Surprise RJD ticket to scribe makes news

first_imgIn March this year, when the Rashtriya Janata Dal announced its list of candidates for all 20 seats it was contesting in Bihar, Sheohar was an exception. Party patriarch Lalu Prasad’s elder son Tej Pratap Yadav wanted the ticket for one of his loyalists, Angesh Kumar Singh.Though it was then widely believed that Mr. Prasad might withhold the candidate’s name, a few days later his younger son Tejashwi Yadav sprang a surprise and announced the name of Syed Faisal Ali as the party nominee for the seat.Dark horse The announcement sparked much speculation as no one had a clue about the dark horse and how he managed to swing an RJD ticket to contest against two-time sitting BJP MP Rama Devi. Adding to the speculation, Mr. Ali is the lone journalist contesting the LS poll from Bihar. “As my father had passed away on March 26, the party decided not to announce my name along with the others. It had nothing to do with Tej Pratap wanting to field his candidate,” Mr. Ali told The Hindu at the party’s camp office in Sheohar Bazaar.A young man with long sidebars and dressed in white kurta-pyjama, Mr. Ali greeted a group of people with folded hands before settling down for a chat.“Being in the media, I had been following politics closely but never thought that I would contest polls one day,” he said, running his beringed fingers through his tousled hair. The buzz in party circles is that Mr. Ali, along with Mr. Tejashwi Yadav and a very senior Congress leader in Delhi, had rescued the RJD’s alliance with the Congress from an imminent split on the question of seat sharing.On his relation with Mr. Prasad, he said: “Laluji and my father Ashad Ali were closely associated since the days of the JP movement, and our family remained in touch thereafter.” His father was a practising lawyer at the Patna High Court though the family hails from Gaya. Seasoned journalist Second of four brothers, Mr. Ali has been group editor of Roznama Rashtriya Sahara, editor of the Arab News, and worked with the Saudi Gazette and the BBC World Service.He says he has reported from various conflict zones, including Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, and also covered the Arab Spring. He was also invited by the U.S. government for its prestigious International Visitor Leadership Program in 2014.“On March 10, 2018, I resigned from Roznama Rashtriya Sahara to form a news network which has been bringing out an Urdu newspaper Sacch Ki Awaz from Delhi,” Mr. Ali said. “We’ve also planned to start a Bihar edition of our newspaper soon.” Mr. Ali hoped to add to RJD numbers, banking on support of about 3.5 lakh Muslim and 2 lakh Yadav voters traditionally loyal to the RJD. On why people should vote for him, he said, “Because I’ve a clean image, no tainted past and I’ve this urge to reach out to people for social justice.”Sheohar goes to the polls on May 12.last_img read more

Images of 1983 still give Bhajji ‘goosebumps’

first_imgHarbhajan Singh was all of three years of age when Kapil Dev held the 1983 World Cup aloft at Lord’s but the off-spinner still draws inspiration from that glorious triumph.Harbhajan Singh and Yusuf Pathan in New Delhi. APIn the Capital to join hands with a campaign against road rage and drunken driving, Harbhajan said that even though in the ensuing 27 years he has seen six World Cups, the 1983 tournament still serves as the biggest inspiration for an Indian cricketer.”Seeing Kapil paaji lift the trophy is an image ingrained in all of our minds. I have seen the reruns of that match so many times and it always gives me goosebumps,” the off-spinner told reporters here on Wednesday.To repeat the success of ‘Kapil’s Devils’ at the World Cup, Bhajji believes the key for India will be the explosive opening combination of Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag.”There is no doubt that they are great players and I think if they stay at the crease for the first 15 overs, it will be very difficult for the opposition to come back into the match,” he said.Asked about India’s combination for the quadrennial mega event, Harbhajan said it may not be the best team out there but he was still a good side. “It is wonderful to have a lot of options in the team. We have got different types of spinners. We have (Ravichandran) Ashwin who performed well in the IPL and leg-spinner Piyush Chawla brings variation into the attack. We have great seamers too and the batting can chase down any target. If we just focus on our processes, we should have a good outing,” he said.advertisementHarbhajan has always been a feisty character but he believes comparing sledging to a serious issue like road rage is ridiculous.”Sledging is part and parcel of the game. It just adds a bit of momentum to the game and, as a cricketer, we don’t carry anything off the field. Road rage is quite harmful and it hurts you for life,” he said. He even claimed that neither he nor his India teammates drink.Looking beyond the World Cup, Bhajji will be sharing a dressing room with Andrew Symonds for the Indian Premier League Mumbai Indians, and believes the ‘Monkeygate’ scandal that brought bad blood between them is a thing of the past.”I am looking forward to winning the IPL along with him,” Harbhajan said, guardedly adding: “What Symonds has done with his career is his personal choice and I don’t want to talk about any individuals.”Though he was surrounded by the media during his short stay at the event, Harbhajan did find time to thank Indian fans. “I salute all those who are supporting us. With their good wishes, hopefully, we will do well in the World Cup,” he said.last_img read more

PBA D-League: San Sebastian books semis seat, outlasts Che’lu in OT

first_img“My team is preparing for the NCAA, it still needs more experience,” said San Sebastian coach Egay Macaraya in Filipino.Jessie Sumoda and Allyn Bulanadi put the finishing touches at the free throw line for San Sebastian.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsJM Calma led the Golden Harvest with 19 points and 11 rebounds while Bulanadi had 15 points, six rebounds, and five assists.Alex Desoyo also stepped up with 15 as he filled in for RK Ilagan, who fouled out late in regulation. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:42PH 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 PBA IMAGESMANILA, Philippines—Valencia City Bukidnon-San Sebastian survived Che’lu Bar and Grill, 93-87, in overtime Monday to barge into the 2019 PBA D-League semifinals at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.Mario Bonleon made the game-winning basket with 38.6 ticks to go as the Golden Harvest recovered after blowing a 14-point lead.ADVERTISEMENT Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too LATEST STORIES Filoil: UP, Adamson roll past foes Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP PDEA chief backs Robredo in revealing ‘discoveries’ on drug war MOST READ DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Rey Suerte had a near double-double with 18 points and nine rebounds while Gab Dagangon had 16 points and six rebounds for Che’lu.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting View commentslast_img read more

