Irving confirms he did not talk to LeBron about trade request: ‘Why would I have to?’

first_imgEthel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ No more menthol cigarettes: New ban on tobacco, vape flavors View comments 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 Former teammates Kyrie Irving (left) and LeBron James  AFP/GETTY IMAGES FILE PHOTOKyrie Irving and LeBron James will share the court on opening night of the 2017-2018 NBA regular season next month. But for the first time in a long time, it won’t be as teammates.Irving recently demanded his way out of the Cleveland Cavaliers and got his wish when he was traded to the Boston Celtics.ADVERTISEMENT Winter storm threatens to scramble Thanksgiving travel plans LATEST STORIES Trump to designate Mexican drug cartels as terrorist groups Austin, Ravena lead PH team in 2017 FIBA Asia Champions Cup Argentine bishop appears at court hearing on abuse chargescenter_img Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Appearing on ESPN’s “First Take,” the 25-year-old guard confirmed that he did not speak with LeBron about his trade request, nor did he feel obligated to do so.“Did you speak to LeBron James or talk to LeBron James before you and your representatives met with ownership before you let them know you wanted out?” host Stephen A. Smith candidly asked the four-time All-Star.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games opening“No. Why would I have to?” Irving responded, prompting Smith to say that LeBron might have taken it personally.Without mentioning his former teammate’s name, Irving calmly explained his side: “I don’t think you owe anything to another person in terms of figuring out what you want to do with your life.” MOST READ “And it’s not anything personal, I’m not here to tirade anybody, I’m not here to go at any particular person or the organization, because I have nothing but love for Cleveland. I have nothing but love for the times that I spent there. It’s nothing about that.”After mostly keeping to himself since the trade went down, Irving further explained his motivations behind leaving Cleveland.“It’s just there comes a time when you mature as an individual. It’s time to make that decision,” he shared.“And there is no looking back from that standpoint. There is no time to figure out how to save someone’s feelings, when ultimately you have to be selfish in figuring out what you want to do. And it wasn’t about me not wanting to win. It wasn’t anything about that. I want to be extremely, extremely happy in perfecting my craft. And that was the only intent that I have in all of this.”  Khristian Ibarrola /raADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextlast_img read more

Season of change

first_imgView comments LATEST STORIES Fellow beauty queens Aya Fernandez (NorthPort), Kylie Verzosa (San Miguel Beer) and Michele Gumabao (Blackwater) will also join the parade. Volleyball’s most popular star, Alyssa Valdez, will march alongside NLEX, while Olympian Jasmine Alkhaldi is set to join Gumabao with the Elite. Up-and-coming actresses Klea Pineda and Yam Concepcion will represent Alaska and Phoenix while Sharon Cuneta, one of Philippine cinema’s biggest stars, is Magnolia’s muse.TNT, Columbian, Meralco, and Rain or Shine have yet to reveal their selections.It will be a season of change in the PBA.Marcial, on his second season as commissioner, said that the league will implement three tweaks to its rulebook in an effort to bolster the overall quality of the games.First, goaltending will now be reviewable throughout the match. Second, traveling guidelines will mirror that of Fiba. Lastly, coaches will now be allowed to sue for time verbally.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening There will be a lot of changes when the Philippine Basketball Association opens its 44th season on Sunday. One thing remains constant: Barangay Ginebra is still the league’s most popular squad.And in a bid to get some sort of a momentum rolling off a massive opening-day revelry, the PBA has tasked the Gin Kings to kick off the Philippine Cup against the TNT KaTropa—after the crowd-favorites enter the court with former Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach.ADVERTISEMENT The biggest change this year could be the league embarking on its longest season.“It could span for 13 or 14 months,” commissioner Willie Marcial said during a presser at Conrad Hotel in Pasay on Tuesday. “This would be a first time for the PBA.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsThe new season is looking at an expanded schedule to accommodate the final Fiba window and a possible Philippine stint in the basketball World Cup during the first half of the year. The country’s hosting of the Southeast Asian Games, meanwhile, will also potentially squeeze itself into the league’s busy schedule.Wurtzbach is one of the celebrity muses who will parade with the teams on opening day at the 55,000-seater Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan. LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño Azkals flaunt quality under continental spotlight Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issuecenter_img SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH 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 Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion MOST READ Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion “It’s to improve and to hasten the games,” Marcial told the Inquirer. “We want to match the international style of play.”Four games are slated in the provinces with the league also set to mount overseas games.“Before the PBA opens the new season, the past year’s top individual achievers will be honored in the Leo Awards.Amid the sea of change, there will be a return to old ways. The annual All-Star showcase will revert to a single-location format. It will be held in Calasiao, Pangasinan, from March 29 to 31.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola?last_img read more

