Valley in distress

Posted On Oct 18 2019 by

first_imgAs soon as the government advisories which sought evacuation of pilgrims and tourists from the Kashmir Valley came into effect, the Valley effectively slid into utter confusion. The build-up of troops and the evacuation both were evidently accounted as preventive measures in the wake of anticipated security threat to Kashmir from terror outfits backed by Pakistan. However, the regional political parties of the Valley could not digest ambiguity and a delegation from NC led by Omar Abdullah met with Governor Satya Pal Malik. Governor’s remarks were not very convincing but, as matters stand, could not be any better. The Governor opined that though he has no knowledge of the fate of Kashmir’s special status, he was convinced that everything is normal as of now. But the Governor asserted one thing for certain that he has no clue what may come tomorrow. Therefore, his response, evidently, did not convince the National Conference leader Omar Abdullah who now seeks a response on apprehensions around Section 370 and 35A and trifurcation directly from the Centre. The security advisory created panic in the Valley as pilgrims and tourists had to make reservations for their unplanned return. The drastic rise in the footfall resulted in a surge of airfares amounting to Rs 11,000-18,000 from Srinagar to Delhi. The Civil Aviation Ministry intervened and asked the airlines to bring down airfares for pilgrims but pilgrims aren’t the only ones who may have to fly out of the Valley. In fact, the advisory also asked NIT students from Srinagar to leave and not return until further orders. With the additional deployment of troops to the Valley and security advisory in place, curfew has been activated on streets which saw locals rushing to gather groceries, food, petrol and other essentials for future. While this is not something new to Kashmir, the uncertainty that has befallen over the state has no trail of justification but the over-used expression of a “terror threat”. The anticipation of a Pakistan-backed terror attack on pilgrims is not out of question. It is well-understood that the Valley is at the edge and any such attack would cause massive damage which is best to be avoided. Without pilgrims and tourists, the ground is clear for any military engagement should there be a need but for the locals, it is the same old story. As the citizens dwell in confusion, having no clue about why security measures have been beefed up, regional political players like Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti–who took a delegation of several parties to Governor on Friday–demand answers. The security advisory issued by the government had ripples reaching international waters as Britain and Germany warned their citizens against travelling to Kashmir. Home Minister held a meeting yesterday with top security officials of the country allegedly over the burning issue of Kashmir which has witnessed a lot of mobility in the past few hours, all based on the security advisory. The rumours are still floating whether all this is in the wake of Centre planning to do away with Article 35A that provides exclusive rights to the state’s residents in government jobs and land. Should any such move be initiated, intense protests will break out as Article 35A is one of the privileges that came with the accession of Kashmir to India. Additional troops could be instated to control the possible breakdown of public order in the wake of such a step but uncertainty does not let anything be corroborated enough at this stage. Under the President’s rule currently, Kashmir should be heading towards Assembly elections if anything but as matters stand, it looks more like a lockdown scenario. Though the presence of troops in numbers, security advisories as well as to and fro movement of the Army is something Kashmir is well accustomed to, however, combined with the evacuation of pilgrims and tourists, the situation has caused severe distress amongst locals. The status quo that Kashmir is in right now needs to be resolved soon, paving way for the resumption of normal affairs.last_img read more

Better policing

Posted On Oct 18 2019 by

first_imgWithout numbers to bandy, is it possible to argue that policing in India is in a bad shape? I think it is. Police are stretched, resourceless and politically kept on oversight. There are many more stresses. One more will do. No value is attached to the time of a policeman by those who have any kind of authority in relation to policing. Sounds staggering but so true. What gives me any right to speak on Police? True that CBI is not uniformed Police. It’s an investigation Police, but in areas of Investigation of terrorism whether Punjab or elsewhere and mafia which was my assignment in CBI I from 1984-1996, I needed help, co-operation and guidance from uniformed Police, its intelligence agencies apart from other sources. Plus after retirement from the CBI, I worked with Lt. Governor of Delhi during 1997-98 and again during 2007-2013 as his Police Advisor holding office as Officer on Special Duty (OSD). So, I rate myself competent. Also Read – A special kind of bondWhy is the police stretched? At the root of it is the assumption that a police man’s job is a round-the-clock job. If you have to be at it from dawn to dawn, the need to compress your work, be considerate in assigning you to work simply disappears. Since the policeman, irrespective of his rank, is on call 24/7, assignments pile on him and then he will stretch himself in an attempt to attend to all of it. The guilt feeling in the authorities after inflicting 24/7 hours of work is assuaged by giving certain sections of Police ranks 13 months salary for 12 months work. Ultimately, the stretched policemen produce shoddy stuff, bound to do so. How does he get away? Because though shoddy, its deleterious and toxic effects remain carpeted and just ticking. When it does explode in the face years later, it leaves the original defaulting policeman some distance away. In short, while a chef’s work or a doctor’s treatment or a lawyer’s argument or a District Collectors decision, if wrong may explode in their face, a policeman’s poor investigation will be exposed after trial and appeal years later. What we need is an eight-hour Police work for an individual policeman in the field with 24/ 7 policing. Once this concept is accepted, the implementation has to be done. It can be done. Also Read – Insider threat managementMoving to resources, the police station is at the heart of policing. The future will be three of them; Investigation & Trial, Traffic and Law & Order Police stations. At present all three functions are performed from one Police Station. Time is of the essence for every policeman. They must be so quartered that getting to the place of work should not be more than 20-30 minutes each day. Working eight hours a day and getting to work in 30 minutes at the most will maximise resources and ensure effective policing. It will also mean that when a cop is off duty, policing is not off. It continues in else’s hands. This will appear absurd to old hands in the police. It goes against the grain of Police work being individual work, especially in areas of investigation and prosecution thereafter. In order to beat the resource crunch and consequent delay, it’s necessary to sell the idea of passing on the responsibilities of investigation and prosecution instead of insisting that the original investigator/prosecutor must work on it all through his working life. Our court trials last long; 10, 15, even 20 years. It means while he/she adds on years of work, the responsibility undertaken in the past just tags along. This concept is so hardened into police minds that doing it any differently seems utterly absurd. Resource-crunch is a reality and therefore the management of resources has to be real. Along with this, the infusion of technology and its help is the way out of resource-crunch. One could go on and on and mention the do’s and the don’t’s to show how it is possible but it is best left to the senior managers in the police. The political oversight over all policing is India’s worst kept secret. India’s CJI bluntly told the CBI that it works badly when it investigates politically sensitive cases. The naked political oversight in all areas of policing is always manifested and in many ways. From recruitment to training; from posting to transfers; from field work to desk work; from investigations to trials and from their uniform to their civil dress. Tejendra Khanna, a former LG of Delhi mentions a discussion on police reforms where the subject of political oversight on police came up and one CM shot it down with a growl ‘take that (political Oversight) away and we will be powerless’ look. He had his peers nodding in approval. So far, only one PM has made an attempt to correct the cesspool which comprises the Indian Police at its worst. A B Vajpayee set up the Justice Malimath Committee in 2000 to study the mess in the police. It came up with studied reforms (158 steps) to overhaul our policing including areas where police and judges work in tandem. It was studied and a bill followed by The Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) 2005 as an Act got the Presidential assent but the implementation of these amendments is deferred indefinitely. This would have curtailed political oversight and given the victims of crime a voice. Neither ruling parties nor lawyers for the accused want it to be implemented. Hence, it is in limbo and our policing is in purgatory. (The author is a former Joint Director of CBI. The views are strictly personal)last_img read more

