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Why is the Darjeeling stir killing tea and tourism?

first_imgWhat runs the hills’ economy?Tea and tourism are the twin pillars of the economy of the Darjeeling region. It also has some horticulture, floriculture, spice and cinchona cultivation, but the main income and employment generators are tea and tourism. These two are now under attack as the hills are caught in a fresh spiral of violence.What is the status of the tea industry?Let us take tea first. The 87 operating tea gardens in Darjeeling indirectly employ over a lakh people and directly around 60,000 people, 60% of whom are women. As per existing laws, the estates also provide housing and medical facilities to about four lakh people — families of the workers. However, the output of the exotic crop has been on a decline, nearly halving over the last few decades. Most worrisome is the fact that the industry for many reasons is not only losing crop but also revenue.Why has it been hit hard?The current agitation does not help matters, as it comes during peak production season. The two leaves and a bud, plucked during the summer months between April and July, yield some of the best Darjeeling teas, fragrant with their unique muscatel flavour. These are also the teas that fetch the best prices in domestic and international markets, giving the industry 40% of its annual revenue.The industry’s initial optimism on the agitation being a short-lived one has been dashed. Not only is productivity being affected due to the closure but the movement of inputs to the gardens and output of the made teas are also jeopardised.The industry has already sent out SOS appeals, saying that this may lead to closure of many gardens even after return to normalcy.What about tourism?Despite having a palette as rich as the Sundarbans and the Darjeeling Hills, West Bengal was never a top tourist destination. The steps taken by the present government to augment and enhance the state’s tourism potential have yielded results and now the State is among India’s top 10 tourist destinations.As per latest official statistics of the Union Tourism Ministry, in 2016 West Bengal attracted 74.5 million domestic tourists, slipping to the eighth position from fifth in 2015. It attracted 1.5 million foreign tourists during 2016. A significant portion of them headed to the eastern Himalayas to get a view of the Kanchenjunga range as also to soak in the ambience of this former summer capital of the British Empire. Many of them rushed to scamper back to the safety of the plains as the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha agitation fanned across the hill district.Aware that Darjeeling is literally the crown-jewel of the State’s tourism assets, the government has taken several steps to spruce up the existing accommodation while adding new ones at Darjeeling and its neighbouring subdivisions like Kalimpong and Kurseong. It has also rolled out a home-stay policy and many people have invested to make their homes a pleasant tourist accommodation. All these are aimed at boosting the employment generation in a State where the scope of generating employment through large industries is limited. These now lie in waste.What does the future hold?Very little, unless the current agitation is resolved. The 18.5 lakh population of the district has a fairly high literacy rate of around 79.6%, according to the 2011 census figures. The tea industry is already losing able hands to a population which is migrating from the district, leaving the women and the infirm to their fate on the tea estates. The tourism industry is run by plains as well as hills people providing employment to the local youth. Little changes for the political leaders in such agitations but much is at stake for the locals, and the Queen of Hill Stations as Darjeeling was once lovingly referred to.last_img read more

4 minor girls missing from Patna shelter

first_imgFour minor girls were found missing on Sunday from a shelter home in Patna. A case has been registered at the Patliputra police station.According to the police, four girls, aged between 12 and 16, are said to have escaped from the Asha Kiran shelter home, located inside a school campus in Patliputra Colony on Sunday morning. The State Welfare Department runs the home which is managed by an NGO. The girls, living on the second floor of the shelter home, are said to have escaped from a window using a dupatta (stole) as rope and jumped over the boundary wall. The police have registered a case and begun searching for the missing minors. “We searched for the girls at railway stations, bus station and other prominent locations but they’re yet to be found,” said Patliputra police station in-charge T.N. Tiwari. The official in-charge of the shelter home did not respond to questions on the incident. The rape and sexual exploitation of 34 girls at another Bihar shelter home in Muzaffarpur was exposed earlier this year in a report by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences. Over a dozen persons, including the main accused Brajesh Thakur, were later arrested. The Supreme Court is monitoring the case. Following a court order, Brajesh was recently shifted to Patiala jail in Punjab as the CBI said he could have “influenced” the case by being in Muzaffarpur jail. The then Social Welfare Minister Manju Verma had to step down from her post after her husband’s name cropped up in the case.Meanwhile, the municipal commissioner has ordered demolition of illegal constructions at the Muzaffarpur shelter home.last_img read more