Paul, Rockets Rout Spurs 124-109 for 12th Straight Victory

first_imgHOUSTON (AP) — Chris Paul delivered on a night James Harden had one of his worst shooting performances of the season.Paul had 28 points, eight assists and seven steals to lead the Houston Rockets to their 12th straight victory, a 124-109 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Friday.Paul became the first player in NBA history to post 28 points, eight assists and seven steals in a game against the Spurs. In the past 11 seasons, that stat line has been achieved just 10 times — Paul has done it six of them. The Rockets are unbeaten when he plays this season.“What I lack in athletic ability, I just try to make up for it in anticipation and knowing the game,” Paul said of his steals. “I’m not jumping and dunking on nobody and all that stuff like that, but I’ve got a pretty good idea how to play.”Paul’s dazzling performance came with Harden making 6 of 18 from the field, including 2 of 11 from 3. Harden still had 28 points, seven rebounds and six assists, scoring half his points on 14-of-16 shooting from the free throw line.“We complement each other, and we’re staying good at getting guys involved while we’re being aggressive as well,” Harden said. “Obviously, Chris had his shot going tonight, but he got Clint (Capela) dunks and Trevor (Ariza) and Eric (Gordon) 3s, and Ryan (Anderson) 3s. Nights aren’t going to be perfect, and we just got to figure it out. Keep pushing and keep grinding.”The Rockets are on the fourth-longest win streak in franchise history and the longest since a franchise-best 22 straight in 2007-08.The Rockets beat the Spurs for just the third time in their last 12 meetings.LaMarcus Aldridge led the Spurs with 16 points.“I thought our starting group, our veteran group, started out the game very badly with fouls that were unnecessary, bad communication, turnovers, that sort of thing,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “But as the game went on, I thought the younger guys and the guys that haven’t played as much, the energy was great. They took better care of the basketball and were more physical and focused. Our starting group let us down.”The Rockets jumped to a 31-16 lead at the end of the first quarter and led 60-43 at the half. The Rockets entered the fourth quarter with a 92-72 lead.At 23-4, the Rockets are tied for their best 27-game start in franchise history, matching the 1993-94 season when they won their first championship.“We can get better,” Paul said. “The scary part is when you think you’ve arrived. We can get better offensively and defensively, but right now, it’s just about piling up wins.”Kawhi Leonard played in his second game back after making his season debut on Tuesday night in Dallas after missing the first 27 games of the season with a right quadriceps injury. Leonard, who has been recovering from a quadriceps condition that causes pain and weakness in the knee, started and had 12 points in 17 minutes, all in the first half.“I want to play and do what I can do to help the team win, but I know the situation I’m in and I’ve got to take the right steps to get back,” Leonard said. “Playing 16 minutes and not playing a full game, it’s hard to tell where I’m at. But I think we’re taking the right steps.”Before the game, Popovich hinted that Leonard and Tony Parker were unlikely to play Saturday night in Dallas in the second half of San Antonio’s back-to-back.TIP-INSSpurs: SF Kyle Anderson missed his sixth straight game with a sprained left MCL, but he is progressing well and could return after San Antonio’s back-to-back in Houston and Dallas, possibly as early as Monday when the Spurs host the Clippers. … Danny Green started and played through left groin tightness, scoring two points in 19 minutes.Rockets: Houston played its first game without Luc Mbah a Moute, who suffered a dislocated right shoulder on Wednesday night against Charlotte. Mbah a Moute could be out 2-3 weeks with the injury. … The Rockets improved to 19-1 when leading after the third quarter, winning by double digits for the 17th time in 27 games.SCORING ON THE SPURSHouston’s 124 points were the most San Antonio had allowed in a regulation game since Mar. 8, 2013, in a 136-106 loss to Portland. It was also the most points the Rockets had scored in a regulation game against the Spurs since Apr. 3, 1986, when Houston scored 136.SAGER STRONGOn the one-year anniversary of the passing of NBA sideline reporter Craig Sager, the Rockets hosted Sager’s wife, Stacy, along with other family and friends at the game. There was a tribute video played in the first quarter, and both the Rockets and Spurs donated $25,000 to the SagerStrong Foundation. The First Shot was attempted by Sager’s daughter, Riley Sager. Sager swished her pregame free throw attempt, securing a $5,000 donation from the Rockets to the SagerStrong Foundation.ANOTHER ONEThe Rockets hit a Spurs opponent season-high 18 3-pointers. Houston improved to 18-0 when making 15 or more 3s. The 18 games with 15 or more 3s made is already the fourth-highest single-season total in NBA history.UP NEXTSpurs: Host Dallas on Saturday night.Rockets: Host Milwaukee on Saturday night.TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Once mighty US retailer Sears files for bankruptcy

first_imgWashington, Oct 15 (AFP) Sears, an anchor of retail life for generations of Americans, filed for bankruptcy Monday and said it was closing almost 150 stores, the latest marquee victim of the online era. Founded in 1886 as a mail order catalog company, it went on to pioneer departmental stores that sold all things to all people and by the mid-twentieth century had built a vast empire that stretched across North America. But it has closed hundreds of outlets in recent years amid a retail shakeout caused in part by the rise of Amazon and other e-commerce players. “The Company and certain of its subsidiaries have filed voluntary petitions for relief under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York,” a statement by Sears Holdings Corporation said. Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code allows firms to restructure and pay their creditors over time. Sears had been drowning in debt exceeding USD 5 billion and reportedly could not afford a USD134 million repayment that had been due on Monday. Edward S Lampert, Chairman of Sears Holdings, said the insolvency filing would give the company the “flexibility to strengthen its balance sheet” and enable it to accelerate a strategic transformation. The company said it intended to reorganize around a smaller store platform, a strategy it said would help save tens of thousands of jobs. Sears Holdings had 89,000 employees as of February, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission — down from almost 350,000 a decade ago — as well as 547 Sears and 432 Kmart stores (the two retailers merged in 2004).advertisement It announced Monday it would close 142 unprofitable stores near the end of the year, in addition to the previously announced closure of 46 stores by November. While retaining his chairmanship, Lampert will step down as CEO, with the role handled by other senior executives as part of a new “Office of the CEO.” Sears added it had received commitments for $300 million in debtor-in-possession financing and was negotiating for an additional $300 million. Reflecting on the move, Jerry Hancock, a self-described Sears scholar and historian told the broadcaster NPR Sears was an “American institution.” “For the older generation, it’s the changing of the times. Sears was just such an integral part of their childhood, building that American family. I think Sears was a backbone of that. And you could actually go to the Sears catalog and order an entire house.” Going back further to the 1890s, Sears catalog “completely changed American life,” said Hancock, offering consumers exotic items they had seen at the World’s Fair or had read about, like cream separators and Singer sewing machines. “That catalog was sort of a window into this new consumer world, and it really made a connection with people,” he added. Sears is far from the only iconic retailer to fall by the wayside as more consumers do the bulk of their shopping online. In March, iconic Toys “R” Us announced it was shuttering all of its US stores while other big names such as Macy’s and JC Penney have also been forced to close numerous locations and lay off workers. American shopping malls in turn have pivoted toward a new generation of stores, food and entertainment, including players that began online before graduating to brick-and-mortar. Other additions include trendy gym chains, and Dave & Buster’s, whose video game and pro-sports viewing restaurants are emblematic of the “experiences, not stuff” mantra now resonant among consumers. (AFP) SMJSMJlast_img read more

