Perkins leads NLEX-SCTEX team in Merlion Cup

first_imgView comments Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters PBA draft entrant Jason Perkins headlines the roster as he will be backstopped by veterans Pamboy Raymundo and Oping Sumalinog in the seven-team tournament set from September 20 to 24 at OCBC Arena in Singapore.Road Warriors assistant coach Jojo Lastimosa will call the shots for the Philippine team in the invitational.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 openingAlso joining NLEX-SCTEX are Cignal’s Jaypee Belencion, Byron Villarias, Alfred Batino, Andreas Cahilig, and Harold Arboleda, as well as former SCTEX players AJ Vitug and Mark Pangilinan from the defunct PCBL.Beefing up the roster will be Maurice Shaw, a 32-year-old big man who is currently suiting up in the Thailand Basketball Super League. Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next 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 MOST READ Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his sidecenter_img “These players are part of the NLEX-SCTEX family that will be ready when called up. We are proud to represent the country and the company,” NLEX-SCTEX team manager Borgie Hermida said. NLEX-SCTEX will face stiff competition in the tournament as it will take on 2016 champion Shanghai Sharks of China, hosts Singapore Slingers, Satria Muda Pertamina of Indonesia, Yulon Luxgen Dinos of Taiwan, Jeonju KCC Egis of the Korean Basketball League, and Adelaide 36ers of Australia’s National Basketball League.Last year, star guard Jimmer Fredette towed the Sharks to the title as they beat the Kiefer Ravela-led Mighty Sports-Philippines in the Finals.ADVERTISEMENT NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netAfter winning back-to-back titles in the recently-concluded 2017 PBA D-League season, the core of the Cignal HD looks to make one more run for the crown.Playing under the banner of NLEX-SCTEX, the Hawkeyes will represent the Philippines in the 2017 Merlion Cup in Singapore later this month.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Gilas, Blatche’s China club set for collision course in Fiba Asia Champions Cup Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claimlast_img read more

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ICC World Twenty20: MS Dhoni ridicules Australian journalist over retirement question

first_imgMinutes after India were handed a heartbreaking defeat in the ICC World Twenty20 semi-final by West Indies at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium, an Australian journalist could not help but ask if Mahendra Singh Dhoni was contemplating retirement. (Also read: Ajinkya Rahane, bowlers attract criticism after India lose in semi-final) Dhoni called the scribe Samuel Ferris over and asked him if he wanted him to retire. A rattled Ferris said no but Dhoni did not stop there. (Also read: Virat Kohli heroics in vain as West Indies crush India to enter final)Here’s an account of what happened, probably in good humour.Ferris: Do you think you can continue playing on after this tournament?Dhoni: Come here! Come please let’s have some fun. Please come.Then Dhoni proceeds to ask: You want me to retire?Ferris: No! No!Dhoni: I was hoping it was an Indian media guy, because I can’t really say if you have a brother or a son who can play for India or is a wicketkeeper. But do you think I am unfit?Ferris: No.Dhoni: How is my running?Ferris: Very fastDhoni: You think I can survive till the 2019 World Cup?Ferris: Sure, yes!Dhoni: Then you’ve answered the question!This is not the first time Dhoni snapped back at a journalist during the World T20. After India had defeated Bangladesh in a thriller in Bangalore, a reporter asked Dhoni if he was very satisfied with the one-run win after stressing on the need to boost up the net run-rate in the Super 10s stage.advertisementDhoni came back with a rather sharp retort.”Mujhe pata hai aapko khushi nahi hui hai ki India jeeti hai. Aapki awaz se, aapki tone se, aapki sawaal se aisa lag raha hai ki aapko khushi nahi aaye ki India jeet gaya aaj. (I know that you are not happy that India has won today. Your tone and your question suggest you are not happy that India has won today).Dhoni had a tough time after the World Cup last year, losing successive ODI series against Bangladesh, South Africa and Australia. But he led the team to T20 victories over Australia, Sri Lanka and helped India lift the Asia Cup T20. India were hot pre-tournament favourites before the World T20 but lost the opening game to New Zealand before registering victories over Pakistan, Bangladesh and Australia to make it to the last-four.WATCH THE FULL VIDEO HERE.. WATCH: MS Dhoni’s reply to a journalist who asked him about his retirement plans #WT20 #IndvsWIhttps://t.co/STYW5Hh4xn ANI (@ANI_news) March 31, 2016last_img read more

