Injured Caroline Wozniacki drops out of Strasbourg International

first_imgFormer world number one Caroline Wozniacki’s preparation for next week’s French Open suffered a huge blow after she retired injured from her opening-round match against American Shelby Rogers at Strasbourg International on Monday.Top-seed Wozniacki, who started the match with a 4-3 win-loss record on clay this year, failed to see off the first set as Rogers saved three set points to win 7-6.The Dane was trailing 0-1 in the second set when she called for a medical timeout, and later served a pair of double faults before deciding to withdraw.World number 55 Rogers, who reached the quarter-finals at Roland Garros last year, will face China’s Wang Qiang in the round of 16 on Tuesday.Wang defeated Risa Ozaki of Japan 6-4 3-6 6-3 in her opening round match on Sunday.last_img read more

Women’s Day Special: Against odds

first_imgWomen’s Day Special: Against oddsFrom a mountaineer who didn’t let patriarchy come in the way of conquering the Everest, to grandmothers who ‘shot down’ convention, a new Pad Woman and a divorce lawyer who overcame enormous difficulties – welcome to The League of Extraordinary Ladiesadvertisement Aasheesh Sharma New DelhiMarch 8, 2019UPDATED: March 8, 2019 12:37 IST Dadi CoolHidden between rows of sugarcane fields, Johri, an inconspicuous village that connects the western Uttar Pradesh towns of Baghpat and Baraut has shot into the limelight in the past few years. The faces behind this spurt in fame are Chandro Tomar 85 and her sister-in-law Prakashi, 82, the poster girls of the fight against patriarchy. If you ran into the sisters-in-law at Johri on a pakhdandi that divides two sugarcane fields, you may mistake them for genial grandmothers returning home with haystacks to feed the cattle. But make no mistake, their talent lies elsewhere: In exploding the myth that women, particularly after the age of 60, have little to contribute to society.Both of them took up the sport of pistol shooting as sexagenarians in the early 2000s at a range launched by Dr Rajpal Singh, president of the Johri Rifle Club. Prakashi and Chandro Tomar have inspired three generations of girls to take up pistol shooting in rural Uttar Pradesh.The enrolment rose after the Tomar grandmothers began practising there. Many of the girls who train at shooting academies at Johri and other villages in Baghpat such as Ranchad, Dadri, Binauli, Chaprauli and Katha, are daughters of brick kiln workers Two decades later, they’ve helped usher in a sporting revolution by inspiring three generations of women shooters to make their mark in the Meerut-Barot belt, once infamous for youngsters whipping out country-made pistols at the smallest provocation.As is expected of a champion from the hinterland, Prakashi Tomar’s fame isn’t built on medals or TV commercials. Her legend finds root in the anecdotes that resonate across the sugarcane belt. “She once defeated a deputy superintendent of police and he refused to come for the presentation ceremony saying he’d been slighted by an old woman,” says Neetu Sheoran, a Sports Authority of India coach.advertisementOf late, the media hype has again heightened with Anurag Kashyap announcing that he will produce a biopic inspired by the gunslinger grannies featuring Taapsee Pannu and Bhumi Pednekar. “The film has been named Saand ki aankh (bull’s eye),” says Prakashi’s daughter Seema Tomar, a seasoned shooting champion herself. How have the men reacted to women calling the shots in Johri? A few years ago, not many of the 25 girls training at the range would have been allowed to step out of home. “Shooting came as just the catalyst that women in Johri needed to break free from the diktats of patriarchal village elders,” says Seema.Conquering prejudiceAnita Kundu grew up in the sleepy hamlet of Faridpur in Haryana’s Hisar district, in a state perceived to be one of the worst places to be born for a girl child in India, back in the 1980s. The eldest of four siblings, Kundu loved being outdoors and playing with the boys. But at the age of 13, Ishwar Singh, the progressive father, died in a train accident. The responsibility of bringing up my siblings fell on my shoulders,” she says. “From cutting the crop to watering the fields, I did everything a son would have done,” she says. In 2017 Haryana Police sub-inspector Anita Kundu became the first Indian woman to climb the Everest from both the Nepal and Tibet sides.There was pressure on her family to get the teenager married, recalls Kundu. “With the man of the house gone, some villagers attempted to influence my mother to get her eldest daughter married. She sought my permission and I fiercely rejected the proposal. Being headstrong came to my assistance at that time,” she says. It is a trait that comes in handy if you are dreaming of conquering the Everest. In 2017, Kundu became the first Indian woman to have conquered the highest mountain in the world from both the Nepal side and Tibet, where the terrain is relatively treacherous and tougher. Her mental toughness also played a part in her success story in 2015, the last time she attempted to climb the Everest from the Chinese side. “An avalanche triggered by an earthquake at the height of 22,000 feet led to injuries to my team members. One of them died. None of those who were part of our expedition again attempted to repeat the climb, but I returned, two years later,” says Kundu.After mocking her for being headstrong, the people in her village look at her with new respect, says Kundu. “The biggest mountains to overcome in our society are prejudice and patriarchy.”From the divorce filesThere’S life beyond divorce and you can’t keep a doughty woman down could be Vandana Shah’s credo. Shah says people have limited patience for sob stories. More than a decade ago, when her husband and in-laws threw her out of their family home in the middle of the night, Shah was left to her own devices. “The sum total of my belongings was a dupatta and salwar kameez I was wearing and `750. I cried a little, gathered myself and took an autorickshaw to the residence of my former domestic help.”advertisement Celebrated lawyer Vandana Shah underwent a messy divorce before she bounced back.When Bobby, her help, saw her employer alight from the auto, she took her in without asking any awkward questions. “The way Bobby never judged me became the motto of our support group’. We are never judgmental about the person approaching us for assistance, psychological support or legal aid,” says Shah, considered one of the leading divorce lawyers in the country.Shah is best known as the lawyer Malaika Arora consulted before her divorce with Arbaaz Khan came through. “Divorce in India isn’t a private matter: everybody and their uncle is interested in it. The least you can do as a lawyer is stay sensitive to the privacy of your clients.” She may be known as a celebrity divorce lawyer, but the case that Shah derived the most satisfaction involved a couple from a lower middle-class economic background, whose son was dyslexic. “Three years into the divorce case, the woman was diagnosed with cancer. I ensured she got a decent financial settlement from her husband. It ultimately helped her daughter study in France.”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 byManisha Pandey Tags :Follow Women’s Daylast_img

