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first_imgIndian boxers had some contrasting results on Friday night and Saturday. It was absurd to see Vikas Krishan initially winning the bout against American Errol Spence and then losing it after the decision was overturned by the AIBA judges’ panel.But Laishram Devendro’s prequarterfinal victory over 2009 world champion and Beijing Olympic silver medallist, Serdamba Purevdorj of Mongolia, brought some cheer to the Indian contingent.Since it is the AIBA panel, which has overturned Vikas’s result, and India’s protest has also been turned down, the decision can’t be questioned. But the worst part in the whole incident was the role of the referee present in the ring during the bout.According to the AIBA panel, Vikas had committed many fouls which the referee didn’t notice. But my point is if a referee is eligible enough to stand in an Olympic bout, how can he be so ignorant? How can he overlook so many things? I think he had no right to stand there and should be suspended for this kind of performance.Can you imagine the psychological condition of the boxer who is declared the winner in an Olympic bout and then suddenly told that he has lost? For Vikas, the four-year long Olympic dream was shattered within moments.But kudos to Devendro for the quality game he displayed against a world champion. The coaches must have told him to maintain a big lead throughout the bout, especially after Vikas’s result. With his electrifying movements and lightning punches, he had a lead of three points after the second round. It was a treat to watch Devendro made and his natural style of attacking game has so far been a nightmare for his opponents. I think he should continue his natural game in the bouts to come.advertisementIndian boxers should also take lessons from Vikas and Sumit Sangwan’s defeats. Those who are still in the fray, should make it a point to maintain a good lead. And for it, they should play their natural game.(Mohammad Ali Qamar is a 2002 Commonwealth Games gold medallist)last_img read more

first_imgIt has been little over a year that Mehtab Hossain made his comeback to the senior national team after a stellar season for East Bengal.Having made his senior team debut during the SAFF Championships in 2005, the midfielder’s international career has been blighted by injuries and despite performing well at the club level, he failed to make the cut for the Asian Cup in 2011.Now with a new chief coach – Dutchman Wim Koevermans at the helm, Mehtab is aiming to give his best so that India can complete a hat-trick of Nehru Cup titles, even though players like Bhaichung Bhutia, Climax Lawrence and Mahesh Gawli have retired.”Some of the young players who performed well in the AFC under-22 championship have the potential to succeed at a higher level. It is hard to replace a Bhaichung or Climax but players such as Manandeep Singh have to take up the challenge,” Mehtab told Mail Today.Mehtab, who recently returned from Scotland after undergoing trials at Airdrie FC, said that the experience of playing in foreign conditions benefited him immensely. He says that the team management was impressed with him but he was not able to procure a work permit.”Playing in Scotland was a great experience. The facilities and the environment are excellent and the coaching staff at Airdrie was impressed with my skills. But I was not able to join them because of work permit issues. But I have got assurance from East Bengal that they would support me if I get a chance to play abroad,” Mehtab said.advertisementThe senior team has not played any tournament after the AFC Challenge Cup debacle in March and Mehtab admits that success in Nehru Cup would provide a boost. “The players know the importance of the tournament. The coach is trying to bring in a new style of play and as professional players, we have to try our best to implement his ideas on the field,” he added.last_img read more

first_imgShare on WhatsApp Share on LinkedIn Share on Messenger Reuse this content Share on Twitter Share on Facebook callout Share via Email Teachers and rugby coaches are buying supplements in bulk and selling them to their students, according to new research. Academics at Leeds Beckett University found that some teachers were selling student rugby players weight-gaining supplements because there is a drive to build muscle and use nutritional aids in the sport.But experts warned that this risks creating a climate that encourages doping. The study warned: “Without clear boundaries, those coaches and teachers who promote ‘substance’ use (in one instance this involved buying in bulk and selling it on to players) are fostering a climate that might encourage doping.” Researchers also discovered that just over one-third of schoolboys showing a degree of willingness to try a “risky” substance.Share your experiencesWe want to hear from people about whether there is a pressure to use supplements to bulk up in rugby from teachers and peers. We are also keen to hear about doping and whether there is willingness and pressure to take substances. Share your stories and experiences with us below the line.If you cannot access the form, submit your response here.Please note that you have to be over 16 to submit a response to the form. If you are younger than this then please seek parental permission first. You can share stories anonymously via our encrypted form and we will do our best to protect your identity. Share on Pinterest Schools Topics Communitylast_img read more