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Tears and Trades Mark 2015 Mets

first_imgTweetPinShare0 Shares NEW YORK  — Whether it was Wilmer Flores wiping away tears at shortstop or David Wright hitting a home run in his return from the disabled list, the New York Mets’ storybook ride to the World Series this season has been marked by several seminal moments.Here’s a look back:___MARCH 3Wright, the team captain, reprimands prized pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard for eating lunch in the clubhouse during an intrasquad game at spring training. Veteran reliever Bobby Parnell tosses Syndergaard’s plate into the trash, and the encounter becomes back-page fodder for New York newspapers. Syndergaard acknowledges an ignorant mistake, saying he should have been on the bench looking to learn something. Wright apologizes for not realizing reporters were within earshot, and speaks to the youngster twice to ensure no hard feelings. “It wasn’t about work ethic,” manager Terry Collins said. “It was about being a team player.” After Syndergaard makes his major league debut in May, he earns consistent praise from Collins for eagerly soaking up new information that rapidly transforms the fireballer into a polished pitcher.___APRIL 6Bartolo Colon, 41, beats $210 million ace Max Scherzer as the Mets open the season with a 3-1 win at Washington, a huge favorite in the NL East. Jenrry Mejia is unavailable to close because of a tender elbow that lands him on the disabled list. Days later, Mejia draws the first of two long drug suspensions, and setup man Jeurys Familia is promoted to closer. Familia immediately earns eight saves during an 11-game winning streak and finishes with 43, equaling the club record. With a 1.85 ERA in 76 appearances, he is arguably the team MVP. Then he saves five games in eight spotless outings during the NL playoffs. “He saved the season for us,” Collins said.___JULY 24General manager Sandy Alderson starts overhauling a feeble offense. On the same day outfielder Michael Conforto gets called up from Double-A, veteran pros Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson are obtained in a trade with Atlanta. From July 25 on, the Mets lead the National League in runs, homers and slugging percentage. “That’s who shook the clubhouse up. When Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe walked in that clubhouse and guys all of a sudden realized their jobs were at stake, it changed. We got some guys swinging the bats much more aggressively with much more sense of urgency, and that’s when I think we turned things around,” Collins said.___JULY 29On a surreal night at Citi Field, word leaks that New York has a trade in place to send Flores and injured pitcher Zack Wheeler to Milwaukee for Carlos Gomez. Fans give the 23-year-old Flores a farewell ovation during the game, and cameras catch him crying in the dugout and wiping away tears at shortstop. The deal ultimately falls through, and Mets rooters instantly fall for Flores and his unabashed loyalty.___JULY 31One day after a gut-wrenching loss to San Diego, catcher Travis d’Arnaud finally comes off the disabled list and Alderson acquires slugger Yoenis Cespedes from Detroit just 13 minutes before the trade deadline. Hours later, Flores writes a New York fairy tale. The new fan favorite hits a game-ending homer and drives in both Mets runs, prompting four standing ovations during a 12-inning win over the Nationals. “Pretty unreal,” pitcher Matt Harvey says. The victory sparks a three-game sweep at raucous Citi Field that erases Washington’s three-game lead in the division.___AUG. 24Sidelined more than four months because of a strained hamstring and spinal stenosis, Wright hits a colossal homer on his first major league swing since mid-April. “Couldn’t have been any better,” he says. New York sets franchise records with eight homers and 15 extra-base hits in a 16-7 victory at Philadelphia. The night before, Wright was in full uniform when he greeted teammates with a batch of cookies at their hotel following a long flight from Colorado.___SEPT. 8In the wake of a recent uproar about his innings limit, Harvey exits trailing 7-1 in Washington. But the Mets rally to win, one of three scintillating comebacks in a three-game sweep powered by Cespedes and pinch-hit homers from Johnson and Kirk Nieuwenhuis. They open a seven-game lead in the NL East. “Biggest three games I’ve had in my career,” Collins says. “Inspirational play by every guy that was out there.”___SEPT. 26Lucas Duda hits a grand slam and Wright adds a three-run homer in a 10-2 victory at Cincinnati that clinches the club’s sixth NL East title, putting the Mets in the playoffs for the first time since 2006. “It’s been a long time,” Wright says. “Too long.” Collins and his players return to the field to celebrate with thousands of Mets fans who made the trip, slapping high-fives and spraying them with champagne in a scene that would be replicated following playoff triumphs in Los Angeles and Chicago.___OCT. 15Five days after shortstop Ruben Tejada breaks his right leg on a late takeout slide by Chase Utley, the Mets edge the Dodgers 3-2 behind a gritty Jacob deGrom to win their NL Division Series. Daniel Murphy alertly steals an uncovered third base on Duda’s walk and hits a go-ahead homer off Zack Greinke. Murphy continues his uncharacteristic power surge against the Cubs and is selected NLCS MVP following a four-game sweep. He sets a major league record by hitting a home run in six straight postseason games. “He’s not human. He’s not on this planet right now,” teammate Tyler Clippard says. “Another life form jumped into his body.”MIKE FITZPATRICK, AP Baseball Writerlast_img read more