Hyundai Santro: Top 5 features that will blow you away

first_imgHyundai has revealed its much-awaited compact hatch Santro recently. The Santro, slated to be a replacement for the Eon is powered by a BS3 compliant motor, which makes it all the more important for a new replacement.Here are top five features that will blow you away:Gets AMT yay!In accordance to sources, the Hyundai Santro is expected to carry a starting price of around Rs 3.50 lakh. The AMT-equipped variant will, however, not be the top-spec model and is expected to carry a premium of around Rs 30-35,000 more than its manual siblings. The top-spec Santro is slated to cost around Rs 5.50 lakh, ex-showroom.The Hyundai Santro hatchback will feature a substantial list of equipment and features which will be a first in the compact hatchback segment. Hyundai is planning to bring a single petrol variant with a potential diesel variant in the months to come.Interior features and equipmentThe Santro will feature a full-touchscreen infotainment system which will be the similar unit seen onboard the bigger brother, the Hyundai Grand i10 hatchback. The system also now gets a new faster processor and is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It also doubles up as a display for the reverse camera.On the interior, the Santro takes a lot of cues from the current gen Hyundai i10 Grande. Sporting a dual tone look, the next-gen Santro gets a 7-inch touchscreen with dual vertical air-vents. The central console also gets circular knobs for the climate control, air-flow, and AC blower knob.advertisementThere are also quirky features like the bright yellow fluorescent strip which runs across the dashboard and the air-con vents, the larger than life grille, and of course, rear ac vents.Performance figuresHyundai is not bringing in an updated Eon engine, nor it is putting a lowered state of tune i10 Grande 1.2-litre Kappa. Hyundai is putting in a new 1.1-litre 4cyl Epsilon petrol which churns out 67bhp and 99Nm of peak torque.The Hyundai Santro will also get an option of a company fitted CNG kit. Hyundai will also offer an option of a “Smart Auto AMT Transmission” unit on the Santro.What about safety featuresIn terms of safety, the Santro gets a host of safety features which are in line with the all-new safety mandate coming into effect starting in July 2019. The safety features will include ABS, EBD, seatbelt reminder, speed warning system, and reverse parking sensors. Hyundai will also include speed sensing door locks as standard.Design elementsThe Hyundai Santro hatchback gets the traditional tall-boy design of the first gen Santro. On the exterior design front, the Santro gets Hyundai’s characteristic radiator grille, LED DRLs on headlamps, and a fat C-Pillar. On the interior, the Santro gets piano black upholstery and beige-colored seats.Hyundai will be launching the Santro hatchback officially on October 23. Once launched, it will go head-on with the likes of Maruti Suzuki Celerio, Tata Tiago, and the Datsun Go facelift.last_img read more

IPL can help you judge yourself where you are before World Cup: Rohit Sharma

first_imgMumbai Indians’ captain Rohit Sharma believes the Indian Premier League (IPL) is a platform where you can judge yourself before the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019, which will start on May 30.”It’s (IPL) a big tournament and you can judge yourself where you are at before a big tournament like the World Cup,” Rohit said after securing Mumbai’s fourth IPL title by one run against defending champions Chennai Super Kings.”Before the IPL, if they were not in great form, this is the time they can get back to form. Hardik (Pandya) is the best example. Before the IPL, he did not have a good time, was injured, and missed a few games as well. But he has been tremendous for us — both in batting and bowling,” he said.The is back in Hitman’s closet #OneFamily #CricketMeriJaan #MumbaiIndians #MIvCSK @ImRo45 pic.twitter.com/i36At6BBUCMumbai Indians (@mipaltan) May 13, 2019Hardik scored 402 runs at 44.66, striking them at 191.42 and returned with 14 wickets. Another key performer for Mumbai was Jasprit Bumrah, who finished as Mumbai’s leading wicket-taker with 19 scalps at 21.52, conceding runs at 6.63 an over. The fast-bowler was adjudged the Player of the Match in the final on May 12, for returning with the figures of 2/14.”We spoke at the start of the tournament that we will assess each of the players, see where they are at and what they feel about their bodies. It is more an individual thing than (what) we decide for them.””In the case of Jasprit, he is someone who likes to play games to make sure he is in a good rhythm. At the start of the tournament, we spoke that at any given stage, if he feels he needs to rest, we were open to that. But our physios and trainers have monitored him quite well, and there was constant feedback from Jasprit as well about how he is feeling. We have not had issues with Jasprit and Hardik, so we continued to play them,” Rohit said.advertisementIndia will take on New Zealand and Bangladesh in the warm-up matches before opening its World Cup campaign against South Africa on June 5 at Hampshire Bowl.Also Read | Rohit Sharma raps with Yuvraj Singh as Mumbai Indians party hard after IPL 2019 winAlso Read | Rohit Sharma only 5-time IPL champion after Mumbai Indians win 4th titlelast_img read more

Happy Birthday Goofy: BCCI wishes Yuzvendra Chahal with video of fun moments from Chahal TV

first_imgIndia leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal turned 29 on Tuesday and got some hilarious birthday wishes from his teammates and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on social media.The BCCI’s social media handles posted a video of Chahal TV containing all the fun moments from behind the scenes while the likes of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma wished him with some really funny nicknames.”Happy Birthday goofy. Reliving some of the best Yuzi moments from our very own Chahal TV,” the BCCI’s Instagram handle posted along with a short video clip.Shikhar Dhawan meanwhile, asked for a samosa treat from Chahal, whom he called teeli (matchstick).”Happy birthday bro. Atleast aaj toh samose khila de teeli!,” Dhawan posted.India’s limited-overs vice-captain Rohit Sharma, who is good friends with Chahal, called him the GOAT (Greatest of All Time).”Have the best birthday G.O.A.T,” Rohit wrote on Twitter.Have the best birthday G.O.A.T @yuzi_chahal pic.twitter.com/7RLVKBjz2vRohit Sharma (@ImRo45) July 23, 2019Chahal had a decent outing in India’s campaign at the Cricket World Cup 2019 with 12 wickets from 8 ODIs at an average of 36.83 including one four-wicket haul.advertisementIndia got knocked out in the semi-finals after losing against New Zealand, who ended as the runner-up to England in the tournament.last_img read more

Boone Pickens presents James Castleman with 2015 ‘quote of the year’ award

first_imgBoone Pickens and James Castleman.Boone Pickens and James Castleman.Boone Pickens had lunch with James Castleman on Thursday to present him with an award after sending him a hand-written note at the end of football season.The award, which was much deserved, was earned for delivering the quote of the year after the 2015 Cactus Bowl.Boone has a quick trigger, apparently. We’re 43 days in and the race is already over.Here’s a look at the award:Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 2.44.43 PMIf 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

