make a difference around the globe.”U4G Group is the presenting sponsor of the exclusive soirée. Premier sponsors include Champagne Piper-Heidsieck and Saint Vintage. Official sponsors include Jet Edge International.For more information on the event and how to purchase tickets, please visit unite4good.org/unite4humanity/.
Advertisement Advertisement “Our current season is a celebration of Theatre Calgary’s first 50 years. With it, we are looking back at what the company has achieved in those 50 years. Now we must look ahead at what we can and must achieve.” READ MORETheatre Calgary to Present the World Premiere of MARY & MAX As Part of 2018-19 SeasonTheatre Calgary 2018-19 season is highlighted by three world premieres, which includes Theatre Calgary, in association with Cyndi and Matt Crandell presenting MARY AND MAX – A NEW MUSICAL, with music & lyrics by Bobby Cronin, book by Crystal Skillman, directed by the organization’s new artistic director, Stafford Arima, and orchestrations and music supervision by Anna Ebbesen.The musical will premiere at Theatre Calgary from October 14 through November 10, 2018. READ MORE Twitter Theatre Calgary’s new season features world premieres and choreography from a local ballet legendThe newly minted artistic director of Theatre Calgary hails its upcoming lineup as a season of new beginnings.“For me, it is definitely a beginning. This is the first time I’ve ever programmed a season of plays because I’ve never been an artistic director of a company before,” says Stafford Arima, who has been working internationally as a freelance director for more than 20 years.His first season, 2018-19, will be Theatre Calgary’s 51st. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: Facebook Advertisement
Washington D.C – During Morocco’s participation in the UN General Assembly and a few days before the Security Council’s meeting on the Western Sahara issue, Saad Eddine El Othmani, Morocco’s head of government, made a faux-pas that is likely to cause an unnecessary headache for Moroccan diplomacy.On the first day of the general debate, which started on Tuesday, September 25, El Othmani, representing King Mohammed VI, met an official from Kosovo. Kosovo is a state that declared its unilateral independence from Serbia in 2008 and still does not enjoy the recognition of the UN because of Russia’s opposition.Read Also: El Othmani Attempts to Rectify Tweet on Unnecessary Meeting with Kosovo Official at UN A rushed response is a bad responseEl Othmani’s meeting with the Kosovar official was a faux-pas for two reasons:First, El Othmani was ill-advised when he rushed to post a tweet in Arabic about his meeting with Kosovo’s foreign minister without being sure under what conditions a non-member can enter the UN headquarters’ premises during the high level debate of General Assembly. The head of government initially asserted that he met “an official from Kosovo who participates in the work of the UN General Assembly.” Perhaps because of his rush, El Othmani did not recall that Kosovo, as a non-member state of the UN, cannot participate in the UN General Assembly. Only UN members can take part in the UN General Assembly.The head of government should have waited a bit and weighed his words before tweeting. He could have said that he met with a Kosovar official “who was present at the UN Headquarters on the sidelines” or “on the occasion of the UN General Assembly.” Otherwise, he could have simply refrained from posting such a useless tweet.Smiles for the camera, denials for TwitterPerhaps because El Othmani realized the sensitivity of his meeting, he published another tweet in English: “A gentleman from Kosovo imposed his presence. We have not discussed bilateral relations neither establishing contacts. Morocco’s position is constant. Morocco does not recognize Kosovo and has no relation with it.”El Othmani sought to absolve himself of any diplomatic faux-pas by asserting that the Kosovar foreign minister imposed his presence on him and that they discussed no bilateral issues.However, El Othmani did not realize that the delegation accompanying the Kosovar official had taken a photo documenting the meeting between the two parties. The picture showed that the official did not impose his presence on the Moroccan official, but rather showed El Othmani smiling and speaking comfortably with Kosovo’s minister of foreign affairs.Perhaps El Othmani’s kindness and his good temper prompted him not to reject the Kosovar official’s request to meet for a few minutes. However, the heavy responsibility the head of the government is entrusted with does not require him to be kind and naive. It requires him to show rather wisdom, shrewdness, and caution to avoid any blunder that could affect the country’s strategic interests.Such a meeting could cause problems for Moroccan diplomacy and force Morocco to do damage control to avoid the spillover effects from such an ill-considered act.Read Also: Bolton Is Unlikely to Change US Position on Western Sahara What did the head of government achieve from that meeting, and what was the rationale behind it, especially while most heads of state and government are at UN Headquarters? Instead of meeting with the Kosovar official, he should have sought to meet with a representative of one of the countries that Morocco might need to strengthen its position on the Western Sahara issue.On the other hand, El Othmani’s advisers should have alerted him to the sensitivity of the meeting and the problems it could cause Morocco, or at least have advised him to refrain