Key development in Gongadze murder probe could open way to final resolution

first_img RSF_en July 23, 2009 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Key development in Gongadze murder probe could open way to final resolution News Follow the news on Ukraine Ukrainian media group harassed by broadcasting authority News February 26, 2021 Find out more UkraineEurope – Central Asia Read in russian/Читать на русском Help by sharing this information March 26, 2021 Find out more UkraineEurope – Central Asia center_img to go further Receive email alerts Related documents Дело ГонгадзеPDF – 53.13 KB News Reporters Without Borders is pleased that, after so many years, the investigation into the September 2000 murder of investigative online journalist Georgy Gongadze is finally in the process of being resolved and firmly hopes that the officials who ordered Gongadze’s murder will now be identified and brought to trial.“There has been decisive progressive of late in this investigation, which until now had been a symbol of impunity in Ukraine,” Reporters Without Borders with said. “We are deeply relieved, and moved for the Gongadze family, to learn of the confession by Gen. Olexy Pukach, the former head of foreign intelligence in the interior ministry.”The press freedom organisation added: “But we must remain vigilant. The authorities must reveal the names of the officials identified by Gen. Pukach as having given him his orders, and they must be arrested and tried. The investigation was must not be cut short after coming so far.”Valentina Telishenko, the lawyer who represents Gongadze’s widow, told Reporters Without Borders she still had doubts about the chances of the case being solved. “Unfortunately, Olexy Pukach’s arrest does not offer enough guarantees,” she said. “We fear that a lot of political pressure will be put on the prosecutor in the course of the investigation. This pressure could prevail over justice.”The recent progress began when the Kiev supreme court decided on 12 June that secret recordings made by former President Leonid Kuchma’s bodyguard, Mykola Melnichenko, could be incorporated into the investigation. Previously declared inadmissible, the recordings were expected to open the way to the identification of the senior officials believed to have ordered Gongadze’s murder.But the key development was Gen. Pukach’s arrest on 21 July in a village near the northwestern city of Zhytomyr. Vassyl Grytsak, the deputy head of the domestic security agency, the SBU, gave a news conference yesterday at which he said Pukach had confessed to strangling Gongadze on the orders of senior officials and that he had revealed their names.Pressed at the news conference to name the officials identified by Pukach and to say where the Ukrainian authorities would ensure that they do not flee the country, Grytsak said it was up to the attorney general to decide whether to release the names. Nothing had so far been decided, he said.President Viktor Yushchenko welcomed Pukach’s arrest. “The country is relieved to see this high-profile criminal case being resolved,” he said. “This means not only that the law is going to be restored in Ukraine but also that the most senior officials are going to be held responsible for their crimes.” Yushchenko added that the highest priority would be given to securing Pukach and that the heads of the SBU would be personally in charge of this.The progress towards resolution of the Gongadze case is being widely hailed in a country that is nowadays turning more and more towards the international community. Gongadze’s murder had caused widespread shock and outrage, which helped to fuel the Orange Revolution. Yushchenko had pledged as president to ensure the case was solved.Gen. Pukach has reportedly promised to show the place where Gongadze’s head was buried. The journalist’s decapitated body was found in a forest near Kiev two weeks after he was kidnapped on 16 September 2000.Aged 31 at the time of his death, Gongadze was the editor of the online newspaper Ukrainskaya Pravda, in which he wrote extensively about corruption cases implicating senior members of President Kuchma’s government. Three former police officers – Mykola Protasov, Oleksandr Popovich and Valeri Kostenko – were convicted last year of carrying out Gongadze’s murder on Gen. Pukach’s orders but Pukach had eluded arrest until this week. Organisation Ukraine escalates “information war” by banning three pro-Kremlin media News Crimean journalist “confesses” to spying for Ukraine on Russian TV September 7, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

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Survey: Default Rates Expected to Grow

first_img Previous: Smaller Cities Winning Big in Rental Demand Next: Former Wells Fargo CEO Banned From Banking Sign up for DS News Daily Survey: Default Rates Expected to Grow Overall U.S. delinquency rates are at an all-time low at 3.6%, but according to the Annual Report on the State of the Default Servicing Industry from Altisource, servicing professionals expect the rates for certain loan types to grow—specifically FHA and private lender loans.Of the servicing professionals Altisource surveyed, 90% cited that their organization currently services FHA loans, up from 87% in 2018. Additionally, 80% expect their FHA loan portfolio to increase over the next 12 to 24 months and 85% (up from 77% in 2018) expect the increase to be more than 25%.“The survey uncovered many industry insights, including vendor management challenges and the importance of online auctions as a disposition tool,” said Patrick G. McClain, VP, Enterprise Sales for Altisource. “With historically low delinquency rates, we may see a higher rate of FHA defaults in markets experiencing economic turmoil with little housing liquidity, such as rural areas. In addition, servicers are using a single-vendor approach to manage multiple pieces of the default lifecycle to help mitigate losses and streamline efforts.”Vendor performance is becoming increasingly challenging as portfolios shift to rural areas and vendor pools for distressed loans and properties continue to diminish during this strong economic environment. Nearly one-quarter (22%) of servicing professionals surveyed said their biggest challenge when managing vendors is vendor performance; 17% cited costs and another 17% cited strategic alignment. When evaluating a vendor to manage their default portfolio, a significant majority of servicing professionals surveyed (96%) said property preservation and inspection is a leading consideration; 95% pointed to end-to-end default disposition capabilities and 94% cited a strong marketing platform/marketing scale.“Due to the increasingly complex requirements around vendor management and vendor oversight, servicers are looking to vendors that can manage multiple pieces of the default lifecycle (i.e., REO asset management, property inspection and auction services) and that can seamlessly integrate with their current technology platforms,” Altisource said. “An overwhelming majority of servicing professionals surveyed (94%) said their organization is likely to select a single-vendor approach to managing the default lifecycle.”More servicers are using online auctions, up to 89% from 76% in 2018 as part of their long-term strategy for asset disposition and 72% would like to do more online auctions (up from 50% in 2018).  Print This Post Related Articles Home / Daily Dose / Survey: Default Rates Expected to Grow Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Seth Welborn is a Reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Harding University, he has covered numerous topics across the real estate and default servicing industries. Additionally, he has written B2B marketing copy for Dallas-based companies such as AT&T. An East Texas Native, he also works part-time as a photographer. The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Subscribecenter_img default Delinquency FHA 2020-01-23 Seth Welborn Share Save Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago January 23, 2020 1,966 Views About Author: Seth Welborn Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Tagged with: default Delinquency FHA Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, Investment, News Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days agolast_img read more