Legendary voice of Italia 90 Brackley passes away

first_imgTributes have poured in for the commentator Peter Brackley following his passing at the age of 67.Brackley, who worked at multiple World Cups for ITV and Sky including Italia 90, but is perhaps most fondly remembered as the voice of Channel’s 4 Football Italia programme, was also known for his long association with Brighton and Hove Albion, who announced his death on Sunday evening.Albion chief executive Paul Barber, in a statement on the club’s website, passed on their condolences and added: “So many of us here knew Peter well. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! “He was a hugely talented, knowledgeable, funny and, above all else, a good man. We will miss him.”Brackley established himself on BBC local radio covering the Seagulls in the early seventies, before moving to Radio London where he commentated on the 1982 European Cup Final.He later made the switch to television, where he became a recognisable presence on screens helming coverage of the 1990 World Cup for Sky and Serie A for Channel 4.Aside from his work as a broadcaster, Brackley also provided the commentary in the Pro Evolution Soccer videogame series and voiced fellow pundit Jimmy Greaves on the satirical puppet show Spitting Image.We’re saddened to hear about the passing of commentator Peter Brackley, one of the evocative voices of @channel4’s Football Italia coverage in the 1990s.This one’s for you Peter ⚽️🇮🇹— Channel 4 Sport (@C4Sport) October 14, 2018Everyone at ITV Sport is deeply saddened by the news that broadcaster Peter Brackley has passed away. Peter worked at four World Cups for ITV Sport and will forever be remembered as a very talented broadcaster. Our condolences go out to Peter’s family.— ITV Football (@itvfootball) October 14, 2018Think Peter Brackley probably meant as much to my generation – thanks to Football Italia, and Pro Evo – as Brian Moore did to the one prior. A soft, warm, funny voice, one that was part of my life for years. Really sad news.— Rory Smith (@RorySmith) October 14, 2018last_img read more

Ivan Lendl jetting in to save Andy Murray’s season ahead of French Open

first_imgWorld number one Andy Murray is all set to work closely with his part-time coach Ivan Lendl before the French Open in a bid to arrest his recent slump in form.The British maestro’s struggle to find a consistent run of form continued as he slumped to a shocking straight-set defeat to Borna Coric of Croatia to bow out of Madrid Open on Thursday.Murray has barely seen Lendl since losing in the fourth round of the Australian Open in January.However, Lendl would be arriving in Europe for a week before the Roland Garros tournament and the pair would work together for the whole three weeks on grass that precedes Wimbledon.”I speak to him pretty much every Monday, I spoke to him three times the week before Monte. I speak to him maybe a couple of times per week,” Sport24 quoted Murray as saying.The 29-year-old, however, ruled out that coaching situation is a reason behind his recent slump in form.”This time last year I was predominantly with Jamie (Delgado), nobody else,” he added.”I stopped with Amelie (Mauresmo) here last year and things went very well on the clay, so that’s no reason why things may not be going well right now. There’s no blame on anyone, it’s down to me,” he added.The French Open is slated to be held from May 22 and runs till June 11.last_img read more

Pune girl aims to cycle around the globe solo and set a record

first_imgMumbai, Dec 31 (PTI) Nineteen-year-old Vedangi Kulkarni wants 2018 to be a special year. The last few months of 2017 have seen her clock hundreds of kilometres on bicycle, almost every day, in pursuit of her dream.She now wants to be the youngest and fastest woman to cycle around the world by completing a 29,000-km journey solo and unsupported within 130 days.It will take her across all continents, except South America and Antarctica, and put her through the most testing conditions that exist on the planet.This is definitely not the rosy stuff the dreams of 19-year-olds are made of.”It is going to be super cool, I am very excited about it,” a nonchalant Vedangi, who studies sports management at Bournemouth University, told PTI recently before setting out on a 1,400-km training ride from Mumbai to New Delhi.Call it her way of ringing in the New Year.The young cyclist, who hails from Pune, plans to start her record attempt in June 2018 from Perth in Australia, and has divided the campaign into five phases. In the first phase she will cycle across Australia upto Brisbane, from where she will take a flight to begin the second phase from Wellington to Auckland.From Auckland, she will fly to Anchorage in Alaska, and cycle eastward to Montreal.Then a flight to Lisbon, and she will start the most arduous part of her ride — a 14,520-km leg across Europe and Asia which will take her through 10 countries before reaching Ulan Bator in Mongolia. Then she would fly back to Perth, the start-finish line.advertisement”There are certain laid-down norms (by Guinness World Records) in order to qualify (for getting into the record book for cycling around the world). I am only adhering to them,” she said.Paola Gianottis 2014 record of cycling around the world in 144 days will certainly be on her mind. In the mens category, Mark Beaumont holds the record for completing the journey in 78 days. To date, no Indian — man or woman — has attempted to break these records.A keen footballer in her school days, Vedangi got hooked onto cycling, courtesy a ride in Himachal Pradesh. She followed it up with a solo ride along the Manali-Leh- Khardungla top-Drass route in 2016.After arriving in the UK for a sports management course, her plans to attempt a world record began to take shape. Every weekend and vacation was spent logging hundreds of kilometres on bike.”I met very interesting people and read a lot before finalising my plans. You need help because of the huge amount of logistics involved, and I am alone all through the journey,” she said.In New Delhi, she will try to meet potential sponsors and also government officials, whose help would be needed for the paperwork needed to cross continents on two wheels, solo. PTI AA KRK GK RDSlast_img read more