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Tom Herman Issues Injury Update For QB Sam Ehlinger

first_imgA closeup of Texas Longhorns coach Tom HermanAUSTIN, TX – SEPTEMBER 02: Head coach Tom Herman of the Texas Longhorns watches players warm up before the game against the Maryland Terrapins at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on September 2, 2017 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)Texas head coach Tom Herman has issued an injury update for his team’s starting quarterback, Sam Ehlinger, following the comeback win against Baylor. Here’s the latest on the quarterback’s status.Ehlinger left the game against Baylor early with an apparent injury to his hand. The starting quarterback’s hand appeared to be bleeding and he was taken into the locker room.The Longhorns’ quarterback emerged from the locker room having suffered an apparent shoulder injury and not a hand injury.Video of Ehlinger walking on the sideline painted a rough picture.Not sure what’s up with Sam Ehlinger’s shoulder but he’s definitely not moving that arm freely. pic.twitter.com/5L2vJ7AbQc— Matt Young (@Chron_MattYoung) October 13, 2018Herman updated Ehlinger’s status following the game. It’s good news.Texas’ head coach says that his quarterback suffered an AC sprain to his throwing shoulder.“Per Tom Herman, Sam Ehlinger suffered an AC sprain to his throwing shoulder. MRI to come. Could start throwing at end of next week.”Per Tom Herman, Sam Ehlinger suffered an AC sprain to his throwing shoulder. MRI to come. Could start throwing at end of next week. #HookEm— Jeff Howe (@JeffHowe247) October 13, 2018All things considered, that’s pretty good news for Texas fans. The Longhorns got the win today with Ehlinger sidelined and it doesn’t appear that the quarterback suffered a major injury.Stay tuned for more updates.last_img read more

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After Redmi Note 7 launch, Note 7 Pro to offer even better camera

first_img Next Amritanshu Mukherjee New DelhiJanuary 11, 2019UPDATED: January 11, 2019 14:46 IST Redmi Note 7HIGHLIGHTSThe Redmi Note 7 Pro will come with a Sony IMX585 sensor for the primary rear camera.The Sony IMX586 is a flagship-grade camera sensor from Sony that supports up to 48-megapixel image resolution.Redmi Note 7 uses a Samsung ISOCELL Bright GM1 sensor for the primary camera.Since the last few weeks, Xiaomi has been keeping its fans under hype. They announced separating Redmi from Xiaomi as a sub-brand. And after teasing a phone as well as eventually launching a smartphone with a 48-megapixel rear camera, Xiaomi has surely got everyone’s attention. This is more so after they announced that one could get a 48-megapixel camera phone for around Rs 10,000. The Redmi Note 7 is highly awaited in other markets where Xiaomi has a strong presence. However, Redmi isn’t done yet.At the Redmi Note 7 launch, Lei Jun was eager to demonstrate what the 48-megapixel camera of the smartphone can do. The Redmi Note 7 uses a Samsung ISOCELL Bright GM1 sensor for the primary camera. While Xiaomi assures that this setup will deliver great looking photos, the chaps at Redmi won’t let go of the pursuit of delivering a better camera performance. Lei Jun announced that they are working on the Redmi Note 7 Pro which will sport the same 48-megapixel camera. However, they will differentiate it in a subtle way from the Redmi Note 7.Lei Jun said that the Redmi Note 7 Pro will come with a Sony IMX585 sensor for the primary rear camera. The Sony IMX586 is a flagship-grade camera sensor from Sony that supports up to 48-megapixel image resolution. This Sony sensor uses Pixel Binning technology, which means the sensor would combine adjacent pixels to form one bigger pixel. This will result in capturing more light, translating to higher details in the final output. With Pixel Binning, the picture resolution will drop down to 12-megapixels, but the loss in resolution will be made up by higher details in the picture.advertisementWith Sony IMX586 sensor, Xiaomi will end up offering flagship grade photography performance from its midrange smartphone. The Redmi Note 6 Pro, which sells in India for a relatively low price, performs impressively in the photography section. The Mi A2 is presently leading the budget smartphone segment with its advanced dual rear cameras. With the Redmi Note 7 Pro, Xiaomi will have a chance to redeem its lead in terms of innovation that it lost out to other Chinese players in 2018.ALSO READ | Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 launched: Key specs, features, price and everything you should knowALSO READ | Xiaomi 55-inch Mi TV 4X Pro, 43-inch Mi TV 4 Pro launched in India, price starts at Rs 22,999ALSO READ | Redmi with Snapdragon 855: Affordable next-gen flagship Xiaomi for Rs 26,000Get 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 byAmritanshu Mukherjee Tags :Follow XiaomiFollow RedmiFollow smartphonesFollow androidFollow MIUI After Redmi Note 7 launch, Note 7 Pro to offer even better cameraAt the Redmi Note 7 launch, Lei Jun announced that they are working on a Redmi Note 7 Pro with a more upgraded 48-megapixel Sony sensor.advertisementlast_img read more

