IRCTC scam: Lalu Prasad, wife, son and others summoned as accused by Delhi court

first_imgA Delhi court on Monday summoned RJD supremo Lalu Prasad, his wife Rabri Devi and son Tejashwi Yadav and others as accused in the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) scam. Special Judge Arvind Kumar directed them to appear before the court on August 31 in a case related to alleged irregularities in granting operational contract of two IRCTC hotels to a private firm. The CBI, which had on April 16 filed the charge sheet in the case, had said that there were enough evidence against the accused. The CBI had earlier informed the court that sanction has been procured from the authorities concerned to prosecute Additional Member of Railway Board B.K. Agarwal, who was then the group general manager of the IRCTC. Besides Lalu Prasad and his family members, former union minister Prem Chand Gupta and his wife Sarla Gupta, Agarwal, then managing director of IRCTC P.K. Goyal and then IRCTC director Rakesh Saxena were also named in the charge sheet. The other names in the charge sheet include then group general managers of IRCTC V.K. Asthana and R.K. Goyal, and Vijay Kochhar, Vinay Kochhar, both directors of Sujata Hotels and owners of Chanakya Hotel. Delight marketing company, now known as Lara Projects, and Sujata Hotels Private Limited have also been named as accused companies in the charge sheet. The CBI had registered a case in July last year and carried out searches at 12 locations in Patna, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar and Gurugram in connection with the case. The charges in the case include criminal conspiracy (120-B), cheating (420) under IPC and corruption, the central probe agency had said.Charge sheet According to the charge sheet, between 2004 and 2014, a conspiracy was hatched in pursuance of which BNR hotels of Indian Railways, located at Puri and Ranchi, were first transferred to the IRCTC and later, for its operations, maintenance and upkeep, it was given on lease to Sujata Hotel Private Limited, which is based in Patna. It is alleged that the tender process was rigged and manipulated, and the conditions were tweaked to help the private party (Sujata Hotels). It also claimed that Vinay Kochhar, on February 25, 2005, sold commercial property in the form of three acres of land in Patna through 10 sale deeds for ₹1.47 crore to Delight Marketing, in which Sarla Gupta was a director as a front benami holder on behalf of Lalu Prasad. Between 2010 and 2014, this land was further transferred, the CBI alleged. In 2001, it was decided to handover the management of catering services of Indian Railways, including of its hotels, to the IRCTC. Two such hotels — BNR Hotels in Ranchi and Puri — were also identified and an MoU was signed between the Railways and the IRCTC on March 19, 2004. According to an FIR flied by the CBI, Lalu Prasad Yadav, the then railway minister, entered into criminal conspiracy with the owner of Sujata hotels, Sarla Gupta, the wife of his close associate Prem Chand Gupta, an RJD MP in the Rajya Sabha, and IRCTC officials for “undue pecuniary advantage to himself and others”.The probe agency also alleged that BNR hotels were transferred to Sujata Hotels through a rigged and manipulated tender process managed by P.K. Goel, the then-MD of IRCTC. The CBI enquiry shows that the Railways sought bids for developing, operating and maintaining Rail Ratna Hotels on September 16, 2006. The probe agency has alleged that Lalu Prasad Yadav, as the railway minister, was aware about the whole process and was keeping a track of the tender proceedings. It surfaced that while over 15 bid documents were received for both the hotels, IRCTC has no records of bidders other than the Sujata Hotels. It was also alleged that with an intention to render undue pecuniary gains to Sujata Hotels, the bid of another hotel was deliberately and unreasonably given low marks under technical evaluation.“As a result, Sujata Hotels remained the only bidder in financial evaluation and was qualified,” the CBI has alleged, adding after the tender was awarded to Sujata Hotels, the ownership of Delight marketing also changed hands from Sarla Gupta to Rabri Devi and Tejashwi Yadav between 2010 and 2014.By this time Lalu Prasad had demitted the office of railway minister.last_img read more

SC rejects Meghalaya miners’ plea on coal transportation

first_imgThe Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a set of pleas by coal miners in Meghalaya to let trucks move coal in transit before a transportation ban came into effect.The deadline for transportation of extracted coal was being extended since April 2014 when the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had imposed a ban on the life-threatening rat-hole coal mining in Meghalaya. A narrow opening that makes miners crawl gives the rat-hole its name.But after at least 16 miners were trapped in a flooded mine at Ksan in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills district on December 13, the apex court refused to allow the transportation of extracted and assessed coal beyond January 31. On January 15, the court further said there would be no transportation of coal lying at (dumping) sites.The State Co-ordination Committee of Coal Miners and Dealers’ Forum had subsequently filed a petition for allowing their trucks that were in transit as on January 15 to transport their coal and also to pass through government check posts and weighbridges to their respective destinations.Rejecting the plea on Monday, the court did not entertain the entreaty of another coal dealer named Babul Marak who wanted to transport coal he had procured legally from a dealer.The court of Justice duo D.Y. Chandrachud and Hemant Gupta also saw “no reason to entertain” a petition by one Lber Laloo for lifting the ban on coal mining by NGT “in view of a previous order” on January 28.The Supreme Court hearing coincided with Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma informing the 60-member State Assembly that more than 1,000 cases of illegal coal mining have been registered since the NGT ban came into effect.From 203 in 2014, the number of such cases jumped to 541 in 2015 and slumped to 117 in 2016. There were 274 and 163 registered cases in 2017 and 2018 respectively, the Chief Minister said.Death in coal truckMonday saw an overloaded coal truck capsize in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills district, reportedly killing four people inside it. The mishap in the Sutnga area near the district headquarters Khliehriat, anti-coal mining activists said, exposed the laxity of the local authorities in dealing with illegal transportation of coal.According to district Superintendent of Police V. Singh, the driver of the truck had lost control because of high speed. But he said the local police not find bodies at the spot and did not specify what the truck was carrying.The Shillong Times quoted local people as saying that the district heads, including the Deputy Commissioner rushed to the spot after the mishap and did not allow them to take photographs. They also claimed they were warned against speaking about the accident to anyone.last_img read more

GALLERY: 2018 PBA Rookie Draft Combine

first_imgSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño Rookie aspirants got a chance to showcase their talents in front of coaches during the two-day rookie combine at Gatorade Gym.The 2018 PBA Rookie Draft is on Sunday at Robinsons Ermita.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Lacson: 2019 budget delay due to P75-B House ‘insertion’center_img FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chief Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? Geje Eustaquio considering career in mountain biking after mixed martial arts LATEST STORIES Ejercito casts ballot in San Juan PLAY LIST 00:55Ejercito casts ballot in San Juan03:4520% of NBP inmates die every year01:53Bilibid hospital chief: No hard evidence of ‘overstaying’ for sale02:42PH 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 Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

