November has been a busy month for affiliates all around the nation with several tournaments and numerous summer competitions cranking into top gear.None of these events or affiliates operate without the industry, commitment, expertise and passion of a dedicated volunteer army.Touch Football Australia have recognised the efforts of some special Volunteers who have been hard at work in their affiliates this month with personal calls from the TFA Chairman of the Board of Directors, Mr. Peter Rooney.Roberta Mc Broom from the Western Australia affiliate of Goldfields has made an outstanding contribution to Junior development in the West, establishing a successful Junior Touch competition off the back of a highly popular AusTouch program that has seen the Kalgoorlie Goldfields affiliate regularly turn out 100 plus AusTouch graduates over the last 3 years.Roberta’s hard work and leadership has led to Goldfields developing a local junior competition that is leading the way in the establishment of junior competitions in Western Australia.TouchWest’s Operation’s Manager, Angela Doyle has assisted Goldfields to develop as a progressive, innovative affiliate and is impressed with Roberta’s efforts to corner the market and put Touch Football on the map in the Country affiliate located 600 kilometres from Perth.“Roberta has done a magnificent job, and has established Western Australia’s first formalised Junior competition off the back of her enthusiasm and passion for the participation of juniors in the AusTouch program. Roberta is an integral part of the development of juniors in the sport and we’re very appreciative of her role in nurturing young talent in the West,” Doyle said.Goldfields will be sending four teams to the Inaugural “Be Active” WA Junior Regional Championships in April 2008 and are hopeful of producing strong performances across the board to ensure the sport has a strong foothold in the State’s isolated areas.Roberta has been extremely keen to improve her technical understanding of the sport and to access opportunities for local participants and was instrumental in a recent Level One Coaching accreditation course being conducted in the Goldfields affiliate.Roberta had been a long running servant of the sport having worked in tandem with husband and Goldfields Touch Association President Neil Mc Broom to develop the Goldfields affiliate for a huge chunk of the affiliate’s history.WA State Manager Mr. Matt Bamford believes the work Roberta does is pivotal in the continued growth of the game in Kalgoorlie.“Roberta has served the affiliate in numerous capacities over the years, and her work with the AusTouch program has led to the development of a fully fledged junior competition, as well as a flow on effect with the AusTouch graduates joining senior affiliated competitions. The work Roberta is doing is vital not just for now, but more importantly for the future membership of the association,” Mr. Bamford said.In Victoria, Peter Cramp, Treasurer of the Geelong Touch Association has been recognized for his tireless efforts in the development of the Geelong affiliate, but particularly his stellar contribution to the business management of the association in the last 12 months.Peter has been extremely diligent in the thankless task of debt collection, enabling the Geelong Touch Association to clear pressing financial debts that had been weighing on the association.Peter has been a long serving member of the Geelong Touch Association, filling roles in the past as president, general member, and treasurer.Peter is well respected as one of the founding father’s of the association and is well regarded for his professional approach to affiliate development.The 22 team Geelong competition is well administered in all aspects of operation from uniform requirements to referee development and Peter has been a driving force in Geelong’s rise and rise as a key venue for the sport in Victoria, establishing great connections with local council and the community along the way.Peter has ensured that Geelong is always represented at the State Affiliates Cup in both Open and Seniors divisions and is a prime reason the affiliate is expanding and growing.Victorian Touch State Operations Manager, Nick Mooney was full of praise for Peter Cramp’s contribution to the Geelong Touch Association.“Peter is an extremely dedicated individual who has been selfless and industrious for Geelong. Geelong is one our oldest affiliates and he has helped framework a great competition that is going from strength to strength. He has worked hard to help the affiliate navigate their way through some financial issues and he is a driving force in the association’s development,” Mr. Mooney said.Touch Football Australia would like to congratulate both Roberta and Peter for their selfless, quality contributions to their local affiliates and our sport.If you know of any worthy volunteers who deserve recognition for their contribution to your local association, please contact your State Branch Manager with the details.
The small group of volunteers have supported the District of Tumbler Ridge’s Tourism initiatives and says it is time to regroup and find a more permanent location. TUMBLER RIDGE, B.C. – The 17-year-old music festival put together by the Tumbler Ridge Days Society (TRDS) has been struggling to find funding for the annual event and therefore had to be cancelled.In their press release the TRDS shares they will continue to work on obtaining funding for the 2020 Grizfest Musical Festival yet for this year they will host other events.The TRDS thanks the District of Tumbler Ridge as a major Sponsor of the event and to all the artists for helping build the reputation the festival has in the Canadian industry. The festival is a one of a kind event that showcases up and coming music artists as well as known, popular artists.
