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Lifters’shot at redemption

first_imgThe weightlifting scenario in India does not present a pretty picture. Doping controversies and allegations of sexual harassment by coaches have marred the sport. My heart weeps when I remember the glory days of Indian weightlifting.I know that the sports fan has a short memory, and in a country like India that is obsessed with cricket ( in its various avatars), this memory is shorter still! But, there was a time when weightlifters won bagfuls of medals for the tricolour. There is an abundance of instances when weightlifting medals provided the graceful veil behind which the inefficacy of other sports could hide.The period from 1992 to 2000 represented a time when Indian weightlifters not only won top honours in various categories, but were also successful in demolishing Chinese hegemony in the sport. The following instances will augment my claim.In the 1990 Asian Games, N. Kunjarani Devi opened the account for India with her silver medal. Then, in 1993- 94, a weightlifting team comprising Kunjarani, N. Laxmi and Bharti Singh did India proud by bagging medals. I had the honour of being a member of the said team.The 1994- 95 years were historic not just for weightlifting, but for Indian women as well, when the love, support and prayers of the entire nation helped me win the World Championships.Similar instances can be found in the annals of the weightlifting record books when Indian weightlifters announced their arrival on the world stage with podium finishes. For me, and for the entire Indian weightlifting fraternity, the zenith came with the bronze medal at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.advertisementUnfortunately, its downfall came soon after.The medals were few and far between, and those that we did win weren’t too convincing either. The stamp of authority that was the hallmark of the Indian weightlifters became a thing of the past.The important question is what went wrong? The reasons for the decline are varied.The seniors in the weightlifting team retired in quick succession, leaving behind a vacuum that the bench players were not prepared to fill.The lack of bench strength severely affected the attitudes and morale of the Indian weightlifters. A malaise which continues to this day as evidenced by the fact that the records I made more than 10 years ago still stand.In Sydney, I lifted 110 kg in the snatch category and 130 kg in the clean and jerk category in the 69 kg class, which is yet to be surpassed, while my 1998 Bangkok Asiad records of 105 kg and 127 kg have yet to be bettered by an Indian.Then there was the failure of certain Indian weightlifters to win through hard work and perseverance, and taking short cuts to the top by doping.Never before has the sport found itself more embarrassed by doping controversies and they have affected expectations and even cast doubts on the medals that were won by past players.However, the current Commonwealth Games in Delhi affords Indian weightlifters a rare opportunity to reclaim their rightful place at the top and there is only one way of doing it – winning medals and winning them convincingly! I wish all our lifters the best of luck.(The writer is an Olympics bronze medal winning weightlifter)last_img read more

Ind in Eng: Dhoni blames tight schedule for poor show

first_imgFaced with the prospect of losing the number one tag after conceding a 0- 2 lead to England in the ongoing Test series, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni blamed a cramped schedule for his team’s poor performance so far.He, however, hoped that with considerable rest before the next Test of the four-match series, India will stage a turnaround.”Somebody said time is of essence here. We came straight from the Caribbean and didn’t have time to play more than one (practice) game. So we are playing seven and not four matches back-to-back,” Dhoni said after India suffered a crushing 319-run defeat in the second Test at Trent Bridge on Monday.”It (this series) is a continuation of the West Indies tour and we haven’t really had a gap. It’s a mental thing as well because for some of us it’s been a sevenmatch Test series with hardly any gap.”The preparation needs to be slightly different which is why we are saying the next 10 days are important for us – not only physically but mentally as well,” added Dhoni.With Virender Sehwag set to join the squad, and Gautam Gambhir and Zaheer Khan likely to be fit for the third Test at Edgbaston on August 10, Dhoni expressed hope of a comeback.The series so far has been hard on India and Dhoni admitted that his famed batting lineup needs to fire to give the visitors any hope of a turnaround.”It is important to score and put runs on the board. We have been slightly lacking in this respect. Even in the West Indies, we didn’t score runs consistently. We do need improvement in the batting,” he said.advertisement”In all the three innings, we haven’t been able to see the second new ball through. In conditions such as these, it is vital. We don’t want our batters from number eight onwards to be exposed to the second new ball.” Dhoni also seemed concerned about his own form in the series.”My form is a bit of concern but my preparation and process is alright and when it’s so, you don’t really need to worry. It takes only 15 deliveries to strike form,” he said.The Indian skipper said injuries to Zaheer, Gambhir and Sehwag hampered India.”We missed Zaheer in the middle of the (first) Test and that too in the first innings. We missed Harbhajan in this game. The openers were missing. Conditions really have been tough for us,” Dhoni said.Dhoni conceded England’s batting runs deep but insisted that it can be managed if he has the services of his top four bowlers.”Their batting runs quite deep. Only (James) Anderson to some extent doesn’t bat. We had them down to 124 for 8 in the first innings and yet they were able to score 100 more runs. But if all our four bowlers are playing and are fit, there is no reason why we can’t get them out,” he said.Indian batsmen appeared uncomfortable against shortpitched deliveries in the second Test but Dhoni said it was not a big issue.”It’s not that we haven’t done well against short-pitched balls.Sometimes, individuals get caught up for a while but most of the batsmen are used to short- pitched bowling. It’s not a big concern,” he insisted.He also disagreed with views that the young batsmen of the team are not comfortable against short deliveries.”You need to give consistent chance to newcomers in Tests. You need to groom talent. Sometimes they come and score a few centuries but you want them to be consistent,” Dhoni said.– With PTI inputslast_img read more