BJP for early abrogation of Articles 370, 35A, says J&K BJP president

first_imgJammu and Kashmir BJP president Ravinder Raina on may 26 said his party is for early abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution.He also expressed confidence that the BJP will form the next government in the State on its own.Mr. Raina said his party will work for defreezing of the eight Assembly seats reserved for refugees from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and revoking of the cumbersome M-Form exercise for Kashmiri migrant pandits before the next Assembly polls.“Article 370, a temporary transitional provision, is the biggest injustice with the people of Jammu and Kashmir, while the Article 35A is a constitutional blunder which was included through back door without the consent of Parliament and the president…We wish the early abrogation of both these constitutional provisions,” Mr. Raina told reporters in Jammu.Article 370 grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir. Article 35A empowers the State Assembly to define ‘permanent residents’ for bestowing special rights and privileges on them.On May 24, National Conference president Farooq Abdullah said Prime Minister Narendra Modi cannot remove Article 35A and Article 370 of the Constitution. “Let him be as powerful as he (Mr. Modi) likes, he cannot remove Article 370 and Article 35A (from the State of Jammu and Kashmir),” Mr. Abdullah had said, adding “our right of Article 370 and Article 35A should be protected. This is very important for us. We are soldiers of this country, not enemies”. Accusing Kashmir-based politicians of “misleading” the people of the State on these articles, Mr. Raina said Article 370 is a “wall of hatred” and the main reason for the prevailing situation in the Jammu and Kashmir. “Both the provisions have to go. Article 35A is discriminatory in nature as if (former Chief Minister) Omar Abdullah marries outside the State, his wife is entitled to various rights under these articles but when his sister Sara married Sachin pilot, she lost all her rights over property in the State,” he said.Mr. Raina said the BJP from the days of the Jana Sangh and the Praja Parishad under the leadership of Shyama Prasad Mukherjee and others fought against these articles of the Constitution which are “not good for the State”. “Due to these articles, near about 100 families have looted all other families of the state for decades together,” he alleged.Buoyed by the success of retaining the three Lok Sabha seats in Jammu and Ladakh regions, Mr. Raina expressed confidence that the BJP will win the upcoming Assembly polls in the State with a “thumping majority”. “With the bumper support, the masses have made it clear that the BJP is going to win more than 50 seats in the next Assembly elections and will form the next government on its own strength. The next Chief Minister will be of the BJP,” he said.last_img read more

Amendment Bills for 2 Labour Acts likely to be placed in Parl

first_imgHyderabad, Jul 16 (PTI) Amendment bills for two labour acts may be placed in Parliament soon and the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act-1986 which has already been tabled in Rajya Sabha may be passed during the upcoming monsoon session, Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya today said.The Labour minister said amendments to Maternity Benefit Act and Workmen Compensation Act are likely to go to cabinet for approval and subsequent placement before Parliament for passage.”I expect the two Amendment Bills may be placed before the Cabinet for approval. Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act-1986 is already in Rajya Sabha. I hope that it would be passed during the monsoon session,” Dattratreya told reporters in a press conference.Speaking about his recent trip to China where he participated in G-20 Labour Ministers conference, the minister said all the participating countries appreciated the initiative taken by the Indian government on skill development and employment generation.Replying to a query, he said the central government has so far sanctioned Rs 587 crore to Telangana as suggested by the 14th Finance Commission.He also said a team of senior officials from the Ministry of Commerce will soon visit Telangana to examine the proposal of setting up two parks for Turmeric and Chilies and development of Textiles at Gadwal and Pochampalli regions in the state. PTI GDK DK RCJlast_img read more

ISL: Mumbai City FC hammer Delhi Dynamos to go second in league table

first_imgMumbai City FC put up a dominating display in front of their home crowd as they thrashed Delhi Dynamos 4-0 in their Indian Super League (ISL) clash at the Mumbai Football Arena on Friday.The Mumbai-Delhi clash was not only a goal-fest but tempers flared as both sides found themselves down to 10 men by the end of the first half of the match.However, Mumbai went on a rampage in the second half and raced to the second spot in the league table while Delhi slumped to their sixth straight loss and remained rooted at the bottom of the table after seven games.ALSO WATCHIt was a moment of madness that saw both sides reduced to 10 men deep into the added time of the first half. Mumbai’s Sehnaj Singh and Delhi’s Matias Mirabaje were involved in a massive scuffle that led to both seeing the red card from the referee.Tempers flared and two red cards were flashed in Mumbai!Watch it LIVE on @hotstartweets: https://t.co/Lwhtjz69mi JioTV users can watch it LIVE on the app. #ISLMoments #MUMDEL #LetsFootball pic.twitter.com/6Ghz5kx9jo- Indian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) December 29, 2017Lucian Goian opened the scoring for the home side in the 12th minute after Everton Santos went down inside the Delhi box under a challenge from Delhi goalkeeper Arnab Das Sharma to win his side a penalty.Achille Emana stepped up to take the spot kick but hit shot hit the post. Goian was on point for the rebound though as Mumbai took the lead.advertisementMumbai City FC doubled their lead at the stroke of halftime. Emana’s free kick from near the corner post was well met by Santos to ripple Delhi’s net for the second time.The home side started off the second half where they had left in the first. Just three minutes into the restart, Santos further stretched Mumbai’s lead. Rui Das’s corner at the near post found the Brazilian and his looping header went over the line.Late on into the game, Mumbai’s star striker Balwant Singh also got into the act to become the leading scorer in this edition of the ISL with five goals.How about that celebration �???Watch it LIVE on @hotstartweets: https://t.co/Lwhtjz69mi JioTV users can watch it LIVE on the app. #ISLMoments #MUMDEL #LetsFootball pic.twitter.com/PHFCIZHhCS- Indian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) December 29, 2017In the 78th minute, Emana again turned creator. His cross found Singh in acres of space inside the Delhi Box and he did the rest from there to make it a memorable victory for him and his team..@MumbaiCityFC jumped to second spot in the #HeroISL standings, after they put four past @DelhiDynamos in a dominating performance!More videos: https://t.co/cVyUhTONeX#ISLRecap #LetsFootball #MUMDEL pic.twitter.com/lTn385phuQ- Indian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) December 29, 2017last_img read more