Strahan Brings Hall of Fame Glee

first_imgCANTON, Ohio — Andre Reed delivered the emotion and managed to hook up for one more catch from Jim Kelly on the Pro Football Hall of Fame stage.And leave it to Michael Strahan and his familiar gap-toothed grin to bring the laughs in closing the ceremony honoring the seven inductees the night of Aug. 2.The defensive end cracked he was still a little scared of former New York Giants teammate Lawrence Taylor. Strahan singled out former Philadelphia tackle Jon Runyan in the crowd and referred to him as his toughest opponent and “350 pounds of twisted steel and non-sex appeal.”And Strahan even had a kiss blown to him on stage from Kelly Ripa, his morning TV show co-host. “Thank you, baby,” he said.Strahan, one of the game’s most dominant pass-rushers, closed the ceremony that ended just before midnight — nearly two hours later than scheduled.The ceremony went so late that Strahan noted that it was past his bedtime and joked that if the event lasted any longer he and his fellow inductees would be considered the 2015 class.Also inducted were offensive tackle Walter Jones, linebacker Derrick Brooks, defensive back Aeneas Williams, defensive end Claude Humphrey and Ray Guy, who became the first full-time punter to be selected.It was Reed, the former Buffalo Bills receiver, who stole the spotlight by closing his induction speech with a poignant surprise.Turning his back to the crowd, Reed caught a pass from Kelly before sharing a lengthy hug with his former teammate and now fellow Hall of Famer.It was a fitting finish for a tandem that set a then-NFL record by hooking up 663 times in Buffalo. And it was a moment that paid homage to the quarterback, who has spent the past 14 months battling cancer.“You taught us not to quit,” Reed said about Kelly. “You have endured a lot in your life. The loss of your son, and most recently your battle with cancer. You’re an inspiration to all you touch.”Kelly was near tears, and the thousands of Bills fans in the crowd cheered.Even louder cheers went up when Reed delivered a message to any Bills prospective ownership group having an intention of buying and relocating the franchise. “Oh yeah, and the Bills will stay in Buffalo, too,” Reed said.The Bills are on the block after founder and Hall of Fame owner Ralph Wilson died in March.The ceremony began with Brooks, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers star, who was selected for induction in his first year of eligibility, and followed by the 70-year-old Humphrey, who retired after the 1981 season.“Now they tell me I only had 10 minutes up here, but let me start off by telling you that I’ve waited 30 years to get to this podium, so don’t rush me guys,” said Humphrey, a six-time Pro Bowl selection who split 13 NFL seasons between the Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles.Guy’s wait was nearly as long. The seven-time Pro Bowl selection spent his 14-year career with the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders. At 64, he was selected for induction in his 23rd year of eligibility.“It’s been long, long overdue, but now the Hall of Fame has a complete team,” said Guy, who had as many as 20 former punters in the crowd to help him celebrate. “To know my legacy will be forever part of pro football history and that my bust will be alongside the greatest athletes of all time, it leaves this old punter speechless.”Williams livened up the mood late in his speech during which he had one side of Fawcett Stadium chanting: “Begin with the end in mind,” to remind people how important it is to set goals.And he had the other side chanting: “Die empty,” to remind people to give their all.It was a fitting message from an eight-time Pro Bowl selection. He was an accounting major at Southern University, who walked on to the football team a week before the start of his junior season.Selected in the third round of the 1991 draft, he proceeded to split 14 seasons between the Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals and St. Louis Rams. Williams retired after the 2004 season and was selected for induction in his fifth year of eligibility.“If you would have told me, ‘Aeneas, you have to the potential to be one of the best cornerbacks,’ I would have thought you were crazy and hit you with my right hand,” Williams said. “I’ll just take a moment to soak this all in.”Brooks, an 11-time Pro Bowl selection, paid tribute to family members, teammates and coaches, from his Pee-Wee playing days to his 14 NFL seasons in Tampa Bay.He thanked his late mother Geraldine Brooks-Mitchell for instilling humility in him. He referred to former Buccaneers coach Tony Dungy as his mentor. And Brooks thanked Dungy’s successor, Jon Gruden, for helping the Buccaneers believe they could be champions.It was under Gruden when the Bucs blossomed into Super Bowl winners during the 2002 season in which Brooks earned NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors. “There is no higher place to go in this game, and I thank you guys,” Brooks said.Jones, a nine-time Pro Bowl selection who spent his 12-year career in Seattle, thanked Seahawks fans for their overwhelming support.And he was honored to be only the third player who spent their entire careers in Seattle, joining receiver Steve Largent and defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy.(JOHN WAWROW, AP Sports Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Cosco Guangdong Launches Fourth Livestock Carrier …

first_imgVroon, December 24, 2013 My location 此页面无法正确加载 Google 地图。您是否拥有此网站?确定 zoom Vroon announced yesterday that the launching of Girolando Express took place in Guangdong, China on Sunday, 22 December 2013. The vessel named Girolando Express is a livestock carrier, currently under construction at Cosco Guangdong Shipyard in China.Girolando Express is the last in a series of four livestock carriers being built for Vroon at the shipyard and is scheduled for delivery next year. Print  Closelast_img

UNDP chief embarks on African tour to promote development goals

1 May 2010The head of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) begins a four-country visit to Africa today to accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the eight anti-poverty targets agreed upon by world leaders with a 2015 deadline. The head of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) begins a four-country visit to Africa today to accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the eight anti-poverty targets agreed upon by world leaders with a 2015 deadline. “Achieving the MDGs,” said UNDP Administrator Helen Clark, “means quite simply a better life for billions of people.” The trip will take her to Mali, Burkina Faso, Tanzania and South Africa, where she hopes to spread the message that it is possible to meet the Goals through proven policies backed by strong partnerships. Miss Clark’s visit to sub-Saharan Africa comes some 150 days before world leaders converge in New York, just prior to the start of the General Assembly’s annual General Debate, to identify obstacles to achieving the MDGs. In Mali, she will tour the historic city of Timbuktu and meet with female mango farmers, while in Burkina Faso, she will stop at a facility which boosts rural women’s access to energy and a centre focusing on reintegrating sex workers. While in Tanzania, she will visit a protected forest and speak with newly-registered voters, and in South Africa, she will take part in a pre-World Cup soccer match in Pretoria. Sub-Saharan Africa, still the region with the highest number of people living in extreme poverty, has seen its poverty rates plummet since 1990, falling to below 50 per cent in 2008. But UNDP warned that the global recession has slowed that progress in the past year. The region has also reduced the number of adults and children newly infected with HIV/AIDS by almost 20 per cent between 2001 and 2008, with access to antiretroviral treatments also expanding in many countries. Gender parity in primary education will be achieved by most African nations by 2015, while the number of seats held by women in parliaments has risen in dozens of countries. Despite of these successes and others, sub-Saharan Africa still faces major challenges, including fighting hunger and deforestation, as well as curbing maternal mortality. “MDG progress suffers when the needs of women and girls are given low priority,” the UNDP Administrator said. The fifth MDG calls for improving maternal health and slashing maternal mortality ratio by three quarters from 1990. “Yet this is the MDG on which there has been the least progress so far,” Miss Clark pointed out, noting that a woman dies every minute in the world from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth. read more