first_imgjeffery simmons releaseTwitter/@JoshJacksonWAPTAs he awaits the final resolution of two misdemeanor charges for simple assault and disturbing the peace, Mississippi State has admitted five-star defensive end Jeffery Simmons. In late March, video surfaced of Simmons punching a woman while she was on the ground. In Mississippi State’s release on the decision, it says that he was “attempting to break up a domestic fight” involving his sister.How MSU describes the incident: pic.twitter.com/QsUIoy6rMb— Michael Bonner (@MikeBBonner) June 2, 2016Simmons, the top recruit in the state of Mississippi, will be suspended for the season opener against South Alabama, and will undergo counseling once enrolled at the school. According to USA Today, Simmons is scheduled to appear in court on June 14.Here is the full statement released by Mississippi State:5-star Mississippi State signee Jeffery Simmons allowed to enroll, with conditions pic.twitter.com/okHn2qpzI9— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) June 2, 2016[HailState.com]last_img read more

first_imgHIV and AIDS are still concerns in Nova Scotia, and new infections across Canada are increasing among women ages 15 to 29, especially young aboriginal women. This year, the 21st World AIDS Day will focus on understanding and responding to HIV and AIDS from a human rights perspective. The Nova Scotia campaign will focus on healthy sexuality and preventing HIV/AIDS among youth, particularly girls and young women. “While great strides have been made with prevention and treatment, we need to continually focus on prevention as a new generation of youth become sexually active,” said Larry Baxter, chairman of the Nova Scotia Advisory Commission on AIDS. “As well, people still have misinformation and misconceptions about HIV and AIDS.” The Nova Scotia Advisory Commission on AIDS and its partners have organized events to celebrate progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS and to raise awareness about the disease. AIDS Awareness Week begins today, Nov. 24, when Maureen MacDonald, Minister of Health, will help launch the week by raising the red ribbon flag in a public ceremony at Province House. A reception at the Nova Scotia Advisory Commission on AIDS will follow. The week culminates in a World AIDS Day gathering, Dec. 1, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., at the Italian Cultural Centre, 2629 Agricola St., Halifax. Targeted mainly at youth, the gathering will feature local and international speakers and youth performances highlighting the impact of HIV/AIDS on women and girls locally and around the world. The keynote address will be given by Lois Chingandu, executive director, SAfAIDS, Zimbabwe. All are welcome to attend. Winners of a poster contest for ages 12 to 18 will be awarded at the gathering. The poster contest helped make youth, and especially girls, more aware of positive sexual health and HIV/AIDS prevention. Other events across the province include a workshop in Cherry Brook hosted by the Black Cultural Centre and Oxfam on Nov. 30, focusing on gender and women’s rights in the face of HIV/AIDS. Candlelight vigils in remembrance of Nova Scotians who lost their lives to AIDS will take place in Sydney, Amherst, Truro and New Glasgow. A vigil hosted by the AIDS Coalition of Nova Scotia takes place Dec. 1 at 7 p.m., at the Mi’kmaq Native Friendship Centre in Halifax. Universal access to HIV/AIDS prevention, care, treatment, and support is a fundamental part of human rights and vital to reducing the impact of HIV/AIDS in Nova Scotia and around the world. To prevent further spread of HIV and ensure those who are living with HIV/AIDS have care and support, people need to have better access to such things as sexual health and HIV/AIDS information and services, addiction treatment and safe needle exchange services, adequate housing, income support no matter who they are or where they live. The World AIDS Day gathering was planned by the HIV/AIDS Awareness Week Planning Committee for Metro Halifax with representation from local, national, and international non-government organizations, government, community groups and independent volunteers. The Nova Scotia Advisory Commission on AIDS was established in 1988 to implement recommendations of the Nova Scotia Task Force on AIDS. The commission co-ordinates the fight against the acquired immune deficiency syndrome and advises the government on AIDS issues and its impact on society.last_img read more

