Gujarat school children receive bags with Akhilesh Yadav’s picture

first_imgIn an embarrassing gaffe, the Gujarat government’s education department distributed thousands of school bags bearing former U.P. Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav’s picture in the tribal district Chhota Udepur.The school bags were distributed to newly enrolled students in government run primary schools in Chhota Udepur.As the picture of school bags embossed with Mr.Yadav’s image went viral on social media, the State government ordered a probe to ascertain how the bags landed up in Gujarat and which agency procured them.According to district primary education officer Mahesh Prajapati, the district panchayat had procured 12,000 of these bags through an e-tender from a Surat-based company. This was a part of the State’s annual school enrollment drive.There were stickers pasted on the bags but the smiling image of the former U.P. Chief Minister was bared when the students removed the stickers.According to sources, the bags were originally manufactured for the Samajwadi Party government in Uttar Pradesh and were apparently recycled to be distributed in Gujarat by hiding Mr.Yadav’s image under stickers.last_img read more

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BJP denies faulty EVM ‘propaganda’

first_imgThe Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has hit back at the Opposition for involving the party’s name in its complaints about tampering of electronic voting machines (EVMs) during polling on Monday. BJP leaders said the State Election Commission (SEC) has taken note of the complaints and denied most of them, including the alleged manipulation in Satara. The SEC had even conducted mock polling at certain locations under the watch of party representatives to ensure clean and fair elections, they said. The party rejected claims that VVPAT slips of some voters in Navlewadi village in Satara’s Koregaon constituency showed votes cast for other candidates went in favour of the BJP. “The State Election Commission has rejected all claims of EVM manipulation. At the same time, the SEC has denied any such incident took place in Satara of votes being diverted to the BJP. In such a scenario, Opposition parties are using this propaganda to target the BJP. We deny any such reports and propaganda,” Mukund Kulkarni, spokesperson of the State BJP, said.last_img read more

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Klopp excited by intense title race

first_imgJurgen Klopp insists Liverpool will not get carried away despite moving back to the top of the Premier League with a 4-1 win over Cardiff City.Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane’s double and Xherdan Shaqiri claimed the points at Anfield on Saturday, putting the Reds three points clear of Manchester City, who visit Tottenham on Monday.But while Klopp is thrilled with Liverpool’s points total of 26 from their opening 10 games, the former Borussia Dortmund boss is wary that a glut of teams are hot on their heels. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! “The number of points makes the difference,” Klopp told a news conference.”Because the difference between 23 and 26 feels like 20 points, pretty much! It’s really important to stay on track.”We will all meet each other, it’s unbelievable that five or six clubs have such a big number of points but it only makes it even more intense.”It’s good for the people and the supporters of different clubs. We won, but for us it’s just the next step, that’s cool.”Now we have time to recover, then prepare for the Arsenal game, which will be another nice challenge.”pic.twitter.com/6xXnuMuX32— Liverpool FC (@LFC) October 27, 2018Cardiff boss Neil Warnock, meanwhile, lamented the fixture list as his side failed to build on their win over Fulham last weekend.”I think it is a bit harsh, we were punished for making mistakes. We had opportunities in the first half and made the wrong decisions,” Warnock told BBC Sport.”Anfield is an intimidating place. It was cruel when we had a good win against Fulham the week before, we get Liverpool away, there is not much tougher.” Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the weblast_img read more

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Ruthless India aim to extend Sri Lanka’s agony in Pallekele