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Vermont auto loan delinquency rate drops second fastest in US

first_imgTransUnion.com released today the results of its analysis of trends in the auto lending industry for the first quarter of 2009. The report is part of an ongoing series of quarterly consumer lending sector analyses focusing on credit card, auto loan and mortgage data that may be found on TransUnion’s Web site. Information for this analysis is culled quarterly from approximately 27 million anonymous, individual credit files, providing a real-life perspective on how U.S. consumers are managing their credit health. The largest improvements in delinquency from the previous quarter were found in South Dakota (45.16 percent decrease from 0.62 percent) and Vermont (33.3 percent decrease from 0.99 percent).StatisticsThe national 60-day auto delinquency rate (the ratio of auto loan borrowers 60 or more days past due) dropped slightly between the fourth quarter of last year and the first quarter of 2009 (0.86 percent to 0.83 percent). However, year-over-year the delinquency rate at the national level increased 27.69 percent in the first quarter.Auto loan delinquency was highest in Mississippi at 1.49 percent, followed by Louisiana at 1.40 percent. The lowest auto loan delinquency rates were found in South Dakota (0.34 percent), North Dakota (0.35 percent) and Wyoming (0.44 percent).Average auto debt nationally continued to decrease slightly in the first quarter of 2009 from $12,713 to $12,596. Likewise, year-over-year auto debt fell by 1.85 percent. The state with the largest auto debt burden was Nevada at $15,080, followed by Texas at $14,748. The lowest average auto debt was in Nebraska at $10,629. The steepest annual increases in average auto debt as a percentage occurred in Michigan(+1.49 percent), New Jersey (+1.38 percent) and Rhode Island (+0.48 percent), while South Dakota experienced the sharpest drop in annual average auto debt (-4.61 percent) followed by Utah (-3.38 percent).AnalysisThe drop in the first quarter 60-day auto delinquency rate reflects more seasonal patterns rather than a reversal of the trends associated with the current lending environment. As in recent quarters, both the availability of funding (liquidity crisis) in the market for auto loans and tighter lending standards have significantly decreased the number of auto loans in the market, putting continued upward pressure on delinquency rates.On a state-level basis, 27 states experienced a drop in their quarter-to-quarter delinquency rates while only one (South Dakota) showed a drop on a year-over-year basis. It is interesting to note the deteriorating risk environment has now affected even Alaska, which at the end of last year showed an extremely low auto delinquency rate of 0.19 percent. In the first quarter of 2008 Alaska’s delinquency rate increased by 247 percent quarter-to-quarter and 78 percent on a year-over-year basis–the largest increase for 2009.”At the end of the 2001 recession, the national auto delinquency rate increased to a high of just over 1 percent, and then began to edge downward for the next four or five years,” said Peter Turek, TransUnion’s automotive vice president. “As the recession came to a close in November of 2001, three of the five riskiest cities in the country were found in Texas: El Paso (5.00 percent), McAllen (2.46 percent) and Laredo (2.09 percent). In our current recession, Laredo is still leading in terms of auto delinquency (3.08 percent), but now is followed closely by metropolitan areas within the state of California such as Visalia (2.33 percent) — reflecting the impact of the housing market on that state’s economy. Today, the least risky metropolitan area is Corvallis, Ore., which shoulders an almost zero auto delinquency rate — a position consistent with what it held during the previous recession.”Forecast”TransUnion’s national 60-day auto delinquency rate forecast for the first quarter of 2009 was short by about 2 percent, as a slightly more favorable vision of the economic environment prompted some downward revisions to our forecast through the end of the year. Our current forecasting models indicate that the national 60-day auto delinquency rate will rise to about 1 percent by year-end, about the same level as that experienced at the end of our last recession,” continued Turek. “However, the overall economy, weak labor market and lower disposable income levels will continue to negatively impact the consumer well into 2010.”At the state level, Mississippi is still anticipated to experience the highest delinquency rate by fourth quarter 2009 (1.94 percent), while South Dakota should prove to have the lowest level of auto delinquency (0.44 percent).Overview of U.S. Consumer Credit Status – First Quarter 2008Mortgage loan delinquency (the ratio of borrowers 60 or more days past due) increased for the ninth straight quarter, hitting a national average high of 5.22 percent for the first quarter of 2009. Traditionally seen as a precursor to foreclosures, this statistic is up almost 14 percent from the previous quarter’s 4.58 percent average. This compares to an increase of 16 percent from the third to fourth quarter of 2008. Year-over-year, mortgage loan delinquency is up approximately 62 percent (from 3.23 percent).The average national mortgage debt per borrower rose again (1.41 percent) to $195,500 from the previous quarter’s $192,789. On a year-over-year basis, the first quarter 2009 average represents a 1.87 percent increase compared to the first quarter 2008 average of $191,917.Average bankcard borrower debt (defined as the aggregate balance on all bank-issued credit cards for an individual bankcard borrower) inched upward nationally 0.82 percent to $5,776 from the previous quarter’s $5,729, and 4.09 percent compared to the first quarter of 2008 ($5,548).Nationally, the bankcard delinquency rate (the ratio of bankcard borrowers 90 days or more delinquent on one or more of their bankcards) increased to 1.32 percent in the first quarter of 2009, up 9.1 percent over the previous quarter. Year over year, bankcard delinquencies increased 11 percent from 1.19 to 1.32 percent.Additional information and statistics on the mortgage sector can be found at: http://newsroom.transunion.com/index.php?s=43&item=526(link is external) Additional information and statistics on credit card sector can be found at: http://newsroom.transunion.com/index.php?s=43&item=527(link is external)TransUnion’s Trend Data databaseThe source of the underlying data used for this analysis is TransUnion’s Trend Data, a one-of-a-kind database consisting of 27 million anonymous consumer records randomly sampled every quarter from TransUnion’s national consumer credit database. Each record contains more than 200 credit variables that illustrate consumer credit usage and performance. Since 1992, TransUnion has been aggregating this information at the county, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), state and national levels.About TransUnionAs a global leader in credit and information management, TransUnion creates advantages for millions of people around the world by gathering, analyzing and delivering information. For businesses, TransUnion helps improve efficiency, manage risk, reduce costs and increase revenue by delivering comprehensive data and advanced analytics and decisioning. For consumers, TransUnion provides the tools, resources and education to help manage their credit health and achieve their financial goals. Through these and other efforts, TransUnion is working to build stronger economies worldwide. Founded in 1968 and headquartered in Chicago, TransUnion employs associates in more than 25 countries on five continents.www.transunion.com/business(link is external)CHICAGO, June 15 /PRNewswire/ TransUnion-Loanslast_img read more