Trudeau Liberals gaining ground but Scheers Conservatives still leading poll

Posted On Oct 17 2019 by

first_imgTORONTO – The race for Parliament Hill remains an uphill battle for the Trudeau Liberals according to a new national poll, but it’s not all good news for Andrew Scheer‘s Conservatives.A DART/MARU “Voice of Canada Poll” conducted last week still puts the PCs in first place with 37 per cent support, up three points from a similar poll earlier in June, but Trudeau has jumped eight points with 32 per cent.Big federal election news – The Trudeau Liberals now have the lead in Ontario, 40% to 34% over the Conservatives according to new polling from DART/MARU, The jump is largely due to ads that link Premier ford and Andrew Scheer. The Conservatives still have the 37% national lead.— Richard Southern (@richard680news) July 2, 2019Most of Trudeau‘s bounce comes from the vote-rich Ontario, with many pollsters agreeing that a Liberal ad blitz linking Scheer with Premier Doug Ford, appears to be working.As for the prime minister’s own popularity nationwide, just 24 per cent of respondents say the Trudeau Liberals deserve another term.Jagmeet Singh‘s NDP is up four points nationally, leaving them in a distant third place, with 17 per cent support.The survey was conducted among 1,512 randomly selected Canadian adults who are members of MARU/Blue’s Online panel on June 26, 2019. The poll is accurate to within +/ – 2.9 percentagepoints, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadian adults been polled.Read the poll results below:last_img read more

Celebrity PSAs Address Male Survivors Of Childhood Sexual Abuse

Posted On Oct 16 2019 by

first_imgThe Joyful Heart Foundation, founded by actress and advocate Mariska Hargitay of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and 1in6, a leading organization that provides support and information to male survivors of childhood sexual abuse have launched — in partnership with the NO MORE movement to end domestic violence and sexual assault – a new print series of the groundbreaking NO MORE PSA campaign.The new campaign speaks to the excuses and myths that male survivors of sexual abuse are confronted with. The print ads use bold, provocative messaging to engage bystanders and challenge preconceived notions about abuse, like NO MORE “That can’t happen to guys” and NO MORE “He just needs to get over it.” The campaign features 8 celebrities including Mariska Hargitay, co-stars of Law & Order: SVU Danny Pino and Ice-T, Blythe Danner, Katie Couric, Christopher Meloni, Maria Bello and Peter Hermann.“Being part of NO MORE from the beginning has been a great privilege,” said Joyful Heart Founder & President Mariska Hargitay. “Society continues to misplace shame and blame on survivors — both women and men. That has to end. By confronting the myths and excuses we rely on to avoid ending domestic violence and sexual assault, NO MORE fills me with confidence and renewed determination that we will put an end to the violence.”Steve LePore, Executive Director of 1in6 noted that, ‘’From the outset, everyone involved with NO MORE has shown a desire and commitment to be inclusive of men’s experience of violence. We’re grateful for that vision, which at every turn has proven beneficial to men, and we’re proud to partner with NO MORE and Joyful Heart on this campaign.”Over the years, Joyful Heart has helped to bring improvements in our society’s response to survivors by meeting them with compassion, greater access to justice and by having the necessary conversations to prevent violence and abuse from happening in the first place. But turning the tide of public awareness to lift the isolation and shame placed on survivors is still a work in progress.Our community response is a reflection of the myths and excuses surrounding these issues that blame and stigmatize victims. Frequently, we hear or read that because a woman dressed a certain way, she was “asking for it.” Or that if survivors don’t fight, run away or tell anyone, it is somehow their fault. Or that abuse doesn’t happen to guys.The “NO MORE Excuses,” campaign launched in September 2013 and was designed to help dispel many of the most common and pervasive myths about sexual assault and domestic violence, and to engage the public in an open dialogue about these important issues.The campaign, which includes over 40 celebrities and public figures urging bystanders to get involved, was developed in partnership with Y&R and world-renowned photographer Timothy White. The three-year PSA campaign has been rolling out across the country in local and national markets via print, broadcast, online and outdoor advertising, in movie theaters nationwide, and in major airports and medical facilities. Endorsed by the Ad Council’s Endorsed Campaign program and with the support of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, NO MORE has also secured major partnerships with Viacom, Lifetime Television, USA Networks, ConnectiVISION Digital Networks/ClearVISION and OK TV!. The video and print ads are available at no cost to non-profit organizations, universities and corporations to co-brand and increase support in their local communities for domestic violence and sexual assault prevention and services.To date, 446,303,169 people have seen the campaign across TV, print, outdoor, digital and media placements, with millions more reached through social media. The PSAs have aired on television over 7,445 times, reaching over 98 million people in markets across the country and over 6 million people on AMC, Cinemark and Regal Theater’s movie screens nationwide.Over 10 million readers of the Wall Street Journal, Vogue, More, Allure, Glamour, People, Vanity Fair, Huffington Post, Seventeen, Forbes and the New York Observer have seen the PSAs, as well as over 2 million attendees at the Daytona 500 and the NASCAR Ford Championship Weekend. Additionally, the PSAs have appeared on billboards across the country, including on Hollywood and Vine in Los Angeles, and 20 locations throughout the Midwest.The NO MORE PSAs can be viewed at read more