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Accused in death of Indigenous teen not guilty of murder

first_imgWINNIPEG, MN. – A man accused of killing a 15-year-old Indigenous girl and dumping her body in Winnipeg’s Red River has been found not guilty of second-degree murder.Tina Fontaine’s remains were discovered eight days after she was reported missing in August 2014; Raymond Cormier was charged more than a year later.The jury deliberated for 11 hours before coming to its decision.There were gasps in the courtroom when the verdict was read, and Tina’s great-aunt, who raised the girl, was crying.The Crown had argued in its final submission that Cormier, 56, convicted himself with his own admissions on secret police recordings. But the defence said numerous forensic holes in the prosecution’s case had left reasonable doubt.Tina was being sexually exploited after coming to Winnipeg from her home on the Sagkeeng First Nation. Her death prompted renewed calls for an inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women.There was no DNA evidence linking Cormier to the teen, and doctors who were called to testify said they could not definitively say how Tina died.Here is what the jury heard:THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN TINA AND CORMIERCourt heard Tina had a happy childhood raised by a great-aunt on the Sagkeeng First Nation, but the girl began to spiral downward when her father was murdered in October 2011. Tina’s mother, who had not been part of her life, re-emerged and Tina started going to Winnipeg to visit her. The girl ended up on the street and was being sexually exploited. Tina’s boyfriend Cody Mason, who was 18 at the time, testified the pair first met Cormier earlier in the summer of 2014 and told him they didn’t have a place to stay. Cormier, who court heard was a methamphetamine and crack user, took them to a house with a basement. Known to some as Sebastian and to others as Frenchy, Cormier supplied Tina with the prescription drug gabapentin, said Mason, who added he and Tina would also drink and take marijuana and cocaine. Tina told a social worker that Cormier was a much older man who was going to get her a bike. Cormier told friends he had had sex with the 15-year-old. One witness, Sarah Holland, testified she once saw Cormier grope Tina while asking her to “just do me.”THE PHYSICAL EVIDENCEThe cause of Tina’s death was undetermined. Dr. Dennis Rhee testified that he found no definitive injuries on her body or to her internal organs. He said there was no evidence of a sexual assault, no signs of a stabbing or major blunt force trauma. It was estimated her body was in the river for three to seven days. There was no evidence that she drowned, but it couldn’t be ruled out. Christopher Keddy, who works at the RCMP forensics lab, testified that tests showed Tina’s body had a level of alcohol slightly above the legal limit for driving. Keddy also said there was a relatively high level of THC — the active ingredient in marijuana. There was no indication of gabapentin, but Keddy said the test the RCMP lab ran might not detect low levels of the drug. Under cross-examination, the defence suggested it couldn’t be ruled out that gabapentin was in Tina’s system at a potentially lethal level in combination with other drugs. There was no DNA evidence linking Cormier to Fontaine.THE DUVET COVERThree people connected to Cormier told police he owned the same type of duvet cover that was wrapped around Tina’s body. DNA testing found no traces linking Cormier to the cover. Court heard police tried to find the source of the duvet cover. It was sold by Costco Canada and 864 had been shipped to the three Costco stores in Winnipeg. Police tracked down 100 people who had purchased covers with the same design to ask them whether they still had them. Under cross-examination, investigators acknowledged Costco had given away some of the unsold duvet covers, and police could not rule out whether similar ones had been purchased elsewhere and brought to Winnipeg.THE ARGUMENT ON THE STREETOn Aug. 6, about two weeks before Tina’s body was found and three days before she was reported missing, witnesses saw her arguing with Cormier in the street and heard Cormier mention something about a river. Holland testified that she heard Tina tell Cormier she was going to call the cops. The Crown argued that Cormier was worried that Tina was going to report that he had stolen a truck. Court heard an audio recording of Tina calling 911 to report a stolen truck. Witnesses also testified that Tina was angry that Cormier had sold her bike for drugs. Cormier acknowledged the argument in an interview with police and said he followed her down the street before turning in the other direction. He said that is the last time he saw her. He also suggested the suspect police should really be looking for was a man who looked like singer Robert Plant who was walking in the same direction as Tina that night. “Don’t focus on me,” he told police.ERNIE DeWOLFEDeWolfe met Cormier in prison and they stayed at the same halfway house for a time. DeWolfe testified he talked to Cormier on Aug. 15 and Cormier said he had met with Tina the previous day to ensure she was not going to call the police. “He just said that he had talked to her and he straightened it all out and took care of it,” DeWolfe testified. “I just presumed that he talked to her and … sorted it out.” Tina’s body was found in the river on Aug. 17. In cross-examination, the defence suggested DeWolfe made the whole story up because he and Cormier had had an argument over money.THE UNDERCOVER TAPESPolice launched a six-month undercover operation against Cormier called Project Styx. Cormier was placed in a bugged apartment for free and an undercover officer moved into a suite on the same floor. Cormier was recorded saying he’d bet the girl was killed because he found out she was only 15 years old. “I drew the line and that’s why she got killed,” he said. Cormier also told a woman that when he last talked to Tina, he told her to go jump off a bridge. At another point, he asked a woman if she had ever been “haunted by something” before he started to talk about Tina and boast that he beat two murders. During another recording, Cormier said during an argument with a woman that there was a little girl in a “grave someplace screaming at the top of her lungs for me to finish the job. And guess what? I finished the job.” Court also heard Cormier in a recording warning people in his apartment not to overdose or they would end up wrapped in a carpet and thrown in the river. In conversations with the undercover officer, Cormier said there were “three rules to crime: deny, deny deny.”THE ARGUMENTSCrown prosecutors contended that Cormier killed Tina, either by suffocation or drowning, because he found out she was only 15 and that would make him a pedophile. They said Cormier’s own words on the undercover tapes should be enough to convict him. The defence said that with no DNA evidence and no cause of death, there were too many holes in the case. It argued that Cormier felt guilt after learning that Tina was only 15 and he wanted to find the real killer.last_img read more