The Top 5 Cheap Wines for Your Budget

first_img Editors’ Recommendations What’s Amphora Wine? A Primer on One of the Oldest Ways to Make Wine Everything You Need to Know About White Pinot Noir Pisco Cocktails are the Refreshing Balm You Need for the Dog Days of Summer Finding a decent wine isn’t a challenge if you have a large amount of cash to spend, but not everyone is ready to splurge on delectable spirits. If you’re one of the many people on a budget, you don’t have to settle for unsavory wine – there are several ways you can make your dollar go further at the liquor store. Here are the top five cheap wines for those who don’t want to give up quality and taste.1. Apothic RedThis rich, dense wine is a must for anyone who has a passion for reds, but happens to be strapped for cash. Apothic Red incorporates flavors of black cherry, vanilla and mocha to create a rich red wine that goes with everything from pasta to steak. Its creators blended Zinfandel, Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon to create its bold flavor, and it can be found at most liquor stores for about $10.2. Château de la Bourbinière Muscadet Sèvre et Maine sur LieThis white wine is the perfect drink for any meal consisting of seafood or poultry, bringing out the best of all flavors. Tom Cregan, wine director of Rouge et Blanc in New York City, believes it’s the best bang for your buck at around $11.“It has minerality, mouthwatering acidity, tart white fruit and a long finish,” he told The Manual.3. Cupcake Vineyards Moscato D’AstiLooking for a dessert wine that won’t overwhelm all of the flavors of your dish? The Moscato D’Asta from Cupcake Vineyards is a shoe-in, and you can find it at most liquor stores for around $10. This wine has hints of peach, lychee and tropical fruits that bring out the sweetness of every dessert.Related: Somm-File: Off-The-Radar Reds for Sultry, Wintery Nights4. Château Laborde Haut-MédocYou might automatically think, “Not in my budget!” when you hear the word, “Bordeaux,” but Cregan says that the Chateau Laborde Haut-Medoc is an affordable option for under $20 – not to mention, it delivers in the taste department.“The Château Laborde, Haut-Médoc 2009 has ripe, soft tannins, red cassis fruit and a touch of leather that make it an excellent pairing with steak and it won’t break the bank,” said Cregan.5. Le Grande Courtage Blanc de Blancs BrutYou don’t have to opt for a pricy bottle of champagne when you want a little bubbly – the Blanc de Blancs Brut is a primary example of how you can celebrate on a budget. For around $20, you can opt for this alternative to champagne, which has hints of apple and Meyer lemon.But how do you make it a point to select budget-friendly wine in the future that won’t shock your palate?“For me, a budget wine delivers the components of a quality wine at a reasonable price,” Cregan concludes. “Quality wines exhibit a sense of place, along with a balance of fruit, acidity and alcohol. Quality wines have a long finish, meaning you can still taste the wine after having swallowed or expectorated.”And with that, the bottom line is that you may just have to trust your own taste buds. The Best American Liqueur A Guide to Slivovitz, Eastern Europe’s Favorite Brandy last_img read more

88 NLFT rebels surrender in Tripura

first_imgAgartala: Eighty-eight members of the banned National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT), on Tuesday, surrendered to Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, three days after signing a tri-partite agreement in New Delhi with the Centre and the Tripura government. Accompanied by their 125 family members, NLFT members of the SD faction, led by Sabir Kumar Debbarma, also surrendered arms and ammunition at Ambassa in the Dhalai district, 100 km north of Agartala. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ The surrendered arms included 3 AK-47 rifles, 6 self-loading rifles, 4 Chinese rifles, 4 carbines, 4 pistols, 1,876 ammunition and other devices, like 16 time devices and 9 wireless sets. Deputy Chief Minister Jishnu Dev Varma was also present at the event. Addressing the event, the Chief Minister urged them to join the development process initiated by the state government with special thrust on education, health and infrastructure. “The rebels understood that they were on a wrong path and have joined the mainstream. We expect all cooperation from them for welfare measures undertaken,” Deb said. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K A a tripartite memorandum of settlement (MoS) was signed on August 10 between the Centre, the Tripura government and the NLFT facilitating the surrender. After the signing of MoS, the NLFT representatives also met Home Minister Amit Shah. According to an official release, the MoS was signed by Union Home Ministry’s Joint Secretary (North-East) Satyendra Garg, Tripura government’s Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Kumar Alok and Sabir Kumar Debbarma and Kajal Debbarma on behalf of the NLFT. “The government told the NLFT leaders that surrendered members would be given benefits as per the Surrender-cum-Rehabilitation Scheme, 2018 of the Union Home Ministry,” the release said. The Tripura government would help the surrendered rebels in construction of their houses, recruitment in government jobs and education of their children. According to the official release, the NLFT was banned under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act since 1997. The NLFT was involved in 317 violent activities in which 28 security force personnel and 62 civilians were killed in 2005-2015, it said. The peace talks with the NLFT were initiated in 2015 and the group had desisted from any violent activities since 2016. “The NLFT (SD) militants came to Tripura from their Bangladeshi camps earlier this month. They along with their family members are kept in safety in the Dhalai district,” a Tripura Home Department official told IANS. This is the third signing of peace accord with rebels in Tripura in three decades. In 1988, a tripartite agreement was signed with the outlawed Tripura National Volunteers (TNV). In 1993, the state government had signed a bi-partite accord with the All Tripura Tribal Force (ATTF).last_img read more