first_imgThe plight of Congress is worse than that of a coward who the Bard says dies a thousand deaths before he actually dies. The grand old party of Nehru and Gandhi seems to be suffering from a strange death wish, a death that has larger than life proportions. Despite a virtual decimation in the polls, the party could still hope to enjoy some clout–and relevance–due to the numerical situation in the Rajya Sabha, where Modi’s NDA is clearly short of the required numbers. That was one chance for the ‘secular’ Opposition to keep the saffron flag from fluttering away to glory. But developments in recent days have proved that the Congress, read Opposition, advantage was only a mirage. Also Read – A special kind of bondThe ease with which the government managed to push its controversial Right to Information (RIT) Act amendment bill through Rajya Sabha, despite the draconian nature of the legislation, which should have united all Opposition parties against it, showed that the issue transcended mere numbers. It was a real snub to Congress, particularly Sonia Gandhi, who had apparently played an important role in bringing such landmark legislation during the UPA government’s rule. Also Read – Insider threat managementThe worst was reserved for later this week when the Triple Talaq bill also cleared the Rajya Sabha hurdle. The ‘criminalisation’ clause in the bill had provided a ground for unity for all ‘secular’ forces to stand united as it was clearly seen targeting Muslim men, though their wayward behaviour was never worthy of any sympathy. Still, as an issue, it had an appeal that could cut across political affiliations. Before the session started, Congress did make feeble attempts to keep the ‘secular’ flock together so that the Modi government could be held to check on its dangerous majoritarian trip. But finally when the crunch came, the Opposition was found completely lost for clues and there was a clear lack of mobilisation effort. The trenchant resistance of the past couple of years, which frustrated the ruling front’s bid to push the legislation through the Upper House more than once, was of no avail as the Opposition parties went their own way without any coordination whatsoever. Conversely, it was the success of the Modi-Shah floor strategy, which turned out to be too much for an Opposition in disarray. When the bill was taken up in Rajya Sabha, there were absentees on both sides. But backroom discussions by Modi and Shah ensured that there would be little resistance as members of AIADMK, JD (U), and TRS stayed away. The absence of some members of Congress, Samajwadi Party, TDP, YSR Congress and RJD made the government task easier and the bill was passed with 183 votes in favour, but with 57 members not voting. The notable absentees included NCP chief Sharad Pawar and his lieutenant Praful Patel. There was clearly a sense of helplessness on the part of the Opposition as the mood for the day was set by the resignation of family loyalist Sanjay Singh from Congress, crossing over to the Treasury benches. The resignation is seen as a sign of a malaise that is fast gripping Rahul Gandhi’s Congress, if at all it can be called so, as Congressmen are searching for clues on how to get out of their situation. Apparently, the party is wary of more such ‘crossing overs’ as Congressmen are well aware of the fact that there is no dearth of all-weather politicians, who can do the switch at the slightest provocation. It is rather ironic to see how Rahul Gandhi was so important to Congress that without him the party is drifting towards an unceremonious ending. The rudderless Congress is behaving as if it is seeing the end of the world. Congressmen have been looking up to Priyanka Gandhi Vadra for some help, but Rahul Gandhi has not helped their cause by insisting that the party will not now be led by a member of the dynasty. Loyalists like Shashi Tharoor haven’t given up hope. Tharoor, who has been rooting for Priyanka to succeed Rahul, made another pitch by expressing the hope that Priyanka will throw her hat in the ring when the call for elections for the party chief’s post is made, although he agrees that it is up to the Gandhi family to decide on whether she will contest. Tharoor says ‘lack of clarity’ over succession to Rahul Gandhi’s leadership is hurting Congress, and has suggested the abolition of Congress Working Committee and holding of fresh elections for all key posts. But he has no doubt about the continued pre-eminence of the dynasty in Congress politics. He has no doubt that the dynasty will remain the conscience keepers of the Congress party, irrespective of who leads the party, although he does not expect the new chief to knock at the doors of the family every time he or she is called upon to make a decision. Congressmen are not strangers to back seat driving and are confident that Delhi’s 10 Janpath and 12 Tughlaq Lane will continue to have a say in what goes on at the 24 Akbar Road party headquarters. (The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