first_imgIndia will once again be expected to be at their ruthless best when they take on a Sri Lanka, which has hit the nadir in both form and confidence, in the second one day international, at Pallekele on Thursday.After a lop-sided 3-0 Test series victory, the script did not change much in the opening ODI, where India steamrolled the opposition by nine wickets.Such has been Sri Lanka’s performance that supporters stopped the team bus demanding answers for a shoddy show. Chief coach Nic Pothas pointed out in no uncertain terms that all is not well within the team, indirectly pointing fingers at the interference from team manager Asanka Gurusinha. (Also read: Team India demolishing Sri Lanka on the field, exploring island off it)Like it has happened over the past few months, Shikhar Dhawan pummeled the Lankan bowlers into submission with an unbeaten 132. Reuters PhotoFor skipper Virat Kohli, it was business as usual with an unbeaten 82.As such, it is tough to foresee any changes to the Indian playing XI. Only one out of five games has been played yet, and even in West Indies, Kohli resisted the urge to chop and change too much.It is a similar scenario here as well. At Dambulla, India didn’t prefer to go in with either two leg-spinners or two left-arm spinners, thus forming the Chahal-Patel’s orthodox leg break-left arm spin combination.Additionally, the ODI wickets in Sri Lanka do not afford the luxury of playing three spinners. Thus, unless the Pallekele wicket is exceptionally dry, Kuldeep Yadav can expect to be left out once again, along with Manish Pandey, Ajinkya Rahane and Shardul Thakur.advertisementIt will be interesting if Kohli shuffles his batting order a bit to give a KL Rahul and Kedar Jadhav, some batting time considering the inept Sri Lankan bowling which has failed to get the ‘Men In Blue’ out..@im_manishpandey sweating it out in the net session ahead of the 2nd ODI against Sri Lanka #SLvIND pic.twitter.com/1RDKZXS1vo- BCCI (@BCCI) August 23, 2017There has been questions raised about Sri Lanka’s team selection policies.Test skipper, and one of Sri Lanka’s most attacking batsmen Dinesh Chandimal was left out of the playing XI as ODI captain Upul Tharanga generally an opener came out to bat at No 4, where Chandimal bats.Reuters Photo This has set tongues wagging that all is not well in the Sri Lankan dressing room and that the coach and captain are being over-ridden by others. Pothas openly questioned the decision of leaving out Chandimal in the post-match conference.When asked about the influence of team manager Gurusinha and chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya, he came up with the classic “too many cooks” quote.However, it doesn’t take spotlight away from the simple fact that Sri Lanka once again failed to provide adequate challenge for the Indian team.Batsman @ajinkyarahane88 is all set for the net session ahead of the 2nd ODI at Kandy #SLvIND pic.twitter.com/401EVeRVsm- BCCI (@BCCI) August 22, 2017 If the Test series was evidence of the gap between the Nos 1 and 7 ranked teams, then on evidence of the Dambulla game alone, the ICC ODI rankings of India and Sri Lanka Nos 3 and 8 respectively are justified too.This series too has all the makings of another one-sided contest and is not making for a good spectacle for the home fans, who clearly let their displeasure known during the first One Day International.Sri Lanka need to win two ODIs in this series to make sure that West Indies do not overhaul them in the ODI ranking and gain automatic qualification for the 2019 ODI World Cup before the September 30 deadline.Good start to the ODI series. Hope to keep up the momentum in the coming games ? @BCCI pic.twitter.com/ipY0wSdCt8- Akshar patel (@akshar2026) August 21, 2017 The hosts need more responsibility and stability in their batting ranks, and could look to bring back Chandimal, if only to quieten down the heated atmosphere surrounding the teams dismal performances recently.It is tough to see who will be left out though as the top-order did well enough to put the Indian attack under pressure, until atleast the 28th over when Lanka were placed at 150/3, thanks to the exploits of Danushka Gunathilaka, Niroshan Dickwella and Kusal Mendis.Get Ready, Get Set, GO! – @msdhoni preparing for a batting session #SLvIND #TeamIndia pic.twitter.com/poZYTYoFZ0- BCCI (@BCCI) August 23, 2017They had resisted the Indian pace attack as well as one half of their spin duo to lay the foundation of a decent-enough target, only to be let down by the lower order.advertisementIn keeping with the coach’s words, some responsibility lies with the trio as well, for one of them was expected to hold one end together and go on to play a big innings.Reuters Photo This lack of in-game maturity, and experience as a whole, is what sets them apart from the Indian top-order at present.While Lanka will once again be struggling with these questions of overcoming self-doubt, the Indian camp will be wondering if they will be challenged at all during this tour.The Test series proved to be a cakewalk, and in that light, the selectors call to rest senior bowlers and experiment with younger blood has been justified.Whether the hosts step up or not, this is vital game time for the likes of Axar Patel and Yuzvendra Chahal, with the Men in Blue already stepping up their preparations for the next World Cup.Teams:India: Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Ajinkya Rahane, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shardul Thakur.Sri Lanka: Upul Tharanga (c), Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Chamara Kapugedera, Milinda Siriwardana, Malinda Pushpakumara, Akila Dananjaya, Lakshan Sandakan, Thisara Perera, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lasith Malinga, Dushmantha Chameera, Vishwa Fernando.Match starts at: 2.30pm MUST WATCH: What goes into the making of captain @imVkohli’s well sculpt body? Find out here: https://t.co/xfZGE4Iyge #TeamIndia pic.twitter.com/2RgxxwOAr8- BCCI (@BCCI) August 22, 2017last_img read more

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Phelps Sinks in US Nationals

first_imgIRVINE, California — Nathan Adrian led all the way to win the 100-meter freestyle at the U.S. national championships on Aug. 6, with Michael Phelps finishing next-to-last in a star-studded field.Adrian touched in 48.31 seconds. Ryan Lochte was second in 48.96 swimming in the far outside lane. Jimmy Feigen finished third in 48.98.Phelps was last at the turn and straggled home in 49.17, beating only Seth Stubblefield. It was Phelps’ worst showing since beginning a comeback in April.Conor Dwyer took fourth, joining the top three on the U.S. team for the Pan Pacific championships later this month in Australia. “That group of eight guys is much faster than what we showed,” Adrian said.Phelps is facing his toughest competition yet three months after returning to the pool. The most decorated Olympian in history has three other events in which to qualify for Pan Pacs.Adrian and Phelps swam next to each other. After the race they chatted, with Phelps saying, “Man, I missed the wall.” Adrian replied, “Good thing you’re the best swimmer of all time. You’re going to get on the team.”The men’s 100 final featured seven Olympians, including five who have won individual gold medals.“It’s insane the quality of swimmer it took to make the top eight,” Adrian said. “There were even some medalists outside the top eight. It’s never easy to make a U.S. team no matter who you are or where you’re at in your career.”In the women’s 100 freestyle, Missy Franklin surged over the last lap to win in 53.43. Simone Manuel, the quickest qualifier in morning preliminaries with a career-best time, finished second in 53.66 while Shannon Vreeland was third in 54.14.Olympic champion Katie Ledecky earned her third straight national title in the 800 freestyle. Cierra Runge was second in 8:24.69 and 16-year-old open-water national champion Becca Mann finished third in 8:26.64.(BETH HARRIS, AP Sports Writer) TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

