What ‘missteps’? The Beermen have ran roughshod over the competition as they have put the demons of the past behind to solve their woes in the second conference.Winning the Commissioner’s Cup, a championship that has eluded the franchise since 2000, will bring San Miguel closer to its quest for a rare Grand Slam, a fitting achievement for a powerhouse team that has lorded over the league for the better part of the last three years.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutHowever, a dangerous TNT squad wants nothing but to deny its fierce rival a crack at those feats and taste triumph again, as it hopes to reclaim the title it last won back in 2015.And the KaTropa have the tools to do just that. After all, they are just one of the three teams to deal the Beermen a rare loss this conference in a 112-103 win last May 5. With the finals two days away, here are INQUIRER’s keys to victory.Smith’s statusTristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netSituation surrounding reinforcement Joshua Smith looms like a bad cloud above TNT’s head.Exiting Game 3 of the KaTropa’s semifinals series against Ginebra, the burly import came back with a vengeance in Game 4 as he racked 18 points and five rebounds to close out the series.Still, doubts are casted on even if Smith himself vowed to be fine for the championship series.ADVERTISEMENT If Smith stays true to his word, TNT may just have the kryptonite to San Miguel’s June Mar Fajardo with his sheer size the perfect foil to the three-time PBA MVP.The KaTropa won the elimination duel with a different import in Donte Greene imposing his will down low to a 40-20 game.Smith isn’t expected to churn out those numbers, but if he can throw his weight around, the battle in the paint may just tilt toward TNT.Rhodes’ foul woesSpeaking of imports, San Miguel also has its own conundrum with Charles Rhodes.Though the mercurial import is averaging 27.8 points, 10.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.8 blocks, and 1.3 steals, he has often times found himself saddled on the bench due to foul troubles much to the chagrin of coach Leo Austria.Rhodes did show glimpses of him adapting to the officiating from time to time, but it’s yet to be seen, what version of him will show up in the title clash, which is a first for the 31-year-old Galveston, Texas native.Castro’s right hand manIt may be an import-laden conference, but Jayson Castro hasn’t shied away from the limelight as he remains to be the top guy for TNT.Case in point was him tallying an eye-popping performance to the tune of 38 points, seven rebounds, and 11 assists to steer the KaTropa to the Finals and arrange this date with the Beermen. As great as he is, Castro can’t do it alone, especially against San Miguel’s terror trio of Alex Cabagnot, Chris Ross, and Marcio Lassiter.RR Garcia has emerged as Castro’s best backcourt partner in the semis series, but Roger Pogoy, Ryan Reyes, and Kris Rosales must step up as well if TNT seeks to vanquish its fancied foe.Three’s aplentySan Miguel and TNT have embraced the power of three.That’s why it’s no surprise that the two finals protagonists rank in the upper half of the league when it comes to three-point attempts, with the KaTropa at first and the Beermen at third.Though we’ve already mentioned the guards, we haven’t even brought up TNT’s Ranidel de Ocampo, Troy Rosario and Mo Tautuaa, as well as San Miguel’s Arwind Santos and Ronald Tubid.The question now is which team will shoot themselves to the championship and which team will shoot themselves in the foot.Pandora’s boxGiven the star power of both teams, even the slightest of adjustments can make the biggest differences in the long run.And for coaches Leo Austria and Nash Racela, digging deep in their bench could be one of the moves which can swing the momentum to their side. WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garage Racela has already done his, unleashing guys like Garcia and Anthony Semerad to play vital roles in TNT’s semifinals duel against Ginebra.Austria has made the same moves, albeit in a more minimal scale by fielding in Gabby Espinas and Brian Heruela to get some minutes in the Star series.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH LATEST STORIES 1 dead in Cavite blast, fire MOST READ World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide Cornerstones of their own conglomerates, San Miguel and TNT clash anew as they renew their rivalry, this time in the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup trophy.ADVERTISEMENT ‘Excited’ Terrence Romeo out to cherish first PBA finals appearance PLAY LIST 01:30’Excited’ Terrence Romeo out to cherish first PBA finals appearance00:51Racela keeps faith in TNT import Joshua Smith00:50Trending Articles02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Corbin wins Money in the Bank; Mahal retains WWE title Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. 