The silly season is upon us – and at Loftus Road it’s positively bonkers.For the past few days, QPR have single-handedly kept Sky Sports News in stories.Reports suggest their hardy reporter has abandoned the idea of commuting in from their HQ near Heathrow every time a Rangers story breaks and is currently holed up in a two-up two-down on the Uxbridge Road, ready to dash down at a moment’s notice.Never mind the Four-Year Plan, the four-week version is providing enough tittle-tattle to keep Dot Cotton going until Christmas.First we had the sacking of Neil Warnock, which had everyone raising their eyebrows apart from the man himself, who’s still searching for his. “If I never hear the words ‘howay, man and pet’ in the same sentence again it will be too soon.”The tears had barely dried when Mark Hughes was unveiled as his successor – and then the real fun began.Tabloid football journalists have long been renowned for doing a lucky dip with players and teams – cobbling together a story about the first pair they pick out.In Rangers’ case they don’t need to bother.Granted, the Carlos Tevez suggestion may have been a little fanciful, but in the past week alone QPR are said to have been interested in (deep breath) Chris Samba, Andy Johnson, Alex, Nedum Onuoha, Bobby Zamora, Wayne Bridge, Niko Kranjcar, Henrique and Taye Taiwo.The last time I saw that many links, Mr T was wearing them around his neck. It’s a good job transfer deadline supremo Jim White has already gone grey.As if that wasn’t enough to be going on with, there was also the small matter of the FA Cup replay against Milton Keynes Dons – or ‘McDons’ as my little girl likes to phonetically call them.Don’t laugh – it’s only a matter of time before they colonise Scotland – be afraid, Dons of Aberdeen, be very afraid.The magic of the Cup always throws up a major upset where the underdog has its day and this year was no different as unfancied QPR somehow scraped home for a first triumph in the competition since 2001, when Tony Blair was still in his first term as prime minister and Hear’say were the biggest band in Britain.Danny Gabbidon scored his first goal for seven years to silence the MK Dons, who regaled the home crowd with their hilarious rendition of “Sit down or we’ll steal your club.”I was a little disappointed the R’s faithful didn’t respond with that Leeds classic from a few years back: “Who did you support before?”The 1-0 win, setting up the small matter of a fourth-round tie with Chelsea (more on that next week) came three days after Rangers lost by the same score up in freezing Newcastle.While QPR fans were sensibly dressed like Scott of the Antarctic, some of their Geordie counterparts looked as though they were heading for the beach.For my sins, I was sat with my Magpie mate in the midst of the Toon Army – and if I never hear the words ‘howay, man and pet’ in the same sentence again it will be too soon.Although fair play to them for the chant to Hughes at the final whistle: “You’re getting sacked in the morning!”Just to top the week off, Warnock raised his head above the parapet to have a thinly-veiled swipe at Tony Fernandes, Joey Barton and the tweeting culture within the club.Sparky’s mate Martin.It seemed a little odd to suddenly start having a pop now after he had exited with such good grace…until I suddenly remembered how many working days it takes for a redundancy cheque to clear.Meanwhile, the name Mark Hughes was popping up in so many places I half expected him to score for Barnet in an unlikely 3-0 win at in-form Accrington and blow me down, that’s exactly what happened.Fulham boss Martin Jol certainly had plenty to say about his predecessor, snapping: “If you look at all the clubs he has managed, it has been two years at most.” (Apart from the five years he had with Wales and the four-year stint at Blackburn.)Fulham’s topsy-turvy season continued as a 4-0 demolition of Charlton in the Cup was followed by a 2-1 reverse to 10-man Blackburn, but neighbours Chelsea had better fortune as they consolidated fourth place with a 1-0 win over Sunderland.Fernando Torres was an inch away from scoring the goal of the season when his acrobatic volley cannoned off the bar to the grateful Frank Lampard, who gobbled up the chance like the fried breakfasts he used to put away in his youth.He might not have got the goal he craves, but Torres looks to have finally rediscovered his best form just in time for that little FA Cup encounter next week – oh joy.But we’ll leave the last word to Brentford fans on the Griffin Park Grapevine forum, who were asked to give their highlights of the 0-0 shocker with Walsall.‘Greenholme Bee’ wrote: “Staying at home watching the darts”, while ‘nocoat’ added: “Bringing my son. My life has been ruined by BFC and it is nice to be able to destroy his as well.”And a happy new year to you too.Follow Chris on Twitter