from tweeting about it.Moroccans have simply to put themselves in other people’s shoes. If we feel angry when a state official meets with a Polisario official, we should be aware that a meeting between a Moroccan official and a Kosovo official could raise eyebrows in Serbia and Russia—especially since El Othmani’s meeting, however informal it might be, came shortly after the Moroccan foreign minister, Nasser Bourita, met the Serbian president on September 12. During that meeting, the Serbian president reiterated his country’s support for Morocco’s territorial integrity.How would Morocco react if a Serbian official, or any official from other countries with which Morocco has cordial relations, met a representative of the Polisario Front in the UN headquarters lobby? The scenario would likely upset Morocco at the official level and could provoke a violent reaction from Moroccan public opinion.Although Kosovo is a country with its own national identity, history, religion, identity, and language, everyone knows that Morocco will not recognize Kosovo as long as the Western Sahara question is on the UN agenda and while Russia, a permanent member of the Security Council, rejects any international recognition of Kosovo. Despite Kosovo’s efforts to obtain a seat at the UN since its independence from Serbia, it has not succeeded in achieving its ultimate objective to obtain the UN’s recognition.Neither the pressure exerted by the European countries and the US, nor Kosovo’s membership at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, nor the recognition of its independence by more than 100 countries were instrumental in helping it secure UN recognition.As long as Russia supports Serbia, Kosovo’s membership within the UN will remain unachievable. Perhaps what makes Kosovo’s mission almost impossible is that the admission of any country to the UN passes through a Security Council recommendation to the UN General Assembly. Furthermore, any of the security council’s five permanent members can use their veto power to prevent that recommendation from reaching the UN General Assembly.For historic, ideological, and political reasons, Russia is Serbia’s main supporter. In addition to its strong opposition to secessionism and its relentless defense of the territorial integrity of its allies, one of the main factors behind Russia’s continuous defense of Serbia’s territorial integrity lies in the fact that it is Russia’s last foothold in the Balkans after the former Yugoslavia’s disintegration. Therefore, any encroachment on Serbia’s sovereignty is a violation of Russia’s strategic interests.It remains to be seen whether El Othmani’s meeting with Kosovo’ FM will affect Morocco’s bilateral relations with Serbia. But one thing is sure, Dr. Othmani should remember that in all his actions, in all his statements, and in every step of his daily routine, he does not represent himself, but represents a state and an entire people. The head of government is considered the second man in the state after the King, especially when he is on an official mission to represent the King in the UN General Assembly. Therefore, he would be well advised to watch every word he posts on social media and shares with the media and reduce his presence on Twitter.Samir Bennis is the co-founder of Morocco World News. You can follow him on Twitter @SamirBennis
8 November 2010The United Nations envoy for West Africa today welcomed the peaceful conclusion of the second round of the presidential election in Guinea, saying the country’s citizens had demonstrated their commitment to democracy by participating in the poll. “Through their massive mobilization, the people of Guinea have demonstrated their deep commitment to democracy and their willingness to restore constitutional order,” Said Djinnit said in a statement following Sunday’s election. He urged Guineans to remain calm before and after the results are officially released and encouraged the two candidates – Cellou Dalein Diallo and Alpha Condé – to remain committed to their pre-election pledges to abide by the rules and ensure that peace prevails.In an interview with the UN News Centre, Mr. Djinnit, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for West Africa, said the UN had facilitated efforts by the international community to ensure the success of Guinea’s transition to democracy.“We have mobilized almost $9.7 million to support the transition in Guinea,” he said, adding that the UN had also provided logistical support for the polls, including providing a helicopter to help the national independent electoral commission (CENI) transport the results from remote areas to the capital, Conakry.The logistical support provided by the UN will facilitate the collection of poll returns and thus contribute towards easing tensions associated with the announcement of results, Mr. Djinnit added.The envoy, who just concluded a five-day visit to Guinea, said he plans to go back to Conakry later this week. “We are going to be available to the two candidates and to the transitional authorities, along with the international community, to do everything possible to keep the situation calm so that the population waits calmly for the provisional results by the electoral commission,” he said.The presidential election, which includes yesterday’s run-off poll and the first round of voting held in June, was the final stage of the interim Government’s efforts to restore democracy after Captain Moussa Dadis Camara seized power in a coup in 2008 following the death of long-time president Lansana Conté.