Home Capital names veteran of Canadian mortgage industry as new CEO

Home Capital Group Inc. has chosen a mortgage industry veteran with a technology background as its new full-time president and chief executive, tasking Yousry Bissada with getting the beleaguered Toronto-based company “running on all cylinders” again.Even after last month’s major investment by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway — which made the renowned investor Home Capital’s largest shareholder while staunching the decline in deposit balances at its subsidiary — the 57-year-old former banking executive will face a daunting task when he starts on Aug. 3.That includes determining how to begin growing the company’s mortgage book again, even as Home Capital and other non-prime lenders are poised to take a hit from proposed regulations that would tighten lending standards for uninsured mortgages.Bissada, however, said he is undeterred by the hurdles.“I’ve never been afraid of transforming and taking something from one point until the other,” he told the Financial Post in an interview Wednesday.“I felt the nucleus of this company, as many people in the mortgage industry do, is really good. From the day the job was available I was very interested and put up my hand, and all the way along through the process, the further I got into the process, the more excited I was.”Home Capital CEO pick lauded as ‘solid’ veteran with strong tech background by industry peersShares of alternative mortgage lenders dip as investors digest latest efforts to cool frothy housing marketWhy I’m voting in favour of Warren Buffett’s second tranche investment in Home Capital‘It is too early to declare victory’: Home Capital faces sharp questions from shareholdersBissada, who is currently president and chief executive of Kanetix Ltd., which operates an online insurance and mortgage marketplace where consumers can comparison shop, will take over the role of chief executive from board member Bonita Then, who has been serving on an interim basis.The appointment of a new chief executive after a months-long search is a key step for Home Capital as it aims to get back on track after it saw a partial run on its funding after regulators accused the company, founder Gerald Soloway, former chief executive Martin K. Reid and former chief financial officer Robert Morton of misleading shareholders. The company and these executives reached a settlement for these allegations, and a related class-action lawsuit, last month.Stephen Boland, an analyst with GMP Securities, said Bissada’s appointment was “a key development to restart growth in the company.”“Bissada has an impressive background in financial services technology through Filogix and serving on the boards of Paradigm Quest and Solidifi,” he said in a note to clients Wednesday. “Although these names may not be well-known to investors, they are key digital platforms in the mortgage industry. We believe that improving HCG’s technology and systems is crucial for HCG to compete in the future.”Bissada will be appointed to the board of Home Capital and its subsidiaries effective with his appointment, and will be responsible for completing the alternative lender’s search for a new chief financial officer.Brenna Phelan, an analyst with Raymond James, said they see Bissada’s mortgage market experience as a “positive” given recent sector-wide regulatory reform proposals, such as the Office of Superintendent of Financial Institutions’ proposed changes to its B-20 guidelines.These draft changes are “likely to put pressure on both the growth outlook for non-prime mortgage originations, the business on which HCG has stated it will retain its focus (and direct its available funding), and on the non-prime, uninsured mortgage market in general,” she said in a note to clients.Bissada said his first priority is to do a review of the company and develop a plan, but it is unclear what the most pressing challenge will be until that process is complete.“After the first quarter, I either will have a plan or a good opinion of how long my plan will take,” he said.Other hurdles ahead include navigating a special shareholder vote in September on the second tranche of Berkshire’s $400 million investment, which would boost Buffett’s shareholding from 19.99 to 38.39 per cent.“The shareholders have the right to vote any way they want and as they see fit for the company,” said Bissada. “I am not on the board yet, but the board is obviously recommending to do it. But it is up to the shareholders, and whether they see if it is better for them or not.”Also, the incoming CEO must also determine Home Capital’s business model going forward: whether it will maintain mortgages on its balance sheet, as it always has, or potentially sell or securitize them.“We’re going to have to have as many tools as possible for funding mortgages,” Bissada said. “We have some great capabilities today and we’ve got to explore others that are out there. And, we’ll just have to talk to the investment community and find out what our capabilities are.”Shares of Home Capital rose as much as 2.5 per cent, before closing down 1.37 per cent at $14.39.aligaya@postmedia.com twitter.com/arminaligaya read more

Key suspect linked to Hashim arrested in Tamil Nadu crackdown continues

As per the initial reports, Mohammed Azarudeen is the leader of the module and has been maintaining the Facebook page named ‘KhilafahGFX’, through which he had been disseminating ISIS ideology. During Wednesday’s raid the NIA also uncovered PFI-SDPI link to the ISIS module and seized 14 mobile phones, 29 SIM cards, 10 pen drives, three laptops, six memory cards, four hard disc drives, one internet dongle and 13 CDs/ DVDs apart from one dagger, one electric baton, 300 air-gun pellets and a large number of incriminating documents from the houses and workplaces of accused persons.The NIA believes that the group was recruiting local youths through social media to join the Islamic State for carrying out terrorist attacks in South India especially in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The NIA had registered cases on May 30 against the six people following information that they were allegedly propagating the ideology of terrorist organisation ISIS/Daish on social media. All the accused whose residences and workplaces were raided were questioned by the NIA.The presence of Islamic State modules in the country is a serious cause of concern for the investigative agency. After losing ground in Syria and Iraq, the terrorist outfit has fixed its eyes on South Asia and has already been active in Bangladesh followed by Sri Lanka.Sri Lanka witnessed one of the worst terror attacks in the country after 250 people were killed in suicide bombings in the island nation. While Sri Lankan jihadist group National Thowheeth Jama’ath (NTJ) carried out the attack the IS claimed responsibility for it. (Colombo Gazette) On Wednesday, raids were held in seven locations and one person Azarudeen, who is a Facebook friend of the Sri Lanka Easter bombings mastermind, Zahran Hashim, was arrested. A key suspect linked to Zahran Hashim has been arrested in Tamil Nadu as Indian investigators continued raids to arrest suspects linked to the Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka.The National Intelligence Agency (NIA) carried out fresh raids at three places in Coimbatore today (Thursday) at 4:30 am in the morning, Times Now reported. read more