Oklahoma State experiencing all-time five-year win total

first_imgPeteWhen I posted last week about the best programs in the country over the last five years a reader asked that I look back at all the five-year stretches in school history.I thought that was a terrific idea so I went back to the inception of the program in 1914 and looked at all the 5-year stretches after that.Here’s a look, first, at total win percentage since seasons in the 1920s consisted of five games — probably because you had to traverse the Red River in a covered wagon to play teams from Texas.Here’s a look:Wins2The five best stretches:2009-13: 77 percent2008-12: 75 percent1984-88: 75 percent2007-11: 74 percent1983-87: 71 percentThe only other stretch OSU won more than 70 percent of its games was 1941-45 which ended with that immortal 33-13 win over St. Mary’s in the Sugar Bowl.The worst five-year stretch ever is 1991-95 (25 percent). Those five seasons consisted of 14 wins. Fourteen!Here’s a look at the chart a different way, in terms of total wins:Wins1The years are pretty much the same:2009-13: 50 wins2008-12: 49 wins2007-11: 48 wins1984-88: 44 wins2006-10: 43 winsThe only other five-year stretch that saw OSU win 40+ games was the 1983-87 era when it won 42 games. The Pokes, by the way, need to win nine games this season to stay at “50 in the last five years” at this time next year.In a lot of ways those 1980s win totals might have been more impressive than these in the 2000s because you didn’t have conference championships (the Big 8 did “one true champion” first!) and only played 12 games including the bowl game.Pretty much any way you look at it, though, these Gundy Era seasons are the golden years of OSU football. These numbers are something that didn’t surprise me given that I’ve lived through them but gave me a greater appreciation for just how far we’ve come.Photo Attrubution: USATSIIf you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!last_img read more

Harry Kane scores twice as England beat Malta and move closer to World Cup

first_imgA reasonable argument could be made that it is always self-defeating to turn on the players. Yet it was also true that the team should have been making a better job of exerting their authority and the dissent was audible again before half-time, this time manifesting itself in boos after a misplaced pass from Kyle Walker. Shortly afterwards Dele Alli managed a shot on target and there were exaggerated cheers. “Fish and chips,” the Malta hardcore chanted back, confusingly.It was a strange evening, all things considered, and Malta’s manager, Pietro Ghedin, made the point that his team’s late capitulation was simply a case of one team’s superior fitness. “Physically we were out,” he said.The burst of goals certainly came as a surprise because the game had been drifting aimlessly towards its conclusion until Bertrand let fly from almost 30 yards and Andrew Hogg, Malta’s goalkeeper, lost the flight of a dipping shot to let in the second goal.After that England looked as if they could score with every attack. Welbeck, one of England’s second-half substitutes, nipped in front of Hogg to make it 3-0 with a measured volley from a right-wing cross and then Kane, England’s most impressive player, finished the scoring with a powerful finish from an unmarked position 10 yards out.It did not feel like a rout but the finale did at least make it a much more satisfying evening from England’s perspective. It was just a shame, perhaps, that most of their supporters had gone long before the end. Out of 3,700 England fans, at least two-thirds had disappeared. Has there ever been an England game with such a mass walkout? And has there ever been a 4-0 win for this team when the crowd has turned on the players this way? Gareth Southgate praises England players for courage in Malta win match reports Malta 0-4 England: five talking points from the 2018 World Cup qualifier Read more Share on Twitter The best thing that can probably be said about England is that they won convincingly thanks to the flurry of goals in the closing exchanges, when they scored three of their four in all. Yet the lingering memory of this night might be the sight of England’s supporters taking down their flags and heading towards the exits with 20 minutes still to play. Those disaffected fans ended up missing most of the fun but the mood at that time could probably be summed up by the reaction to the second-half pitch invader. “Sign him up,” came the chant from the away end. Topics Share on LinkedIn Share on Facebook It was an edgy night on that front and there were times in the first half when it seemed as though England might be straying dangerously close to the kind of mutiny that provided the backdrop when Iceland were the opponents in Euro 2016. Instead, an awkward, stodgy night was given a slightly deceptive appearance by the goals in the last four minutes from Ryan Bertrand, Danny Welbeck and Harry Kane, scoring his second of the night.England duly moved closer to qualifying for the World Cup and, on paper, it looked like a rout. In reality it did not feel that way. The goal rush told only part of the story and the mass walk-out at 1-0 was just another indication that there is a long way to go before the relationship between the team and supporters has been repaired.Malta, to recap, had already let in five against Scotland in their opening qualifying match at the Ta’ Qali stadium. The nation at the bottom of Group F are currently 190th, out of 211 teams, in Fifa’s national rankings and had won only five competitive matches in 55 years of trying. Easy? Well, one might think so judging by the final score but it would be exaggerating to say England found it straightforward making their superiority count.At half-time the game was still goalless and, half an hour in, there was the indignity of Malta’s fans poking fun at what they saw. England’s supporters digested what they had heard then came back with a variation of the same chant. “We’re fucking shit,” it went, over and again.At that stage it did not feel as if this was a team edging closer to World Cup qualification and for many of the travelling supporters it was plainly an indignity to be drawing against a side featuring a centre-half from Ebbsfleet, currently 13th in the National League. World Cup 2018: complete guide to all 736 players Malta England Share on Messenger World Cup Read more World Cup 2018 Read more Share via Email Share on Pinterest Southgate’s response at half-time was to remove Raheem Sterling and introduce Marcus Rashford as a like-for-like replacement on the left side of England’s attack on a night when Jordan Henderson was re-acquainted with the captain’s armband.At least Kane’s first goal, after 52 minutes, arrived early enough in the second half to change the mood for the better, just as it was starting to look as though Southgate’s players might be allowing anxiety to creep in.Alli had the first chance to shoot inside a congested penalty area but, with several defenders closing him down, he had the presence of mind to delay, size up his options and then realise Kane was in a better position to his left.The Tottenham centre-forward took a touch to steady himself and turned the ball past Hogg with a low right-foot drive.A few minutes earlier Malta’s captain, Andre Schembri, had flashed a shot narrowly wide of Joe Hart’s goal. Samuel Magri had another go as Malta tried to find a quick equaliser but, on the whole, they were obliging opponents.Hart did not have to save a single effort on target and, by the end, some of the England fans who had headed off early might have wished they had stuck around longer. World Cup 2018 qualifiers Share on WhatsApp Reuse this contentlast_img read more