Rabat – The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states are set to benefit from the growth in Muslim travelers during the holy month of Ramadan, according to new research released today by MasterCard and CrescentRating.The growing trend by Muslims to travel during the fasting period will see destinations in the GCC region become the most attractive by 2023 according to data and analysis from the inaugural MasterCard-CrescentRating Ramadan Travel Report 2016.A total of 50 destinations across the globe were analyzed in the study and benchmarked across three criteria – average daytime temperature, fasting duration and Global Muslim Travel Index 2016 scores – over the next 15 years until 2030. It is the first ever report of its kind to provide destinations and businesses in the tourism industry with useful insights on how they can develop medium to long-term strategies to attract and cater to Muslim travelers during Ramadan over the coming years.With Ramadan set to take place in cooler months from 2023, destinations in the Middle East such as the UAE, Qatar and Oman will become an attractive proposition for Muslim travelers. The report also showed that Jordan, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia could also benefit from this trend.“Ramadan travel has been largely ignored by the industry despite the growing trend in the last few years,” said Fazal Bahardeen CEO of CrescentRating & HalalTrip.“However, the report has revealed some very interesting insights especially for countries in the Middle East. Muslims traveling in Ramadan is becoming a reality and one which can benefit countries, through strategic destination marketing and planning by the tourism authorities.“As one of the fastest growing tourism sectors in the world, the Muslim travel market brings tremendous opportunities. An increasing number of governments are boosting their efforts to attract more Muslim visitors to their countries. With travel during Ramadan also expected to grow in the next decade, the new MasterCard-CrescentRating Ramadan Travel Report will be valuable to businesses and governments in helping them gain a better understanding of the unique needs and preferences of Muslim travelers and how they can adapt or tailor products and services for them during the holy month,” said Safdar Khan, Group Country Manager, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei; Group Head, Islamic Payments, Southeast Asia, MasterCard. The report also shows that Malaysia remains the top ranked destination for most of the years until 2026.Six key drivers have been identified in the report to be contributing to the increasing number of Muslims traveling during Ramadan.These include the growing number of pilgrims to Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah, business travel, spending Ramadan with family, experiencing Ramadan in a different environment and culture, celebrating Eid with family as well as extreme weather conditions or duration of fasting.The report also takes into account the special place that Makkah and Medina (Saudi Arabia) hold as the top destinations from a religious perspective, irrespective of the three criteria used for this analysis. As such, the Kingdom is excluded from the ranking and has been addressed separately on how Ramadan travel can help boost efforts towards achieving Vision 2030.The MasterCard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index 2016 revealed that in 2015 there were an estimated 117 million Muslim visitor arrivals globally, representing close to 10 percent of the entire travel market. This is forecasted to grow to 168 million visitors by 2020 the equivalent of 11 percent of the market segment with a market value projected to exceed US$200 billion. read more

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Swedish appliance maker Electrolux has agreed to pay taxes on a factory the company has decided to shut down in Memphis, Tennessee, officials said Friday.Electrolux said Thursday that it plans to stop production within two years at its Memphis factory while investing $250 million to consolidate U.S. cooking manufacturing into its Springfield, Tennessee, facility.Memphis, Shelby County and the state of Tennessee gave about $150 million in financial incentives to Electrolux for the factory. Electrolux once said it would employ 1,200 people at the factory, which opened in 2014 and makes ovens. It currently employs about 530 people, who will have to look for jobs after the plant closes.Incentives included a 15-year property tax abatement program and a $95 million cash grant from the state, Memphis officials said. Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland and Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris met with Electrolux on Friday and the company agreed to pay the “full taxable amount,” Strickland said in a statement. The amount was not disclosed.State Sen. Brian Kelsey, a lawmaker representing parts of Memphis and Shelby County, said in a statement that he has sent a letter to Gov. Bill Lee expressing his concerns about the plant closing. Kelsey said he thinks the state should join Memphis and the county “in recuperating public incentives provided to Electrolux.”“This loss for Memphis should prompt careful review of the use of taxpayer dollars for similar incentives in the future,” Kelsey said in a statement.Electrolux did not return a call seeking comment.The Associated Press read more

17 July 2009The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is breeding barn owls under an innovative new programme that hopes to deter rodents from attacking crops in northern Laos. Rats in Laos turned their attention to crops last year, with devastating results for farmers, after bamboo plants flowered and the number of bamboo seeds decreased as a result. To prevent a repeat of that situation, FAO is using the barn owl, a natural predator, to control the rodent population.Serge Verniau, the agency’s representative in Laos, told UN Radio yesterday that FAO is not promoting rodenticide, but rather using the barn owl “to mitigate the risk and to avoid other outbreaks.”The three-year scheme, he stressed, requires the cooperation of farmers.At present, the initiative – the pilot version of which will be launched next month – has no donor support, but Mr. Verniau voiced hope that support will be forthcoming because “business as usual” can no longer continue. read more