Greek Basketball Legend Nick Galis at the 7th Navarino Challenge

first_imgATHENS – For the 7th consecutive year, Navarino Challenge, the annual celebration of sports, comes to Messinia and Costa Navarino October 11-13 with new surprises and new activities.Greek basketball legend Nick Galis, the first Greek basketball player inducted into the Hall of Fame, and to have been counted among the pantheon of world basketball greats, will be present at the award-winning event for the first time. Emphasizing the role of sports in bringing people together, Nick Galis pointed out: “Sport unites people. Sport unites nations.The Navarino Challenge brings together professional and amateur athletes, people of different ages, genders and skills. It creates friendships and special bonds between participants who all speak the same language, that of sports. As a society, we have to send the message that sports unites people – #sportsunitespeople – but to also give young children core ethical values through sport. Costa Navarino and Navarino Challenge are pioneers in promoting this idea and I will contribute to spreading the message with great pleasure.”Euroleague legend Joe Arlauckas leads basketball clinic for kids at the Navarino Challenge. Photo by Mike TsolisGalis will be the guest of honor at this year’s event and he will also tip off the 4on4 tournament at Costa Navarino. Participants who book their accommodation package at The Westin Resort Costa Navarino will, for the first time this year, have the opportunity to form their own championship team and compete in the tournament until the finals.Basketball clinic with Joe ArlauckasBasketball will be the sport of honor with Euroleague legend Joe Arlaukas leading basketball lessons for children aged between 5 and 17.Free admission in the Authentic Marathon of Athens for the first 50The first 50 to book a package at The Westin Resort Costa Navarino will earn a free admission in the Athens Authentic Marathon’s 5km race on November 10, 2019. With the main goal of promoting sport and fair play through its message “sport unites people,” Navarino Challenge will include more than 10 Olympic sports and numerous activities for everyone in its program.The Westin Resort Costa Navarino. Photo by Elias LefasNavarino Challenge participants who’ve booked their accommodation package at The Westin Resort Costa Navarino and choose to take part in the main activities (running, swimming) can also enjoy all the other event activities. More information on accommodation packages can be found on the following online: http://www.navarinochallenge.com/accommodation-packages-2019Runners and swimmers can act immediately to take advantage of the early bird offer by registering to a 30% discount until May 31 (children’s participation is free of charge).Entries for the award-winning sporting event are underway and interested parties can take part by completing the special form available at the following link: http://activemedia.com.gr/product/navarino-challenge-2019/.Pre-sale is also available online via www.viva.gr or by phone at 11876 as well as at all Viva pre-sale points.Samsung is the official technology partner for another year. Official sponsors of the event are Ford Motor Hellas and the Natural Mineral Water Vikos. Luanvi is the official sports supplier of the event for one more year.Westin Premium Suite. Photo: Courtesy of Navarino ChallengeOfficial supporters are Municipality of Pylos-Nestor, Poseidonia, and Avance Rent A Car.  Navarino Challenge has joined the Greek actions of the #BeactiveHellas 2019 program of the European Commission and is under the auspices of the General Secretariat of Sports.Navarino Challenge is co-organized by Costa Navarino, The Westin Resort Costa Navarino and Active Media Group with the support of the Municipalities of Pylos-Nestor and Trifilia.Hashtags: #navarinochallenge #costanavarino #sportsunitepeople #eatwell #runwell #livewellTweetPinShare237237 Shareslast_img read more

England vs India: Suresh Raina makes ODI comeback after nearly 3 years

first_imgSuresh Raina is back in the one-day international squad after a gap of three years as India continue to experiment with their middle-order in the 50-over set up.Raina, who last played an ODI against South Africa in October, was dropped from the limited-overs sides due to inconsistency with the bat and his failure to pass the yo-yo test.But the 31-year-old worked hard during his time away from the Indian team, scored runs in the domestic circuit and in the Indian Premier League and also worked hard on his fitness to make his way back in the national set up.India vs England 1st ODI Live Cricket ScoreThroughout his career Raina has played 18 knocks at No. 4 and scored 675 runs at an average of 45 with one hundred and six half-centuries. He has batted at No.5 on 81 occasions and has three hundreds with an impressive strike-rate and average.The Men in Blue are yet to figure out the permanent combination in the middle-order especially in the one-day team with just MS Dhoni and Hardik Pandya being the constants to feature in the playing XI.Ajinkya Rahane and Kedar Jadhav were part of the team during the 6-match series in South Africa while Shreyas Iyer was also given an opportunity but none of them were able to cement their places in the side.India vs England: Rohit Sharma braces for high-scoring ODI series vs EnglandManish Pandey has also been given a longer rope but keeps moving in and out of the final XI.advertisementDinesh Karthik is also a part of the squad but wasn’t included in the XI against England on Thursday.Team India are looking at this series as a precursor for the 50-over World Cup which will be played in England next year and need to finalise their middle-order soon.KL Rahul seems to have sealed his place in the team thanks to his outstanding form off late. He is expected to bat at No. 3 with Kohli coming in at No. 4.”With the World Cup in England exactly a year later, in terms of preparations, it will be good for us to see where we stand as a team. What sort of combinations, targets can be available for us.”What we need to do to move forward as a team. This tour brings another challenge for us,” opener Rohit Sharma had stated at the pre-match press conference in Nottingham on Wednesday.Both Rohit and KL Rahul slammed a century each in the concluded T20I series, when asked about the chance of batting together in ODIs, he said, “I do not know where he will bat in ODIs. But he has been in great form. He is a quality player, wherever he will bat he will contribute. He wants to make a contribution in ODI team and will make an impact,” he said.Former India captain Sourav Ganguly on the other hand, feels Rahul should bat at No. 3 with Kohli with at crucial number four position to provide solidity to the India’s batting line-up.Since the tour of Sri Lanka in July-August 2017, India have tried as many as six different batsmen – Rahul, Kedar Jadhav, Manish Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik and Ajinkya Rahane – at the number four position but Ganguly feels Kohli is the best bet for the crucial slot.”With Rahul at number three, and Virat Kohli batting at number four, I think the problem has been sorted out. And I firmly believe it is also the right thing to do in the ODI format as well,” Ganguly said. “I think that’s what Kohli is going to do (in the upcoming series) as well,” the former skipper opined,” he added.India will now be banking on Rahul’s form and Raina’s experience to dominate the ODI series in England after clinching the T20I series 2-1.last_img read more