Brigid Kosgei shatters world marathon record, Cherono wins men’s race

first_imgBrigid Kosgei shatters world marathon record, Cherono wins men’s raceBrigid Kosgei of Kenya broke Paula Radcliffe’s 16-year old women’s world record marathon time with 2:14:04. Kenyan Lawrence Cherono sprinted past Ethiopian Dejene Debela to win the men’s race.advertisement Reuters ChicagoOctober 13, 2019UPDATED: October 13, 2019 21:02 IST Brigid Kosgei celebrates as she crosses the finish line to win the women’s marathon. (Reuters Photo)HIGHLIGHTSBrigid Kosgei broke Paula Radcliffe’s women’s marathon world record when she ran two hours, 14 minutes, four secondsKosgei set a blistering pace from the start to shatter the previous record of 2:15:25 which Briton Radcliffe set in 2003Cherono clocked an unofficial two hours, five minutes, 45 seconds to add to his Boston Marathon titleKenyan Brigid Kosgei broke Paula Radcliffe’s women’s marathon world record when she ran two hours, 14 minutes, four seconds at the Chicago Marathon on Sunday.Kosgei set a blistering pace from the start to shatter the previous record of 2:15:25 which Briton Radcliffe set in 2003.Kenyan Lawrence Cherono sprinted past Ethiopian Dejene Debela to win the men’s race. Cherono clocked an unofficial two hours, five minutes, 45 seconds to add to his Boston Marathon title.Debela was a second back as British defending champion Mo Farah placed eighth in 2:09.58 and Galen Rupp failed to finish.The race was the first for Farah and Rupp since their former coach Alberto Salazar was banned from the sport for four years by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) for orchestrating and facilitating prohibited doping conduct,Salazar has said he plans to appeal against the ruling.For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted bySaurabh Kumar Tags :Follow Chicago MarathonFollow Brigid Kosgei Nextlast_img read more

Complaints filed against Vancouver police for targeting Downtown Eastside with bylaw infractions

first_imgAPTN National NewsVancouver police are targeting the poor people of Downtown Eastside with an abundance of bylaw infractions from jaywalking to public urination according to newly released information.According to a report, 95 per cent of some bylaw offences have been enforced exclusively in the troubled neighbourhood.Statistics show that 1448 tickets were given out in the Downtown Eastside under the Street and Traffic Bylaw over the last four years, with the next closest neighbourhood, the downtown core, receiving only 28 according to information obtained through a Freedom of Information request by two Vancouver organizations.The infractions range from vending, jaywalking, public urination/defecation and spitting.Wally Oppal, head of the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry, recently agreed in his final report that issuing such tickets creates a barrier between police and the poor.Oppal recommended police and the city should reduce the number of tickets they give out.As a result complaints have been filed against the police department alleging discrimination hoping to have them follow Oppal’s recommendations.“These tickets have many negative consequences for people in our community; increasing stress and anxiety among already marginalized people because they have a ticket they cannot hope to pay,” said Aiyanas Ormond, community worker with the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU), who along with Pivot filed the complaints.last_img read more