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LATEST STORIES Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook walks down the court in the final seconds of Game 2 of the team’s NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Houston Rockets, Wednesday, April 19, 2017, in Houston. Houston won 115-111. APRussell Westbrook played the best basketball of his life for the Oklahoma City Thunder last season, winning the 2016 NBA Most Valuable Player award in the process.His efforts on the court have been rewarded, as the spitfire guard will reportedly sign an approximately $200 million 10-year extension with the Jordan Brand.ADVERTISEMENT Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Rain or Shine fends off Wright, Phoenix MOST READ Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Given the enigmatic superstar’s flair for the dramatic—both inside the court and when it comes to fashion—the shoe will be “unlike anything that Jordan Brand has done before.”Furthermore, the Jordan Brand also pledged to support Westbrook’s “Why Not?” Foundation and sweetened the deal with an “ambassador clause,” which would keep him with the company after even after his retirement. Khristian Ibarrol /raSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side The deal, as per ESPN’s Nick DePaula, will be the most lucrative ever in the history of Jordan athletes.The 28-year-old UCLA product is coming off a five-year deal with NBA legend Michael Jordan’s signature brand, which he signed in 2013.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingWith his stock getting higher after winning the league’s biggest individual award, the Jordan Brand took the opportunity to lock up one of the most sought-after stars in today’s game.Although details of the deal remain scarce, DePaula said Westbrook’s first ever signature line of shoes is also expected to be released. Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul View comments
Left-arm spinner Axar Patel and top-order batsman Karun Nair put up impressive performances as India A comfortably beat Afghanistan A by seven wickets to register their first-win in the tri-nation ‘A’ tournament.This was after Manish Pandey’s men lost a low-scoring encounter against South Africa A in the lung opener.Opting to field, India A bundled out the minnows for 149 in 40.5 overs with Axar Patel picking up 3/33 in 6 overs.Tamil Nadu all-rounder Vijay Shankar with 3/24 in 7 overs complemented the India discard well. Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal was the only bowler to complete his full quota of overs grabbing 2/42 in the process. Sharafuddin Ashraf with 39 was the top scorer for Afghanistan A.In reply, India A cruised to the target in 150 for 3 in 30.4 overs.Opening the innings, Nair scored a patient 57 off 83 balls while skipper Pandey chipped in with unbeaten 41 off 52 balls. The duo added 67 runs for the third wicket Shreyas Iyer (20) and Sanju Samson (10) were dismissed cheaply.Young Rishabh Pant scored a quickfire unbeaten 17 off 10 deliveries with three boundaries to finish the match.Brief Scores: Afghanistan A 149 in 40.4 overs (Sharafuddin Ashraf 39, Vijay Shankar 3/24, Axar Patel 3/33, Yuzvendra Chahal 2/42)India A 150/3 in 30.4 overs (Karun Nair 57, Manish Pandey 41 no, Rishabh Pant 17 no).
Mayank Agarwal was announced on Saturday as one of the members of the 15-man Indian squad that will take on West Indies in a two-match Test series, starting October 5.There was a growing chorus of Agarwal’s selection ever since his sensational 2017-18 domestic season, where he scored 2000 runs and experts had been batting for him to get into the Indian team.On Saturday, Agarwal along with Mohammed Siraj got their maiden Test call-ups as BCCI selectors kept faith on young players like Prithvi Shaw, Rishabh Pant and Hanuma Vihari ahead of the Australia series in November.Agarwal took to Twitter to thank all his supporters for their wishes and love and said he would work hard to make everyone proud.”Deeply humbled with all the wishes that have been pouring in. Will continue to persevere, work hard and make everyone who has supported me through this journey proud. It’s an absolute honor to have a chance to represent my country. Thank you so much,” Agarwal said on Twitter.Deeply humbled with all the wishes that have been pouring in. Will continue to persevere, work hard and make everyone who has supported me through this journey proud. It’s an absolute honor to have a chance to represent my country. Thank you so much. ????Mayank Agarwal (@mayankcricket) September 29, 2018Agarwal had made it to the Indian Board President’s XI for a two-day warm-up against the touring West Indian side. On the day of the selection, he scored a brisk 90 against the West Indies in the warm-up game in Vadodara and further received good news of the selection.advertisementAlso Read – Mayank Agarwal and Mohammed Siraj: Meet India’s new Test picks for West Indies seriesAgarwal has been in a red-hot form and with Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan left out, the Karnataka batsman may even get a chance to make his Test debut.Agarwal has played 43 first-class cricket matches, 70 List A cricket matches and 111 T20 domestic matches. He has 3372 runs in first-class and 3437 runs in List A cricket. He had even scored more than 2000 runs in domestic cricket last season.Read – Mayank Agarwal, Mohammed Siraj earn maiden Test call-upsThe 27-year-old right-hand batsman struck 8 centuries in 30 innings across formats to aggregate 2141 runs last season. His prolific run scoring helped him get picked for India A where he continued with his good work with the bat.He performed consistently in India A’s tour of England earlier this year and also at home against Australia A and South Africa A. In his last first-class match against South Africa A, Agarwal scored 220 runs.The opening Test will be held at Rajkot from October 4 to 8, followed by the second Test from October 12 to 16 at Hyderabad.The five-match ODI series will begin on October 21 at Guwahati, followed by the second ODI on October 24th at Indore and third ODI at Pune on October 27th. The final two one-dayers will be held at Mumbai and Thiruvananthapuram on October 29th and November 1.The one-dayers will be followed by the three T20 Internationals to be held at Kolkata (November 4), Lucknow (November 6) and Chennai (November 11).India’s Team for Test series vs West Indies -Virat Kohli (captain), KL Rahul, Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul ThakurIndia vs West Indies: Full Schedule1st Test – October 4-8, Rajkot2nd Test – October 12-16, Hyderabad1st ODI – October 21, Guwahati2nd ODI – October 24, Indore3rd ODI – October 27, Pune4rth ODI – October 29, Mumbai5th ODI – November 1, Thiruvananthapuram1st T20I – November 4, Kolkata2nd T20I – November 6, Lucknow3rd T20I – November 11, Chennai