New Cenovus Energy CEO says he will fix balance sheet and regain

first_imgCALGARY – The new CEO of Cenovus Energy Inc. (TSX:CVE) says he will focus on paying down debt through asset sales as he works to regain the trust of investors.Alex Pourbaix, 52, says he wants to ensure the Calgary-based company produces oil and gas that’s cost competitive with any other region of the world to ensure ongoing profitability.The lawyer who retired last spring as chief operating officer of pipeline company TransCanada Corp. (TSX:TRP) says supporting new energy pipelines to ensure growing market access remains a priority for him in the new role he began last week.Cenovus shares have tumbled by more than 20 per cent since the company announced in March it had agreed to buy out its Houston-based oilsands partner, ConocoPhillips, for $17.7 billion.The move was criticized by analysts who said Cenovus lacked the experience to operate ConocoPhillips’ northern Alberta and B.C. Deep Basin conventional assets included in the deal but Pourbaix says time will prove it was an astute move.Cenovus has struck deals to sell four major asset packages for a total of $3.7 billion to help pay for the purchase. Pourbaix says his priority is to close those transactions and sell an additional package of non-core Deep Basin assets.“(The) number one urgent priority is to get the divestitures done … to get the debt leverage in this company down to an acceptable and sustainable level,” Pourbaix said.“From the perspective of the board, they were looking for someone who was going to have a great passion for continuing to drive efficiencies in this organization, driving accountability and driving shareholder returns. Those are my priorities.”last_img read more

Divisive Minnesota mine wins permits but faces challenges

first_imgMINNEAPOLIS – Minnesota regulators on Thursday granted key permits to the long-planned PolyMet copper-mining project that’s opposed by environmentalists who fear it could someday foul waters, including Lake Superior.The state Department of Natural Resources issued permits to PolyMet Mining Inc. for the company’s proposed NorthMet project in northeastern Minnesota. The project still needs permits from other agencies, and likely faces court challenges.“No project in the history of Minnesota has been more thoroughly evaluated,” DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr said in announcing approval of permits for the project, first proposed in 2004.Environmentalists have opposed the mine for fear it could pollute pristine waters and destroy habitat for grey wolves and Canada lynx. The project would be located near tributaries feeding the St. Louis River, 175 river miles upstream from Lake Superior.Duluth for Clean Water said the proposed mine “would create permanent, toxic pollution in the headwaters of Lake Superior, putting our communities and lives in constant danger.”“The massive open-pit mine would destroy huge swaths of the Superior National Forest and significantly increase annual CO2 emissions in Minnesota at the worst possible time,” the group said.PolyMet contends it can operate the proposed mine near Hoyt Lakes and Babbitt without harming the environment while creating hundreds of badly needed jobs on Minnesota’s Iron Range.“We look forward to building and operating a modern mine and developing the materials that sustain and enhance our modern world,” PolyMet President and CEO Jon Cherry said in a news release. “Responsibly developing these strategic minerals in compliance with these permits while protecting Minnesota’s natural resources is our top priority as we move forward.”Paula Maccabee, an attorney for environmental group WaterLegacy, said environmentalists will likely appeal if permits are granted, or they could request that the DNR reconsider its decision.The agency issued a permit to mine, six water appropriation permits, two dam safety permits, a public waters work permit and an endangered species takings permit for the project. The permit to mine includes a financial assurance plan — designed to provide enough money so the DNR can reclaim and close the mine and plant site in case PolyMet does not — and a wetland replacement plan. The project still requires water and air quality permits from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and a wetlands permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.Landwehr said the DNR is “confident that the project can be built, operated, and reclaimed in compliance with Minnesota’s rigorous environmental standards.”“Yes, there will be an environmental impact,” Landwehr told reporters. “Our job is to ensure those environmental impacts are within state standards, and whenever required, they are mitigated.”Maccabee and other environmentalists questioned why the DNR did not conduct a contested case hearing for an independent review before issuing the permits. But Landwehr said the project did not meet the standards under state law for such a trial-like hearing.“These permits should be reviewed by an independent administrative law judge to establish the facts before permit decisions are made,” Kathryn Hoffman, chief executive of the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, said in a statement, noting that such hearings are routine for pipelines and power plants. “It is special treatment for PolyMet to skip this vital step for the first copper-nickel mine to apply for permits in Minnesota.”Minnesota Republican legislative leaders hailed the DNR’s decision.“This new mine will create many good-paying jobs in Northeastern Minnesota and provide a real boost to the state’s economy,” House Speaker Kurt Daudt, a Republican from Crown, said in a statement.The project would cost an estimated $945 million to construct. PolyMet said site preparation and rehabilitation of the former LTV Steel plant for a copper-nickel processing plant will continue through the winter and early spring. The company said the bulk of work is expected to start in the 2019 construction season and last about 24 to 30 months.___Follow Jeff Baenen on Twitter at https://twitter.com/jeffbaenen .last_img read more

Bouteflika confirms Algeria vote candidacy in rare TV remarks

first_imgALGIERS – President Abdelaziz Bouteflika told Algerian television Monday he has registered as a candidate for reelection, in his first public remarks since he suffered a mini stroke in April 2013.“I came to officially submit my application in accordance with article 74 of the constitution and the electoral law,” said the 77-year-old who is bidding for a fourth term in the April 17 election.Article 74 says the “president of the republic is reelectable,” and effectively removed limits on the number of terms in office the head of state could serve, allowing Bouteflika to stand for win a third mandate in 2009. In the footage broadcast by Algerian television, Bouteflika appeared sitting in an armchair facing the head of the constitutional council, Mourad Medelci.His voice was barely audible as he made his statement, and quickly cut to the president adding his signature to the declaration of his candidacy.Bouteflika has not made any public addresses since returning home from France in July after treatment for a mini stroke. He has also received only a few foreign dignitaries and chaired just two cabinet meetings.He is the fifth candidate to have registered to run in the presidential elections ahead of the midnight Tuesday deadline.The other candidates to register before him were Moussa Touati of the Algerian National Front (FNA), Abdelaziz Belad of the El-Moustakbel Front (FM), head of the Algerian Rally Ali Zaghdoud, and the Workers Party’s Louisa Hanoune.last_img read more

MEPs Urge EU to Halt humanitarian Aid to Tindouf Camps Till…

Rabat – Brussels – On the backdrop of the embezzlement disclosures involving the Polisario and their mentor Algeria, several members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from different EU member states urged, on Monday night, the EU to halt sending humanitarian aid to the camps of Tindouf until a census of the population held in the camps is conducted.The MEPs submitted a draft resolution requesting the European Commission to immediately stop sending humanitarian aid as long as the exact number of the camps’ population is not established through a census by the UN refugee agency (UNHCR).The draft resolution slams Algeria for refusing to cooperate with the UNHCR to conduct a transparent census that would help curb the embezzlement of humanitarian aid by the Polisario. The signatories of the resolution decried that the embezzlement network has been taking advantage of the generosity of the EU for years.Recently, the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) released a report disclosing the fraudulent practices of massive aid embezzlement by Algeria and the Polisario.The report disclosed that a large part of the humanitarian aid sent to the population in the camps of Tindouf gets diverted in the port of Oran. Only a small part of aid reaches the camp while the rests is often sold in markets in neighboring countries.This embezzlement is mainly ascribed to the inflation of the number of the population in the Polisario-run camps in south-western Algeria. read more