Screen time before bedtime may not harm teenagers

first_imgSpending time online, gaming or watching TV, especially before bedtime, may not damage young people’s mental health, finds a new research challenging previous notions on screen time. The study casts doubt on the widely-accepted relationship between screen time and well-being in adolescents. The research examined more than 17,000 teenagers and found that adolescents’ total screen time per day had little impact on their mental health, both on weekends and weekdays. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainIt also found that the use of digital screens 2 hours, 1 hour or 30 minutes before bedtime didn’t have clear associations with a decrease in adolescent well-being, even though this is often taken as a fact by media reports and public debates. “We found little clear-cut evidence that screen time decreases adolescent well-being, even if the use of digital technology occurs directly before bedtime,” added Professor Andrew Przybylski, at the University of Oxford. The team analysed data from Ireland, the US, and the UK and used a rigorous methodology to gather how much time an adolescent spends on screens per day, including both self-reported measures and time-use diaries.last_img read more

Ending visit to Sudan UN Security Council mission heads to Chad

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the mission, led by the British Ambassador to the UN, Emyr Jones Parry, also met with the UN country team and representatives of various non-governmental organizations (NGOs).Overall, three years of fighting in Darfur among government forces, pro-government militias and rebels have killed scores of thousands of people and displaced some 2 million others amid charges of massacre, rape and other atrocities against civilians. A small African peacekeeping mission known as AMIS has reduced some of the violence in Darfur but more troops, equipment and training are required to address the problems of the region, which is roughly the size of France.The Security Council is considering a transition to a United Nations force to be deployed in conflict-wracked Darfur. The UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) is already stationed in the southern part of the country helping to implement a peace agreement that ended a separate conflict there.The Council delegation was travelling to Chad’s capital, N’djamena, today and then on to refugee camps in Abeche and Goz Beida sheltering those who fled the violence in Darfur. The members would also visit internally displaced Chadians.The team is scheduled to go next to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where it will meet next Monday with President Joseph Kabila and his vice-presidents, before returning to UN Headquarters in New York.Meanwhile, the first wave of southern Sudanese refugees to return home from the DRC crossed the border at Morebo this week, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said. The convoy carried 224 of the 2,600 Sudanese refugees who have been living in the DRC.UNHCR noted that they have received only $10.6 million of the $75 million required for the repatriation process, which usual includes travel, stopping at transit centres and giving the refugees tools, food and reintegration allowances.The 21-year-long rebellion in southern Sudan destroyed roads, schools, boreholes and homes, killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced millions. UNHCR has been working in the region to clear roads of mines and rehabilitate facilities for the returnees. read more

Iraq UN mission concerned at upsurge in people displaced by recent violence

“Displacement is not a phenomena exclusive to any specific region, ethnicity or creed. Indeed, displacement since the 22 February bombing of the (Shiite) Samara shrine has equally affected all of Iraq’s diverse communities on a nationwide basis,” the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) said in a statement.“While addressing the immediate needs of Iraq’s internally displaced is critical, UNAMI stresses the need to focus on developing mechanisms to allow for the safe and dignified return of displaced Iraqis to their homes. Achieving this will be central to Iraq’s long-term stability,” it added.In an effort to support the Iraqi government in meeting the emergency needs of these people, the UN and its partners have distributed assistance to over 12,500 of the most vulnerable recently displaced families. It is estimated that there are 1.3 million IDPs in Iraq, nearly 5 per cent of the total population. While many were displaced as long ago as the early 1980s, the last four months of increasing violence and relentless sectarian tensions have resulted in the sudden mass increase. In the last fortnight alone, 3,200 families have fled Ramadi to neighbouring towns as a result of the military operations there. read more

Ukraine Alarmed by surging violence UN rights chief urges greater effort to

As she urged all sides to do more to resolve the crisis, especially in towns which have seen a recent surge in violent protests, Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, appealed to armed opposition groups to “stop all illegal actions, including detaining people and seizing public buildings in violation of Ukraine’s laws and Constitution.” She added that these “organized and well-armed groups” should lay down their weapons, free arbitrarily detained persons, and vacate occupied public and administrative buildings.Ms. Pillay also called on the Government to ensure that military and police operations are undertaken in line with international standards. “It is extremely important that the authorities themselves demonstrate full respect for the rule of law and scrupulously protect the human rights of all, including the Russian-speaking population,” the High Commissioner said.She also called on authorities to carry out “prompt, transparent and comprehensive” investigations into events in Odessa and Donetsk eastern regions, where dozens of people have been killed in recent days.Briefing reporters in Geneva, Ms. Pillay’s spokesperson, Rupert Colville, said the Office of the High Commissioner (OHCHR) is calling for authorities to undertake “inclusive and participatory dialogue” and to take “serious steps to halt the rhetoric of hatred and confrontation, before the situation spirals totally out of control”.Ukrainian officials have announced that the presidential election will be held later this month. It was originally scheduled for May of next year, but was brought forward following the political crisis in the country. The upcoming polls “represent the best opportunity for Ukraine to begin the process of reconciliation and stabilization,” Ms. Pillay said. She urged authorities to permit genuine peaceful demonstrations, both as a matter of international law and “as a release valve for people’s legitimate fears and frustrations”. The High Commissioner also emphasised the need to create an environment where freedom of expression and opinion are fully respected, allowing journalists the space to work.OHCHR teams are currently monitoring the human rights situation from five locations in the country and are due to publish their next report on 15 May. read more