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Nick Kyrgios braves cut and cramps to beat Stanislas Wawrinka in Acapulco

first_imgNick Kyrgios overcame a hand injury, leg cramps and a strong performance from Stanislas Wawrinka to prevail 7-5 6-7(3) 6-4 and advance to the semi-finals of the Acapulco International on Thursday.The mercurial Australian, who defeated Rafael Nadal the night before in a match where the Spaniard later criticised Kyrgios’s on-court demeanor, was focused in the quarter-final and outplayed Wawrinka in the match’s biggest moments despite crowd that vocally backed the Swiss.”I actually play better when the crowd is against me and giving me a bit of stink,” the 23-year-old said.”I love it. It gets me going.”The night did not begin well for the hard-hitting Kyrgios, who slipped while thumping a backhand in the match’s opening game, opening up a cut on his right hand that required medical attention.Leg cramps, which also required a visit from the trainers, followed in the deciding set but nothing could derail Kyrgios, who won his final service game at love to keep his hopes of a maiden championship at the tournament alive.”In the first game I just tripped over. I’m not the smoothest mover on tour and I tripped over and grazed my hand,” he said.”And the cramping was tough toward the end.”Next up for Kyrgios is either big-serving American John Isner or his eighth seeded countryman John Millman, who play later on Thursday.Earlier in the day Briton Cameron Norrie cruised past American Mackenzie McDonald 6-3 6-2 to book his ticket to the semis.Norrie will face second-seeded German Alexander Zverev, who did not face a break point en route to a 6-4 6-4 win over Australian Alex de Minaur.advertisementAlso Read | Nick Kyrgios shrugs off Rafael Nadal criticism after Acapulco encounterAlso Watch:last_img read more

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No. 21 Maryland Falls To Temple In First Top 25 Upset Of The Day

first_img The Terrapins had an opportunity with time running out in the fourth quarter to keep their undefeated season alive. However, they just couldn’t get past the Owls’ stout defense.It’ll go down as our first top 25 upset of the weekend.Temple pulls it out over No. 21 Maryland. pic.twitter.com/lAQg2D8jhJ— OwlScoop.com (@OwlScoop_com) September 14, 2019This is an impressive victory for Temple as it improves to 2-0 on the season. As for Maryland, it’s a crushing loss for a program that was quickly generating a lot of buzz.Expect more upsets to go down this Saturday as there are still plenty of games left on the schedule. A football resting by the pylon at the Temple Owls gamePHILADELPHIA, PA – NOVEMBER 17: A football rests on the pylon prior to the game between the South Florida Bulls and Temple Owls the at Lincoln Financial Field on November 17, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)Although the third weekend of the season didn’t present the most intriguing matchups, there have already been a few upsets on the afternoon. The first top 25 upset came from the Maryland-Temple game at Lincoln Financial Field.Maryland looked dominant in its first two games of the season, steamrolling past Howard and Syracuse. Mike Locksley relied heavily on quarterback Josh Jackson and running back Anthony McFarland Jr. during the first two weeks.While McFarland had another strong performance on the ground, Jackson struggled against Temple’s defense. He completed only 15-of-38 pass attempts for 183 yards, one touchdown and an interception.Temple played sloppy football in the first half of this game, but a late touchdown pass from Anthony Russo sealed the deal for Rod Carey’s squad.last_img read more

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Nick Kyrgios needs to up his fitness for Grand Slams: Jim Courier

