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ACU will look after alleged corruption in TNPL: CoA chief Vinod Rai

first_img Next Asian News International MumbaiSeptember 16, 2019UPDATED: September 16, 2019 17:19 IST Chepauk Super Gillies had defeated Dindigul Dragons to win second TNPL title. (Twitter: TNPL)HIGHLIGHTSVinod Rai said that the alleged corruption in TNPL is ACU’s partBCCI initiated inquiry over the alleged corruption in TNPLThere have been reports of an unknown person approaching some of the players during the leagueThe Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) chief Vinod Rai on Monday said that the alleged corruption in Tamil Nadu Cricket League (TNPL) is Anti-Corruption Unit’s (ACU) part and they will investigate the matter and as of now, nothing has come to the CoA.”It is an ACU’s part. ACU will look after the matter. Nothing has come to us. We are on track for elections,” Rai told ANI after the CoA meeting here.The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has initiated inquiry over the alleged corruption in Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL), Anti-Corruption Unit’s (ACU) chief Ajeet Singh confirmed on Monday.There have been reports of an unknown person approaching some of the players during the league and the players then complained to the ACU to deal with the matter.”Yes, some of the players have approached us and based on their statements, we have initiated an inquiry. We have also recorded their statement on how and when they received messages from the unknown person,” Ajeet Singh told ANI.”Actually, there was a WhatsApp message that was sent by some unknown people and then the players approached the ACU. It can be anyone but we are sure that there is no international player involved,” added Singh.The TNPL has become an annual event, which features star players like Ravichandran Ashwin, Murali Vijay, and Dinesh Karthik.The matches are centred around the Chepauk Cricket Stadium in Chennai. The tournament was initially inaugurated by former India skipper and current Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni.advertisementOn the National Dope Testing Laboratory, Rai did not make any comment as it was banned by the World Anti Doping Agency last month.”No comments on the dope test of cricketers as the NDTL is banned by the WADA,” Rai said.Earlier, after the suspension of NDTL by WADA, the BCCI had written to the National Anti Doping Agency (NADA) seeking clarity over the future course of action.In a letter addressed to the Director-General and CEO, NADA, the cricketing body had also expressed concern over the previously collected samples by NDTL at BCCI domestic tournaments.”It has come to our attention through media reports that NDTL has been suspended by WADA for a period of six (6) months owing to “non-conformities with the International Standard for Laboratories (ISL) as identified during a WADA site visit,” BCCI had stated in its letter to NADA.”We request you to kindly let us know how this suspension will affect samples collected by NADA at BCCI Domestic Cricket tournaments. Since NDTL is unable to test the samples of our cricketers, what is the way forward to ensure a strict chain of custody and timely analysis of all samples,” it added.For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted bySaurabh Kumar Tags :Follow TNPLFollow Vinod RaiFollow Committee of Administrators ACU will look after alleged corruption in TNPL: CoA chief Vinod RaiThe Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has initiated inquiry over the alleged corruption in Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL), Anti-Corruption Unit’s (ACU) chief Ajeet Singh confirmed.advertisementlast_img read more

Saskatchewan father upset sons hockey team not allowed to wear memorial patch

first_imgNORTH BATTLEFORD, Sask. – The father of a young Saskatchewan hockey player who committed suicide calls a decision to remove a memorial patch from his son’s team’s jerseys a slap in the face.Neil Lascelle’s son Ash took his own life in January and his Battlefords Barons teammates had been wearing a patch on their sweaters in his honour.The circular crest reads: “In loving memory Ash, 2002-2018.”The Battlefords Minor Hockey Association recently ruled the patches cannot be worn next year.“It wasn’t very tactful. It was all about a power struggle versus what was in it for the kids, the team, whomever it really mattered to,” the father said. “It should never have been about a struggle.”Ash was 15 years old when he died.His father described him as a social butterfly who loved sports, especially hockey, but also excelled at football and track and field. His favourite teams included the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins and the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings.Ash enjoyed the outdoors and was musically talented. He talked about having a career in policing and had recently considered joining the military.His father said that he excelled in school and achieved 97 per cent in his Grade 10 science class.There were nearly 1,500 people at his funeral.“I stereotyped him to not have any issues,” Lascelle said. “It seemed to me like he was the popular kid, he was athletic.“We thought some of the things he was going through were just teenage things.”Teammates wanted to keep the patch on their jerseys until 2021, when Ash would have moved on from midget hockey.But the minor hockey association ordered the crests be removed at the end of this season and reaffirmed that stance at an April meeting.The association’s board said that all jerseys need to be the same.“If 10 kids would want it and 10 kids didn’t, you can’t have 10 that want it,” said Kyle Kellgren, president of the Battlefords Minor Hockey Association.“There’s a possibility that kids don’t want it. There’s a parent that spoke against the patch at the meeting. It’s not all just one-sided.”Kellgren said players are still permitted to put the crests on hockey pants, helmets and bags.Lascelle attended the meeting and said that it felt orchestrated. People tried to ask questions about the crest, but they weren’t taken seriously, he said.“Never provided any proof or substantial evidence that this was a negative thing for the crest on the jersey and they never provided anybody that they talked to in regards to this,” said Lascelle, who stayed up until 3 a.m. after the meeting to take crests off the jerseys.Dr. Katy Kamkar, a clinical psychologist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, suggested anything that “people can come up with that can help them build that resiliency” is a helpful way to cope.Every day since Ash’s death has become a little more manageable for Lascelle, his wife, Michele, and their two other sons Mitchell, 18, and Dion, 23, he said.But “you can’t explain the loss of a child.”He said he attended every game after Ash died and was proud of the team for wanting to remember him.Lascelle said more than a dozen children have reached out to him when they’ve felt down.“I had one parent call me up and say you saved my daughter, and from this point on, we’re family,” he said.“If I save one person, then my son will be proud of me.“Maybe I’m kind of having my son live through me in a sense that I’ve adopted or I’m trying to be that person that Ash was.”— By Ryan McKenna in Regina. Follow @RyanBMcKenna on Twitterlast_img read more

Positive drilling numbers expected for 2014

Positive drilling numbers expected for 2014 Steady as she goes, might be a phrase heard from a sailor, but it’s also an expression being used by the Petroleum Services Association of Canada (PSAC) to describe drilling activity.First quarter numbers show the rig count is running at a slightly stronger pace than predicted in late October.Mark Salkeld, president and CEO of PSAC, said they are adjusting their numbers up slightly.“As an industry we like the steady consistent, know what you are going to do tomorrow kind of thing versus a boom and bust,” he said.Over the course of 2014, just fewer than 1,100 wells are expected to be drilled in western Canada with Alberta leading the way.Salkeld said Alberta would see more than half of that predicted activity and calls the increase manageable.Despite a recent rise in natural gas prices, Salkeld said most companies are still looking for oil, which has a much higher rate of return.He said the recent decline in the loonie is good news for his industry because they operate in Canadian dollars but receive American greenbacks for their products. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by News Staff Posted Jan 30, 2014 11:46 am MDT read more