Skhirat Drowning Tragedy 12Yearold Girl Rescued After Spending 24 Hours at

Posted On Oct 12 2019 by

Rabat – A 12-year-old girl was rescued on Monday after having been swept out to sea from an unguarded beach in Bouznika near Rabat.The rescued girl was one of 46 people from a sports association who were swimming at the beach when eleven of them were swept away by the waves.After being rescued by a Royal Gendarmerie helicopter whose pilot spotted her in the ocean, the girl was airlifted to Souissi Hospital in Rabat during the early hours of Monday. The little girl was exhausted as a result of fighting for long hours against the waves, reports say.Local authorities are said to be searching for other potential survivors using helicopters and inflatable boats. read more

Africa must not be left behind in race to achieve development goals

Posted On Oct 12 2019 by

3 April 2007The world will not achieve the series of anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) if the poorest countries in Africa are left behind, a United Nations envoy has told a conference of the continent’s finance, planning and development ministers. Anwarul K. Chowdhury, UN High Representative for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (OHRLLS), said global efforts to attain the MDGs must be harnessed more closely with existing programmes such as the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) to accelerate economic growth in Africa and ensure that poverty is defeated.Some 34 of the 50 nations classified as Least Developed Countries (LDCs) are found in Africa. NEPAD is a strategic framework adopted by African leaders in 2001 to try to develop a more integrated approach to tackling socio-economic underdevelopment.“I have underlined before that if the LDCs do not achieve the MDGs, neither will the world as a whole,” Mr. Chowdhury told the conference yesterday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. “With two-thirds of the LDCs in Africa, we can confidently say that Africa has to achieve the MDGs for the world to have any hope of doing so.”The MDGs are a set of eight targets for slashing social and economic ills – from halving extreme poverty to stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education – by 2015, and were agreed to by world leaders at a UN summit in 2000.Mr. Chowdhury added that Africa must rein in its high rates of population growth, which have been eroding its otherwise healthy economic growth in recent years. Although the proportion of Africans living in extreme poverty increased only from 44.6 per cent in 1990 to 46.4 per cent in 2001, the actual number of affected people jumped by 38 per cent to 318 million because of soaring population growth.The High Representative stressed the need for more transparency in both foreign assistance provided to struggling African countries and the use of internal resources to ensure that the poorest benefit most. read more

Dangerous wheatkilling fungus detected in Iran – UN

Posted On Oct 12 2019 by

A dangerous new fungus with the ability to destroy entire wheat fields has been detected in Iran, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported today. The wheat stem rust, whose spores are carried by wind across continents, was previously found in East Africa and Yemen and has moved to Iran, which said that laboratory tests have confirmed its presence in some localities in Broujerd and Hamedan in the country’s west. Up to 80 per cent of all Asian and African wheat varieties are susceptible to the fungus, and major wheat-producing nations to Iran’s east – such as Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan – should be on high alert, FAO warned. “The fungus is spreading rapidly and could seriously lower wheat production in countries at direct risk,” said Shivaji Pandey, Director of FAO’s Plant Production and Protection Division. He urged the control of the rust’s spread to lower the risk to countries already impacted by high food prices. Iran has said that it will bolster its research capacity to tackle the new fungus and develop wheat varieties that are rust-resistant. Called Ug99, the disease first surfaced in Uganda and subsequently spread to Kenya and Ethiopia, with both countries experiencing serious crop yield losses due to a serious rust epidemic last year. Also in 2007, FAO confirmed that a more virulent strain was found in Yemen. The agency appealed to countries to bolster disease surveillance and step up efforts to control it. The Borlaug Global Rust Initiative (BGRI) – founded by Norman Borlaug, Cornell University, the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), the Internatioanl Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and FAO – will continue its work in assisting countries develop drug-resistant wheat varieties, upgrading their plant protection measures and creating contingency plans. 5 March 2008A dangerous new fungus with the ability to destroy entire wheat fields has been detected in Iran, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported today. read more