Rethinking The NFLs Rooney Rule For More Diversity At The Top

As word spread quickly in January 2007 that Mike Tomlin would be the next head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, no one needed to explain the significance of the move to Steve Jackson. Then a safeties coach with the Washington Redskins, Jackson was among the many African-American assistants rooting for Tomlin to get the job. Just a few years earlier, Tomlin, who had just completed his first season as the Minnesota Vikings’ defensive coordinator, probably wouldn’t have been on the short list for one of the most prestigious coaching gigs in professional sports. But under the Rooney Rule, times were changing.“For me, that’s the one that really stood out,” said Jackson, now the Tennessee Titans’ assistant secondary coach. “It was the Steelers. That’s one of those jobs that everyone looks at. And he wasn’t the leading candidate when he walked in for the interview, but he got in that room and he made his case. That’s what we all want: just to have a real chance to compete for the job. A lot of us [black coaches] looked at that and said, ‘Yeah.’”There’s no debating that the Rooney Rule has had a positive impact on the NFL. By providing owners with the first leaguewide tool to make hiring potentially more inclusive, the NFL took a significant step toward changing its culture. The rule continues to be expanded, and major corporations have followed the league’s lead. But in a workplace in which the overwhelming majority of players are African-American, the NFL has many more opportunities to strengthen the rule and further increase diversity in its management ranks.In place since 2003 for head coaches and expanded in 2009 to include general manager jobs and equivalent front-office positions, the rule — named after Dan Rooney, Pittsburgh Steelers chairman and onetime head of the league’s diversity committee — mandates that an NFL team must interview at least one minority candidate for these jobs. The rule, however, has two fatal flaws: the temptation to substitute sham interviews in place of a search for real diversity, and coordinator-level positions, a crucial step to head-coaching jobs, are not under the umbrella.The NFL did recently expand the rule again to include women: For all executive openings in the commissioner’s office, a woman must be interviewed. The San Francisco 49ers were the first team to formally adopt the practice, but the same flaws still apply.But the league did provide a blueprint for corporate America to improve its poor hiring record when it comes to diversity. Facebook, Pinterest, Intel, Xerox and Amazon are among the major companies that have instituted their own version of the rule. Even the Pentagon has explored using some form of the rule to diversify its officer corps.“The Rooney Rule really has become the best practice for diversity and inclusion,” said Robert Gulliver, the NFL’s executive vice president of human resources and chief diversity officer. “The Rooney Rule is all about access and opportunity, and it’s exciting to see where we are now after having the Rooney Rule in place for 12 years when you look at what the Rooney Rule has delivered.”In the 12 seasons before the rule was instituted, the NFL had only six non-white head coaches. In 12 seasons under the rule, the league has added 14 head coaches of color. From the NFL’s standpoint, there were other encouraging numbers last season regarding diversity. The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports at the University of Central Florida found that:At the start of last season, there were six head coaches of color, one more than in 2014. In 2011, the NFL had an all-time high of eight head coaches of color.There were seven African-American general managers in 2015 and for the ninth consecutive year, there were at least five general managers of color.Eight of the last 18 Super Bowl teams have had either an African-American head coach or general manager.Clearly, minorities have made modest strides in filling leadership positions. The problem is, there are 32 NFL teams. Even at its highest point, minority representation among coaches was a meager 25 percent. Almost 68 percent of the NFL’s players are African-American, but there are no African-American team presidents, and only one team president of color. Although the NFL received an A grade for overall racial-hiring practices from Central Florida, only 19.4 percent of the league’s professional positions — front-office and business-operations personnel — were filled by “people of color” in 2015. The numbers tell the story: There’s still plenty of work to do.Jeremi Duru wrote the book on the Rooney Rule. Literally. In Advancing The Ball: Race, Reformation, and the Quest for Equal Coaching Opportunity in the NFL, Duru masterfully details the history of the process that resulted in the rule. Duru, a law professor at American University’s Washington College of Law, agrees that the rule is not perfect, but “the whole idea of it is to prompt kind of a culture change in the league,” he said. “It’s not that the outcome of each particular interviewing season is going to vindicate the rule, but rather that the rule will put in place the sense that, in order to be the best, you have to think broadly. It’s the idea that in order to succeed and be competitive, you have to look at a deep pool of candidates.”One of the biggest criticisms of the rule is that it hasn’t effected change fast enough. For the rule to have been in place so long, some African-American commentators have argued, the NFL should have many more minorities in the highest-ranking positions. “It’s extremely difficult to eradicate a long-standing problem quickly,” Duru said. “The Emancipation Proclamation itself isn’t going to be a panacea. But it creates a culture where there’s no longer lawful slavery, and where we start to see progress, slowly but surely.“In the end in the NFL, hopefully, the idea is that it really becomes clear that the best coaches come from all sorts of different places. And if you think broadly about coaching and you slow down and take time with your hire, you’re going to find yourself with the best outcome. It’s not a consequence of the rule itself, but of the culture that the rule has ushered in.”Unfortunately for the NFL, the public perception is that sham interviews are integral to the league’s culture. Invariably each season, rumors have swirled that some teams interviewed African-American candidates only to comply with the rule. In January, the timing and execution of the Philadelphia Eagles’ hiring of new coach Doug Pederson raised questions about whether they had violated the spirit of the rule. The Eagles interviewed Duce Staley, a former Philadelphia player and current assistant coach on the team. Staley had never been a coordinator and only served as a position coach for three seasons. To many league observers, it appeared the Eagles had skirted the rule by interviewing an in-house candidate who obviously lacked the experience to be a head coach.That’s where the Fritz Pollard Alliance comes in. Together with the league’s front office, they determine whether a team’s interview process is legitimate. In the first year of the rule, commissioner Roger Goodell’s predecessor, Paul Tagliabue, fined former Detroit Lions general manager Matt Millen $200,000 for “failing to discharge his duties” under the rule.Although the specter of fines should serve as a deterrent to teams violating the rule, there’s another step the league could take to ensure compliance besides the removal of draft picks: require teams to provide transcripts of interviews with minority candidates. That way, the Fritz Pollard Alliance and the commissioner’s office could judge for themselves whether teams adhered to the spirit of the rule.“The Rooney Rule requires that there be a meaningful interview of a person of color, not just an interview,” Duru said. “Any mechanism that can be used to ensure an interview that is meaningful should be on the table.”However, among NFL decision-makers, there’s no momentum for detailed transcripts to become part of the process. “What is important is getting interview feedback,” the NFL’s Gulliver said. “We really do find that getting feedback, getting candidate feedback, on what worked and what didn’t work, and what can even be better the next time, will help candidates as they continue their quests to become a head coach or a general manager.”That being said, covering more potential candidates under the rule would seem to be a logical next step. Generally, coordinators have the most responsibility among assistant coaches. Owners often pluck coordinators from successful teams to become head coaches. If there were more minority coordinators in the pipeline, theoretically, there would be more minorities in the applicant pool for head coaching positions. The Rooney Rule does nothing to address that basic fact.In response to the NFL’s horrible hiring record after the 2012 season (eight head coaches and seven general managers were fired; 15 white guys were hired), the Fritz Pollard Alliance proposed that coordinator-level and team president positions should be covered under the rule. The NFL rejected the proposal, but in 2013 the league did restart the Career Development Symposium, which previously ran from 1998-2008.The commissioner’s office requested that teams send two representatives, including at least one person of color, who aspire to be general managers and head coaches, to a three-day program at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Besides networking with decision-makers from throughout the league, participants honed their interview skills through presentations and panel discussions. (In March, the league had its first Women’s Career Development Symposium.)But remember: Last season, the league had only six head coaches of color and seven African-American general managers. Obviously, the Career Development Symposium didn’t hobble efforts to improve minority hiring — but how much did it help? It just seems that including coordinator positions under the rule could be another major turning point in the ongoing struggle to level the playing field.In ESPN The Magazine’s Feb. 8 Super Bowl 50 Issue, senior writer Mina Kimes wrote that white position coaches and assistants are more than twice as likely to be promoted to coordinator than their African-American counterparts, according to research from professors at Georgetown, George Washington, Emory and Iowa State University. Moreover, those promotions occur regardless of the white coaches’ performance, experience and coaching background. The data shouldn’t be ignored.The Titans’ Jackson is a 13-year NFL assistant. Despite his experience, Jackson knows it’s downright impossible to make the leap from an assistant coach to a head coach without first being a coordinator.“There’s always a network, an inner circle, and then there are others,” he said. “And if you’re in the others, you have to do everything you can to get in the door.”The argument against expanding the rule to include coordinator positions is that head coaches should be allowed to pick their staffs without any restrictions on interviewing. There may be something to that.During the 2007 and 2008 seasons, Brian Stewart directed the Dallas Cowboys’ defense. If coordinators are covered under the rule, Stewart envisions the potential for conflict. “That would be rough,” said Stewart, now a college coach at Nebraska who works with defensive backs. “You really have to leave picking those guys [coordinators] to the head coaches. They have to be allowed to choose their own people.“That’s one of the benefits of reaching the level of head coach. And if you don’t let them interview only the guys they want to interview, it could really open up a can of worms when you talk about relationships on the staff. If guys feel like a coordinator didn’t get the job the right way, there could be a lot of resentment from all the other assistants. It could be a problem. It could be a big problem.”Of course, there’s often resistance to change. When the rule was instituted, many within the league suggested head coaches wouldn’t have credibility if they were hired as a result of the process. But who would argue that great coaches such as Hall of Famer Tony Dungy, Tomlin and Carolina Panthers’ Ron Rivera lack credibility? The Steelers’ pick of Tomlin worked out spectacularly.The Rooney Rule is still evolving and growing pains are part of the process. But with the NFL on the right track, it’s definitely not time to slow down. Editor’s note: Tuesday was opening day at The Undefeated, a new ESPN website that explores the intersections of race, sports and culture. In an introductory letter, Kevin Merida, its editor-in-chief, says the site won’t shrink from covering challenging subjects with a mix of original reporting, innovative storytelling, provocative commentary, must-see video, narratives and investigations. At FiveThirtyEight, we’re so excited at having a new sibling that we’ve been running several of The Undefeated’s articles on our site this week — including the one that follows here — and we have big plans for partnerships in the future. More stories from The Undefeated:Serena: The embodiment of it all by LZ GrandersonDon’t believe the fairy-tale mythology that sports promote by Domonique FoxworthWill my 2-year-old nephew end up like Michael Brown? by Wendi Thomas read more