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon instructed the peacekeeping operation (UNOCI) – which is being supported by French Licorne forces – to “use all necessary means” to prevent the pro-Gbagbo forces from using heavy weapons in the country’s biggest city.Pro-Gbagbo forces have been carrying out attacks across Abidjan since Wednesday, a day after their representatives claimed they were initiating negotiations to end the deadly fighting. Côte d’Ivoire has been engulfed by violence since last November, when Mr. Gbagbo refused to step down from power, despite losing a UN-certified and internationally recognized presidential election to Alassane Ouattara.In a statement issued today Mr. Ban reiterated his call on Mr. Gbagbo to cede power, saying he was deeply concerned about the latest developments in the West African nation.“I am particularly concerned about the humanitarian situation across the country and about human rights abuses,” he said. “Civilians are bearing the brunt of the violence – the fighting must stop.”Up to one million people have either fled the country or are internally displaced because of the fighting, and hundreds of civilians are thought to have been killed in just the past week after particularly fierce fighting as pro-Ouattara forces advanced across the country.Senior UN officials, including Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos and High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, have spoken about out the numerous rights violations and urged all sides to the fighting to allow humanitarian access to those in need.Mr. Ban said today that when the pro-Gbagbo forces were claiming to be laying down their arms earlier this week, they were in fact using that period “to regroup their forces and re-deploy heavy weapons” in Abidjan, where the fighting is now concentrated.Since then the pro-Gbagbo forces have fired rocket-propelled grenades at UNOCI patrols and positions and used armoured personnel carriers mounted with heavy machine guns to attack civilians in the neighbourhoods of Adjamé and Attecoube, wounding dozens of people in the process.Yesterday the Gbagbo camp launched an attack against the Golf Hotel, where members of Mr. Ouattara’s Government have been based. UNOCI blue helmets were able to successfully repel the attack, although one peacekeeper was wounded.“These actions are unacceptable and cannot continue,” Mr. Ban said, saying the actions of the pro-Gbagbo forces had compelled him to ask UNOCI to take measures to protect both themselves and the civilian residents of Abidjan.Cote 10 April 2011United Nations peacekeepers in Côte d’Ivoire launched a military operation late today against the forces supporting the former president Laurent Gbagbo after they continued to mount attacks against the UN, the country’s elected Government and civilians in the city of Abidjan. read more

29 November 2011Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the firing of at least two rockets into Israel from southern Lebanon last night and joined the United Nations peacekeeping force in the area in urging maximum restraint by all parties. “There were no reports of casualties on either side and the situation is now calm,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said in a statement, adding that the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) is investigating the circumstances of the incident in cooperation with Lebanese and Israeli forces. “The Secretary-General urges all parties to exercise maximum restraint.”According to UNIFIL, the firing occurred shortly after midnight from the general area of Rumaysh in southern Lebanon. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) returned artillery fire directed at the location from where the rocket fire originated. “This is a serious incident in violation of UN Security Council resolution 1701 and is clearly directed at undermining stability in the area,” UNIFIL Force Commander Major-General Alberto Asarta Cuevas said in a press statement.Resolution 1701 ended the month-long war between Israel and the Lebanon-based Hizbollah in 2006. It also calls for respect for the so-called Blue Line separating Israel and Lebanon, the disarming of all militias in Lebanon, and an end to arms smuggling in the area.“It is imperative to identify and apprehend the perpetrators of this attack and we will spare no efforts to this end working in cooperation with the LAF [Lebanese Armed Forces]. Additional troops have been deployed on the ground and patrols have been intensified across our area of operations to prevent any further incidents.”UNIFIL added that there has been no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.The Security Council is scheduled to discuss implementation of resolution 1701 in a closed-door meeting in New York later today. read more

Most actively traded companies on the TSX by The Canadian Press Posted Apr 29, 2016 2:48 pm MDT Last Updated Apr 29, 2016 at 5:40 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Some of the most active companies traded Friday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (13,951.45, up 65.02 points):Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B). Aerospace, rail equipment. Down 15 cents, or 7.35 per cent, to $1.89 on 31.3 million shares.First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (TSX:FM). Miner. Up $1.53, or 16.70 per cent, to $10.69 on 18.1 million shares.Teck Resources Ltd. (TSX:TCK.B). Miner. Up $1.34, or 9.56 per cent, to $15.36 on 12.6 million shares.Kinross Gold Corp. (TSX:K). Miner. Up 66 cents, or 10.17 per cent, to $7.15 on 10.4 million shares.B2Gold Corp. (TSX:BTO). Miner. Up 19 cents, or 7.31 per cent, to $2.79 on 9.5 million shares.Yamana Gold Inc. (TSX:YRI). Miner. Up 50 cents, or 8.74 per cent, to $6.22 on 9.4 million shares.Companies reporting major news:Air Canada (TSX:AC). Airline. Up $1.05, or 12.68 per cent, to $9.33 on 6.9 million shares. Air Canada says it is on the cusp of firming up its order for up 75 Bombardier CSeries passenger aircraft. The country’s largest airline said Friday that its letter of intent announced in February to buy 45 CSeries 300 planes with an option to purchase up to 30 more will be finalized soon, subject to conditions being met.TransCanada Corp. (TSX:TRP). Oil and gas. Up 11 cents, or 0.21 per cent, to $52.10 on 2.7 million shares. TransCanada Corp. reported a first-quarter profit of $252 million, down from a year ago, as it was hit by a number of one-time charges. The pipeline company says the profit amounted to 36 cents per share for the quarter compared with $387 million or 55 cents per share in the first three months of 2015. read more

