India to host an official FIBA 3×3 World Tour Masters event for the first…

first_imgAdvertisementOne of the most prestigious 3×3 basketball tournaments in the world, the FIBA 3×3 World Tour Masters is coming to India for the first time on 22nd and 23rd September 2018 for the Hyderabad Masters at People’s Plaza, Hyderabad. Participation will be seen from the leading international 3×3 teams and top two 3BL teams – Delhi 3BL and Bangalore 3BL.The qualification for Indian 3×3 teams was decided on the basis of the results of the inaugural season of 3×3 Pro Basketball League (3BL) which was held from June 9 to August 26, 2018, across six cities in India. The two leading teams – Delhi, which won five rounds out of six and Bangalore, which won one round. Members of team Delhi are- Inderbir Gill, Bikramjit Gill, Leandro Souza de Lima and Kiran Shastri. Members of team Bangalore are- Sowkin Shetty, Amit Sehrawat, Rajan Sharma and Lalrina Renthlei.Hyderabad Masters is the seventh stage of the FIBA 3×3 World Tour and is the first time an international 3×3 basketball tournament is being played in India. The participating teams will compete for a chance to qualify for the FIBA 3×3 World Tour Bloomage Beijing Final on October 27-28, 2018. The best international teams like Novi Sad (World #1), Piran (#3), Belgrade (#9) and more, along with top international players like Simon Finzgar (World #8), Anze Srebovt (#9) and Gasper Ovnik (#10) will be playing at People’s Plaza in Hyderabad.The inaugural season of 3BL received a brilliant response from audiences and athletes alike. The Indian basketball players got exposure to international players and styles of play to improve their game. With the matches being held in high engagement places like malls in each of the cities, the audiences could witness the fast-paced entertaining sport with ease. 3BL also made extensive efforts towards the grassroots level development of the game by conducting coaching clinics for young students in each of the cities.Speaking about the FIBA 3×3 World Tour, Hyderabad Masters, Yoshiya Katoh, Chairman, 3BL, said, “India is getting a chance like never before – to host the FIBA 3×3 World Tour. Only nine other cities in the world have been the hosts in this edition. This is an opportunity for Indian basketball players to compete against the strongest opponents and improve their game. We are proud to be a part of this landmark moment.”Rohit Bakshi, League Commissioner, 3BL, said, “One of my biggest dreams has been to see an Indian team win a medal at an international platform in 3×3 basketball. Team Delhi 3BL and Bangalore 3BL both have the potential to emerge at the top in Hyderabad Masters and qualify for the FIBA 3×3 World Tour Finals. Moreover, competing against international teams is only going to improve their game and increase our chances for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.”Vivek Krishna, Entertainment Director, 3BL, said, “The inaugural season of 3BL was a massive success with the Indian audiences. The sport is perfectly suited to our liking, with its entertainment and glamorous elements. At the FIBA 3×3 World Tour, Hyderabad Masters, it’s going to be even better with the best international players, dunkers and more.”Advertisementlast_img read more

Saqlain drops plans to stay and work in Pakistan

first_imgKarachi, Mar 5 (PTI) Disappointed with the functioning of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) here, Pakistans celebrated off-spinner, Saqlain Mushtaq has dropped plans to stay and work in the countrys cricket set-up. Saqlain said on the PTV sports channel that he was disappointed at observing the way things functioned in the present cricket system run by the Pakistan Cricket Board. The cricketer-turned-coach said he had come to Pakistan last year with a view to settle down in his hometown Lahore with his family and give something back to Pakistan cricket in a coaching capacity. “But after working with Saeed Ajmal for three months for the Pakistan board, the things I observed and saw, I can tell you one cant work properly and freely here and they are problems in the system,” Saqlain said. “I am now preparing to go back to the United Kingdom with my family and resettle down there. I am very disappointed,” he added. One of Pakistans top spinners, who ended up with 208 test and 288 one-day wickets and is also credited with inventing the doosra delivery, Saqlain worked with Saeed on behalf of the PCB when the off-spinner was banned from bowling in international cricket by the ICC. Saqlain, who has worked as spin bowling coach with the New Zealand, West Indies and Bangladesh teams, said he wanted to give back his experience and skills to Pakistan cricket. “I sincerely wanted to do something for Pakistan cricket which made me what I am today. Unfortunately things havent worked out that way for me,” he added. Pakistans cricket system and the internal functioning of the PCB has for long been the subject of discussion and criticism with some former players including former captains, Rashid Latif and Muhammad Yousuf flatly refusing to work in the present set-up. While Latif turned down the chief selectors post, Yousuf has said he is ready to coach the batsmen but not in present set-up. Former Test opener and captain Aamir Sohail and Pakistans cricket great Javed Miandad also parted ways with the PCB after working in different capacities. Both claimed they were not allowed to implement their plans for the betterment of Pakistan cricket as too many hurdles were created for them. PTI Cor ATK ATKadvertisementlast_img read more