Business Highlights

___YouTube to pay $170M fine after violating kids’ privacy lawWASHINGTON (AP) — Google will pay $170 million to settle allegations its YouTube video service collected personal data on children without their parents’ consent. The company is also agreeing to work with video creators to label material aimed at kids and says it will limit data collection when users view such videos, regardless of their age. Some lawmakers and children’s advocacy groups complain the settlement terms aren’t strong enough.___UK Parliament delivers Boris Johnson third defeat in 2 daysLONDON (AP) — Prime Minister Boris Johnson is calling for a national election on Oct. 15, saying it’s the only way out of Britain’s Brexit impasse after opposition lawmakers moved to block his plan to leave the European Union next month without a divorce deal. But Parliament delivered Johnson his third defeat in two days, refusing to vote in sufficient numbers for a motion triggering a vote. Johnson indicated he would try again, saying an election is the only way forward.___Democrats propose spending trillions fighting climate changeWASHINGTON (AP) — Five Democratic presidential candidates have released their plans to combat climate change as they prepare for a series of town halls on the issue. Some of the plans reflect relatively minor differences, with spending ranging from under $2 trillion to $3 trillion, while other proposals call for $10 trillion and $16 trillion in spending. In contrast, President Donald Trump has mocked climate science and reversed course on climate policy.___Carmakers to add alerts to prevent child heatstroke deathsDETROIT (AP) — By the 2025 model year, nearly all new vehicles sold in the U.S. will come with electronic alerts to remind people to not leave children behind in the back seats. Twenty automakers representing 98% of new vehicles sold have agreed to install reminders in an effort to stop heatstroke deaths. So far this year 39 children have died in the U.S. after being left alone in cars during hot weather.___Huawei accuses US of cyberattacks, coercing employeesBEIJING (AP) — Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei has accused U.S. authorities of attempting to break into its information systems and of trying to coerce its employees to gather information on the company. Huawei faces mounting American pressure including possible loss of access to U.S. technology over accusations the company is a security risk. The company says Washington has used “unscrupulous means” in recent months to disrupt its business.___NTSB: Tesla Autopilot let driver rely too much on automationDETROIT (AP) — A government investigation has found that a design flaw in Tesla’s Autopilot semi-autonomous driving system and driver inattention combined to cause a Model S electric car to slam into a firetruck parked along a California freeway last year. The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the driver was overly reliant on the system and that Autopilot’s design let him disengage from driving.___Judge orders Anheuser-Busch to halt ‘corn syrup’ labelsMILWAUKEE (AP) — Big beer is still duking it out over corn syrup. A federal judge has ordered Anheuser-Busch to stop using Bud Light packaging that implies rival brews made by MillerCoors contain corn syrup. The order extends an injunction issued in May that barred Anheuser-Busch from making those claims in television, billboard and print advertising.___Judge rejects attempt to raise bail of ex-Google engineerSAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — A federal judge has rejected a government recommendation to that he impose a $10 million bail bond on a former Google engineer. The engineer, Anthony Levandowski, is accused of stealing self-driving car technology before joining Uber’s effort to build robotic taxis. The decision made Wednesday means Levandowski remains free on the $2 million bail he posted last week after being charged with heisting Google’s trade secrets before defecting to Uber 2016.___Lagarde defends ECB’s low rates as she prepares to take overFRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Incoming European Central Bank head Christine Lagarde is defending the bank’s record low rates and other stimulus measures as she prepares to take over with the economy facing trouble from trade wars and Brexit. During hearings in the European parliament, Lagarde said Wednesday the job requires both a commitment to the basic mandate to keep prices stable as well as the “agility” to come up with new ways to meet unforeseen trouble.___Stocks notch gains, erase prior day’s losses for S&P 500NEW YORK (AP) — Technology companies led stocks broadly higher on Wall Street Wednesday, erasing the S&P 500’s losses from a day earlier. Traders pivoted to riskier holdings as encouraging developments overseas helped alleviate investors’ anxiety over the global economy. Lawmakers in Britain were seeking a less chaotic exit from the European Union and political tensions in Hong Kong eased. Communications services, financial and industrial stocks are also notching solid gains.___The S&P 500 gained 31.51 points, or 1.1%, to 2,937.78. The Dow Jones Industrial Average 237.45 points, or 0.9%, to 26,355.47. The Nasdaq climbed 102.72 points, or 1.3%, to 7,976.88. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks picked up 12.47 points, or 0.8%, to 1,484.76.The Associated Press read more

UN releases new funding to support critical aid operations in Central African

However, even with this new funding, overall resources in the country remains a mere 14 per cent, said the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in a news release today. “An adequate level of funding of humanitarian activities remains an absolute priority, otherwise, CAR risks relapsing into an acute crisis,” warned the UN humanitarian wing. In the news release, Najat Rochdi, the Humanitarian Coordinator for the country, who released the funds thanked the donors who haves supported response and reiterated her call for increased resources. “It is the peace process consolidation which is at stake,” she noted. The latest tranche will support efforts in Basse Kotto, Mbomou, Nana Gribizi, Ouaka and Ouham-Pendé provinces, where between September 2016 and March 2017, flare-ups in the situation have resulted in massive displacements and severe challenges, including for protection of civilians. The projects targeted in the latest release include responses in the education, protection, health, nutrition and water, sanitation and hygiene sectors as well logistics, shelter and non-food items, coordination and site management. In the Humanitarian Response Plan for CAR, UN and relief partners had appealed for nearly $400 million to support more than half the country’s population who are dependent on humanitarian assistance for their survival. According to UN figures, between February and March this year, the African nation has seen a nearly 6 per cent increase in the number of newly displaced people from 401,072 to 426,100. The security situation in the country too has seen a rapid deterioration. On 8 May, eight peacekeepers from the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission, known by its French acronym MINUSCA, were killed when their convoy was attacked by suspected anti-Balaka elements near Bangassou, about 474 kilometres east of the nation’s capital, Bangui.Clashes between the mainly Muslim Séléka rebel coalition and anti-Balaka militia, which are mostly Christian, plunged the country of 4.5 million people into civil conflict in 2013. read more

Ohio State defense preparing for aerial Cincinnati attack

OSU freshman linebacker Raekwon McMillan (5) pressures Kent State quarterback Colin Reardon during a game Sept. 13 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won 66-0.Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorPreparing for an intrastate opponent could easily be an afterthought for the Ohio State football team.The Buckeyes have not lost a game to coach Urban Meyer’s alma mater Cincinnati since 1897. But the Bearcats enter the matchup against OSU with a top tier passing offense, ranking ninth in the country.Meyer said Wednesday that the matchup pitting the Bearcats’ aerial assault against the Buckeye defense will be the key to the game. He added that he has confidence in his secondary that just a year ago ranked 112 out of 125 teams in pass yards allowed per game. “That’s the big one,” Meyer said. “I do (have confidence) from what I see not because I hope. They are highly-recruited kids. I see what I see in practice and this will be the big challenge for them.”The Bearcats’ redshirt-sophomore quarterback Gunner Kiel, who was highly recruited out of high school, earned high praises from Meyer. He said Kiel has impressed him with his play thus far in 2014. “He is big, strong and he runs pretty good when he runs,” Meyer said. “He looks giant on film and on TV. He just looks like a big, gunslinger-type quarterback.”Kiel, who committed to Indiana and Louisiana State University before spending a year at Notre Dame, transferred to Cincinnati in 2013 and sat out all of last season. But just two games into his career, he is already impressing his peers. OSU junior defensive lineman Tommy Schutt said the Buckeye defense cannot let Kiel be comfortable in the pocket, or he will be able to make plays.“We have a lot of respect for Gunner Kiel and he is a great quarterback,” Schutt said Wednesday. “Our job up front is to get after him and disrupt his game. A huge part of our game plan is getting after the quarterback.”Sophomore safety Vonn Bell makes an interception during a game against Virginia Tech on Sept. 6 at Ohio Stadium. OSU lost, 35-21.Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorOSU sophomore safety Vonn Bell agreed with his defensive teammate, adding that the Buckeyes will need to disturb Kiel in order to be successful. “He is pretty calm back there,” Bell said Wednesday. “We got to bring a lot of chaos. We are going to bring something for him, so we got to get him mixed up in the head, cover our guys and do our jobs.”Containing the Bearcats’ receivers is something that the OSU defense is also focusing on this week as Cincinnati coach Tommy Tuberville called his receiving corps the best he has ever coached. In comparison, Tuberville has coached at Auburn and Texas Tech amongst other schools, going undefeated at Auburn in 2004. Bell said he knows the Buckeyes will be tested Saturday, but remains confident the OSU defense will hold its own. “It’s a challenge for us, (but) it is a challenge for them too,” Bell said. “We got a good group of guys, they got a good group of guys. It’s going to be a real good contest out there. We are going to fight to the end.” After receiving scrutiny last season, Bell said the Buckeye secondary is excited to prove that they are no longer the weak link on the football team. “We are going to show the world who we are,” Bell said.The Buckeyes will have the chance to do that in their second primetime game of the season and fourth overall contest Saturday, something Schutt said he is looking forward to following a week off. “A bye week is always tough, sitting at home watching everyone play,” Schutt said. “We are definitely eager to get after it.”OSU and Cincinnati are scheduled to kickoff Saturday at 6 p.m. at Ohio Stadium. read more