UN relief official warns internally displaced in Sudans Darfur may reach three

Posted On Oct 6 2019 by

Emergency Relief Coordinator Jan Egeland, briefing journalists in Geneva on a meeting of the UN’s humanitarian coordinators in crisis areas, warned that the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) keeps rising as attacks against civilians continue and the rape and abuse of women becomes more frequent.More than 1.8 million IDPs now live in Darfur, a vast and impoverished region on Sudan’s western flank, up from an estimated one million in May last year. Mr. Egeland said IDP levels are quickly approaching two million and could soon rise further.Last week he called for more African Union (AU) monitors to be put in place to protect civilians from violent attacks, mostly by Janjaweed militias, which are allied to Sudanese Government forces fighting local rebel groups. Only about 2,000 AU troops are currently installed in Darfur, nearly a year after the AU and the UN agreed that many more monitors should be operating.But Mr. Egeland said the number of deaths in Darfur is now declining and some 10,000 humanitarian workers in the region’s three states have been able to improve conditions for the IDPs, who mainly live in large makeshift camps.The Under-Secretary-General has previously described Darfur as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. But he said today the situation in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is now much worse.The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) wants to conduct a mortality survey to determine accurate figures for how many civilians in Darfur have died from disease or starvation since fighting began in early 2003, he added. The most recent study, held in mid-2004, showed that an average of about 10,000 IDPs were dying each month.Meanwhile, the UN Advance Mission in Sudan (UNAMIS) reported that 37 cases of measles have been confirmed in West Darfur state and another eight cases in South Darfur. A supplementary immunization campaign targeting children aged between six months and 14 years has begun in Kass (South Darfur) and Kanderni (West Darfur), the two towns that have reported the most cases. read more

Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world in the

Posted On Oct 3 2019 by

TORONTO – Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world in the coming week:Welcome, Texas: The mayors of Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, will be in Toronto and Montreal throughout the week to promote trade, tourism and other business opportunities. They have numerous meetings planned, including one with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, who has threatened to impose protectionist measures if the state passes Buy American legislation.Talking economics: The International Economic Forum of the Americas kicks off Monday in Montreal. The four-day gabfest will feature the federal ministers of finance, foreign affairs and international trade, as well as chieftains from the business world including National Bank CEO Louis Vachon, Power Corp. co-CEO Paul Desmarais Jr., and Michael Sabia, CEO of Quebec pension fund manager Caisse de depot.House money: Plenty of chatter about the real estate market this week. There’s the Ontario Housing Summit in Toronto on Tuesday, followed by an event Wednesday hosted by the Economic Club of Canada featuring the chief economists from the Canadian Real Estate Association and Scotiabank.Shop talk: Hudson’s Bay holds its annual general meeting Tuesday in Toronto. The gathering comes just after the department store giant, North America’s oldest company, announced about 2,000 layoffs in response to a number of retail sector challenges — namely the rise in online shopping.Power play: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley will be the keynote speaker Wednesday at the Global Petroleum Show in Calgary. If there were a time and place for Notley to deliver a message to British Columbia, this is it. The province’s future political direction is shrouded in mystery, with the NDP and Greens poised to oust the governing Liberals from power — a move that would have consequences for Alberta’s energy industry. by The Canadian Press Posted Jun 11, 2017 8:00 am MDT Last Updated Jun 11, 2017 at 8:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world in the coming week read more

Libya Security Council calls meeting of political parties step towards peace

Posted On Oct 2 2019 by

In a statement to the press, the 15-member body said it strongly supported efforts to address differences between parties through “peaceful and inclusive dialogue” and within the framework of a political process. The Council called on all sides to reject violence and turn to a political process. Recalling its resolution 2174 (2014), adopted unanimously in late August, the Security Council said it was ready to use “targeted sanctions, including asset freezes and travel bans, against individuals or entities that threatened Libya’s peace and stability” or undermined its political transition. Members also welcomed the agreement for the UN to facilitate another meeting following the Eid al-Adha holiday and strongly encouraged broad participation and progress towards achieving a peaceful solution in Libya. The Security Council said it continue to follow closely developments in Libya and reaffirmed its strong commitment to Libya’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and national unity.The North African nation has been embroiled in some of the worst fighting since the 2011 uprising that ousted former leader Muammar al-Qadhafi and set the country on a transition to democracy.In its resolution 2144 (2014), the Council tasked the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) with supporting government efforts to ensure the transition to democracy, promoting the rule of law, controlling unsecured arms and building governance capacity. read more