Postmedias largest shareholder looks to sell stake reports say

Postmedia’s largest shareholder looks to sell stake, reports say by The Canadian Press Posted Mar 14, 2016 3:19 pm MDT Last Updated Mar 14, 2016 at 5:00 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email TORONTO – The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Postmedia’s largest shareholder is looking for buyers of its stake in the media organization.GoldenTree Asset Management LP, which specializes in corporate and structured debt, owns 52.36 per cent of Postmedia’s variable voting shares and a portion of its debt, according to the company’s most recent management information circular.The Journal reports that GoldenTree informed Postmedia’s board in February of its desire to sell that stake. Canaccord Genuity Group Inc. has been hired to help GoldenTree find buyers.A Postmedia spokeswoman said the company had no comment.GoldenTree also declined to comment and Canaccord did not immediately return requests for comment.Postmedia says it’s aiming to reduce costs by $80 million by the middle of next year. read more

Asia laments Trump rejection of Pacific trade pact

TOKYO – President-elect Donald Trump says he wants to pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership but other Pacific Rim leaders are vowing to push market-opening efforts they say are vital for growth.The possible decline of the 12-nation TPP could give a boost to alternative initiatives including one promoted by China in which the United States is not taking part.Trump’s message, in a brief video, was issued after President Barack Obama and other leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation group, meeting in Peru, called Sunday for fighting the backlash against trade highlighted by Trump’s victory and Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.Promoters of the TPP say it is a step toward building a wider, pan-Pacific free trade zone, though critics object it would shift too much control over regulation to companies from governments and the public.“There is very strong support among the other 11 parties to the TPP to ratify it and to seek to bring it into force,” said Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.Trump described the 12-nation pact as a “potential disaster for our country.” He has also said he wants to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico.Obama has said he would give up seeking congressional approval for the TPP. He had championed it as a way for the United States to lead the creation of “gold standard” rules for 21st century trade.“I think not moving forward would undermine our position across the region,” Obama told reporters in Lima.New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said Washington will need to think about what role it wants to play in Asia and its fast-growing markets.“The United States isn’t an island. It can’t just sit there and say it’s not going to trade with the rest of the world,” said Key after returning home. “At some point they’re going to have to give some consideration to that. But naturally, we’re a bit disappointed.”The TPP, signed this year in New Zealand, would take effect after it is ratified by six countries that account for 85 per cent of the combined gross domestic product of its member nations.The United States is 60 per cent of the combined GDP of that group and Japan less than 20 per cent, so those conditions cannot be met without U.S. participation.“TPP is meaningless without the United States,” said Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Last week, he became the first foreign leader to meet Trump since his Nov. 8 election victory.As Japan’s most powerful leader in a decade, Abe invested political capital in overcoming opposition to the TPP from farmers and the medical lobby. His ruling Liberal Democratic Party pushed TPP ratification through the lower house of parliament and had been set to seek final approval in the upper house.Renegotiating the agreement would “disturb the fundamental balance of benefits,” said Abe, who was in Argentina following APEC.Other TPP members include Chile, Mexico, Canada, Peru, Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and Australia.China hopes for progress on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP, it is promoting with the 10 governments of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said.The RCEP would require fewer market-opening concessions than TPP. Critics say that would let China shield its huge but inefficient state-owned companies from competition. The agreement would include China, India, Indonesia and South Korea but no countries from the Americas have joined.“We would like to push the negotiation process to make headway at an early date,” said the spokesman, Geng Shuang, at a regular briefing.China also called at APEC for progress on a separate arrangement, the Free Trade Agreement of the Asia Pacific.“We hope these free trade agreements can reinforce rather than thwart each other,” said Geng. “We should prevent fragmentation of economic and trade arrangements or politicizing such agreements.”___Associated Press writers Liu Zheng in Beijing; Rod McGuirk in Canberra, Australia; Nick Perry in Wellington, New Zealand, and Almudena Calatrava and Luis Andres Henao in Buenos Aires, Argentina, contributed to this report.___Luis Andres Henao on Twitter: https://twitter.com/LuisAndresHenao Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe talks during a press conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Monday, Nov. 21, 2016. Abe met with Argentina’s president on Monday as part of an official visit to boost trade ties between the two countries. (AP Photo/Luciano Matteazzi) by Elaine Kurtenbach, The Associated Press Posted Nov 21, 2016 6:10 pm MDT Last Updated Nov 22, 2016 at 7:00 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Asia laments Trump rejection of Pacific trade pact read more