Editors’ Recommendations How to Make a Whiskey Sour 10 Best Whiskies for Irish Coffee It is undeniable that the blazer is an essential part of the modern man’s wardrobe. Its pedigree runs back to the rowing blazers worn by the row clubs of Oxford and Cambridge.And while the rowing blazer might be in fashion (and we are kind of over it) it has an amazing history and we do appreciate the rowers who wear them. A new coffee table book out earlier this month called Rowing Blazers (Vendome/Thames & Hudson) explores the history of this fashion staple.University of LondonThe author and American rower, Jack Carlston, traveled the globe with prep photographer F.E. Castleberry to document row clubs and boathouses.You’ll find blazers and anecdotes from Australia to the Head of Charles. The book takes an anthropological look at the origins of the blazer and rowing. Take a peek above at our gallery to see some of the shots from the book. And the video below featuring Olympic rowers. Available at Rowing Blazers, $50. The Best Steakhouse Whiskey Collections in the United States The Manual Spirit Awards 2019: The Best Craft Liquor Made in America How to Make a Rum Old Fashioned
zoom Deutsche Messe AG, a trade fair company headquartered in Hannover, Germany, has just signed off on a very successful 2013.With consolidated revenues of more than $424m and a net profit of $18.2m, the company has delivered its second best result since 2001.The Chairman of the company’s Managing Board, Dr. Wolfram von Fritsch emphasized that Deutsche Messe was on track to achieve the profitability target set under the HERMES+ strategic initiative launched in 2009.Under the initiative, the company aims to achieve a positive result on a four-year cumulative basis from 2011 to 2014.“The pleasing result for 2013 stands us in good stead for attaining our medium-term goal of sustained profitability,” Dr. Fritsch said.In 2013, Deutsche Messe ran 56 trade fairs, exhibitions and events in Germany, which together attracted a total of more than 2.1 million visitors, including more than 300,000 from outside Germany, and featured 24,300 exhibitors, including 10,300 from beyond Germany.That year, the company’s 63 foreign-based trade fairs had 16,700 exhibitors and attracted 1.9 million visitors.June 5, 2014
Two tidal turbine developers will win the chance to demonstrate their technology in the Minas Passage in the Bay of Fundy, home to the world’s highest tides. Nova Scotia’s recent tender for a berth at the Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy (FORCE), has attracted three qualified bidders, and two will be chosen to advance to commercial demonstration. Alstom has informed the province it released its berth in the Bay of Fundy to focus efforts on developing its technology in Scotland where it is now demonstrating a one-megawatt, commercial-scale device. “We are pleased we have attracted interest from three new cutting edge technologies to Nova Scotia,” said Energy Minister Andrew Younger. “Our province’s tidal energy market has advanced significantly in recent months, including a new provincial feed-in tariff, and a successful cable deployment. Alstom has made an enormous contribution to our collective efforts, but we’re pleased to now be able to extend the opportunity to another player.” Companies that applied in December include Black Rock Tidal, DP Marine Energy Ltd., and OpenHydro. The fourth berth was vacated by Nova Scotia Power after the successful deployment and retrieval of its OpenHydro device in 2009. The remaining two berths are held by Minas Energy and Atlantis Resources. FORCE director of marine operations Tony Wright said he looks forward to adding new technologies and personnel to the FORCE roster. “This is an evolving industry and we learn from each other,” said Mr. Wright. “We also hope to see Alstom again in the future. They have supplied significant expertise and resources to the construction of FORCE, and we are grateful for their contribution.” Mr. Younger said he had the chance to personally speak with many people involved in the tidal industry around the world in recent months and interest in Nova Scotia’s industry is very high. “I had made it clear government wants to move tidal energy, and the opportunities that come with ocean technology jobs, research and development, and renewable energy advancement, forward and place Nova Scotia as a leader in marine renewables,” said Mr. Younger. “In fact, we look forward to welcoming the world to Nova Scotia this November to see our progress when we host the first International Conference on Ocean Energy to be held in North America.” The province expects to announce the successful applicants in March.
