A senior leader of the All India Forward Bloc (AIFB), who was a Minister in the Left Front government, has joined the Trinamool Congress. After joining the TMC, Paresh Adhikari said that he has joined the party “being influenced by Mamata Banerjee’s movement against the NRC”. Mr. Adhikari, a four times MLA from the Mekhliganj constituency in Cooch Behar district, was the Food Minister in the Left Front Cabinet. While he lost to the TMC’s Arghya Roy Pradhan in the 2016 Assembly elections, he has a strong vote base in Mekhliganj sub-division of Cooch Behar district.However, the AIFB’s State leadership claimed that Mr. Adhikary’s joining the TMC will have no impact on the party. Claiming Mr. Adhikary to be a “political opportunist,” AIFB State secretary Naren Chatterjee said: “His actions have exposed him as a political opportunist. He will get a fitting reply from the people of Bengal.” Local TMC leaders said that Ms. Banerjee’s plan is to “groom Mr. Adhikary for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls”.
A man was arrested for allegedly giving triple talaq to his wife in the Ramraj area here, police said on Wednesday. Tehzib pronounced talaq three times on his wife, Nusrat Jehan, and forced her to leave the house in Nizampur village, they said quoting a compliant filed by Jehan.The incident took place on June 11 and since then Jehan has been living with her parents, police said. The man has been booked under the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019, they said.
LATEST STORIES Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses “It’s unfortunate but at least we extended the game to five sets, and we proved that we can give these other countries a fight,” said Vicente in Filipino. “We just have to work harder in training and push ourselves more so we can be a better team.”“Another important thing for us is that we have the exposure in the international arena.”Yekaterina Zhdanova punished the Philippines with 24 points while Katerina Tatko added 15 for the Kazakhs’ cause.Kazakhtan captain Radmila Beresneva and Alla Bogdashkina put up 14 points apiece.Jaja Santiago spearheaded the Philippines with 18 points while Valdez and Jovelyn Gonzaga combined for 21.ADVERTISEMENT The Filipinos finished the tournament at eight place after three straight losses but they are still ensured of a spot in the 2018 AVC Asian Women’s Volleyball Cup.The Philippines, after spirited efforts in the third and fourth set, floundered in the final set scoring just two attack points.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutAdding salt to the wound, Alyssa Valdez’ final attempt hit net to award the Kazakhs’ the seventh place in the tournament.Despite the loss, Philippine head coach Francis Vicente looked at the brighter side of things and said their performance proved they can roll with the other higher-ranked countries. Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games PLAY LIST 01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Read Next Photo from asianvolleyball.netBIÑAN, Laguna—Kazakhstan finished as the seventh seed in the AVC Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship after it stopped host Philippines, 25-20, 25-16, 21-25, 21-25, 15-3, Thursday at Alonte Sports Arena here.The Kazakhs, ranked no. 21 in the world, had already beaten the Philippines once in the tournament when the two met in the group stages of the tournament.ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games SEA Games: PH Archers pluck bronze out of semis heartache View comments Man sworn in as lawyer by judge who sentenced him to prison as a teen 20 years ago WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Flags of SEA Games countries raised at Athletes Village
4th Test, Day 3 Scores(Full scorecard)Brief scores:India 622 for 7 declared (Pujara 193, Pant 159 not out, Jadeja 81, Lyon 4 for 178)Australia 236 for 6 (Harris 79, Handscomb 28 not out, Cummins 25 not out, Kuldeep 3 for 71)Australia trail India by 386 runsCheteshwar Pujara and Rishabh Pant had the honour of having their name etched in history on Saturday, as their knock in the fourth and final Test found their way onto the honours board at the Sydney Cricket Ground.Pujara and Pant also signed beside their names on the board after the pair scored contrasting hundreds on day two.Pujara’s 193 put him on the sixth spot in the list of highest scores by an Asian batsman in Australia, whereas Pant became the first Indian wicketkeeper to score a hundred in Australia with his knock of unbeaten 159.On the Board and with signatures – @cheteshwar1 & @RishabPant777 do the “Honours” at the SCG #TeamIndia #AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/QPBbuCCNxsBCCI (@BCCI) January 5, 2019Pant is now only one of four Indian wicketkeepers – Budhi Kunderan, Nayan Mongia and MS Dhoni – with a 150-plus score in Test cricket.Pujara has scored 521 runs, including three centuries, so far in the series. He has has also faced 1258 deliveries in the seven innings.After his mammoth innings, Pujar said that he is looking forward a good long sleep after the Test match gets over.”I’m still a bit sore and couldn’t sleep well but that’s after all long innings I play, I’m unable to sleep much. Hopefully I can sleep well after this Test match,” Pujara told FOX Sports before the start of play on Day 3.advertisementPujara also said that his father congratulated him for his innings and even though most people said that he missed out on a double hundred, his father was happy with the 193.”He [Pujara’s father] congratulated me. People said I missed out on a double hundred but he said you scored 193 and double hundred is just a number,” Pujara told Mark Howard before the start of Day 3’s play on Saturday.Pant, after end of play on Friday had said that he was nervous when he reached the 90s.”I was a little nervous because when we were playing in India against the West Indies, in the last two innings I got out on 92 both times. I was scared slightly but I got through that phase early,” Pant said.Also Read | Rishabh Pant’s perfect birthday gift for his mother: A record-breaking hundredAlso Read | Still a bit sore, hopefully I can sleep well after this Test match: Cheteshwar PujaraAlso Read | Spotted: Shane Warne advises Kuldeep Yadav before Chinaman bowler’s 3-wicket haul