Virat Kohli’s supernatural form might jinx Royal Challengers Bangalore in final

first_imgVirat Kohli might have just lost it for his team. Yeah, you read that right! The Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper has been delivering for his team game after game and in the process has smashed quite a few batting records. (RCB’s road to the final ) With four centuries this Indian Premier League season, he has amassed 919 runs from 15 matches and is the proud holder of the Orange Cap. But that’s the catch. Only once in eight seasons of the league has an Orange Cap holder gone on to lay hands on the trophy. ORANGE CAP JINX Shaun Marsh was the first victim. The Kings XI Punjab opener lit up the opening season with 618 runs and guided his team to second on the table at the end of the league stages. However,  the Yuvraj Singh-led team crashed out of the tournament failing to go past Chennai Super Kings in the semi-finals of the tournament. SACHIN TENDULKAR WAS NOT SPARED The trend continued for five more seasons with big names like Matthew Hayden, Chris Gayle and Michael Hussey on the receiving end. The Orange Cap jinx didn’t even spare Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar. The then Mumbai Indians player who scored 618 runs from the 2010 season failed to lead his team to title. Tendulkar hit 45-ball 48 in chase of 169 against Chennai Super Kings in the final only to see his team falling short of the target by 22 runs and finishing second best. ROBIN UTHAPPA LUCKY SURVIVOR However, in the seventh season of the Indian Premier League, Robin Uthappa broke the jinx to become the only Orange Cap winner who led his team to title. With 660 runs from 16 matches, Uthappa had continuously performed at the top for the Kolkata Knight Riders. KKR clinched the title despite their leading run-scorer failing in the final against Kings XI Punjab in a massive chase of 200. (Virat Kohli expects intense battle in final ) In 2015, it was David Warner who had the chance to build on Uthappa’s record and erase the Orange Cap jinx. However, Sunrisers Hyderabad finished sixth on the table despite Warner scoring 562 runs in the tournament. CAN KOHLI ERASE THE JINX? Looking at the trend, Warner would be happy as his team has the chance of playing against Royal Challengers Bangalare on Sunday. However, the odds are heavily favouring the in-form Kohli and his team this team as they are playing the final at home in front of a crowd that is expected to go berserk with their ‘Aar-Ccee-Bbee’ chants. Kohli has one more battle to win this season. Whether or not he can emulate Uthappa remains to be seen. Kohli, though, wouldn’t like a sight of opposition celebrating on the final night.advertisementlast_img read more

Heat’s Erik Spoelstra says Jimmy Butler good fit in Miami

first_imgDuterte calls himself, Go, Cayetano ‘the brightest stars’ in PH politics Spoelstra says “it was the fit that matters to us. That’s the only thing that counts.”Butler is a four-time All-Star and Miami raves about what he can do both ends of the floor. Heat President Pat Riley says Butler is one of the 10 best players in the league, and Spoelstra says Butler “will not shy away from big moments. … Jimmy Butler is that kind of player.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGreatest ever?SPORTSBecoming his own manSPORTSFormer PBA import Anthony Grundy passes away at 40It took a four-team trade to get the deal that brought Butler to Miami done in July. The Heat gave up Josh Richardson (to Philadelphia) and Hassan Whiteside (to Portland) to make it happen. This jewelry designer is also an architect Becoming his own man Drilon apologizes to BCDA’s Dizon over false claim on designer of P50-M ‘kaldero’ Ethel Booba on SEA Games cauldron: ‘Sulit kung corrupt ang panggatong’ DTI creates Marahuyo, a luxe Filipino fashion brand for global buyers Matteo Guidicelli had saved up for Sarah G’s ring since 2014? MOST READ LATEST STORIES Canadian vaping study details danger from ‘popcorn lung’ chemical Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:48NBA: Kawhi, George seek more for Clippers than beating Lakers02:11Makabayan bloc defends protesting workers, tells Año to ‘shut up’03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games01:38‘Bato’ to be ‘most effective’ CHR head? It’s for public to decide – Gascon02:07Aquino to Filipinos: Stand up vs abuses before you suffer De Lima’s ordeal01:28Ex-President Noynoy Aquino admits contracting pneumonia00:45Aquino agrees with Drilon on SEA games ‘kaldero’ spending issue Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Miami Heat guard Jimmy Butler speaks during an NBA basketball news conference, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019, in Miami. Butler spoke publicly for the first time since the July trade that brought him to South Florida as the new face of the franchise. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)Miami coach Erik Spoelstra spent part of his summer trying to build a relationship with new Heat wing Jimmy Butler, featuring phone calls and dinners and the sharing of ideas.They get to work on the court for the first time Tuesday, when Miami opens camp — the first with Butler on the roster.ADVERTISEMENT Blessing Okagbare disqualified in 200 again Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

Kobe Paras still grateful despite UP Final 4 exit

first_imgMatteo Guidicelli had saved up for Sarah G’s ring since 2014? MOST READ MANILA, Philippines—Kobe Paras would rather look at the bright side after University of the Philippines’ exit in the UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball tournament.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Ethel Booba on SEA Games cauldron: ‘Sulit kung corrupt ang panggatong’ Rice industry paralysis LATEST STORIES Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games02:11Makabayan bloc defends protesting workers, tells Año to ‘shut up’03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games01:38‘Bato’ to be ‘most effective’ CHR head? It’s for public to decide – Gascon02:07Aquino to Filipinos: Stand up vs abuses before you suffer De Lima’s ordeal01:28Ex-President Noynoy Aquino admits contracting pneumonia00:45Aquino agrees with Drilon on SEA games ‘kaldero’ spending issue Celtics beat Wizards despite 44 points from Bradley Beal Duterte officials’ paranoia is ‘singularly myopic’center_img Duterte calls himself, Go, Cayetano ‘the brightest stars’ in PH politics The Fighting Maroons lost twice to University of Santo Tomas in the semifinal stepladder and the 68-65 loss on Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena booted them out of title contention.Instead of sulking, Paras said he’s actually happy with how his collegiate career continued after much difficulty in the United States as an NCAA Division I recruit and, for a brief time, player.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGreatest ever?SPORTSFormer PBA import Anthony Grundy passes away at 40SPORTSSan Miguel suspends Santos, Nabong, Tubid indefinitely after ‘tussle’ in practice“This loss just made me happy and I’m just grateful,” said Paras. “I’m super appreciative of all the schools I went up against and this was the first time that I’ve been playing in a while so I’m just really happy.”Paras was a high school standout, both in academics and athletics, with Cathedral and Middlebrooks in California and shortly committed thereafter to University of California in Los Angeles. Priority legislation in the 18th Congress Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. What’s behind the display of Chinese flag in Boracay? Drilon apologizes to BCDA’s Dizon over false claim on designer of P50-M ‘kaldero’ View comments The athletic 6-foot-6 forward, however, withdrew from UCLA after failing to meet the school’s academic requirements.From UCLA, Paras moved on to Creighton where he was finally able to play college basketball but eventually withdrew after failing to secure a regular playing role with the Blue Jays and thus enrolling with Cal State Northridge where he was a student-athlete for less than a year.UP thus became Paras’ fourth college after he enrolled at the State University in 2018.“This is my fourth college and what I learned is to be grateful for what I have,” said Paras who had eight points and three rebounds in his final game of the season. “My plan A didn’t work, this is my plan B and my plan B is still the dream for other people.”“I’ve learned to love myself and be more appreciative of what I have instead of wanting more things and I think that’s a lesson for a lot of people in this world that you have be grateful for what you have.”ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