first_imgNick Kyrgios needs to up his fitness for Grand Slams: Jim CourierNick Kyrgios beat Rafael Nadal, Stan Wawrinka, John Isner and Alexander Zverev to win the Acapulco final, his fifth career title.advertisement Reuters Indian WellsMarch 7, 2019UPDATED: March 7, 2019 11:40 IST Nick Kyrgios won’t be able to win Grand Slam title if he doesn’t work on his fitness feels Jim Courier (Reuters Photo)Nick Kyrgios needs to improve his fitness to have a chance of winning Grand Slams, former world number one Jim Courier said on Wednesday.Australian Kyrgios won his fifth career title last week, beating Rafa Nadal, Stan Wawrinka and John Isner before dispatching Alexander Zverev in the Acapulco final.Yet Grand Slams are best-of-five set matches which require more endurance than the best-of-three staple found week in and out on tour.”If we expect this guy to win majors now, I think that’s a bridge too far unless he addresses the physical gap between him and the other guys,” four-time Grand Slam champion Courier said on the Tennis Channel at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California.”But from a talent, shotmaking showpoint, he showed there is no gap there, because that was a tough draw he went through.”Kyrgios has a 6-6 combined record against Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Nadal, a statistic that does not surprise Courier.”Those are pressure-free matches for him. He has that first strike ability to take the racket out of their hands with his serve and then he can shock-absorb with his backhand.”He’s dangerous but he’s also dangerous to himself at times in the matches on outside court when he goes walkabout like an Aussie can, and he’s not as focused.”The 23-year-old Kyrgios jumped to 33rd in the world with his Acapulco win.He is seeded 31st at Indian Wells, giving him the luxury of a first-round bye, though he could meet top seed Djokovic in the third round.advertisementFirst-round men’s matches begin on Thursday.”Big picture, it’s nice to see him engaged,” said Courier, who recently stepped down after eight years as United States Davis Cup captain.”Hope this (Acapulco title) is a kick starter for him.”Also Read | Temperamental Nick Kyrgios buries norms en route Acapulco titleAlso Read | Nick Kyrgios beats Alexander Zverev to win Acapulco InternationalAlso Read | Family will remain priority post retirement: Roger FedererFor 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 Tags :Follow Nick KyrgiosFollow FitnessFollow Grand SlamFollow Jim CourierFollow BNP Paribas Open Nextlast_img read more

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Kartik Aaryan heads to Lucknow for Pati Patni Aur Woh. See pic

first_imgKartik Aaryan heads to Lucknow for Pati Patni Aur Woh. See picKartik Aaryan took to Instagram and posted a picture of himself from the flight. In the photo, he can be seen holding the script of his upcoming film Pati Patni Aur Woh.advertisement Asian News International New DelhiJuly 11, 2019UPDATED: July 11, 2019 20:08 IST Kartik Aaryan heads to LucknowKartik Aaryan, Ananya Panday and Bhumi Pednekar will be sharing screen space for the first time in the upcoming film Pati Patni Aur Woh. While Bhumi has already started shooting for the movie in Lucknow, Kartik recently jetted off to the ‘city of Nawabs’ to kick-start shooting for the flick.The actor took to Instagram to share a picture of him in which he can be seen posing in all black outfit. The film’s script is also visible in the picture.”Chintu Tyagi chale Lucknow!! #PatiPatniAurWoh kal se,” he wrote alongside the picture.For this film, Kartik has ditched his usual boy next door look that he sports in most of his movies.The actor will be playing the role of Chintu Tyagi in the film. He will be seen in a simpler avatar, wearing a checked shirt and trousers.Pati Patni Aur Woh is a remake being directed by Mudassar Aziz, who has previously helmed films like Dulha Mil Gaya, Happy Bhag Jayegi and Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi.The film is an adaptation of the 1978 drama of the same title, which featured Sanjeev Kumar, Vidya Sinha and Ranjeeta Kaur in the lead roles. The original film revolved around a married couple Ranjeet (Sanjeev) and Sharda (Vidya) and how things change after he gets involved with his secretary Nirmala (Ranjeeta).advertisementThe upcoming film is slated to release on December 6, this year.Apart from this film, Bhumi will be seen next in Saand Ki Aankh and Bala while Kartik will feature in Imtiaz Ali’s next, co-starring Sara Ali Khan.ALSO SEE | Kartik Aaryan hides his face as he receives Sara Ali Khan, Ibrahim and Amrita Singh at airportALSO READ | Kartik Aaryan buys apartment in which he once lived as paying guest: ReportALSO READ | Kartik Aaryan on relationships: My mom stays friends with my exes and it is awkwardALSO WATCH | Love in the time of Gen X: Bollywood’s relationship mantrasGet 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 bynisha Tags :Follow kartik aaryanFollow Pati Patni Aur Woh remakeFollow Ananya Pandaylast_img read more

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Minister Welcomes Return of the Halifax Rifles

first_imgMinister responsible for Military Relations Richard Hurlburt welcomed the announcement today, Sept. 5, The Halifax Rifles will return to service. “The reactivation of The Halifax Rifles is wonderful news for Halifax and for Nova Scotia,” said Mr. Hurlburt. “This military unit defended Canada during the Fenian Raids, and was a proud unit of the Canadian Army in both world wars and Korea. Throughout its service it lived up to its motto, Cede Nullis, Yield to None.” The restoration of The Halifax Rifles as a reserve unit of the army is expected to provide up to an additional 100 part-time military positions. Defence Minister Peter MacKay made the announcement at the Canadian Defence, Security and Aerospace Exhibit at the Cunard Centre in Halifax. He also introduced a number of Second World War veterans who served in the unit. The Halifax Rifles were founded in 1860 and its former members include two prime ministers, Sir Charles Tupper and Sir Robert Borden, three Nova Scotia premiers and many other prominent leaders of the province and the city.last_img read more