Virat Kohli’s Adelaide memories: 3 hundreds and 2 heartbreaking defeats

first_imgVirat Kohli will have fond memories of the Adelaide Oval as he gets ready to lead India in the Border-Gavaskar series opener on Thursday.This is the same ground where Kohli led Team India for the first time in Test cricket four years ago. Back then, Kohli was just filling in for regular-skipper MS Dhoni, who was ruled out with a thumb injury.The rare injury to Dhoni gave Kohli the chance to lead the side at the same venue, where he had also scored his maiden Test century in 2012. That match ended in a crushing 298-run loss for India.Then came the Test match at the Adelaide Oval in 2014 and Kohli once again waged a lone battle for India.Kohli loves to play against Australia and four years back, it was this very ground which changed his life forever.The 2014 Adelaide Test match between the two sides was perhaps one of the greatest ever played in Border-Gavaskar series history with both teams fighting till the very end and it was Kohli who was leading the visitors from the front.But even before the first ball was bowled, Kohli had won over the Australian crowd after he, along with coach Ravi Shastri, attended the funeral of late Aussie cricketer Phil Hughes. Virat Kohli attended Phil Hughes’s funeral along with India coach Ravi Shastri (Reuters Photo)The events which transpired before the Adelaide Test had taken the world by storm and the untimely departure of Hughes left everyone shocked and saddened. The whole cricketing fraternity was left heartbroken after Hughes’s death and there was a sense of sorrow and grief even as the match started on December 9.advertisementAustralia scored a mammoth 517 for 7 in their first innings thanks to centuries from David Warner (145), Steve Smith (162 not out) and Michael Clarke (128).But India gave a tough fight and replied with 444 runs, riding on captain Kohli’s 115 and significant contributions from Cheteshwar Pujara (73), Ajinkya Rahane (62) and Murali Vijay (53).The hosts had to bat again and they declared at 290 for 5 with Warner scoring his second successive hundred en route his 166-ball 102.That meant India had to chase down 365 in 98 overs. The visitors had a terrible start and were in trouble at 2 for 57 and that is when Kohli stepped in and joined forces with Vijay to lead India’s fightback. Kohli and Vijay were involved in a 185-run third-wicket partnership for India (Reuters Photo)Vijay fell short of his hundred by 1 run while Kohli made a valiant 141 but the knocks went in vain as India got bowled out for 315. If only Kohli had received any support from the other batsmen, India would have achieved the unthinkable.But even in defeat, the whole cricketing fraternity got to witness the legend of Kohli, which has only grown since then. The way he batted and went after the target spoke volumes of the kind of mindset he enters the field with.When he walked off the field it seemed like Australia had won the war but Kohli’s India had won the battle.Kohli continued his form with the bat and smashed a total of 692 runs in the four-match series, bettered only by Smith with 769 runs.Since that Test match, Kohli has gone on to score a staggering 4220 runs in 43 Test matches with 16 hundreds and six double centuries. Along the way he also dethroned Smith from the top spot in the ICC Test rankings for batsmen. Kohli scored his maiden Test hundred at the Adelaide Oval in 2012 (Reuters Photo)Kohli has now come to Australia with 992 runs under his belt in the country at an average of 62 with five centuries in total. But more importantly, Kohli has led India in 41 Test since Adelaide 2014 and is the second most successful captain for India in the format behind Dhoni.What is also different this time around is that his team is being labelled as the favourites to win the series in the absence of Smith and Warner.But India’s chances of winning the series depends a lot on how many runs Kohli scores in this series.Even if he manages to come close to what he did here four years back, and with the bowling attack that India has at the moment, don’t be surprised if Kohli becomes the first Indian captain to lift the Border-Gavaskar trophy down under on January 7, 2019.Also Read | A bit of banter not harmful but we won’t cross the line: Virat KohliAlso Read | Will Australia sledge Virat Kohli? Josh Hazlewood and Tim Paine weigh inAlso Read | India are smelling blood, we will show them great respect: Justin LangerAlso Read | Virat Kohli 2nd in Forbes India Celebrity 100 list, MS Dhoni 5thAlso Read | Rohit Sharma in India’s 12-man squad for Adelaide Test, no Bhuvneshwar Kumaradvertisementlast_img read more

