Bumper wheat yield anticipated in Punjab

first_imgConducive weather conditions in the country’s key wheat-producing State of Punjab are likely to boost wheat output, easing concerns about the adverse impact of unusual warm weather raised earlier.Dr. R.S. Gill, head, Department of Entomology, Punjab Agricultural University, stated that cloudy weather without rainfall is highly favourable for the development of aphids, and farmers need to be cautious about it.“Aphids are the most important insect pests in wheat and the damage caused by them is observed in the month of March. These are small, soft-bodied, green to blackish green louse-like insects found in colonies on leaves and earheads. Aphids suck sap from the leaves and maturing grains,” he said in a statement. “By spraying on the borders of wheat fields, its spread can be checked,” he added.“Cold conditions in January and February, and intermittent timely rain, have resulted in good development of grain, which will boost the per hectare yields of wheat. If the weather remains conducive in the coming days as well, we can expect a bumper wheat production to the tune of 165 lakh tonnes this year,” P.S. Rangi, an agriculture expert and Punjab State Farmers Commission adviser, told The Hindu, adding that the market arrival of wheat is likely to remain between 120 to 125 lakh tonnes in the coming season.Wheat has been sown on nearly 35 lakh hectares during the ongoing rabi (winter) season. The harvesting of this main crop will start from April.last_img read more

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Bucks re-sign 40-year-old guard Jason Terry

first_imgEthel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims No more menthol cigarettes: New ban on tobacco, vape flavors APMILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Bucks have re-signed Jason Terry after the veteran guard shot 42.7 percent from 3-point range last season.The Bucks announced the contract Monday night. There was no word on the length or value of the deal.ADVERTISEMENT Winter storm threatens to scramble Thanksgiving travel plans The 40-year-old Terry is beginning his 19th season in the NBA. He appeared in 74 games with the Bucks last year and averaged 4.1 points in 18.4 minutes per game. He also made 73 3-pointers in 171 attempts from beyond the arc.The 6-foot-2 Terry, who was selected by Atlanta with the 10th overall pick in the 1999 draft, has career averages of 13.8 points and 3.9 assists in 1,359 games.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games opening Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Argentine bishop appears at court hearing on abuse charges Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Trump to designate Mexican drug cartels as terrorist groups PBA teams not obliged to lend players to PH squad for Champs Cup, says Reyes MOST READ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View commentslast_img read more

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Spain veteran Iker Casillas hints at retirement

first_imgSpain goalkeeper Iker Casillas has given a strong indication that he will retire from international footbal after 16 years. (Euro 2016 – Full Coverage) The 35-year-old did not play in any of Spain’s four games at Euro 2016 with national team coach Vicente del Bosque picking Manchester United’s David De Gea in goal.Casillas, who made his debut in 2000 and is Spain’s most capped player with 167 appearances, posted a video on his twitter account (@casillasworld) of a Rambo film with the dialogue saying: “I don’t know where but I’m going.””He then posted a message which said: “I’m proud to feel the love of the people today and as always, everyone together for the national team.”De Gea made a string of saves to keep Spain within striking distance of Italy on Monday before Antonio Conte’s men got a late second goal for a 2-0 second-round win.The goalkeeper also expressed hope for the future of the national team. He tweeted on @D_DeGea: “Losing is part of the sport as well as getting up after a defeat. We’ll come back!”last_img read more

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Sports Wrap: Virat Kohli gives answer to Harbhajan Singh’s jibe, Dipa Karmakar to return her BMW gift and more

first_imgKohli ignores Harbhajan’s pitch jibeIndia’s Test skipper Virat Kohli on Tuesday said that the players believed in their skills rather than conditions and or atmosphere. Felt confused and upset, says Abbott whose bouncer proved fatal for Phil HughesPhil Hughes was hit on the back of the neck by a rising delivery from SeanAbbott when batting for South Australia in a domestic match on November 25,2014. Agartala roads too narrow for BMWs, Dipa Karmakar set to return luxury car gifted to her Dipa Karmakar, PV Sindhu and Sakshi Malik were given BMW cars after their inspirational performances at the Rio Olympics.Djokovic advances in Shanghai Masters, Del Potro exits Djokovic is aiming to win his fourth title in Shanghai, a tournament where he has a 25-3 record.World Cup Qualifiers: Argentina sorely miss Messi in Paraguay defeat The defeat left Argentina, who dropped seven points in three successive matches without Messi, in fifth place in the South American group with 16 points.last_img read more