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FARC Violates Ceasefire, Kills 11 and Injures 18 Colombian Soldiers

first_imgHoyos described how the night of terror began around 11 p.m. as Troops were spending the night at the coliseum. The Soldiers’ sleep was suddenly interrupted by by explosions and bursts of gunfire. While the peace talks will continue, their tone will no doubt be impacted by the deadly ambush. However, President Santos did not walk out of the peace negotiations. Instead, he said that “acts of this nature and seriousness demonstrate once more the need to accelerate the negotiations to put an end to this conflict.” By Dialogo April 16, 2015 Following the unilateral ceasefire declared on December 20 between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas and Colombian Military forces, the peace process suffered a major setback when at least 11 Soldiers were killed late Tuesday night in an attack the government said was carried out by the FARC. Following the unilateral ceasefire declared on December 20 between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas and Colombian Military forces, the peace process suffered a major setback when at least 11 Soldiers were killed late Tuesday night in an attack the government said was carried out by the FARC. “This implies a clear break of the unilateral cease-fire pledge,” President Santos said in a televised news conference. “This is a reprehensible action that will not remain unpunished and demands decisive measures, and it will have consequences for those involved.” Impact on the peace talks The “complex” peace process will not be resolved “overnight,” the security analyst explained. He noted that successful peace talks in other parts of the world, such as those in Ireland, have taken years to bear fruit. The outburst of violence may threaten what had been promising developments in the peace process. On December 20, the FARC declared a unilateral and indefinite ceasefire and promised to stop recruiting fighters under 17 years of age. The government and the FARC agreed to work together to find and destroy the thousands of land mines that have killed more than 11,000 civilians, including 1,100 children, during five decades of armed conflict. Is living in harmony with others the best choice or not? Awful The Colombian people take this opportunity to request the President of the Republic of Colombia to step down, Mr. Juan Manuel Santos who was unfortunately reelected. It is shameful that he continues to occupy that borrowed post. The Colombian armed forces are offering the guerrilla fighters protection and status for a better societal and financial life. Turn yourself in, your life will be respected, you who never respected the lives of Colombian soldiers. The peace is the way. THE FARC HAS A FEW LOOSE WHEELS. THAT’S DANGEROUS. Everyone has the right to be happy. What I’m looking for isn’t here Good afternoon I am requesting help, please, for my son. He was admitted into the Kennedy Hospital on May 3rd at 11:00 p.m. with the following symptoms: sunken ribs, lots of congestion. My son urgently needs an operation to take out his tonsils which are very big, keeping him from being able to eat almost or to breathe. The ear, nose and throat doctor Mauricio Monje wants me to take my son home. He says he cannot do anything else for my child because he has not shown any improvement and rather has tried to go into respiratory arrest and he has sleep apnea. If I take my son home, who is going to help me? Please if you could help me my number is 3204431967 Diana Esmeralda Bueno Hernandez. I BEG YOU TO HELP ME SINCE MY SON IS JUST 2 YEARS OLD. It’s said that all that’s talked about is violence. How are we supposed to achieve peace when all that’s inculcated in war and violence all the time? There are no other subjects on social networks or the media except for violence. There are interesting, valuable and worthy subjects in our country, Colombia, which we all need to know about, but sadly the government has become a monopoly which manipulates us however it wants to. I don’t like it I don’t need this The peace talks are a distraction for Colombians. The FARC is divided. Those who are in our territory don’t get along with the negotiators n Cuba and the FARC negotiators in Havana are looking for personal benefits because they have no trade in Colombia. They can the years – and they want financial bonuses and to live in other countries. The negotiations should be held in our own territory and that way no one escapes and we go straight to the point, quick broadcasting, release kidnapping victims and be accountable for so many people missing because of the FARC. THERE IS AN UNDERCURRENT OF DECEPTION and the President should not fall into this trap because in truth we the Colombians are the ones affected. PRESIDENT! Don’t be fooled, the ones in HAVANA are one group; the ones in COLOMBIA ARE ANOTHER. Latin America will not see full progress or peace until the FARC and all nuclei remnants of the radical left on the continent are destroyed first. These forces receive covert support from almost all the leftist governments that have plagued us for decades and remain on standby until countries reach a “breaking point”. In order to get rid of these nuclei, we need to put down the “Gramsci maniacs”, who thrive in universities, trade unions and among students – these tireless and persistent indoctrinators, who aim to turn Latin America into the “Great Homeland”, a Communist agglomerate headed by Fidel Castro and his cohorts in their respective governments. The Armed Forces in each country are slowly and covertly being appeased, their honour deceived, icons vilified, equipment scrapped and indoctrination occurring in training schools. If we fail to react in time, the martyrdom of the Russians, Eastern Europe, Cuba and North Korea will be repeated under the command of this clan from the 21st century onward. Wake up! The FARC called the attack a serious but isolated incident, and said it would continue to participate in the peace talks. The deadly attack complicates the ongoing peace talks. While the peace talks will continue, their tone will no doubt