Commentary Resilient spirit needed for Ohio State football to advance to 90

Ohio State’s game against Purdue on Saturday appeared to be over. With the Buckeyes trailing by eight points, and just two minutes and 40 seconds remaining on the game clock, OSU redshirt junior backup quarterback Kenny Guiton’s deep ball had just been intercepted by Purdue sophomore safety Landon Feichter. As it seemed the 7-0 Buckeyes were headed for their first loss of the season, many OSU football fans began their exodus from Ohio Stadium. It was hard not to give up on the Buckeyes at that point. OSU’s star quarterback, sophomore Braxton Miller, had left the game in the third quarter with a head injury. In his place, Guiton had failed to lead the Buckeyes to points on three consecutive drives. For the Buckeyes’ offense to even get another shot at tying the game, a defense that had given up 49 points to Indiana one week earlier needed to force Purdue’s offense off the field in four downs or less. If the Buckeyes were going to win, they needed a miracle. At that point, the Buckeyes showed the resilient, never-say-die attitude that first-year coach Urban Meyer has clearly instilled. The defense did exactly what it needed to do, not allowing a single first down and forcing a punt, which gave Guiton and the offense 47 seconds for one final shot at a game-tying drive. Guiton took advantage of his moment to shine. Guiton’s first pass was a 39-yard connection with sophomore wide receiver Devin Smith, which kicked off a drive that reached completion with a two-yard touchdown pass to redshirt junior wide receiver Chris Fields. Still needing two points to send the game to overtime, Guiton subsequently completed a pass to wide-open sophomore tight end Jeff Heuerman in the end zone. From there, the Buckeyes did their job again on both sides of the ball, as another Guiton-led scoring drive and a defensive stop gave the Buckeyes an improbable 29-22 victory in overtime. The Buckeyes may be 8-0, but they certainly haven’t made it easy to stay undefeated. While they have been heavily favored in most games, they have trailed in the second quarter or later in seven of eight games, and have either gone to overtime or won by three points or less in three of their four in-conference games this season. As should be expected of any team with a postseason ban and a first-year head coach, the Buckeyes have their issues, but they have displayed a knack for coming through and making the plays necessary to escape each game with victory. In games where the Buckeyes have failed to play up to their ability, as was certainly the case against Purdue, they have seemingly willed victories away from their opponents when the game is on the line. On Saturday, however, the Buckeyes will be facing a team that has shown even greater resiliency. The Buckeyes are traveling to University Park, Pa. this weekend to take on the Penn State Nittany Lions, a team that has overcome an 0-2 start to win five consecutive games. The Penn State football program was rocked within the past 12 months by the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal that cost legendary head coach Joe Paterno his job, and later had to overcome the death of Paterno and NCAA sanctions levied against the program as a result of the Sandusky scandal, all the while adjusting to a new head coach of their own in Bill O’Brien. In the first two weeks of the season, the effects of this tumult seemed to have their effect on the Nittany Lions, who suffered surprising losses to Ohio and Virginia. Since then, however, Penn State has rolled off five consecutive wins, and comes into Saturday’s matchup as a serious threat to give the Buckeyes their first loss of the season. As both teams are ineligible for postseason play, some would say they have nothing to play for, but don’t tell that to the Buckeyes or Nittany Lions. After overcoming major adversity leading into their 2012 seasons, both of these teams have taken on new identities under their new coaches, and are making their regular seasons count. Meyer’s Buckeyes are composed largely of the same personnel from the 2011 team that went 6-7, and he has reignited the winning tradition that OSU football is known for. What O’Brien has done at Penn State this season, however, is remarkable. Filling the shoes of Paterno after his 46-year career coaching PSU, and following what is arguably the worst scandal in college football history, O’Brien did not take an easy job. It will continue to be a challenge, as the Nittany Lions are in just their first year of four years of NCAA sanctioning including a postseason ban and scholarship reductions. But by bringing his no-nonsense attitude, installing an up-tempo offense and redefining the image of Penn State football, O’Brien has the Nittany Lions headed back in the right direction. On Saturday, the Nittany Lions have a chance for their first post-scandal marquee victory if they can upset the Buckeyes. Given the way PSU has rallied together and won their past five games, the Buckeyes are going to need to be on top of their game to stop that from happening. Playing an ambitious team in Beaver Stadium, the nation’s second-largest stadium, a will to win won’t be enough to remain undefeated. read more