Govt says English won’t count for UPSC Civil Services Aptitude Test, students continue protests

first_imgThe agitating students also slammed the government.Under mounting pressure from protesting civil service aspirants, the BJP-led NDA government on Monday said the marks in English language comprehension skills of the UPSC aptitude test will not be included in the merit list. But students said their demands still remain “unfulfilled”.Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh said in parliament: “Government is of the opinion that in the civil services preliminary examination, paper II, the marks of the question section on ‘English language comprehension skills’ should not be included in gradation or merit.”The minister also announced that candidates who appeared in Civil Services Examination 2011 may be allowed one more attempt in 2015.However, protesting civil service aspirants were not satisfied with the government’s statement. They said they wanted the Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) to be done away with altogether.”The government has studied the matter very deeply and tried to handle it sensitively,” Jitendra Singh told both houses of Parliament.He first read out a written statement in the Lok Sabha and later in the Rajya Sabha.But the matter rocked the Rajya Sabha where opposition members from non-Hindi speaking region raised questions about the government’s announcement.Noisy protests were seen inside the house, leading to several adjournments.”Students from south India may be understanding English better than Hindi. What about them,” said Vayalar Ravi of the Congress, and was joined by other members from non-Hindi speaking states.However, Singh clarified: “We have made it language neutral.”advertisementBut members were not ready to listen.”The non-Hindi speaking students have been facing bias for very long,” said Kanimozhi of the DMK.In response, Jitendra Singh said all languages in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution are treated equally and that status remains unchanged.The agitating students also slammed the government.Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh.Students have been protesting for the past two weeks, asking the government to scrap the CSAT and calling it “discriminatory” against those with a Hindi and humanities background.”We were assured that the CSAT will be done away with, but the minister’s statement talks nothing about that. Instead, they have cheated us by deciding to not consider marks for English comprehension,” Subhankar Vats, a civil service aspirant, told IANS.Vats explained that the comprehension, which is a part of paper II of preliminary examination, consists of four passages, out of which two are easy with no translation, while the other two are difficult.He said the students feel “cheated” by the government for not heeding to their demand.The agitating students said they will resume their protest and will further intensify it till their demands are met. They also demanded the postponement of the preliminary exam scheduled for August 24.”The comprehensions the government has decided to not consider are the easy ones in which most of us score,” added Vats.The preliminary examination is divided into two sections – General Studies (Paper I) and CSAT (Paper II) and both papers are of 200 marks each.Supportive of the government’s decision, Janata Dal-United spokesperson K.C. Tyagi said: “We support the decision of the government…This is the result of the struggle of protesting students all over. The government had to bow to their demand.””At the same time, the government must also listen to the grievances of the non-Hindi speaking students who are still on protest,” Tyagi said.Educationist Kamal Kumar Chenoy said the government, in pursuit of giving importance to Hindi, cannot ignore other regional languages.”Since these are IAS examinations…English becomes an indispensable subject. But, it is a matter of concern that the number of students with a humanities background qualifying for the exams has reduced,” he said.Agitated students argued that their fight was never about languages, but about the technical errors in the exam.”Though CSAT is called an aptitude test, there are only six aptitude questions in it and the maximum are mathematics and reasoning. So, that puts students with non-science background at a loss,” Ashish, an aspirant, said.The CSAT-II paper carries questions on comprehension, interpersonal skills including communication skills, logical reasoning and analytical ability, decision-making and problem-solving, general mental ability, basic numeracy and English language comprehension skills (of Class 10 level).last_img read more