Next It is great: West Indies captain Jason Holder on Chris Gayle’s retirement backflipChris Gayle confirmed on Wednesday that he would be delaying his retirement in order to play the home series vs India after the World Cup 2019. advertisement Associated Press ManchesterJune 26, 2019UPDATED: June 26, 2019 22:53 IST World Cup 2019: Chris Gayle he would be staying on to play ODIs and probably a Test against India in August (Reuters Photo)HIGHLIGHTSGayle said he would be sticking around to play ODI series and a Test against India in AugustHolder said Gayle had broken the news to the media before letting anyone in the dressing room knowWest Indies face India in a must-win World Cup 2019 clash on ThursdayIt was like West Indies skipper Jason Holder was discovering a surprise gift, hearing the news Chris Gayle planned to play on after the World Cup.Holder’s eyes lit up, and he smiled broadly when the subject turned from the must-win World Cup game against India to the prospect of 39-year-old Gayle sticking around to play a series of one-day internationals against India in August and possibly a Test match on home soil.Gayle is a larger-than-life character, and Holder laughed when he reflected Wednesday on the star batsman’s latest surprise.”He didn’t really say anything in the dressing room. But, yeah, it’s great and it’s great for cricket,” said Holder, who found out about the retirement backflip from the team’s media manager. “It’s good to have Chris around. He’s got a lot to offer still. Hopefully, his body can hold up. Hopefully, he can be on the field a bit longer for West Indies.”Asked for how much longer Gayle could continue representing the West Indies, Holder said he’d have to check in first with the veteran Jamaican.”I guess I have to go downstairs and have a serious conversation with him,” Holder said. “But, yeah, if he’s dedicated to playing for West Indies any longer, I feel it’s definitely going to benefit us having him around.”Gayle has scored 25 centuries in 295 ODI matches since his debut in 1999, and 15 centuries in 103 test matches. He averages 38 in the 50-over format, and 42 in the five-day format. When he goes big, he goes really big. His test high score is 333 and his ODI-high 215 against Zimbabwe in 2015 contained 16 sixes, both World Cup records which have been subsequently broken.advertisementHe retired from ODIs for a while, but returned for another shot at the World Cup and his impact on the home series against England in February and March gave a young Caribbean squad belief in its ability to beat the highly-ranked teams.West Indies started well, skittling Pakistan for 105 and then having defending champion Australia reeling, but lost that game and haven’t won since. The five-run loss to New Zealand here last Saturday came down to one shot – Carlos Brathwaite caught on the boundary for 101 trying to hit a six for victory.Gayle scored 87 against New Zealand, his highest score of the tournament to date. He’s promising more against India, and in the following two games which West Indies need to win to have any chance of reaching the playoffs.Also Read | I am definitely up there with greats of West Indies cricket: Chris GayleAlso See:For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAkshay Ramesh Tags :Follow Chris GayleFollow Jason HolderFollow India VS West IndiesFollow ICC Cricket World Cup
Jamaica is set to benefit from an initial US$7.52 million in grant funding under the ninth cycle of the Caribbean Development Bank’s (CDB) Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF 9).The money will go towards the areas of education, transportation, enterprise development, and water and sanitation, through projects implemented by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF).The allocation is part of a provision of US$40.8 million being made available to nine Caribbean borrowing member countries of the CDB, under the BNTF.The BNTF is the flagship poverty-reduction programme of the CDB, aimed at contributing to improvement in the living conditions of poor and vulnerable communities in participating countries.Speaking at the official launch of the project today (October 17) at the Courtyard Marriott hotel in New Kingston, Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, said the initiative will assist in empowering the lives of beneficiaries.“We are quick to get these funds in the hands of the JSIF, because we know that when it comes to the JSIF, we get every bang for the buck; we get good performance. They have projects done on time (and) within budget, and we are really proud of the JSIF as one of the outstanding public-sector agencies in Jamaica,” he said.The Minister lauded the CDB for implementing the programme, adding that poverty reduction is a crucial component for economic growth and development.He said the BNTF will assist in improving the lives of the country’s most vulnerable, particularly in the areas of education and human development.Meanwhile, Director, Projects Department, CDB, Daniel Best, informed that Jamaica is also eligible to benefit from an unallocated incentive amount of US$5.2 million, to be distributed at midterm based on project performance.