Kolkata: The Election Commission has directed the Presiding Officer of booth number 159 at Dhaniakhali under Hooghly Lok Sabha constituency to lodge an FIR against BJP candidate Locket Chatterjee after a BJP activist damaged the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) after allegedly being “instigated” by her.The Election Commission has initiated a probe into the incident and also sought a report from the District Magistrate of Hooghly in this regard. The Commission will take a decision after going through the report submitted by the district election officials. The incident led to the disruption of voting as the EMV and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) were damaged in the process. After being instructed by the Commission, the Presiding Officer of the booth registered an FIR at the local police station. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaThe incident created a chaos inside the polling booth and outside. The local villagers staged protest demonstrations in front of Chatterjee when she stepped out of the polling booth. It was alleged that one Nirmal Pal, a close aide of Chatterjee, threw the EVM on the floor and broke it. Some of the locals alleged that Chatterjee instigated her party activists to break the EVM. The local villagers put up a roadblock few meters away from the booth calling the incident a blot on the largest democracy of the world. They staged demonstration and gheraoed Chatterjee’s car. She had to face the wrath of the villagers and also got involved in heated altercations with them. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayIn a booth at Kakrakhuli area of Hooghly, Chatterjee entered a booth after she came to know that the BJP polling agent was driven out from there. Chatterjee again courted controversy as she threatened the Trinamool Congress agent by saying that she would slap him. On a number of occasions, Chatterjee was extremely abusive on Monday. Some of the villagers in Hooghly’s Belmuri were asked by Chatterjee to shout a slogan ‘Jai Shree Ram’. They denied and in turn shouted ‘Vande Mataram’ slogan. Chatterjee considered the villagers as Trinamool Congress supporters and lost her cool. A heated altercation ensued and she allegedly threatened them. Chatterjee alleged that TMC carried out rigging at a booth in Mullickpur area of Hooghly.
Rabat – King Mohammed VI, has received a phone call from Mr. François Hollande, President of the French Republic, said a statement from the Royal Cabinet. “During the meeting, the two leaders discussed the current context of Moroccan-French relations following thedevelopments in recent days,” the statement said.“In light of the clarifications in this regard, the two leaders agreed to continue contacts in the coming days between the twogovernments, and work in the spirit of exceptional relations that bind Morocco and France, “the statement concluded.
Rabat – The USA said it is deeply engaged in the reforms conducted in Morocco under the leadership of King Mohammed VI, said this Friday US Secretary of States, John Kerry, according to MAP.“Under the leadership of HM the King, Morocco has conducted major reforms,” said on Friday the head of the US diplomacy at the opening in Rabat of the second session of the US-Morocco strategic dialog which he co-chaired with minister of foreign affairs and cooperation, Salaheddine Mezouar.US secretary of state John Kerry arrived, on Thursday in Rabat on his first visit to Morocco. This session, themed “strengthening solid cooperation ties between the two countries,” is an occasion for both parties to promote their partnership in the political, economic, social, educational and cultural fields, said a statement by the Moroccan Ministry of foreign affairs.Announcing last week the visit by Kerry to the Kingdom, the US state department underlined that “this dialogue, launched in September 2012, underscores our ongoing close cooperation with Morocco and will focus on political affairs, economic and security cooperation, and educational and cultural issues.”With MAP
In response, FiveThirtyEight’s biggest NBA fans gathered to process the reported trade.chris.herring (Chris Herring, senior sportswriter): I covered the Knicks for five years. Not their worst five, necessarily. But saw their worst season in franchise history. You’re naturally going to see them do things that make you scream, “Why?!” But this is a new level, even for me.This Porzingis trade, if they don’t land a max-level star or two, is just befuddling.tchow (Tony Chow, video producer/angry Knicks fan): I think I’m going to be a Brooklyn Nets fan now. Why the hell would you do this?natesilver (Nate Silver, editor in chief): Do we know what draft pick compensation they got, if any? Because that seems pretty important. (These details, which weren’t clear during the time of the chat, emerged shortly after we finished the conversation. New York will receive two future first-round picks in the trade.)chris.herring: Not the exact terms, no. Though it seems really likely that the Mavs are going to give up something on that front.natesilver: I guess I’d say this: The process by which the Knicks got to this point is crazy. The outcome, I think, might not be as bad as it seems at first glance. But it really depends on the pick(s).chris.herring: More than anything, this was about allowing the Knicks to send over their bloated contracts so that they could clear salary cap space. Especially Tim Hardaway Jr., whose deal would’ve made it tough for them to add a second star next to Porzingis this summer.neil (Neil Paine, senior sportswriter): Yeah, if there is a silver lining (Is there a silver lining?), they just freed up a massive amount of cap space. tchow: My god that is … depressing.natesilver: I guess their bigs have been OK? Noah Vonleh and Luke Kornet and Mitchell