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Liberals set to unveil socialfinance strategy including 755M in new fund

first_imgOTTAWA — The federal government is to unveil its promised strategy today, planning to use hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding to finance new, experimental ways to deliver social services.Social Development Minister Jean-Yves Duclos is scheduled to make a mid-day announcement in Montreal.The Liberals have been crafting a strategy for social finance, as it’s known, for years, hoping to bring private money into social services governments provide themselves or directly fund.Under the concept, private backers partner with a group or organization to fund new ways of helping people improve their job skills or health, for instance, with public dollars flowing in if the partnership produces measurable results.What makes the approach attractive to governments is that it shifts financial risk from taxpayers to investors and can turn up more efficient ways of providing social services.Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s fall update included $755 million over 10 years to be seed money for groups that provide services such as housing the homeless or training hard-to-employ people with new skills.The idea is that as loans seeded with federal money are repaid, local intermediaries could hand out more loans and entice traditional lenders to open their wallets. And some of the money will come back to federal coffers.The Liberals hope the spending blossoms into $2 billion in economic activity and creates or maintains up to 100,000 jobs over the next decade.But the development of the strategy appears to have been more rocky than efficient, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the behind-the-scenes talk who have spoken to The Canadian Press under condition of anonymity in order to detail private events.Problems appeared to arise late last year when officials from Employment and Social Development Canada, which Duclos oversees, and the Finance Department disagreed sharply about how the government should use the $755 million.The last version of the plan suggested a fund manager and secretariat be housed inside ESDC with an advisory council of external experts making funding recommendations. Sources say the first bit of money — $50 million to help groups learn how to gain access to larger government sums — was expected to roll out this summer.Less clear is whether the strategy will include changes to the tax system that an expert panel called for last summer.The government-struck panel called in its final report last August for a rewrite of tax rules to help non-profits set up socially motivated companies or take part in social-finance initiatives without fear of losing their tax-exempt status.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Mohawk link in major Alberta smokes bust

first_imgAPTN National NewsThe RCMP is trumpeting a major bust of contraband cigarettes in Alberta.The illegal smokes are valued at millions of dollars and were being stored on an Alberta First Nation.Questions are now swirling about how and why two band officials brought the cigarettes into the community.APTN National News reporter Noemi LoPinto has this story.last_img

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Agriculture Dept launches 2nd round of payments to farmers

first_imgWASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has authorized the Agriculture Department to launch the second and final round of $11 billion in trade mitigation payments to farmers hard hit by tariffs.In a tweet on Monday, Trump said he is fulfilling a promise to protect farmers against “unjustified trade retaliation by foreign nations.”The Trump administration in July announced it would provide up to $12 billion to offset losses from Trump’s trade disputes with China and other countries.The first round of checks went out in September.In total, producers of almonds, corn, cotton, dairy, hogs, sorghum, soybeans, fresh sweet cherries and wheat will receive roughly $9.5 billion. Soybean farmers will get the largest share.Roughly $1.2 billion is earmarked for a food purchase and distribution program and $200 million to promote trade.The Associated Presslast_img read more