be impacted by the deadly ambush. “Those who reacted in time were the ones that survived,” said Soldier Luis Humberto Hoyos, a member of the Mobile Brigade 17 Apolo Task Force of the Army, which was the target of the attack. “What it will change is the feeling around the time in the talks,” Cuervo explained. “There are two critical variables in the peace talks: trust and time. The trust has deteriorated, and with respect to time, people ask how long will this take?” “What it will change is the feeling around the time in the talks,” Cuervo explained. “There are two critical variables in the peace talks: trust and time. The trust has deteriorated, and with respect to time, people ask how long will this take?” On the night of April 14, a group of well-armed attackers, allegedly from the Miller Perdomo column of the FARC, ambushed a Platoon of Colombian Soldiers in La Esperanza, Cauca Department, in the country’s north. The assailants attacked with grenades, gunfire, and explosive devices. In addition to the 11 Soldiers who were killed, the attackers injured another 18 Soldiers. Troops returned fire, and a FARC member was killed in the battle. “Those who reacted in time were the ones that survived,” said Soldier Luis Humberto Hoyos, a member of the Mobile Brigade 17 Apolo Task Force of the Army, which was the target of the attack. On the night of April 14, a group of well-armed attackers, allegedly from the Miller Perdomo column of the FARC, ambushed a Platoon of Colombian Soldiers in La Esperanza, Cauca Department, in the country’s north. The assailants attacked with grenades, gunfire, and explosive devices. In addition to the 11 Soldiers who were killed, the attackers injured another 18 Soldiers. Troops returned fire, and a FARC member was killed in the battle. center_img “Most of those who lost their lives were not able to react, died instantly,” Hoyos, dressed in muddy clothes, said the day after the assault as he met with Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzón at a Mobile Brigade 17 outpost in the village of Potrerito, near the scene of the attack. The “complex” peace process will not be resolved “overnight,” the security analyst explained. He noted that successful peace talks in other parts of the world, such as those in Ireland, have taken years to bear fruit. “In northern Cauca, specifically in the municipality of Buenos Aires there are activities related to illegal mining and smuggling routes, and the logic and dynamics that occur at this time in the Cauca are very distant from what is happening in Havana,” Cuervo said. “Once the attack is a fact the FARC can’t say that they have nothing to do with it.” President orders the Armed Forces to respond President orders the Armed Forces to respond “This implies a clear break of the unilateral cease-fire pledge,” President Santos said in a televised news conference. “This is a reprehensible action that will not remain unpunished and demands decisive measures, and it will have consequences for those involved.” President Juan Manuel Santos decried the “deliberate attack” by the FARC and, within a few hours of the assault, ordered the Military to resume bombing guerrilla encampments. By ordering the bombardments, Santos lifted a ban he imposed in March to go in line with the peace talks and extended just a week before the attack. The deadly attack complicates the ongoing peace talks. Hoyos described how the night of terror began around 11 p.m. as Troops were spending the night at the coliseum. The Soldiers’ sleep was suddenly interrupted by by explosions and bursts of gunfire. Impact on the peace talks However, President Santos did not walk out of the peace negotiations. Instead, he said that “acts of this nature and seriousness demonstrate once more the need to accelerate the negotiations to put an end to this conflict.” “It is a blow to trust in the peace process,” said Jorge Iván Cuervo, a researcher at the Center for Research and Special Projects (CIPE) of the Externado University of Colombia.. “A trust that is quite shabby. This contributes to undermine the negotiations and reduce the confidence of President Santos to continue the dialogue. In political terms it is a pretty hard blow to the peace process.” The FARC called the attack a serious but isolated incident, and said it would continue to participate in the peace talks. The outburst of violence may threaten what had been promising developments in the peace process. On December 20, the FARC declared a unilateral and indefinite ceasefire and promised to stop recruiting fighters under 17 years of age. The government and the FARC agreed to work together to find and destroy the thousands of land mines that have killed more than 11,000 civilians, including 1,100 children, during five decades of armed conflict. “It is a blow to trust in the peace process,” said Jorge Iván Cuervo, a researcher at the Center for Research and Special Projects (CIPE) of the Externado University of Colombia.. “A trust that is quite shabby. This contributes to undermine the negotiations and reduce the confidence of President Santos to continue the dialogue. In political terms it is a pretty hard blow to the peace process.” “Most of those who lost their lives were not able to react, died instantly,” Hoyos, dressed in muddy clothes, said the day after the assault as he met with Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzón at a Mobile Brigade 17 outpost in the village of Potrerito, near the scene of the attack. President Juan Manuel Santos decried the “deliberate attack” by the FARC and, within a few hours of the assault, ordered the Military to resume bombing guerrilla encampments. By ordering the bombardments, Santos lifted a ban he imposed in March to go in line with the peace talks and extended just a week before the attack. “In northern Cauca, specifically in the municipality of Buenos Aires there are activities related to illegal mining and smuggling routes, and the logic and dynamics that occur at this time in the Cauca are very distant from what is happening in Havana,” Cuervo said. “Once the attack is a fact the FARC can’t say that they have nothing to do with it.” last_img read more