Steph Curry Finally Looks Like Steph Curry Again

Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/shakenbake11.mp400:0000:0000:14Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/stephbounce.mp400:0000:0000:26Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.There have been other great indications for Curry. Even with all those turnovers, he’s creating a ton of looks for his teammates — 13.5 potential assists per game in this series, up from 8.4 last year.2He also posted 13.5 potential assists per game in the 2015 Finals. A potential assist is a pass that leads to a shot attempt. He’s been the fastest offensive player on the court3Among those playing 10 minutes or more per game. by far. And, so far, he’s been getting considerably more accurate with his shot as he gets deeper into each game, much the way he did in 2015.4He’s made just 33 percent of his shots and 27 percent of his 3-point attempts in first halves of the Finals this year, but he is hitting 61 percent of his shots and 64 percent of his 3s in second halves. Last year, his shooting percentages were basically flat from one half to the next, while in 2015, they got stronger as the games wore on.Following the game, Cleveland star LeBron James was asked whether the Cavs were still trying to feel out the new-look Warriors. “They’re a different team. You guys asked me, ‘What was the difference?’ And I told you. They’re a different team.”James was referring to the addition of Durant. But with Curry playing this well too, even James might not be able to do enough to allow Cleveland to turn things around.Durant is defense-proofWhen the Warriors signed Durant, much was made about how much more space he would have to work with on offense now that he was surrounded by shooters. Game 1 showed how deadly that works out to be in practice. But the other thing Durant adds is the ability to Go Get A Bucket, to take and make tough shots when the defense tightens up in critical moments of the game. That came out in Game 2.Durant had 33 points, 13 rebounds, six assists, three steals and five blocks Sunday night, and he played as well defensively as he has all season. That’s an outstanding line all on its own, but he was also 10-for-15 on contested looks in Game 2, bringing him to 17-for-29 for the series. The Cavs tightened up their defense considerably from Game 1, but with Durant hitting everything he threw up regardless of coverage, it hardly mattered. And strange as it sounds in a game decided by 19 points, the Warriors needed Durant to carry them with those tough shots.“Tonight was a game based on talent,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after the game when asked about Golden State’s 13 first-half turnovers. “We had a lot of guys play great individually.”Durant was right in the the middle of it, especially early in the game, when he was hitting contested step-backs and keying fast breaks with his defense. And he pretty much put the game away in the fourth quarter when he blocked a Kevin Love post-up on one end and hit a twisting, falling fadeaway over two defenders to put the Warriors up 18 with seven minutes to play. It was an incredible 1-2 sequence that only a few players in the league are capable of putting together. But creating offense out of nothing is Durant’s specialty, especially on contested attempts like that.Coming into the season, our colleague Ben Morris mapped out how Durant adds as much value to the average 2-point shot as Curry does to a 3-pointer. But in Oklahoma City, Durant had generally been getting bad looks and turning them into good ones. In Golden State, he’s finally been getting good shots, but he has shown that he still has the chops to turn bad ones good.That’s a skill the Warriors don’t necessarily have. Even with Curry playing like his old MVP self, he was just 4-for-11 on contested looks in Game 1 and 2-for-7 Sunday night. But that has hardly mattered. With Durant on the roster, this is no longer the team that couldn’t find a way to score in the final 4:39 of the fourth quarter of Game 7 last year. It’s a team that can go get a bucket whenever it needs one.LeBron may be tiredIt never quite seemed like LeBron and the Cavs were about to run away with the game, but for a while at least, things looked like they were going to work. Cleveland was running and gunning, and the offense was working in all the ways it hadn’t in Game 1. James was 8-for-12 for 18 points and 10 assists in the first half, mostly on drives that produced good shots around the rim or open looks for teammates. Throw out a few what-were-they-thinking fouls on Curry in the first quarter, which gave him eight of his 10 free throw attempts in that period, and they might have taken a lead into halftime. But even when they wound up down three at the break, it seemed like we had a game on our hands. Then the Cavs ran out of gas.The first half was played at a pace factor of 119, meaning the full game would have seen 119 possessions if play had kept going at that speed. That’s staggeringly high, and while the game did slow down after halftime, the final pace rating was still 106.4, making it the second-fastest game Cleveland played all season. (The fourth-fastest was a January matchup against the Warriors that Golden State won by 35.) The pace proved to be too much.After his strong opening half, James shot just six times in the second half and just once in the fourth quarter. He was also much less involved overall, letting other players initiate the offense instead of hammering on the drive-and-kick game that had kept Cleveland in it early.But James isn’t simply carrying the offense — he’s also guarding Durant for long stretches, and that hasn’t worked out so well. When James is guarding him this series, Durant is 10-for-17 for 23 points with just one turnover. On the whole, when James is the primary defender, the Warriors are shooting 63 percent against him and scoring 21.5 points per game.James hasn’t been a disaster on defense — the highlight-reel moment where he gets spin-cycled by Curry seems likely to have been a reaction to a double dribble — but he’s also clearly no longer the man-eater he was at his height, when he both carried the offense and was one of the most fearsome perimeter defenders in the league.The Cavs are rich in top-tier role players, but they don’t have a true defensive stopper on the perimeter; Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith have both looked overmatched in the series, which makes James’s job even more demanding than usual. He might just need a breather. So while it was nice to see the Cavs offense operating at a high level again, Cleveland may want to consider slowing things down. OAKLAND, Calif. — Many comparisons in the coming days can and will be made between this year’s NBA Finals and last year’s series. As in 2016, the Cavaliers got pasted in their first two games on the road. And similar to last time, the Cavs will try to find some footing in Cleveland in hopes of bringing the series back to Oakland for at least a fifth game.But aside from the painfully obvious observation — that Kevin Durant is an absolute monster who makes a comeback far more difficult than the one Cleveland pulled off a year ago — the Cavs have another problem: After a relatively poor showing in last season’s finals, Stephen Curry appears to have returned to form.The 29-year-old logged the first triple-double of his postseason career, finishing with 32 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds on Sunday. His game was far from perfect, as he had eight turnovers to go with those gaudy numbers. But as reckless as he was at times, it was hard not to notice how fast and healthy he looked compared to last year’s Finals, where he didn’t have the burst to both dazzle past defenders and finish over them at the rim.In the 2015 Finals, Curry was dangerous when he controlled the ball inside the arc for seven dribbles or more, hitting 55 percent of those shots. But that number fell to 35 percent last year on the biggest stage, as he faltered late in the deciding Game 7, unable to get around Tristan Thompson, Richard Jefferson and Kevin Love — all respectable players, but guys that a great scorer like Curry should be able to put in the blender in 1-on-1 scenarios.That has not been a problem in this series, which is part of the best postseason of his career. He’s not only getting a step on bigger defenders, he’s also knocking down 50 percent of those looks inside the arc once he does.1Yes, if you look closely, you’ll see that Curry almost certainly double-dribbled on the jaw-dropping move he pulled on LeBron James on Sunday. read more

What are the chances of the Adare bypass being built anytime soon

first_imgAS ANYONE WHO’s ever attempted to drive through Adare in Co Limerick on a bank holiday weekend will attest, it’s known to be one of the worst bottlenecks in the country — with two mile tailbacks from the south not an uncommon sight as people head back from breaks in West Kerry.The saga of a proposed bypass for the popular tourist village has been a long one. And given what Transport Minister Leo Varadkar had to say on the issue this afternoon, it’s not one that’s likely to end anytime soon.An Bord Pleanala rejected an application to build the bypass along a selected ‘Southern Route’ in October 2012, on the grounds that it constituted “isolated infrastructure” and didn’t fit in with any wider plans for the national road network.Efforts to restart the project have been ongoing since then, with Varadkar attending a meeting with local TDs, Limerick County Council and the NRA late last year to examine a potential way forward.However, the issue is complicated by the fact that the local authority has also tasked engineers with examining options for connecting the port of Foynes to the wider road network. Foynes (in the top-left of this map), Adare, Limerick and the surrounding road network [Google Maps]Addressing a question on the issue from Limerick Fine Gael TD Dan Neville this afternoon, Vardkar said that while he was “very concerned” about the situation in Adare, there wasn’t much that could be done until the end of the year at the earliest, when the report on the potential Foynes route is due to be completed.“At that point I will be able to strongly encouraging the NRA to proceed with planning, so that if funding does become available we’ll be ready to go,” Varadkar said.He also stressed the need for the NRA to be able to engage with An Bord Pleanala before handing in a formal application, so that any issues with the plans being drawn up could be flagged. Varadkar said he was considering an amendment to the Roads Bill which would formalise the process.In short — even though there is a chance that the planning process for a bypass could get under way again at some state next year, its unlikely there’ll be enough cash to spare to actually built the thing for quite some time after that.As the Minister pointed out, the current budget allocation for the NRA for improvement and maintenance works this year is only €371 million — on a par with the figure for 1998…It’s not possible to progress a variety of very worthwhile projects, including Adare, and the main focus has to be on the maintenance and repair of roads. This will remain the position in the coming years.Read: Limerick County Council urges dog owners to clean up after their petsRead: Enda Kenny: No, I’m not worried about the investigation into Apple’s Irish tax deallast_img read more