“These funds are to be carefully targeted through an evidence-based country policy framework or action plan, which responds to poverty, particularly in rural areas,” he said.Mr. Best noted that through the BNTF, the CDB supports governments in their poverty-reduction efforts by promoting socio-economic activities, environmental protection and sustainable development.“Over the years, BNTF has formed specific partnerships, mainly with public works, water sector, and national training institutions. Under BNTF 9, however, we are committed to leveraging additional resources beyond our traditional funding sources to accelerate progress on poverty reduction,” he said.Managing Director, JSIF, Omar Sweeney, said BNTF 9 will continue to build on programmes that support education, transportation, road access, drainage and water supply.“We will also introduce a component for enterprise development, and that will focus on agriculture and tourism, and developing new technology for persons in the rural areas to really have a sustainable livelihood,” he said.The ninth cycle of the BNTF will continue to finance sub-project interventions in core priority sectors of water and sanitation, basic community access and drainage, and education and human resource development, including livelihoods.Encouraging greater private-sector partnership has been built into the programme design to leverage additional resources for reducing poverty.The core purpose of the project will be to facilitate the development of rural communities through increased access to basic services, thereby advancing Jamaica’s thrust towards full rural development. The project is to be completed by December 31, 2020.The BNTF is one of the longest-running regional poverty-reduction programmes in the Caribbean, and stands out in the global development arena for its community-driven approach tailored for the Caribbean context. Jamaica is set to benefit from an initial US$7.52 million in grant funding under the ninth cycle of the Caribbean Development Bank’s (CDB) Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF 9). Meanwhile, Director, Projects Department, CDB, Daniel Best, informed that Jamaica is also eligible to benefit from an unallocated incentive amount of US$5.2 million, to be distributed at midterm based on project performance. The core purpose of the project will be to facilitate the development of rural communities through increased access to basic services, thereby advancing Jamaica’s thrust towards full rural development. The project is to be completed by December 31, 2020. Story Highlights
Beijing: Beijing has nominated a former Hong Kong police chief nicknamed “the vulture” to lead the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, as it seeks another international posting after the fall from grace of Interpol’s former Chinese chief. The move to nominate Andy Tsang Wai-hung, currently deputy director of China’s National Narcotics Control Commission, comes as former Interpol chief Meng Hongwei faces bribery charges. disappearance last year was an embarrassing scandal for Interpol that observers said could damage China’s bid to burnish its international profile through global leadership posts. Also Read – ‘Hong Kong won’t rule out Chinese help over protests’The nomination also comes as China faces widespread criticism for its role in fuelling public health crises around the world, particularly in the United States. China is believed to be one of the main manufacturers of synthetic drugs — including opioids such as fentanyl — which have caused thousands of overdose deaths. While Hong Kong police commissioner, Tsang repeatedly defended the actions of his force, which at times was criticised for heavy-handed treatment of protestors in the months-long Occupy Central demonstrations. Also Read – Pak Army chief accompanies Imran at key meetings in ChinaHis tough on crime approach earned Tsang the nickname “the vulture” but apparently won him accolades in Beijing. After retiring from Hong Kong’s police force in 2015, he won a ceremonial job in mainland China. He was appointed to his current anti-drugs post this year. Tsang’s nomination showed “China’s steadfast support for multilateralism and for the work of the United Nations”, foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a regular press briefing Wednesday. “China will continue to contribute to efforts to fight transnational organised crime and to step up international anti-drug cooperation,” he added. China has nominated Tsang to become the director-general of the United Nations Office in Vienna, in addition to leading the UN Drugs and Crimes office, Geng said. But Beijing’s arrest of Meng could mar Tsang’s nomination. Meng — who had served as vice minister of public security in China — vanished last September during a visit to China from France, where Interpol is based, and was formally arrested in April. His wife Grace, who was given police protection in France after alleging an abduction attempt earlier this year, was granted asylum on May 2 along with the couple’s two children. China’s role in the drug trade could also be problematic. The country produces 85 percent of the world’s synthetic opioids, experts say, but in a trade war deal reached with the Trump administration, agreed to crack down on all fentanyl-like substances starting in May. The powerful painkiller is 50 times stronger than heroin and has caused record overdose deaths in the US.