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North Korea holds election

first_imgPyongyang: North Koreans went to the polls Sunday for an election in which there could be only one winner. Leader Kim Jong Un’s ruling Workers’ Party has an iron grip on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, as the isolated, nuclear-armed country is officially known. Every five years it holds an election for the rubber stamp legislature, known as the Supreme People’s Assembly. The exercise has all the trappings of votes elsewhere, from electoral rolls to sealed ballot boxes to scrutineers for the count. But in keeping with one of Pyongyang’s most enduring slogans — “Single-minded unity” — there is only one approved name on each of the red voting slips. With portraits of the leader’s father Kim Jong Il and grandfather Kim Il Sung looking down on every ballot box, voters lined up to drop their slips inside. There is a pencil in the panelled voting booths for anyone who might wish to register dissent by crossing out a candidate’s name. But no one does. By 6pm, the official KCNA news agency reported, all electors in all constituencies had voted, “except for those abroad or working in oceans”. Turnout in 2014 was 99.97 per cent and the vote was 100 per cent in favour of the named candidates, a result unmatched anywhere else in the world. “Our society is one in which the people are gathered around the respected Supreme Leader with a single mind,” election official Ko Kyong Hak said outside a polling station at the 3.26 Pyongyang Cable Factory. Participation in the election was a citizen’s obligation, he said, “and there are no people who reject a candidate”. An editorial in the Rodong Sinmun, the mouthpiece of the ruling party, reinforced the message. Voters “should cast approval ballots with their loyalty to the party and the leader, absolute support to the DPRK government and the will to share their destiny with socialism to the last”, it said. With a total absence of electoral competition, analysts say the election is held largely as a political rite to enable the authorities to claim a mandate from the people. It was the result of “established institutional inertia and a need to legitimise the government by simulating democratic procedure”, said Andrei Lankov of Korea Risk Group. Soviet-style Communist states had a long tradition of holding general elections, he said, even if the ruling party ignored its own rules about holding regular congresses —something the North skipped for more than 30 years. “North Korea is just emulating all other Communist states,” he said. “The early Communists sincerely believed that they were producing a democracy the world had never seen. So they needed elections and it became a very important part of self-legitimisation.” The last significant government of a major country to dispense with elections altogether was Nazi Germany, he pointed out. The North is divided into constituencies for the vote — there were 686 at the last election, when Kim stood in Mount Paektu, a dormant volcano on the border with China revered as the spiritual birthplace of the Korean people. He received a 100 percent turnout and 100 percent in favour according to KCNA. Some of the seats are allocated to two minor parties, the Korean Social Democratic Party and the Chondoist Chongdu Party, which has its roots in a 20th century Korean religious movement. They are both in a formal alliance with the ruling party and analysts and diplomats say they exist largely on paper, with only small central offices maintained for propaganda purposes. Even so, participation in the poll, like other obligatory rituals in the North, does reinforce loyalty to the government and social unity, Lankov said, “because humans love symbolism”. It is a marked contrast to the vibrant multi-party democracy on the other side of the Demilitarised Zone dividing the peninsula, where president Park Geun-hye was ousted in 2017 after mass street protests over a corruption scandal. For North Koreans who defect, the South’s electoral system was “definitely novel”, said Sokeel Park, of campaign group Liberty In North Korea. “The idea that you get to cast your vote and either be on the winning side or the losing side and you don’t know what that’s going to be until the results come in — that’s a big thing.” Sunday’s voting took place in something of a carnival atmosphere in Pyongyang, children in red neckerchiefs parading in the streets to encourage voters to attend. Bands played at polling stations, where voters queued up in numerical order according to voter lists displayed for days beforehand, and women in flowing traditional dresses danced after casting their ballots. Architecture student Kuk Dae Kwon, 18, said he was excited to be taking part for the first time. Ordinary North Koreans always express total support for the authorities when speaking to foreign media, and Kuk told AFP: “At this election we consolidate the single-minded unity around the Supreme Leader and also demonstrate the advantages of our socialism to the world.”last_img read more

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Ganguly ready to quit cricket committee to avoid conflict

first_imgNew Delhi: Sourav Ganguly is willing to resign from the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) after CEO Rahul Johri — on behalf of the board — asked ombudsman D.K. Jain to examine his dual role as member of CAC and Delhi Capitals advisor. Speaking to IANS, sources in the know of developments said that while the Cricket Association of Bengal president-cum-DC advisor is confident that he is not conflicted, even then, the former India skipper is willing to step down from the CAC which also has Sunrisers Hyderabad mentor V.V.S. Laxman and Mumbai Indians mentor Sachin Tendulkar as members. “Sourav last attended a CAC meeting during the appointment of Ravi Shastri as coach after the Champions Trophy in 2017. In fact, the committee has not even met in recent times and he is clear that if required, he will step down from the role to avoid any questions of conflict. Even though his stance remains unchanged that he is not conflicted in any way, he will meet the ombudsman and discuss the same,” the source said. Jain has asked Ganguly to depose before him on April 20 with regards to questions of conflict of interest raised against him by three complainants from West Bengal — Bhaswati Santua, Ranjit Seal and Abhijeet Mukherjee, who questioned how Ganguly as CAB chief was allowed to sit in the Delhi Capitals dug out during their match against Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens. April 20 will also see DC clash against Kings XI Punjab at the Feroze Shah Kotla. Interestingly, while the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators have through Johri asked the ombudsman to check on any conflict, the letter from Johri also stated that Ganguly should be allowed to continue as DC advisor if he makes full disclosure due to his vast knowledge.last_img read more

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Limited progress made at latest round climate talks says top UN official