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In recent years, it’s become clear that sports has entered its Age of Data, with dueling analytics departments vying for breakthroughs and proprietary metrics increasingly shaping how teams are built. And perhaps there’s no better confirmation of that trend than the inevitable bombshell on Tuesday: The FBI is investigating the St. Louis Cardinals over allegations that they stole data from the Houston Astros in a computer-hacking scheme.According to The New York Times, the FBI found evidence that Cardinals team officials broke into the Astros’ “Ground Control” information network by using the old passwords of Jeff Luhnow, currently Houston’s general manager and formerly the vice president of scouting and player development for St. Louis. Investigators told the Times that the breach compromised Houston’s internal data regarding player evaluation — both scouting and statistical in nature — and potential transactions. (Part of the same database was leaked last June as well.)It was, in essence, the first known case of corporate espionage between sports teams. In some ways, it’s surprising that it took so long for such an incident to surface in the supercompetitive world of sports. During the 1980s and ’90s, the rise of computing — and, consequently, data collection and analysis — led to a rapid proliferation of industrial espionage cases in the business world. (It’s estimated now that the number of corporate hacking incursions doubles every year.) Just as the digital age offered far easier, more systematic methods of data storage than ever before, it also made information theft an efficient means of gaining a competitive advantage.Baseball has had its own long history of dishonesty, from sign-stealing to doctoring the ball. (“If you’re not cheating,” former Chicago Cubs first baseman Mark Grace once said, “you’re not trying hard enough.”) And it’s not uncommon for team officials (and players) to switch franchises, presumably taking whatever knowledge they acquired at their old job with them when they go. According to Baseball-Reference’s historical database, 28 percent of all top-level baseball executives — general managers, scouting directors and farm directors — held the job for multiple teams over their careers.That’s why it’s a little hard to believe that, as the FBI suggested, the motive here was “retaliation” against Luhnow for leaving the Cardinals and starting a new database system with the Astros. Because it’s so widely acknowledged that everyone’s front-office lifespan is mind-bogglingly short, comings and goings between front offices are almost always matters of business, not fuel for personal vendettas.It is easy, however, to understand the story as the latest step a team is willing to take to gain an edge. While the Astros weren’t the earliest adopters of sabermetrics, there’s plenty of evidence that they’re in the current vanguard of advanced statistical thinking.1The list of Baseball Prospectus alumni in the team’s front office is staggering. In other words, if you were going to begin spying on MLB teams for their proprietary data, Houston might be the one to start with.If this scandal deepens, the Cardinals may well see the legitimacy of their recent accomplishments questioned, much like the New England Patriots in the wake of Spygate (and, subsequently, Deflate-gate).St. Louis won three National League pennants and two World Series with Luhnow in its front office, and the team also has the best record in baseball since he departed. Over that span, the Cardinals have exceeded expectations, beating their projected wins by the fifth-largest margin of any team in baseball. In that department, they’re not outliers like the Patriots are at avoiding fumbles, for instance, but it will be interesting to watch how much their transactions and personnel decisions will be scrutinized for signs that they used the hacked data to their advantage.In the meantime, this might be the opening salvo in baseball’s era of cyber espionage — a fate that, in retrospect, seems like an inevitable consequence of the game’s widespread adoption of data analysis over the past decade and a half. Hot Takedown On Big Data And BaseballSubscribe to the full podcast on iTunes.