New Delhi/ Mexico City/ Washington DC: Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) is selling fuels to Venezuela from India and Europe to sidestep sanctions that bar US-based companies from dealing with state-run PDVSA, according to trading sources and Refinitiv Eikon data, reported Reuters website. Reliance had been supplying alkylate, diluent naphtha and other fuel to Venezuela through its US-based subsidiary before Washington DC imposed sanctions in late January aimed at curbing the Opec member’s oil exports and ousting Socialist President Nicolas Maduro. Venezuela is the third largest supplier of oil to India which is the world’s third-biggest oil consumer. At least three vessels chartered by the Indian conglomerate supplied refined products to Venezuela in recent weeks, and another vessel carrying gasoil is expected to set sail to the South American nation as well, according to the sources and data, Reuters added in its report. A Reliance spokesman wrote to Reuters in an email: “Reliance is and will remain in compliance with the sanctions and shall work with the concerned authorities.” He added that “the volume of products supplied to and crude oil imported from Venezuela have not increased.” PDVSA’s second-largest customer in India is Nayara Energy, partially owned by Russian energy firm Rosneft, one of PDVSA’s primary allies. Reliance has significant exposure to the financial system of the USA, where it operates subsidiaries linked to its oil and telecom businesses, among others. The Indian market is crucial for Venezuela’s economy because it has historically been the second-largest cash-paying customer for the Opec country’s crude, behind the United States. Meanwhile, a top US official has said that India has been co-operating with the US on the Venezuelan sanctions and it is the “understanding” of the Trump administration that private Indian companies have stopped importing oil from the Latin American country. The US official’s comment came as Washington ramps up actions on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s regime, which is battling to hold onto power in the face of heavy domestic and international pressure. The senior Trump administration official said: “My understanding is that Indian private companies, who were importing Venezuelan oil, have stopped”. These companies, which also have interest in the US, are unlikely to ignore the US sanctions, he told reporters. Responding to a question on India’s response to the US efforts against the “authoritarian regime” in Venezuela, the official said that India has been co-operative with the US. “The Indians have been cooperative in communicating to the private companies,” he said, adding that the issue has been part of India-US discussion. “We value our relationship with India and the strategic partnership,” the official said, adding that it is natural that Venezuela, which is very important right now, would be raised in its discussions with India. Last week, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in a meet with visiting Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale, said that he hoped India will not be the “economic lifeline” to the “authoritarian” regime of Maduro by purchasing oil from the Latin American country.
CANBERRA, Australia — New Zealand’s official privacy watchdog has described Facebook as “morally bankrupt” and suggested his country follow neighbouring Australia’s lead by making laws that could jail executives over streamed violence such as the Christchurch mosque shootings.Privacy Commissioner John Edwards comments on Twitter on Monday follow previous criticisms of Facebook’s response to a gunman using the platform to livestream some of the slaughter of 50 worshippers.Facebook said in a statement it was “deeply committed” to strengthening policies, improving technology and “working with experts to keep Facebook safe.”Edwards told Radio NZ governments need to come together and “force the platforms to find a solution” to the livestreaming of atrocities.Australia last week passed laws that include prison terms for executives for failing to quickly remove “abhorrent violent material.”The Associated Press
One person was killed when the police opened fire at a lorry which had failed to stop at a police check point in Aranthalawa this morning.The police media unit said that policemen at the check point had ordered the lorry to stop but the vehicle continued to proceed without stopping. The policemen had then opened fire in which one person was killed.
Sirisena had informed his position to the SLFP top brass yesterday and that decision was to be communicated to Rajapaksa today. Sources said that Sirisena had eventually agreed to give nominations to Rajapaksa from the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) or SLFP but not the Prime Minister post. Opposition leader and Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) member Nimal Siripala de Silva was to formally communicate to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa the stand taken by President Maithripala Sirisena on giving nominations to Rajapaksa for the Parliament election.Well informed sources told the Colombo Gazette that Nimal Siripala de Silva was to meet Rajapaksa this morning to communicate Sirisena’s stand. The President is the chairman of the UPFA and head of the SLFP. (Colombo Gazette)
Addressing an event in the Security Council, Richard G. Lugar, Chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said that panel is “united in its belief that an effective United Nations is a vital component to addressing the trans-national problems confronting each of its Member States.”He urged 10 reforms which largely mirror proposals put forward by the Secretary-General, and lauded the UN leader for “his vocal advocacy for a constructive reform agenda.”Mr. Lugar acknowledged that many of the proposed reforms have already been initiated, including the funding of an Ethics Office, the establishment of a zero tolerance policy regarding sexual exploitation by UN personnel, the strengthening of the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS), and the creation of a whistleblower protection policy. Echoing the Secretary-General, he urged replacing the discredited Human Rights Commission with a more effective Human Rights Council, now under discussion in the General Assembly. The US Senator also called attention to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, pointing in particular to the devastation that would be wrought should nuclear arms fall into the hands of terrorists. “We must perfect a worldwide system of accountability for nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons,” he said. “If a nation lacks the means to participate in this effort, the international community must provide financial and technical assistance.”Mr. Lugar pointed out that the US and the Russian Federation have been closely cooperating on the nuclear arms issue – an initiative that just a quarter century ago would have seemed impossible. “Similarly, from the vantage point of today, few observers would predict that the international community would eventually participate in dismantlement operations in North Korea or, perhaps, Iran,” he said. “The future is not clear in these states, but if a peaceful outcome is to be secured and weapons of mass destruction are to be eliminated, we should not rule out such extraordinary outcomes.”He called for a decisive response to nations that are violating the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty or other international arms agreements, and warned that if Iran does not comply with UN resolutions and arms agreements, “the Security Council must apply strict and enforceable sanctions.”Concerning climate change, he called for the US – the world’s largest emitter of greenhouses gases – to take the lead role in reducing them. “I have advocated that the United States must be open to multi-lateral forums that attempt to achieve global solutions to the problem of greenhouse gases,” he said, calling for Washington to head talks under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. He also voiced hope that “the UN and the Security Council will elevate the importance placed on dialogues about energy.” In the discussion that followed, numerous participants commented on Mr. Lugar’s proposals and ways of strengthening the UN to meet the challenges ahead.