HTC U11 price revealed ahead of tomorrow’s launch, to go on sale on May 19

first_imgHTC U11 is set to launch tomorrow, May 16. Ahead of the launch, the smartphone has been subjected to several leaks and rumours which revealed a lot about the flagship device even before it could launch. Now a new leak almost confirms the price of the upcoming HTC U11. The report comes from Mobilexpose which mentions that the the flagship phone is expected to be priced at $659 (roughly around Rs 42,261). The report apart from revealing the price, also states that the smartphone will go on sale on May 19. However, the company is yet to confirm on the same as of now. Further, if the leaked report is to be taken seriously, the upcoming HTc U11 will go on sale only in Taiwan for the time being. However, is soon expected to enter other markets, including India very soon. Maybe in the coming few days or months.Also Read: HTC U11 can record 360-degree video shows new teaser, launch set for May 16Well, as of now, this bit of information about the flagship phone should be taken with a pinch of salt as HTC is yet to confirm on the same. As mentioned earlier, the smartphone has been subjected to several leaks and speculations. A recently leaked video teaser shows that the device comes with the ability to record 360-degree video. The video shows that the upcoming flagship device by HTC is capable of “360 real-life recording”.The flagship phone also made its way to the GeekBench, GFXBench and other benchmarking websites as well, wherein the listing reveals a lot about the handset. A few days ago, complete specs sheet of the device has also been leaked. The specs sheet shows that the HTC U11 will come packed with a 5.5-inch QHD display, 4GB RAM, coupled with 64GB internal storage. However, an info-graphics leaked earlier shows that 6GB of RAM with 128GB of internal storage space. This clearly shows that chances are that HTC U11 can be launched in two variants.advertisementAlso Read: HTC U11 spotted on GFXBench, full specs sheet leakedThe listing further states that the upcoming HTC U11 flagship phone is expected to run on Android 7.1.1 Nougat and will be further powered by Qualcomm’s latest processor, which also powers the Samsung Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8 Plus and Xiaomi Mi 6 – Snapdragon 835 chipset. Furthermore, the same processor is expected to be seen on the OnePlus 5, which is rumoured to launch next month.Further on the camera front, HTC U11 is expected to come with a 12-megapixel camera on the rear which comes also with OIS and HTC’s “UltraPixel 3” and “UltraSpeed AF” brandings. While on the other hand fits a 16-megapixel selfie shooter on the front, with f/2.0 and selfie panorama. Display wise, the smartphone is going to sport a 5.5-inch Quad HD display and is further protected by a Gorilla Glass 5.Well, all the information about the upcoming HTC U11 for now should be taken with a pinch of salt, until the official launch of the device, which is all prepared to unveil tomorrow.last_img read more

Iowa State AD after the OSU game: ‘It’s frustrating and not fair’

first_imgWow.Iowa State’s athletic director Jamie Pollard went crazy in the post game press conference about Big 12 officiating — likely because of this questionable TD by Desmond Roland at the end of the first half.“We’ve been on the short end of several controversial calls,” said Pollard. “And it’s hard to sit idle and watch ESPN, Fox, other announcers not debate but to feel sorry for Iowa State because maybe there will be another apology for a call.”“It’s no longer fair to put our student athletes, our coaching staff, and our fans in that position. I don’t know how things change but it’s frustrating and it’s not fair.”How do you really feel, Jamie?“I recognize that the Big 12 does not allow comments to be made on officiating. I recognize there are penalties for that. But folks our institution has been penalized already.”“Something’s gotta be done. I don’t know what it is but there needs to be more accountability on what happens in certain situations.”I get it. I don’t necessarily fault him for doing this because he wants his squad to know he has their backs. But it does sort of come off as petulant.Every team gets bad calls, it’s part of sports. Has Iowa State gotten a higher portion than all other teams in the Big 12? I don’t know, maybe they have. But unless you think there’s a conspiracy I’m not sure this is the best way to go about addressing it.My barometer?It’s tough to see Mike Holder doing that.If 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