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Phase 3 polls in UP to decide fate of four members of

first_imgLucknow: The third phase of polling for ten Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh will decide the electoral fate of four members of the SP patron Mulayam Singh Yadav’s clan besides those of senior party leader Azam Khan and film actor and BJP candidate Jaya Prada.The polling for the third phase is to be held on April 23 for ten Lok Sabha seats in the Rohilkhand region of the state along with 105 other seats across 13 other states. The BJP, which had won seven out of the ten seats in this region in 2014, has a huge stake in this phase in Uttar Pradesh as the area is considered a SP stronghold as three of the total five members of the Yadav family had won from this region despite a Modi wave in the last elections. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The three Yadav family members who are seeking re-election respectively from Mainpuri, Badaun and Firozabad in this phase are Samajwadi Party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav and his two nephews, Dharmendra Yadav and Akshay Yadav. Pitted against Akshay Yadav, son of Mulayam Singh Yadav’s cousin Ram Gopal Yadav, is another brother of the party patriarch, Shivpal Yadav, who has fallen out with SP president Aklhilesh Yadav, and fighting from Fiorozabad after floating a new political outfit, Pragateesheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia). In 2014, Mulayam Singh had won both the Mainpuri and Azamgarh seats, but had vacated the first one, which was won by his another family member Tej Pratap Singh in the subsequent bye-election. The electoral fortunes of senior SP leader Azam Khan will also be decided in this phase from Rampur which witnessed a new low in campaigning this time. Known for his controversial statements, Azam Khan made an “indecent” remark, targeting his BJP opponent Jaya Prada in Rampur by allegedly speculating on the colour of her underwear and attracting the saffron party wrath, besides that of the NCW.last_img read more

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Morocco UK Key Partner In Region Of North And West Africa

first_imgLondon  –  The Kingdom of Morocco is a key partner for the United Kingdom in the region of north and west Africa, wrote a report by the foreign affairs committee at the British parliament. With its stable form of government, relative prosperity by comparison to its southern neighbors, and strong internal security and intelligence services, Morocco is identified as key partners for the UK and other Western countries in addressing the security challenges of the Western Sahel, said the report entitled “UK response to extremism and insecurity in north and west Africa”.“Morocco appears to have genuinely embarked on a path towards greater democratic openness, with the agreement of a new constitution in 2011, and significant political reforms, it said.  “Relations between the UK and Morocco are warm and mutually respectful,” it noted, highlighting that “Morocco has involved itself in efforts to rebuild Mali after the crisis, and has promoted dialogue between the government and Tuareg nationalists”.last_img read more

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Five things you need to know about your RRSP as this years

OTTAWA — Recent volatility on the markets has bruised RRSP investments. As the Feb. 29 deadline for contributions looms, here are five things to know about RRSPs:Why the RRSP is the best retirement plan out there for the dual citizen living in CanadaWhy business owners shouldn’t bother with an RRSPWhat you should look for when picking stocks to hold in your RRSP— They allow you to defer taxes, not avoid them. You are able to deduct your contributions from your income, but when you withdraw the money in retirement, you will pay income tax.— Your unused RRSP contribution room carries forward. If you don’t maximize your contribution for a given year, the unused portion carries forward.— If you have a pension plan at work, that can reduce your RRSP contribution room. Depending on how generous your pension plan is, the amount you are able to contribute to your RRSP may be substantially reduced.— Choosing between saving for retirement using your RRSP or tax-free savings account depends on the tax bracket you are in today and where you expect to be when you start withdrawing money from your RRSP.— You can withdraw money from your RRSP under the home buyers’ plan and the lifelong learning plan, but if you do you must repay the money to your account within a set amount of time. It is generally 15 years under the home buyers’ plan, while under the lifelong learning plan it is generally 10 years. read more

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UNs humanitarian effort in Iraq suffers severe budget gap official tells Security

“The effective implementation of the programme during the past year has continued to face a number of difficulties, foremost, a growing revenue shortfall as a result of substantial reduction in Iraqi oil exports,” said Benon Sevan, Executive Director of the Office of the Iraq Programme. Iraqi oil exports have dropped from an average of over 2 million barrels per day in 2000 to under 1 million barrels per day in recent months. The UN calculates that the reduced exports have caused a $3.2 billion loss of revenue. The situation is further exacerbated by the cumulative revenue shortfall from earlier phases of the programme, which has left over $2.3 billion worth of UN-approved humanitarian contracts without funding. The possible disruption of Iraq’s oil output as a result of political developments is one of the factors causing difficulties, according to the Programme. Others include disagreements over the pricing of Iraqi oil, Baghdad’s occasional unilateral export suspensions, and the practice of “retroactive pricing” which is employed as a means of discouraging illegal kickbacks. Despite these problems, a note to the Security Council reviewing the programme’s past six months of operation shows improvements in some areas thanks to the UN’s relief work, while painting a still-grim humanitarian picture. The incidence of certain communicable diseases, such as cholera, malaria and measles, has declined, but water-borne diseases, including dysentery and typhoid, have shown slight increases. The countrywide shortage of vaccines is “expected to wane,” according to the report, which cautions at the same time that “the erratic supply of vaccines is obviously impacting adversely on children’s health.” Malnutrition is slowly decreasing, but a recent UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) survey of over half a million Iraqi children found that one in five was malnourished. read more