Rapid metro was showing profitability in recent months reveals audit

first_imgGurugram: Gurugram private metro that was seen as a solution to end the transportation problem of the city is presently at the juncture of being shut if the government does not take over it.The audit by the Haryana government however reveals that thing was not as bad as it seemed in the month of June and July the Gurugram metro had seen a rise in the number of commuters and income. An investigation is now being sought of whether there has been any financial irregularity or not. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderThe Rapid Metro, which is facing closure on account of financial crisis, recorded an operating profit of Rs 3.81 crore in the last financial quarter, shows a response sent by the operator, Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Limited (IL&FS), to the Haryana government which sought an inquiry into the finances of the privately-run service. The letter states that the service’s gross revenue for April, May and June 2019 was Rs 18.49 crore. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsThe revenue from passenger fare was Rs 8.40 crore, whereas non-fare revenue was Rs 10.09 crore. DLF Phase 3 sees the highest at 11,500 people a day, according to the survey. Rapid Metro has been breaking even on operational costs, which come to about Rs 6 crore per month. The financial liability/debt, they said, arises from additional loans and interest accrued by the service (at least Rs1,800 crore, according to the operator), which nullifies any profits. The mounting losses for Gurugram’s private metro have resulted in the pressure of the Haryana government to take over the Rapid Metro.last_img read more

Violent antisocial behaviour down sharply among Ontario students survey finds

first_imgTORONTO – Violence and other anti-social behaviour among Grade 7 to Grade 12 students in Ontario has dropped significantly over the past two decades, according to one of the longest-running mental-health studies of its type.In addition, results from the latest Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey being released Wednesday show a sharp overall drop in bullying, although cyberbullying remains a consistent problem.“This decline in risk behaviours over time parallels the declines seen in drug-using behaviours … suggesting a wider cultural shift to less externalizing or rebellious behaviours among young people today compared with previous generations,” the researchers from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health say. “Ongoing monitoring will determine whether these trends reflect more enduring changes or temporary fluctuations.”Other findings include 81 per cent of students saying they like school to some degree, with nearly half liking school quite a lot or very much.The survey of students has been done every two years since 1977, making it the longest ongoing school survey of adolescents in Canada and one of the longest in the world, the researchers say. More than 11,000 students in Grade 7 through 12 from 214 schools took part in last year’s edition.One of the most dramatic changes uncovered by the survey relates to the prescription of opioid pain relievers to students — an important finding given the current addiction and overdose crisis that has killed tens of thousands of people across North America in recent years. Over the past decade, medical use of prescribed opioids among students has plunged to 18 per cent from 41 per cent, the survey finds.Among concerning trends, the survey indicates a growing number of the students — particularly girls — have symptoms of depression and anxiety. In fact, the study finds, slightly more than half of female students in Ontario show signs of moderate to serious psychological distress — the first time that threshold has been crossed since the survey started tracking the issue in 2013.“Female students are more than twice as likely than males to report elevated stress, poor mental health, seeking mental health counselling, thoughts of suicide, and being prescribed medication for anxiety or depression,” said Dr. Hayley Hamilton, the survey co-lead.While 19 per cent of students rate their mental health as fair or poor — sharply higher since 2007 — more than half say theirs is very good or excellent.A key question for further research is the impact of technology on students’ well-being, in particular in light of the surge in time spent on social media in recent years.In total, 20 per cent of students said they spent five or more hours on social media a day — almost double the finding in 2013. One in 20 high school students reported symptoms suggesting they had a serious problem with technology — such as a loss of control, withdrawal symptoms, and issues with family and friends.“While the survey can’t tell us whether technology use causes mental health issues, or vice versa, there is some evidence from other studies that there may be a link,” said Dr. Robert Mann, also survey co-lead.When it comes to bullying at school, about one in five students reported being victims — down sharply from one in three since 2003. However, the same number reported being cyberbullied — unchanged from previous surveys.For the first time, the survey asked about concussions. More than one-third reported the injury in their lifetime, and 15 per cent — about 130,700 students — said they had experienced one in the past year — invariably from playing hockey or another team sport.The study also turned up marked differences between girls and boys. For example, males are much more likely to engage in daily physical activity and get at least eight hours of sleep. They are also more likely to be anti-social, gamble, or spend excessive hours playing video games. Girls, however, are more likely to report inferior mental and physical health, physical inactivity, and fears of harm at school.last_img read more

Provincial cabinet minister apologizes for race card comment about Innu Nation

first_imgST. JOHN’S, N.L. — A provincial cabinet minister in Newfoundland and Labrador has apologized for comments deemed racist by one of the province’s largest Indigenous groups.Environment Minister Perry Trimper apologized to the Innu of Labrador on Thursday after the group released an audio recording in which Trimper is heard saying the Innu are prone to “playing the race card.”The recording starts with a low-key voicemail message from Trimper to an Innu Nation staff member about drivers’ licences, but the recording continues to pick up a conversation Trimper has with someone after he fails to hang up his phone.Trimper later issued an apology to the grand chief of the Innu Nation, Greg Rich, and his executive assistant Dominic Rich, who received the message.Premier Dwight Ball issued a statement saying he also apologized to the grand chief, saying Trimper’s comments don’t reflect the views of his Liberal government.Ball says his government values its relationship with the Innu Nation and holds the group in the “highest respect.”The Canadian Presslast_img read more

One Indigenous mans six decade fight to exist on paper finally ends

first_imgAPTN National NewsA Yukon man can finally say he is Canadian.Donovan McGlaughlin has lived for 61 years with no paper trail to prove he existed.That is until a lawyer offered to help at no cost.APTN’s Shirley McLean has the story.last_img