Man City tiring? De Bruyne feeling like ‘s***’

first_imgManchester City Man City tiring? De Bruyne feeling like ‘s***’ Dejan Kalinic 11:14 2/5/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) KevinDeBruyne - Cropped Getty Images Manchester City Kevin De Bruyne Premier League The Premier League leaders’ busy schedule is already taking its toll, the team’s star midfielder said Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne admitted he was already feeling “like s***” during the Premier League leaders’ busy campaign.Pep Guardiola’s side are still on track to win a quadruple, but were held to a 1-1 draw by Burnley in the league on Saturday.But with City given four days off after the draw, De Bruyne said the busy schedule was taking its toll. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player “I was feeling it from the first minute,” the Belgium international told UK newspapers.”You feel great for 10 games, then you feel OK for 10 games and then the rest you feel like s***.”Manchester City, who are 13 points clear atop the Premier League, are next in action when they host Leicester City on Saturday.While his team were held by Burnley, De Bruyne said the performance was still good.”We should have won the game, it’s just the way it is but nobody is complaining about the way we played,” he said.”It is very hard now and we haven’t got any players left so maybe we do feel a little bit of tiredness which makes it a little bit more difficult but I thought the way we played was exceptional.”last_img read more

Netherlands bow out with heads held high as USWNT win WWC

first_imgWhen the orange of the Netherlands flooded into France five weeks ago, a World Cup final was not expected to follow.Their underwhelming 1-0 victory over New Zealand in Le Havre, sealed by substitute Jill Roord’s 92nd minute winner, was similar in many ways to their 1-0 win over Sweden in the semi-finals, which required extra time.Jackie Groenen was the hero this time and it was a great goal, but it wasn’t one that will have struck fear in the United States, holders and three-time winners of the World Cup who had an extra rest day on them already. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Never were they expected to become the first team to break the Americans’ record of scoring inside the first 13 minutes of every game at the tournament, never mind be right in the game up until the hour – the time which marked Megan Rapinoe’s penalty and the start of the USA’s road to a 2-0 victory and fourth World Cup title.The Netherlands’ boss, Sarina Wiegman, had the benefit of watching six coaches before her try to out-tactic this winning machine.Of particular interest to her will have been Phil Neville’s attempts with England in the semi-finals, and Jorge Vilda’s effort with Spain in the last 16.From the former, she embraced the 4-2-3-1 set-up, choosing to deploy Vivanne Miedema behind the lightning pace of Lineth Beerensteyn and, in turn, bringing out the best performance from the Arsenal forward in this tournament. It also brought out the best of the Dutch.“We’ve got such a great counter attack. I think that’s our best thing,” said midfielder Danielle van de Donk after the Sweden win.With the ever so slight tweak from their usual 4-3-3, and Miedema’s change of position, that much was clear.On the back foot, that became a 4-4-1-1, the Oranje sitting deep and happy to let the USA dominate the game to give them what England lacked – defensive solidity.Amouk Dekker Megan Rapinoe USWNT Netherlands Women's World Cup 2019Alex Morgan Stefanie Van der Gragt USWNT USA Women's World Cup 2019After she had masterminded a victory in the Netherlands’ home Euros two years ago, Wiegman was showing her tactical nous here again.The United States needed two penalties to beat Spain and defensive lapses to beat England. For the Netherlands to win this game, it was going to have to be an absolutely perfect performance.When they were crowned European champions in 2017, it came down to a combination of team spirit, lack of expectation and unwavering home support.The same recipe paved an unlikely path to the World Cup final. The Dutch tried their utmost in noise to make this feel like anything but the away game it was in numbers. The American fans were here in huge numbers, surrounding the bright orange pockets of their opposing fans in the Stade de Lyon.But the way that the Dutch have invaded France, doubling the population of Valenciennes when they packed out the Stade du Hainaut for a group stage win over Cameroon, is a great metaphor for the way their team have exploded onto the women’s football scene.For a long time, the Netherlands have been one of the top teams in world football, three-time runners-up in the World Cup and European champions in 1988.Their tactical and technical roots, inspired by the late and great Johan Cruyff, make them one of the most unique nations in the game – and now, women’s football is enjoying that.At the moment, the Women’s World Cup is the USA’s stage and very rarely in France has it looked like the trophy would not be theirs once this 2019 edition came to an end.But the Netherlands are here now. Nine of their 23 players at this tournament were 25 or under. They have reached two finals in two years – and the World Cup final in just their second appearance at the tournament.Throw their football philosophy and history into the mix, as well as a young, exciting coach like Wiegman, and everyone should be excited.And as the pockets of orange proudly waved their tricolour flags in the final moments of this showpiece, it was clear – they know this will not be their only shot at World Cup glory.last_img read more