New Delhi: The NGT-appointed Yamuna Monitoring Committee has directed the Delhi Jal Board to furnish a list of unauthorised colonies, along with their population, not covered under the utility’s Interceptor Sewer Project (ISP) by July 15. It warned that if the DJB failed to do so, the matter will be raised before the National Green Tribunal.The DJB is in the process of installing “interceptor sewers” that will help reduce pollution in the Yamuna. Officials say 97 per cent of the work has been completed. Also Read – Bangla Sahib Gurudwara bans use of all types of plastic itemsEarlier, sewage water from unauthorised colonies would run directly into the three main drains in the city –Najafgarh, supplementary and Shahadra –that flow into the river. The ISP blocks waste water from unauthorised colonies and diverts it to nearby sewage treatment plants (STPs) that releases the treated effluent into the main drains, reducing pollution in the Yamuna. “With regard to trapping of 108 drains under the ISP, the monitoring committee repeated a direction that had not been responded to for over 9 months. Information had been sought about the precise number of colonies and households that the ISP will cover…,” read the minutes of a meeting conducted by the monitoring committee last month. “The colonies left out of the ISP coverage and their population should also be given to show what remained to be trapped among the 1,797 unauthorised colonies,” it said. The DJB should also tell which colony’s sewage will be diverted to which STP, the monitoring committee said. The DJB CEO has been asked to furnish related information in a “comprehensible manner by July 15,” the monitoring committee said.
New York: US stocks traded higher on Wednesday, as the market was buoyed by Apple’s strong quarterly earnings, and investors anticipated the US Federal Reserve to deliver its latest monetary policy, which could possibly lead to the first interest rate cut in more than a decade. At midday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 20.35 points, or 0.07 per cent, to 27,218.37. The S&P 500 rallied 3.32 points, or 0.11 per cent, to 3,016.50. The Nasdaq Composite Index increased 20.43 points, or 0.25 per cent, to 8,294.05, the Xinhua news agency reported. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal Six of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors traded higher around midday, with the energy sector up around 0.7 per cent, leading the gainers. Shares of Apple rose over 4.1 per cent, after the US tech giant reported second-quarter earnings that beat market expectations. Its revenue guidance for the fourth quarter also came above analysts’ estimates. The Fed is set to announce its decision on how to adjust benchmark interest rates on Wednesday afternoon. Fed Chair Jerome Powell will also hold a news conference following the announcement. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boost Traders have priced in a 100 per cent probability that the central bank will cut rates later, according to CME Group’s FedWatch tool around midday. If it becomes a reality, it will be the first rate cut by the Fed since the financial crisis more than 10 years ago. More specifically, the probability to cut rate by 25 basis points stood at an overwhelming 79.1 per cent, while market participants still held a chance of 20.9 per cent for the Fed to cut rate by 50 basis points.
With numbers of returnees expected to rise in 2008, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) expects that it will have to expand its shelter programme in Burundi, one of the poorest countries in sub-Saharan Africa. All returnee families without homes are eligible to receive assistance from UNHCR to build a small three-room house, which cost the agency about $500 each. Priority is given to the most vulnerable households, particularly those headed by females and those including disabled or elderly members. The majority of refugees receiving assistance under the programme are provided with materials and then construct their new houses themselves, which helps to impart a greater sense of ownership and helps them acquire additional skills. Burundi has welcomed back some 380,000 refugees – or 5 per cent of the population – from surrounding countries since 2002. The housing programme is one of several reintegration measures that are vital to ensuring a sustainable return. UNHCR notes that most of the returnees making use of return programmes since 2002 have been subsistence farmers – and most have been able to recover their land. But more than 80 per cent of returnees have had to construct or buy new shelter, according to a study conducted earlier this year by UNHCR and the World Food Programme. Thanks to contributions from donors such as the European Commission and Japan, UNHCR will be able to provide at least 14,300 vulnerable families with shelter over the next year. 2 January 2008Over the past five yeas, the United Nations refugee agency has assisted 58,000 Burundians returning to the small Central African country – which is emerging from decades of ethnic conflict – by helping them build their own homes, improve living conditions and ensure a sustainable return.