Chris Froome unhurt but bike ‘totaled’ after hit-and-run case

first_imgTour de France champion Chris Froome said on Tuesday that he had escaped unhurt while having his bike written off by an impatient car driver in a hit-and-run incident.The 31-year-old three-time winner of the world’s biggest bike race, tweeted a picture of the twisted remains of his “totaled” training bike, saying he had been deliberately knocked off by the driver.Just got rammed on purpose by an impatient driver who followed me onto the pavement! Thankfully I’m okay ?? Bike totaled. Driver kept going! pic.twitter.com/o7FT4iXsAo- Chris Froome (@chrisfroome) May 9, 2017The Team Sky rider said he was “okay” after the incident that happened during a training ride near his home in the south of France.Sky News reported that it understood Froome would be reporting the incident to police.”Just got rammed on purpose by an impatient driver who followed me onto the pavement! Thankfully I’m okay. Bike totaled. Driver kept going!”, the Team Sky rider wrote, adding an emoji of hands clasped in prayer.Team Sky said the Monaco-based Froome had continued his training session after returning home to get a spare bike.Froome is training for June’s Criterium du Dauphine, his familiar warm-up event before the Tour de France between July 1-23. He is favourite to win the event for a third successive year.The incident was just another reminder of the continued perils faced by professional cyclists on the road during training rides.It occurred less than three weeks since the death of 37-year-old Michele Scarponi, the former Giro d’Italia winner, who was struck by a van while training in Italy.advertisementHis team, Astana, described the death of Scarponi, a husband and father of two, as a ‘tragedy too big to be written’.last_img read more

Warne joins MCC world cricket committee

first_imgLondon, Oct 24 (IANS) Australian leg-spin legend Shane Warne will join an elite list of cricketers after being named to the MCC World Cricket Committee on Wednesday.Warne will replace former Australia wicketkeeper Rod Marsh, who will step down after serving for six years.”We’re delighted to welcome Shane on to the committee. Obviously, his profile in the world game is as big as they come and with his extensive experience, I am sure he will offer great insights into many different facets of the game,” Mike Gatting, the chairman of the committee, said in a statement. “I’d also like to pay tribute to Rod Marsh, who leaves the committee after six years. He has provided valuable contributions across a variety of areas and we thank him for his efforts,” he added.TheMarylebone Cricket Club (MCC) committee which comprises the likes of Sourav Ganguly, Kumar Sangakkara, Kumar Dharmasena, Ricky Ponting, Ian Bishop and Brendon McCullum, along with New Zealand woman player Suzie Bates, is an independent panel of former and current players and umpires that can propose changes to the sport’s laws.Commenting on his appointment to the prestigious committee, Warne said: “It is an honour to have been asked to be a member of the MCC World Cricket committee. It is an extremely exciting time for cricket and I hope that I will have plenty to offer in discussion and debate. I look forward to contributing to the work of the committee.”MCC World Cricket committee members are Mike Gatting (chairman), John Stephenson (MCC head of cricket), Shakib Al Hasan, Suzie Bates, Ian Bishop, Kumar Dharmasena, Sourav Ganguly, Tim May, Brendon McCullum, Ricky Ponting, Ramiz Raja, Kumar Sangakkara, Vince van der Bijl, Shane Warne.–IANStri/bgadvertisementlast_img read more