Newfoundland gets ready for wave of tourists who Come From Away

first_imgAdvertisement ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — As the hit musical “Come From Away” takes Broadway by storm, Newfoundlanders are getting ready for a potential wave of tourists drawn to the place where those true stories happened. ——— “No doubt we’re going to be expecting an influx of people,” said Debby Yannikidis of the Gander and Area Chamber of Commerce. “There’s a common thread of human kindness and caring throughout the Newfoundland culture that most do experience when they come to visit,” he said. Exit surveys typically indicate that hiking, birds, icebergs and whales initially drew guests to the island — but encounters with Newfoundlanders were the trip highlights, he added. Advertisement “The majority of people say their best experience was with the people. When people come to Newfoundland, they’re taking a cultural adventure. Advertisement The extraordinary 9/11 hospitality of Gander and nearby communities is celebrated in the big-hearted musical now selling out tickets and racking up accolades — including seven Tony Award nominations. Beulah Cooper, a Gander resident and 9/11 volunteer portrayed in the play, said there’s also talk of her and other locals meeting with visitors who’d like to hear their stories first-hand. The North Atlantic Aviation Museum on the highway through Gander houses a piece of World Trade Center steel donated by firefighters on Long Island, N.Y., as thanks for the province’s generosity. It’s part of a larger 9/11 memorial display. Yannikidis said there are plans for tours that will include locations featured in “Come From Away.” It recounts what happened when the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, closed U.S. air space. Gander nearly doubled in population as 38 planes with almost 6,600 passengers and crew suddenly diverted to the sprawling international airport on the edge of town.Gander and its neighbours in Gambo, Appleton, Lewisporte, Norris Arm and Glenwood donated food, clothing, prescription drugs and anything else their unexpected guests needed. Churches and a school became makeshift shelters and many residents welcomed “the plane people” into their homes. “The town is preparing. Is it preparing to the degree it should be? We hope so. But we really won’t know until we get through this season.” LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment “The scenery is the main attraction, but that soon becomes the backdrop.”BY SUE BAILEY “Come From Away” has been praised for acknowledging the pain that resonates from 9/11 as it also provides a cathartic look at how compassion for strangers helped restore some faith in humanity.Yannikidis said Gander wants to welcome visitors who will arrive as a result. But people are keenly aware that the musical and any resulting economic opportunity stem from tragedy, she added. “I think that’s why it’s important that the aviation museum, a not-for-profit organization, is taking the lead on being able to provide tourists some sort of an experience.” Facebook If You Go… Disoriented, frightened passengers from around the globe were simply taken into the communities over the next five days. For tips on travel to Newfoundland and Labrador: http://www.newfoundlandlabrador.com/ Ken Sooley, owner of CapeRace Newfoundland Adventures, offers self-managed packages that include the keys to various coastal homes, a rental car and his guide book. He has added a side trip to Gander this year as “Come From Away” buzz grows. For information on the North Atlantic Aviation Museum: https://northatlanticaviationmuseum.com/ “I feel humbled by it all,” she said of the musical’s triumph on Broadway and beyond. “When we were in New York, I said to (Gander Mayor) Claude Elliott: ‘Claude, I’ve invited half of New York to come to my place.’ And he said: ‘Yes, Beulah, and I’ve invited the other half.’” Login/Register With: Twitterlast_img read more