Football Dwayne Haskins selected as No 15 overall pick by Washington in

Ohio State redshirt sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins (7) calls out a play in the first half of the Rose Bowl Game featuring Ohio State and Washington. Ohio State won 28-23. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorFor the first time since Art Schlichter in 1982, an Ohio State quarterback was selected in the first round of the NFL draft.Former Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins has been selected with the No. 15 pick in the first round of the 2019 NFL draft by the Washington Redskins.Haskins was the second Buckeye taken in the draft, after former defensive end Nick Bosa went No. 2 overall to San Francisco 49ers. He’s the first Ohio State quarterback to be drafted since Cardale Jones was picked in the fourth round by the Buffalo Bills in 2016.Haskins is the first first-round selection hailing from the Big Ten since Kerry Collins was selected No. 5 overall out of Penn State by the Carolina Panthers in 1995. Haskins set Ohio State’s new single-season record for passing yards with 4,831, completion percentage with 70 percent (minimum 100 attempts) and touchdowns with 50, earning an invitation to New York City as a Heisman Trophy finalist. He also set the single-game passing yards record, throwing for 499 against Northwestern in the 2018 Big Ten title game, and tied the record for touchdowns with six on two different occasions.Under Haskins, the Ohio State offense finished No. 2 nationally in yards per game (535.7) and No. 2 in passing yards per game (358.7).Haskins declared for the NFL draft in the weeks following Ohio State’s Rose Bowl win against Washington. read more

Column Hell is Coming fragments of horror from World War One

first_imgONE HUNDRED YEARS ago today, on 28 JULY 1914, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, setting in motion the “Great War”.This World War was the mutilation and destruction of human bodies and environment on a then-unprecedented, incomprehensible scale. In an attempt to reflect the hell that this conflict unleashed, here are some fragments of the horror, from a victim-centred perspective.CiviliansImperial Germany (fresh from their colonial genocide of the Herero and Namaqua in Namibia) invaded neutral Belgium (fresh from their heart of darkness in the Congo) and within a couple of weeks had murdered thousands of Belgian and French civilians. At Les Rivages, Dinat, seven babies were among a group of 77 unarmed inhabitants lined up against a wall and executed.The Catholic University library at Louvain was set alight with petrol and destroyed, thousands of priceless manuscripts lost forever; some 268 civilians in Louvain were murdered.In Andenne, the burgomaster Dr Camus was shot and then “finished off” with an axe. He was but one of 262 unarmed civilians murdered in that town. Fifty-five civilians were killed in Nomény, 420 in Liége, 51 in Fresnois-la-Montagne, 60 in Gerbéviller, 60 in Longuyon and 61 in Haybes. At Tamines, a town where 383 civilians were murdered, an 88-year-old woman was burned alive in her home.On the 26th August 1914 German Zeppelins attacked Antwerp, dropping hundreds of bombs on the people below, a local newspaper reports how “a married couple sitting at a window were killed, the woman having her hand cut off… one bomb made a hole 6ft deep… another bomb killed one citizen, mortally wounded two others and blew the leg off a fourth.”These archives of pain stretch from Europe into Asia. In Turkey, the Armenian, Assyrian, and Pontic Greek peoples in the Ottoman Empire were designated enemies of the state, their assets confiscated, their lives forfeit. These populations reduced by circa 2.75 million from 1914 to the 1920s, as the Ottoman’s pursued a policy of extermination. Genocide. Meanwhile in Africa, the East African campaign led to the deaths of over 100,000 conscripted African porters and carriers. This was not a headline, and has never been a headline, “because the people who suffered most were the carriers – and after all, who cares about native carriers?”Overall, the civilian death toll during World War One was around seven million.last_img read more