Ronaldo left out of Portugal squad

first_imgCristiano Ronaldo Ronaldo left out of latest Portugal squad Joe Wright Last updated 2 years ago 20:50 11/3/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(2) cristiano ronaldo - cropped Getty Images Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal Portugal v Saudi Arabia Portugal v United States United States Saudi Arabia Friendlies Real Madrid Primera División The Real Madrid star is being given a rest and will miss the matches against Saudi Arabia and USA, with Ricardo Quaresma and Nani also absent Cristiano Ronaldo has been left out of the Portugal squad for the friendly matches with Saudi Arabia and the United States.The Real Madrid star, who has scored only one goal in La Liga this season, has been omitted by head coach Fernando Santos along with fellow experienced forwards Ricardo Quaresma and Nani.Dabblebet’s World Cup Odds here Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Monaco forward Marcos Lopes leads a quartet of uncapped players called up, with Real Sociedad’s Kevin Rodriguez, Lille’s Edgar Ie and Braga’s Ricardo Ferreira in to bolster Santos’ defensive options.Wolves’ Ruben Neves, and Euro 2016 hero Eder are also included.”We have a group of players we’ve called up to analyse,” Santos told a news conference on Friday.”These games are good for facing football from other continents, which we’re not used to playing against.”The squad is never closed. We have a wide range of options.”Portugal squad in full: Beto (Goztepe), Anthony Lopes (Lyon), Jose Sa (Porto); Nelson Semedo (Barcelona), Kevin Rodrigues (Real Sociedad), Pepe (Besiktas), Luis Neto (Fenerbahce), Ricardo Ferreira (Braga), Edgar Ie (Lille), Ricardo Pereira (Braga), Joao Cancelo (Inter); Danilo (Porto), Ruben Neves (Wolves), Joao Mario (Inter), Manuel Fernandes (Lokomotiv Moscow), Bruno Fernandes (Sporting CP), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City); Marcos Lopes (Monaco), Gelson Martins (Sporting CP), Bruma (RB Leipzig), Goncalo Guedes (Valencia), Andre Silva (AC Milan), Eder (Lille).last_img read more

Xabi Alonso: Real ready for PSG

first_imgReal Madrid ‘Real Madrid like big challenges’ – Zidane’s side will relish PSG test, says Xabi Alonso Matt Dorman Last updated 1 year ago 22:18 12/11/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Real Madrid Champions League Final 2017-18 Getty Images Real Madrid UEFA Champions League PSG Real Madrid will have no problem stepping up for the “wonderful challenge” of facing PSG in the Champions League, according to Xabi Alonso. Two-time Champions League winner Xabi Alonso believes Real Madrid will enjoy the chance to take on Paris Saint-Germain in a blockbuster last-16 tie.The reigning champions were drawn against Neymar’s men on Monday after their second-placed finish in Group H denied them a seeded berth.Madrid comfortably accounted for Borussia Dortmund and APOEL home and away, but managed only a point from their two meetings with Tottenham. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player And despite them sitting fourth in La Liga – eight points off leaders Barcelona – former Los Blancos favourite Alonso insists his old club will not take a backward step.”Madrid like big challenges and they got just that. It will be a wonderful challenge against Paris,” Alonso told UEFA.com.”It is one of those games that you really like, and that those who go to the Bernabeu like to see.”It is tough to say who might be favourites, even though that means nothing at the end of the day. I am backing Madrid.”0 – Unai Emery have never won in his ten games at Santiago Bernabéu in all competitions (9L 1D). Psycho pic.twitter.com/rMcDnr3QnD— OptaJose (@OptaJose) December 11, 2017Emilio Butragueno, another ex-Madrid star and the club’s current director of institutional relations, described PSG as having the potential to go all the way.”This game could well have been the final such is the power of both sides,” said the former Spain striker.”A draw at this stage is like that, though, and one of the two sides will be knocked out.”Paris are getting stronger year on year. They played an impeccable group stage and have huge potential.”last_img read more

13 days agoAgent Empacher offers AC Milan Premier League players

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Agent Empacher offers AC Milan Premier League playersby Paul Vegas13 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveAgent Sacha Empacher is in talks with AC Milan about several of his clients.Calciomercato.com says Empacher met with Milan directors yesterday ahead of the January market.During the summit Empacher offered loan deals for Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny and Chelsea fullback Abdul Rahman Baba.Baba is currently on loan with Real Mallorca, while Elneny is on loan from Arsenal at Besiktas.Milan are also interested in Schalke fullback Ozan Kabak, another Empacher has on his books. last_img read more

Improving the Health of Nova Scotians Oped

first_imgFor the first time, the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness has published a snapshot of our province’s health and how we compare to Canadians. The profile is intended to provide a picture of the overall health of Nova Scotians and key factors that determine our collective well-being. The report highlights that Nova Scotia has high rates of chronic disease and their risk factors (e.g., binge drinking, inactivity, unhealthy eating), and that poor health and associated risk factors are closely related to income levels. All of this is well known and so, like the One Nova Scotia report, the Nova Scotia health profile requires us to all think and act differently. The report’s aim is to stimulate discussion about our health, and not just health care, in communities, homes and workplaces across the province. Historically, major improvements in our collective health have come through a focus on creating the right environments and conditions for health. During the late 1800s to early 1900s, before the onset of antibiotics and modern vaccines, epidemics of infectious disease were greatly reduced through improving housing and working conditions, and providing clean water and sewage and waste disposal. More recently, significant progress has been made in reducing smoking rates and tobacco-related illness and death through a range of policy interventions that created physical, social and cultural environments that made non-smoking the cultural norm. It is critical that appropriate attention is given to the prevention of disease and injury, along with the provision of high-quality health care. We have to understand and act on the root causes of poor health if we want Nova Scotia to be an economically successful province. A strong focus on prevention is fundamental to sustaining Canada’s publicly funded health-care system. The basic premise of investing in prevention is that, in many cases, it is less costly to prevent the onset of disease/disability from occurring than to treat it. Helping people and communities to be healthier decreases health-care utilization thereby allowing a re-focusing of existing health-care resources and improving care for those who need care. Through cost avoidance, we can direct investment in innovative care models and new diagnostic/therapeutic approaches within existing financial resources. The cost avoidance from prevention is even greater when the broader economic and social costs of disease/disability are also considered. A healthier population can contribute to economic growth through improvements in labour productivity and supply, and decreased business costs for medical and disability plans. In short, creating a greater focus on health, and not just health care, is a necessary part of creating economic sustainability, the aim of One Nova Scotia. Creating healthier communities is a role shared across society. I encourage individuals, families, communities and community organizations, businesses and corporations, public institutions and all levels of government to read the Nova Scotia health profile and ask, what role each of us can play in improving the health of Nova Scotians? As a first step, each of us could look for opportunities to become more active, eat healthier foods and decrease our use of alcohol and tobacco, along with finding ways to support our family and friends to do the same The report is available at http://novascotia.ca/dhw/publichealth/population-health-profile.asp . -30-last_img read more