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Samsung Galaxy S9 may come with single rear camera, improved iris scanner

first_imgSamsung has already started working on its upcoming flagship phones, aka Galaxy S9 and S9+. These are the direct successors of this year’s flagships – Galaxy S8 and S8+. The South Korean smartphone manufacturer is expected to announce the Galaxy S9, S9+ phones earlier next year, however, there is no official statement by the company on the same as of yet. Some previously leaked report claimed that Samsung may announce the phones at CES 2018 — which is in January, but now a recently leaked report denies the earlier report and claims that it may not be the case, and Samsung may unveil the phones sometime around March next year. Ahead of the official launch, both the phones have been subjected to several leaks and rumours given a rough sketch of the specification and design details. Now a new image of the alleged Galaxy S9 leaks online which show off a single camera set up on the rear side -like its predecessor — Galaxy S8.The newly leaked image of the Galaxy S9 suggests that the smartphone may come with a single camera setup on the back side. Well, to recall, the same was claimed by a previously leaked report as well. That’s about the S9’s camera. On the other hand, Galaxy S9+ may sport a dual camera setup at the rear panel, unlike the S8+ and much like the Galaxy Note 8. Android Headlines was the first one to report about the leaked image.Apart from the camera details, another important information that can be obtained from the leaked image is that the S9 lineup will come with a fingerprint scanner that will be located under the camera at the back, unlike S8. The fingerprint sensor on both the Galaxy S8 and S8+ were located not below the camera, but beside it.advertisementAlso Read: Samsung will not unveil Galaxy S9, S9+ at CES 2018: ReportAnother recently leaked report suggests that the upcoming flagship smartphones by Samsung will come with improved iris scanning, which will be able to secure sensitive information like bank or credit card details. Face Unlock technology isn’t new to Android phones, but it hasn’t been as secure as a fingerprint sensor. This was first reported by Phandroid.Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 was the first one by the company to include an iris scanning technology, which did work well with Samsung Pay, but not with other banking apps. On the other hand, Apple’s Face ID is secure enough to work with any banking or online payment apps. It seems, with Galaxy S9, Samsung is trying to do the exact same and design a much secure iris scanner as a fingerprint sensor.The report suggests that the iris scanner of the upcoming Galaxy S9 may be bumped up from 2-megapixel to 3-megapixel in order to capture much-clearer pictures. The S9’s iris scanner will be able to recognize irises even through glasses or in very dark situations. Not only that, Samsung is working towards improving the response time as well.last_img read more

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Materials and energy stocks weigh on Toronto market loonie ends lower

first_imgCanada’s main stock index closed down Wednesday as commodity prices slipped, while increased scrutiny on U.S. technology stocks helped push U.S. markets down.The day’s market drop followed a trend of down days recently as concerns over trade wars and regulatory investigations into premier tech stocks have rattled markets, said Norman Levine, managing Director of Portfolio Management Corp. in Toronto.“It’s generally got a negative tone to it, and it’s continuing to be led by the high-flying tech stocks for the most part.”The S&P/TSX composite index closed down 46.24 points to 15,169.94, driven by base metals and materials as worries about Chinese growth and demand increase, said Levine.“Metal stocks are more worried about growth in China and they need that for higher metal prices, and metal prices aren’t doing a whole lot right now, and gold is weak today as well.”In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 9.29 points to 23,848.42. The S&P 500 index closed down 7.62 points to 2,605.00 and the Nasdaq composite index was down 59.58 points to 6,949.23.The declines included losses from major U.S. tech stocks, with Amazon falling on reports U.S. President Donald Trump is looking to go after the company and Tesla declining on a downgraded credit rating and more concerns over its self-driving vehicles, following recent declines at Facebook and Twitter.“The big story here is the big tech stocks trading at multiples that make no sense but they were going up purely on momentum, the wind is coming out of the sail here, and they’re looking vulnerable and bringing down the rest of the market with them,” said Levine.The decline in stocks was felt in Canada as well, where BlackBerry Ltd. beat analyst expectations with US$233 million of revenue for the last quarter but slipped 1.38 per cent to $15.76 on the TSX.The stock losses from particular issues at larger technology companies are, however, likely distorting the view of the overall health of market because they have so much sway over some of the indexes, said Levine.“Indexes are going to show, especially in the US, more negative than what’s going on with the average stock.”The Canadian dollar closed at 77.51, down 0.2 of a US cent.The May crude contract ended down 87 cents to US$64.38 per barrel and the May natural gas contract was down two cents to US$2.69 per mmBTU.The June gold contract closed down US$17.90 to US$1,330.00 an ounce and the May copper contract was even at US$3 a pound.last_img read more