Farmers look to capture carbon as warnings of climate shocks grow louder

Canadian farmers are cultivating some sustainable farming techniques that the United Nations’ latest climate change report identified as particularly useful for an industry it concluded must make drastic changes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a report last week warning that global food supplies are at risk from climate change and land degradation.One major conclusion was that the agricultural sector needs to rethink traditional practices, including producing less meat and more plants —which require less room to grow and produce fewer emissions — otherwise Canada will not be spared from the global impacts of food shortages and price shocks if temperatures continue to rise.Along with setting out the potentially dire consequences of inaction, the report also outlined some of the techniques that could both reduce emissions and reverse the trend.One of the most decisively helpful options was to increase the organic content in soil, by using the land to capture carbon — a practice an increasing number of Canadian farmers employ using a variety of techniques.Crop farmers have been working to capture carbon, which helps not just on the climate front but also for the sustainability and resilience of the soil, said David Burton, a professor in Dalhousie University’s department of plant, food and environmental sciences.  “It’s a rare example of one of the mitigation options that has really, really big positive advantages beyond greenhouse gas mitigation.”Decades of intensity farming have started to push down the organic matter in soil that helps keep it healthy and fertile and prevents erosion, he noted.“We’re realizing we can’t just push this thing to the max all the time, we’re going to have to start thinking about the condition of the soil.”A key technique for farmers is to no longer till the soil, so the organic matter isn’t disturbed and can properly break down.“That’s how soil organic matter forms, by leaving it alone,” said Burton.No-tillage seeding has grown significantly in the past two decades, from use in less than seven per cent of cropland in 1991 to 56 per cent in 2011.Manitoba farmer Wes Pankratz started using no-till many years ago and hasn’t looked back, though he said at the time there was a lot of skepticism about it.  He’s now trying to adopt some regenerative techniques that capture more carbon in the soil, such as growing a non-cash crop simply to add organic matter to the soil.Farmers using the technique often plant the non-cash crop after the fall harvest, but Pankratz said that a shorter growing season has led him to plant his in the spring, in amongst his wheat crop, hoping it will continue to grow after the harvest.“If you can build up the soil organic matter, your soil will be healthier, you can maybe grow a reasonable crop with a lot less inputs, which is good for the bank account as well as the environment.”Pankratz said it’s still early days for him, but hopes he can make it work.“When zero-till first came in, it just almost seemed impossible, and now we’re getting into regenerative agriculture and hopefully we’ll get that figured out too.”The UN report and others have targeted cattle production for its methane emissions, but Canadian farmers are finding ways to use regenerative practices to help the grazing grounds capture more carbon to help offset greenhouse gas emissions from that sector.Blain Hjertaas, a livestock farmer in southeastern Saskatchewan, was an early adopter after he decided conventional farming techniques weren’t sustainable.“Agriculture is basically destroying our planet the way we’re approaching the system,” he said.Hjertaas uses a practice that involves letting the cattle forage in a controlled area, then moving the herd to another area every day. It allows the cattle to spread fertilizer and stimulate growth in the prairie grasses, which are then left to re-grow for two to three months until they approach waist height.“The principle is: keep it green as long as possible, so we always want tall grass,” said Hjertaas.The scientific community is still debating the benefits of regenerative cattle farming. But Hjertaas said his techniques have him capturing more carbon than the animals produce.“It’s not the cattle, it’s our management that’s the problem. To concentrate them all into a huge feedlot, that’s an ecological disaster.”Hjertaas said farmers tend to be traditional and slow to change, but financial incentives could go a long way to making the switch and overcome cost and uptake challenges.  “I’m all for a carbon tax, we need to tax bad behaviour. But what’s missing is we need to reward the good behaviour.” Ian Bickis, The Canadian Press read more

Davos UN rights chief stresses leading role of businesses in ending LGBTI

Speaking at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said that “companies that take action to end discrimination and support LGBTI communities can be a motor for change.”The standards, developed by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), draw on good practice from around the world, setting out actions that can be taken by employers.These include eliminating unfair treatment against LGBTI people in the workplace, making sure business operations do not contribute to discrimination against customers, suppliers or members of the public, and working with business partners to address discriminatory practices up and down the supply chain. These standards provide the most comprehensive set of benchmarks for responsible corporate behaviour on LGBTI issuesThey also encourage companies to stand up for the rights of LGBTI people in the countries where they operate – including through advocacy and support for local organizations.“These standards provide the most comprehensive set of benchmarks for responsible corporate behaviour on LGBTI issues. A company of any nationality, size and location or sector can find no better vehicle to correct inequities and end discrimination brought about by prejudice,” Mr. Zeid said.The High Commissioner was speaking at a panel discussion titled “Free and Equal: Standing Up for Diversity”, which also included Vittorio Colao, Vodafone Group Chief Executive Officer, and Jin Xing, Choreographer and Founder of the Jin Xing Dance Theatre Shanghai, and was moderated by Zanny Minton Beddoes, Editor-in-Chief, of The Economist magazine.The Standards of Conduct build on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, adopted by the UN Human Rights Council in 2011. They are the product of a year-long process of consultations facilitated by the OHCHR and the Institute for Human Rights and Business.Nineteen more companies have joined a growing list of early adopters, including Airbnb, Airbus, AXA, Barilla, Bloomberg L.P., Cisco Systems Inc., Gol, Hermes Investment Management, Lloyd’s, Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics – North America, Marriott International, MAS Holdings, Nasdaq, New York Life, Santander Group, Tesco, Trillium Asset Management, Unilever, Vert Asset Management, and Xerox. read more