“The consolidation of the fragile gains achieved since the beginning of the year will need the sustained political will and efforts of all Ivorian parties,” he writes, calling on the country’s people to “renounce and condemn exclusion and incitement to hatred and violence.”The Secretary-General notes that the Ivorian parties have worked to move the peace process forward, and says now more than ever the country is close to resolving key issues, especially the identification of the population, the disarmament of combatants and militias, and the restoration of State authority in the northern and western parts of the country. But to take the country out of crisis, Mr. Annan says “sustained, focused and unambiguous efforts to expedite countrywide identification and disarmament are urgently required.” These, coupled with the restoration of State authority in the northern and western parts of the country, are indispensable to the holding of elections. While calling on Ivorian political, military and militia leaders to carry out the road map, a plan put forward by the UN-authorized International Working Group (IWG) mandated to monitor progress in the Ivorian peace process.“The international community needs to remain united in exercising pressure on all parties to deliver on their commitments, and the Security Council should not hesitate to impose targeted measures against any individual obstructing the peace process or inciting to hatred and violence,” Mr. Annan says.Yesterday, Council President Ambassador Jean-Marc de la Sablière of France read a statement on behalf of the members threatening to impose sanctions, already authorized by a 2004 resolution, on anyone who blocked progress by inciting hatred, violating human rights or the arms embargo, or obstructing the work of the UN mission in Côte d’Ivoire (ONUCI), the French forces which support it, the High Representative for the elections, and other international facilitators.As of 6 July, the troop strength of UNOCI stood at 6,896 military personnel, out of an authorized strength of 8,115 personnel, according to the report. “The shortfall is due to the delayed deployment of the Ghanaian military aviation unit, currently scheduled for July, and of the 1,025 additional military personnel” approved under a recent Security Council resolution.These reinforcements, as well as the military personnel who will be deployed during the troop rotation process, are expected to receive basic training and specific equipment for crowd control. This will further enhance the capability of the military units to defend UNOCI installations and personnel, and complement the formed police units’ operations requiring the use of non-lethal force. But even with the recent authorized reinforcements, “the numbers still fall short of the troop level needed to adequately support the implementation of the road map for the peace process, as indicated in my previous reports to the Council,” the Secretary-General states, adding that he may request for additional reinforcements based on the security demands on the ground.
“UNODC is building a coherent response to drugs, crime and terrorism which views them as global phenomena needing global solutions. To achieve this, we are introducing integrated programmes that deliver effective assistance,” said UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov, after a two-day mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina, where he met with local law enforcement officials. “As we continue with this strategy we will use our core strengths in analysis, technical assistance and helping to build capacities to support the Member States who confront these challenges,” he added. UNODC’s work in the Balkans is coordinated by its Regional Programme for South-eastern Europe, launched by Mr. Fedotov in May 2012 at the request of the Governments in the region, in an effort to counter the growing threat posed by opiates trafficked from Afghanistan to lucrative markets in western Europe via the so-called Balkan route. According to the UN agency’s estimates, around 60 tons of heroin, worth around $13 billion, moves along the Balkan route from the opium fields of Afghanistan to destinations in west and central Europe. In 2011, authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina – which is a transit point for illicit drugs – reported seizures of 10.2 kilograms of heroin, 444 kilograms of marijuana, and almost 10 kilograms of amphetamines. In addition to providing technical assistance and capacity building in Bosnia and Herzegovina, UNODC also furnishes training for experts in the use of quality standards as well as releasing surveys on corruption in the region. “Our goal in South-eastern Europe is to work closely with Member States to counter transnational organized crime, corruption, money laundering, terrorism and drug abuse,” Mr. Fedotov stated before departing Sarajevo. “I am very glad that Bosnia and Herzegovina continues to be such a strong partner for UNODC in all these areas.”