Robinson?neil: Ooof, you were not kidding about Knox’s numbers, Nate.natesilver: Yeah, Neil, and it’s not just some advanced stats thing. He’s shooting just 37 percent. Just 4.2 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.6 steals and 0.3 blocks per game. For a guy who’s pretty athletic, that’s kind of sad.neil: Maybe he’s on the Enes Kanter diet.natesilver: Knox has a nice-looking 3-point stroke, and I guess you can say he’d get the numbers up if they weren’t tanking. That’s what’s a little hard to figure out on a team like the Knicks where they basically don’t have any incentive to work in their shot selection or to play defense.tchow: If this is just going to become a shitting on Knox chat, I think it’s time to end it.natesilver: I’m happy to also shit on other Knicks.tchow: Just for fun, to end this chat, should we all say who we think won this trade?chris.herring: Assuming the Knicks don’t land two absolute studs in FA, the Mavs.natesilver: It’s clearly a good trade for Dallas. Where it ends up on the spectrum from “terrible” to “OK” for the Knicks depends on the draft picks and, yeah, the free agent situation.chris.herring: Agreed, Nate. You just paired two of the best 25-and-under players in the league together. It could turn out to be a home run for both sides. I just don’t have that level of faith that everything will go right for New York.natesilver: There is a downside risk with Porzingis, too, which is that he’s never really healthy again. But you do have a year to evaluate him before making a commitment. So the fact that he’s not looking to sign a long-term extension right away is both a bug and a feature.chris.herring: I guess.neil: And given the lengths we’ve seen teams go to just to have a chance to get a franchise-altering star, it seems worth it.chris.herring: I’d be OK with that gamble if it means giving up DSJ and a pick. Dallas has always been willing to roll the dice on acquiring a star.tchow: You know who won? NBA Twitter won cause this is going to provide so much content for the next few days/until Anthony Davis gets traded.chris.herring: They even traded Tyson Chandler the summer after he was the linchpin to their title because they thought it’d allow them a chance at a star. They wanted to clear space.neil: The NBA needs to push its trade deadline further from the Super Bowl.Wait your turn, NBA! You’ll have the limelight next week.chris.herring: NOPE. In fact, I hope Bryce Harper and Manny Machado sign today, too.micah (Micah Cohen, managing editor): My two cents: I lost because I’m waiting for Nate to file a piece about independent presidential campaigns and the Porzingis trade has, I’m sure, delayed it.Check out our latest NBA predictions. tchow: Welcome to New York, Kevin Durant!!chris.herring: Only spent seven or eight years there, but this is where my New York cynicism comes into play. The Knicks haven’t had a very good history when it comes to FAs.natesilver: They also got a buy-low guy in Dennis Smith Jr., although it seems like they have about 14 other buy-low point guards on the roster right now.tchow: But in losing Porzingis, doesn’t that make the Knicks a less attractive destination to come play? If you were a max player, why would you look at this team and say, “I want to go to there”?natesilver: Well, yeah, that’s the catch.tchow: I guess maybe two max players could buddy up and that nullifies what I just said.natesilver: A team of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and … uuuhhhh, who’s the third-best player on that team? Smith Jr., I guess?tchow: I don’t know what I’m saying anymore. This is INSANE!!! I’m still in shock.chris.herring: If nothing else, I guess this all just surprises me because it speaks to one of two things. Either 1) You have that much confidence that a superstar is coming …tchow: Well you’re forgetting Zion, Nate.chris.herring: Or 2) Things had gotten so bad/toxic with Porzingis that you didn’t see how you could make it work with him anymore. They really had no obligation to give into this right now, even if he was unhappy.neil: Right, he was only a restricted free agent after the season.tchow: Well, Chris, if things have gotten that bad with Porzingis, you would think they were secretly shopping him around earlier. Is this really the best deal they could get? I find that hard to believe.natesilver: It is worth keeping in mind that Porzingis has a serious injury that other guys have struggled to recover from, that he hadn’t reached superstar status yet, and that he was about to get expensive. The upside is so high, though, that you’d think a team, maybe a cap-constrained team, might have given up a little more.chris.herring: Yep. I’m not blown away by the fact that they dealt him. It’s what they dealt him for.natesilver: Getting technical, but his cap hold is only like $12 million this summer, so that was a big benefit too.chris.herring: There are two or three different reasons to potentially deal him. I just don’t know that any of them were worth dealing him for that return.natesilver: natesilver: I’m just saying that if you clear the decks for two max free agents but you have a guy like Siakam making just $2.5 million a year, that gives you a lot more to work with.chris.herring: Notice how smart we perceive those particular franchises to be. I saw someone say, “The smart franchises are circling the dumb one.” Almost like the Knicks were the prey here.tchow: Right?? I keep thinking there must be other, better trades.chris.herring: For sure. At least with Siakam, you have a good, athletic two-way player to build around.tchow: This is all just us talking, right? There were no reports that Toronto was even looking to offer Siakam. Right? Right?chris.herring: I honestly don’t know whether Smith will be a starter two or three years from now. There’s some faith because of how young he is, but