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Police placed on alert for mass joint opposition protest

The Police have been placed on alert at several locations in Colombo for the mass joint opposition protest.Police Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Ajith Rohana said that existing laws will be used to protect key locations during the protest. However he said that steps will be taken to protect public property during the protest. He said that there was no attempt by the Police to stop a peaceful protest from being staged tomorrow. Law and Order Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara said that there was information some elements may attempt to disrupt proceedings at the Special Courts and Police Financial Crimes Investigations Division (FCID) during the protest today.He said that steps will be taken to protect those locations and documents pertaining to ongoing investigations into major financial crimes. (Colombo Gazette) read more

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Philippines UN agencies arriving to assist with postquake relief effort

According to national authorities, 144 people have died and more than 290 have been injured as a result of the quake, which was centred within two miles of Carmen town, north of Mindanao.An update issued by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the Philippines said that the quake triggered landslides engulfing entire homes, ripping apart bridges and tearing down centuries-old churches. Seven cities in three different provinces are affected.The Government and the Philippine Red Cross have mobilized emergency response teams and ambulances, while humanitarian agencies – including UN agencies – are arriving in Bohol to support needs assessments, camp coordination and management, basic relief supplies and logistics.The World Food Programme (WFP), for example, has pre-positioned stock piles of rice, high energy biscuits and non-food items such as generator sets, tents and mobile offices.A joint Government and OCHA team has completed a preliminary assessment in Carmen town, reporting that there is an urgent need for medical supplies and clean drinking water. Half of the homes in the epicentre have been destroyed or damaged. “As a result, people are now sleeping in the open or beside their homes. With rainfall expected, living conditions of displaced communities are expected to deteriorate,” noted the update. read more

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NSERC announces research grants for the next five years