Syrians are increasingly likely to opt for a strongman like Assad capable

first_img Share Tweet Email2 Mar 15th 2017, 6:30 AM 432 Views http://jrnl.ie/3286791 By Antoine Bakhash 36 Comments Antoine Bakhash center_img Wednesday 15 Mar 2017, 6:30 AM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article TODAY MARKS SIX years since Syria first broke out in civil war.Six long years since this protracted conflict of indiscriminate killings and unspeakable atrocities first began to ravage my country.For far too long, my home city of Aleppo dominated the headlines with its crumbling buildings, its mass exodus, and the sheer overwhelming weight of human suffering that festered there. But this was not the Aleppo I had known.I was only 14 when Syria changed foreverAt times, I feel that the war is part of me. At times, it almost feels like we grew up together. Still, my Aleppo was not a place of war.My Aleppo was a friendly city of busy streets. A city where Muslims and Christians would mostly live apart, but in peace. An ancient and prosperous city, where people would come from miles around to ply their trade.By the time I left nearly two years ago, this Syria was already long gone. Yet now that I am safe and sound over 3,000 kilometres away, I find myself confronted with a whole new Syria.It is an image of my country that seems both familiar and alien, one that is brought up again and again in newspapers, on television, even in political debates. It is an image that seldom corresponds with reality.How our media tells its stories Source: Shutterstock/Slawomir KowalewskiIn an age where words like “alternative facts” and “fake news” have become a veritable phenomenon, it is time to re-evaluate how our media tells its stories.All too often, the Syria that was, the Syria that I choose to remember, is left behind by today’s discourse, obscuring the dignity to which Syrians everywhere are entitled.The war has become fodder for armchair analysts, many of whom know next to nothing of the reality on the ground. While US presidential hopeful Gary Johnson’s total cluelessness on the topic was widely derided in the press (“What is Aleppo?” he asked, perplexed, during an interview), his ignorance is by no means unique.In fact, it is almost typical. Even while chastising Johnson, the New York Times misidentified Aleppo as the de facto capital of the so-called Islamic State, only to misidentify it again as the capital of Syria in a later correction.The correct answers are, of course, Raqqa and Damascus, respectively.Black-and-white interpretations of an intricate and complex warSetting aside these major inconsistencies and shortcomings, the sad truth is that most coverage of this conflict boils down to black-and-white interpretations of an extremely intricate and complex situation.Heroic rebels fighting for democracy against an oppressive regime, a besieged government standing firm against violent fanatics, a sectarian conflict that was centuries in the making, the democratic opening of a progressive civil society, all these narratives hide more than they reveal.At best, they lead to the propagation of misleading half-truths. At worst, they lead to the dissemination of misinformation among citizens and decision-makers in countries that hold a huge amount of say over the Syria that will eventually emerge from this bloody crucible.Portrayal of siege of AleppoTake, for example, the depiction of the protracted siege of Aleppo. Although the city had been the site of unrest since 2012, coverage of the battles in and around Aleppo intensified alongside the siege itself, only taking headlines as government troops poised to retake the city.Countless articles, editorials, and opinion pieces lamented the supposed “failure” of the international community to stop the slaughter. Yet if there was any humanitarian failure, it lies more on what was done, than on what wasn’t.Former US ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power garnered widespread praise for lambasting Russian and Iranian involvement in Syria last December. “Are you truly incapable of shame? Is there literally nothing that can shame you?” she implored.While she was certainly right to hold a mirror up to the atrocities committed by Assad and his enablers, it was underscored by a conspicuous self-serving myopia. There was no acknowledgment of the countless civilians killed in US air strikes, of the abuses perpetrated by their own proxy forces, of the Western weapons that have ended up in the hands of extremists.There was no admonition of the shameless meddling of Saudi Arabia and Turkey, of their own egregious atrocities.Western involvement just as destabilising as that of Russia Source: Shutterstock/OrlokIn fact, Western involvement in Syria has been every bit as destabilising as that of Russia or Iran. The groups that have received aid and tactical support under their calamitous intervention run the ideological gamut from democratic socialists to radical Islamists.The result is a fractured opposition, beset by infighting, and incapable of mounting a coherent, wide-reaching resistance to both the repression of the Assad regime and the unbridled barbarity of the IS.This is a narrative that has seldom found its voice in mainstream interpretations across the West.Yet, it is also a view that resonates strongly across Syria. Since colonising French troops left in 1946, Syria never had any strong political affiliation with America or Europe. Instead, for much of its history Syria looked to the Arab world, seeking to build stronger regional ties under the banner of pan-Arabism.In the streets of Aleppo there were no McDonalds, no Apple stores, no Domino’s. For many Syrians, to suddenly become the target of intense political wrangling from the West is jarring, disconcerting, and suspicious.Belying all this is an uncomfortable truth that is rarely acknowledgedThough Western forces claim to be championing democracy in the region, the prospect that either Assad or a member of his entourage could win democratic recognition seems to be off the table.The photos and videos that emerged from Aleppo during the closing days of the siege depicted the thousands of people fleeing what they saw as the fall of their city.This was often the only story that was told. What was not shown however, were the thousands who welcomed government forces with open arms, overjoyed at what they considered to be their liberation.Enduring popularity of AssadTo underestimate the enduring popularity of the Assad regime is to seriously misjudge the dynamics of Syria’s current political situation. Successive opinion polls have consistently shown that Assad still holds a cosy lead of popular support over all other alternatives.In my own neighbourhood in central Aleppo, Bashar al-Assad’s face could often be seen, proudly emblazoned across car and shop windows. In fact, the funding of such ostensibly pro-democracy rebels may be backfiring.With the war continuing to drag on, and with no coherent and visible leader for the opposition to rally around, many Syrians are increasingly likely to opt for a strongman like Assad, for someone who seems capable of finally bringing stability to this beleaguered country, no matter the cost.Narratives that have been marginalised and overlookedThese are all narratives that have been marginalised and overlooked, but that does not make them any less valid or any less vital to bringing a fair and dignified end to this terrible war.It has been years since Syrians have been in control of their own destiny, and they may not be again for many years to come, but this does not mean that they cannot, and should not be in control of their own stories.This six-year-long war is complex and multifaceted. It is tortuous and often inscrutable. It is an awful, messy conflict that defies tidy explanations and neat summaries.Although it may be difficult, our interpretations of it need to reflect this uncomfortable reality. To do any less is to tell only half the stories.Antoine Bakhash is a Syrian student, currently living in Leuven, Belgium. He has volunteered with Caritas Athens Refugee Programme in Greece. Eimhin O’Reilly is a writer and activist from Dublin, specialising in issues relating to the Global South. He helped Antoine tell his story.Zoo deaths: ‘In the wild, gorillas don’t eat their own vomit and pull out their hair in frustration’>Opinion: ‘Tax isn’t just an expense, it’s a societal good and an investment in all our futures’> ‘Syrians are increasingly likely to opt for a strongman like Assad, capable of bringing stability’ Assad’s popularity is a narrative that has been marginalised in the West, but that doesn’t make it any less vital to bringing an end to the terrible war in my country, writes Antoine Bakhash with the help of Eimhin O’Reilly. Short URLlast_img read more