18 unique travel destinations that will make you want to book a

first_img Source: ShutterstockIt’s a pink lake! Need we say more?10. Fly Geyser, Nevada Source: ShutterstockThe accidental result of some drilling in the 1960s, this geyser may not be an entirely natural phenomenon, but it is still a sight to behold. Located on a private ranch in Nevada, visitors are advised to go to a restaurant named Bruno’s to organise day tours of the spring. Doesn’t sound dodgy at all.11. Takinoue Park, Japan Source: Takinoue Tourism AssociationEvery May and June, people flock to Takinoue Park to see the carpet of pink moss (shibazakura) that covers the park.12. Waitomo Glow Worm Caves, New Zealand Source: Donnie Ray Jones/FlickrA cave that includes a grotto filled with baby glowworms who emit light, you say? Amazing.13. Antelope Canyon, Arizona Source: Alessandro Giannini/FlickrThere are no words. Just look at that.14. Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah Source: James Gordon/FlickrThe National Park Service describes it as a “forest of stone” and a “cave without a roof,” but those descriptions barely do Bryce Canyon justice. Just incredible.15. Magic Forest, Shanghai Source: 2il org/FlickrWhat was once a traffic lane has since been transformed into this magical little park. Beautiful.16. Chefchaouen, Morocco Source: ShutterstockIn the Moroccan city of Chefchaouen, everything is blue. Like, everything. And it’s incredible.17. Cappadocia, Turkey Source: ShutterstockThe best way to experience the surreal scenery and ancient rock formations of Cappadocia? HOT AIR BALLOONS.18. Longyearbyen, Norway Source: svalbard.netLongyearbyen, the world’s northernmost city, is the most populous area of Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean that boasts more polar bears than humans. During the summer, the sun never sets. PARTY.7 of the most spine-chillingly creepy places in Ireland >9 photographs that prove our universe is breathtakingly beautiful > SUFFERING FROM POST-holiday blues? Eagerly counting down the days until you’re off work and embarking on a week of sunbathing? Whatever your story, here are some unique, otherworldly travel destinations to daydream about.1. Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park, China Source: ShutterstockStunning multi-coloured rock formations that were 24 million years in the making? We’re there.2. Fingal’s Cave, Staffa, Scotland Source: dun_deagh/FlickrSituated on this uninhabited island of Staffa, the entrance to Fingal’s Cave features numerous hexagonal columns that are the result of being beat up by waves over thousands of years.3. Dallol, Ethiopia Source: ShutterstockAn ancient volcanic crater, Dallol is home to spectacular landscapes that look like they’re CGI and also several acid lakes.4. Tunnel of Love, Ukraine Source: ShutterstockThe tree-lined Tunnel of Love looks like it’s from a fairytale, but it’s actually located in Kleven, Ukraine. Primarily used as a route by trains to deliver wood to a local factory, it has also become a popular spot with tourists and couples.5. Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, Iceland Source: Glacier LagoonA large glacial lake, you may have seen the breathtaking Jökulsárlón featured in the likes of Die Another Day, Batman Begins, Tomb Raider and more. (If you look really hard, you can see “Bjork woz ere” scrawled on one of the icebergs.)6.Crazy House, Vietnam Source: RStacker/FlickrIt has been described as one of the world’s most bizarre buildings and it’s easy see why. Inspired by Walt Disney and Salvador Dali, this Vietnamese guesthouse looks like it’s taken straight from a trippy fairytale and has to be seen to be believed.7. Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia Source: Clark & Kim Kays/FlickrOne of the most popular tourist attractions in Croatia and a UNESCO World Heritage Site owing to its gorgeous lakes and pretty vistas.8. Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia Source: Leonora Enking/FlickrThe world’s largest salt flat, Salar de Uyuni also doubles up as the world’s largest mirror – when water covers the salty surface, it becomes entirely reflective. Gasp.9. Laguna Salada de Torrevieja, Spainlast_img read more

Mother sentenced to 25 years in psych hospital

first_imgA mentally-ill mother who cut the throats and wrists of her two young children before trying to kill herself has been ordered to serve a 25-year custodial term in a psychiatric hospital. However Mrs Steinberg’s lawyers are confident the 43 year-old could be released in as soon as six months. Due to mental impairment Mrs Steinberg was found not guilty of attempting to murder her three year-old daughter and seven month-old son at her parents’ Glen Waverley home on April 29 last year. Supreme Court Justice Ross Robson heard she was suffering from a major depressive disorder with probable psychotic symptoms at the time of the offences. She had cut her own wrists and was lying on top of her children when her mother returned home and found them. Justice Robson, on Wednesday, ordered Mrs Steinberg to serve a mandatory 25-year custodial term under the Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act 1997. But the court heard one of two psychiatrists had suggested that her custodial order be reviewed in six months. One of the lawyers representing Mrs Steinberg, George Defteros, said a nominal order for 25 years does not mean the Greek Australian mother-of-three is going to be in custody for 25 years, but that she will be in supervision for 25 years. “After six months we will apply for her to be supervised and treated in the community. We have an excellent chance to have her out within the next six months,” he said. Based on the evidence of the psychiatrist it is advised Mrs Steinberg needs another six month’s treatment in Thomas Embling, but in the meantime she can apply for day release also. “Hopefully she will very soon get a day release to go and see her parents,” Mr Defteros said. “This terrible incident happened when she was suffering from severe, severe depression; it’s a very sad story.” The lawyer said Mrs Steinberg’s family is relieved the court case is over and continues to be supportive of their daughter. “They themselves want to have a little bit more access to their grandchildren as they were very close to them in the past. They are very anxious to see her out of the hospital as soon as possible,” Mr Defteros said. Mrs Steinberg’s ex-husband, who was in court with his lawyer, did not comment after the sentencing. “I did the committal and the ex-husband asked to be excused from being cross examined at the committal,” Mr Defteros said. “He was supportive initially, and he did make a statement to the police that my client was a good mother and he has been a little concerned for my client not to have access to the children at this stage.” Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Une puce révolutionnaire pour enregistrer lactivité cérébrale

first_imgUne puce révolutionnaire pour enregistrer l’activité cérébraleUne puce électronique 100% biocompatible et destinée à mieux capter l’activité du cerveau, a été mise au point par une équipe de chercheurs français. Ces scientifiques espèrent l’utiliser en neurochirurgie, notamment dans le diagnostic de l’épilepsie.Si notre cerveau fait aujourd’hui l’objet de multiples recherches, il n’est pas si facile à étudier. Avec l’amélioration des techniques d’imagerie, les scientifiques réussissent désormais à plonger davantage “à l’intérieur”. Toutefois, certains obstacles persistent. En effet, les capteurs qu’utilisent actuellement les scientifiques pour enregistrer l’activité cérébrale sont des électrodes en général peu performantes et qui déclenchent au bout d’un certain temps une réaction de défense des tissus qui aboutit à une perte de signal. Pour résoudre ce problème, une équipe de chercheurs français a mis au point une puce 100% biocompatible dont ils dévoilent les détails dans la revue Nature Communications. Dans leur étude, les chercheurs de l’Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale (Inserm) expliquent ainsi que pour éviter les phénomènes de rejet, ils ont conçu un transistor en matière organique (à base de composés de carbone). “La puce est dix fois plus petite qu’un cheveu en épaisseur”, explique Christophe Bernard de l’Institut de neuroscience des systèmes à Marseille qui a dirigé les recherches. Mais “la véritable révolution technologique a consisté à transformer le capteur en amplificateur, ce qui a permis de multiplier la qualité du signal par 10 par rapport aux systèmes classiques”, précise le chercheur cité par l’AFP. Le premier test a porté sur un modèle animal d’épilepsie et avant de pouvoir l’expérimenter chez l’homme, quelques obstacles doivent encore être surmontés précise M. Bernard.De multiples applications À lire aussiLe mariage aiderait à prévenir les risques de démence, mais pourquoi ? Néanmoins, il estime que cette puce pourrait avoir des “applications immédiates” dans la neurochirurgie des tumeurs et dans le diagnostic de l’épilepsie, notamment. En effet, les premiers résultats, obtenus chez le rat, montrent que la puce est plus performante que les capteurs classiques, explique-t-il.Cette nouvelle technologie devrait enfin, selon l’Inserm, permettre des avancées en recherche fondamentale. Concrètement, en interprétant les signaux émis par le cerveau et en les traduisant en informations nerveuses utilisables par l’homme, les chercheurs devraient pouvoir développer des interfaces cerveau-machine qui pourraient avoir de multiples applications médicales, y compris chez les personnes paralysées.Le 16 mars 2013 à 09:43 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more