Roger Goodell Is Getting Blasted For His Comment On Laremy Tunsil

first_imgLaremy Tunsil and Goodell smile holding his draft jersey.Laremy Tunsil.Former Ole Miss offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil’s draft experience was unraveling by the second Thursday night as both his Twitter and Instagram accounts were being hacked, sharing posts detrimental to his draft stock. No matter how you feel about the things posted to his social media accounts, one thing was clear: somebody was out to get him. But when NFL commissioner Roger Goodell sat down with ESPN’s Mike and Mike Friday morning to discuss, he seemed to think the chaos was just part of the draft experience, telling Greeny and Golic: “I think it’s all part of what makes the draft so exciting.”Roger Goodell to @MikeAndMike on Tunsil situation: “I think it’s all part of what makes the draft so exciting.” https://t.co/W1S1NwgfcU— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) April 29, 2016While it clearly wasn’t meant to be a malicious statement, it probably wasn’t the best way to describe it either, and he’s getting blasted for it on Twitter. Oh, @nflcommish. It’s a good thing the owners don’t pay you for your public-speaking skills. https://t.co/SM9RuwhMaC— Jim Trotter (@JimTrotter_NFL) April 29, 2016 I’m pretty sure Roger Goodell is universally hated— Joseph Kennedy (@bigjoebadger) April 29, 2016 How can people respect this rat @nflcommish https://t.co/tvlPtAh0EG— Mike Sheerin (@Mike_Sheerin) April 29, 2016 Wonder why players and fans don’t trust @nflcommish to be judge and arbiter of “integrity”…https://t.co/eBODeJJvO6— Nick Dorich (@NickyDPharmD) April 29, 2016 @nflcommish I felt bad that u were booed all day yesterday …until I heard ur comments on what makes this draft so exciting. Keep booing!— Jason Trawick (@jasontrawick) April 29, 2016 Does @nflcommish realize how stupid he sounds? Nice job throwing @KingTunsil78 under the bus! Only thing deflated in the @nfl is #Goodell— Russ Weakland (@MrSandwich96) April 29, 2016 Roger Goodell has less than zero class. https://t.co/8A3A5vj0hm— John Archibald (@ResSports) April 29, 2016 @nflcommish thinks it’s “entertainment” to see a kid slandered and lose millions of dollars. I scream conspiracy.— TheBron James (@Phaulkner) April 29, 2016 @rogergoodell thinks a kid getting railroaded is #exciting. Never got a thank you for gift he gave to the Starks for their #redwedding #nfl— Ron Cardashenstein (@RonCar69) April 29, 2016Tunsil was picked up by the Dolphins and will begin his NFL career as a first round pick, but he’ll never forget draft night – for all the wrong reasons.last_img read more

Reaching for smartphone bad for health

first_imgUsing your smartphone to relax and pass time may be associated with negative feelings, lack of control and a reduced sense of purpose in life, a study warns. The study, published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, is the first to thoroughly evaluate how smartphone use is associated with measures of subjective and psychological wellbeing. Researchers at Deakin University in Australia showed habitual smartphone use and entertainment use – to relax, escape and pass time – were the best predictors of lower wellbeing. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainThe survey of over 500 students found problematic smartphone use was associated with feelings of negative emotions, lack of control, a reduced sense of purpose in life, and a ability to resist social pressure. “There’s a constant stream of news and entertainment in our life now, and if that content is not necessarily positive it might be contributing to technological overload or techno-exhaustion,” said lead researcher Sharon Horwood from Deakin’s School of Psychology. Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma Award”While there has been some analysis of smartphone use and subjective wellbeing, this study goes into much greater depth,” Horwood said in a statement. Past research has examined wellbeing in terms of life satisfaction and whether people tend to experience more positive emotions than negative emotions. “This research offers a more complete picture of what makes the ‘good life’ including positive social relationships, a sense of personal growth, autonomy, and having a sense of control over one’s life,” Horwood said. “While we found that smartphone use is unrelated to people’s overall life satisfaction, it is associated with mood and these broader indicators of human flourishing,” she said. “Wellbeing is about feeling satisfied with your life, managing day-to-day activities, and positive relationships. We found that problematic smartphone use impacts all those things,” he said. Horwood said there are four main areas of wellbeing which negatively related to problematic smartphone use. These included how much control people felt they had over their use, whether smartphone use interferes with a person’s day-to-day life, whether the phone gets in the way of positive relationships with others, and whether smart phone use was a panacea for boredom and lack of personal growth. “The question is, does using your smartphone in a problematic way lower wellbeing, or is someone whose wellbeing is low for other reasons more likely to turn to their smartphone for comfort, distraction, or perhaps escapism?” she said. However, Horwood said it was important to note her study showed smartphone use was not all bad. “For what we term ‘communication use’ – calls and text messages – we found a slight positive association with wellbeing,” she said. The next step in research is to drill down into the impact of smartphone use on children’s social and emotional wellbeing.last_img read more

First commercial A380 jumbo aircraft lands in Sri Lanka

“For the BIA, this event signals that it is ‘A380 ready,’ and that the world’s largest A380 operator – Emirates – has already operated a commercial flight. Given the Sri Lanka government’s focus on developing tourism, this is an important development. For local aviation enthusiasts it is a matter of pride that their airport has joined the ranks of leading international airports in the A380 league,” he added.In service for nine years, the Emirates A380 remains the most talked-about passenger aircraft in the world today. Emirates is the world’s largest A380 operator with 96 aircraft already in its fleet and a further 46 on order. The award-winning airline currently operates A380 flights to 48 destinations, almost a third of its global network. Since 2008, Emirates has flown over 80 million passengers on its A380 fleet. On the Emirates A380, First Class passengers can relax in one of 14 flat-bed, massage-equipped Private Suites; the cabin also has two exquisitely designed onboard Shower Spas, ensuring a revitalised and refreshed arrival. For First and Business Class passengers the on-board lounge is the social highlight, featuring a fully-stocked bar and a selection of hot and cold canapés. Business Class passengers can relax in seats that convert to flat beds up to 87 inches (two metres) long, whilst those travelling in Economy Class can stretch out in seats with a pitch of up to 33 inches.Customers in Sri Lanka can experience Emirates’ double-decker aircraft by connecting through the airline’s Dubai hub when they travel to A380 destinations in North and South America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, the Middle East, Russia, and the Far East.Emirates commenced operations to Sri Lanka in April 1986 and operates a total of 34 flights a week from Colombo — 27 flights westward to Malé and Dubai and seven eastward to Singapore connecting onwards to Melbourne, Australia. (Colombo Gazette) Arranged to celebrate the BIA’s recently resurfaced and upgraded runway, the special one-off A380 flight operated as EK654 from Dubai, replacing the B777 aircraft usually deployed by Emirates on flights to Sri Lanka. The iconic aircraft was on ground for more than six hours to enable airport executives, VIPs, trade partners and media to enjoy guided static tours of its cabins and unique amenities like the First Class Suites, Shower Spas and the On-board lounge. Welcoming guests on behalf of Emirates at a reception at Gate 8 of the BIA, Ahmed Khoory said: “This one-off flight reflects the strong relationship we have with the market and our commitment to the destination. It signifies that, when demand for the destination grows, as it definitely will, to the point that scheduled A380 flights are feasible, Emirates will be ready to operate one.” An Emirates A380 aircraft landed at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) Katunayake today, helping Sri Lanka and the airport achieve an aviation milestone.Minister of Transport & Aviation Nimal Siripala de Silva was at the airport to greet Abdul Hameed Abdul Fattah Kazhim Al-Mulla, UAE Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Emirates’ Senior Vice President Commercial (West Asia & Indian Ocean) Ahmed Khoory who were among the VIPs on the flight, the first A380 commercial flight to the country. read more