Baseball Ohio State drops home opener swept in doubleheader in Cincinnati to

Ohio State then-junior catcher, now shortstop, Jalen Washington bats against Northwestern on March 26, 2016 at Bill Davis Stadium. Credit: Edward Sutelan | Lantern reporterThe Ohio State baseball team has never encountered much trouble opening up the season at home. They were undefeated at home under head coach Greg Beals and have not lost since 2004, but that streak ended this weekend, as did their three-game winning streak as they were swept by Xavier. The team is now 8-11 on the season, while Xavier improves to an even 10-10.The team was able to find the power stroke as they received six home runs over the weekend. This home run production was not spread out too far, however, as only three players combined for those six.Junior second baseman Noah McGowan blasted three home runs in Game 3, senior shortstop Jalen Washington knocked two over the fence in Game 2 and junior left fielder Tyler Cowles had one of his own in Game 2 as well.Game 1The Buckeyes took the Musketeers to extra innings, but surrendered a run in the top of the 13th inning to lose their home opener, 3-2.Xavier may have been on the road, but they were still able to get things going early. Their first batter of the game reached first, stole second and later advanced on to third base to give the Musketeers their first scoring chance of the night. Freshman first baseman Nate Monastra was able to come through for his team and delivered an RBI single up the middle to give his team the early 1-0 lead.The second inning started off quite similar to the first. Again, Xavier lead off the inning with a base hit, this time a double. The runner then advanced on to third on a single that put runners on the corners.Senior center fielder Matt Fallon followed that up with a successful squeeze bunt attempt to the first baseman was that pushed across the second Xavier run of the night, giving them a 2-0 lead.It did not take long for the Buckeyes to respond. In the bottom of the third inning, a walk, error and sacrifice bunt put runners on second and third for senior shortstop Jalen Washington, who lifted a sacrifice fly to center field to put OSU on the board.Junior second baseman Noah McGowan then followed up Washington’s sacrifice fly with the Buckeyes’ first hit of the game that knotted the game up at two.The score remained tied at two apiece until the top of the 13th inning. The Musketeers loaded up the bases on a pair of hits and a walk before the Buckeyes struck out the next two batters. With the bases loaded and two away, senior right fielder Joe Gellenbeck took the six-pitch walk that pushed across the would-be winning run and bring the score to 3-2.The most potent force at the dish for OSU was again junior center fielder Tre’ Gantt. The leadoff hitter for OSU continued his hot streak into the home opener by delivering three hits in five at-bats. He has now reached base in all 17 games and owns a team-leading .365 batting average. Game 2Hoping to gain some momentum coming off their home-opener, the Buckeyes led the game late, but blew a 4-3 lead and lost in the bottom of the ninth, 5-4.For the second game in a row, the Musketeers got started early. In the bottom of the second inning, a pair of walks and a single loaded up the bases with nobody out. A sacrifice fly put the team up early 1-0 before a squeeze bunt scored another run. The scoring finished with Gallagher lining only the second hit of the game up the middle to put Xavier on top 3-0.The Scarlet and Gray did not wait long before responding. Half an inning later in the top of the third, junior left fielder Tyler Cowles blasted a home run over the left field wall to bring the score to 3-1.With the score now 3-1, the Buckeyes were looking for some more offense and they found it in the form of co-captain Washington. In the top of the fourth inning, he crushed OSU’s second home run of the game over the left field wall and brought the game to within one.The following inning, the team again found some offense off the bat of Washington. With a runner on first and two away, Washington again connected off Xavier’s starter and sent his second home run of the game out and gave OSU its first lead of the game.After being held scoreless for four straight innings, Xavier lifted a sacrifice fly in the seventh to tie up the game at four.The game stayed tied until the bottom of the ninth inning. A hit-by-pitch, walk and single loaded up the bases with one away for Xavier junior shortstop Mitch Gallagher. Gallagher lifted his second sacrifice fly of the game to center field, bringing home the winning run for the team and sealing the 5-4 victory.This was Washington’s first game batting third in the lineup and he delivered exactly what the team was looking for. The fourth-year co-captain came to the plate four times and finished the game with two hits (both home runs), two runs scored and three RBI’s.Game 3OSU built up three leads against Xavier, but blew all three and lost 6-5 in walk-off fashion for the second-straight game.Coming off a loss in which they gave up three early runs, the Buckeyes were all set to get on the scoreboard as early as possible. With the game still tied at zero in the top of the third, McGowan stepped up to the plate and launched the ball over the left field fence to put his team ahead 1-0.The Buckeyes had the early lead, but it would not take long for the Musketeers to respond. With two outs and a runner on second base in the bottom of the third, junior designated hitter Blaine Griffiths doubled to right field and tied the game up at one.The game stayed tied until the seventh inning when McGowan came to bat with runners on the corners. For the second time, he homered to left field to put the Buckeyes ahead 4-1.Xavier again responded quickly to the offensive strike by the Buckeyes. The first batter of the bottom of the seventh inning homered to left field to bring the game to only a two-run gap.But the Musketeers weren’t done there. The next inning, they put runners on first and second for junior catcher Nate Soria, who singled to left to bring Xavier to within one. Another single loaded up the bases for junior left fielder Will LaRue, who walked to tie the game. Xavier had tied the game up, but the McGowan show was still going on. OSU’s second baseman stepped up to the plate for the fifth time and for the third time, he homered to left field to give OSU the 5-4 lead.Now trailing for the third time in this game, Xavier was down to its final three outs. After the leadoff hitter was hit by a pitch, Gellenbeck homered to right-center field to deliver the Musketeers the 6-5 victory and secure the three-game sweep.This was the clear standout game for McGowan. The third-year transfer from McClellan Community College finished the game 3-5 with three runs scored, five RBI and three home runs in the game. The Buckeyes will take the field again at Bill Davis for only the second time this season when they host Youngstown State on Tuesday, with first pitch scheduled for 5:05 p.m. read more