No young rich Greeks

first_imgThe lack of young Greek folk on the 2011 Young Rich list is obviously clear. And while Adelaide developer Ross Makris used to top the list, now at 41-years-old, he is no longer eligible as a youngster. Topping the list is Queensland coal baron Nathan Tinkler, with a cool $1.13 billion proving that a kid obsessed with taking a risk on the share market paid off. His first $1 million punt on a coal mine returned $442 million, and the rest is history. London-based hedge-funder Greg Coffey came in second with $743 million and first-timer in the rich list Steven Kalmin third with a nice $458 million. Sports stars Harry Kewell, Mark Webber, Mark Viduka, Lleyton Hewitt and Pat Rafter were some of the famous names on the list with pop sensation Darren Hayes, formerly of Savage Garden fame, in the list too. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

iPad Deals Get a Certified Refurbished iPad for as Low as 155

first_imgApple iPad Air 9.7″ 16GB WiFi (Certified Refurbished) – $225See Deal Apple iPad 3 9.7″ 16 GB WiFi (Certified Refurbished)MSRP: $499.99   | Sale: $155 |   68 percent offStream movies, play games, and browse the web with ease. This Apple iPad 3 features a spacious 16 GB of storage, a gorgeous Retina display, a 5 MP iSight camera, and Siri functionality. Apple iPad Mini 16GB WiFi (Certified Refurbished) – $169See Deal Apple iPad Mini 2 Retina 16GB with WiFi in Space Gray (Certified Refurbished) – $289See Deal iPad Air 2 WiFi Gold 16 GB (Certified Refurbished)MSRP: $499.99   | Sale: $329 |   34 percent offThe iPad Air 2 is as functional as it is stylish. It offers all the features you’d want in a handheld device — such as the ability to access the web and stream content — while packing enough power to run some of the most processor intensive apps available on the App Store. Apple iPad 4 9.7″ with WiFi, 16GB (Certified Refurbished) – $169.99See Deal The Apple iPad should require no introduction. It’s the tablet that set the trend for many of today’s handheld technologies and, yet, it still manages to remain on the cutting edge. Want to get one without paying the full MSRP? Check out these deals on Certified Refurbished models at the Geek Deals store and save hundreds.Apple iPad 4 9.7″ with WiFi, 16 GB (Certified Refurbished)MSRP: $649   | Sale: $169.99   | Price dropped from our regular sale price of $249The Apple iPad 4 is more than a tablet. It’s like a portable computer that’ll keep you connected, productive, and entertained. It can run thousands of apps, features a stunning 9.7” Retina display, 16 GB of internal storage, and Wi-Fi connectivity. Save over $450 with this special offer. Apple iPad Mini 2 Retina 16 GB with WiFi in Space Gray (Certified Refurbished)MSRP: $399.99   | Sale: $289 |   27 percent offThe iPad Mini 2, measuring at just 7.9”, is small enough to carry around but not so small that your productivity is hindered. It features a stunning Retina display, a generous 16 GB of internal storage, and all the power you need to run a wide range of apps. Apple iPad Mini 16 GB WiFi (Certified Refurbished)MSRP: $459.99   | Sale: $169 |   63 percent offIf an iPhone is too small and the regular 9.7” iPad is too big, then this Apple iPad Mini is just right. It features a brilliant Retina display, two cameras, Siri functionality, and Wi-Fi connectivity so you can use it at home, at the corner coffee shop, or at the office. Apple iPad Air 9.7″ 32 GB with WiFi (Certified Refurbished)MSRP: $599.99   | Sale: $239.99   | Save an extra $10 off our already discounted priceThe Apple iPad Air is the king of tablets. It can run thousands of apps, has a hefty 8 MP camera, and it’s lightweight so it’s easy to take anywhere. It’s also got a sizable 9.7” screen, a huge 32 GB of internal storage, and a Retina display that renders visually stunning images. Apple iPad Air 9.7″ 32GB with WiFi (Certified Refurbished) – $239.99See Deal Stay on target Apple iPad Air 9.7″ 16GB WiFi (Certified Refurbished)MSRP: $499.99   | Sale: $225 |   54 percent offNeed an iPad that’ll let you browse the web and play games with ease? Then the iPad Air 16GB edition will fit you like a glove. It can run thousands of apps, it runs fast and smooth, and it offers 10 hours of operation per charge. iPad Air 2 WiFi Gold 16GB (Certified Refurbished) – $329See Deal Want your products featured at the Geek Deals store? Learn more about how to sell your products online! Apple iPad 3 9.7″ 16GB WiFi (Certified Refurbished) – $155See Deal Sonic Soak Is the Tiny Washing Machine That Goes AnywhereThis $500 SEO Tool Is Only $24 Today last_img read more

Video highlights from latest Total Bellas Preview for Upcoming Miz and Mrs

first_img Pinterest Twitter Facebook WWE posted the following highlights from last night’s episode of “Total Bellas” on E!. Jason Namako RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Google+ Preview for Upcoming “Miz and Mrs.” Reality SeriesWWE posted the following preview on Sunday night for the upcoming “Miz and Mrs.” reality series featuring The Miz and Maryse that will air on USA Network beginning on July 24.It’s all about MIZ-CHIEF, MIZ-TAKES, and the occasional MIZ-UNDERSTANDING on #MizAndMrs, premiering July 24 on @USA_Network! pic.twitter.com/LXzgs9ZxzN— WWE (@WWE) June 17, 2018 11 matches scheduled for WWE Clash of Champions tonight in Charlotte, Live Post-Show WhatsApp Miz and Mrs. Season One coming to the WWE Network Friday, September 20 9/13 Impact Highlights: oVe vs. Blanchard and Dreamer in Street Fight Main Eventlast_img read more