By just about any measure, the last three seasons have been the best time to root for the Toronto Raptors in their 20-year history. The Vince Carter era was thrilling but brief, and Chris Bosh’s dinos never quite realized their potential. Since 2013-14, however, the Raptors’ winning percentage has hovered around 60 percent, and their efficiency differential has been roughly 3.5 points per 100 possessions — numbers that those previous runs only approached in spurts.For all that success, however, Toronto has had trouble making any kind of dent come playoff time. As my ESPN colleague Zach Lowe wrote about Tuesday, each of the team’s past two postseasons ended with a first-round exit, and although the Raptors were upset both times — implying they had the talent to potentially go further — 49-win teams don’t typically vie for NBA championships anyway.1There are rare exceptions, but even conditional on making it past the first round of the playoffs, only 13 percent of teams that won 48 to 50 games in a season went on to the NBA Finals. If this season’s version of the club is basically the same, expecting different results would be irrational.These Raptors, however, have a secret weapon that their predecessors lacked: skinny Kyle Lowry.Technically speaking, this is Lowry’s fourth season with Toronto; he even logged the second-most minutes of any Raptor during the failed playoff runs of 2014 and 2015. But that version of Lowry was — how can we say it? — less svelte, and far less productive. By Box Plus/Minus (BPM), Lowry’s 2014-15 season was the worst he’d had in four years. This season, though, Lowry profiles like a top-five player according to the advanced metrics. And his sudden improvement could finally give Toronto the star power necessary to truly compete for a championship.Lowry’s evolving gameBefore this season, Lowry appeared to be on an evolutionary arc many players go through, trading a higher usage rate for less efficient scoring. In his rise as one of the game’s best guards, he’d once ranked in at least the 70th percentile of NBA players in both true shooting percentage and usage. That isn’t an easy thing to do. But last season, Lowry seemed to have surpassed the workload at which he could maintain a reasonable level of efficiency — a situation exacerbated by the banged-up state he found himself in as the season progressed. As a result, his offensive numbers dipped: He settled for more midrange shots and drew fewer fouls; he ran the pick-and-roll less often (and less efficiently); and over the course of the season, he struggled with his jump shot in a way he hadn’t for years.Although Lowry was pretty clearly not being himself, the Raptors won the Atlantic Division and locked up the No. 4 seed in the East. But the team was also unceremoniously swept by Washington, a series in which Lowry kept a high usage but saw his efficiency completely collapse. This seemed like a bad sign.Perhaps even more troubling, it was getting harder to find evidence that Lowry — a player with a good two-way reputation — was still among the league’s best defensive guards. Going into last season, he’d ranked up around the 80th percentile of NBA guards in defensive BPM over his career — a ranking corroborated by play-by-play plus/minus metrics and tracking data from Synergy Sports Technology — numbers underpinned by smart, bruising pick-and-roll defense. But in 2014-15, Lowry’s defensive indicators offered mixed messages. Although he still gave the Raptors’ defense a boost while on the floor, the team was also significantly worse defensively than it had been the previous season, and Lowry often looked slow, clunky and, at times, indifferent when trying to fight through ball screens. So this season should be encouraging for Raptors fans, at least by this metric. But after years of watching Chris Paul-led teams underachieve in the playoffs, it’s fair to ask whether this algorithm oversells the title chances for a point guard-driven squad. And as it happens, controlling for the entire skill set of a team’s best player, we found a slight tendency for teams led by players with a lot of value tied up in passing to perform worse in the postseason than we’d expect from their BPM. This could be due to any number of causes — from defenses keying in on passing patterns in a long playoff series to the way a playmaker’s value is only maximized when complemented by other skills (or perhaps it’s just random noise) — but it’s one (albeit minor) reason to consider lowering expectations for Lowry.Except that this season, Lowry’s game has been extremely well-rounded — he ranks in at least the 78th percentile of all NBA players in scoring efficiency, possession usage, assist rate and defensive BPM. Historically, teams whose best players excel in the first and last of those categories tend to exceed expectations in the playoffs at a rate far greater than any penalty that’s levied against passers.Of course, all of this presumes that Lowry’s overhauled game is legit. He’s currently 29 years old, an age at which NBA players are typically already on the downside of their careers, not metamorphosing into championship-caliber stars. Also, there was little in Lowry’s preseason CARMELO projection (our statistical crystal ball for NBA careers) to suggest an imminent breakout, aside from the late-blooming presence of Steve Nash on the fringe of his comparables list. An optimistic look at his strongest CARMELO comps suggested that he might pull a Rod Strickland and stay productive into his mid-30s; a less rosy one saw the possibility of flaming out far sooner, like Michael Adams and Derek Harper. So it’s entirely possible that Lowry will regress toward his previous career norms in the season’s second half.But given the particulars of Lowry’s skill set, and the ways in which he’s corrected his deficiencies of a season ago, it’s also very possible that if his caloric intake doesn’t regress, neither will his output.The question of whether Lowry’s teammates are good enough to support a championship run is still very much open. And even if they are, Lowry may have timed his improvement poorly, elevating his play during a season with two abnormally dominant teams that are soaking up all the league’s title odds. But Lowry’s sudden upgrade to the NBA’s elite class of players gives the Raptors a superstar the likes of which they’ve never had before. At the very least, they now possess a crucial element that was missing from the team’s recent string of good-but-not-good-enough