Toronto must convey dissatisfaction over Ontario move to cut council Tory

first_imgTORONTO – Toronto’s mayor says the city must convey its “strong dissatisfaction” over the Ontario government’s move to slash the size of municipal council when local politicians and staff hold a meeting next week to discuss a potential court challenge to the province’s decision.John Tory said Friday that Premier Doug Ford’s abrupt decision to cut the number of Toronto city councillors from 47 to 25 ahead of a fall municipal election must be opposed in some way.Ford’s legislation on the matter has passed, but councillors are meeting Monday with the city’s legal team to discuss Toronto’s options.“There was no opportunity, even at the legislature, for public input,” Tory said in an interview. “I think when it comes to a decision of this magnitude, affecting the City of Toronto and it’s people, that that was wrong.”Council must convey “strong dissatisfaction in particular with the process that was followed here,” Tory said.The mayor acknowledged that the constitution shows the province has clear jurisdiction over cities and towns, but said Monday’s meeting with the city’s legal team is necessary.“There are a number of people who are unhappy,” he said. “We owe it to the people of Toronto to examine the legal options and to decide on something that is prudent in their interest.”The Progressive Conservative government’s legislation — known as Bill 5 — aligns Toronto’s ward map with federal ridings, while extending the nomination period for council candidates until Sept. 14. The city’s election is set for Oct. 22.Ford, himself a former council member, revealed his plan just weeks ago, saying it would help council make decisions and deliver services “more efficiently and effectively.”The legislation also cancels planned elections for the head of council position in the regional municipalities of Muskoka, Peel, York and Niagara outside Toronto. Instead, the head of council in each region will be appointed.Toronto’s legal team has filed a confidential report with advice to council on a potential court challenge but has recommended the document be kept secret because it discusses potential litigation. Its contents are expected to be debated behind closed doors on Monday.When asked about the special session, Ford said council can do what it wishes.“They can talk about Bill 5 all they want,” he said Friday. “At the end of the day, we made a decision to make government run more efficiently here in the city of Toronto.”Earlier in the day, Ford wrote Tory a letter urging him and city council to use the special session to discuss a recent provincial commitment of $25 million to help Toronto police to fight guns and gangs. Ford has asked Toronto to match to funding.Tory said the city has already committed to match the funding for 2018 and has said that if re-elected this fall, he will introduce a motion to see the commitment continued next year.Tory added that despite the conflict between the city and the province, he can continue to work with the Ford administration.“There are too many other files that are too important to people, like transit, like housing, like community safety,” he said. “But I will also not hesitate to speak up on behalf of the people of Toronto when that’s required.”last_img read more

Comorean Football Reporter Who Voted for Modric Does Not Actually Exist

Rabat – After Luka Modric won football’s most prestigious individual award on Monday, several football media outlets reported that the votes had been manipulated.In at least one instance, that may be the case. The Ballon d’Or organizer, France Football, listed an alleged Comoros’ football reporter, “Abdou Boina,” as a journalist working for the Albalad Comores newspaper. However, the journalist does not exist in real life, and the newspaper has been closed for 6 years. Boina voted for Mbappe as his first choice, Modric as his second, Ronaldo as his third, Hazard as his fourth, and Salah as his fifth.A former sports photographer, Toimimou Abdou, who reportedly worked for the paper was quoted as saying that no one called Abdou Boina ever worked there, and the paper shut down in 2012.“I hallucinate when I see that Albalad Comores exists,” he said.In addition, France Football represented Comoros with a flag that is 17 years out of date.Stephane Ahamadi, the president of Comoros’ journalists association, has also commented on the controversy. He stressed, “There is no record of anyone called Abdou Boina.” read more

Antiracism report adopted despite disinformation campaign – UN rights chief

24 April 2009At the close of the Durban Review conference, 182 countries were able to come together on an anti-racism report despite a highly-organized “campaign of disinformation” the United Nations human rights chief said today. At the close of the Durban Review Conference, 182 countries were able to come together on an anti-racism report despite a highly-organized “campaign of disinformation” the United Nations human rights chief said today.The draft outcome adopted by consensus this Tuesday is a “good document,” High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said as the gathering, assessing progress on the implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (DDPA), wrapped up in Geneva.As for those levelling accusations that the 2001 document is anti-Semitic, it is “clear that either they had not bothered to read what it actually said, or they were putting a cast on it that was, to say the least, decidedly exaggerated,” she said, stressing that it includes a paragraph which says that “the Holocaust should never be forgotten,” a sentiment reiterated in the final document of the Conference which ended today.Ms. Pillay, who cited numerous personal attacks against her in the media, countered arguments that the five-day Conference that ended today was a “hate fest,” calling the characterization a “hyperbole” and a “gross exaggeration.”She stressed that although the gathering was a “strange rough-and-tumble affair full of smoke and mirrors,” it was still “very definitely a success story.”Several countries, even after agreeing to the draft outcome last week, pulled out of the Conference just before its start, including the United States. “I do hope they will come back into the process now,” the High Commissioner said.She noted that even Iran, whose leader made remarks at the start of the event that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said were intended to “accuse, divide and even incite,” joined the consensus in adopting the text, which emphasizes the need to address all manifestations of intolerance with greater resolve.Ms. Pillay hailed the regional and political groups for making concessions regarding the outcome document, noting, for example, that the Arab countries accepted that neither Palestine nor the Middle East are mentioned in the text.Welcoming the adoption of the text on Tuesday, the second day of the gathering, she said it contains valuable elements, calling on States to take effective, tangible and comprehensive measures to prevent, combat and eradicate all forms and manifestations of racism, and urging countries which have not yet done so to create and implement national plans to combat intolerance.Further, it highlights the increased suffering since 2001 of many different groups of victims of racism and reaffirms the positive role of the freedom of expression while deploring derogatory stigmatization of people based on their religion. read more