On June 26, NSERC announced the results of the 2014 Discovery Grants, scholarships and fellowships competitions for universities across the country.Metarhizium, a widespread soil-borne fungus that feasts upon more than 200 different kinds of insects, has long been known to be an insect pathogen, destroying soil-borne pests by robbing them of nitrogen.But breakthrough research by biologist Michael Bidochka and his team two years ago found that the fungus is also able to transfer nitrogen from the insects that they kill to plants via their root systems, making the fungus a natural fertilizer as well as an insect repellant in agriculture.“This discovery generates new knowledge that enables us to better understand the nitrogen cycle and soil ecosystems,” Bidochka said at the time. “We’re going to go on and do more complex things based on this research.”He and his team will now do just that, thanks to a $165,000 grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC).On June 26, NSERC announced the results of the 2014 Discovery Grants, scholarships and fellowships competitions for universities across the country.Eleven Brock University researchers received funding totaling $1,275,000 over 2014-2019. Of the 11 who were successful, nine currently held a grant, while the remaining two regained funding after previous unsuccessful applications.“Our success rate for those already holding a grant is an impressive 82 per cent, higher than the national average,” says Joffre Mercier, associate vice-president research of Natural and Health Sciences.“This attests to the leading-edge quality of our researchers’ work and our growing reputation as a research-intensive university,” he said, adding that Brock received one Research Tools and Instruments (RTI) grant, giving Brock a 33 per cent success rate in that category.Bidochka’s program, “Plant-fungal communication: using an endophytic insect pathogen fungus as a model,” will enable the scientists to have a deeper understanding of their earlier findings.“The award will be used to continue research on beneficial fungi that are plant symbionts as well as insect pathogens,” says Bidochka. “We are hoping to implement our research findings into commercial applications of these fungi for plant growth promotion and general plant health.”Chemist Travis Dudding and his group’s program, “A ‘superbasic’ approach to discovery,” will be using computer modeling to design new chiral molecules, chemical entities whose mirror images are not super-imposable, much like left and right hands.Chiral molecules are the basic building blocks of life and are found in DNA, amino acids and proteins. That is why most life-saving medicines on the market today – for example, the cancer chemotherapy drug Paclitaxel – are chiral molecules.Dudding explains that he and his team plan to simplify the “green process” of design by using state-of-the-art computing to model chemical processes for producing chiral molecules. The team will predict what will work experimentally rather than testing reactions in the laboratory “and thinking about how to improve them later,” which is how current chemical laboratory testing protocols are done.“This research is also helping to alleviate our dependence on metals in organic chemistry by opening up new avenues of reactivity that weren’t available before,” says Dudding. “Overall, the approach we’re taking to chemical synthesis and the production of chiral molecules is setting a new precedent. Moreover, we’re actually opening up new classes of organo-catalysis, which are green catalysts.”Brock University’s results for the 2014-2019 NSERC Discovery Grants competition are:• Anco, Stephen (Mathematics & Statistics): “Symmetries, conserved integrals, Hamiltonian flows, and integrable systems”• Bidochka, Michael (Biological Sciences): “Plant-fungal communication: using an endophytic insect pathogen fungus as a model”• Bruce, Douglas (Biological Sciences): “The dynamic structure, function and regulation of Photosystem II in photosynthesis”• Cote, Kimberly (Psychology): “Neurobehavioural and physiological consequences of sleep deprivation in humans”• Dudding, Travis (Chemistry): “A “superbasic” approach to discovery” Houghten, Sheridan (Computer Science): “Computational techniques for applications in bioinformatics and coding theory”• Huang, Mei Ling (Mathematics & Statistics): “Semi-parametric and Nonparametric Inference”• Odesski, Alexander (Mathematics & Statistics): “Algebraic and geometric structures related to integrable systems”• Pickering, Gary (Biological Sciences): “Taste phenotypes and implications for food and beverage behaviour”• Tattersall, Glenn (Biological Sciences): “Integrative physiological approaches to thermoregulatory and thermosensory biology”• Vandenboom, Rene (Kinesiology): “The influence of myosin regulatory light chain phosphorylation on skeletal muscle energetics, mechanics and function”NSERC’s Discovery Grants Program supports ongoing research programs that have long-term goals as opposed to a single short-term project or collection of projects. These grants “recognize the creativity and innovation that are at the heart of all research advances, whether made individually or in teams,” says the agency.This year, the agency reviewed a total of 3,190 applications from universities across Canada. Results were announced June 26 at Western University in London.“We are developing, attracting and retaining the world’s most talented researchers who carry out the scientific research that creates jobs and prosperity and improves the quality of life of Canadians,” said Minister of State (Science and Technology) Ed Holder.“This highly competitive funding for discovery research supports excellence and provides a key advantage to our researchers who want to pursue new knowledge wherever their discoveries and insights take them,” said Janet Walden, NSERC’s chief operating officer.NSERC also offers awards to master’s and doctoral students. In this year’s competition, nine Brock University graduate students received $479,500 in NSERC funding.These recipients include doctoral students Scott Behie and Lee Belding, who are working on the Bidochka and Dudding research teams respectively.Behie received a Postgraduate Scholarship totalling $63,000 for three years to pursue his program “Trading nitrogen for carbon: Nitrogen/carbon translocation in a plant fungal symbiosis.” Lee Belding received an Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship totalling $70,000 for two years to support his program, “Bis-bis (dialkylamino) cyclopropenimines as molecule-based magnets.”A list of the graduate student NSERC awards is available online. read more

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Half of tested Irish pig meat isnt Irish IFA

first_imgTHE IRISH FARMERS Association says that half of pig meat tested in Ireland isn’t Irish.The Association says findings from their DNA-testing programme on pigmeat shows that consumers “continue to be misled”.They added that is a “very disappointing level of support for Irish pig producers”. From almost 300 samples that have been collated and sent to DNA firm IdentiGen for cross-checking with the Irish boar DNA database, 52 per cent of products are not Irish, the IFA found.The IFA research found that suppliers are using labelling that suggests that the meat is Irish when it is, in fact, imported.One firm, the IFA says, is a member of the Love Irish Food campaign and uses that logo on imported pig meat.Among the other findings are that one of Ireland’s two major indigenous retailers, Dunnes Stores, fares poorly in the test results for its own St.Bernard brand, with only half of its samples matching the Irish database.IFA Pigs and Pigmeat Chairman Pat O’Flaherty said that the campaign was designed to better inform consumers. “The idea behind this pilot campaign is to help consumers make informed decisions when buying pigmeat products and to increase the sales of Irish product in the domestic and export markets”. Read: This $110 cologne will make you attractive to cowsRead: ICSA: No nasty surprises for farmers in the Budgetlast_img read more