The year-long operation in five of the region’s poorest provinces is “a tangible peace dividend,” WFP country coordinator Nileema Noble said. “Sixty per cent of the population of the targeted provinces will benefit directly.” More than 170,000 school children are to receive take-home rations of rice, helping to reduce the high drop-out rate, under the project which is being carried out in cooperation with the Government and will provide food aid to families displaced by the violence, former combatants and poor women in a region where poverty, nutrition and education levels are far worse than anywhere else in the country.WFP Regional Director for Asia Anthony Banbury underlined the critical importance of contributions from the international community to help in securing the peace process in Mindanao. “The Government and people of the Philippines cannot take on this challenge alone – the contribution of those nations that are willing to support this process of peace and reconciliation must also be recognized,” he said. Pledges amounting to $4.1 million have been made by the governments of Australia, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Sweden as well as by corporations including global financial services provider Citigroup and TNT, the logistics company.
In an annual meeting of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) regional commission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Sunday, all 47 African member States unanimously adopted the new framework on how to implement the Global Technical Strategy for malaria in the region. It proposes specific priority interventions and actions to be implemented by member states to reach “an African region free of malaria.”“Malaria is no longer the leading cause of death among children in sub-Saharan Africa,” said WHO Regional Director for Africa Matshidiso Moeti in a news release. “We have made substantial progress in controlling malaria within our region. Since 2000, malaria death rates have plunged by 66 per cent, translating into 6.2 million lives saved, the vast majority of them being children.”Between 2000 and 2015, the number of malaria cases and deaths within Africa declined by 42 per cent and 66 per cent, respectively. However, Africa still bears the biggest malaria burden with roughly 190 million cases and 400,000 deaths in 2015 alone, accounting for 89 per cent and 91 per cent of the world’s total, respectively.In addition, over 800 million people in Africa are still at risk of malaria. In line with the Sustainable Development Goals, WHO reassures a firm commitment to eliminate the epidemic from the African continent by 2030, a target that would require an estimated $66 billion to achieve.“In 2015, two in three households in Africa did have their own insecticide-treated mosquito net, compared to only 2 per cent back in 2000,” said Ms. Moeti. “More and more children get to sleep under a net, and we need to continue to invest in changing people’s behaviours.”Some of the main challenges to tackle malaria include gaps in access to available prevention methods, the limited number of interventions available and increasing resistance to medicines and insecticides. In addition, weak health systems present a very high risk to malaria control and elimination. During the 2014 Ebola epidemic in West Africa, malaria control gains were lost in the severely affected countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
CHICAGO — Lexi Held made five 3-pointers and scored a season-high 28 points, Chante Stonewall had 20 points, five rebounds and three steals, helping No. 16 DePaul beat Savannah State 124-61 on Monday night.DePaul scored 24 straight points in the first quarter and held Savannah State in single digits until Myasia Jones’ basket with 11 seconds left in the quarter. DePaul led 33-12 entering the second quarter, and the Lady Tigers had just 23 points by halftime.Dee Bekelja added 16 points with 12 rebounds and Sonya Morris made four 3-pointers and scored 13 points for DePaul (4-2). Stonewall had 50 points, 28 rebounds, 10 steals and seven assists in three games at the Cancun Challenge over the weekend.DePaul, which was edged Saturday on a last-second shot in overtime by No. 14 Syracuse, played its fourth of five games in a seven-day stretch. The Blue Demons play at No. 2 UConn on Wednesday.Heniaya Moton scored 11 points for Savannah State (2-3), which was held to 30.3 per cent shooting.The Associated Press
Josh Smith, the most diverse talent on the Atlanta Hawks’ roster, might not be on it beyond Thursday’s NBA trade deadline.The team’s leading scorer and shot-blocker is due to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. He wants a maximum contract extension. The Hawks do not want to pay him a max contract. And so, to prevent him from leaving without receiving any compensation, Atlanta could trade him by 3 p.m. Thursday.Inquiries for Smith’s services are coming in, but as of late Tuesday, no offer made sense to Hawks general manager Danny Ferry.“We’re in a unique situation with the current roster being competitive but also having good cap flexibility going forward,” Ferry told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Like most teams, we’re evaluating ourselves and looking at the opportunities that come to us, especially this time of year. If there’s an opportunity that makes sense for us for the long-term interest of the Hawks, we’ll look at it closely.”Smith said to the AJC: “I’ve just been going out and playing basketball and not worrying about anything but that. As long as I’m an Atlanta Hawk, my main concern is getting wins for this team.”The Hawks can offer Smith a maximum five-year contract worth approximately $94 million. The most any other team can offer him is four years at $70 million.Smith is one of eight expiring contracts on the Hawks’ roster. When all is over, they could have as much as $36 million in salary cap space.Other unrestricted free agents include Devin Harris, Zaza Pachulia, Kyle Korver, Anthony Morrow, Johan Petro and Anthony Tolliver. Only Al Horford ($12 million), Lou Willliams ($5.225 million) and John Jenkins ($1.258) are guaranteed next season. Jeff Teague and Ivan Johnson are eligible for qualifying offers. The Hawks have team options on DeShawn Stevenson and Mike Scott.“I don’t know,” Hawks coach Larry Drew said about a potential trade. “I have no idea. … I’ve been in situations where there have been potential deals that were right at the cusp and fell apart. I’ve been in situations where there has been a lot of talk and nothing happened. I have been in situations where things have happened. These situations, you never know. You don’t allow it to distract you. You don’t look at the what-ifs, the maybes. You keep taking it a day at a time.”Smith is averaging 24.5 points, 10 rebounds, 6.25 assists, 1.75 blocks and one steal. He is shooting 58.2 percent (39 of 67) from the field, including 10 for 15 from 3-point range.“Only because I’m tired of answering the same questions, ”Smith said when asked if he was anxious for the trade deadline to pass. “Like I’ve said a couple times, I understand it’s a business. This is like my fourth year where my name has been brought up in trade rumors and trade talks. For four years, I’ve had to consistently give the same answers. Other than that, I’m not worried about anything. I think my game speaks to where my mental edge is. I’m not worried about anything but being concerned with what I have to do on the court.”