he hasn’t shown consistency yet. And the Knicks haven’t been great with developing two-way talent at the guard spot lately.natesilver: I wanna know about the draft pick(s) too. Dallas still owns its own pick if it’s 1-5 this year — otherwise it goes to Atlanta — and they’re probably still going to end up in the lottery.neil: I think we are being very NYC-centric here and focusing on the Knicks’ angle. But for the Mavs, their new Doncic-Porzingis combo seems like it could eventually be very scary.natesilver: NYC IS BASKETBALL MECCA, NEIL! SUCH A MECCA THAT THE ONLY GOOD PLAYER ON THE KNICKS IN THE PAST 10 YEARS GETS TRADED FOR CAP SPACEneil: No, it’s not (“The Decline Of New York City As An NBA Talent Generator”).tchow: No, Neil’s right. Forget the Knicks. I already have. Porzingis and Luka together is going to be amazing!! No way Dirk retires now.chris.herring: Dallas is gonna be fun.natesilver: Yeah, how did they do that? Turn the No. 5 pick and — Dennis Smith Jr.? — into Luka and Porzingis?chris.herring: The Knicks were spending all this time trying to find a running mate for KP, and now Porzingis has Doncic.tchow: So right now, we have them projected to be way out of the playoffs. When is Porzingis supposed to return? I’m getting ahead of myselfchris.herring: They’re relevant now. Even if they unloaded a hefty part of their rotation here to get Porzingis. But this was a great move for them.natesilver: It was a little bit ambiguous. Dallas is tanking, obviously, so maybe they just play him for like six games to show he still had something left (as an inducement to free agents, etc.) and then find some excuse to shut him down.chris.herring: Yeah. Porzingis probably wasn’t going to play for NYK this year. Maybe he gets into a few games for Dallas, but I doubt it.natesilver: Yeah, they might as well tank too. Maybe not an outright tank, but they do keep their own pick if it’s 1-5.chris.herring: If you’re the Mavs, this makes sense. You’ve still got Harrison Barnes under contract making a lot of money. Hardaway is under contract a couple more years.tchow: “Makes sense” is such an understatement here.natesilver: Don’t the Mavs have space for a max free agent too?chris.herring: I don’t think so? Not with all the money they just took on. natesilver: Oh shit!!!!!tchow: Look at that. That’s a “we’re going to be teammates” handshake.natesilver: THE FIX WAS IN.chris.herring: I soooo hope the Knicks — who could’ve drafted Smith but instead took Frank Ntilikina — weren’t enamored by his good game to where they said, “You know what? That sounds good to us.”tchow: Chris, that is EXACTLY what happened.chris.herring: What it all comes down to for the Knicks is free agency: If you land two guys who are truly worth it, it’s hard to look back at this and be angry.tchow: And there is my silver lining.chris.herring: But for the time being, it is just astounding.natesilver: The Knicks also haven’t drafted very well. Kevin Knox is regarded as a future rotation piece, if not a star, and I sorta get why because he looks like a good player, but his numbers are unbelievably terrible.chris.herring: Also: My favorite stat ever, from my Knick beat days: The Knicks haven’t re-signed one of their draft picks on a multiyear deal since Charlie Ward, who they took in 1994. Trading Porzingis keeps that alive.natesilver: Wow. BASKETBALL MECCA.tchow: That is insane.chris.herring: So them wanting to build it through free agency is fitting.natesilver: I think I have to go to their next home game just to see what a shitshow it is.tchow: FiveThirtyEight field trip, Nate?natesilver: I’m down, dude. At least tickets will be cheap.tchow: Hey, at least we still have Allonzo Trier. And Enes Kanter is back. Things are looking up for the Knicks.chris.herring: Not that it has any bearing on how this summer pans out. But I think their last four deals for $90 million or more were, in this order: Melo, Amar’e Stoudemire, Stephon Marbury and Allan Houston.natesilver: I mean, just look at this shit: FIGHT!!natesilver: No those don’t contradict. Sign the qualifying offer for one year. Then become a full-fledged free agent in summer 2020.tchow: Oh damn … you’re right. OK … back to crying.chris.herring: During the time I spent on the Knicks beat, I got used to watching them attach useful players to ones whose contracts were albatrosses. They traded Tyson Chandler (useful) to unload Raymond Felton (albatross). And Iman Shumpert (useful) to unload JR Smith (albatross).natesilver: Were Hardaway and Lee that untradeable? They aren’t terrible players, and their contracts aren’t that bad.chris.herring: Neither is a bad player. Maybe overpaid (I’ve definitely argued that with Hardaway).natesilver: In some sense, everyone in the deal is a distressed asset.chris.herring: If anything, Hardaway is just pricey because of what you want to accomplish this summer.tchow: Watch Dennis Smith Jr. come out of this as the best player in the trade.natesilver: It’s not nothing.chris.herring: But Porzingis should not be the sweetener in any deal like this! He’s the lone All-Star changing hands here.neil: Smith Jr. certainly got a lot of hype as a rookie last year.tchow: KP 👏 IS 👏 A 👏 UNICORNchris.herring: I’ll put it this way: Smith and his folks floated that he potentially wanted out of Dallas a week or two ago. That came and went, likely because no one felt like he was worth all that much. He’s explosive. He’s young enough to gamble something on. But he’s not even a clear starter in everyone’s eyes.natesilver: So what else could they have gotten? What do we think the market price for Porzingis would be? Would Toronto have given up Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby, for instance, and taken on either Hardaway or Lee but not both?chris.herring: It was only 20 minutes or so before the trade reports came that this tweet went