A City Council committee to consider regulatory proposal for dockless scooters

first_imgA City Council committee to consider regulatory proposal for dockless scooters February 20, 2019 Categories: Good Morning San Diego, Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter Posted: February 20, 2019 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The San Diego City Council’s Active Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will meet Wednesday on regulations for dockless electric scooters and bicycles as well as the companies that own them.Mayor Kevin Faulconer proposed the regulations last week after months of pressure from residents concerned about public safety and from transportation advocates who didn’t want the scooters banned outright. Faulconer’s office originally proposed a set of regulatory concepts in October, which the council’s Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods Committee approved while requesting a fleshed-out version.Scooter riders would be banned from parking scooters and bicycles in hospital and school zones, beach area boardwalks, the perimeter of Petco Park and the north and south legs of the Embarcadero. Riders and scooter company employees would also only be able to park scooters in groups of four, with at least 40 feet between groups.Scooter speeds, currently a maximum of 15 mph, would be slowed to 8 mph in high-traffic areas like Spanish Landing, Petco Park and Balboa Park, and 3 mph on the Embarcadero and the Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade. Scooter companies would use geofencing technology to limit parking abilities and speeds in specific areas, technology that Bird already uses in areas like the Santa Monica Beach Bike Path.The city would also require scooter companies to apply for a six-month operational permit and pay $150 per scooter or bike each year. Scooter companies could only renew permits in January or June, at which time they could negotiate variables like fleet size.The committee is scheduled to meet at 1 p.m. Wednesday in the City Administration Building’s 12th floor Council Chambers at 202 C St. City Council members Mark Kersey, Chris Ward, Chris Cate and Vivian Moreno sit on the committee. center_img Updated: 9:27 AM KUSI Newsroom, KUSI Newsroom last_img read more

Prepare A Winter Safety Kit For Holiday Travel

first_imgFacebook514TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享With temperatures expected to remain below freezing through Christmas Day, Alaskan travelers are urged to prepare a simple winter safety kit for holiday road trips. Megan Peters with the Alaska State Troopers says when the weather is bad, a simple situation can escalate quickly. Peters:“You should always have emergency provision in your vehicle, food, water, extra winter gear, I keep extra winter gear for me and my kids in my car even if we’re staying around the Anchorage area, if we go on longer trips I’ll put more food in the vehicle, I mean in the winter time when the temperatures plummet getting stuck on the side of the road is a potential life or death situation.”center_img Other important items to have in an emergency car kit include:a shovelwindshield scraper and small broomflashlight with extra batteriesbattery powered radiowatersnack food including energy barsraisins and mini candy barsmatches and small candlesextra hats, socks and mittensFirst aid kit with pocket knifeNecessary medicationsblankets or sleeping bagtow chain or roperoad salt, sand, or cat litter for tractionbooster cablesemergency flares and reflectorsfluorescent distress flag and whistle to attract attentionCell phone adapter to plug into lighterStore items in the passenger compartment in case the trunk is jammed or frozen shut.last_img read more

Newsweek Mulls Dramatic Drop in Circulation

first_imgTime4,000,0003,250,0003,250,000 Both sources say that the magazine is considering slashing up to 1.6 million copies from Newsweek’s current rate base of 2.6 million, which would put the magazine’s rate base at 1 million.Newsweek declined to comment. “A million [rate base] was the extreme,” said the source. But, as the year wore on, and the economic crisis worsened, “[they] didn’t see a recovery.”‘Thought Leader’Aside from the cost of maintaining such a high circulation, Newsweek would like to transition from newsmagazine to “thought leader,” something more akin to the Economist. “[Editor Jon] Meacham and [Time editorial director Richard] Stengel are both infatuated with the Economist,” the source said.  “To get that ‘thought leader’ position, a million is the sweet spot.” The Economist’s rate base in North America is 714,000.Such a drop in guaranteed circulation is not uncommon, particularly in the newsweekly category. Time cut its rate base by 750,000 copies in January 2007. Newsweek followed suit, dropping 500,000 copies from its circulation in November of that year. [SEE RELATED: Newsweeklies Continue Long, Slow Print Goodbye] But a cut of this size is nonetheless risky. “To make that jump, you better increase your CPM dramatically,” noted the source, “or you’ll lose millions.”There’s also public perception, and the risk of looking weak in the eyes of readers and advertisers. “One of the worries is they don’t want to be seen as a U.S. News,” said the source. Circ StrugglesBut such a cut may be inevitable, said newsstand consultant Baird Davis.“As we all know by now U.S. magazine circulation has been greatly expanded over the last 20 years to meet rising advertising opportunities,” Davis said. “This growth has been achieved largely by acquiring a much greater percentage of ‘non-renewable circ’ than publishers had previously employed.” The expansion of non-renewable circ, combined with reduced reader demand has lowered circulation profitability and “reduced ‘reader quality’ for nearly all U.S. magazines.” [SEE RELATED POST: Why it Makes Sense]“The effects of these rather dramatic changes were partially camouflaged by a strong advertising climate,” Davis said. “When the advertising bubble burst in ’08—coupled with a steep increase in paper and postal expense—the industry’s circ weaknesses were starkly exposed.”Another concern is Newsweek’s newsstand sales (“a good barometer of reader demand,” Davis said) which have fallen to 83,000 from 147,000 in 2004, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. Time’s newsstand circulation has also fallen to 96,000, down from 163,000 four years ago.“The question now facing many publishers is to find circ levels that are more commensurate with reader demand.”Paring Down, Ticking Up RATE BASE200620072008 Newsweek3,100,0003,100,0002,600,000 UPDATE: Staff to Be Cut at Newsweek, Too Facing increased costs of postage and maintaining its circulation, Newsweek has been quietly considering a drop its circulation guarantee by a million copies or more, FOLIO: has learned.Executives at Newsweek began discussing a rate base rollback as early as this summer, according to a pair of sources familiar with these discussions. Economist532,000595,000714,000 SOURCE: ABC, June publisher’s statementslast_img read more