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The Latest: Badminton suspends circuit to mid-April

first_imgThe Latest: Badminton suspends circuit to mid-April ___11:10 a.m.The Swiss hockey league will not have a champion this season.The league made the decision after canceling the season because of the coronavirus outbreak. It will be the first time since 1940 that no team will be declared champion.Games were suspended two weeks ago when the Swiss federal government prohibited large public events. ___11:20 a.m.The German soccer league has suspended its season, dropping a plan to play this weekend in empty stadiums.The league board says there is an increasing number of suspected coronavirus cases affecting German clubs.Three second-division players have tested positive for the virus. Bundesliga club Paderborn said its coach tested negative, hours before his team was due to play Fortuna Düsseldorf, and that it was waiting for test results from an unspecified number of players. It says the decision was taken in coordination with the health ministry and the International Olympic Committee.The handover of the Olympic Flame to the Tokyo organizing committee will go ahead as scheduled on March 19 at the stadium in Athens where the first modern Olympics were held in 1896.___11:50 a.m.Soccer in Scotland has been suspended following a similar move in England. The England cricket team’s test series in Sri Lanka has been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.The England and Wales Cricket board says it made the decision for the players to return home after discussions with Sri Lanka Cricket.England was set to play the first test of its two-test series on Thursday, with the second test set for March 27.The ECB says “we look forward to returning to Sri Lanka in the very near future to fulfil this important Test series.”The decision was announced with England playing in a test warm-up match against the Sri Lanka Board President’s XI. The final stage would have taken the race on a 113.5-kilometer (70.5-mile) loop north of Nice. Instead, the race will stop in Valdeblore la Colmiane.___11:10 a.m.The English Premier League has been suspended after three clubs put their entire playing squads in self-isolation because of coronavirus.The league had expected to continue with a full schedule this weekend with fans, but later decided to suspend all matches until April 3 “at the earliest.” 10:30 a.m.The Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Georgia, has been postponed until a later date. Augusta National did not indicate when the Masters would be played. That means there will be no golf at least for the next month. The Masters began in 1934 and only World War II has kept it from being played. This was the biggest shoe to drop for golf. The PGA Tour already canceled the next three events leading up to the Masters. Tiger Woods was to be going after his sixth green jacket.___ 10:25 a.m.Baylor University says it has told its entire baseball team and staff to self-quarantine after learning that three TSA agents in San Jose, California who tested positive for COVID-19 had “indirect contact” with the school’s travel party earlier this week. Baylor said the team will self-quarantine in Waco, Texas, or at their permanent residence. The school said no players, coaches or staff are showing any symptoms of the coronavirus. ___ ___10:45 a.m.India and South Africa have called off the two remaining one-day cricket internationals and decided to reschedule the series.The second ODI was scheduled to be played in Lucknow on Sunday and the third game in Kolkata on Wednesday. The first game was washed out by rain in Dharmsala earlier this week.___ He told owners the first positive test result by any player would be a game-changer and that the decision to pause the season came after that happened in the NBA.Unlike NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who said his league’s season would be suspended at least 30 days, Bettman would not put a timeframe on the NHL’s break. Bettman said several contingencies are being worked on about resuming the season and still awarding the Stanley Cup, but he would not give a definitive date on when that would have to happen or how long into the summer things could go.Bettman also said it is not the NHL’s independent call when to return to games and did not rule out the possibility of playing in empty arenas. He said games would only resume when the situation is safe.___12:30 p.m. ___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 The last remaining Six Nations rugby match was postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.The Welsh Rugby Union had earlier insisted its match against Scotland on Saturday in Cardiff would go ahead, but changed its mind by mid-afternoon.It’s the fourth match in the championship to be postponed and means the entire final round, scheduled for Saturday, is off.The Six Nations says “we have decided that it is in the best interests of supporters, players and staff to fall in line with recent measures taken across the U.K. and global sports industries.”It’s the first time the championship hasn’t been completed on schedule since 2001, when Ireland was hit by an outbreak of foot and mouth disease. ___11 a.m.The French soccer league has suspended all matches indefinitely because of the coronavirus outbreak.Matches were scheduled to be held in empty stadiums but the French league made its decision in an emergency meeting a day after President Emmanuel Macron addressed the nation on television.No indication has yet been given as to when the league could resume. The league says it will next meet on Tuesday following a UEFA meeting. Spain has declared a state of emergency for two weeks to try to contain the virus.___11:50 a.m.NASCAR and IndyCar have each called off their races this weekend. NASCAR was scheduled to run Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway without spectators but said Friday it is calling off this weekend and next week’s race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.IndyCar was scheduled to open its season Sunday on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, but suspended it’s season through the end of April. Four races are affected. The Bahrain and Vietnam Grand Prix races have been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.The Bahrain GP was scheduled to be held next week — at an empty track — and the inaugural Vietnamese GP was set to be held in Hanoi on April 5.The first four races of the Formula One season have all been called off. The season-opening Australian GP and the China GP were previously postponed.No new dates have been set for the races but governing body FIA says it expects to begin the F1 season in May when it reaches Europe with the Dutch GP.___ England also has tests scheduled at home against West Indies in June and Pakistan in late July and August.___11:15 a.m.UEFA has postponed all Champions League and Europa League games because of the coronavirus outbreak.The quarterfinal draws in both competitions, scheduled for next Friday, have also been postponed. 6:20 p.m.Sampdoria has announced that four more of its players have tested positive for COVID-19 as well as a club doctor.The club says after forward Manolo Gabbiadini tested positive on Thursday, it carried out tests on defender Omar Colley, midfielder Albin Ekdal, forward Antonino La Gumina, and midfielder Morten Thorsby, who all had light symptoms, and they also tested positive.Sampdoria says they are all in good condition in their own homes in Genoa. The same applies for club doctor Amedeo Baldari.The rest of the team, as well as the staff and directors, are also in self-isolation at home. The club’s offices and training facilities have been closed and all sporting activity has been suspended. March 13, 2020 ___5:10 p.m.The London Marathon scheduled for April 26 has been postponed to Oct. 4.“We know how disappointing this news will be for so many — the runners who have trained for many months, the thousands of charities for which they are raising funds, and the millions who watch the race every year,” event director Hugh Brasher said.Previously, coronavirus fears have forced the Barcelona Marathon originally scheduled this Sunday, to be postponed to Oct. 25, and the Paris Marathon on April 5 to be shifted to Oct. 18. ___2:50 p.m.The Giro d’Italia cycling race has been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.The first three stages of the Italian race were scheduled to take place in Hungary in May but the country has banned large outdoor sporting events. Race organizer RCS Sport says the entire race was postponed after they were informed by the organizing committee of the Hungarian stages that those three legs could not be held on the scheduled dates.RCS Sport says “all parties have agreed that they are determined to work together to enable the Giro d’Italia to depart from Hungary at a later time.” The decision comes four days ahead of a meeting to decide the European soccer calendar, including the possible one-year postponement of the 2020 European Championship.