The millionaire businessman who has admitted he was the mystery benefactor who donated a Rolls-Royce to Glasgow City Council said he was surprised by the furore it had caused.Boyd Tunnock, 84, boss of the eponymous confectionary firm that makes Tunnock’s Teacakes and Caramel Wafers, said he wanted the gift of his luxury car to be a “good thing”.But politicians criticised the move, with one Labour MP claiming it was“Dickensian” to have Lord Provost Eva Bolander – the first SNP politician to hold the post – driven around in a Rolls-Royce while local services were cut by “SNP austerity”.Mr Tunnok, who backed the Union in the 2014 independence referendum, said: “I have to say I’ve been a bit surprised by the reaction to this.All sorts of important people come to Glasgow and I thought it would be right to give them a nice experience.”Glasgow always had a Rolls Royce and I was able to give mine to the city so I thought, why not? “I really wanted this to be a good thing, but I didn’t want any credit for it so I asked the city to keep my name quiet, but I’m quite happy for people to know it’s me.” The Rolls-Royce Ghost, with a new price of around pounds230,000, is meant to replace one of the council’s fleet of Volkswagen Phaetons, and the authority said the gift would save it money.The car, bearing the council’s unique “G0” number-plate, will be used by the Lord Provost and other city representatives for civic duties as well as VIPs needing transportation.However, Ms Bolander used one of the VWs on Thursday to get to the reopening of the Willow Tea Rooms building in the city centre.Paul Sweeney, the MP who said it was like something out of Dickens, tweeted earlier this week: ”Nursery fees doubled and free swimming for kids the latest cuts. Auction it off to fund services for Glaswegians.”A spokesman for the local authority said: “It would clearly not be appropriate to buy a car such as this but having received it as a donation there will be occasions when it is appropriate to use it.”When she accepted the two-year-old vehicle on Tuesday, Ms Bolander said she it was a “show-stopping car and a tremendous asset”. Boyd Tunnock at the re-opening of the Willow Tea Rooms, designed by Charles Rennie MackintoshCredit:Wattie Cheung Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
PEACHES GELDOF HAS apologised for tweeting the names of the mothers involved in the recent, high-profile paedophilia case which led to the conviction of Lostprophets singer Ian Watkins.However, the journalist also defended her actions in a series of tweets to her 166,000 followers this morning. She said:“For all of those out there tweeting me about naming the paedophile mothers involved in the Ian Watkins case, the names have been in the public domain since 12 December when the court named them and put them up on their website for all to see – half of twitter had tweeted out the names also aside from my (now deleted) tweet.“The babies will most probably be given new identities to protect them from future abuse from other paedos who know who they are/ their names from the videos Watkins uploaded to Paedo websites (sic).The question of wether (sic) or not to give anonymity to criminals in cases like this will go on forever. However these women and Watkins will be getting three meals a day, a double bed, cable TV etc – all funded by the tax payer alongside not being named apparently. It makes me sad.“I deleted my tweets however and apologise for any offence caused as at the time of tweeting had only seen everyone tweeting the names at me so had assumed as they were also up on news websites and the crown courts public file that they had been released for public knowledge. Will check my facts before tweeting next time. apologies and lesson learned.”Geldof could face criminal charges for the indiscretion. South Wales police have confirmed they are investigating and will examine if prosecutions should be brought against her and others for identifying sexual offence victims who have lifetime anonymity under law.The victims’ mothers have been granted lifetime anonymity to ensure their children are protected. They were both convicted of serious sexual offences earlier this week. Lostprophets lead singer, Watkins, also pleaded guilty to a string of guilty offences, including the attempted rape of a baby and conspiring to sexually assault a child.Following the court case, Geldof had urged newspapers to print the names of the two female co-accused.Identifying victims of sexual offences is a crime in the UK under the Sexual Offences Act. A conviction can carry a fine of up to £5,000.“Anonymity for victims of sexual offences is a vital component of the criminal justice process,” commented the Crown Prosecution Service yesterday.“The CPS is liaising with South Wales police in relation to their investigation into allegations that the names of two women convicted alongside Ian Watkins have been placed in the public domain, contrary to legislation that protects the identity of victims by banning the publicising of information which would identify them.”A spokesperson for the Attorney General also made comment on the case. She said:“We understand that the names of the co-defendants in the Ian Watkins case were posted online but have now been removed.“As has been previously reported, the co-defendants were the mothers of the victims.“Victims of sexual offences have automatic lifetime anonymity and the publication of names or information which can lead to their being identified is a criminal offence. This is a police matter.”Read: Lostprophets lead singer pleads guilty to attempted baby rape