DOWNLOAD1.     New EU rules for safer and more eco-friendly lorries2.     ACEA – position on weights and dimensions3.     Environment Council discusses Energy Union4.     European Commission – Consultation on mid-term review of 2011 White Paper on Transport5.     TTIP priorities prompted around 8th negotiating round6.     Week aheadClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)

After years of playing it cool in the free-agency game, the San Antonio Spurs entered the market this month and were the clear-cut winners. That probably shouldn’t be a surprise: Winning is pretty much what the Spurs do. And these summer victories have them poised for many more once the season starts.The Spurs nabbed LaMarcus Aldridge, the best (realistically)1There was little chance that Memphis’s Marc Gasol or San Antonio’s own Kawhi Leonard would switch teams, and while Cleveland’s LeBron James hasn’t officially re-signed, it’s basically a foregone conclusion that he’ll be back with the Cavs. available free agent of the summer, negotiated new contracts for essential wings Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green, convinced Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili to each forgo retirement in favor of another crack at a championship, and even managed to snag veteran forward David West for $11 million less than he would have made had he opted into the final season of his contract with the Indiana Pacers.In other words, it was a good week for Gregg Popovich.To measure just how good it was — or how dominant next season’s Spurs figure to be, I dusted off last year’s preseason projection system (fueled by Real Plus-Minus), plugged projected RPM values into Rotoworld’s depth charts, and (unscientifically) estimated how much playing time each player will receive.2Basically, I looked at last year’s minutes per game for each player, as well as how many minutes per game were logged by others who will be at the same position on his 2015-16 team, eventually ballparking a reasonable figure. (In other words, it was definitely not scientific.) Here’s a first pass at how good San Antonio could be next season:That predicted power rating of +8.9 means the Spurs are talented enough to win about 60 games,3That estimate is based on the Spurs’ being in the Western Conference. Because the West is (somewhat significantly) better than the East, it takes more talent for a team to get the same number of wins out West than it would if they were in the East. which is very high for a true talent projection. A lot of luck and variance lurks out there, ready to make a team’s record different from its underlying skill, so most teams that win 60 or more games don’t actually possess 60-win talent. (Using Statistical Plus/Minus talent ratings, I found that only 18 percent of teams that won 60 or more games in a season4If a season was shorter than 82 games, I prorated it. since 1979-80 truly had 60-win talent on their rosters.) But this Spurs roster appears to really have that much talent.It’s a formidable group that stacks up against any of the other teams across the league — even the defending champions in Oakland. To test this, I ran similar projections for a handful of other notable teams that were either good last season and didn’t lose much talent over the offseason (like the Warriors) or have enjoyed an eventful offseason thus far.5The official list of teams I checked, in order of projected 2015-16 quality: the Spurs, Warriors, Cavaliers, Thunder, Rockets, Raptors, Grizzlies, Clippers, Wizards, Mavericks, Bucks, Hawks and — just for fun — the Knicks. (As a sanity check: Yes, the Knicks are projected to be very bad.) Here were the best of those squads:According to these preliminary projections, the Spurs are excellent, although they’re not a super-team. (In other words, they’re not a juggernaut that looks poised to blow away the rest of the league.) In the eyes of RPM, they’re essentially tied with Golden State now as the best team in basketball, closing the gap that existed between the two teams last season.But San Antonio and Golden State do seem to be well ahead of the rest of the league. Cleveland ranks third among teams I checked but is still four to five wins behind the leaders, according to the power ratings. (Oklahoma City is two to three wins behind Cleveland; Houston is one to two wins behind Oklahoma City; and then there’s Toronto and a distant group containing Memphis and the Clippers.)The Spurs were already among the class of the league before strengthening their roster this summer. While San Antonio may not shatter any records, its surgical dissection of the free-agent market has left it with arguably the best team in basketball. read more