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1 of final executives charged in West Virginia chemical spill pleads guilty

1 of final executives charged in West Virginia chemical spill pleads guilty in federal court by Jonathan Mattise, The Associated Press Posted Aug 18, 2015 1:49 pm MDT Last Updated Aug 18, 2015 at 4:40 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email CHARLESTON, W.Va. – One of the last executives charged in a chemical spill that left 300,000 West Virginians without clean tap water for days pleaded guilty to federal pollution violations Tuesday.Former Freedom Industries executive Dennis Farrell entered his guilty plea in federal court in Charleston, joining the bankrupt company itself and four other former Freedom officials who have already pleaded guilty.The deal calls for a sentence of 30 days to two years in prison, as well as a maximum $200,000 fine.Former company President Gary Southern, the final and highest-profile executive targeted for the spill, is expected to follow with a guilty plea on Wednesday.In January 2014, a rundown Freedom tank in Charleston leaked coal-cleaning chemicals into the water supply for nine counties. The spill spurred a ban on using tap water across nine counties for four to 10 days.Farrell and Southern had pleaded not guilty initially ahead of a scheduled Oct. 6 trial date.Farrell declined to comment to reporters after his hearing.U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin’s office sought guilty pleas after Judge Thomas Johnston refused to take Goodwin’s office off the case. Southern and Farrell had said some prosecutors had been affected by the spill and should have been removed.Southern could be dealt the harshest sentence. He faces federal pollution and bankruptcy charges, accused in court documents of lying to protect his worth from legal action after the spill. He faces up to 93 years in prison.Farrell is set to be sentenced Dec. 14. Five other sentencing hearings are already scheduled for December.Businesses and residents who struggled without clean water last year are closely watching several ongoing court cases that will dictate if they are paid back for their hardships.A class-action lawsuit is ongoing against the chemical’s producer, Eastman Chemical, and West Virginia American Water, the utility whose water supply became laced with chemicals.A final bankruptcy deal still hasn’t been struck, as businesses and residents compete with other creditors for the little cash remaining in defunct Freedom Industries. The company had proposed paying out $2.7 million to spill victims in a larger bankruptcy plan, but a federal bankruptcy judge rejected the proposal over concerns about paying to clean up Freedom’s contaminated headquarters.And in the criminal case, a community group is pushing for restitution for victims.In a letter to the judge, Maya Nye, executive director of People Concerned About Chemical Safety, suggested an award of at least $45.6 million — $1 per person affected over the five months that the main spilled chemical was traceable, albeit at very low levels, in the water company’s filters. The letter says $109.5 million would be the appropriate amount.Nye said any award should fund programs related to chemical disaster prevention, water quality and infrastructure improvement, and development of long-term health data and prevention strategies related to the spill. read more

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Sudan UN rights expert urges Government to release reports on 2013 protests

“I regret to note that five months after these incidents, the committees set up by the Government have not yet issued their reports or findings on the incidents,” Mashood Adebayo Baderin, UN Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Sudan, said as he summed up his recent eight-day mission to the country.“The international community expects a thorough investigation of the human rights violations that occurred during the September demonstrations,” he stressed in a press release. “I have highlighted the international concerns about this and urged the Government to accelerate the release of the reports.” During his official visit to Sudan from 11 to 19 February, Mr. Baderin talked with the Government about the general human rights situation in the country, following up on the challenges raised in his latest report to the UN Human Rights Council, which in his view still remain an area of concern. While in Sudan, he met with Government officials, civil society actors, political opposition leaders, humanitarian organizations and UN agencies in the capital city of Khartoum, Kadugli in South Kordofan, El-Fasher in North Darfur, El-Daein in East Darfur, and Zalingei in Central Darfur. The discussions focused on the curtailment of civil society organizations’ activities, press censorship, arbitrary arrests and detentions, freedom of religion, the 2010 National Security Act, women and children’s rights, humanitarian access, economic, social and cultural rights, as well as the protection of civilians in the conflict areas. “In my last report, I emphasised the need for the Government to focus on addressing these human rights challenges by taking concrete measures, and encouraged continued cooperation of relevant donor countries and international institutions,” Mr. Baderin stated, while noting that the authorities had expressed their commitment to improve the practical realization of human rights in Sudan in those areas. However, he noted that in meetings he held in Khartoum with leaders of opposition political parties they emphasised the need for a “transparent, inclusive and democratic political and constitutional process that will serve as a strong and lasting foundation for the promotion and protection of human rights in the Sudan.” Mr. Baderin warned that “tribal conflicts and conflicts between Government forces and armed movements continue to be a major source of human rights violations in South Kordofan, as well as in the Darfur states visited, particularly in the form of civilian displacements.” He reiterated his urgent call on the Government of Sudan, the armed movements and the international community to bring an end to these conflicts that lead to human rights violations, and resort to dialogue in settling the armed confrontation. “I urge and encourage the Government to continue to strengthen its effort to improve the situation of human rights in the country to encourage the possibility of attracting the necessary technical assistance and capacity building required as is necessary,” he stressed.Mr. Baderin will present his findings and recommendations in a comprehensive report to the UN Human Rights Council in September 2014. read more