___3:35 p.m.The Board of Control for Cricket in India has decided to delay the start of the Indian Premier League T20 tournament by two weeks because of the coronavirus outbreak.The tournament will now start on April 15 instead of March 29. 4:55 p.m.Russia is offering to host more European Championship games as UEFA considers whether the tournament can go ahead.Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko says Russia, which hosted the 2018 World Cup, could hold more than its scheduled three group games and one quarterfinal match in St. Petersburg.According to state news agency Tass, Chernyshenko says “we absolutely could expand the tournament program.”He adds that “Russia is ready for however the situation develops, we have plans.” The Rome Marathon set for March 29 was canceled earlier.___12:50 p.m.National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman says players and staff have been told to stay away from the rink and self-isolate while the league is on a hiatus of uncertain length.Bettman said in a phone interview Friday with the Associated Press and the league’s website that, to his knowledge, no players or league employees have tested positive for the new coronavirus. But he added that he isn’t certain there isn’t someone who might not be feeling well and is awaiting test results. 1:25 p.m.The first three stages of this year’s Giro d’Italia cycling race in May will no longer be held in Hungary.Writing in a Facebook post, government commissioner Mariusz Revesz says the decision came because of the coronavirus crisis in Italy and Hungary’s declaration this week to ban large outdoor sporting events.Revesz says Hungarian and Italian race organizers would seek contract modifications so the Giro can start in Hungary some other time.___ ___1:55 p.m.The Greek Olympic committee says it is suspending the rest of its torch relay because of the “unexpectedly large crowd” that gathered to watch despite repeated requests for the public to stay away to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.The Hellenic Olympic Committee says a large crowd had gathered to watch the flame for the Tokyo Olympics pass through the southern Greek town of Sparta. The flame was lit Thursday at the birthplace of the games in Ancient Olympia in a pared-down ceremony.The committee says it took “the difficult but essential decision to cancel the rest of the program of the flame relay on Greek territory.” 1:20 p.m.German club Nuremberg says its whole team and coaching staff are going into quarantine for 14 days after defender Fabian Nürnberger tested positive for the coronavirus.The second-division club decided to conduct tests after two players from previous opponent Hannover tested positive for the virus.Nuremberg was due to play St. Pauli on Sunday but the club has asked the German soccer league to postpone the game.Hannover’s game against Dynamo Dresden on Sunday was called off after Hannover decided on Thursday to quarantine its players for 14 days. The World Synchronized Skating Championships have been canceled because of the coronavirus outreak.U.S. Figure Skating and the International Skating Union made the announcement Friday, citing concerns over the spread of the virus and the United States’ ban on travel from Europe.The event had been scheduled for April 3-4 at Lake Placid, New York.The World Synchronized Skating Championships had been held every year since 2000, including four times previously in the United States.___ The Scottish Football Association and Scottish Professional Football League say games are off until “further notice.”Six first-division games were scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, including the Old Firm game between Glasgow rivals Rangers and Celtic.___12:40 p.m.The Paris-Nice cycling race won’t finish in Nice because of the coronavirus outbreak, and will instead be stopped one day early at the end of Stage 7 on Saturday. The same suspension applies for the three lower divisions overseen by the English Football League and to England’s top two women’s divisions.Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, leading to the cancellation of the match against Brighton on Saturday. Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi also had a positive test on Thursday, while Everton said Friday that a player had reported symptoms consistent with coronavirus and said its squad was self-isolating.Two more clubs said some players or staff would isolate. Bournemouth said Friday that reserve goalkeeper Artur Boruc and four members of staff had symptoms consistent with the virus. Leicester said Thursday that three players had “extremely mild illness” and would self-isolate as a precaution.___10:30 a.m. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the coronavirus outbreak’s effect on sports around the world (all times local):5:45 p.m.The Badminton World Federation has suspended all tournaments from Monday to April 12. The tournaments affected include the Swiss Open, India Open, Orléans Masters, Malaysia Open, and Singapore Open.The suspension of the circuit comes into effect following the completion of the All England Open on Sunday in Birmingham.The decision severely impacts Olympic qualifying, which closes on April 30. The BWF previously said it will not change the qualifying window, but said on Friday it “will make a further announcement on regulations related to Olympic qualification points” later.___1:45 p.m. Everton is scheduled to play Liverpool in the Merseyside derby on Monday.However, it is increasingly likely all Premier League matches will be suspended. League officials are holding an emergency meeting to discuss future steps.___10:40 a.m.The German soccer league says it will play this weekend’s games as planned without spectators but may suspend the league as of Tuesday. Thousands of Paris Saint-Germain fans gathered outside the stadium on Wednesday during a Champions League game against Borussia Dortmund.Events with more than 1,000 participants were already banned in a bid to contain the virus outbreak.The rest of the Bundesliga’s 26th round was due to be played without fans present.___1:45 p.m. Associated Press The league board says it will propose a suspension through April 2, to be voted on by member clubs on Monday.All of this weekend’s games are due to be played in empty stadiums.Borussia Mönchengladbach played Cologne on Wednesday and although there were no fans in the stadium, hundreds assembled outside.The league asked fans “not to gather in front of the stadiums and to do their part to protect the population.”Second-division club Hannover has put its players into self-isolation after two tested positive for the coronavirus. Hannover’s game against Dynamo Dresden on Sunday has been called off. ___2:10 p.m.The first Bundesliga game has been called off because of the coronavirus outbreak.Bremen senator for the interior Ulrich Mäurer says Werder Bremen’s home game against Bayer Leverkusen on Monday won’t be played as scheduled.The game was supposed to be played without any fans in the stadium, but Bremen mayor Andreas Bovenschulte says the decision was taken to call it off because of fears that several thousand fans would have gathered outside the stadium. ___9:55 a.m.Everton has become the third Premier League soccer club to put its entire playing squad in quarantine after a player reported symptoms consistent with coronavirus.Arsenal and Chelsea announced similar measures on Thursday.Everton says the club is in regular contact with the player in question and is monitoring the wellbeing of all players and staff. Its training complex has been closed down along with its stadium, Goodison Park. ___12:25 p.m.The Real Madrid basketball player who tested positive for the coronavirus was American forward Trey Thompkins.The positive result prompted Madrid’s basketball and soccer teams to enter quarantine because they share some facilities at the club’s training center.Thompkins wrote on Twitter he was “feeling great and just waiting for the virus to pass.”last_img read more