The St Louis Cardinals Picked The Right League To Cheat In

Only in baseball can $2 million in cash, plus the Nos. 56 and 75 overall picks in the draft, seem like chump change. That’s what the St. Louis Cardinals were forced to give the Houston Astros as punishment for hacking into Houston’s scouting database several years ago. All told, it was an unprecedented penalty to be levied against a baseball team for an unprecedented act of espionage.Yet compared to cheating scandals in other sports, the Cardinals got off easy. Using the various draft-value charts floating around in the sports analytics blogosphere, let’s compare the relative value of the picks St. Louis relinquished with the consequences of some of the NFL and NBA’s biggest cheating scandals in recent memory. (We’ll put aside any monetary penalties, simply because each sport has its own salary structure, making those kinds of cross-league comparisons difficult.)According to research conducted by The Baseball Analysts, a sabermetric blog run by Rich Lederer, the 56th and 75th picks in the MLB draft tend to produce about 4.9 wins above replacement over their careers. How much is that? Losing 5 WAR over, say, a 10-year span decreases the average team’s odds of winning at least one World Series in the decade by 1.4 percentage points.1Based on a logistic regression for MLB teams since the 1994 strike.By contrast, consider the New England Patriots. For their role in Deflategate, they were stripped of the No. 29 pick in the 2016 NFL draft, plus a fourth-rounder (let’s say No. 1302That’s the final non-compensatory pick of the fourth round, which would go to the Super Bowl champion; our Elo prediction model currently favors the Patriots to beat the Falcons on Super Sunday.) in 2017. According to Chase Stuart’s draft value chart, those picks tend to produce about 43 total points of approximate value over their careers, the loss of which over a decade would cost a team 4 percentage points from their odds of winning at least one Super Bowl in that span.3Based on a regression since the NFL playoff field expanded to 12 teams in 1990. I also assumed a replacement-level NFL player would produce about 6 points of AV over that span. And the Patriots’ penalty for Spygate seven seasons earlier — losing the 31st pick in the 2008 draft — would lop 3.2 percentage points off a team’s odds of winning at least one championship in a 10-year period.(Similarly, the New Orleans Saints’ Bountygate scandal, which cost them a pair of second-round picks, carried a penalty that would decrease the average team’s odds of winning a Super Bowl over the next decade by a whopping 4.4 percentage points.)The granddaddy of all league-imposed draft-pick sanctions probably belongs to the Minnesota Timberwolves, who lost five first-rounders for an under-the-table agreement with forward Joe Smith that attempted to circumvent the NBA’s salary cap rules. Although two of the picks were eventually restored, those that weren’t were worth about 61 career win shares, according to research by Basketball-Reference.com founder Justin Kubatko.4Note that it’s impossible to reconstruct exactly where the Wolves would have drafted in an alternate universe without the penalty, because the sanctions changed their roster for years to come. But going from their actual records, they would have owned the No. 13 pick in 2001, No. 23 in 2002 and No. 28 in 2004 — which add up to a value of 61 WS. Losing that many wins over a 10-year period5While also adding back in the roughly 8 win shares generated by replacement-level players. would reduce an NBA team’s championship odds for the decade by 6.5 percentage points — a crushing blow that helps explain why Kevin Garnett had to leave Minnesota to win his first championship.In light of those comparable scandals in other leagues, the Cardinals got away with a relatively light slap on the wrist. But then again, in a sport where the World Series favorite only has a 15 percent chance of winning it all in any given year, every single point of championship probability counts. Share on Facebook read more

West African gold and iron ore – a mining boom in one

first_imgGold mines in Mali are an underexploited treasure trove for commodity investors, the supervisory board chairman of German-listed Pearl Gold told Reuters in an interview, Mineweb reports. International Mining will publish a comprehensive review of West African mining in its August issue, examining dozens of projects in gold, iron ore and more. All the iron ore majors – such as ArcelorMittal, BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Vale are there. Gold projects abound. “Mali is certainly one of the most promising locations for gold mining at present,” Robert Goninon said in the Reuters interview. “Other countries like Guinea, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Ghana offer lucrative gold mining opportunities too. Contact john@im-mining.com for more information.“Mali’s political stability and legal framework sets it apart from its neighbours,” he added. Regulation in Mali ensures that both nationals and non-nationals can exploit deposits under the same conditions — a privilege not always granted to foreign investors. Pearl Gold, a holding company listed on the Frankfurt stock exchange at the end of 2010, focuses on investments in West African exploration and mining corporations, especially in the field of gold and other precious metals. It already holds a 25% stake in Malian company Wassoul’Or S.A, which operates the Kodieran mine that it believes to contain about 1.75 Moz of recoverable gold.“Our short-term aim is to start industrial-scale gold production in Kodieran,” Goninon said. Pearl Gold is also eyeing other mines as acquisition targets, he said, but declined to name specific mines or companies.Wassoul’Or was founded by the respected Malian businessman Aliou Boubacar Diallo to operate the Wassoul’Or mine. Located in Kodieran, Wassoul’Or is one of Mali’s promising mining companies with well developed logistic and infrastructure facilities (300 km gravel roads southeast of Bamako). It put in place a pilot plant with a capacity of 1,000 t/d which was successfully operated for a period of 12 months in order to optimise the processing and the commissioning of the effective production plant of 11,000 t/d which is to be built within the next few months. The project is well advanced and has a relatively short time line to effective production.last_img read more