Italy fails to reach World Cup for the first time since

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedWorld Cup: Defending champion Germany eliminatedJune 27, 2018In “Sports”World Cup: Messi’s Argentina lose 0-3 to CroatiaJune 21, 2018In “Sports”Windies entering World Cup as underdogs but optimistic of lifting title- HolderApril 26, 2018In “Sports” After lifting the trophy four times, Gian Piero Ventura’s side will have to wait at least four years for another opportunity.For the first time since 1958, Italy won’t be participating in a World Cup.It was a sad day for the former World Cup winnersItaly played to a 0-0 draw with Sweden in a World Cup qualifying play-off second leg on Monday, falling 1-0 on aggregate to miss out on Russia 2018.Gian Piero Ventura’s men were beaten 1-0 in Stockholm in the first leg on Friday, and were unable to overcome that deficit at the San Siro in Milan.The Azzurri are one of the most successful teams in history at the World Cup, lifting the trophy in 1934, 1938, 1982 and 2006, but they won’t even get the chance to participate in the tournament next summer.Ventura will now almost certainly lose his job after he took over from Antonio Conte following Italy’s successful Euro 2016 run, when they fell on penalties to Germany in the quarter-finals.Head coach of the Italy national team Gian Piero VenturaDespite going out in the quarter-finals, Conte was considered to have overachieved with that Italy side, who were short on talent in comparison to Azzurri teams of the past.But Ventura failed to achieve what his predecessor had during his year-and-a-half in charge, with Italy regressing in a World Cup qualifying campaign that counted a 1-1 home draw to Macedonia last month among its more disappointing results.Ventura could only lead Italy to a second-place finish in UEFA World Cup qualifying Group G, finishing five points behind group winners Spain and setting up a play-off with the Swedes to reach Russia. read more

EYEWITNESS Playing the fool…

…on GuySuCo“Playing the fool” in Guyanese lingo doesn’t mean you’re funny – it means you’re being deliberately stupid. “Playing the ass” expresses the sentence even pithier. Right now – with the farce playing out on the GuySuCo Board – all your Eyewitness can say is this PNC-led Government’s REALLY playing the ass with sugar. And it certainly ain’t funny to the 10,000 sugar workers left after the firings of 5700, who’re living from day to day.Trying to justify the unjustifiable, the PNC claimed the amputation of three factories was the only way to “save the industry”!! Tough love!! So what did they do?? They transferred the stock ownership of GuySuCo to NICIL so that its SPU could borrow $30 billion. But we could tell all wasn’t kosher when it took a week to announce what they’ll do with the money – fix the rump GuySuCo or the “closed” estates.From then onwards the story really becomes a farce. Heath-London, the head of the SPU, placed an ad in the dailies at the beginning of March announcing a new GuySuCo Board with him at the head of a bevy of mostly neophytes to sugar. Seems letters of appointment were sent out to these worthies – but as to who sent out the letters we still don’t know. Had to be on some kind of official letterhead at the least, no?? We also don’t know if letters on non-renewal of contracts were sent to the “old” Board – including its Chairman, Clive Thomas.Now we know that Thomas, as Chair, was just treading water at best – but your Eyewitness hoped, at least for the sake of sugar’s survival, the Government’s left hand was being coordinated with the right hand. But it was not to be. Up came the inimitable Minister of Finance Winston Jordan – who certainly doesn’t LOOK like a comedian – but is certainly doing his best to sound like one with his “now you see it…now you don’t” routine about the Board. Was it real butter or was it margarine?? Who was the Chair…Heath-London or Thomas?? Or both?Does the “owner” of GuySuCo’s shares get to pick its Board – Heath-London…or does the Government make a mockery of GuySuCo’s “autonomous” status and keep Thomas?? Now whatever happens now – after the totally clueless Minister of Agri Holder says HE’S setting up his own Board – we know that Heath-London and Jordan have ABSOLUTELY NO FAITH IN THOMAS!! And more to the point, they don’t want him anywhere near that $30 billion the SPU borrowed.And like the grass that gets trampled when the elephants (Jordan and Holder!) fight, the remaining sugar workers can only see their jobs disappearing.It’s a shad, shad story!!…with correspondent bankingThe old folks say smart flies always end up on the (nasty) nether regions of the bovine species!! And this is just where this PNC-led Government’s at when it comes to international banks intermediating our funds. When in Opposition, the PNC and AFC played ducks and drakes with the AML/CFT Bill and had us placed on the international bankers’ blacklist. The AFC even said they’d sign on if the Procurement Commission were appointed. Meaning they had no substantive problems with the Bill – they just wanted to play to the gallery!!And that’s all they were doing, weren’t they?? But the damage was already done to our international banking credentials. And we still haven’t recovered – as Minister of Finance Jordan conceded yesterday. After those banks “derisked” themselves by cutting off ties with our local banks – did he expect they would just reverse themselves just like that?? Is he living in la la land??It’ll take at least the injection of real oil money –- from a renegotiated contract – to get a second look.…on drivers’ licencesQuick now!! Which Guyanese is surprised at the news that half of the written drivers’ exams were FAKE?? This is only the start of the scams that some Police officers pull with licences, fitness, road stops, etc…etc… Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedEYEWITNESS: Hot potato…April 17, 2018In “EYEWITNESS”EYEWITNESS: The name is…October 2, 2018In “EYEWITNESS”Making hay…December 6, 2018In “EYEWITNESS” read more

Heres What Happened Today Friday

first_img Get our daily news round up: By Cliodhna Russell Here’s What Happened Today: Friday Political turmoil over Maurice McCabe whistleblowing smear, Dublin Bus ballot for strike and temperatures reaching -3 this weekend, it’s the Evening Fix. Source: TheGreenerDream” title=””>Source: TheGreenerDream” title=””>Source: TheGreenerDream” title=””>Source: TheGreenerDream” title=””>Source: TheGreenerDream” title=””>Source: TheGreenerDream” title=””>Source: TheGreenerDream” title=””> Feb 10th 2017, 9:01 PM Short URL Share2 Tweet Email Previous 1 / 7Next NEED TO CATCH up? TheJournal.ie brings you a round-up of today’s news.IRELAND Source: Laura HuttonPolitical turmoil is unfolding over the Maurice McCabe whistleblowing smears and pressure is increasing on government ministers and Tusla over who knew what.The NBRU says it has no choice but to ballot its members at Dublin Bus for strike action.A new report shows house price growth in Dublin “unexpectedly slowed” in December, bucking the trend of accelerating price growth throughout 2016.An Bord Pleanála is overturning the decision by South Dublin County Council to grant permission for an expansion and new skating and multi-use event venue at Liffey Valley shopping centre.Two men have been arrested after drugs believed to be destined for the Galway “rag week” market were seized by gardaí.Trinity College Dublin has been announced as the only Irish university to make it into the world’s top 150 this year.The cold mornings are set to continue into the weekend with temperatures dropping to below zero tonight leading to severe frost and icy patches.Former president Mary Robinson has said that it was a mistake to leave her role as President early to take up the position of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.Irish astronomy fans will be treated to a rare eclipse of the moon just after midnight tonight.INTERNATIONAL Source: Stefan Pilipa#US: Experts say Donald Trump has “come to his senses” after a friendly phone call with China.#UK: A huge amount of cocaine has washed up on two beaches in England.#FRANCE: A 16-year-old girl is among four people arrested for allegedly plotting a terrorist attack in France.#FOUND: A 39-year-old Canadian man who disappeared in 2012 has been found safe and sound near the Amazon jungle in Brazil.PARTING SHOTThe people of Ballaghaderreen have begun to prepare for the arrival of Syrian refugees to their local town – by building a ‘wall of welcome’. http://jrnl.ie/3233981 10,965 Views Welcome Art Friday 10 Feb 2017, 9:01 PM Previous 8 Comments Next Welcome Art Source: TheGreenerDreamWelcome Art Source: TheGreenerDreamWelcome ArtSource: TheGreenerDreamWelcome Art Source: TheGreenerDreamWelcome ArtSource: TheGreenerDreamWelcome Art Source: TheGreenerDreamWelcome Art Source: TheGreenerDream Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