campaigns. The new, slimmed-down version of Lowry has been quicker afoot and more focused in his pursuit of ballhandlers around and through screens, forcing more turnovers and fouling less as a result.2015-16: It’s likely no coincidence that Toronto’s opponents are scoring at a rate of nearly 4 fewer points per 100 possessions with Lowry on the court than they did a season ago. In fact, Lowry’s rehabilitation has been so complete that the Raptors now rank among the league’s top 10 teams at both ends of the floor and he has risen to full-blown MVP candidate status.You’re only as good as your best playerIt’s no secret that there’s a distinct relationship between a team’s championship probability and the quality of its best player, but it takes a truly exceptional player to make a run at a title. In the past, Lowry hasn’t been good enough to move that needle, but this season’s version is inching into the territory where small individual improvements can drastically upgrade a team’s chances of winning a championship.We’d expect a team being led by Lowry at his previous career-high BPM of +5.9 to win the title about 5 percent of the time; at this season’s +7.2 mark, those odds are doubled, to 10 percent. (Not even Carter in his prime led Toronto with a BPM so high.) Add in a decent supporting cast — and it’s debatable as to whether Toronto has one of those, particularly with DeMarre Carroll on ice, but let’s entertain the notion anyway — and suddenly the idea of a championship parade down Bay Street doesn’t seem quite so pie-in-the-sky. This season, Lowry has made course corrections at both ends of the floor. Although his usage continues to grow, his scoring efficiency has bounced back, in part because of smarter shot selection. He’s once again devoting fewer shots to the midrange, allowing his rates of taking threes and drawing fouls to return to their historical norms, and he’s been faster and more aggressive in the transition game as well. On defense, you can really see the effects of Lowry’s offseason weight loss. Last season, Lowry frequently failed when trying to use his strength to fight through screens (both on the ball and off), ceded too many easy buckets on pick-and-rolls and was generally slow to recover when he guessed wrong or his gambles didn’t pay off.2014-15:
Otis ‘Otiesha’ PearsonSix months after the Child Care and Protection Agency completed its investigations into allegations that popular transgender, Otis “Otiesha” Pearson has been sexually involved with an under-aged boy, the accused was committed to stand trial at the Demerara High Court.The order was handed down by Magistrate Fabayo Azore following a paper committal earlier today at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court.The charge against Pearson stated that on December 24, 2017, at Station Street, Kitty he caused the 14-year-old boy to perform a sexual act; that is to say, penetrate his anus. He remains on $300,000 bail.The transgender was arrested on March 6, 2018. “We received the file from the Child Care and Protection Agency and we are now investigating the matter officially”, Police “A” Division Commander, Leslie James had told this publication.The Child Care and Protection Agency (CC&PA) back in February closed its investigation into the alleged misconduct by Pearson.According to CC&PA’s Director, Ann Green, the Agency has gathered statements from a number of persons, including the young man in the middle of the controversy, and as such, it is expected to move ahead with the case.The public became enraged when Pearson was heard in an interview reporting that “he has a little boy for every day of the week”. However, after he was bashed on social media, the transgender personality quickly defended himself, explaining that the term “little boys” was taken out of context.He attempted to cover up his alleged transgressions by stating that the term is actually referring to persons above the legal age of consent and is also used when referring to his colleagues.The statement quickly became a serious matter when a photo of Pearson hugging a young man was leaked on social media site Facebook. Many users of the site were of the opinion that the young man was underage; the age of consent in Guyana being 16.Investigations revealed that the boy was indeed below the age of 16 and was being bullied after the photos were leaked. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Related“Otiesha” charged with child rape, granted $300,000 bailJune 1, 2018In “Court”Police arrest “Otiesha” as probe into pedophilia accusations heightensMarch 6, 2018In “Crime”Charges likely for Otiesha on Monday – Police PRMarch 11, 2018In “Crime”
Linked to safety switches, these new Thermo Fisher Scientific addressable modules rapidly and efficiently help users identify alarms. They can connect to conveyor protection switches to safeguard equipment and protect the personnel who operate conveyor machinery. The rapid response and efficiency of the modules saves machinery users’ time when trying to locate an alarmed switch.“This is just one more example of how Thermo Fisher Scientific continues to improve workplace productivity while also making the working environment safer,” said Paula Frisk, Product Manager, Marketing for Thermo Fisher Scientific.The addressable modules are incorporated into safety cable pull switches and belt misalignment switches, traditionally mounted along the sides of conveyors. If a switch enters an alarm position, the addressable module sends a signal back to a programmable logic controller (PLC) indicating where an incident has occurred.The conveyor protection switches, equipped with addressable modules, are wired to a master module that can handle up to 128 different identification (ID) addresses. The master module control is capable of sending ID address information to the PLC using Modbus-RTU, Allen Bradley, Siemens and Schneider protocols, allowing users to easily identify where the incident occurred. Using a quick-connect handheld device, the switch operator is also able to program each switch with an ID number of choice.Thermo Fisher Scientific integrates addressable modules into its Thermo Scientific Ramsey Belt Misalignment Switches and Thermo Scientific Ramsey Safety Cable Pull Switches, providing competitively priced, easy-to-use solutions. The switches can also improve the performance of conveyor belt scale systems and weight belt feeders when integrated, and they’re shipped ready for installation and programming.