President begins Doha visit with focus on bilateral ties

“The two-day visit of the Sri Lankan President to Qatar will further boost the cooperation between the two countries. It will enhance the bilateral diplomatic relationships and common interests in other areas including trade and investment,” ASP Liyanage, told The Peninsula.“Besides several high level meetings between the Sri Lankan President and Qatari dignitaries, there will be six important agreements that will be signed between Qatar and Sri Lanka, including one related to the energy sector,” he added. Sirisena, who is making the second visit of a Sri Lankan head of state to Qatar, is accompanied by a high level delegation including several senior ministers including, Dr Rajitha Senaratne, Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine, Rauff Hakeem, Minister of City Planning and Water Supply, Rishad Badiudeen, Minister of Minister of Industry and Commerce, Faisal Mustafa, Minister of Local Government and Provincial Councils, Wasantha Senanayake, State Minister for Foreign Affairs and Ajith P Perera, Deputy Minister of Power and Renewable Energy.Around 120,000 Sri Lankans are employed in Qatar and diplomatic relations between the two countries was established in 1976. (Colombo Gazette) Sirisena is scheduled to hold bilateral discussions with Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani as well as with high level officials tomorrow. The President will meet the Sri Lankan residents in Qatar today. Qatar-Sri Lanka Business and Investment Meeting will also be held today. The business meeting aims to attract Qatari investors to seize the investment opportunities available for foreign investment in the island nation. The visit will also witness signing of six agreements between Qatar and Sri Lanka. President Maithripala Sirisena began his visit to Qatar today with the aim of further enhancing bilateral ties between the two countries.The high-profile visit will boost cooperation between the two countries in several sectors including energy, trade and investment, said ASP Liyanage, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Qatar, The Peninsula reported. read more

The future starts now Ban says at launch of UN Decade of

“We are here because we understand that sustainable energy is central to the post-2015 sustainable development agenda,” the UN chief told the first annual Sustainable Energy for All Forum, which opened yesterday in New York and wraps up tomorrow, aiming to generate momentum for Mr. Ban’s eponymous 2011 initiative that brings together governments, civil society and business to make sustainable energy for all a reality by 2030.The Forum, which sets the stage for the launch of the UN Decade (2014-2024), was also addressed by World Bank President Jim Yong Kim (by video) and John Ashe, President of the UN General Assembly, which designated the Decade as a vehicle to increase advocacy and action.Kandeh Yumkella, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and CEO of SE4ALL (Sustainable Energy for All), announced that the initial two years of the Decade would be focused on a campaign for energy access for women and children’s health.He said that while energy is a global issue, in many places, it is a woman’s issue. It can mean the difference between safety and fear, freedom and servitude, and even life and death. “The world must come together to end energy poverty and ensure that the poor can manage their lives and thrive economically.”“The Sustainable Energy for All initiative is maturing and bearing fruit – thanks to you,” Mr. Ban told the Forum, noting that commitments worth many billions of dollars have been pledged and delivered. More than 80 developing countries have joined the initiative. From India to Brazil a growing number of people have light and power where there was none before.“From NGOs to multilateral development banks, we are working together for a common goal,” said the Secretary-General, recalling that the initiative had set three targets: ensuring universal access to modern energy services, and doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency and the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix, all by 2030.“Our efforts so far show that these objectives are realistic. Our focus now must be to achieve them,” he said, noting that while some 30 countries have announced relevant action agendas this year, the declaration of the UN Decade will provide an “extra boost.”Indeed, Mr. Ban explained that the Decade can bring the world closer to the goals of universal energy and a life of dignity and opportunity for all. “Modern energy services are the key to changing people’s quality of life. Clinics can store life-saving vaccines. Children can study after dark. Cleaner cookstoves can save the lives of millions of women and children every year. Electricity can power street-lights that will make women safer,” he said.“The benefits will be felt throughout society in all countries. That is why we must continue to build our initiative and bring more partners and stakeholders aboard,” he said, adding that the Forum should be seen as an annual meeting place for the global energy community. “Here we can shape a new energy future. That future starts now.” Looking forward to the 23 September climate summit in New York, the Secretary-General said, “The more you bring in terms of concrete deliverables, the more we can achieve towards our objectives, and the better we can support global efforts to combat climate change and strengthen resilience. I count on all actors here today to deliver new and expanded commitments and partnerships that will transform the global energy landscape.”In his remarks, Mr. Ashe said the history of the development of modern society is inextricably intertwined with the story of the development of energy and its impact on the natural, social and economic environments. From climate change to agriculture and from gender equality to health, he said, access to sustainable energy clearly impacts all dimensions of sustainable human development. Energy is woven into the fabric of human life at all levels, and all people and all nations need access to energy to grow and prosper. But it is precisely for this reason that the crippling lack of access to sustainable energy services is so important to address at this point in time, he said. “As we prepare to usher in a new development paradigm in the post-2015 era, the issue of sustainable energy for all must form an integral part of our deliberations on shaping a sustainable future,” he declared, referring to the ongoing UN-led effort to craft a global development agenda to succeed the landmark Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). read more