TSX racks up minor gain commodities mixed amid economic growth concerns

TSX racks up minor gain, commodities mixed amid economic growth concerns by Malcolm Morrison, The Canadian Press Posted Apr 22, 2013 8:23 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email TORONTO – The Toronto stock market closed modestly higher Monday with buyers largely unwilling to step up after further signs of global economic malaise sent stocks sharply lower last week.The S&P/TSX composite index gained 25.13 points to 12,090.68 led by advances in the gold sector after the group fell more than 10 per cent last week.The Canadian dollar was up 0.02 of a cent to 97.46 cents US.U.S. indexes were mixed amid data showing that sales of previously occupied U.S. homes dipped in March. The National Association of Realtors said Monday that sales were down to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.92 million, from 4.95 million in February. February’s figure was revised lower.Sales in March were 10.3 per cent higher than a year earlier.“The market is becoming more sensitive to economic news,” said Kash Pashootan, portfolio manager at First Avenue Advisory in Ottawa, a Raymond James company.“When markets do appreciate considerably over a short period of time, they need to get that much more attractive evidence to keep that momentum going.”The Dow Jones industrial average gained 19.66 points to 14,567.17, the Nasdaq composite index added 27.5 points to 3,233.55 while the S&P 500 index was up 7.25 points to 1,562.5.Heavy equipment maker Caterpillar posted first-quarter profit of $1.31 a share on revenue of US$13.2 billion. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had expected profit of $1.36 a share on revenue of $13.8 billion. Caterpillar also cut its 2013 outlook.However, the reduced outlook wasn’t entirely unexpected and there were some bright spots. Sales in China rose compared to a year ago. And the company is “becoming more optimistic” on the U.S. housing sector. It says it plans on buying back shares — about $1 billion worth — for the first time since 2008. Caterpillar shares gained $2.28 to $82.71.Meanwhile, substantial losses on commodity markets dragged the resource-heavy TSX last week into negative territory for the year after data showing a weakening Chinese economy and a downgrade of global economic growth by the International Monetary Fund raised demand concerns. The main index lost 2.2 per cent last week and is down about three per cent year to date.“We’re in the late innings of this commodity boom,” added Pashootan.“We’re scratching our heads saying, ‘When will commodity prices go back up?’ Well, we’re thinking of the days when China was expected to grow at 10 or 12 per cent a year. They’re at eight and revising down.”Earnings disappointments also led U.S. futures to their worst week of 2013 with the Dow giving back 2.13 per cent even though the blue chip barometer is still up 11 per cent year to date.The gold sector led advancers, up about two per cent as bullion prices advanced with the June contract in New York ahead $25.60 to US$1,421.20 an ounce. Bullion plunged to its lowest level in more than two years last week, falling seven per cent amid a growing conviction that inflation is firmly under control. Buying gold as a hedge against inflation has supported gold prices to record highs of almost $2,000 back in 2011. Goldcorp Inc. (TSX:G) improved by 73 cents to $29.32.The energy sector also provided lift, up 1.2 per cent while the May crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange, which expired Monday, rose 75 cents to US$88.76 a barrel after prices fell three per cent last week. The June contract advanced 92 cents to US$89.19. Canadian Natural Resources (TSX:CNQ) was up 45 cents to $29.90.The base metals sector was ahead 0.25 per cent while copper prices continued to hover at 18-month lows. The metal, widely viewed as an economic barometer because of its use in so many applications, fell two cents to US$3.13 a pound on top of a six per cent slide last week. Teck Resources (TSX:TCK.B) ran ahead 80 cents to C$26.01.The financials sector led declines, moving down per cent as Royal Bank (TSX:RY) gave back 48 cents to $60.97.The industrials sector was down slightly as Canadian National Railway (TSX:CNR) released earnings a couple of hours ahead of schedule.The rail company posted net earnings of $555 million or $1.30 a share, down from $755 million a year earlier as it dealt with extreme cold and heavy snow in Western Canada, which hampered operations, congested the network and constrained volume growth. Ex-items, earnings were $519 million, or $1.22 per diluted share, one cent ahead of forecasts, and its shares were down 84 cents to $97.64.Air Canada (TSX:AC.B) tumbled 38 cents or 12.67 per cent to $2.62 after earlier going as low as $2.46. The carrier said it estimates it had a $260-million net loss in the first three months of this year, down from $274 million in the first quarter of 2012. The company said it issued the preliminary report ahead of the full results and analysis on May 3 to comply with disclosure rules as it explores a range of debt financing options.In other earnings news, Rogers Communications Inc. (TSX:RCI.B) reported after the close that first-quarter net income rose 15 per cent to $414 million from $360 million. Revenue increased to $3.03 billion from $2.94 billion. Its shares closed 32 cents higher to $52.08.The TSX Venture Exchange gained 5.28 points to 944.35. read more