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Weather Eye Brace yourself for rainy skies strong winds

first_img Wednesday would have been a rather nice day weather-wise except for the drips and drizzle and gray skies. At least we finally climbed out of the 40s; closer to normal but not quite. Today will be profound, with clouds and steady rain off and on. We get some partial clearing on Friday and our afternoon high should reach into the mid-60s if we are lucky.The big storm for Saturday is still on but just how windy it will be here in Clark County is still up in the air. We know it will be windy at the coast, where we could call it a spring windstorm. I would expect winds there in the 50 to 70 mph range, strong for April. Locally, expect windy conditions with winds to 35 to 45 mph.While looking at computer forecast guidance late Wednesday, it appears we may escape a damaging windstorm here. But just in case, keep tuned to the local forecast updates. Good time to check the NOAA weather radio.I can’t remember when I could recommend a trip to the beach for storm watching in April but if you like that experience this is it. The good news on Saturday’s storm, besides the heavy rain and high winds, is it will be a fast mover.Although we are only a few days into April, Vancouver is running nearly 8 degrees below the average and rainfall is running about average. We should be seeing highs around 60 or 61 for this date. Looking ahead, it continues to look abnormally wet for the first half of April. I’m ready for a string of sunny 70-degree weather, are you? Patrick Timm is a local weather specialist. His column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Reach him at http://patricktimm.com.last_img read more

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Odegaard wont give up on his dream of being a Real

first_imgMartin Odegaard arrived at Real Madrid at the age of 16 but has yet to make a first-team name for himself after four years with the club.Odegaard is currently on loan at SBV Vitesse in Holland, where he has scored two goals in 13 games this season. The Norwegian midfielder understands that it will not be easy, but he says that he will not give up in his dream of being a star at the Santiago Bernabeu.“When you sign for Real Madrid you are aware of the huge expectations,” Odegaard said, according to Marca.“I am not going to lie; I had hoped to have been given more game time than I was.“I always thought that they would have to loan me out to aid my development.Jose Mourinho, Lionel MessiMourinho: “Lionel Messi made me a better coach” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho believes the experience of going up against Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi at Real Madrid made him a greater coach.“It is true that it took me a long time to get my chance in the first team, I always knew it would be a tough ask.“The main objective for me now is to take my chances when they come along and prove that I am the player they thought they were buying.”Asked about his future opportunities with Los Blancos, Odegaard responded: “As long as I get to prove myself, I am not bothered whether it happens this summer or in 3 years.“I am not overly worried as I am still young and I am still a number of years away from reaching my peak.”last_img read more

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Sitka Sound Slayers A Womens Movement on Wheels

first_imgThe sport of flat track roller derby is booming in Alaska. The Sitka Sound Slayers got rolling two years ago and boast 29 members on their roster. But how did this former spectacle turn into a bonafide sport?Download AudioOff the track, these 29 women are teachers, commercial fisherwomen and stay at home moms. But on the track, they are a force of raw female power.Slayers: HotWheelz, La Femme Nikita, Ivanna Getonya, Kippered Smacks, I’m the Filthy Oar, Sin & Tonic, Sodium Chloride, Bev O’lution, Valkori, Chooser of the Slain…Modern derby is very different than the derby of 30 years ago, with an increased emphasis on safety, regulation, and self-ownership (Emily Kwong/KCAW photo)Meet the Sitka Sound SlayersTheir logo is a skull with crossed halibut and gaff hooks. Yes, they skate in fishnets and lipstick, but also helmets and mouth guards. Roller Derby is tough to play and addictive to watch. Their last bout with the Garnet Grit Betties of Wrangell sold out in five days.“I typically have very thick glasses and wear ridiculous dresses,” said Bridgette Whitcomb, a 7th grade science teacher.“My goal in life is to be Ms. Frizzell by day. And so, like my students will see me and they’re like. ‘Wait. I know you. Who are you?’ And then they get really upset because they realize, ‘OMG, it’s Ms. Whitcomb.’“I was missing athleticism in my life,” said Cori Schumejda.Schumejda played basketball in college and is now the league president. She goes by Valkori and sometimes warms up with Viking horns on her head.“There was that point where I felt like I had my professional life and then I was a mom,” said Schumejda. “And there was no little slice of that for me. I think women are looking for a place to be competitive.”Players skate on a flat track, not a banked track, and safety is paramount. There’s no punching, no elbowing, no clotheslining. In other words, modern derby is not the derby you may remember from a few decades ago.According to the National Museum of Roller Skating, it all started with a TV publicist named Leo Seltzer who losing money during the Great Depression. He decided to organize these marathon skating events and sold tickets.The public loved it, even more so when players began exaggerating their falls and elbowing opponents. Seltzer tried to curtail this fake play, but it was too late. By the 1970s, Roller Derby was part-theater, part-wrestling. A raucous, rage-filled spectacle with staged fights and little regulation.In this bout between the Los Angeles Thunderbirds and the Chicago Hawks (about 40 seconds in), one skater grabs another by her collar and slings her across the track into the medical bench. And she’s not wearing a helmet. The crowd goes wild.Rebirth as a Women-Owned MovementSo how did Derby go from that, to this?“Extraordinarily independent,” described Juliana Gonzalez. “Fiercely feminist as far as I can tell. And pretty unapologetic about where we see women in the world and where we see sports in the economy.”Juliana Gonzalez (aka Bloody Mary) is the Executive Director of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association. In 2001, a grassroots league formed called the Texas Rollergirls. Gonzalez was one of the founding godmothers. When we spoke, she was in the locker room of Team Greece at the Blood and Thunder Roller Derby World Cup in Dallas, Texas.Globally, the WFTDA has roughly 400 leagues, representing about 25,000 athletes. Gonzalez explains that while Roller Derby has retained elements of its former self, the power structure is flipped. The female skaters run their own leagues, not an outside owner or a commercial interest. For Gonzalez, derby’s fundamental autonomy is why leagues are springing up around the world.“Our sport is not designed with the intention of getting recognition from the sporting world,” said Gonzalez. “There is such incredible appeal to a movement that will say, ‘We stand for ourselves. We’re glad you like it. Join us.’”Derby Finds a Home in Alaska And women in Alaska are heeding that call. There are member leagues in Wasilla,Fairbanks, Anchorage, and Juneau. In Southeast, there’s also the Ketchikan Rainforest Rollergirls and the Petersburg Ragnarök Rollers. The Slayers hope to one day join the WFTDA. But for now, they’re mostly savoring the house they’ve built at right at home.“I really love Sitka’s audience because they just come alive and it really just breathes fire into the skaters,” said Courtney MacArthur. Her derby name is Bev’ Olution, a tribute to how the sport radically changed her life. She has a tattoo on her arm of a little girl praying to a Barbie doll.“I always thought I had okay self-esteem, but looking back, it was like, ‘No.’ It was connected to all these unhealthy things,” said MacArthur. “I get my sense of self from a completely different place now and I take pride in completely different things, like being strong, being fast, being healthy.”Roller Derby was invented by a man. No argument. But it is definitely women who are taking it back.last_img read more