VikingsSeahawks Preview Capsule

Posted On Oct 2 2019 by

MINNESOTA (6-5-1) at SEATTLE (7-5)Monday, 8:15 p.m. EST, ESPNOPENING LINE — Seahawks by 2 1/2RECORD VS. SPREAD — Minnesota 6-5-1, Seattle 7-3-2SERIES RECORD —Seahawks lead 10-5LAST MEETING — Seahawks beat Vikings 10-9 in NFC playoffs, Jan. 10, 2016LAST WEEK — Vikings lost to Patriots 24-10; Seahawks beat 49ers 43-16AP PRO32 RANKING — Vikings No. 11, Seahawks No. 9VIKINGS OFFENSE — OVERALL (16), RUSH (30), PASS (7).VIKINGS Defence — OVERALL (6), RUSH (7), PASS (9).SEAHAWKS OFFENSE — OVERALL (19), RUSH (1), PASS (26).SEAHAWKS Defence — OVERALL (19T), RUSH (17), PASS (19).STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES — Fourth straight season Seahawks playing at home on Monday night. … Seahawks 24-5-1 in Thursday, Sunday or Monday night games since 2010. … First meeting since 2015 NFC wild-card game in Minnesota, third-coldest game in league history. … Vikings QB Kirk Cousins leads NFL with 350 completions, ,ranks sixth with 3,490 yards passing. Cousins’ has second-most yards passing through 12 games in franchise history (Warren Moon, 3,511 in 1994). … RB Dalvin Cook had career-high eight receptions last week. … WR Adam Thielen leads NFL with 98 catches, second in yards with 1,166, tied for fifth in TDs with nine. He’s caught TD in five of past six road games. Thielen’s 98 receptions third most in league history through 12 games. … Thielen and WR Stefon Diggs only pair of teammates in NFC with 80 or more receptions. … DE Danielle Hunter tied for third in NFC with 11 1/2 sacks. Hunter also has 16 tackles for loss, second in NFC. … LB Eric Kendricks had career-high 16 tackles vs. Patriots. He has at least seven tackles in five straight games. … Harrison Smith one of two safeties in league with three sacks and three interceptions. … Vikings have allowed just six run plays of 15 yards or more, tied for fewest in NFL. … Opponents converting 29.9 per cent of third downs vs. Vikings, lowest in NFL. … Seahawks QB Russell Wilson has 29 touchdowns and five interceptions through 12 games. He has thrown at least two touchdowns in eight straight outings. Wilson has 16 touchdowns and two interceptions in Monday night games. … Seahawks leading NFL averaging 148.8 yards per game rushing. They have rushed for at least 150 yards in seven of past eight games and had more rushing yards than passing in four of those games. … WR Tyler Lockett averaging 16.2 yards per reception, fifth in NFL. His career-high nine touchdowns include 52-yarder on only reception last week. … WR Jaron Brown had first two-touchdown game of career last week. He has five TD catches on just 11 receptions. … WR Doug Baldwin had two TD catches in last regular-season game vs. Vikings. … DT Jarran Reed has 4 1/2 sacks in past five home games. … DE Frank Clark has team-high 10 sacks but none in past two weeks. .. LB Bobby Wagner had 12 tackles, sack, forced fumble, fumble recovery and 98-yard interception return touchdown last week. It was first pick-6 of career. Wagner has eight or more tackles in six straight games. … Fantasy tip: Seattle’s pass defence has been struggling of late, allowing 315 yards per game over past four. Cousins, Thielen and Diggs are all good plays this week.___More AP NFL: and Associated Press read more

How The Villanova And Duke Losses Shook The Bracket

Posted On Sep 29 2019 by

Some madness finally came to the 2017 men’s NCAA Tournament over the weekend, as overall No. 1 seed Villanova and No. 2 seeds Duke and Louisville fell. In the video above, FiveThirtyEight sports editor Chadwick Matlin looks at how the surprising wins by Wisconsin, South Carolina and Michigan affected the rest of the field.

Yet Another Dumb Hotspot Name Causes Panic in the Air

Posted On Sep 20 2019 by

first_imgNeed to pass the time on a long flight? Why not read a good book? Watch some videos on your tablet or game on your laptop. Maybe even knit something. Do anything, really, except make jokes about bombs on the plane.That never goes over well, but clearly, there are still travelers out there who think it’s hilarious to freak out other passengers. One, anyway. Someone on a Turkish Airlines flight thought it would be a real side-splitter to turn on a WiFi hotspot named “bomb on board” while the plane was en route from Nairobi to Istanbul.The flight crew responded exactly how you’d think they would in 2017: by making an emergency landing. As Gizmodo mentioned, it wasn’t that long ago that another traveling troll thought it would be awesome to pull the same prank. Except that individual went with Samsung Galaxy Note 7 in an attempt to maximize hilarity during the height of the infamous battery explosion fears.Once the plane touched down in Khartoum the crew conducted a thorough security check, gave the all clear, and the passengers were allowed back on the plane. 99 of them probably pretty ticked off about some tool throwing a wrench into their travel plans (along with possibly some short-lived fears about the plane beingAccording to Reuters’ report on the incident, Turkish Airlines didn’t reveal whether or not its staff had identified the passenger who was responsible — or whether that person had at least been given a swift slap upside the head before being allowed to re-board.As a reminder, border crossings, airports, and airplanes aren’t the best places to crack wise at this particular juncture. Transport safety is kind of a going concern, and there’s a good chance you’ll get the book thrown at you.It’s all fun and games until someone gets a cavity search. Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more

Everton would fight to keep Idrissa Gana Gueye – Silva

Posted On Sep 17 2019 by

first_imgEverton boss Maco Silva has allowed Kieran Dowell to join Sheffield United on loan for the rest of the season but said the club would fight to keep hold of Idrissa Gana Gueye even as Paris Saint-Germain targets him.When asked about the PSG interest on the defender, Silva said as was quoted in the Guardian.“I have heard nothing about that but Gana is an important player for our squad,” Silva said.Premier LeaguePremier League Betting: Match-day 5 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Going into the Premier League’s match-day five with a gap already beginning to form at the top of the league. We will take a…“We don’t want to lose him.”Silva doesn’t plan for a busy transfer window but prefers to conduct business in summer.“January is always a difficult market; sometimes you only need it if you have a bad injury or something special happens. The perfect decision would be one player to come and improve our squad but we have to be 100%, or at least 95%, sure that the signing would make an improvement,” Silva added.last_img read more