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that his name was tarnished by the publicity and claimed there was a “false allegation crisis”.”Everyone thought it was going to be a three-month wonder … but it turns out it’s dragged out and it’s dragged out, and what makes it worse is that its publicised, your name is revealed,” he said.Critics of the Falsely Accused Individuals for Reform (Fair) pressure group’s proposals say it could prevent genuine victims speaking out. “The harm that those who are accused and acquitted feel is, we believe, a result not of the fact of being named but of terrible media representation of sexual violence cases, accompanied by a collective failure to uphold the presumption of innocence (which as we say above also harms abuse survivors).” Paul Gambaccini today warned of a “false allegation crisis” as he launches a petition to give anonymity to people suspected of sexual offences.The BBC radio presenter and Sir Cliff Richard, who both had cases against them dropped, are fronting a campaign calling for suspects to remain nameless until they are charged.The pair have launched a petition and are hoping to win a debate in Parliament. The End Violence Against Women Coalition (EVAW) has urged for the campaign to be dropped, claiming it to be “misdirected”.Radio presenter Gambaccini was accused of sexually assaulting two boys when he was arrested in October 2013 as part of Operation Yewtree, which was set up in the wake of revelations about paedophile Jimmy Savile.He spent a year on bail before the case was dropped. Gambaccini accepted that publicity surrounding suspects can encourage accusers to come forward, as was the case with black cab rapist John Worboys.”This is not a competition, who has been hurt the most,” he said.”There are actually two crises – one is a sex abuse crisis and the other is a false allegation crisis. And anyone who has been wronged, no matter what way, empathise with other people who have been wronged.”If there is a strong case, as there was, for example, in the taxi driver case … that will come to charge and at that moment other people can come forward.”The petition, which needs 100,000 signatures to be debated in the Commons, calls only for anonymity until sexual offence suspects are charged.It is also being championed by Sir Cliff, who won damages from the BBC after the broadcaster covered the 2014 police raid on the pop star’s Berkshire home.Sir Cliff was never arrested and did not face charges.The campaign has already attracted criticism from leading women’s groups who voiced fears justice for victims could be jeopardised by anonymising suspects.EVAW co-directors Sarah Green and Rachel Krys said: “We believe that your call for defendant anonymity is a classic example of where the cause of a problem is misattributed.  Sir Cliff Richard is also championing the campaign after a case against him was droppedCredit:John Nguyen Sir Cliff Richard is also championing the campaign after a case against him was dropped 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

first_imgThere is a wealth of international evidence on the effects of tobacco packaging in general and on perceptions and reactions to standardised packaging which support the introduction of this measure.Read: Ireland will be the first country in the EU to bring in plain packaging on cigarettes > TOBACCO COMPANY JOHN Player has called on the government to reveal how much plain packaging for cigarettes will cost the state.It also warned that it intends to “robustly defend its freedoms of commercial speech”.TDs are due to the debate the Public Health (Standardised Packaging of Tobacco) Bill 2014 later this week in the Dáil, that would introduce mandatory plain packaging for all cigarette boxes.Minister for Health James Reilly said previously that it is “not acceptable” that companies can use “deceptive marketing gimmicks to lure our children into this deadly addiction”.He also referred to packaging as a “mobile advertisements for the tobacco industry”.John Player has criticised that a Regulatory Impact Analysis carried out this year has not yet been published.“The Minister is expecting TDs to debate the Bill on the blind without any idea of what it might ultimately cost the State,” the company noted.It also referred to Dáil question which indicated that the Department of Public Expenditure was not consulted on the issue of cost analysis, however the question also outlines that individual Departments are not obliged to.Ireland is due to become the first country in the European Union to introduce plain packaging on cigarettes.“This represents a significant step forward in our tobacco control policy and our goal of being a smoke free country by 2025,” said Minister Reilly.last_img read more

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram According to Australia’s Ambassador to Greece, John Griffin things are looking up in Greece. In a meeting on Thursday with Economy Minister Dimitris Papadimitriou, Mr Griffin said he was satisfied with developments in Greece and further acknowledged that opportunities are being created for enterprises, reports Kathimerini.Speaking on behalf of Australia, the ambassador stressed that his home country is behind Greece in their efforts to improve the economy and willing to contribute.To help move the country in the right direction, Mr Papadimitriou said Greek exports should be further promoted abroad, including the Australian market and cited Greece’s highly skilled human resources.last_img read more