Sirisena slams ties ex leader had with Gaddafi

President Maithripala Sirisena today criticized the relationship some former Sri Lankan leaders had with former Libyan Leader Muammar Gaddafi.Speaking to reporters in Colombo today, the President recalled how Gaddafi was seen in photographs with his arm around one former Sri Lankan leader. Former President Mahinda Rajapakse openly maintained a strong relationship with Muammar Gaddafi despite western global powers accusing him of being a dictator until his death. Meanwhile President Maithripala Sirisena also slammed the behavior of some politicians of the former regime for slinging mud at the UN.He recalled how some politicians staged protests outside the UN office in Colombo when the human rights issue was discussed in Geneva. The President also noted that countries like India, China and the US assisted Sri Lanka to defeat the LTTE.He said that the new Sri Lankan Government has been able to unite the UN Human Rights Council, which was earlier divided on the Sri Lankan issue. (Colombo Gazette) Sirisena did not mention Rajapaksa and his relationship with Gaddafi but the photograph he mentioned was that of Rajapaksa and Gaddafi in Libya. read more

UN police arrest alleged leader of last months deadly Kosovo riots

A UN spokesperson told reporters today that Avdyl Mushkolaj was detained on Saturday, following the issuing of a warrant for his arrest by an international judge. Mr. Mushkolaj is alleged to have led and incited riots in the town of Decani on 17 March.Several days of rioting and violent attacks in Kosovo last month, the worst since the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) assumed control of the province in June 1999, left 19 people dead and hundreds injured and drove thousands of people, mostly Kosovo Serbs, from their homes. Hundreds of homes and religious buildings, including churches and monasteries, were destroyed or damaged as well.In another development, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for the province, Harri Holkeri, has replaced the managing director of the Kosovo Trust Agency.In a statement Mr. Holkeri said he had decided to replace Marie Fucci in the post “to continue the privatization process more decisively.” He thanked Ms. Fucci for her dedication and commitment “in very difficult circumstances.” read more

US home prices jumped 121 per cent in April biggest yearoveryear gain

US home prices jumped 12.1 per cent in April, biggest year-over-year gain in more than 7 years WASHINGTON – U.S. home prices soared 12.1 per cent in April from a year earlier, the biggest gain since February 2006, as more buyers competed for fewer homes.Real estate data provider CoreLogic says prices rose in April from the previous April in 48 states. Price also rose 3.2 per cent in April from March, much better than the previous month-to-month gain of 1.9 per cent.Prices in Nevada jumped 24.6 per cent from a year earlier, the most among the states. California’s gain was next at 19.4 per cent, followed by Arizona’s 17.3 per cent, Hawaii’s 17 per cent and Oregon’s 15.5 per cent.More potential buyers have been seeking to purchase homes. But the number of homes for sale is 14 per cent lower than it was a year ago. The supply shortage has contributed to the price increases.Rising home prices can help sustain the housing recovery. They encourage more homeowners to put their homes on the market, as more grow confident that they can sell at a good price. And they spur would-be homeowners to buy before prices increase further.Home sales and prices began to recover last year, six years after the housing bust. They have been buoyed by steady job gains and low mortgage rates.Sales of previously occupied homes ticked up to a 3 1/2 year high in April, according to the National Association of Realtors. And they are likely to keep growing: A measure of signed contracts to buy homes rose to its highest level in three years in April. There is generally a one- to two-month lag between a signed contract and a completed sale.The limited supply of homes has also made builders more willing to ramp up construction. That’s creating more construction jobs. Applications for building permits rose in April to the highest level in nearly five years.Prices rose in April from the previous year in 94 out of the 100 largest U.S. cities, CoreLogic said. That’s up from 88 in the previous month.Los Angeles and Phoenix reported the biggest price gains among the cities, CoreLogic said. Prices in both cities leapt 19.2 per cent compared with a year earlier.They were followed by Atlanta and Riverside-San Bernardino, which both posted 16.5 per cent gains. Dallas rounded out the top five, with a 10.2 per cent increase.Despite the large gains, home prices are more than 22 per cent below their April 2006 peak, the CoreLogic survey found.In Nevada, they are still 47.3 per cent below their peak, and in Florida, prices are 40.5 per cent below peak levels.___Follow Chris Rugaber on Twitter at http://Twitter.com/ChrisRugaber by Christopher S. Rugaber, The Associated Press Posted Jun 4, 2013 8:01 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