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Luke Fickell trying to create discomfort to motivate linebackers

Then-freshman linebacker Raekwon McMillan (5) closes in on Michigan then-redshirt-senior quarterback Devin Gardner (98) during a game on November 29 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won, 42-28.Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorWith a defense that returns two of its three starting linebackers from a national championship team, the learning process is now over.For the most part.The Ohio State football team returns senior linebacker Joshua Perry and redshirt-sophomore Darron Lee to the starting lineup for the Buckeyes in 2015, but sophomore Raekwon McMillan is set to make his first appearance as a full-time starter at middle linebacker in the upcoming season.Perry, who led the Buckeyes in tackling during their title run, said he has seen McMillan improve in more ways than one as he transitions into a starting role.“He is different in terms of how he has matured physically. Mentally, he is a little bit different too,” Perry said. “He is making a big push and we really do need him to be a great player and a great leader because of what Curtis (Grant) did last year. His development is coming along definitely.”McMillan registered 54 tackles in his freshman campaign in Columbus, and said the support from Perry and Lee has helped with his development as a leader.“The guys beside me, Josh and Darron, they put trust in me all the time. When we are on the field, I feel like those guys trust me so anything I say, we’re all on the same page together,” McMillan said. “And (co-defensive coordinator and linebackers) coach (Luke Fickell) has trust in all three of us on the field.”Lee, who was just a three-star recruit coming out of high school, where he also played quarterback, said the camaraderie among the linebackers is great, even with McMillan taking on such a big role in a veteran-laden unit.“Me and Raekwon have a great relationship. I have so much respect for him and he’s got so much respect for me,” Lee said. “He was a five-star (recruit). We call him the chosen one, just to mess with him.”The trio is set to anchor a defense that returns five other starters from the championship team.Fickell said motivating a team that has already reached the pinnacle is a challenge, especially with younger players like McMillan who have known only success at OSU.“We have got to find a way that we can create some discomfort so that you can continue to grow. That’s one thing about that never-satisfied attitude,” Fickell said. “The Joshua Perrys of the world saw the struggles of Curtis Grant and they saw the struggles that we went through for a couple years. Some of those guys like Raekwon and others haven’t seen those struggles.”Motivating McMillan has been a point of emphasis for Fickell, who said he is trying to motivate the Hinesville, Ga., native in “any way possible.”McMillan, though, said the current defensive squad is even more hungry to improve now than it was last season coming off a loss in the Orange Bowl.“This year, we have worked harder to start off in spring because we have been to the top. A team coming off a loss in the first round of the playoffs probably is not feeling as good,” McMillan said. “But us, coming off a national championship win, we feel like we got to exceed what we did last year and become a better team.”For the current linebackers to continue to be successful, Fickell said there is one quality he has seen in linebacker groups from the past that he tries to instill in his current group.“When you’ve got a great unit, you’ve got great competition,” Fickell said. “You look back and evaluate the units that I have been fortunate enough to be a part of here in the past. The biggest thing about them was the competitive nature and the competitiveness of the guys behind them that pushed them and made them better.”The Buckeyes will likely continue to push each as spring practice is set to continue through April 18, which is the scheduled date for the annual Spring Game held at Ohio Stadium and the end of spring practice.McMillan’s first official start is set to come against Virginia Tech on Sept. 7 in Blacksburg, Va., when the Buckeyes open the 2015 regular season. read more

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Atlas Copco LED towers lighting up South African coal mine