The NFL Should Let 14 Teams In The Playoffs Instead Of Just

The NFL playoffs begin Saturday, and if recent reports are any indication, this season could mark the end of the 12-team postseason era. In March, the league will vote on whether to expand its tournament field to 14 teams for the 2015 season — after which the floodgates may open for further expansion in subsequent seasons.This is not necessarily a bad thing. The NFL playoffs are a TV ratings bonanza, and it doesn’t seem as though our appetite for football is waning (despite a trying year off the field). Plus, teams such as the Philadelphia Eagles, Buffalo Bills and Houston Texans — all of which missed the playoffs this season despite winning records — make a case for creating more playoff spots. (And the 7-8-1 Carolina Panthers hosting a home playoff game makes the case for re-seeding the field.)But which expanded format is best? As I’ve done in the past, I’ll take the perspective that the best format is the one that sees the most deserving team win the most often, using a Monte Carlo simulation to test playoff fields of various sizes.More specifically, I generated random preseason Elo ratings for every team (based on the historical distribution of real-life preseason Elo ratings) and simulated the real-life 2014 regular season schedule 1,000 times — an exercise similar to that performed by Doug Drinen in this classic post at the blog. For each of those simulations, I tracked the regular season standings, seeding the teams within each conference using simulated point differential as the tiebreaker.The preseason ratings represent the starting talent levels for every team, but they can go up or down depending on the simulated game outcomes, in accordance with the Elo formula. For instance, a team assigned an initial Elo below the league-average mark of 1500 could tear off an improbably great regular season and finish above 1700. That would be used as the team’s strength rating going into the postseason.For potential expanded fields of 14, 16, 20, and 32 teams, I tracked how often the most talented preseason and end-of-regular-season Elo team won the Super Bowl, as well as the average preseason and pre-playoff Elo ratings (and rankings) of the simulated Super Bowl champs. For comparison, I also ran this test for contracted fields of 2, 4, and 8 teams, as well as the current 12-team setup.Here’s a little more to help decipher that chart. When the playoffs contained just 2 teams, the average simulated Super Bowl winner had an Elo of 1565.3 before the season, which gave it an average ranking of 9.2 among the NFL’s 32 teams. Also, 12.8 percent of those Super Bowl winners were ranked No. 1 in the preseason. After the regular season was simulated, those teams averaged an Elo rating of 1690.1, with an average ranking of 2.5 within the league, and they led the league in post-regular season Elo 44.7 percent of the time. Finally, following the Super Bowl the average winner from our two-team-playoff universe had an Elo rating of 1711.6.Comparing those categories across all formats, the irony is that a BCS-style two-team playoff produces the most talented champion from the perspective of both preseason and end-of-regular-season Elo ratings. But since that’s clearly neither realistic nor desirable, it appears the 14-team bracket is the superior option. On average, it yields the most talented team of any expanded format, and enables that team to win the Super Bowl with quite a bit more frequency — perhaps due to first-round byes only being given to the top seed in each conference.Interestingly, a 14-team bracket also yields the best average post-Super Bowl rating for the champ among any format tested, expanded or not. (Granting that the current 12-team setup sees the better regular-season team win more often.) Based on this research, then, a 14-team playoff seems to strike the best balance between letting teams settle things on the field and putting the most deserving teams in a position to succeed. read more

Dog suicide bridge mystery solved by pastor who says smell of mink

The pastor, who runs a local centre for women in crisis, moved into the nearby Overtoun House with his wife almost 20 years ago and said that he had seen several dogs suddenly dive off the bridge.Despite Scotland being the “kind of a place where there is a lot of the supernatural” it is the smell of small mammals scurrying in the gorge which sends dogs into a frenzy and leads them to break off their leash.However Paul Owens, a religion and philosophy teacher, disagrees with the theory. Mr Owens has researched the dog deaths for 11 years and has even written a book about mystery, “The Baron of Rainbow Bridge: Overtoun’s Death Leaping Dog Mystery Unravelled”.He told the newspaper that a ghost “is behind all of this”. He even went as far as to identify it as, ‘The White Lady of Overtoun’ – the often-sighted ghost of a local woman who died in 1908 and never got over the death of her husband.In his book he also argued against the findings of David Sands, an animal behaviourist, who said that it was dogs’ limited perspective as well as a possible ‘scent theory’ that lured dogs to jump – yet even he admitted that the bridge had a “strange feeling”. For decades it has stupefied locals. One moment, they are out enjoying a walk. The next they are hurling themselves off a 50 foot bridge and plunging to their deaths on the jagged rocks in the gorge below.Now a pastor claims to have solved the mystery as to why hundreds of dogs have reportedly committed suicide by falling off a rural bridge: the scent of small mammals.Since the 1950s, Overtoun Bridge in Dumbarton, Scotland, has played host to a bizarre trend of canines leaping off it. Befuddled and grieving residents of the town, which is north west of Glasgow, have blamed everything from witchcraft to paranormal activity.However they remain united in their insistence that the historic stone structure is now known as the ‘dog suicide bridge’. There is even a sign telling walkers to keep dogs on the lead.Yet decades after the first recorded dog death, a Texan pastor living in a nearby manor believes he has the answer to expunge such supernatural theories.“The dogs catch the scent of mink, pine martens or some other mammal and then they will jump up on the wall of the bridge,” Bob Hill told The New York Times. “And because it’s tapered, they will just topple over.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