Montrealbased Bombardier confirms US12 billion in British railway contracts

MONTREAL – Bombardier has signed previously announced US$1.2 billion in contracts to supply and maintain railway cars that will secure 1,000 jobs at its Derby facility in England.The company will supply 665 Aventra railcars to government-selected railway operator Abellio as part of a broader effort to improve service in the region of East Anglia.The entire project is described as the largest privately-procured train order in the U.K.In addition to the US$1.1 billion deal, Bombardier (TSX:BBD.B) signed a separate US$108-million maintenance contract for seven years.The new trains are expected to be delivered between January 2019 and September 2020. by The Canadian Press Posted Sep 30, 2016 8:48 am MDT Last Updated Sep 30, 2016 at 9:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Montreal-based Bombardier confirms US$1.2 billion in British railway contracts read more

Ahead of Afghan runoff election UN calls for improved polling process

“The run-off vote is an unprecedented event for Afghanistan’s democracy,” said the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan, Ján Kubiš.He renewed his congratulations to around seven million people who voted on 5 April for their “extraordinary performance” which led to a higher than expected first round vote.“Afghans remain undeterred by attacks against the democratic process and are determined to take control of their destiny and provide their next leader with a full mandate and legitimacy,” Mr. Kubiš said of the message that would be sent by Afghans voters in the two rounds.On 14 June, they will head back to the polls to choose between Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani.There are expectations that the Commissioners of the Independent Election Commission and the Head of Secretariat will implement some technical changes in this second round. Candidates and observers, among others, recommended improvements to transparency and communications in the management of the results and complaints following the April vote. Mr. Kubiš, who met yesterday with the Commissioners, stressed that elections are both a technical and a political exercise.“Technical improvements alone will not result in a better election without the political will of candidates to respect the process and its results and to disavow fraud by their supporters, as well as for government officials to remain impartial,” said Mr. Kubiš, who is also the head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).Meanwhile, Afghan civilian society groups and the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission today released a report documenting how Afghans view their prospects for peace.With information derived from focus groups and other interviews with 4,648 Afghan men, women and youth from all 34 provinces, the report summarizes a wide scope of ideas that are considered essential to achieving lasting peace in the country. The report includes 30 provincial-level road maps for peace, and a 10-point national road map.Among the issues prioritized by Afghans are: disarming and disempowering local militias, tackling widespread corruption and impunity among the police and judiciary, resolving ethnic tensions, tribal disputes and factional conflicts which fuel broader armed conflict, respecting human rights and women’s rights and providing equitable development assistance and service delivery across Afghanistan as well as improving the education system and empowering youth.“UNAMA fully supports the findings of the Afghan People’s Dialogue on Peace which is an important, inclusive rights-based peacebuilding initiative,” said UNAMA’s Human Rights director, Georgette Gagnon.“Policymakers should ensure that Afghan men, women and youth are meaningfully included in the peace process and have a real say in the future direction of their county,” she continued. Ms. Gagnon added that the future Afghan leader should listen to the people’s views and the solutions they propose and incorporate them into stabilization and development efforts. read more

Former Auburn Player Sentenced to 15 Years For Robbery

Antonio Goodwin, a former Auburn football player from Atlanta, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for the March 2011 armed home-invasion robbery that also resulted in charges against three teammates from the 2010 National Championship team.”I want to apologize for my action and my poor judgment,” Goodwin said before the sentencing. ”In the time I was at home, I had time to think about it and I’ve become a better person and a better decision-maker.”Goodwin was convicted in April of first-degree robbery in the March 2011 home invasion. The occupants of a mobile home told police they were robbed at gunpoint. No one was injured.Goodwin’s former teammates Mike McNeil, Dakota Moseley and Shaun Kitchens await trial. McNeil was the starting safety on Auburn’s national championship squad.Defense attorney Lauryn Lauderdale requested a probation hearing and said she planned to appeal. Lauderdale said she would also apply for a split sentence if probation is denied, shortening his prison time.Goodwin, who’s from Atlanta, and family held hands in prayer in the hallway while awaiting the judge’s ruling, which was in the middle of state sentencing guidelines of 117-255 months.At times Goodwin laid his head on the table while family members and an Atlanta pastor spoke on his behalf.Hughes acknowledged that Goodwin’s actions were ”inconsistent somewhat with his history.””It is not uncommon for a terrible offense to happen and not be a habit,” he said. ”The one offense often does have tragic consequences.”Lauderdale had argued that Goodwin was impaired after smoking synthetic marijuana, or spice, the night of the robbery with Kitchens, Moseley and other teammates. read more