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IS chief appears for first time in five years

first_imgA bearded man with Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi`s appearance speaks in this screen grab taken from video released on 29 April. Photo: ReutersThe Islamic State group’s elusive supremo Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi made his first purported appearance in five years in a propaganda video released Monday, acknowledging IS’s defeat in the Syrian town of Baghouz while threatening “revenge” attacks.The world’s most wanted man was last seen in Mosul in 2014, announcing the birth of IS’s much-feared “caliphate” across swathes of Iraq and Syria, and appears to have outlived the proto-state.In the video released by IS’s Al-Furqan media arm, the man said to be Baghdadi referred to the monthslong fight for IS’s final redoubt Baghouz, which ended in March.”The battle for Baghouz is over,” he said, sitting cross-legged on a cushion and addressing three men whose faces have been blurred.He referred to a string of IS defeats, including its onetime Iraqi capital Mosul and Sirte in Libya, but insisted the jihadists had not “surrendered” territory.”God ordered us to wage ‘jihad.’ He did not order us to win,” he said.In a segment in which the man is not on camera, his voice described the 21 April Easter attacks in Sri Lanka, which killed 253 people and wounded nearly 500, as “vengeance for their brothers in Baghouz.”The man insisted IS’s operations against the West were part of a “long battle,” and that IS would continue to “take revenge” for members who had been killed.”There will be more to come after this battle,” he said.It’s survivableThe United States, which has a $25 million bounty on Baghdadi’s head, said it was assessing the authenticity of the video but vowed to keep up the battle against the extremist group.The US-led coalition will “ensure an enduring defeat of these terrorists and that any leaders who remain are delivered the justice that they deserve,” a State Department spokesman said.Even if Baghdadi is alive and well, the spokesman said that the militants, frequently called ISIS, had been battered.”ISIS’s territorial defeat in Iraq and Syria was a crushing strategic and psychological blow as ISIS saw its so-called caliphate crumble, its leaders killed or flee the battlefield, and its savagery exposed,” he said.The speaker identified as Baghdadi referred encouragingly to popular protests in Sudan and Algeria, apparently to demonstrate the video was recent.”The mention of places like Sri Lanka and Sudan are largely to timestamp the video, to show that it wasn’t created a long time ago,” said Amarnath Amarasingam, senior research fellow at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue.He said the references to lost territory were also an effort to reshape IS’s narrative.”Part of the importance of someone like him is to contextualise the defeat… to show that this was either an expected turn of events, or that it might be unfortunate but that it’s survivable,” Amarasingam told AFP.The speaker appeared in a white-walled room lined with cushions, but it was unclear exactly where or when the footage was shot.He had a long grey beard that appeared dyed with henna and spoke slowly, often pausing for several seconds in the middle of his sentences.An older-model Kalashnikov assault rifle, similar to those seen in videos of Al-Qaeda’s former chief Osama bin Laden, leaned against the wall behind him.At the end of the video, he appeared to examine monthly reports of IS’s global activities, including in areas that have not been officially declared IS “provinces” yet.The man in the 18-minute video was identified as Baghdadi by both the SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks IS, and Hisham al-Hashemi, an Iraqi expert on the group.The GhostBorn Ibrahim Awad al-Badri in 1971, Baghdadi came from modest beginnings in Samarra, north of Baghdad, and chose to study religion.After US-led forces invaded Iraq in 2003, he was detained in the American-run Camp Bucca, where he is believed to have come of age as a jihadist.He later rose through the ranks of Iraq’s Al-Qaeda franchise and eventually took the helm in 2010, expanding into Syria in the midst of that country’s war in 2013.The following year, Baghdadi declared himself “caliph” of IS’s sprawling territory in an infamous sermon from Mosul’s famed Al-Nuri mosque.He then lay low for years, earning him the nickname “The Ghost” amid repeated reports he had been killed or injured as IS’s territory shrunk.His last voice recording to his supporters was released in August, eight months after Iraq announced it had defeated IS and as the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces closed in next door in Syria.Some of those who fled Baghouz in the dying days of the “caliphate” claimed they had been ordered to leave by Baghdadi, but the SDF at the time said it did not believe the jihadist figurehead was in Syria.last_img
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The Indian government proposes to censor social media content and monitor WhatsApp