UN probe says South Sudan attacks nadir of conflict marked by abuses

The Human Rights Division of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) issued a report today saying there are reasonable grounds to believe that at least 353 civilians were murdered and another 250 wounded in attacks in the capitals of Unity state and Jonglei state between 15 April and 17 April last year.Having collected and analysed physical evidence and interviewed 142 sources, the report has found that the attacks in the towns of Bentiu and Bor involved the deliberate targeting of victims on the basis of their ethnicity, nationality or perceived support for one of the parties to the conflict, a press statement from the Mission said. “In both Bentiu and Bor, attacks took place against protected objects – a hospital, a mosque, and a United Nations base – which may amount to war crimes,” said the report. “Although the conflict has been marked throughout by gross abuses and violations of human rights and serious violations of international humanitarian law, these two events seemed to represent the nadir of the conflict.”The attack in Bentiu, capital of Unity State, took place after opposition forces retook control of the town from Government troops. The report says that at least 287 civilians – mainly Sudanese traders and their families who were targeted on the basis of their Darfuri origins – were killed at a mosque before a further 19 civilians were killed at the Bentiu Civil Hospital.Two days later, an UNMISS civilian protection site outside the Jonglei state capital of Bor was attacked by a mob of armed men demanding the expulsion of all youths of Nuer ethnicity. After forcibly entering the protection site, the mob went on a rampage of killing, looting and abductions of internally displaced persons (IDPs), killing at least 47 people whose names appear in report.“UNMISS strongly condemns the continued killing and displacement of civilians on the basis of their ethnic identity nearly nine months after the events of April 2014,” said Ellen Margrethe Løj, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for South Sudan. “This risks an even greater polarization of the country along ethnic lines with potentially serious repercussions for the state of human rights and the prospects for reconciliation.”Nearly nine months after the attacks took place, no perpetrator has been held accountable by either the Government of the Republic of South Sudan or the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army In Opposition and the report says that few accountability measures have been taken in response to the incidents.The Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights referred to the UNMISS report during a briefing in Geneva today, adding his voice to those concerned by the response to the attacks.“Accountability is a big issue. There has been no accountability for the mass atrocities, human rights violations and abuses that have caused the death of tens of thousands of people in South Sudan,” said Robert Colville. “Nearly nine months after the attacks in Bentiu and Bor took place, no perpetrator has been held accountable by either the Government of South Sudan or the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army In Opposition for the two large-scale killings described in the report.” Updated: 10.42 a.m. read more

Carbon Advances as El Segundo and Red Sox Match Thrills Photo Gallery

Photos by Jeff Barrett Tri-Valley impressed for the second consecutive day with a 12-2 win over Hanford at the 13U Pacific Southwest Regionals Baseball Tournament in Helper on Wednesday. Carbon then beat South Tahoe 11-4 to continue in the tournament. Quade Henrie went 3-3 with a double and three RBIs in the match-up. Tri-Valley and Carbon will play each other at 3 p.m. on Thursday afternoon.In the night game, the Kai Red Sox and El Segundo participated in a back-and-forth thriller. El Segundo went up 3-1 before the Red Sox tied it at three. Then, El Segundo doubled its score to take a 6-3 lead. The Red Sox responded with two runs in the bottom of the sixth to pull within one. With the same score in the last inning, the tying run was just 90 feet away when the Red Sox struck out to end the game. El Segundo survived and punched their ticket to the championship game on Friday. The Kai Red Sox will play the winner of the Carbon/Tri-Valley game. read more

Opinion United States Mens National Team friendly potential preview for World Cup

United States Men’s National Team defender Clarence Goodson (21) heads the ball away from goal during a World Cup Qualifying match against Mexico Sept. 10 at Crew Stadium. The USMNT won, 2-0.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorThe Winter Olympics have just ended, but the world’s collective consciousness is already preparing to be taken over by another international sports competition: the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.While the roughly 100-day wait until the opening match on June 12 might seem like a long way off, in playing terms, it’s right around the corner. Most of the qualified teams are competing in friendlies Wednesday, and for many of them the game has some important implications.Wednesday, the U.S. men’s national team is set to play a friendly match against Ukraine in Cyprus, and it’s the final time European-based players will be able to compete for the USMNT before their club season is over in May. Once that happens, coach Jurgen Klinsmann will name a preliminary 30-man squad and take them through a training camp and friendly matches before leaving for South America with his final 23-man roster.There are a number of notable players who are expected to try to use this last chance to solidify their place on the plane to Brazil, transforming an ostensibly meaningless friendly into a final World Cup tryout.One player looking to take his chance will be defender Oguchi Onyewu. A two-time World Cup veteran, Onyewu has hardly been involved with the USMNT over the past few years, and he knows his chances of making it to a third tournament rely heavily on how well he performs against the Ukrainians.Then there’s midfielder Danny Williams, a player whose best performance in red, white and blue came right here in Columbus against Jamaica Sept. 11, 2012. His confident, mistake-free play even led many pundits to believe he could usurp veteran Jermaine Jones’ central defensive midfield position, but since then, Williams has spent the majority of his time on the sidelines. But still, the impression he made about 18 months ago could give Klinsmann incentive to trust Williams should he take his chance.Another World Cup hopeful in the midfield is Brek Shea. A standout in Major League Soccer, Shea has found things difficult since transferring to Europe. He’s made only five appearances for the English Premier League side Stoke City since arriving in January 2013, and is now on loan with Barnsley of the English Championship for the rest of the season. Shea knows he can’t slip up now.And those three aren’t the only ones in that position. Alejandro Bedoya, Juan Agudelo and John Brooks all face a similar challenge when it comes to impressing Klinsmann. The sheer number of World Cup squad hopefuls means someone is bound to miss out.In all likelihood, Klinsmann will give appearances to some players who are nailed on to start the team’s first World Cup group game against Ghana, while at the same time mixing in those looking to catch his eye.Of course, there could be a number of unforeseen circumstances between now and May that shake up the USMNT roster pool, with things like injuries, the emergence of young talent or a simple loss of form.But no matter which way you look at it, the final whistle in Cyprus will mean the journey to the World Cup has reached its final stage.So while many Americans might not see the tournament coming into view, the collection of players hoping to face the likes of Germany and Portugal this summer know that their chance is sharply in focus. read more