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Enterprise now offering rentals to USC students

first_imgIn case Zipcar, Zimride, USC shuttles and Metro Transportation Authority buses weren’t enough options, students looking to get away from campus can now pick up a car from campus through a new partnership with Enterprise Rent-A-Car. The program, which launched earlier this month, offers students the chance to rent cars at discounted rates and allows them to pay a daily rate rather than an hourly rate. The program also offers a wide range of vehicles for students to choose from.The partnership began when Enterprise’s car-sharing program, WeCar, was brought to the attention of USC Transportation. Since USC already had Zipcar as a car-sharing option, discussions with Enterprise turned to longer-term car rentals, an unoccupied niche at USC.Enterprise and USC agreed to a two-year contract. USC receives no compensation for advertising and promoting Enterprise.Tony Mazza, director of USC Transportation, said the program is not meant to compete directly with Zipcar, since the two programs differ in flexibility and duration of rentals.“There are situations where an hourly rate is not a cost-effective option: for example, students wanting to plan a weekend trip,” Mazza said. “Additionally, we don’t have vans or trucks as our Zipcar vehicles. Students may need a minivan or a 15-passenger van for a group trip, or a truck for moving equipment or personal items.”Zipcar charges an annual $35 membership fee for students and rents by the hour or day. The cheapest hourly rate is $8, while the cheapest daily rental is $66. The cost includes insurance, fuel and 180 driving miles.Enterprise does not have such a membership fee and rents by the day, week or month. Its fleet contains a broader range of vehicles, including trucks, SUVs, minivans and luxury cars. The cheapest daily rental, which includes unlimited mileage but not fuel, is $44.99. Those 18-20 years of age can rent but must show proof of insurance, according to Mazza.Mazza said he thinks the program will be successful because of its accessibility, ease of rental and the USC discount.“Enterprise has a minimum age requirement of 18 with no additional fees, which differs from most car rental companies,” he said. “Enterprise [only] requires you have a valid driver’s license in any state or an international permit, which we think is a huge benefit for students. Our USC branch also offers special rates for faculty, staff and students when they present their USCard.”Enterprise officials are also optimistic about the partnership.“We’ve had a great response — rentals were particularly up during spring break,” said Lisa Martini, a public relations representative for Enterprise. “The cost-efficiency, the convenience, as well as the recognized relationship we have with so many of the students, faculty and alumni at USC make the on-campus rental branch a great opportunity — and partnership — for everyone.”Some students, however, do not see Enterprise as an appealing method of transportation.Kunal Bhan, a freshman majoring in biological sciences, said he does not believe Enterprise’s longer rental options are suited to college students.“It’s cool with more places to rent cars from, but I think people will probably still stick with Zipcar, since it’s cheaper [for short periods of time] and easier,” Bhan said.Other students said that it is good for students to have another option.“Before it was only Zipcar. I guess this is good because you get to choose,” said Kent Kobayashi, a freshman majoring in mathematics. “Though personally, I wouldn’t use it because my friends [would] have cars.”Some said they think the Enterprise program will be useful for longer trips.“I think it’s a good idea because it’s a lot more affordable for people to rent at a flat [daily] rate,” said Kelsi Halverson, a freshman majoring in theatre (design). “If you need a car all day, it would cost more to rent hour by hour.”Students can rent a car from the Enterprise campus office, which is located in Parking Structure X near the Transportation office. The office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.last_img read more

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DraftKings to capitalise on Supreme Court’s betting ruling

first_imgDraftKings, a fantasy sports platform, is looking to cash in on the Supreme Court’s ruling on the authorisation of sports gambling in North America – according to Jason Robins, CEO.The company has been building its betting platform since July 2017 and expects it to be ready at the latest in September of this year.DraftKings has a whole host of sports available for its users to get involved with; esports is one of the 10 fantasy sports available. According to Robins, esports is dwarfed in popularity by sports such as American Football, Basketball, and Baseball – but it’s growing rapidly.Speaking to CNBC, Matt Kalish, CRO of DraftKings revealed that esports was actually the fasting-growing category DraftKings offered in 2017 with League of Legends entry rates rising 59% up from what it was in the previous year. He also noted that the numbers are on track to grow beyond that in 2018.Kalish stated in the interview: “We are certainly aware of how fast the sport has grown. One of the reasons we believe esports could be much bigger on DraftKings is we haven’t really penetrated to the full breadth of games.”One factor that should be considered when mentioning that esports is DraftKing’s least popular category is that the platform only accommodates for League of Legends, not any other title. Popular games, which are often considered ‘top tier’, such as Dota 2, Overwatch, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Hearthstone are all safe choices should the company branch out any time soon.DraftKings, back in 2016, was set to merge with its main rival at the time, FanDuel. Ultimately the merger fell through because the Federal Trade Commission realised the combination of the two would control 90% of the market share. Since then, FanDuel has lost two co-founders and has quietened, which means DraftKings will likely be happy with itself that it’s managed to stay around until this point.DraftKings previously had a number of partnered teams in esports, including the likes of compLexity Gaming, SK Gaming, Cloud9, Counter Logic Gaming, Team SoloMid, and Mousesports.Esports Insider says: The new ruling certainly opens up the potential for betting and fantasy sports sites to operate with the industry, but nothing is clear just yet. We’re intrigued to see the result of DraftKing’s betting site and just how they capitalise on their own self-found growth of interest in esports.last_img read more

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Prez. Sirleaf Orders Forensic Audits

first_imgPresident Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has ordered a full scale investigation including comprehensive audits of all seven projects supported by the Japanese Counterpart Value Funds based on the recommendations of the Ministry of Justice.According to an Executive Mansion release, Madam Sirleaf ordered the “full scale investigation” following the receipt of preliminary investigation reports by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Cllr. Benedict Sannoh, on the slow pace of implementation and allegations of financial improprieties in some of the seven social and economic development projects supported by the Japanese Government.These projects include the Institutional and Human Resource Support Project under the department of International Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the construction of three bridges in Grand Cape Mount County managed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs; the construction of five storage facilities and the Paddy and Seed Rice Project, Phase two managed by the Ministry of Agriculture; and the LIFE and Small Medium Enterprise (SME) Projects managed by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.President Sirleaf has further mandated the General Auditing Commission (GAC) to expeditiously conduct a comprehensive forensic audit of the finances of the projects, while the Ministry of Justice will continue its investigations into the implementation of the projects, in close collaboration with the GAC and relevant institutions with the view to identifying and subsequently prosecuting those who may be culpable for any improprieties.These actions are intended to prevent impunity, protect the integrity of the projects, induce transparency and accountability in their implementation, and to ensure that the developmental objectives contemplated under these projects are achieved.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Chelsea Ladies star relishing Japan trip