NICE HANDBALL STORY Wisla fans with Hungarian flag for Veszprem…

Some nice handball stories stay in the shadow of the scandals and something which making more effects for some media. That was also a gesture of Orlen Wisla Plock fans before the first match of the VELUX EHF Champions League TOP 16 against Hungarian Veszprem. Very important match for both teams didn’t make any kind of negative pressure on the fans. Home fans made tbe Hungarian flag by red-white-green ballons next to Polish one and showed big respect to the rival…Here you can find WISLA TV review of the match…http://www.wislatv.pl/pl/component/sprtv/film/393-magazyn-sportowy-nr-143 ← Previous Story Sydney Uniare Australian handball champions Next Story → Patrekur Johannesson about shot-clock: We should test it, why not? read more

Chumby 8 Debuts

first_imgMeet the new Chumby — slightly better than the old Chumby. The latest model in the line of adorable personal Internet devices features a larger eight-inch (hence the “8” in the name) 800-by-600 resistive touchscreen and a revamped user interface.The picture frame-looking device makes it easier for users to discover content like music and apps from the homepage. The device currently has access to more than 1,500 apps, including e-mail, weather, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, plus media like Pandora, The New York Times, and podcasts from CBS.The device sports 2GB of memory 128MG of RAM, an 800MHz Marvell ARMADA, 802.11b/g, and a dimmable backlight.AdChoices广告last_img read more

Solar drone could spy on you for nine hours straight

first_imgNot keen about the prospect of drones whizzing about in the skies overhead? Here’s some news you won’t want to hear: a company has built a prototype solar-powered drone, the Puma AE, that is capable of flying non-stop for more than nine hours.That’s an entire working day of airborne snooping, which is what you would assume a drone built by defense contractor AeroVironment would be tasked with (that, or actual military strikes), but it’s not even close to the longest drone flight recorded. That record belongs to England’s QinetiQ, whose Zephyr drone remained aloft for more than two weeks.AeroVironment (who also teamed up with NASA on the Helios, above) collaborated with a startup called Alta Devices, which claims to build the world’s thinnest and lightest solar cells. That makes Alta’s cells a nice fit for something like a drone, where weight is a key design consideration. Alta’s cells are some of the most efficient flexible cells around and they also boast an efficiency of around 24%.The Puma AE (pics in the gallery above) drone’s built-in batteries can keep it aloft for just three hours on their own, so the cells are clearly worth the added bulk. Sure, such a drone would also work well at, say, an outdoor music festival where it could deliver beer to revelers all day long.Given that Alta Devices has spent more than a year courting military types with the promise of mobile chargers that can greatly reduce the amount of weight soldiers lug around, however, spy and attack drones are a more likely destination for its thin gallium arsenide cells.Ah, the future! Where old men will sit on their porches and reminisce about a simpler time… A time when drones were either part of a bee colony or a bagpipe component. VIEW PHOTO GALLERY Puma drone 4Puma drone 4Puma drone 3Puma drone 2Puma droneNano droneRaven G droneWasp AE dronePumaAE dronelast_img read more

Trump signs opioid bill expected to add help in Clark County

first_imgPresident Donald Trump signed bipartisan legislation addressing the opioid crisis into law Wednesday. The bill contains federal funding expected to provide treatment and services in Clark County.The bill focuses on preventing addiction through improved access to treatment centers and eliminating some coverage restrictions for patients on Medicare or Medicaid.Nationwide, nearly 48,000 people overdosed from opioid use last year. In Clark County 39 people died as a result of opioid overdose, and 732 deaths occurred statewide.“Together, we are going to end the scourge of drug addiction in America,” Trump said at an event celebrating the bill’s signing. “We are going to end it or we are going to at least make an extremely big dent in this terrible, terrible problem.”Trump declared the epidemic an emergency last October. A report from the Government Accountability Office, released this week, evaluated the results of Trump’s emergency declaration at the request of Democrats, including Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash. The report found the White House fell short on its promises. In the last year, only three new authorities were granted as a result of the emergency, which included giving two states permission to progress faster with programming and providing support for proposed research initiatives.In a statement, Murray said, “While President Trump’s repeated failures to live up to his promises are disappointing, I’m glad Congress has been able to lead the way on taking meaningful steps to help the families and communities on the front lines of this crisis by providing additional funds and passing a comprehensive bill to address the root causes and ripple effects of this epidemic.”last_img read more