Lockheed wins 800M contract for radar at Clear

first_imgThe Missile Defense Agency has awarded a contract of nearly $800 million to Lockheed Martin to install a sophisticated radar system at Clear Air Station, in the Interior.The system, called Long Range Discrimination Radar, is intended to support the ground-based missile defense capabilities of Fort Greely.According to Alaska’s congressional delegation, Alaska can expect to see nearly $300 million in military construction from that contract, with much of the work taking place at a Lockheed facility in New Jersey.last_img read more

UN urges China to free Uighurs from reeducation camps

first_imgA Chinese pagoda towers over the old town in Kashgar, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, China, on 23 March 2017. — ReutersUnited Nations human rights experts voiced concern on Thursday over alleged Chinese political “re-education camps” for Muslim Uighurs, and called for the immediate release of those detained on the “pretext of countering terrorism”.The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination cited estimates that “from tens of thousands to upwards of a million Uighurs” may be detained in the far western Xinjiang province.Its findings were issued after a two-day review of China’s record, the first since 2009, earlier this month.China’s foreign ministry rejected the allegations at the time, and said that anti-China forces were behind criticism of policies in Xinjiang.China has said that Xinjiang faces a serious threat from Islamist militants and separatists who plot attacks and stir up tensions between the mostly Muslim Uighur minority and the ethnic Han Chinese majority.The independent experts said during the review that the panel had received many credible reports that a million ethnic Uighurs are held in what resembles a “massive internment camp that is shrouded in secrecy”. Panel expert Gay McDougall described it at the time as a “no-rights zone”.In its conclusions, the panel said it was alarmed by: “Numerous reports of detention of large numbers of ethnic Uighurs and other Muslim minorities held incommunicado and often for long periods, without being charged or tried, under the pretext of countering terrorism and religious extremism.”It regretted that there was no official data on those detained “for even non-threatening expressions of Muslim ethno-religious culture like daily greetings”.The panel decried “reports of mass surveillance disproportionately targeting ethnic Uighurs, including through frequent baseless police stops and the scanning of mobile phones at police checkpoint stations”.There were reports that “many Uighurs abroad who left China have allegedly been returned to the country against their will”, it said, calling on China to disclose the current location and status of students and asylum seekers who went back.The panel also urged China to allow Tibetans access to passports for foreign travel and to promote the use of the Tibetan language in education, the judicial system, and media.last_img read more

EPA orders more repairs at the San Jacinto River Waste Pits following

first_img Share Dave Fehling | HPMThe plan calls for ringing the site with a temporary dam and digging up 212,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediments.The Environmental Protection Agency ordered two companies on Thursday to make more extensive repairs to stabilize the area around a Superfund toxic waste site near Houston following Hurricane Harvey.EPA said a survey of the area near the San Jacinto River Waste Pits found erosion of the river bottom up to 12 feet deep in a 20,000-square-foot area adjacent to a fabric and stone cap intended to keep highly contaminated sediments from washing away.EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has ordered International Paper and a subsidiary of Waste Management Inc. to underwrite a $115 million cleanup at the 16-acre site, a low-lying island in the middle of the river where contaminated pulp from a paper mill was disposed of during the 1960s. Sampling by an agency dive team in the days after the historic storm revealed exposed sediments containing dioxin levels at 70,000 nanograms per kilogram — more than 2,300 times the level set to trigger a cleanup.The companies are opposed to the expensive cleanup. EPA’s plan calls for ringing the site with a temporary dam and digging up 212,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediments, enough to fill about 16,000 dump trucks. The companies contend the protection offered by the cap now covering the site is sufficient.In a statement issued Thursday, they said additional sampling by a private contractor found no evidence that contamination from the site was spread by the storm.EPA said those results, which still included a sample containing dioxins slightly above the mandated cleanup level, are preliminary. A final analysis should be completed in about two weeks, the agency said.Pruitt’s cleanup order triggers the beginning of what could be months of negotiations between EPA and the two companies to reach a settlement. If the companies refuse to comply with Pruitt’s order, EPA could sue in federal court to require compliance.The Associated Press reported Sept. 2 about the risks from flooding at Houston-area Superfund sites, highlighting six prior occasions where the cap at the waste pits required significant repairs. Journalists surveyed seven flooded Superfund sites in and around Houston by boat, vehicle and on foot, including San Jacinto.The EPA said at the time it was too unsafe for its personnel to visit the sites, and accused the AP in a statement of engaging in “yellow journalism” and creating panic. Nearly one month later, however, the agency confirmed that contaminated sediments at San Jacinto had, in fact, been uncovered by the storm.The San Jacinto River empties into Galveston Bay, where state health officials have long advised against regularly consuming fish and shellfish due to contamination from dioxins and PCBs.last_img read more

Christine Blasey Ford And Brett Kavanaugh Testify before Senate Judiciary Committee