American Horror Story Dials Back the Scares but Keeps Things Tense Enough

first_img It’s still hard to believe American Horror Story: Cult managed to turn the absolute mess this season made early on around, but here we are. While this episode wasn’t nearly as scary as last week’s, the tension remained high, and we got a look at the inner workings of Kai’s cult. Let’s get this out of the way first: A scene had to be cut from last night’s broadcast. After the events in Las Vegas last week, FX wisely decided that opening a show with a mass shooting was probably not the best idea. Especially since American Horror Story doesn’t exactly have the best history when it comes to depicting them. Remember when season one played a school shooting like a John Hughes comedy? Man, it’s a miracle this show has lasted seven seasons.Having now seen both cuts of the scene, you still get the message. There’s a shooting at Kai’s campaign rally, and at the end, Ally appears holding the gun. We didn’t need to see bullets going through bodies to get the story, and it doesn’t make the scene any scarier. (Of course, I’ve never been a fan of guns in horror. They’re too loud, quick and easy to be scary on screen. There’s a reason Jason never shot anyone.) What the scene is effective at is instilling a sense of tension in the rest of the episode. We know what happens at the end, and we spend the entire hour finding out how Ally got there.Sarah Paulson (Photo via FX)The good news here is that Ally doesn’t completely suck. After she saw Meadow get captured, she rescues her from the garage. She pretty much tells Ally everything. That her wife is part of Kai’s cult, that he chooses people and makes them feel special to get them to follow him, and that he intends to use fear to control people. The scenes where the episode shows Kai doing exactly this are where the episode is most effective. It’s where the show really dives into the true horror of cults. You can see how masterfully Kai manipulates Meadow. How he gives her everything she wants, and in return, she’ll do anything for him. Even if the episode itself is light on scares, these scenes make the whole thing deeply unsettling. Sometimes, that’s all horror needs to do.There is one problem here though. The whole thing is still kind of predictable. Did anyone believe for a second that Meadow had truly turned on Kai? That if she had, she’d be allowed to live, and not currently sitting in a basement with a head full of nails? Of course, she was playing Ally the whole time. The cult has been making Ally out to be insane all season, and now it’s paying off. She’ll try to tell the world what’s really going on, but nobody will believe her. It’s kind of a shame it was so easy to see this reveal coming. The cult indoctrination scenes were done well enough to keep up the tension, but the predictability severely undercuts what the episode was going for. Also, I still can’t take the pinky swear scenes seriously. They look too ridiculous for how much weight they’re given. Though this one did reveal why the group is targeting Ally in particular. Ivy wants to leave her and take full custody of Ozy. And yeah, it’s not hard to see why. Ally still sucks, and she sucked worse as a co-mother, selfishly lording her biological connection to Ozy over her wife. Are we supposed to be identifying with a cult member over a victim here?Evan Peters, Leslie Grossman (Photo via FX)After the first few episodes, AHS: Cult definitely needed to explain what was going on, but now I worry they explained too much. The clowns are no longer scary. It was important to tell us that they were real, but now that we’ve seen exactly how they operate, it’s hard to be scared when they show up. We know exactly who is under each mask. We know how they get in peoples’ houses. In this episode, they don’t even kill their target in a particularly frightening way. Instead of the sadistic, upsetting kills we’ve seen from them in the past, they just fake Kai’s opponent’s suicide. They write a fake suicide note on Facebook, and shoot her with her own gun. Remember how I said guns weren’t scary in horror? They still aren’t. The part where one clown stalks Ally down the hall, only for Ally to realize it’s her wife could have been scary. It could have if the opening scene didn’t give her plot armor. We know she survives to seemingly shoot up the rally, so she can’t die here.The twist at the end is pulled off nicely, though. We find out that Meadow is the one who really shot up the rally. It was all orchestrated by Kai, who needed an assassination attempt to elevate him to the national stage. In the end, Meadow kills herself for the cause, but not before letting Ally take the gun. The episode had some problems, but it was thrilling seeing everything come together like that. There is any number of places the series can go next week, but I’m just hoping for more scares. A constant sense of discomfort and tension is nice, but I’d really prefer this show start terrifying me.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on target Top Movie and TV Trailers You Might Have Missed This WeekAmerican Horror Story Takes Us Back to the Days of Witches and Warlocks last_img read more