first_imgThe Indian Government seeks to censor big internet services in the country, according to a New York Times report. They also want to monitor WhatsApp messages to trace back to an original message. Earlier this month India had passed a rule on foreign direct investment that restricts how large e-commerce companies operate in the country. Remove content the Indian govt deems inappropriate If this censorship proposal is passed, the Indian government authorities can make companies like Facebook, Google, Twitter, and TikTok remove content, which they think is inappropriate or hateful. It was speculated that such changes violate freedom of free speech and would make India autocratic like China. Large tech companies are fighting back this proposal. Apar Gupta, executive director of the Internet Freedom Foundation said to NYT: “The proposed changes have an authoritarian bent. This is very similar to what China does to its citizens, where it polices their every move and tracks their every post on social media.” The Indian parliamentary standing committee has also summoned Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey or any other senior member from the global team. They want WhatsApp to break its encryption The Indian govt also seeks access to messages on Facebook’s WhatsApp. The messaging platform is widely used in the country and is also used by people to spread disinformation, pornography, and hateful content. With access to WhatsApp messages, the government could track back t the original source of the hateful/inappropriate content. As listed in Bloomberg, Carl Woog, WhatsApp head of communications said: “What is contemplated by the rules is not possible today given the end-to-end encryption that we provide and it would require us to re-architect WhatsApp, leading us to a different product, one that would not be fundamentally private”. But WhatsApp also bans 250,000 accounts every month for sharing inappropriate content involving children. If the rules come into effect, WhatsApp will have to comply with govt officials in tracing the source of criminal activity on WhatsApp. Public reactions A Hacker new user points out: “Yet another example where “think of the children” is abused to crack down on human rights. India’s government should stop going after messaging apps and rather try to find out the root causes of the problems they see: lynchings and brutal sexual violence have nothing to do with Whatsapp, they’re indicators of a widespread cultural problem.” Big tech companies like Facebook and Google flourished in India which has a fast-growing digital population. Now India joins other countries and is considering enacting rules that would restrict activity on digital platforms. Read next Google faces pressure from Chinese, Tibetan, and human rights groups to cancel its censored search engine, Project DragonFly Amnesty International takes on Google over Chinese censored search engine, Project Dragonfly Ex-googler who quit Google on moral grounds writes to Senate about company’s “Unethical” China censorship planlast_img read more