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram New Assistant Multicultural Affairs Minister Zed Seselja says he’s softened his stance on changes to the Racial Discrimination Act, with Labor claiming his previous stance on changes to the legislation makes him an odd fit for the multicultural portfolio.Last year Senator Seselja supported a Family First bill that argued to remove the words “offend” and “insult” from section 18C of the Act, after the government in 2014 bowed to pressure from Greek and other ethnic community leaders to leave the legislation as is.“Under the Racial Discrimination Act we have a completely subjective test applying to anyone identifying with a particular ethnicity or nationality − a ‘hurt feelings’ test,” Senator Seselja said at the time.The government backed down on changing the legislation after more than 200 multicultural and ethnic communities across Australia expressed their concerns over the proposed changes.In 2014, in support of the changes, Attorney General George Brandis said people had “a right to be bigots”.Senator Seselja, who was appointed to the Coalition Cabinet this week as new assistant minister for social services and multicultural affairs, told reporters he would support the government’s policy.“Obviously the government has a position on it, so as part of the government I will pursue that,” he said.Meanwhile, Labor has expressed criticism of his appointment. ALP senator Katy Gallagher said Senator Seselja’s views were out of touch with the community.“It is extremely alarming that one of the few people who wants to water down these protections against racist hate speech has been appointed to this portfolio,” she said.Labor deputy leader Tanya Plibersek has also criticised the appointment, saying the ACT senator wished to amend the Racial Discrimination Act to allow the denigration of people on the basis of race.Senator Seselja, who is of Croatian heritage, said despite heightened debate this week over immigration policy, fuelled by comments from TV celebrity Sonia Kruger asking for a ban on Muslim immigration, he was optimistic about Australia’s future as a harmonious multicultural society.“Of course there are always some dark sentiments in our community, we know that no society is perfect − there are people on the fringes who either wish to do people harm or have views that most of us would find abhorrent, but I take a far more optimistic view of where we are as a nation,” he said.
Alex Iwobi was pleased to see Arsene Wenger get the big send-off he deserved at the Emirates as Arsenal secured a 5-0 victory against Burnley in his final home matchThe Nigerian ended his goal drought in the Premier League by adding the fourth goal of the game, as Arsenal produced a dominant performance for their departing manager, thanks to an assist from teammate Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for his first league goal since January 2018.After the match, a delighted Iwobi thanked the club for giving the Frenchman the send-off he deserved after 22 years in charge of Arsenal.“This was more than a match! Really pleased we gave you the send-off you deserve. Thank you, boss,” wrote the 22-year-old on Twitter.Jose Mourinho is sold on Lampard succeeding at Chelsea Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho wanted to give his two cents on Frank Lampard’s odds as the new Chelsea FC manager, he thinks he will succeed.There really…This Was More Than A Match! Really Pleased We Gave You The Send Off You Deserve. Thank You Boss ??#MerciArsene pic.twitter.com/3L8zOXLP1s— Alexander Iwobi (@alexiwobi) May 6, 2018Iwobi is a product of the Arsenal youth academy and was brought into the first-team by Wenger in October 2015 and the young forward has since scored nine goals in his 94 appearances across all competitions for the Gunners.
Janet Cooper, Charles Counsell, and Steve Webb are among those in the employee benefits and pensions industry to be recognised in the New Year Honours List 2017.Janet Cooper (pictured), partner at law firm Tapestry, was appointed an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to equality, women’s empowerment and employee share ownership.Cooper is co-founder of the Global Equity Organisation and the Share Schemes Advanced Studies Group, a founder of Proshare, and also developed a professional training course, the ICSA certificate in employee share plans.Cooper is also an advocate for equality in the workplace, promoting agile working for all staff, and sitting on the UK board of UN Women for six years, as well as holding the role of vice president for three years.Steve Webb, a former Liberal Democrat MP for Thornbury and Yate, and pensions minister between 2010 and 2015, was awarded a knighthood on the recommendation of the Parliamentary and Political Service Committee.Charles Counsell, executive director of automatic enrolment at The Pensions Regulator (TPR) was awarded an OBE for his services to workplace pension reform.Counsell worked closely with the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to ensure that UK employers meet their pension duties, overseeing a campaign to educate employers through direct communications, online tools and information, and a dedicated contact centre.Counsell said: “I am delighted to receive this award which recognises the commitment and expertise of my colleagues to ensure that automatic enrolment successfully meets the challenge of creating a new and robust culture of saving in the UK.“Automatic enrolment has reversed a worrying trend of under-saving for retirement amongst [employees], and I am proud that we have played a role in educating employers that putting staff into a pension is now the social norm.”