MovieBob Reviews HEREDITARY

first_img MovieBob Reviews: ‘Shadow’MovieBob Reviews: ‘The Curse of La Llorona’ Stay on target Is Hereditary good?Yes.Is it scary?Scared the bejesus outta me.Oh! So what’s it about?That’s sort of hard to say without giving things away, honestly – though we can certainly try up to a point.Lay it on me.Okay: The film stars Toni Colette, Gabriel Byrne, Alex Wolff and Millie Shapiro are the mom, dad, son and daughter (respectively) comprising an upper-class family ensconced in a gorgeous rustic McMansion in rural Utah apparently paid for mainly by mom’s career as a work-from-home artist specializing in disturbingly elaborate miniatures depicting her life. Specifically her difficult relationship with her own mother, who recently passed away from cancer and whom we learn was psychologically abusive toward her and uncomfortably manipulative of her grandchildren along with leading a secret inner life that much of the family only vaguely understands. But even if not particularly well-liked, her death has left a grim presence hanging over the family… exacerbating rifts between them and bringing long-buried resentments to the surface.Ah, so we’re doing the “horror-as-metaphor” thing?…maybe. Getting any more specific about what is or isn’t “really” going on would be verging on spoiler territory. And I almost hesitate to suggest that it CAN be spoiled since it’s entirely possible that the whole reason Hereditary’s unceasing unpredictability and omnipresent storytelling gear-shifts worked so well for me is that I didn’t even know this was a movie I was supposed to be expecting anything other than a straightforward plot progression. But yeah, I guess it’s not giving anything “away” to confirm that the main thematic/aesthetic focus is playing around with the blurry lines between the way the scars of family dysfunction can make us feel like we’re being haunted by malevolent echoes from the past and… possibly being actually haunted by malevolent echoes from the past.Fair enough. Can we talk about tone, at least – as in what “type” of horror movie I’m in for? I’ve heard this referred as “arthouse horror,” for one…When it comes to so-called “art house” horror movies, everyone is always trying to make either The Shining or The Exorcist, American cinema’s twin benchmarks for films that manage to straddle the line between bloody, shock-driven setpiece horror and meditative dramatic narratives about faith family and universal psychological anxieties. I’m not 100% sold that this belongs on the pantheon with either of them, but it’s easily one of the most successful attempts at hitting that specific vibe that anyone has managed in years. Extreme shocker violence, unnerving psychological horror, eyebrow-raising violations of “you can’t do that” narrative taboos and realistic, relatable human drama – that’s about the mix we’re talking… until it’s not.Meaning?That it’s also got at least a toe dipped for necessity in the water of postmodernism – in as much as it’s counting on most people who’d be watching to have either seen or absorbed via cultural osmosis The Shining, Exorcist, Amityville, Rosemary’s Baby, Sixth Sense, The Omen… the whole rest of “The Canon.” Basically, and writer/director Ari Aster seems to take deliberately sadistic delight in using genre-signifiers and our expectations therewith against the audience. Oh, you think you know where this is going because you’ve SEEN a Spooky Kid movie before. Or a Witchcraft movie before, or a Satanic Cult movie before, or a Haunted House movie before, or a Possession movie, or a Gaslighting Conspiracy movie, or a Main Character Doesn’t Know They’re Actually The Crazy One movie, or even an Any One Of Those Things As Metaphor For Familial Dysfunction movie, or whatever it is you THINK it is you’re watching here? Well, think again.Got it. How’s the cast?Very good! Collette is, of course, assigned much of the heavy-lifting as a protagonist who becomes gradually less “sympathetic” the more she becomes “understandable” (which in a way might be the biggest taboo the film ends up breaking, considering how Hollywood movies have come to embrace the gospel that emotional transparency is always an innate good in and of itself). But it’s Wolff who ends up the surprising standout when one considers the near-unthinkable notes he’s asked to play once the actual plot comes into focus. Credit also to Byrne for bringing humanity to an initially thankless straight-man role, and to Shapiro for finding new places to go with one of the horror genre’s most worn-out cliches: The creepy little kid someone should really be keeping a closer eye on.So it comes recommended?Very much. I suspect there’ll be some blowback on this one, considering the “You didn’t warn me THAT was in the movie!” factor and the gradual build from Shyamalan-esque somber realism to batshit-nuts nightmare plunge – everyone says they want a modern answer to Exorcist or The Shining but forget what an assaultive punch to the face of the audience films like that were received as in their day. Hereditary does a good job looking safe, posh and classy… but it’s here to rip your damn head off, and it does a near-perfect job of it. Check it out – if you dare.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more

OBITUARY Peter J Michals III 80

first_imgTEWKSBURY, MA — Peter J. Michals III of Tewksbury passed away peacefully after a brief illness on July 19. He was 80 years old.He was born and grew up in East Cambridge, graduated from Rindge Technical School and Cambridge High and Latin. An altar boy in his youth, Peter was a devout Catholic all of his life, and attended Mass each week as a parishioner at St. Williams Church. At age 19, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served from 1957 to 1960. He was a member of the Air Police and was stationed in Germany and France. He often recalled his service and the traveling he did with the Air Force as among his fondest memories. When he returned from service abroad, he married his sweetheart, Camille Samaria (Michals), who waited for him. Together, they had three children.Peter attended and held degrees from Boston University, Lowell Tech, and Lowell State University, now UMass Lowell. He was a caring family man who worked as an accountant and had a small tax preparation business until his retirement a few years ago. He loved his family, enjoyed playing sports with his son, and spent 15 years as a volunteer coach for Tewksbury Little League baseball. He was also a member of the Tewksbury-Wilmington Elks.He is survived by his beloved wife of 57 years, Camille; daughter Debra Michals and son-in-law Mark Antinoro of Newburyport; son Peter and daughter-in-law Kelly Curley of Contoocook, NH; grandson Cori Michals and granddaughter Ashley Michals of New Hampshire; step-grandchildren Sarah Antinoro and Melanie Antinoro of Acton, MA, and Casey Curley of Pensacola, FL.; his sister Janet Tosto of Tewksbury; and many nieces and nephews. His was predeceased by a daughter, Camille Marie “Camie.”Memorial Visiting hours will be on Wednesday, July 25, from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. at Tewksbury Funeral Home, corner of 1 Dewey and 975 Main Sts. (Rte. 38) TEWKSBURY CENTER, followed by a Memorial Funeral Mass at 11:30 a.m. in St. Williams Church, 1351 Main St. (Rte. 38) Tewksbury. Burial will follow at St. Mary Cemetery, No. Tewksbury. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, P.O. Box 1000, Dept. 142, Memphis, TN 38148-0142 or visit http://www.stjude.org. Peter’s family would like to extend their gratitude to the caring staff of Woodbriar Health Center in Wilmington.Peter J. Michals III(NOTE: The above obituary is from the Tewksbury Funeral Home.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedOBITUARY: Elizabeth J. “Betty” (Kilpatrick) Valente, 75In “Obituaries”OBITUARY: Donald R. Donahue, 80In “Obituaries”OBITUARY: Brandon M. Long, 27In “Obituaries”last_img read more

Game of Thrones prequel to show construction of The Wall

first_imgBran the Builder in Game of Thrones prequelGame of Thrones (@gameofthrones/Instagram)Now that Game of Thrones has finally ended, Westeros fans are eagerly waiting to see Game of Thrones prequel, rumored titled Bloodmoon.As per earlier interviews, Game of Thrones prequel is set around 5000 years ago before the events showed in the television adaptation of The Song of Ice and Fire. The prequel will chronicle the world’s descent from the Golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour. As per several speculations, darkest hour in the series means the birth of Night King and subsequently the rise of White Walkers.As per George RR Martins books, the Age of Heroes is the time period in which the Children of the Forest made a pact with humans or men, and when Bran the Builder — the Stark ancestor lived. As per the old nan tales, Bran the Builder is the one who built The Wall to keep the White Walkers at the bay.Since the prequel is going to feature Bran the Builder, it is most likely that we finally get to see the construction of the Winterfell and The Wall.As per the books, the Wall is a colossal fortification which stretches for more than 482 kilometers along the Northern border of the Seven Kingdoms, separating the entire realm from the domain of the wildlings who live beyond. The wall is reported to be over 700 feet tall and it averages 300 feet in width. Bran Stark is the Night KingFacebookThe Wall was constructed by Bran the Builder and is supposed to have all sorts of magic to protect it from the White Walkers. As per the events are shown in Game of Thrones, the Wall has grown considerably since it was first constructed by Bran, as the Night’s Watch has spent thousands of years augmenting it with huge ice blocks and has even upgraded its defense system.As of now, there is nothing sure about Game of Thrones prequel. The production is likely to begin from this June and fans are hoping to see something magical when it will finally air on HBO in 2020 or 2021. The much-awaited Game of Thrones prequel will feature an ensemble cast of Naomi Watts, Josh Whitehouse, Naomi Ackie, Denise Gough, Jamie Campbell Bower, and Sheila Atim. The show’s story is written by George RR Martin and Jane Goldman is overlooking the project as the showrunner.last_img read more