Oxfam says Peru torture settlement highlights urgent need for mining reform

first_imgAs Peruvian president Ollanta Humala takes office on Thursday, he should take specific and concrete steps to help resolve ongoing mining-related conflicts, says Keith Slack, Oxfam’s Extractive Industries Program Manager. “Last week, Monterrico Metals agreed to pay compensation to 33 farmers from Peru’s northern Piura department for torture and other human rights abuses suffered after a 2005 protest at the Rio Blanco copper mining project. The farmers alleged that the company, now a subsidiary of Chinese conglomerate Zijin Mining, was complicit in the violence carried out by Peruvian police. The company denies any wrongdoing (indeed, there’s no mention of the settlement on the company’s website). Oxfam produced a video which can be viewed below on the incident in 2010. The video tells the moving story of Cleofé Neyra a farmer who participated in the protest and was beaten by police. “The Rio Blanco settlement highlights the urgent need for incoming Peruvian president Ollanta Humala to move quickly to address Peru’s ongoing mining-related conflicts, which are threatening the viability of the country’s mining sector. In late June, five people were killed in another round of anti-mining protests in the southern province of Puno. This followed previous mining protests in April in Arequipa in which three people were killed. This cycle of violence, which we first documented two years ago, has become untenable. Humala has the power to put a stop to it if he acts quickly and wisely and brings people into his government with the appropriate knowledge and skills.His first order of business should be to adopt a consultation law, which will effectively regulate how indigenous communities, who often bear the brunt of mining’s impacts, are consulted prior to the commencement of mining operations. Under international law, indigenous peoples have the right to be consulted and to grant or withhold their consent for projects going forward. This doesn’t mean an automatic ‘veto’ right, but instead means that communities get an opportunity to participate in an informed way in decision-making and that their opinions count for something in the decision that is ultimately taken. Currently (and somewhat amazingly) Peru, unlike its neighbors Bolivia and Ecuador, does not have a legal framework for guiding how these consultations should be carried out. (See a recent report we sponsored on this subject.)Secondly, Humala needs to work with local governments and civil society to build capacity and participatory processes for deciding how mining revenues should be spent at the local level. Under Peru’s ‘canon minero’, half of all revenues generated by mining are supposed to go back to mining-affected areas. This sounds good in principle, but in reality this money rarely makes it back from Lima, or if it does, there is little government capacity to spend it on productive activities and so it ends up getting blown on what some in Peru call ‘cementos’, i.e. cement projects, like soccer stadiums, plazas and fancy government buildings (all of which have their uses but do nothing to promote poverty reduction). Building this capacity will be even more important if government revenues increase via a windfall tax on mining profits that Humala has proposed.Third, Humala should decree that the Ministy of the Environment – and not the Ministry of Energy and Mines – should have final say over approval of environmental impact assessments (EIAs) for mining projects. EIAs, which document the potential impacts of a mining project on water, land and other resources essential for rural communities’ livelihoods, are critical information for communities’ making informed decisions about whether or not to accept mining. As of now, the Ministry of Energy and Mines retains final authority for approving these documents. This is a direct conflict of interest, and one that serves to undermine the confidence that communities have in these documents and the government’s ability to independently hold companies accountable for protecting the environment.Fourth, the new president can work to promote what civil society groups call the ‘zonification’ of the country, i.e. creating areas in which mining may be acceptable and others where for reasons of social and/or environmental sensitivity, it is not. The establishment of these ‘no go’ zones can help avoid conflicts at the beginning by not allowing companies to push projects in areas where fears of their impacts will almost inevitably lead to conflict and violence.Finally, Humala can break cleanly from his predecessor Alan Garcia and decriminalize protests against mining and other extractive projects. Garcia pursued an aggressive strategy of harassment and prosecution of mining activists, often on trumped up charges. Humala can reaffirm his government’s respect for peaceful protest as a legitimate expression of a community’s views and concerns. Protests and opposition to mining projects should never be subject to the kind of police repression and violence that occurred at Rio Blanco in 2005.“As I noted in an earlier posting, there is hope now among Peruvian civil society that Humala can help the country break out of the cycle of violence and protest that is affecting the mining sector. To do so, however, he needs to act quickly and decisively, even if that means provoking the wrath of the country’s entrenched mining elite. If he takes the right actions, he can help bring the benefits of this dynamic sector to all Peruvians, and at the same time ensure that the horrors of Rio Blanco in 2005 are never again repeated.”last_img read more

Two deaths reported after World Cup stadium accident

first_imgUpdated 17.05TWO PEOPLE HAVE been killed, and another injured, following an accident at the stadium in Sao Paulo that will host the opening match of next year’s FIFA World Cup, authorities say.“The initial toll of three has been revised downward to two and one injured person was rushed to hospital,” a police spokesman told AFP.Reports from the the scene claim that a crane fell across the metallic structure at the Arena Corinthians stadium, still under construction, bringing part of the stand crashing to the ground.Corinthians, the club who are set to move into the stadium after the World Cup, issued this brief statement on their official website:“The board of Sport Club Corinthians Paulista greatly laments the accident earlier in Corinthians Arena. No other information at this time.”Images on the website of Brazilian newspaper Estadão show the aftermath of the damage, as well as a crowd gathered at the scene.FIFA’s deadline to have all 12 venues ready is next month, but this accident looks set to delay the delivery of the Sao Paulo ground, which was considered to be almost finished before this setback.Additional reporting by AFP.- Originally published at 17.00Robbie Keane on the mend after Achilles injury surgeryDerby hero Long glad of fan support as Baggies contract talks stalllast_img read more