out. This trade was their free agency, in a way. Dallas very quietly just hit us with a Nash/Dirk redux. Except Luka can score better than Nash, and Porzingis can defend.natesilver: It looks like they should have cap space in 2020-21, though, when the Barnes/Powell contracts all come off the books.chris.herring: Two or three years from now, they’ll have cap money again, and you imagine players would want to team up with a duo like that.tchow: (if Porzingis signs)chris.herring: Porzingis will be 25 in two years. Luka will be 22. Also, can we talk about the fact that the Mavs were at the Garden last night? And Mark Cuban was there. I imagine this topic came up.natesilver: Ahhh didn’t think about that. But, yeah, it seems pretty weird to think this deal was just conjured up out of thin air.tchow: They knew. They fucking knew.chris.herring: Dennis Smith Jr. logged a triple-double.natesilver: Haha.tchow: New York Knicks executives in recent years have said they would rebuild cautiously and avoid trading their first-round picks. That approach paid off — sweet-shooting big man Kristaps Porzingis, the Knicks’ first-round pick in 2015, quickly ascended into a star, giving the team hope that it could finally build something sustainable with just another solid move or two. All the organization needed to do was avoid somehow taking a step backward.And then Thursday happened. tchow:
Last week, my colleague Neil Paine wrote about the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Andrew Wiggins, who is probably the favorite to win the NBA’s Rookie of the Year but who has so far been among the least efficient players in the league according to a variety of advanced statistics. The article triggered a lot of objections on Twitter and in the comments section. Many readers thought it was ridiculous to assess any player, especially a 19-year-old rookie, after just a couple dozen NBA games. Others were skeptical of the array of advanced statistics that Neil cited.So let’s look at Wiggins’s case through the lens of traditional statistics instead. And let’s measure him directly against his peers. Wiggins played in his 30th NBA game on Tuesday night; we can compare his performance so far against other 19-year-old rookies through their first 30 games. I ran a search on Basketball-Reference.com for players who:Were age 19 or younger in their rookie season (based on their age as of Feb. 1 of their rookie year);And who averaged at least 24 minutes per game (i.e. played at least half their teams’ minutes) during their first 30 NBA games.Since 1985-86 there have been only 15 such players (counting Wiggins). The list puts Wiggins in pretty good company. It includes a number of superstars and All-Stars, among them LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Anthony Davis, Dwight Howard, Tony Parker and Chris Bosh. There are only one or two total busts, most notably Dajuan Wagner. The rest of the list includes players, such as Luol Deng, who turned into good NBA regulars, and others like Michael Kidd-Gilchrist about whom it’s too early to make an assessment.But in other respects the data is less favorable for Wiggins. When comparing his first 30 games against the first 30 games of those other players, he’s been among the least effective. In the chart below, I’ve listed each player’s statistics per 36 minutes played in the 10 categories that are most commonly used in rotisserie basketball leagues: points, rebounds, assists, blocks, steals, turnovers, personal fouls, 3-pointers made, field goal percentage and free-throw percentage. (For personal fouls and turnovers, fewer is better.) Then, again in the fashion of a rotisserie basketball league, I’ve ranked the players from No. 1 to 15 in each category and added up the rankings to produce an overall score.As a reminder, these stats reflect each player’s performance through the first 30 games of his rookie season only. On this basis, Wiggins ranks about average in points scored, steals, 3-pointers made, turnovers and fouls committed. He’s been somewhat below average in rebounds and blocks — two categories where his athleticism has not yet translated into good numbers. He’s also been a below-average shooter, and his assist rate — 1.6 assists per 36 minutes — has been poor.By the fantasy basketball scoring method, Wiggins ranks 13th out of the 15 players. It’s tough to be a rookie in the NBA, but some of the rookies who came before Wiggins showed more early on. James ranks ahead of him in nine of 10 categories; Durant and Davis rank ahead of him in eight. Even Luol Deng, a player with whom Wiggins is sometimes compared, ranks ahead of him in eight of 10.On the other hand, some rookies who weren’t much better than Wiggins in their first 30 games turned out to have nice NBA careers. Parker and Bosh, in particular, weren’t very productive early on. Overall, a player’s performance through his first 30 games does seem to tell us something — you’d rather take the players from the top half of the rotisserie-style rankings than those from the bottom. But it’s a fairly noisy list.So Wiggins might have lost some value based on his performance so far this year, but he hasn’t crashed. (This conclusion is pretty similar to Neil’s.)What about those advanced stats showing Wiggins to be awful (instead of just mediocre)? They’re probably not the thing for him to worry about right now. Most of those stats will punish players who shoot relatively often but relatively poorly, as Wiggins has so far. But the 5-25 Timberwolves don’t have a lot of better options, and Wiggins has shown some development this year, like shooting well from 3-point range. (And keep in mind that James shot just .417 through his first 30 games.) The bigger concerns are Wiggins’s low rates of rebounds, assists and blocks, deficits that show up in advanced and traditional statistics alike.