Taliban bombmaker found guilty of plotting knife attack on MPs and police

An Islamic terrorist, who was arrested as he prepared to launch a knife attack on MPs and police in Westminster, had been identified as a senior Taliban bomb maker five months earlier but was not detained at the time, it can be revealed.Khalid Ali, 28, had three blades tucked under his clothing when he was stopped by armed police in Whitehall on April 27 last year, just moments away from carrying out a deadly assault.But months earlier the police and the security services had chosen to place him under surveillance rather than charge him, despite the FBI revealing they had discovered his fingerprints on a cache of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) recovered in Afghanistan.Following his arrest Ali told police he had built more than 300 bombs that were responsible for killing and maiming British and American troops. Ali had denied plotting to kill MPs or police in the knife attack and two counts of bomb making relating to the devices found in Afghanistan.But he was convicted on all counts and remanded in custody to be sentenced on July 20. The following day Ali set about re-arming himself buying an eight inch chef’s knife, two 3.5 inch paring blades and a rucksack emblazoned with a union flag logo.After travelling to Westminster by tube, Ali dropped his mobile phone in the River Thames, before armed police moved in to arrest him.Ali claimed he had travelled to Westminster to deliver a message to politicians and insisted he was carrying the knives for protection. Ali, a qualified plumber from Edmonton in north London, became increasingly devout after travelling to Palestine in 2010 on an aid convoy called Road to Hope.The following year he disappeared from Britain, telling his family he had got a two week job in Birmingham.Instead he travelled to Abu Dhabi before making his way to Afghanistan, where he spent five and a half years working as a bomb maker for the Taliban. In October 2016, Ali turned up at the British consulate in Istanbul, claiming to be a tourist who had lost his passport.Suspicious officials alerted the UK authorities and when he landed at Heathrow Airport he was arrested and questioned under the Terrorism Act, before being allowed to go.The following month forensic experts in the United States confirmed that they had a fingerprint match for Ali on fragments of IEDs recovered from Afghanistan. A knife stashed in Khalid Ali’s waistband Khalid Ali smirking at police officers A police officer with his knee on Ali’s back, on which he is carrying a bag with a London logo and a Union Flag emblazoned upon it A large knife is pulled from the waistband of Khalid Ali Asked why Ali was not arrested at that point, Met Police Assistant Commissioner Dean Haydon, said the British authorities had to wait for due process to take place as it was American evidence that had been collected in Afghanistan.He said: “A lot of this evidence is overseas, so if you look at the original caches of explosives and component parts, they were seized and recovered in Afghanistan.”We have then got forensic evidence on the US database in America. We have to go through due legal process to be able to use that evidence in our courts and our criminal justice system.”Mr Haydon said British police had applied for permission to use the evidence in order to arrest Ali, but the green light had only come through hours after he was arrested for the planned knife attack. A police officer with his knee on Ali's back, on which he is carrying a bag with a London logo and a Union Flag emblazoned upon it A knife stashed in Khalid Ali's waistband Khalid Ali smirking at police officers A large knife is pulled from the waistband of Khalid Ali Despite being under surveillance by the security services, Ali was initially stopped from going on a knife rampage when his mother tipped off police that she had found an arsenal of weapons in his bedroom.The matter was recorded as a domestic incident and Ali was not arrested or detained. Mr Haydon said: “It is apparent to me that Ali spent some considerable years helping the Taliban create – and maybe even detonate – bombs which could maim and kill many peoplein Afghanistan. All this before turning his attention to killing people in his home country.“His intended targets were people who represented the UK authorities and he demonstrated a particular interest in the police, how they worked and what their capability was.“Ali did not count on the joined-up working of the UK counter terrorism network and its partners internationally. Together, we have stopped a terrorist attack and put before the courts an individual whom I suspect thought would never be held to account for his crimes overseas.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

After 21hour Ted Cruz speech US Senate votes on budget measures

first_imgNEARLY A FULL day after he started, Ted Cruz stopped talking.The freshman Republican senator from Texas talked for the fourth-longest that anyone ever has in America’s senate, but was forced to cede the floor for this afternoons vote on budget plans that will keep the US government open beyond next week.Cruz took some of his 21 hours to attack Obamacare, the health act passed in 2010  and signed into law in 2012. He also took time to read his daughters a bed time story and quote Dr Seuss.Having to give up the floor at 12 Eastern Time, Cruz simply sat down. He then joined the other 99 senators in voting to pass the spending bill to the House of Representatives, before walking away six minutes later.Cruz wants to derail the spending bill to deny Democrats the ability to strip a “defund Obamacare” provision out, a strategy that has put him at odds with other Republicans who fear that the move would spark a shutdown of the federal government.After the vote, Cruz told reporters he hopes “that Republicans will listen to the people, and that all 46 Republicans come together. Coming into this debate we clearly were not united, there were significant divisions in the conference. I hope those divisions dissolve, that we come together in party unity.”The Senate’s top Democrat, Majority Leader Harry Reid, shrugged off Cruz’ effort.“For lack of a better way of describing this, it has been a big waste of time,” said Reid.Cruz had accused party colleagues unwilling to try to defund Obamacare of being like “Nazi appeasers”, a charge vehemently denied by Senator John McCain.Unlike Wendy Davis’ filibuster in the Texas state senate in June, Cruz was unable to stop the vote, but did say that despite the pain he felt from being on his feet for 21-hours, there was “more pain in rolling over”.Watch some highlights from Cruz’ 21 hours on his feet:(CNN/YouTube)Read: ‘A people’s filibuster’ stops Texas passing law restricting abortionsRead: US Supreme Court upholds most parts of Obama’s landmark healthcare lawlast_img read more