Roses could smell sweeter and last for longer after scientists crack genetic

A team from the University of Lyon identified the enzyme that helps produce roses’ intoxicating aroma three years ago.They said the key lay in encouraging the roses to produce greater levels of an organic compound called geraniol, which is produced in petals.Arthur Bouquet, an American horticulturalist, claimed that just 50 per cent of today’s roses have a noticeable scent, compared with 75 per cent in the 19th century. David Austin Roses Vanessa Bell “I hope we will be able to change how these flowers look in the future and make them last longer with more of a scent, which is lost the longer roses stay in a vase.“They could also be made more brightly-coloured.”The research, published in the journal Nature Genetics, is expected to help researchers and breeders to manipulate rose flowering and colour, strengthen scent, or increase vase life.Writing in the journal, the scientists said: “Reconstructing regulatory and secondary metabolism pathways allowed us to propose a model of interconnected regulation of scent and flower colour.”This genome provides a foundation for understanding the mechanisms governing rose traits and should accelerate improvement in roses.” A rose on display at the 2016 Hampton Court Flower show The scientists, led by Mohammed Bendahmane, from the University of Lyon in France, made comparisons with the genomes of other plants including strawberry, apricot and peach, to explore rose ancestry and evolution.They uncovered more than 36,000 protein-coding genes, and a biochemical pathway that co-ordinated the regulation of scent and colour.A number of candidate genes for flowering were identified which could in future be targeted to produce genetically improved rose cultivars.“If you go to the market and look at the cut roses, they won’t smell like anything. They smell like plastic,” Dr Bendahmane told The Times. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, so William Shakespeare’s Juliet famously declared.But a rose that has been genetically improved would smell even sweeter according to scientists who have cracked the DNA code of Britain’s favourite flower.Experts have created the first complete map of the popular flower, which they believe could help restore the heady scene that has dulled in recent years.Researchers said that by developing the blueprint – the first high-quality genome of the flower- they could engineer roses to be more fragrant, more colourful and longer lasting.Due to extensive cross-breeding, modern roses have complex DNA sequences that are difficult to reconstruct and previous attempts to fit together rose DNA molecules have resulted in fragmented and hard-to-read assemblages.But now they have found a way to edit the genes of roses, even if such bouquets are still a few years down the line. For the new work, researchers used advanced techniques to sequence the genome of the species Old Blush (Rosa chinensis). The plant, known for its sweet scent and delicate clusters of pink flowers, is thought to be the first East Asian rose to reach Europe some time in the 18th century. A rose on display at the 2016 Hampton Court Flower showCredit:Geoff Pugh David Austin Roses Vanessa BellCredit:HOWARD RICE 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. read more

Britain to send frigate to the Gulf in most serious naval deployment

The plan to base a Type-23 Frigate – and from the mid-2020s the next generation Type-31 – would likely see the whole ship’s company flown out to take over the vessel based in Bahrain.Routine maintenance of the ships would be carried out at the Mina Salman base, with the ship likely to remain in the region for about three years. The more comprehensive depth servicing every five to 10 years will be done in the UK.  Sea Ceptor provides a powerful shield against airborne threats, including hostile combat jets, helicopters and other missilesCredit:Jim Gibson RNR/Royal Navy Gavin Williamson has announced the move in a show of support for NatoCredit:Mark Thomas/Shutterstock Gavin Williamson has announced the move in a show of support for Nato Sea Ceptor provides a powerful shield against airborne threats, including hostile combat jets, helicopters and other missiles Britain has had a presence in the Gulf for decades, but the three-week sea passage to deploy and recover a ship meant there were long periods with no Royal Naval assets in the region. Smaller minehunter vessels have been based in the region for the last 10 years, but crews have deployed via Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships. The use of the new support base and a Type 23 frigate is a step change in naval capability.The Defence secretary also spoke of to the “increasing aggression and increasing assertiveness” of Russia. In 2010 the Royal Navy had to respond once to a Russian navy vessel approaching UK territorial waters. “Last year we had to respond 33 times”, he said. The UK is to send a frigate to be “an enduring presence” in the Gulf, in the most serious naval deployment to the region in more than 40 years, the Defence Secretary has announced in a show of support for Nato.A Royal Navy Type-23 Frigate will be based from the UK’s new £40 million National Support Facility at Mina Salman in Bahrain, unveiled by Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa and the Duke of York last month.Britain has not had a similar posture since 1971, when HMS Juffair in Bahrain was closed following the country’s declaration of independence.Speaking at the Sea Power conference at the Royal United Services Institute, Gavin Williamson warned “liberty, justice and tolerance are under attack from every angle” and Britain must work with allies to defend common interests. “NATO couldn’t be more relevant”, he said.He said that Britain will invest heavily in the Middle East and weave a web of partnerships with allies. A Navy spokesman told The Telegraph the Gulf “forward deployment shows the Royal Navy is going back to the principle of being a more reactive and more available force”.The maritime force will work under Operation KIPION as part of the UK’s support to the US-led coalition of maritime forces in the region. The enduring commitment demonstrates Britain’s ongoing commitment operationally and diplomatically in the region, naval sources told The Telegraph. 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. read more