No major changes in Clark County primary election races

Posted On Sep 16 2019 by

first_imgThere were no major changes as more votes cast in Tuesday’s Clark County primary election were counted Wednesday.Battle Ground City Council candidate Lyle Lamb saw the biggest percentage gain Wednesday, gaining three percentage points, or 149 votes, bringing his vote total to 593. He’s nearly neck and neck with Councilman Mike Ciraulo, with 610 votes, whom he’ll face in the Nov. 5 general election.Among Vancouver’s three primary races, the closest remains Position 2 between Councilwoman Jeanne Stewart and Alishia Topper. Stewart gained 1,048 votes, bringing her total to 6,768 votes while Topper added 845, bringing her total to 5,470 votes.last_img read more

Tech infiltrates board games of the future at Gen Con 2019

Posted On Sep 10 2019 by

first_img Gen Con 2019: See the mass of board games on display 28 Photos Originally published Aug. 5.  Post a comment Tyler Lizenby/CNET I’m somewhat new to board games (I’m deeply invested in my Gloomhaven campaign and games like Dead of Winter), but I’m enthusiastic enough about the hobby to have been thrilled at the chance to go to Gen Con over the weekend. For the unaffiliated, Gen Con is a massive annual board game convention in Indianapolis. And I do mean massive. Huge halls spread across multiple buildings demonstrate board games of mind-boggling variety. I didn’t come close to seeing everything over the three days I was there, but I did catch plenty of highlights. Here are my favorites. MechanicaGiven that I spend most of my time covering smart home tech, a board game called Mechanica immediately grabbed my attention. It’s about robot vacuums trying to take over the world. After squeezing through the crowd to sit on my stool at the demo table, one of the hosts launched into the instructions, all given in a satirical, post-apocalyptic tone. The premise is that “friendly” robots have pretty much conquered everything but keep humans complicit by giving them “useful” jobs in factories. Your goal is to build a production line for these robot vacuums. If your line is useful enough, the robots will kindly let you live and keep making more robots. gencon-2019-games-56 Tyler Lizenby/CNET Gameplay involves producing robots to make in-game money, then using that money to buy jigsaw-like pieces to upgrade your factory line and make it produce robots more quickly. The pieces offer an interesting variety of powers. Some help you bank money for the end. Some duplicate or upgrade your robots. Others redirect your pieces to help you make room for more. It can be tough to keep everything straight at first, but here’s where actual tech comes into play (the game is about technology, but you’re not actually playing with robot vacuums). The company behind Mechanica is developing an augmented reality app that you’ll be able to point at any game piece to see how it works. This should theoretically make learning the game much easier. mechanica-app-1 Mechanica’s AR app at work. Tyler Lizenby/CNET An AR instructions app also provides a notable thematic juxtaposition in a game about technology taking over the world. While clearly satirical, the theme of the game paints tech in a negative light as humans succumb to robot overlords, yet the game makes use of tech to help our little human brains learn the rules that much faster.Mechanica is made by Resonym, a game company with a mission to build socially conscious games. Buffalo, for example, tries to break down stereotypes by challenging social biases. You draw two cards at once, one with an adjective and one with a noun — multiracial superhero for example. The first person to come up with an example wins. The adjectives keep you on your toes to think creatively about your own assumptions regarding what the nouns might mean. Mechanica’s mission is less clear, but the AR integration is helpful and the game itself is fun, and maybe that’s all it needs to be. After a few minutes of playing, I forgot I was in a cramped demo hall surrounded by strangers. I was too busy trying to create the biggest and best robots I could. Pictionary AirMechanica wasn’t the only game at the convention to make use of cool technology. Mattel demoed Pictionary Air, which CNET tried in February at Toy Fair. The basic concept will be familiar to you if you’ve ever played the classic Pictionary. You try to get your team to guess words by drawing them. However, instead of drawing on a pad of paper, you’re actually drawing in the air. gencon-2019-games-68 Tyler Lizenby/CNET Augmented reality shows what you’ve drawn on a screen, so you’re literally drawing on air while the guessers get a view of the pattern on your TV or their cell phone. Pictionary Air is a really cool concept, but I struggled mightily to be able to draw without seeing my own results. The first image I attempted was the seemingly simple “tablecloth.” I was even surrounded by earnest guessers watching the demos, but try as I might, I couldn’t get them close to the right answer. In fact, they consistently guessed animals like dog and buffalo. Frustrated, I eventually turned around to see why they were struggling. I sympathized when I saw the scribblings of a madman I had created.The augmented reality aspect certainly adds a high-tech angle to a classic and can help even the odds among the participants, as I doubt many in your group will be practiced at air drawing. Star Wars, Thor, Overwatch: The hottest cosplay from Gen Con 2019 77 Photoscenter_img Toys and Tabletop Games Share your voice Augmented reality could theoretically bridge any number of analog games to tech. A company called Tilt Five was showing what could be possible. It had an augmented reality headset, a game board and a controller. With the headset on, the game board comes alive and lets you interact with a deep 3D model of a game world. I like board games as a reprieve from my normally tech-focused life, but between better instructions and richer interactions, AR and apps could certainly bring a lot of new features to this classic hobby. KlaskThat said, many board games still don’t need fancy tech to be enjoyable. Klask was the perfect example. Named Swedish game of the year in 2015, Klask is new to most people in the US, and the company behind it showed off a new four-player version of the game at Gen Con.gencon-2019-games-25 Tyler Lizenby/CNET In a fest filled with complex games that have layers of rules and intricacies, playing Klask was like drinking a cool glass of water. Many of the games on display at Gen Con take a long time to learn and involve multiple miniatures and boards and detailed setups, and I enjoy all of that. Gloomhaven is my current favorite board game. Still, I appreciated the contrasting simplicity of Klask. The only tech involved is magnets. It’s conceptually similar to air hockey. Your goal is to use your magnetic piece to whack a little plastic ball into the other player’s goal, but you have to watch out for a handful of traps. If you lose your piece in your own goal, or get stuck on the magnets in the middle, your opponent scores instead of you.I played more rounds of Klask than any other game at Gen Con. It’s quick and thoroughly enjoyable, with enough chaos to be consistently surprising and enough skill required to demand your full attention. It also provided a great counterpoint to lots of the other games on display, showing that board games at all levels of tech and complexity can still be really fun. 0 Tagslast_img read more