first_imgIn a day like few others in Senate history, California psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford quietly recounted her “100 percent” certainty Thursday that President Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court had sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers — and then Brett Kavanaugh defiantly testified he was “100 percent certain” he did no such thing.That left senators to decide whether the long day of testimony tipped their confirmation votes for or against Trump’s nominee in a deeply partisan fight with the future of the high court and possibly control of Congress in the balance.Showing their own certainty, Republicans quickly scheduled a recommendation vote for Friday morning in the Senate Judiciary Committee, where they hold an 11-10 majority. They’re hoping for a final Senate roll call next week, seating Kavanaugh on the court shortly after the Oct. start of its new term.In the committee’s packed hearing room for hour upon hour Thursday, both Kavanaugh and Ford said the alleged assault and the storm of controversy that has erupted 36 years later had altered their lives forever and for the worse — perhaps the only thing they agreed on during their separate testimony marked by a stark contrast of tone and substance.Ford recounted for the senators and a nationwide TV audience her long-held secret of the alleged assault in a locked room at a gathering of friends when she was just 15. The memory — and Kavanaugh’s laughter during the act — was “locked” in her brain, she said. Ford delivered her testimony with deliberate certitude, though admitting gaps in her memory as she choked back tears at some points and said she “believed he was going to rape me.”Hours later, Kavanaugh entered the hearing room fuming. He angrily denied her allegation, alternating a loud, defiant tone with near tears of his own, particularly when discussing his family. He decried his confirmation opposition as a “national disgrace.” He interrupted senators and dismissed some questions with a flippant “whatever.”“You have replaced ‘advice and consent’ with ‘search and destroy,’” he said, referring to the Constitution’s charge to senators’ duties in confirming high officials.Democrats pressed the judge to call for an FBI investigation into the claims, but he would say only, “I welcome whatever the committee wants to do.”Republicans are concerned, among other reasons, that further investigations could push a vote past the November elections that may switch Senate control back to the Democrats and make consideration of any Trump nominee more difficult.Trump made his feelings newly clear that he was sticking by his choice. “His testimony was powerful, honest and riveting,” he tweeted. “The Senate must vote!”Trump nominated the conservative jurist in what was supposed to be an election year capstone to the GOP agenda, locking in the court’s majority for years to come. Instead Kavanaugh has seemed in peril and on Thursday he faced the Senate hearing amid a national reckoning over sexual misconduct at the top of powerful institutions.The day opened with Ford, now a 51-year-old college professor in California, raising her right hand to swear under oath about the allegations she said she never expected to share publicly until they leaked in the media two weeks ago and reporters started staking out her home and work.As Anita Hill did more two decades ago when she alleged sexual misconduct by Clarence Thomas, the mom of two testified before a committee with only male senators on the Republican side of the dais.The psychology professor described what she says was a harrowing assault in the summer of 1982: How an inebriated Kavanaugh and another teen, Mark Judge, locked her in a room at a house party as Kavanaugh was grinding and groping her. She said he put his hand over her mouth to muffle her screams. Judge has said does not recall the incident.When the committee’s top Democrat, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, asked Ford how she could be sure that Kavanaugh was the attacker, Ford said, “The same way I’m sure I’m talking to you right now.” Later, she said her certainty was “100 percent.”Her strongest memory of the alleged incident, Ford said, was the two boys’ laughter.“Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter,” said Ford, who is a research psychologist, “the uproarious laughter between the two.”Republican strategists were privately hand-wringing after Ford’s testimony. The GOP special counsel Rachel Mitchell, a Phoenix sex crimes prosecutor, who Republicans had hired to avoid the optics of their all-male line up questioning Ford, left Republicans disappointed.Mitchell’s attempt to draw out a counter-narrative — mainly that Ford was coordinating with Democrats — was disrupted by the panel’s decision to allow alternating five-minute rounds of questions from Democratic senators.During a lunch break, even typically talkative GOP senators on the panel were without words.John Kennedy of Louisiana said he had no comment. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said he was “just listening.”Then Kavanaugh strode into the committee room, arranged his nameplate, and with anger on his face started to testify with a statement he said he had shown only one other person. Almost immediately he choked up. “My family and my name have been totally and permanently destroyed,” he said.He lashed out over the time it took the committee to convene the hearing after Ford’s allegations emerged, singling out the Democrats for “unleashing” forces against him. He mocked Ford’s allegations — and several others since — that have accused him of sexual impropriety.Even if senators vote down his confirmation, he said, “you’ll never get me to quit.”Kavanaugh, who has two daughters, said one of his girls said they should “pray for the woman” making the allegations against him, referring to Ford. “That’s a lot of wisdom from a 10-year-old,” he said choking up. “We mean no ill will.”The judge repeatedly refused to answer senators’ questions about the hard-party atmosphere that has been described from his peer group at Georgetown Prep and Yale, treating them dismissively.“Sometimes I had too many beers,” he acknowledged. “I liked beer. I still like beer. But I never drank beer to the point of blacking out, and I never sexually assaulted anyone. “When Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., pressed if he ever drank so much he blacked out, he replied, “Have you?” After a break in the proceedings, he came back and apologized to Klobuchar. She said her father was an alcoholic.Behind him in the audience as he testified, his wife, Ashley, sat looking stricken.Republicans who had been scheduled to vote as soon as Friday at the committee — and early next week in the full Senate — alternated between their own anger and frustration at the allegations and the process.“You’re right to be angry,” said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas.Sen. Lindsey Graham, his voice rising in anger, called the hearing the “most unethical sham since I’ve been in politics.”___Associated Press writers Kevin Freking, Mary Clare Jalonick, Padmananda Rama, Matthew Daly, Julie Pace, Laurie Kellman and AP photographers J. Scott Applewhite and Carolyn Kaster contributed to this report.___This story has been corrected to say Kavanaugh would take his seat shortly after the start of the new court term. Sharelast_img read more

Its time to find out if Dak Prescott can carry the Cowboys

first_imgIt’s time to find out if Dak Prescott can carry the CowboysDak Prescott has gone from late round draft pick to franchise quarterback in a little over a year, but has had the benefit of relying on a dominant offensive line and Ezekiel Elliott to run the ball since being named the starter.With Elliott beginning to serve his suspension this week, Colin thinks now is the time we will find out if Dak can lead Dallas to the playoffs without having the luxury of leaning on Elliott and the running game.This is when we find out if Dak belongs in the top tier of quarterbacks that put their franchises on their back, or if he’s just a really good quarterback in the perfect situation. Russell Westbrook is better alone than trying to fit in with a Big 3The Thunder and there new Big 3 are off to a slow start, and unlike Cleveland, who’s missing one of their key pieces in Isaiah Thomas, OKC is at full strength. It’s not working now, and based on what he’s seen, Colin isn’t sure they will ever develop into a serious contender in the West.Some people are better as solo acts, instead of part of a group, and with Westbrook, he’s more effective when he’s unleashed as a force of nature, rather than trying to go out of his way to make sure Carmelo and Paul George are happy. Guests:Chris Broussard – FS1 NBA Insider is in-studio talking about OkC’s chemistry problems; if the Thunder would consider trading Paul George if they can’t get it together; and Lonzo’s scoring struggles; andMike Shanahan – Former NFL Head Coach is in-studio to talk John Elway’s success in Denver; and his son taking over in San Francisco; and if he would consider coaching again.Bruce Feldman – Fox Sports College Football Analyst talking college football playoffs; why he thinks Notre Dame has a good chance to get in; his current Final Four; and if there’s any reason for long-term concern for Ohio State.last_img read more

Refinance Applications Reach Highest Level Since 2009

first_imgRefinance Applications Reach Highest Level Since 2009 Adjustable-Rate Mortgage Agents & Brokers HARP Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Applications Mortgage Rates Processing Refinance Service Providers 2012-07-25 Ryan Schuette July 25, 2012 423 Views More applications ticked up as record-low mortgage rates spurred refinance applications to their highest level since April 2009.[IMAGE][COLUMN_BREAK]The “”Mortgage Bankers Association””:http://www.mbaa.org/default.htm (MBA) found that applications increased 0.9 percent from the week before. The Refinance Index climbed by 2 percent to reach the highest level in three years, with the refinance share of activity ticking up to 81 percent of application volume from 80 percent last week.The Purchase Index fell 3 percent from the week before to its lowest level since last month, tracking declines for purchases on an unadjusted basis.The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity amounted to 4 percent of total volume from the week before.Interest rates for 30-year and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages remained near their record-low troughs, with no change from the former at 3.74 percent and declines for the former to 3.07 percent.center_img in Data, Government, Origination, Servicing Sharelast_img read more