City leaders in Vancouver have vowed to make their city the greenest in the world by 2020, and now they’re backing that up with some serious money for sustainable development. The largest city in British Columbia, Canada, has issued its first green bond, a C$85 million package that will pay for a variety of housing and renewable energy projects, according to a statement issued by the city. “Green bonds offer an environmental and social investment tool that will support the City’s efforts to build sustainable infrastructure for many generations to come,” Mayor Gregor Robertson said in a press release.RELATED ARTICLESCreating an Urban Oasis: A Green Live-Work Space Blooms on a Gritty City LotAiming for Net Zero Energy in Fog CityDesigning Greener City StreetsDeveloper Plans a ‘Sustainable City’ Near BostonStriving for Zero in New York City Proceeds from the sale of the bonds — paying 3.1% and maturing in 2028 — will fund capital projects that are focused on renewable energy, energy efficiency, clean transportation, pollution prevention and control, and wastewater management. The projects will be approved by the City Council. Three projects that have already been approved include the renovation of a fire station to make it a net-zero building, the construction of more than 200 affordable housing units in the Downtown Eastside area, and the continued operation of a neighborhood utility that offers 100% renewable energy. The backdrop for the sale is a strategy statement that sets two important goals to reach by 2050: sourcing electricity from only renewable energy sources, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% below 2007 levels. “The consequences of inaction to reduce fossil fuel use, such as climate change, poor air quality and detrimental health impacts, can be avoided through the adoption of renewable energy,” the statement says. Vancouver has a population of about 630,000 and prides itself on its livability, economic diversity, and technical and digital know-how.
The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (CPI-M) has approved the decision to expel Ritabrata Banerjee, Rajya Sabha MP and former general secretary of the Student Federation of India, the party’s youth wing.The decision to expel Mr. Banerjee was taken by the West Bengal State Secretariat last Wednesday and the decision was eventually approved by the Polit Bureau, party’s highest decision-making body, a statement issued on Friday by Surjya Kanta Mishra, the State secretary of Bengal CPI-M, said. The one page statement said the party has tried “repeatedly” to “rectify” Mr. Banerjee but the attempts failed and thus he was expelled. “Instead of rectifying himself, he went on to tarnish party’s image,” Mr Mishra said in his statement. Mr Banerjee, who has a huge following among students and the youth, joined the CPI-M in 1996 as a student leader and was elected as a Rajya Sabha member in 2014. Following his expulsion on Friday, political circles in Bengal are rife with speculation about his next move. Mr Banerjee, however, refused to indicate if he would be joining any of the CPI-M’s rivals. Inquiry panelQuoting a report submitted by the commission of inquiry against Mr Banerjee, Mr. Mishra added that the State Committee approved of “punitive measures” against the former on August 7-8 and the Central Committee was “informed.”“But in an interview on September 11 to a television channel, Mr. Banerjee publicly denigrated the party. On basis of this [the interview] the State Secretariat decided to expel him,” Mr Mishra said.“CPI-M’s Polit Bureau has approved the decision,” Mr. Mishra said on Friday and added that the State Secretariat expelled Mr. Banerjee from the primary membership on basis of “Article 19  of party constitution.” Mr Banerjee was warned by the party in February for activities affecting the CPI-M’s internal rules and regulations. Eventually he was suspended in June by the West Bengal State Committee and a three-member probe commission, headed by Polit Bureau member Md. Salim, was formed. The commission gave its report indicating that Mr Banerjee was “guilty” of the allegations raised against him. He was chargesheeted by the party, Mr Mishra noted. Mr Banerjee challenged the charge sheet and the party by targeting the top brass including Prakash Karat and his wife Brinda. He also targeted Mr Salim and described the commission as a “kangaroo commission.”
Datia district health officials are on high alert after the death of a 52-year-old man due to persistent fever, and increase in fever cases in both government and private hospitals.According to an official, Imat Singh, a patient with high fever for the last five days, was admitted at the Datia District hospital on Monday morning. “On his arrival, the patient was administered an injection to bring his fever under control. In the evening, another injection was given to him. However, this time the patient collapsed,” Pradeep Upadhyay, Chief Medical and Health Officer, Datia district told The Hindu over telephone.The news of death of Imat Singh, a cousin of district Congress vice-president Sarnam Singh Rajput, spread like wildfire, said an official.In the meantime, the family members of the deceased alleged that he died due to administration of wrong injection. A few other patients undergoing treatment with symptoms of high fever and headache in the hospital panicked and fled, said Dr. Upadhyay.He said the condition of nine other patients with similar symptoms is under control. The CMHO has also dismissed allegations of wrong treatment. Dr. Upadhyay also denied media reports suggesting use of a single syringe to treat 25 patients by the hospital staff.