14 August 2009Only “limited progress” has been made at the most recent United Nations climate change talks – which are expected to culminate later this year in Copenhagen with a new pact on slashing greenhouse gas emissions – a senior United Nations official said today. With only two more conferences, totalling 15 days, scheduled before the start of the critical event in the Danish capital, “negotiations will need to considerably pick up speed for the world to achieve a successful result at Copenhagen,” said Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The new treaty set to be agreed on in Denmark in December will replace the Kyoto Protocol, whose first commitment period ends in 2012. Some strides were made regarding the negotiating text at the week-long meeting in Bonn, Germany, that wrapped up today, with countries also discussing how to translate mid-term reduction pledges (for the year 2020) by wealthier nations into legally-binding targets as part of the deal to be clinched in Copenhagen. “Industrialized countries need to show a greater level of ambition in agreeing to meaningful mid-term emission reduction targets,” Mr. de Boer said. “The present level of ambition can be raised domestically and by making use of international cooperation.” He also called for a “clear indication” from these nations on the levels of financing and technology they will provide to help their developing counterparts ‘green’ their growth and adapt to the impacts of global warming. The next session of negotiations will start in Bangkok, Thailand, on 28 September, followed by another round in Barcelona, Spain, in November. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who has long made climate change a top priority, will convene what is expected to be the largest-ever gathering of heads of State and government on climate change in New York on 22 September. That gathering seeks to build momentum ahead of the Copenhagen talks. read more

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UN mission confirms renewed clashes in eastern Sierra Leone urges restraint

“UNAMSIL regards these attacks as violations of the Abuja Ceasefire Agreement and as a threat to the peace process,” the UN Mission said in a statement issued in Freetown. “It appeals for the exercise of restraint in order not to jeopardize the progress achieved by all parties at the 2 May Abuja Ceasefire Review.” A UNAMSIL patrol confirmed that the Civil Defence Force (CDU) had attacked Saiama, a town about 8 kilometres from the Guinean border, which until recently was occupied by the Revolutionary United Front (RUF). The patrol later met up with CDF combatants at Mangadu – approximately 14 kilometres southwest of Saiama – who confirmed that they had been operating in the area against RUF positions. The combatants were informed of the Abuja agreement and the need to abide by it.From 7 to 9 May, a Bangladesh battalion and a team of military observers, undertook a joint patrol from Magburaka to Koidu, including surrounding areas, the UN Mission said.The UNAMSIL Force Commander, Lt. Gen. Daniel Opande, visited the patrols in Koidu and joined their forward movements to Woama and Saiama. Gen. Opande then returned to Koidu and held a meeting with RUF interim leader Gen. Issa Sesay. During the meeting, the RUF leader assured UNAMSIL that his army was fully committed to the Abuja Ceasefire Review Agreement and that it would deliver on the terms of the agreement. He called on UNAMSIL to ensure that the CDF attacks were halted. Meanwhile Ghanaian peacekeepers on a patrol in Bandajuma, some 8 kilometres northwest of Daru, confirmed RUF reports of a CDF attack on 7 May and witnessed ongoing fighting in that location, UNAMSIL said. read more

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Moroccan and Spanish troops set to join UN mission in Haiti this

The Spanish marines number 200 and the Moroccan troops 150, the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) said, and they will ensure security in Cap Haitien and Ouanaminthe.Haiti was once a Spanish colony, as well as a French one, MINUSTAH said, noting that “it is the first time in almost 300 years” that Spanish troops have landed in the western part of the island of Hispaniola.When some Sri Lankan troops arrive tomorrow, MINUSTAH will have 3,692 of the 6,700 troops the Security Council authorized, it said. read more

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Christian McCaffreys durability keying Panthers offence

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — When Carolina’s Christian McCaffrey ripped off a 59-yard run against the Seattle Seahawks, there was no tapping his helmet.He wasn’t coming out of the game.The second-year running back told Cam Newton in the huddle before the next play “I’m ready to go,” then took a handoff on the next play and picked up another 15 yards.“Any other average running back would’ve tapped his head and said, ‘I need a blow,’” Newton said.McCaffrey has been the Energizer Bunny of the Panthers’ offence, playing in 97 per cent of the team’s offensive plays through 11 games — the most in the NFL.And he’s showing no signs of letting up.He became the first Carolina player in franchise history to eclipse 100 yards rushing and 100 yards receiving in the same game last Sunday. Despite the loss to the Seahawks, his 237 total yards set a franchise record.Entering Sunday’s game at Tampa Bay, McCaffrey is fourth in the NFL in total yards from scrimmage with 1,365. He has 757 yards rushing and five touchdowns, 608 yards receiving yards on 71 catches and five more TDs.McCaffrey said he never really gets tired — and if he does, he just ignores it.“I don’t think of it,” McCaffrey said. “When I’m in the game there is so much adrenaline. I never really feel like I’m gasping. You have to push through that.”“He doesn’t look like it is wearing on him,” said Panthers coach Ron Rivera, whose team is looking to snap a three-game losing streak. “He works hard at everything he does and takes care of himself the way you expect a pro to do. Our other young guys can learn from that example.”The 5-foot-11, 205-pound McCaffrey is proving to everyone he’s not too small to be an every-down — and basically every-play — running back.Newton said McCaffrey is always out to prove something and bristles when someone calls him a “small” running back.“When they take you at the eighth pick, you have a lot of people counting on you,” McCaffrey said. “So I knew it was going to be a pivotal (role). But at the same time, you still have to earn everything. And that’s kind of my mindset, how it’s always been.”Said Newton: “C-Mac has defied all odds. The thing that has always put me at comfort with C-Mac is he’s always been a workhorse. He’s always been a playmaker. There’s no denying that. C-Mac was everything (we thought he could be), and a bag of chips.”McCaffrey believes that players like McCaffrey, Le’Veon Bell, Todd Gurley and Alvin Kamara are changing the running back position in the NFL.“Those guys are all-down backs,” Newton said. “And they can take a screen pass, score. They can take a trap, score. They can block in the pass game. They’re everything. And they’re changing the game. My hat goes off to all of those guys knowing that they’re a part of the evolving of the game, just like dual-threat quarterbacks.”___More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFLSteve Reed, The Associated Press read more