Iditapod The ceremonial start

Posted On Sep 9 2019 by

first_imgFifty-two mushers running the 2019 Iditarod took part in the ceremonial start in downtown Anchorage on Saturday, March 2. (Ben Matheson/KNOM/Alaska Public Media photo)We talk about why the Ceremonial Start in downtown Anchorage is a thing, hear what mushers are talking about this year, and visit with the Trailgaters. It’s the last time anyone gets to catch their breath before the real start of the race. And maybe catch a few hotdogs, too.<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span><span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span>last_img read more

Lufthansa pilots resume strike more than 800 flights cancelled

Posted On Sep 5 2019 by

first_imgPlanes stand on the tarmac during a pilots strike of German airline Lufthansa at Frankfurt airport, Germany, November 23, 2016.ReutersDeutsche Lufthansa SA or simply Lufthansa  on Tuesday cancelled over 800 flights after the pilots called for two days of strikes again over an on-going pay dispute. The pilots strike has cost the Germany carrier losses amounting to hundreds of millions of euros. Short-haul flights departing across the country were affected on Tuesday, thus leading to 816 flights being cancelled of the 3,000 scheduled departure flights. Additionally, Lufthansa pilots announced their plan to strike on short and long-haul flights on Wednesday, Reuters reported. The airline has offered to hike the pilots pay by 4.4 percent in two instalments. It has also offered a one-time pay settlement worth 1.8 month’s salary. However, the union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) is demanding average annual pay hike of 3.7 percent for its 5,000 odd pilots for a five-time period starting from 2012.The union has rejected the offer made by the management of the airline. “For mediation you need an offer that can be the basis of negotiations. Lufthansa has not made such an offer,” VC board member Alexander Gerhanrd-Madjidi was quoted as saying by German media.Germany’s biggest airline has had to ground nearly 2,800 flights affecting more than 350,000 passengers since the strike began on November 23. This 14th such strike to hit the airline, it began as a disagreement over pay hike.Strikes forced Lufthansa to cancel more than 16,000 flights in 2014 and 2015, burdening operating profit by 463 million euros ($523 million), according to Bloomberg. A flight information board showing cancelled flights during a pilots strike of German airline Lufthansa at Munich airport, Germany, November 23, 2016.Reuterslast_img read more