Then-junior midfielder Ellyn Gruber (5) dribbles the ball during a game against Eastern Michigan on Aug. 25, 2013. OSU won, 2-1, in overtime.Credit: Lantern file photoFresh off a pair of victories, the Ohio State women’s soccer team is preparing for its first conference games of the season.The Buckeyes are 3-3-0 on the year after picking up wins at home against Dayton and George Mason last weekend. Freshman forward Sammy Edwards was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week for completing a hat trick in the game against Dayton on Friday.After OSU opened its season by playing against three ranked opponents, coach Lori Walker said the toughness of the Buckeyes’ non-conference schedule will aid them as they look to compete in the Big Ten.“You’re playing at game pace right from the get-go and we had to really focus on our defending and the quality of our defending against some pretty high-level opponents, so we have no delusions of grandeur about how hard the game is supposed to be played,” Walker said. “I think there are other teams in our conference that don’t play as hard a schedule and then they get into Big Ten play and it’s a shock at how hard the game is supposed to be played.”The team is set to begin conference play against Indiana on Friday and Purdue on Sunday. The Hoosiers are 4-2-0 while the Boilermakers are 4-1-1 so far the season. Senior midfielder Ellyn Gruber said there is more added pressure to playing within the conference.“(The) Big Ten is (where) every, every game matters. Obviously every non-conference game matters too, but in the Big Ten you only get so many and you have to finish in the top eight in order to make the tournament,” Gruber said. “So you know that every game matters and it’s really competitive and every team you play you know is going to be good.”Senior forward Kayla Varner said the young team has become more comfortable playing together than they were at the start of the season.“It’s starting to come together a little bit more,” Varner said. “We have freshmen stepping up, we have sophomores stepping up and that’s helping out the upperclassmen a lot. I think we’ve improved in just kind of stepping into our roles a little bit more and trying to find out what makes everyone more comfortable playing together.”Walker said she wants to see the team maintain its offensive tempo and provide consistent play as it looks toward playing in the conference.“You’re always trying to get your attack running on all cylinders as quick as you can as you hit conference play,” Walker said. “What we want to see is that the speed of our attack doesn’t fall off based on who is on the field, that we have a consistency to that as well.”The Buckeyes are scheduled to start Big Ten play on the road against the Hoosiers on Friday at 7 p.m. in Bloomington, Ind., and against the Boilermakers on Sunday at 3 p.m. in West Lafayette, Ind. The game on Sunday is set to be televised live on the Big Ten Network.
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Hotstar, the digital streaming platform, has roped in Chinese handset maker Vivo and India’s largest car manufacturer Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. (MSIL) as co-sponsors for live streaming the IPL 2017 matches.The annual cricket carnival begins from April 5 and the first match will be played between Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). Sixty matches are going to be played in a span of 47 days, with the opening match and the finals scheduled to take place at Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Hyderabad. The clincher will be played on May 21.Viewers increasingly watching cricket on mobile has buoyed the spirits of Hotstar.”We are reinventing the experience of cricket on a mobile and India is changing the way it watches its favourite sport. We believe that Hotstar will be the primary screen for Vivo IPL 2017 for the 130 million video streamers in the country,” Ajit Mohan, CEO, Hotstar, told the exchange4media.The expected viewership for the upcoming edition of the IPL marks a significant increase from 100 million in IPL 2016 and 41 million for IPL 2015, prompting Hotstar to eye advertisement revenues of more than Rs 200 crore this year in comparison to Rs 65 crore last year, according to the Mint.Star India, which owns Hotstar, successfully won the bid for global Internet and mobile rights for a sum of Rs 302 crore, in February 2015. The bid is valid for three years, the Mint added.Sony Pictures Networks India, which holds the television broadcast rights for IPL 2017, is also eyeing Rs 100 crore more in advertisements revenues this year as compared to Rs 1,200 crore it raked in last year. The channel has got nine sponsors, including Ceat Tyres, Yamaha Motors and Vimal Paan Masala, while Parle Agro’s Frooti, Yes Bank and Polycab could also come on board.”We are looking at a 10–12% revenue growth. We should touch Rs 1,300 crore. IPL has become a very big property,” the Television Post quoted SPNI president Rohit Gupta, as saying.
Twitter/BCCIIt has sort of become a template now. Virat Kohli walks out to bat, takes his time to assess the situation, scores a century while breaking a plethora of records and India registers a comfortable victory.The ordeal was the same in the second ODI at Port of Spain when the captain won the toss and chose to bat first. Shikhar Dhawan departed early and Kohli joined Rohit out in the middle.After scoring 19 runs, Kohli went past Pakistani legend Javed Miandad to become the highest scorer against West Indies. While Miandad took 64 innings to score 1930 runs against Windies, Kohli got past this record in just 34 innings.It is a stunning feat as this record stood untouched for almost 26 years.Went past Sourav GangulyDuring the innings, he also went past former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly to become India’s 2nd highest-run getter in the ODIs. In his 50-over career, Ganguly scored 11,353 runs in 311 ODIs. Kohli, who is only playing his 238th match in the format, crossed the total during the 32nd over when he smashed Jason Holder for a boundary towards third man.He is now only behind Sachin Tendulkar, who finished his career with 18,426 runs in 463 ODIs. Overall, he is 8th in the list of players with most runs in the ODI format.When he was eventually dismissed for 120, it became the highest ODI score by any captain in West Indies. He went past Brian Lara’s 116, which was scored against Sri Lanka at Bridgetown back in 2003.”Feels good to get a hundred when the team wanted me to get one. Shikhar and Rohit didn’t get a big one. One of the top three has always got the big one. A senior man had to step up and today was my opportunity to step up. It was important to string in a lot of dot balls,” Kohli said at the end of the match. Virat KohliGetty ImagesVirat Kohli scored five consecutive half-centuries during the ICC World Cup but the triple-digit figure was eluding him. Fast bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar too said at the end of the match that Kohli was desperate to score a century.”From Virat’s expression, you can make out that how badly wanted a hundred. It’s not like he was out of form, it was just that he was getting dismissed in the 70s or 80s in the World Cup. The wicket was not easy, when he came back after getting dismissed, he said the wicket is not that easy,” Kumar told reporters after the second ODI.
Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May, signs the official letter to European Council President Donald Tusk, invoking Article 50 and signalling the United Kingdom’s intention to leave the EU, in the cabinet office inside 10 Downing Street. Photo: AFPBritain formally launches the process for leaving the European Union on Wednesday, a historic step that has divided the country and thrown into question the future of the European project.Just days after the EU’s 60th birthday, Britain is poised to become the first country ever to seek a divorce, striking a blow at the heart of the union forged from the ashes of World War II.Nine months since the shock British referendum vote to leave the EU, Prime Minister Theresa May will trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, meaning Britain is set to leave the EU in 2019.“We must no longer be defined by the votes we cast in the referendum-but a determination to make a success of the result,” May will tell MPs later on Wednesday, according to extracts of her speech released by her Downing Street office.“The triggering of Article 50 is the moment for the country to come together,” May will say, a day after Scotland’s parliament voted in favour of holding a fresh referendum on independence from Britain, in a bid to hold on to EU ties.May has already signed the Brexit letter to be delivered to EU president Donald Tusk on Wednesday.The two leaders spoke by phone on Tuesday ahead of the momentous event.Brussels and London face monumentally difficult negotiations over outstanding bills, immigration and future trade ties.The process has already split Britain, where 52 percent voted for Brexit last June, but 48 percent wanted to stay in the EU-including a majority in Scotland, which has renewed its threat to secede.On Tuesday, Scotland’s semi-autonomous parliament backed a call by its nationalist government for a new referendum on independence before Brexit.Scotland is particularly concerned about leaving Europe’s single market-the price May says must be paid to end mass migration, a key voter concern.The prime minister rebuffed the referendum request and has vowed to fight for a new relationship with Brussels that will leave Britain stronger and more united than before.The EU, too, is determined to preserve its own unity and has said that any Brexit deal must not encourage other countries to follow Britain out the door.Brexit ‘best thing’Britons are as divided as they were in the referendum.Tens of thousands of people marched through London on Saturday demanding Britain keep its 44-year-old EU membership, urging politicians to “stop this madness”.But many are elated after waiting years for this moment, including 66-year-old pensioner Christine Garrett who was out shopping at a street market in Bethnal Green in east London.“I think we could stand on our own two feet as a country. What do they do for us? Nothing,” she said.Pushing her pram nearby was Julia Rogers, 38, who disagreed saying: “It’s going to be a disaster”.In the City of London financial hub, employees were mostly worried about the implications of Brexit.“I think it’s quite a sorry state of affairs,” said Daniel Smith, 41, adding: “We’ve sort of backed ourselves into a corner that we can’t get out of”.Budget battlesThe EU is expected to issue a first response to Britain on Friday, followed by a summit of EU leaders on April 29 to adopt their own guidelines-meaning it could be weeks before formal talks start.Their priority is settling Britain’s outstanding obligations, estimated between 55 and 60 billion euros ($59 and $65 billion) — an early battle that could set the tone for the rest of the negotiations.Both sides have also said they are keen to resolve the status of more than three million European nationals living in Britain after Brexit, and one million British expats living in the EU.The two sides also want to ensure Brexit does not exacerbate tensions in Northern Ireland, the once troubled British province which will become the country’s only hard border with the rest of the EU.Britain also wants to reach a new free trade agreement within the two-year timeframe, although it has conceded that a transitional deal might be necessary to allow Britain to adapt to its new reality.Many business leaders are deeply uneasy about May’s decision to leave Europe’s single market, a free trade area of 500 million people, fearing its impact on jobs and economic growth.The Brexit vote sent the pound plunging, although economic growth has been largely stable since then.Walking awayWith the challenges ahead, there is a real chance that negotiations will break down and Britain will be forced out of the EU without any deal in place.This could be highly damaging for both sides, by erecting trade barriers where none now exist as well as creating huge legal uncertainty.May has said that “no deal is better than a bad deal”, and she has the support of pro-Brexit hardliners in her Conservative party, who have been campaigning for decades to leave the EU.While talk of walking away has softened as the negotiations loom, experts say it may be her only trump card in a process in which the ticking clock means the EU will hold most of the cards.“This marks the end of the period when our government was in control,” said Professor Anand Menon, director of the “UK in a Changing Europe” programme.
The UN Secretary-General António Guterres participates in a wreath-laying ceremony at UN Headquarters in New York for colleagues who died in the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET302 on 15 March 2019 in New York City. AFP File PhotoUN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has urged the international community to “stand united against anti-Muslim hatred” following a mass shooting targeting two mosques in New Zealand on Friday, reports UNB.The shooting has left at least 49 dead, including three Bangladesh nationals, and many others wounded, some critically.“I’m saddened and strongly condemn the shooting of innocent people as they prayed peacefully in mosques in New Zealand,” tweeted the UN chief, expressing his “deepest condolences to the victims’ families.”“Today and every day, we must stand united against anti-Muslim hatred, and all forms of bigotry and terror,” he stressed.A terrorist, who police have described as being in his late 20s, has been arrested and charged with murder, according to UN News.According to news reports, he live-streamed himself via a head-mounted camera online, firing at worshippers inside the Al Noor mosque in the largest city on the South Island of New Zealand, Christchurch.A second attack also took place at the city’s Linwood Mosque.Flowers and a New Zealand national flag are seen at a memorial as tributes to victims of the mosque attacks near Linwood mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, on 16 March 2019. Photo: ReutersAccording to news reports, police have asked the public not to share the “extremely distressing” footage posted by the gunman online.Meanwhile, Facebook has reportedly taken down the gunman’s Facebook and Instagram accounts, which reportedly contained racist and anti-immigrant views.Two other men and one woman were also reportedly detained in connection with the terror attacks, although one was subsequently released.Other senior UN officials took to Twitter on Friday to express their condolences and horror at the attacks in New Zealand.Antonio Vitorino, Director General of the International Organization for Migration, extended his “sincere condolences” to victims’ families and expressed deep sadness over “the terrible loss of life”, pointing out: “It is believed that among the dead and injured were many refugees and migrants.”The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, tweeted a picture of the New Zealand flag with a message saying that UNHCR stands “firmly with the people and government of New Zealand “n mourning, prayer and solidarity.”“We grieve with children facing the profound shock that a parent is never coming home,” tweeted Henrietta Fore, executive director of the UN Children’s Fund. Saying “our hearts break with news,” she called the aggression “a senseless attack on a peaceful community and the universal right to freedom of worship.”