La Chine admet être le premier émetteur mondial de CO2

first_imgLa Chine admet être le premier émetteur mondial de CO2Pour la première fois, la Chine a reconnu hier son statut de premier émetteur mondial de gaz à effet de serre. Une vérité scientifiquement établie, que le pays s’était jusqu’alors refusé d’admettre.”Nous occupons désormais la première place mondiale en volume d’émissions (de gaz à effet de serre)”, a déclaré lors d’une conférence de presse à Pékin, Xie Zhenhua, le négociateur en chef chinois sur les questions climatiques. Etabli par la communauté scientifique comme par des organisations internationales telles que l’Agence internationale de l’Energie (AIE), ce fait n’avait encore jamais été reconnu par la Chine qui insistait sur son volume d’émissions par habitant. Avec 1,3 milliard de Chinois, le pays se place en effet loin derrière les pays développés lorsque ses émissions de CO2 sont rapportées au nombre de ses habitants.À lire aussiLa messagerie cryptée Telegram victime d’une cyber-attaque, la Chine pointée du doigtLa question demeure toutefois extrêmement sensible. Le fait que la déclaration de Xie Zhenhua ait été supprimée de toutes les transcriptions officielles de la conférence de presse suffisent à le prouver. En outre, Xie Zhenhua a tenu à réaffirmer que les pays développés, et notamment les Etats-Unis, se devaient de jouer un “rôle moteur” lors des négociations sur le réchauffement climatique qui s’ouvriront la semaine prochaine à Cancun. Le pays refuse d’endosser une responsabilité qui n’est pas la sienne, rappelant que ce sont les pays développés qui ont engendré la situation actuelle.Un an après l’échec de Copenhague, les délégations de près de 190 pays seront réunies au Mexique du 29 novembre au 10 décembre prochains. A défaut de conclure un accord contraignant, ils tenteront de poser les bases d’un traité qui succédera en 2012 au Protocole de Kyoto.Le 24 novembre 2010 à 16:01 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

BBC on Mackie Departure Rumors Tune In to Find Out

first_imgStay on target HBO Max Scores Exclusive ‘Doctor Who’ Streaming RightsJo Tro Do Plo Plo No: ‘Doctor Who’ Welcomes Back Familiar Monster The BBC on Tuesday responded to rumors that new Doctor Who companion Pearl Mackie will leave the series after one season.The actress, set to debut as Bill Potts on April 15, is reportedly leaving the sci-fi program later this year, alongside departing lead Peter Capaldi and showrunner Steven Moffat.The British Broadcasting Company, however, remains mum, telling Radio Times that “no casting decisions” have been made beyond season 10.Mackie’s exit would create a clean slate for incoming boss Chris Chibnall, who has been equally tight-lipped about his work on the show.“We never reveal the fate of individual characters on the show,” a BBC spokesman told Radio Times. “Viewers will have to tune in to find out. We are still filming series 10, and no casting decisions have yet been made on series 11.”BBC WorldwideIt’s not unheard of, of course, for the Doctor’s traveling mate to stick around for only one season. Donna Noble (Catherine Tate) appeared in the 2006 Christmas special and series four, bowing out at the “Journey’s End.” The same is true for some classic companions, including Katarina (Adrienne Hill), Polly (Anneke Wills), Liz Shaw (Caroline John), Tegan Jovanka (Janet Fielding), and Peri Brown (Nicola Bryant).Mackie’s future on Doctor Who has been in question since Capaldi announced his retirement from the TARDIS in January. A cryptic trailer hinting at Bill’s fatal ending (“I’m having the time of my life, and I wouldn’t miss it for the world—even if it kills me”) hasn’t exactly helped the matter, either.But it’s hard to get behind the news of Mackie’s farewell before she’s even stepped into the blue box.All this speculation, meanwhile, also suggests an end to Nardole, the Twelfth Doctor’s alien associate. Played to bumbling perfection by Matt Lucas, the character first appeared in 2015 and ’16 Christmas specials “The Husbands of River Song” and “The Return of Doctor Mysterio,” respectively. Lucas reprises his role in the upcoming season.“He’s not just there on a whim,” the actor said in December. “He has a job to do. All that becomes apparent throughout the series.”Stream all of Doctor Who now for free with your Amazon Prime membership.last_img read more

Apple Might Be Making a Video Game Streaming Service

first_img iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro Have More Cameras, More ProblemsApple Arcade Launches Next Week Everyone wants to know what product category Apple with disrupt next. The House of Jobs has already transformed how we use phones and tablets. But the long-rumored Apple car seems all but dead. So what’s the next new innovation out of Cupertino? It may be how we get our video games. A recent report in Cheddar claims Apple might be working on its own video game subscription streaming service.Streaming services are the battlefield for today’s everlasting content wars. And while Apple products might be great ways for accessing those services, Apple doesn’t really have a non-music service of its own to compete unless you really love original Apple content like Carpool Karaoke and sanitized versions of Dr. Dre’s life story. Hopefully A24 can make some Apple films worthwhile.But whereas streaming services for movies and TV might be pretty saturated, streaming video game services are still ripe for new contenders since companies are still figuring out this more complicated concept. Microsoft has gotten tons of goodwill with its Xbox Game Pass service. Google’s Project Stream is bringing AAA console games to browsers (and perhaps some upcoming Google hardware). But Apple could still beat them all to become the Netflix of video games, and based on these early potential publishing plans that is what they hope to do.However, as with all Apple video game initiatives, I’m cynical until proven otherwise. Even if Apple doesn’t cancel this service before it even gets off the ground, it could end up being the same halfhearted mess that was gaming on the Apple Watch and Apple TV. The App Store on iOS devices had the potential to be this fantastic creative democratic frontier for gaming. And for years it was. I was there covering it all! But these days the mobile scene in general is just a free-to-play wasteland with an audience that demands nothing better and parent companies that are content raking in dough using exploitative casino tactics on children.For Apple to make a great video game streaming service worth subscribing, they have to prove for the first time they actually care about video games. So we’ll see. For more on Apple check out this wireless charger for your iPhone and Apple Watch and consider entering the #ShotOniPhone photography competition. Stay on targetlast_img read more