Image: Shutterstock https://jrnl.ie/4518581 I like them (5402) A GOVERNMENT REPORT has suggested that religious-run hospitals in receipt of State funding should remove religious symbols if a patient requests it. The report recommends that: “Voluntary organisations in receipt of state funding should be cognisant of the impact of décor on patients/service users and strive to ensure that their personal preferences in this regard are met to the greatest extent possible.”Speaking to Newstalk today, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the report was not about anyone “removing cribs or crucifixes or statues of Our Lady”.He said it was instead about realising that some members of the public are not religious.So this evening we’re asking: How do you feel about religious symbols in hospitals? Poll Results: 173 Comments Not sure (153) Thursday 28 Feb 2019, 9:29 PM By Rónán Duffy Share626 Tweet Email2 Image: Shutterstock Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article I don’t mind either way (5470) 51,414 Views I don’t like them (4106) Poll: How do you feel about religious symbols in hospitals? A new report has suggested that they be removed if a patient requests it. I like themI don’t like themI don’t mind either wayNot sureVote Short URL Feb 28th 2019, 9:29 PM
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Steve Kyritsis, Vietnam veteran and tireless chronicler of Greek Australian duty and sacrifice in war, is about to undertake a new challenge; walking in the footsteps of the Diggers who fought along the Kokoda Track in World War II. Kyritsis will fly to Papua New Guinea and begin the arduous 94 km trek on 30 June. Steve’s preparations, like the man himself, have been thorough. “I get up at 20 to 6 every morning and do an hour’s walk, and I’ve been training, doing longer walks at the weekends for three months now. I think I’m in pretty good shape,” he told Neos Kosmos. The former infantryman with the 3rd Battalion Royal Australian Regiment, who went to Vietnam when he was 21-years-old, says that mental preparation for the trek is as important as the physical. “There’ll be a lot of obstacles, but knowing how our Diggers did it back in 1942, facing so much opposition, I think it should be possible to do it, if not comfortably, it should be relatively straightforward.” The Kokoda campaign consisted of a series of desperate battles fought by Australian forces between July and November 1942 to prevent the Japanese from occupying Port Moresby. The fighting took place along a rough jungle track that wound through the Owen Stanley mountain range in New Guinea. After having to retreat in the first phase of the campaign, around 2000 Australian troops were finally able to push back the Japanese to New Guinea’s northern coast, despite being outnumbered. The Kokoda Trail fighting was some of the most desperate and vicious encountered by Australian troops in the Second World War. Victory on the Trail ensured that Allied bases in northern Australia, vital in the eventual counter-offensive against the Japanese, would not be threatened by air attack. At the time many believed that if the Japanese took Port Moresby they would invade Australia shortly after. At least 625 Australians were killed along the Kokoda Trail in second half of 1942 and over 1,600 were wounded. Casualties due to sickness exceeded 4,000. During his 10 day trek, Steve will be walking in the footsteps of a number of soldiers of Greek descent who fought along the Trail – many of whom are mentioned in his most recent book, Greek Australians in the Australian Armed Forces WWI and WWII. “There were at least 193 Greek Australians who served in New Guinea in WWII, and a number of those served in the Kokoda campaign,” says Steve, who will use his own journey along the Trail as part of his research into those men’s connections to the Kokoda legend. In October 1942 near Eora Creek on the Track, two brothers of the Manusa family from NSW – Guy and Perry, who served in the 2/1st Battalion – were killed in action within days of each other. Victorian Jack Manol (1921-1985), a private in the inexperienced but immensely courageous 39th Militia Battalion, faced the full force of the first Japanese attack. Manol became part of Kokoda folklore, having been immortalised in a 1942 photograph of Diggers, ankle deep in mud, climbing one of the track’s steep jungle paths. Australian troops were helped during the campaign by local people who became known as the ‘Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels’. The ‘Angels’ were responsible for ferrying tons of supplies to the frontline and carrying wounded soldiers back to field hospitals. Kyritsis’ Kokoda journey is the result of meeting military historian David Howell, who works at Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance where Steve is a guide. Howell organises regular treks along the Trail with his company Kokoda Historical. Though a new generation of ‘Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels’ will be assisting some members of the trekking group that Kyritsis is walking with, Steve will be carrying his own pack weighing 15 kilograms. Asked if his experience in Vietnam would stand him in good stead for Kokoda, with a chuckle Steve said: “That was a long time ago, but overall the body’s still OK and the survival instinct is still there, but you have to prepare, your mind has to be ready. “I thought even at my age, my mid-sixties, I should give it a go. It’s an inspiring story.”