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US terminates funding for Pakistani Sesame Street

first_img Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Comments   Share   Top Stories Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) – The U.S. Embassy in Pakistan says it terminated funding for a $20 million project to develop a local version of Sesame Street amid reports of corruption.The organization in question is the Rafi Peer Theater Workshop, a local group that jointly developed the show with Sesame Workshop, the creator of the American series.Embassy spokesman Robert Raines said Tuesday the U.S. terminated funding but declined to provide details.center_img 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Sponsored Stories Four benefits of having a wireless security system Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family The Pakistan Today newspaper reported the cause was financial irregularities at Rafi Peer, citing unnamed sources close to the project. Rafi Peer denied the allegations, saying the U.S. ended its participation after providing $10 million because of lack of available funds.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)last_img read more

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British Airways steels with deal with new route to Pittsburgh

first_imgBritish Airways steels with deal with new route to PittsburghBritish Airways steels with deal with new route to PittsburghBritish Airways will shortly become the only airline to offer a direct flight from the UK to Pittsburgh. From April 2, 2019, the airline will launch a year round four-per-week service to the Pennsylvanian city from Heathrow.The new route will take the number of US destinations the airline flies to from London up to 26, and the number of daily flights offered by British Airways and American Airlines as part of their transatlantic joint business up to 67 per day.The route will be operated by one of British Airways’ newest aircraft, the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, with special return fares from £600 in World Traveller and £1068 in World Traveller Plus available to book now on ba.com.Sean Doyle, British Airways’ Director of Network and Alliances, said: “We are extremely pleased to be adding Pittsburgh to our global network of over 250 destinations. With the roll-out of WiFi on our longhaul flights and the ongoing investment we’re making in the customer experience on the ground and in the air, we’re proud to be flying the flag for high quality transatlantic travel.”The new flights will run on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday with the BA0171 departing from London Heathrow at 5.00pm and landing into Pittsburgh at 8.15pm, while the BA0170 will leave Pittsburgh at 9.50pm, arriving into London at 10.25am the following day.As well as the thriving arts, culture and food scene, a vast range of outdoor activities are also easily accessible, afforded by the great rivers, green valleys and majestic mountains. Pittsburgh has also been labelled ‘Robot City’ as Google and Uber have campuses in the region and numerous other tech start-ups have established headquarters in the river valley town.British Airways will launch 16 new routes across the globe this year including direct flights to Nashville that started in March. These new routes come as the airline rolls out a £4.5 billion, five-year customer investment plan, with a focus on excellence in the premium cabins and more choice and quality for all its customers.For more information on Pittsburgh visit www.visitpittsburgh.comSource = British Airwayslast_img read more

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InterContinental Hotels Group to launch the first Crowne Plaza in Pune

first_imgInterContinental Hotels Group announced the opening of the first Crowne Plaza in Pune – Crowne Plaza, PuneCity Centre. The 173-room hotel will operate under a management agreement with The Advantage Raheja Group and has been rebranded from an existing property.Crowne Plaza Pune City Centre lies in the Koregaon Park district located right in the heart of Pune. Situated at only a 20 minute drive from the airport and nearby key local businesses, venues and attractions, this hotel is ideal for hosting business travellers who need convenient access to the city while utilizing ample space for large corporate meetings and events.Designed to truly make business travel work, the hotel will undergo an extensive refurbishment to upgrade guest rooms, public areas, restaurants and meeting space. Furniture and fittings and other interior elements will be enhanced to create more inviting dining options and engaging spaces for both business and social interactions. Commencing June 2016, the refurbishment is anticipated to be complete early 2017 and the hotel will remain fully operational during this time.Shantha de Silva, Head of South West Asia, InterContinental Hotels Group said, “Over the last few years, Pune has established itself as one of the key commercial hubs of the country and so is a great market for the hospitality industry. Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts has been recognised globally as a reputable meetings hotel brand for the last 30 years and is the perfect brand to meet the needs of corporate travellers and the growing MICE business in this city. We’re delighted to be partnering with the Advantage Raheja Group on this hotel and look forward to offering business ready services to our guests here.”Deepak Bhagwandas Raheja, Founder of The Advantage Raheja Group said, “Crowne Plaza Pune City Centre will be equipped with the latest technology, quality furnishings and modern meeting facilities and I have every confidence it will be the number one business travel hotel in the city. Pune is expanding along its eastern and western peripheries and gradually transforming into a major tech and biotech centre so it is the perfect destination to develop a quality hotel that caters to the needs of corporate travellers. We’re pleased to be developing a leading business branded hotel with a global player like IHG, the company’s global distribution networks, loyalty programme and portfolio of preferred brands makes them the perfect partner to take the hotel to the next level. We look forward to welcoming our guests with the service and unique amenities they have come to expect at a Crowne Plaza.”last_img read more

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