first_imgStriker Eniola Aluko believes Chelsea Ladies’ trip to Japan for the International Women’s Club Championship will ensure the team are ready to hit the ground running when the Women’s Super League returns next summer.Aluko and co finished seventh last term but have moved quickly to ensure they are a force to be reckoned with in the 2014 season, with England international forward Rachel Williams joining Emma Hayes’ squad.The signing of Williams will add some much-needed steel to the Chelsea side, who now possess a strikeforce to rival any in the country with Aluko and world player of the year nominee Yuki Ogimi already on the books.But before the trio take to the field domestically there is the small matter of the IWCC later this month and next with Chelsea locking horns with teams from Japan, Australia and South America in the Mobcast Cup.And England regular Aluko, whose brother Sone plays for Hull City, can’t wait to take to the field in Japan as Chelsea Ladies represent Europe in the now annual competition.Williams could be key player for Chelsea“It will be a great test, especially against the Japanese teams.  Their retention of the ball and their ability to keep the ball is impressive,” she said.“They play the game in the way it should be played, the Barca-style ‘tiki-taka’ which everybody is trying to emulate.“It’ll be interesting to play against those kinds of teams. Emma Hayes is a big proponent of that style of play so it’ll be interesting to match ourselves against them.“We’ve come off the back of what was a really poor season. We didn’t reach the expectations we needed to.“We lost far too many games. I think we need to really quickly put it behind us and remember what it felt like.“The last thing you can do when you have a bad season is dwell on it. You can only change it and that’s what the coaching staff have done.“They’ve recognised what we needed and what we were missing and they’ve added to it.“I’m really encouraged. I’m going to use the bad experiences and turn it into good energy and do well next season.’Aluko has been a mainstay of the England team since making her debut at the tender age of 17, while she also represented Team GB at the London Olympics last summer.The 26-year-old recently scored in the 4-0 win in Turkey, which leaves England top of their 2015 World Cup qualifying group with four wins from four under the stewardship of caretaker boss Brent Hills.And after a disappointing European Championships in 2013, that saw manager Hope Powell lose her job, Aluko is confident England are back on track and is looking forward to the challenges ahead.“It’s been good for the last three months to look back on wins and put the Euros behind us,” she added.“It’ll be good now to hear who the new manager is going to be so we can crack on.“It’s not really new but it’s certainly a different style. He’s a lot more relaxed, well, it’s a different person.“He has a lot of focus the tempo and energy of play. He’s played some of the younger players in the games and they’ve done well“I’ve got four in four since the Euros and six in eight for England this year. I think I’ve had a strong year, probably the strongest that I’ve had for a long time and my performances have been pretty consistent.”See also:Chelsea Ladies sign Brazilian midfield starChelsea Ladies sign Japan World Cup starChelsea Ladies star sees bright future for women’s football in EnglandChelsea Ladies star shortlisted by Fifa’Excited’ Williams joins Chelsea LadiesChelsea Ladies to head to Japan for Women’s Club ChampionshipChelsea Ladies sign another England 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 Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

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Delhi Univesity VC Dinesh Singh unveils welfare plan at a packed open house

first_imgVice-Chancellors facing screaming students is a usual sight. What made Delhi University V-C Dinesh Singh different was the tenor of the students’ reaction. They were cheering and clapping for their ‘rockstar’ V-C who promised them the best of facilities on campus during his tenure.It was a students’ day out at DU’s Rugby Stadium on Saturday. The V-C doled out a number of plans to make the university more student-friendly and an ‘exciting place to be’.An acclaimed mathematician and acknowledged speaker, Singh managed to draw a staggering 3,000 students on a lazy Saturday morning. It’s the kind of crowd only rock shows and DJs can pull on north campus. But Singh is nothing less than a rockstar for the students.His deep voice, flawless speech, knowledge and a humble demeanour make him a crowd-puller. The way he recites Sanskrit shlokas or narrates a story about the freedom struggle gives away his knack for gaining knowledge.A product of Delhi University himself, Singh shares a special bond with the students. On Saturday, he spoke in immaculate Hindi, ensuring the students that he was one of them and was thinking for them. His statements were complimented with loud cheers and thunderous applause.Close to completing two years in office, Singh is fast becoming the most popular face not just on north campus but in far-flung colleges too.He was literally mobbed by the students at the stadium as each one of them sought his attention.”Aaj kisi ne toh hamare bare mein socha (at least someone thought about us),” said second year student Nisha Ghai to her friend.advertisement”He is so tall and speaks so well,” her friend replied.A day after gifting cricketer Unmukt Chand another chance to study BA Programme at St Stephen’s College, Singh assured the students that he had something for everyone in his kitty.”We are planning to distribute free tablets with preloaded books to students with special needs. Such students will also be allowed to travel free on the Delhi Metro.Through the Equal Opportunity Cell of the university we have made sure that the reservation for the differently abled in hostels is increased and they can stay there for free,” Singh said.The top demand of the students was a hostel for each college.Singh, who was the director of south campus before taking over as the vice-chancellor in November 2010, announced that a new hostel was coming up for the south campus students too. A 1,500-seat hostel near north campus has already been completed.For sportspersons, he announced free travel in air-conditioned train coaches and a tie-up with New Zealand University for sports coaching. “We are already sending our women’s soccer team there for coaching for one month,” Singh said.Examination is one area where DU has only managed a toe-hold.But Singh promised that from the next examination, all students will get their results within three weeks of their last paper.When a student from Maharaja Agrasen College asked him why teachers could not check papers correctly in one go, Singh said, “From next time, you will not require any re-evaluation. We will get each script checked by three examiners.”The session with the V-C was not all about academics. He invited the students to the stadium again for the forthcoming three-day festival- ‘Antardhwani’. “All colleges will participate.We will invite bands. There will be music and poetry. And no college will hold classes during those three days,” he announced. Singh shared his plan to offer internship to 100 students every year at the Cluster Innovation Centre. “I have a grandfather clause to make that happen,” he said.The V-C managed to strike a chord with the students. “It’s not every day that you get a chance to come face-to-face with the vice-chancellor. The good part is, he chose to address us in Hindi making many students open up without any fear,” said Sanya, a second year student of BA (honours) History.Singh was pleased with the students’ response. “I have been talking to students a lot these days. They become very happy if you lend an ear to them.Today they all wanted to speak to me on different issues and I made sure to hear most of them out. One direct benefit of such an experience is that my team of deans and deputy deans is getting to explore different aspects of a students’ life.We were all exhausted after the session but we went straight to our office and worked the rest of the day,” said Singh.advertisement”I will now meet the parents on Sunday. I want to make them realise they are all stakeholders. I will do my best but they all have to contribute too,” Singh added.The V-C is going to announce the formation of a ‘DU Parental Platform’ on Sunday, which is likely to operate online as well as on ground. “We want a platform where parents can send in their complaints and suggestions,” Singh said.last_img read more

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