Nandan Nilekani walks in as Infosys nonexecutive chairman What happens now

first_imgNandan NilekaniReutersAfter staying away from Infosys for over eight years, co-founder Nandan Nilekani on Thursday was appointed non-executive chairman of the company.Speaking on an investors’ call on Friday morning, Nilekani said: “I plan to be here as long as necessary and I will not be here as soon as as I’m not necessary.”Joined @Infosys at 26, re-joined it at 62. Life does turn full circle!— Nandan Nilekani (@NandanNilekani) August 25, 2017Soon after Nilekani took the charge on Friday morning, a rejig in the company board started with co-chairman R Seshasayee and former CEO Vishal Sikka, along with independent board members Jeffrey Lehman and John Etchemendy.Another co-founder, Ravi Venkatesan, also stepped down from the company board, but would continue in the board as independent director.After Sikka resigned as the CEO and managing director of Infosys on August 18, he was appointed as the executive vice-chairman of the tech giant.With Nilekani at the helm of India’s second-largest software exporter and re-constitution of the board, it’s likely the very long tussle between another co-founder Murthy and the Infosys board over corporate governance will come to an end.A statement released by the Bangalore-based IT major quoted Nilekani as saying that the board would engage with shareholders on priority basis as part of its engagement with stakeholders.Key highlights of the investor call* Infosys will announce some quick decision in next few days.* Nilekani’s main focus will be to search for a new CEO.* Nilekani said the CEO search will be global, open to external candidates, within the current management and at the Infosys Alumni.* Reconstituting the board and re-stabilising Infosys’ business are the priority.Infosys board after re-constitution* Pravin Rao, Interim CEO and MD* Nandan Nilekani, Non-Executive Chairman* Roopa Kudva, Independent Director* Punita Kumar, Independent Director* Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Independent Director* DN Prahlad, Independent Director* D Sundaram, Independent Director* Ravi Venkatesan, Independent Director Infosys Chief Executive Vishal Sikka attends a news conference in Mumbai, India, February 13, 2017. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/File PhotoReutersEarlier on Thursday, Domestic Institutional Investors (DIIs) wrote a letter to the Infosys board to bring back former co-founder Nandan Nilekani.The letter, signed by 12 investors from mutual fund houses and insurance companies, said Nilekani would be the right person to facilitate “resolution” of the ongoing issues between the board and the management.”In our opinion, he enjoys the confidence of various stakeholders viz, customers, shareholders and employees,” the letter stated.The ugly spat between Murthy and the company board, which resulted in the exit of Sikka, eroded over Rs 32,000 crore of the company’s market capitalisations.last_img read more

Alien bombshell Apollo 15 transcripts indicate tracks on lunar surface

first_imgConspiracy theorists all across the world have long been alleging that aliens are secretly living on the lunar surface. These alien enthusiasts strongly believe that NASA is well aware of extraterrestrial existence on the lunar surface, and it is one of the primary reasons that refrained the agency to visit the moon after the Apollo mission era.Adding heat to these outlandish alien claims, a transcript between astronauts who were part of the Apollo 15 mission reveals that they found neatly organized tracks on the lunar surface, Express.co.uk reports.These tracks on the lunar surface were leading to Mount Hadley, a mountain range located in the Northern Hemisphere on the moon. Please find below the transcripts between Apollo 15 astronauts and the ground crew, as reported by Express. Express.co.ukAs this conversation between the astronauts and the ground crew became viral, conspiracy theorists strongly started arguing that these tracks are concrete proof of alien existence on the lunar surface. These conspiracy theorists strongly argued that several anomalies in NASA images from the moon, and the recent UFO sightings near earth’s natural satellites indicate the presence of artificial intelligence.A few months back, China had landed its Chang’e-4 probe on the dark side of the moon. Before the mission, many conspiracy theorists predicted that the Chinese mission will encounter extraterrestrial aliens on moon’s far side that is not visible from the earth due to tidal locking. However, the mission went ahead as planned, and until now, Chang’e-4 has not detected any traces of extraterrestrial presence there.On July 15, India had planned to launch their ‘Chandrayaan-2’ space probe to the dark side of the moon. However, due to unknown technical glitches, the launch was postponed. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is expected to announce a new launch date soon.last_img read more

Touch controller patent could be the Nintendo NX

first_imgNext year Nintendo is set to unveil and potentially release its Wii U successor which is currently referred to as the Nintendo NX. There’s rumors circling about what the NX actually is, with one suggestion being it replaces both the Wii U and 3DS. However, a new patent has appeared that points to a very different controller design, and you can’t help but wonder if it’s for the NX.The patent was not filed by Nintendo directly, instead 5 names appear as inventors, all of whom happen to be Nintendo employees. So, this is clearly a Nintendo design.As the images from the patent and included here clearly show, the controller is almost entirely made up of a display. There’s grip handles, shoulder buttons, and two thumbsticks, but the screen wraps around those sticks and also appears to be touch-enabled. When holding the device with the thumbs on the sticks. you will see nothing but screen surrounding them.One big advantage of doing this is Nintendo can place touchscreen controls right next to each thumb on the screen, and those controls can change depending on the game and the context within each game. If you’re engaged in combat, for example, the screen can place spell, heal, and item icons next to one thumb and weapon choices next to the other. In the same game, those icons can be switched out when using a shop, or any other scenario for that matter.Another image shows how an enemy can be displayed on the controller and tap areas highlighted to caused damage.Nintendo isn’t one to shy away from experimentation, and this certainly counts. It’s different, in some ways novel, and would certainly grab the interest of gamers if announced next year as the controller for the NX. However, from the functionality examples listed in the patent, Nintendo may have another surprise up its sleeve. This may not be the controller for the NX, this may actually be the Nintendo NX in its entirety.Think about that for a seconds. It’s a controller that can display gameplay or project that gameplay on to a nearby TV. Multiple NX could be used together for multiplayer, and it’s portable enough to take round to a friend’s house. However, it remains different enough to not render a 3DS successor useless, and would be relatively cheap to produce meaning it could be sold at the same or a lower price than the existing consoles from Microsoft and Sony.So is this an experimental controller design, the controller for the NX, or the NX in its entirety?H/T Gamespotlast_img read more