Scott Olson/Getty ImagesDuring the 2013 shutdown, tourists have to look at Mount Rushmore from the highway because the national memorial in Keystone, S.D., was closeSo, here we go again.The federal government is once more on the verge of a shutdown, and just like the last time, in October 2013, there will some things you’ll notice that are shuttered and others you won’t. The good news: Essential services will continue, and essential workers will remain on the job, albeit without pay.That means:Social Security: Those checks will continue to be mailed out in what is a largely automated process.Military: The active-duty military will remain on the job, and military operations in places like Afghanistan would continue. However, in previous shutdowns, training missions have been curtailed. Military contractors would not be affected, as long as their work has already been funded.Mail delivery: The post office will be open, and your mail will be delivered, since the U.S. Postal Service has its own revenue stream.Travel: Air traffic controllers, Transportation Security Administration officers and Customs and Border Protection agents would remain on the job, so air travel should be mostly unaffected.National parks: In a major departure from the last shutdown, the Interior Department says it will work to keep national parks and other public lands “as accessible as possible.” During the last shutdown, the National Park Service’s closing of parks and the national monuments in Washington, D.C., was controversial and led to an angry group of visiting seniors to push aside barriers at the National World War II Memorial.In an email, Interior Department spokesman Heather Swift said:“The American public and especially our veterans who come to our nation’s capital should find war memorials and open-air parks open to the public. Additionally, many of our National Parks, refuges and other public lands will still try to allow limited access wherever possible. For example, this means that roads that have already been open should remain open (think snow removal) and vaulted toilets (wilderness type restrooms) should remain open, however services that require staffing and maintenance such as campgrounds, full-service restrooms, and concessions that require some Park staff or assistance will not be operating.“Other areas such as culturally sensitive areas or backcountry areas that present a risk to visitors may also have restricted access.”Museums: The Smithsonian Institution says its museums in Washington, D.C., as well as the National Zoo would remain open for the weekend, but will close on Monday if the government shuts down. All animals would be continued to be fed, but, in a set back for panda lovers, the zoo’s popular Panda Cam and other live animal cameras would not be broadcasting.The Smithsonian’s New York museums, The Cooper Hewitt design museum and Heye Center, would be closed in the event of a shutdown.Courts and justice: Federal courts would continue normal operations for the time being, according to a spokeswoman at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, who says they have a three week cushion of funding. If a shutdown continues, they would move into contingency plans.The office of special counsel Robert Mueller would also remain open, according to a Department of Justice spokesman, who says all employees are considered exempt and would continue their operations.Legislation: Congress would continue to operate, as they work to end a shutdown, although the Capitol may not be open to tours. And fear not: Lawmakers will continue to receive their pay, although some lower-level staffers may not.Federal agencies: Most federal agencies would be closed, like the Department of Education, the EPA and the IRS, although some of their essential functions will continue to operate regardless.The National Treasury Employees Union, which represents IRS workers and many other government employees, says that during the last shutdown in October 2013, some 850,000 federal workers were forced into unpaid work furloughs. They eventually received their back pay, and Congress would have to do so in the event of a new shutdown this time around.Bipartisan legislation has already been proposed by representatives from Virginia — where a fair share of federal employees live — to provide back pay regardless of whether federal workers are told to report during a possible shutdown. Just in case.Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Share
Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Friday accused a “section of BJP leaders” of not allowing to change the name of the state to ‘Bangla’ and accused the Centre of “depriving” the state. “We have been trying since 2003, but till date, it has not happened. Why is Bengal being deprived? All the languages should be respected,” she said on the floor of the House. “A section of BJP leaders is opposing the change of name. It is politically motivated. I have also written a letter regarding the matter,” she said. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to expedite the process of changing the state’s name to Bangla. She also asked Modi for necessary action including a constitutional amendment in the ongoing Parliament session. Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai in a written response to a question from MP Ritabrata Banerjee on Wednesday said the Centre has not cleared the name ‘Bangla’ for West Bengal. Changing a state’s name requires constitutional amendment and it is done after taking into consideration all relevant factors, he said. On July 26 last year, the West Bengal assembly had passed a resolution unanimously to change the name of the state to ‘Bangla’ in the three most-spoken languages — Bengali, Hindi and English — and sent the proposal to the Union Home Ministry.