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Celebration of Cypriot food and wine

first_imgCypriot Community of Melbourne and Victoria (CCMV) will celebrate its Annual Wine Festival again this year.This year, the CCMV is proud to provide entertainment for all ages, including rides, performances by various dance groups from difference regions of both Cyprus and Greece, live music, local singers, and of course, the much talked about food and free wine.For all the fun and festivities associated with this celebration of Cypriot food and wine, join the feast at The Cretan Brotherhood.Whether you are coming for the rides, the abundance of delicious Cypriot food, or for the unlimited tasting of authentic Cypriot wines, a fun filled day is guaranteed.The entrance is free. When: Saturday 2 March, and Sunday 3 March, from 12:00 pm to late evening Where: The Cretan Brotherhood, 148-150 Nicholson Street, East Brunswick Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

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De nouvelles offres Virgin Mobile proposées sur Vente Privée

first_imgDe nouvelles offres Virgin Mobile proposées sur Vente PrivéeVirgin Mobile a dévoilé de nouveaux tarifs pour ses forfaits. Ils sont vendus sur le site Vente Privée.com.Le MVNO Virgin Mobile a décidé de baisser ses tarifs et de proposer certaines de ses formules au rabais sur le site Vente Privée. Une mesure destinée à faire face aux tarifs pratiqués par Free Mobile. L’avantage de cette promotion est qu’elle n’est pas limitée dans le temps !À lire aussiPanne Orange : l’opérateur penserait à indemniser ses clientsVirgin Mobile a donc décidé de revoir à la baisse les tarifs de son offre Extaz pour les nouveaux adhérents. Le forfait 4h XL (4h d’appels, SMS illimités, Internet bridé au-delà de 3 Go de data consommées) avec à un iPhone 3GS (à 1 euro) passe au tarif de 24,99 euros/mois contre 34,99 euros/mois précédemment. A noter que le même forfait ne coûte que 14,99 euros par mois avec Samsung Wave 575, vendu 1 euro (au lieu de 21,99 euros par mois). Ceci pour un engagement de 24 mois chez l’opérateur.De plus, le forfait Extaz 2h (2h d’appels et SMS illimités) sans téléphone et sans engagement coûte désormais 5,99 euros par mois. Le nombre de ces offres disponibles n’est toutefois pas précisé. Pour en profiter, il faut être inscrit sur le site Vente-privée.com.Le 13 mars 2012 à 09:45 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

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USTR Releases NAFTA Negotiating Objectives

first_imgThis week the Administration released the negotiating objectives for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The objectives are comprehensive and cover most sectors and subjects that have been a part of previous trade agreements.The first goal listed under Trade in Goods is to reduce the U.S. trade deficit with NAFTA countries. This could be problematic depending on how they seek to achieve this outcome. That said, the Administration does not propose withdrawing tariff concessions.  In fact, they propose reducing or eliminating remaining duties in the ag sector. They even propose providing reasonable adjustment periods for U.S. imports of sensitive agricultural products, which implies a willingness to put U.S. tariffs for dairy and sugar-containing products on the table. They also propose World Trade Organization (WTO)-plus Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) disciplines which track with the recommendations the American Soybean Association (ASA) proposed in its NAFTA recommendations.Regarding regulatory policy, the Administration proposes promoting regulatory compatibility, transparency and information-sharing, and developing a mechanism for improved dialogue and cooperation. However, the trade remedies objectives are quite protectionist.  They propose a number of changes that could make it easier to impose duties and safeguard measure on NAFTA parties. While this may benefit the U.S. in some areas, it will also open the U.S. up to duties imposed by Canada and Mexico. NAFTA negotiations will likely begin in mid-August per Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) rules.last_img read more

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