Man who shot porn mogul Larry Flynt given lastminute stay of execution

first_imgA US JUDGE has granted a last-minute stay of execution to a white supremacist serial killer, questioning the drug that was to be used to put him to death.Joseph Paul Franklin, who shot porn mogul Larry Flynt in 1978 and left him paralysed, had been scheduled for execution late on Tuesday night over the killing of another man.But US District Judge Nanette Laughrey in the central state of Missouri granted the stay, CNN and other news outlets said.She said Missouri’s use of pentobarbital carried a high risk of “unnecessary pain beyond that which is required to achieve death.”She wrote:Given the irreversible nature of the death penalty and plaintiffs’ medical evidence and allegations, a stay is necessary to ensure that the defendants’ last act against Franklin is not permanent, irremediable cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment.CNN said a second federal judge, Carol Jackson, granted a separate stay on grounds that Franklin was not mentally competent.The state has appealed both stays and defense attorney Jennifer Herndon told CNN she expected the appeals court to rule within the next day.KillingsLarry Flynt (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes) Franklin, described as being motivated by racism, was due to be executed over the killing of Gerald Gordon outside a synagogue in St Louis, Missouri in 1977.CNN said Franklin is blamed for 22 killings between 1977 and 1980.Flynt was shot by Franklin in 1978 outside a Georgia courthouse, where Flynt was fighting obscenity charges. But Franklin was never tried in that case.Flynt, now 70 and wheelchair-bound because of the shooting, wrote last month that he would like to “inflict damage” on Franklin but did not want to see him die.“As I see it, the sole motivating factor behind the death penalty is vengeance, not justice, and I firmly believe that a government that forbids killing among its citizens should not be in the business of killing people itself,” Flynt wrote in an opinion column in The Hollywood Reporter.- © AFP, 2013Read: Porn publisher offers $1 million for dirt on White House candidate >last_img read more

8 words that have lost all meaning in modern life

first_img Source: Flickr/jblahblalblahHe got a round in, guys, he didn’t save any children from a burning building.Random Source: Flickr/bichxaLike Source: Flickr/grisha_21An Irish verbal tic. We’re all guilty of it.Banter Source: Flickr/crashoverreasonEpic Source: Flickr/Tree Leaf CloverSeriously, Coppers last night is not to be likened to mythic, heroic acts of bravery.LegendarySee above. Source: Flickr/Silence a gogoWhat words have lost all meaning for you? Like, literally, just have some epic banter in the comments. h/t AskRedditRead: 13 useful phrases you’ll only hear in Ireland>Read: “Selfie” has been added to the Irish language dictionary> AS MARK MCCABE sang on his seminal classic “Maniac 2000″ – life: it has no meaning.But what about words? They seem to be losing their meaning at a rate of knots. Words that had fixed, dependable definitions only one generation ago seem to be coming loose and shifting around like some sort of linguistic tectonic plate during an earthquake.Let’s check out the damage.Literally Source: Flickr/BataraAre you? Oh, are you REALLY?HackingNowadays, posting a status from a friend’s Facebook account is referred to as “hacking”. Source: Flickr/fakelvisIt’s not.Herolast_img read more

Surface 2 accessories include Power Cover docking station and a keyboard for

first_imgThe Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 are coming soon, and Microsoft had more to show off today than just a pair of new tablets. There’s a whole new wave of accessories on the way, too.First and foremost, there’s the Power Cover. The battery-boosting clip-on was leaked recently, and the rumors were right on the money. It lets the Surface Pro 2 run for nearly two and a half times as long as the previous model did (but keep in mind that the new Surface Pro 2 already runs for 75% longer than the original Surface Pro).Microsoft says that the Surface Pro 2 with a Power Cover will actually run for almost 25 hours.Our math says less, but either way, it’s an impressive boost. Unfortunately it won’t be ready for first day sales — the Power Cover will arrive in early 2014.The other Surface covers have been updated too. Both the Touch Cover 2 ($119) and Type Cover 2 ($129) are now backlit, and the new Type Cover is almost as thin as the old Touch Cover. Microsoft is also offering up a special cover for DJs. Microsoft sweetheart Deadmaus, presumably, has something to do with this.You can also make the new covers wireless, thanks to a $59 clip-on adapter (pictured at the top) that packs its own battery and Bluetooth transmitter. Presumably the adapter would let you use the covers with just about any Bluetooth-equipped PC, phone, or tablet.Surface Pro owners have one more accessory to get excited about. Microsoft is finally offering up a desktop dock. It’s packed with ports — three USB 2.0, one USB 3.0, mini DisplayPort, Ethernet, and audio in and out. Like the Power Cover, it’s not going to land on retail shelves until 2014.Apart from not knowing when exactly the Power Cover and docking station will arrive, Microsoft also hasn’t said how much they’re going to cost. We’ll provide the rest of the details once Microsoft reveals them.Now read: Surface Pro 2 ups battery life 75 percent, adds Haswell performancelast_img read more