first_imgAlgues vertes : les plages de Saint-Nazaire rouvertes jeudiMardi, la mairie de Saint-Nazaire a indiqué que toutes les petites plages de la ville, fermées depuis cinq jours en raison de la présence d’algues vertes, seront rouvertes jeudi. Grâce à des mesures, l’Agence régionale de santé (ARS) a déterminé que les végétaux n’étaient pas dangereux.Les vacanciers vont bientôt pouvoir réinvestir les petites plages rocheuses de Saint-Nazaire. C’est la bonne nouvelle qu’a annoncée mardi, la mairie de la ville, indiquant que toutes les plages seront rouvertes dès jeudi. Celles-ci avait été fermées vendredi dernier par un arrêté qui interdisait l’accès au public par mesure de sécurité en raison de la présence d’algues vertes. Mais tout danger semble écarté aujourd’hui.À lire aussiEn Russie, une décharge de bouteilles se métamorphose en une incroyable plage de verreEn effet, les mesures révélées par l’Agence régionale de santé (ARS) ont révélé que les végétaux n’étaient ni dangereux, ni toxiques. “Rien ne s’oppose donc à la réouverture de ces criques et la mairie a décidé de procéder à un nettoyage complet mercredi, dans ces endroits qui ne sont accessibles qu’à marée basse”, a ainsi précisé à l’AFP la direction de la communication de la mairie de Saint-Nazaire. Jusqu’à cette nouvelle interdiction, le seul site fermé en raison des algues vertes était la plage de Saint-Maurice de Morieux près de Saint-Brieuc dans les Côtes-d’Armor où les 36 cadavres de sangliers ont été retrouvés. Mais la ministre de l’Ecologie, Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, avait souligné le 9 août dernier qu'”aucune plage où les algues vertes ne peuvent être ramassées toutes les 24 heures ne doit être fréquentée”, soulignant qu’elle serait “très très stricte” sur ce point, rappelle l’AFP. Jeudi, le site des Côtes-d’Armor restera donc le seul fermé. Le 17 août 2011 à 10:44 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

first_img Like most children of the ’90s, I remember almost weekly visits to the nearby Blockbuster, where my family or friends and I would choose a pile of movie rentals to occupy our Saturday nights.I also remember regularly receiving red envelopes in the mail, bearing the Netflix logo and the latest DVD on my growing list of to-be-watched films.Suddenly, walls of new releases and shelves of candy no longer appealed to me the way ripping open a posted paper pouch did.Thanks to mail-order subscribers like me, as well as Redbox automated kiosks and video-on-demand services, brick-and-mortar Blockbusters became a relic; the company filed for bankruptcy protection in 2010, before its remaining 1,700 stores (down from 9,094 in 2004) were bought by satellite TV provider Dish Network.And while the Blockbuster brand is mostly retired (from our lexicon, but not from our hearts), Dish maintained a small number of franchise agreements, allowing some locations to stay open.As of this year, just two stores remain: one in Bend, Ore., and one in Morley, Western Australia, which is set to close at the end of this month.“It’s been a great ride but all good things must come to an end,” Morley shop owners Lyn and John Borszeky wrote in a March 3 Facebook post. “Five more days of renting then everything will be for sale: DVDs, Blu-rays, shop fittings, and fixtures.”Sad news from the Morley Blockbuster in Australia (via Morley Blockbuster/Facebook)The writing had been on the wall for a long time, according to Lyn, who cited the rise of streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime as the main culprit.“We put in a pretty good effort to be the last one in Australia, I suppose, but it was going to happen eventually and now is the time,” she told the Australian Associated Press.Now, Central Oregon’s largest city and de facto metropolis, known mostly to fans of outdoor sports, can expect a wave of nostalgia-hunters visiting the last-standing Blockbuster store in the world.Locations in Anchorage and Fairbanks, Alaska, closed in July, leaving a lone wolf shop off Third Street in Bend.“I wondered which one of us was going to hold out the longest,” general manager Sandi Harding said in an interview with local news site The Bulletin.A newfound novelty for physical businesses has seemingly re-energized people to leave the couch to rent movies again.“We probably open up 10 accounts a day,” Harding admitted. “It’s crazy the amount of people that come in and want a Blockbuster card.“I don’t foresee the store closing,” she said. “I think we are good for a while.”More on Geek.com:Netflix Claps Back at Steven Spielberg’s Push to Ban It From OscarsSign Up Now For Criterion Collection’s New Streaming ServiceAmazon’s IMDb Launches Free Movie, TV Streaming Service Stay on target The Dream of the ’90s Is Alive in ‘Blockbuster: The Game’25 Wii U game titles leak via Blockbuster last_img read more

first_imgLa Liga president Javier Tebas insists that the game between Girona and Barcelona will be held in MiamiTebas secured a 15-year deal with media company Relevant to stage Spanish top-flight games in the US.The agreement has been met with widespread opposition from the Spanish FA, Spanish Footballers’ Union and FIFA.However, with Barcelona and Girona agreeing to stage their Catalan derby at Miami in January, Tebas remains confident that everything is going to plan.David Villa, SpainQuiz: How much do you know about David Villa? Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Time to test your knowledge about Spanish legendary forward David Villa.“On January 26 we will go to play in Miami,” Tebas told Televisión Española.“And I tell you why: when we are right, and not only in regards to ethics but in law and in the legalities, we have the potential to do it.“I have always been known for fighting things to the end.”Girona and Barcelona are yet to receive permission though to host their Catalan derby at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium in the New Year.last_img read more