first_imgA coal mine in Mpumalanga, South Africa has recently increased its operational efficiency and environmental credentials after adopting LED light towers from Atlas Copco Portable Energy. Tracpart Mining Supplies, an authorised trading partner of Atlas Copco in South Africa, has supplied four state-of-the-art HiLight V5+ LED light towers mounted on custom-built double-axle trailers to the end customer for use in above ground lighting applications.As a result of adopting LED technology, the mine has increased its above ground light tower coverage by 25% compared to the metal halide lamps it used previously. In addition, the mine has realised average light tower fuel consumption savings of 60% and a reduction in associated CO2 emissions of up to 70%.When approached by the coal mine to supply light towers, Tracpart turned to Atlas Copco. “We supply Atlas Copco dewatering pumps and portable generators and are familiar with the proven quality of the brand,” says De Wet van Wyk, Co-Founder of Tracpart together with brother, Jaco, in 2009. Tracpart’s core business is the supply and servicing of new and used tractors for underground and surface applications primarily in the coal mining sector. The company supplies nine major blue chip mining groups, which consist of over 30 mining operations, as well as large steel producers in Mpumalanga and the surrounding region. Located in Emalahleni, the company also specialises in construction equipment and supports its extensive OEM product portfolio with after-sales service, parts supply, maintenance, repairs, remanufacturing and field service.“Our strong focus on coal mining positions us as a specialist solutions supplier to this sector,” continues van Wyk. “As more and more mines in the region are reaching maximum depths and consequently moving to surface mining, we have expanded our scope of supply from underground machines, equipment and services to meet the growing demand for surface mining solutions. As part of our service offering we conduct regular customer site visits and during one such visit to a coal mine, the customer advised that they urgently needed four light towers. Having used only metal halide light towers previously, the coal mine requested replacement of the same but when the many advantages of LED technology came to light, the mine did not hesitate in making the switch.”From an environmental point of view, the built-in spillage-free frame of the HiLight V5+ traps oil leakage and prevents ground contamination. The HardHat polyethylene canopy, a standard feature on the light tower, is extremely durable and provides maximum protection of internal parts against corrosion and harsh conditions. “With safety a top priority on any mine, all equipment must comply to strict mine specifications and light towers are no exception.” Mine specifications demand that light towers are mounted on braked, double-axle four-wheeled trailers to provide extra stability and safety. “Our V5+ light towers are supplied standard on single axle two-wheeled trailers which meant that a number of modifications were required,” says Zandra van der Westhuizen from Atlas Copco Portable Energy. The four trailer-mounted light towers were supplied to Tracpart complete with reflective tape and a fire extinguisher.TracPart is responsible for all service and maintenance on the light towers. “We visit the mine every fortnight to monitor the condition of the light towers,” says van Wyk, adding that as part of their service to the mine they have undertaken to do the first 250 hours service free of charge. Atlas Copco provided product and operator training, which Tracpart passed on to the customer during the handover of the light towers.According to van Wyk, this application was a good test of the light towers’ abilities and confirms that the units exceeded all expectations. “Our customer reports extreme satisfaction with the light towers and are particularly impressed with the effective lighting and economy delivered by the units.”Atlas Copco says its heavy-duty LED light towers offer robust, reliable, efficient, economical and safe lighting solutions. “They tick all the boxes when it comes to meeting Safety, Health, Environment and Quality (SHEQ) requirements, low operating expenses and environmental responsibility,” says Atlas Copco Portable Energy Business Line Manager, David Stanford. He explains that the special optic lenses in the LED lamps are designed specifically for mining and construction applications. “Depending on the model, a single LED light tower can illuminate a 5,000 m2 area with an average brightness of 20 lux while consuming less than 0.7 litres of fuel per hour. As the emitted light from LEDs is close to natural light sources it delivers the correct tone of light. The fully directional optic lens maximises practical light coverage while minimising ‘dark spots’ improving visibility on the job site for enhanced worker safety and comfort.” Stanford adds that LEDs have an impressive 30,000 hour lamp life expectancy. Highlighting another time saving feature of the HiLight V5+, Zandra van der Westhuizen says that the manual vertical mast can be rotated quickly and easily to light a different area while fully extended to its maximum height of 7.5 metres. “Furthermore, when supported by the extension legs, the light tower can operate in wind speeds of up to 80 km/hr,” Zandra added.last_img read more

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Over35s to face penalty on firsttime health insurance policies

first_imgCUSTOMERS WHO WAIT until they hit 35 to take out health insurance will face a penalty on their policies.The move was announced yesterday by Health Minister James Reilly and is designed to attract younger customers to the market.The system will come into effect on 1 May next year and will put 2% onto new policies for over-35s.The system, known as the Lifetime Community Rating, will mean that a 50 year old who has held insurance since he or she was 30 would pay the same as a 30 year old, but a 50 year old who purchases insurance for the first time would pay more than a 30 year old.A 2% loading will apply for every year beyond 35 that a person does not take out a policy.The Health Insurance Authority says that a community system is needed in Ireland.“Community rated markets depend on a continuing influx of younger people. Younger people claim less on average and, accordingly, a continuing influx of younger people keeps premiums down for everybody. Conversely, if people wait until they are older before taking out private health insurance premiums will increase for everybody.”The regulations include exemptions for people who are unemployed or have emigrated.Reilly said that the policy was “an important initiative”.Read: More than 200 million people in Europe bring one of these cards on holidaysRead: Vhi announces after-tax surplus of €65 million, but can’t rule out premium increaseslast_img read more

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GameStop to stream console games to your Android device

first_imgSpawn Labs’ homepage states its ambitions pretty clearly: “Your games, everywhere.” Like competitor OnLive, Spawn offers a cloud-powered game streaming service, enabling users to enjoy their favorite console games on connected devices with substantially less horsepower. Back in March, Spawn was acquired by retail giant GameStop — and it looks as though you might soon be playing Xbox 360 or PS3 games on your Android tablet as a result.Joystiq has discovered several job postings which are aimed at developers who can help the company port Spawn’s player software to Android and Linux. As an added twist, GameStop is also hoping to put its acquisition of Impulse to good use when its “new consumer interface” for Spawn is ready to rock.Impulse is a digital content distribution service like Steam, and it even sports the unsurprisingly similar domain name impulsedriven.com (compared to steampowered.com). GameStop President Ton Bartel foresees pairing Spawn and Impulse in order to offer users the ability to stream its library of 1000-plus games on-demand. Given the troubles OnLive has had with building a following so far, it’ll be interesting to see if the addition of the on-demand component will yield better results for GameStop.Spawn Labs via Joystiq via Mobiputinglast_img read more

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