Not to be outdone by Amazon’s recent announcement marking the Kindle its “best-selling product of all-time,” Barnes & Noble declared its own eBook reader, the Nook Color, its “biggest bestseller ever in its nearly 40-year history.”Like Amazon’s own announcement, Barnes & Noble isn’t offering much in the way of concrete sales figures, but this certainly doesn’t bode well for print media–particularly not when quotes like “Barnes & Noble also announced that it now sells more digital books than its large and growing physical book business on BN.com” are bandied about.In the same press release the company noted that it moved almost one million NOOKbooks on Christmas Day this year, thanks to new titles by James Patterson, Stieg Larsson, John Grisham, and that George W. Bush guy. The Nook Color first hit the market on November 16th.
The fortunes of the euro zone’s most vulnerable economies have darkened markedly since June, according to a Reuters poll of economists that showed Spain will apply for an EU bailout within months.Forecasters polled this week slashed their 2013 economic outlook for Greece, Portugal and Spain, and said they will all fail to achieve budget deficit targets agreed with the European Commission.Among the struggling euro zone peripheral economies, only Ireland looks on course for a return to modest growth any time soon.While the survey pointed to a reduced likelihood Greece will exit the euro zone soon, it also underlined why Spain is the new focal point of the bloc’s sovereign debt crisis.Its economic woes – with spiralling unemployment topping the list – have further to run.“As Spain is stuck in a deep recession, markets will continue to have doubts on the medium-term solvency of Spain,” said Gernot Griebling, head of bond research at LBBW in Stuttgart.“As a consequence Spanish (government bond) yields and the corresponding spreads over Bunds will stay high or even climb further.”Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy last week inched closer to asking for an European Union bailout for his country, where government borrowing costs have failed to recede much from near-unsustainable levels.Economists said there was a median 68 percent chance of a full sovereign bailout, involving the EU’s official rescue funds, before the end of the year. June’s poll showed 35 out of 59 economists thought that was “likely” or “very likely”.ECB President Mario Draghi last week signalled it was preparing to buy Spanish and Italian bonds, but only after EU bailout funds were triggered and countries had asked for help.The poll suggested Spain’s economy will contract 1.6 percent this year and then 1.1 percent in 2013 – the latter forecast representing a sharp downgrade from the 0.7 percent decline in June’s survey.The unemployment rate, which at 24.6 percent in the second quarter hit its highest level since the Franco dictatorship ended in the mid-1970s, has further to climb.The poll showed it ending this year at 25 percent, and next year at 25.6 percent.The euro zone’s No.3 economy will also fall further behind on its budget deficit targets, even in light of euro zone ministers last week granting Madrid an extra year until 2014 to reach its goals.While it will come close to meeting this year’s budget deficit target of 6.3 percent of gross domestic product, the shortfall will only shrink to 5.0 percent in 2013, short of the 4.5 percent target, the poll showed.Dismissing the drachmaThere was a strong consensus that Greece will remain in the euro zone over the next 12 months, with 45 out of 64 economists in agreement – a stronger majority than the 35 of 64 in June’s poll.“We would expect the euro zone to strive to keep Greece in the euro as long as it proceeds with reforms. However, there is a tail risk of an uncontrolled exit, in the case official funding is cut,” said Marcus Sonntag, economist at Merrill Lynch.Still, the poll showed Greece faces vast challenges in escaping its depression, as analysts downgraded their GDP outlook for the fifth time in a row.The economy will shrink around 6.6 percent this year and then 2.0 percent next year, much worse than June’s poll which pencilled in declines of 5.8 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively.“The stabilisation of economic sentiment from its current weak fragile state will require a more constructive stance from EU partners, especially regarding the targeted speed of fiscal adjustment,” said Nicholas Magginas, economist at the National Bank of Greece.Indeed, economists see slow progress on Greece’s budget deficit. It will shrink from last year’s 9.3 percent to 8.0 percent this year, compared with its target of 7.3 percent, and just 6.8 percent in 2013.That would put Athens well off-track from its aim of getting the deficit below 3 percent by the end of 2014 from 9.3 percent in 2011.Portugal too suffered a cut to its outlook for next year. After shrinking 3.0 percent this year, the Portuguese economy is expected to decline around 1.0 percent in 2013, compared with a 0.6 percent contraction in the last poll.Similarly, it looks unlikely to meet its target of cutting its budget deficit to 3.0 percent in 2013, with the poll instead showing it at 3.7 percent by the end of next year.Ireland at least looks on track to return to modest economic growth, starting with 0.3 percent this year and quickening to 1.5 percent next year.That would put it more in line with the outlook for Europe’s bigger and more resilient economies.And unlike its peripheral peers, Ireland looks likely to beat its deficit target of 8.6 percent this year, with the poll suggesting it will come in at 8.3 percent of GDP.The findings backed up a separate poll of economists on Wednesday, which showed Ireland will benefit from stronger exports. Source: Reuters Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram
WhatsApp 11 matches scheduled for WWE Clash of Champions tonight in Charlotte, Live Post-Show Pinterest Now Playing Up Next WWE Lists The Shields Top 10 Wins Now Playing Up Next Videos Articles Ronda Rousey Smackdown Live Preview: Daniel Bryan still wants an apology, King of the Ring Quarterfinals Now Playing Up Next WWE And WrestleMania 34 Bring New Orleans A Big Payday Videos Articles Videos Articles Now Playing Up Next Brock Lesnar Takes WWE Universal Championship Drew Mcintyre WWE Confirms The Shield And Ronda Rousey At Super Show-Down Nikki Bella Facebook Adam Martin RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Now Playing Up Next WrestleMania Could Be Biggest Ever WWE will present the Crown Jewel event later today from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia at King Saud University Stadium live on the WWE Network this afternoon.Advertised for the show is Brock Lesnar vs. Braun Strowman to determine a new WWE Universal Champion and Shawn Michaels returning to the ring for the first time since 2010 when he teams with Triple H against The Undertaker and Kane.AJ Styles will also defend the WWE Championship against Samoa Joe, while an eight-man WWE World Cup Tournament will be taking place as well.The event itself had been in question for weeks following the disappearance and death of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. WWE announced last Thursday that they would be going forward with the show after facing a “very difficult decision.”The company has received a tremendous amount of media backlash for continuing to remain associated with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia following the death of the journalist, who was blatantly murdered in Istanbul according to Turkish authorities.Just announced this week was that newly reinstated Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan would be making an appearance and hosting the show later today. As of early Friday morning, WWE had yet to publicly confirm or advertise Hogan’s involvement with the show.Here is the card for today’s show beginning at Noon Eastern/11:00 a.m. CT:Match to crown a new WWE Universal ChampionBrock Lesnar vs. Braun StrowmanWWE ChampionshipAJ Styles (c) vs. Samoa JoeTriple H and Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker and KaneEight-Man WWE World Cup TournamentBrackets include:* Seth Rollins vs. Bobby Lashley (Winner faces Angle or Ziggler)* Kurt Angle vs. Dolph Ziggler (Winner faces Rollins or Lashley)* Jeff Hardy vs. The Miz (Winner faces Mysterio or Orton)* Rey Mysterio vs. Randy Orton (Winner faces Hardy or Miz)Smackdown Tag Team ChampionshipsThe Bar (c’s) vs. The New DayKickoff Show:WWE United States ChampionshipShinsuke Nakamura (c) vs. RusevWrestleview.com will have live coverage of WWE Crown Jewel later today beginning at Noon Eastern/11:00 a.m. CT along with live thoughts on Twitter via @wrestleview.Join us live on YouTube following Crown Jewel for a new Wrestleview Live! Google+ Twitter Recommended videosPowered by AnyClipWWE Confirms The Shield And Ronda Rousey At Super Show-DownVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPauseUnmuteDuration 0:32/Current Time 0:01Loaded: 100.00%0:01Remaining Time -0:31 FullscreenUp NextThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Replay the list Chris Jericho takes on Hangman Page to crown first AEW Champion tonight on All Out