Mothkur (Yadadri-Bhongir): Thungathurthi MLA Gadari Kishore stated that the State government was committed towards providing best administration and facilities by providing infrastructure and constructing office buildings in the interest of rural people.The legislator inaugurated Mandal Parishad Development Office in Mothkur on Friday. Speaking on the occasion, he said all office buildings were people’s buildings and people have to come to offices to get their issues resolved. Also Read – TRS is institutionally strong: MLA Govardhan Advertise With Us He advised the newly-elected MPTCs and ZPTCs irrespective of their parties to work collectively for the progress of mandal and its people in all aspects. He advised the officials concerned to bring to his notice if any extra facilities were needed for the new building. As part of the programme, he felicitated the newly-elected MPTCs and ZPTCs and congratulated them. Meanwhile, the MLA also distributed Kalyana Laxmi and Shaadi Mubarak cheques to 164 beneficiaries at a programme held at Tahsildar’s office in Maddirala in Nalgonda district. Speaking on the occasion, he said both Kalyana Laxmi and Shaadi Mubarak were boon to families living under poverty line. State Oil Federation chairman Ramakrishna Reddy and party local leaders took part in the programmes.
New Delhi: A Bill to tighten the lead anti-terrorist law to empower the government to designate individuals as terrorists and streamline the process of confiscating their property, among other things, was passed in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday with voice vote despite the opposition’s demand for its scrutiny by a Standing Committee. The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019, which seeks amendments to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, was passed with 278 members voting in favour and eight against. Also Read – Ratul Puri’s ED custody extended by 4 more days Advertise With Us The Bill got the Lok Sabha’s nod minutes after Home Minister Amit Shah put up a strong defence of the government’s proposals, arguing that terrorists such as Indian Mujahideen’s Yasin Bhatkal, who were under the radar for years, would have been caught much earlier if he had been designated a terrorist. Concluding the debate, Shah promised that the Modi government would never misuse its provisions. Also Read – Inter-departmental coordination can help win fight against malnutrition: UP CM Yogi Adityanath Advertise With Us Congress and several opposition parties staged a walkout after the Minister’s reply demanding that the Bill be sent to a Standing Committee. Shah said the BJP-led government had only brought an amendment to the law which was enacted by the Congress and whose provisions were later made stringent. Responding to the arguments of other MPs, the Minister said what the Congress governments did “was right and what the BJP-led government is doing is also right”. Advertise With Us “The law was enacted in 1967 by a Congress government and amendments made to it in 2004, 2008 and 2013 when Congress was in power. Who made the law stringent? What you did was right, what we we are doing is also right.” He asked opposition members about their concerns over powers of states when the Congress had made changes to the law. “There is a need for tough laws to end terrorism,” Shah said. Referring to the provisions of the Bill that allow an individual to be designated a terrorist, Shah said a terrorist often floats new organisations if a ban is imposed on an existing one. Minister of State for Home G. Kishan Reddy on Tuesday moved the Bill for passage in the House mentioning that the government wanted to take strict steps against terrorism for which it had adopted a “zero tolerance” policy. Under the UAPA Act, the central government may designate a group a terrorist organisation if it commits or participates in acts of terrorism, prepares for terrorism, promotes terrorism or is otherwise involved in terrorism. The Bill additionally empowers the government to designate individuals as terrorists on the same grounds. As per the Act, an investigating officer is required to obtain the prior approval of the Director General of Police to seize properties that may be connected with terrorism. The Bill adds that if the investigation is conducted by an officer of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the approval of the Director General of NIA would be required for seizure of such property. Under the Act, investigation of cases may be conducted by officers of the rank of Deputy Superintendent or Assistant Commissioner of Police or above. The Bill additionally empowers the officers of the NIA, of the rank of Inspector or above, to investigate cases. The Act defines terrorist acts to include acts committed within the scope of any of the treaties listed in a schedule to the Act. The Schedule lists nine treaties including the Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings (1997) and the Convention against Taking of Hostages (1979). The Bill adds another treaty to the list: the International Convention for Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (2005).