Who Is Lupe Valdez The Dallas County Sheriff Running As A Democrat

Posted On Sep 2 2019 by

first_imgLaura Skelding for The Texas TribuneFormer Dallas Co. Sheriff Lupe Valdez her announces run as a Democratic candidate for governor at the Texas Democratic Party headquarters in Austin on Dec. 6, 2017.Lupe Valdez has resigned from her longtime post as Dallas County sheriff to challenge Gov. Greg Abbott in 2018. Valdez is the highest-profile Democrat in what’s sure to be an uphill battle. But that’s nothing new for her.After signing her official filing papers Wednesday, Valdez stood at a podium at the Texas Democrats’ headquarters in Austin, and said, “I’m stepping up, estoy obligada, for Texas, for everyone’s fair shot to get ahead. I’m in.”Valdez said that she’s experienced the struggle many Texans face making ends meet and that she’s proof that education opens doors.“Opportunity in Texas ought to be as big as this great state. But for far too long, hard-working Texans have been left behind, kept out, and frankly, attacked for who they are, where they come from, and who they love.”Here’s a closer look at Valdez, the first openly gay, Hispanic sheriff in the country — and the Democratic party’s highest-profile contender for the state’s top slot. Childhood and education  Valdez was born in San Antonio in 1947, one of eight children in a family of migrant farm workers. She earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Southern Nazarene University — a liberal arts college in Bethany, Oklahoma — before receiving a master’s in criminology and criminal justice from the University of Texas at Arlington.Criminal justice careerAfter attaining the rank of captain in the U.S. Army, Valdez went on to work as a federal agent for U.S. Customs and Border Protection and, later, the Department of Homeland Security, focusing on fraud and drug cases for almost 30 years before being elected sheriff of Dallas County, the state’s second most populous county. Dallas County sheriffValdez is currently serving her fourth term as Dallas County sheriff, and she drew national headlines when she was first elected in 2004 as the nation’s first openly gay Hispanic sheriff. Her office oversees the second largest county jail in Texas.In 2015, Valdez got crosswise with Abbott when she announced her department would decide whether to turn over undocumented offenders to federal immigration authorities on a case-by-case basis. That move prompted Abbott to warn Valdez in a letter that Texas sheriffs who did not cooperate with federal “detainers” would face losing state grant money. The debate resurfaced in 2017, and was ultimately the driving force behind the anti-“sanctuary cities” and immigration enforcement bill Abbott signed into law earlier this year.Valdez’s office has also faced criticism over an alleged lack of transparency around prisoner deaths and injuries. After the brutal death of a prisoner at the county jail in December 2016, the Dallas Morning News’ editorial board knocked the sheriff for “pitiful reasoning” and being slow to recognize the severity of the incident. From sheriff to gubernatorial candidateValdez announced her campaign for governor in Austin on Wednesday, telling reporters that she had submitted her resignation as sheriff.Dallas County Administrator Darryl Martin told The Texas Tribune on Wednesday that Valdez is required under the Texas Constitution to continue serving in her capacity until a successor is sworn in. County commissioners are scheduled to meet Dec. 19 to name Valdez’s replacement. Once that happens, she will officially join the other six Democrats who have already launched bids for the party’s gubernatorial nomination. Andrew White, son of late Gov. Mark White, is expected to throw his hat into the ring — marking the eighth Democrat to enter the race — on Thursday in Houston.___CHRISTOPHER CONNELLY / KERA NEWSLupe Valdez at the Annie’s List luncheon in Dallas last month.‘Nobody had ever heard of me’Valdez spent a dozen years as Dallas County Sheriff. In a StoryCorps interview from 2014, she said she knew when she decided to run for sheriff back in 2004 that she was coming in as an outsider.“Nobody had ever heard of me. There’d never been a minority run for sheriff. There’d never been a female run for sheriff,” she said. “And all of a sudden I come up: minority, Hispanic, lesbian.”Not only was she looking to become the first out Latina lesbian in the country to become sheriff, she was doing it as a political unknown. An Army veteran, she spent decades in federal law enforcement jobs before launching her political career. But, this was not the first time she’d faced tough odds.“I’m the eighth child of migrant workers,” Valdez said in the interview. “I’m one of the few that got to go to school in my family because in the 50s, if you were a migrant worker, you didn’t get to go to school. You just worked.”CREDIT DOUALY XAYKAOTHAO / KERA NEWSDallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez fools around with her friend, Claudio Taffer, before going inside the StoryCorps MobileBooth in 2014.Once in office, Valdez cleaned up a jail system that was in disarray, and took over a department with lagging morale. During her time in office, she’s also seen her political star rise.In an address to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia last year, Valdez talked about bridging divides. We have to start listening to each other, she said. That’s why she says she sends her deputies to events celebrating Dallas County’s diverse communities.“Ramadan, Cinco de Mayo, Juneteenth, Pride, Veterans Parade, Irish festivals. You name it, we show up,” she said. “And some of my officers are uncomfortable at first. But the only way to serve your community is to know your community.”Democrats have their candidateWith her announcement, Texas Democrats are breathing a sigh of relief, according to University of Houston political scientist Brandon Rottinghaus. He says they’d been sweating the fact that they didn’t have a strong candidate at the top of the ticket.“No. 1, it solves the problem of who’s going to run,” he said. “No. 2, it gives them a type of candidate who’s going to activate the sleeping electorate – younger people, Latinos, liberal Democrats – to come out and vote, and that doesn’t typically happen in a midterm election.”Winning the seat will be tough. Gov. Greg Abbott — the man whose seat she wants — is popular, he’s an incumbent, and he’s a Republican in a state that hasn’t elected a Democrat statewide since 1994.CREDIT LYNDA GONZALEZ / KUT NEWSGov. Greg Abbott addresses the crowd attending a prayer vigil on Nov. 8 for the victims of the Sutherland Springs shooting.By contrast, Valdez, 70, is not well known across the state. Rottinghaus says she’s best known for her high-profile tussle with Abbott over the state’s tough new ban on sanctuary cities. That might help with progressives, he says, but not with the rest of the electorate.“So my guess is if there is any name ID, it’s probably pretty negative for most people, and certainly negative for any Republicans or leaning-conservative independents,” Rottinghaus said. Share What she’d need to competeMoney is also a challenge: Abbott, 60, is a strong fundraiser who’s sitting on a big pile of campaign cash – more than $40 million. Democrats have struggled with fundraising in the past.Cal Jillson from Southern Methodist University says Wendy Davis spent about $40 million in her race against Abbott – and she lost by 20 points.“So Lupe Valdez doesn’t necessarily need $40 million, but she needs millions – tens of millions – and she needs a compelling message that she and the Democratic party can push,” Jillson said. “It’s got to start with education; it’s got to include health care and jobs.”Of course, before she can face off with Abbott, Valdez has got to win the Democratic primary, which will almost definitely include another high-profile candidate. Andrew White, the businessman son of former governor Mark White, is scheduled to announce his election bid soon.last_img read more

Why This Climate Change Denier Had A Change of Heart

Posted On Sep 2 2019 by

first_img Bob Inglis is a former Republican Congressman from South Carolina who used to be a climate change denier. He says he used to call climate change a “bunch of hooey.”Then he had a change of heart, which he says cost him his job in the 2010 GOP primary runoff.Today, Inglis is executive director of, and he tours the country talking about solutions to climate change. Tonight, he gives a presentation called Solving Climate Change with Courage and Conservative Principles at 6 p.m. at the University of Houston’s Hilton Ballroom.In the audio above, we revisit the 2016 conversation Maggie Martin had with Inglis about what prompted him to change his mind all those years ago. Share Listen Xcenter_img To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: republicEn.orgFormer U.S. Congressman Bob Inglis of South Carolina went from climate change denier to an advocate for conservative action on the issue. 00:00 /15:14last_img read more