Hundreds crowd library terrace to share in eclipse experience

first_imgWhen Eugene Messer watched the 1979 eclipse, it wasn’t a mob scene like this year’s event.He went to the replica Stonehenge monument near the Maryhill Museum of Art, where Druids in costumes danced around chanting and burning herbs, he said.“They brought the sun back,” Messer of Vancouver said. “They were sure they did.”While Messer didn’t travel to the path of totality this time, he was happy to wait on line a few hours Monday morning to secure a good spot on the fifth-floor terrace at the Vancouver Community Library. The library was one of the most popular spots in the city for watching the eclipse on Monday, as an estimated 650-plus people visited, according to Jamie Bair, experiential learning librarian. The library had 400 pairs of eclipse viewing glasses to give out, all of which were gone about a half-hour after the library opened at 9 a.m. Some had lined up at 7 a.m.“It was imperative to us when we heard about the eclipse in January to plan something,” Bair said. “We have access to all these resources and we have room on the terrace and the lawn. We thought it was a great place for people to come together and learn.”On Monday, the library also had the NASA-TV stream of eclipse coverage playing in the Columbia Room when guests first walked into the building, along with a display of related books. In the lead-up to the eclipse, Bair said there was a noticeable increase in patrons taking out books about astronomy.The library also had paper plates on hand Monday to help make the eclipse glasses more adjustable.Kids, and adults, all over the library were walking around Monday morning with plates hanging off their faces. Some families, such as Renee Jacobson, Will Jacobson and Lorelei Jacobson of Vancouver, brought homemade eclipse viewing boxes. Will Jacobson made their viewing boxes out of Kix and Raisin Bran cereal boxes. Renee and Will Jacobson wanted to bring Lorelei, 3, out to see her first eclipse and create a memory they could all share.last_img read more

Valverde explains Messis Clasico role

first_imgBarcelona manager Ernesto Valverde revealed that he decided to drop Lionel Messi to the bench due to the “discomfort” he was experiencing.The Argentine forward has named on the bench for the first leg of Barcelona’s Copa del Rey semi-final tie against rivals Real Madrid on Wednesday night at Camp Nou due to a thigh injury.In Messi’s absence, Barcelona struggled to get past the Real defence after going a goal down early on through Lucas Vazquez.Valverde introduced Messi into the game on the 63rd-minute after Malcom had equalised for Barcelona.But the 31-year-old struggled to make an impact with the Catalan giants being forced to settle for a 1-1 draw in the first leg.“Leo is fine,” said Valverde, according to Marca. “But we prefer not to take risks in this time [of the season].“He had some discomfort and we decided it was for the best.”On the other hand, Malcom unexpectedly proved to be the star man for Barcelona in his Clasico debut after struggling for regular game time this season.The Brazilian winger made the most of the rare starting opportunity Valverde gave him and deservedly capped off a fine performance by scoring the equaliser.Sergio Ramos, Real MadridZidane reveals Sergio Ramos injury concern for Real Madrid Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Zinedine Zidane has put Sergio Ramos’ availability for Real Madrid’s trip to Sevilla next weekend in doubt after withdrawing him against Levante.“It was a difficult test because it’s a very special match,” said Valverde. “Malcom was connecting with his teammates very well.”The return leg between Barcelona and Real Madrid will take place on February 27 at the Santiago Bernabeu.To progress to the final, Barcelona will need to score at least one goal in order to retain their hopes of a fifth straight Copa del Rey title.“We have to score, it’s simple,” added Valverde.“The tie is open.”Next up for Barcelona is a trip to the San Mames to take on Athletic Bilbao in La Liga on Saturday as they bid to maintain their six-point lead at the top of the standings.📷 Our captain 💙❤️— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) February 6, 2019last_img read more

Updated Star Magazine Discontinues SlimFast Ads After BBB Challenge

first_img FTC guidelines on native advertising — which NAD references in complaints against both AMI and SlimFast — require that all forms of advertising, including native, be presented in a way that makes it clear to readers that the source of the content is an advertiser, and not the publication itself. Most importantly, no ads should appear similar in format to editorial content, and native ads should be clearly and conspiculously labeled “advertisement,” “sponsored,” or any of a number of other acceptable terms.  Online, however, a number of dubious articles, purportedly written by editorial staffers but almost certainly part of a paid SlimFast campaign, proliferate throughout AMI’s portfolio of websites, including,, and The absence of proper labeling on these stories is particularly notable given the presence of other articles on the same sites that clearly lie more in the realm of compliance, like this one for OK!, a series of workout tips sprinkled with product recommendations and labeled “promoted content.” We are very concerned about the defamatory headline and implication in your article, that falsely states AMI “pulled” SlimFast ads after a challenge from the Better Business Bureau. AMI did no such thing, and the press release by the NAD does not state otherwise. Rather, as both the press release and AMI’s statement make clear, AMI agreed to “discontinue” the advertising campaign in question. In fact, AMI received the NAD inquiry after the SlimFast advertising campaign at issue had concluded. Thus, while disagreeing with NAD’s position (as AMI’s statement in the press release makes clear), AMI saw no purpose in challenging NAD’s position because the ad campaign had been concluded. Referencing, specifically, the September 26, 2016 issue of Star, a December 21 decision by NAD reads, “The cover page referred readers [to pg. 58] of the magazine for an article titled, ‘Snack Your Way to Slim.’ … This cover story and article appeared to be editorial content but were in fact advertisements for SlimFast.” Additionally, “Sponsored Content” labels have since been added to the online posts referenced above. ► Further reading: A follow-up Q&A with NAD assistant director Laura Brett. Update: In response to this story, AMI provided the following statement. In response to a complaint filed by the Better Business Bureau’s National Advertising Divsion (NAD), AMI announced that it will no longer run SlimFast advertisements in Star using a format considered by NAD to be insufficiently differentiated from editorial content, misleading readers. NAD and the Better Business Bureau may have done AMI and ​Slim-Fast a small favor by allowing them to be proactive in discontinuing the ads; the FTC — which has come after everyone from Lord & Taylor to Instagram influencers in enforcement of its native ad policy in recent months — has the authority to levy fines of as much as $16,000 for each individual violation. It’s the first time NAD, which typically reviews claims made in advertising, has held a publisher responsible for the way native advertising is presented, according to a spokeswoman. This story was updated on Friday, January 13 at 12:50 pm. In addition to Star, American Media, Inc. publishes OK!, Men’s Fitness, and The National Enquirer, among others. The current January 16 issue of Star contains a two-page advertorial-style spread promoting various SlimFast products with a small “Advertising” label in the top-right corner.center_img Click to enlarge. AMI did not, however, “pull” any ads for SlimFast. The suggestion that it did damages AMI’s reputation not only with SlimFast, but with all of its advertisers because it falsely suggests that AMI believed it did something wrong or unlawful, which it does not. Cameron Stracher American Media, Inc. has agreed to discontinue certain advertisements that ran in weekly celebrity magazine Star amid claims that they don’t live up to industry transparency standards. The Sept. 16, 2016 cover of Star. “While the advertising itself was for SlimFast, the magazine was promoting the product on behalf of SlimFast when it published what appeared to be editorial content, but was, in fact, advertising,” the NAD spokeswoman explains to Folio:. “Any third-party that ‘persuad[es] the audience of the value or usefulness of a . . . product’ engages in ‘national advertising,’ as we define it, and is considered to be an advertiser for that product.” General Counsel — Media A deliberate misrepresentation of the source of the material, according to the FTC, is likely to affect consumers’ choices regarding the product advertised. In other words, readers are more likely to trust claims made in a publication’s articles than in its advertisements. Click to enlarge. In response, an official statement from AMI reads, “While American Media, Inc. respectfully disagrees with some of the concerns expressed by NAD, it appreciates NAD’s efforts and agrees to discontinue the challenged practice.” A second article, promoting SlimFast’s high-protein meal-replacement shakes, similarly resembled editorial content despite actually being a paid advertisement, according to NAD. Though presented as unbiased copy, the articles in question included claims directly from SlimFast marketing, like “clinically proven to lose weight and keep it off,” and “the superfast slim-down secret.”last_img read more

1 EME centre goes on green drive

first_imgSecunderabad: To contribute towards the ongoing drive, to address environmental issues and improve the ecology in the country, a tree plantation campaign was organised at 1 EME Centre, Secunderabad. In the first phase, 300 trees were planted here on Sunday.The plantation drive was done in collaboration with Mahaveer International, a Hyderabad-based NGO. The 300 trees planted include trees like peepal, neem and silver oak as well as fruit bearing trees such as pomegranate, custard apple and black plum. Brigadier Sandeep Bhalla, Commandant, 1 EME Centre planted a silver oak tree in the presence of a large number of military officers, JCOs, jawans and their families.last_img read more