By Danny Penzadpenza@times-standard.com @penzatopaper on TwitterARCATA >> Just as the temperature at the Arcata Ball Park started to drop, the Crabs’ bats caught fire again.Much like they have done throughout their current win streak, the Crabs’ offense poured it on against the opposition. They might not have dropped a 10-spot in one inning like in Sunday’s 16-0 win, but it was close, as Humboldt scored nine runs in the bottom of the sixth after falling behind 5-0 en route to an 11-7 victory …
ARCATA >> A truncated training camp has hit its midway point.Ten days of camp down, 10 more to go.The evaluation period doesn’t stop after Saturday afternoon’s scrimmage at the Redwood Bowl for head coach Rob Smith. What the scrimmage did offer was the chance to take another step forward to that all-important 2016 season opener, which is starting to get closer and closer on the calendar.“We’ve got to put kids in game-like situations, and scrimmages do that as best as we can hope for,” Smith …
Arcata >> The McKinleyville Panthers softball team scored 10 runs on 11 hits and took advantage of six Arcata errors to beat the Tigers 10-4 on Thursday at Arcata High School.Tied at two in the top of the third inning, McKinleyville scored three runs — highlighted by back-to-back doubles from Lily Thiesfeld and Ashley Stockwell — giving Mack a 5-2 lead.The Panthers offense didn’t stop there, as Mack scored five runs in the sixth inning, including an inside-the-park home run by Theisfeld, who …
Horses on Noordhoek. (Photo: African Pixels on I ♥ Cape Town) By Anne Taylor15 October 2013Cape Town Tourism posted this photograph of horseriders on Long Beach in Noordhoek, just below Chapman’s Peak, on their Facebook page recently – and we thought it was worth republishing here. Taken by African Pixels, the photograph received nearly 1 500 likes, was shared more than 60 times and a hundred people felt moved to comment, many sharing their experiences of riding at Noordhoek, about a 30-minute drive from Cape Town’s city centre.Long Beach is an 8km-long, pristine beach – perfect for long strolls … or horse rides. Imhoff Equestrian Centre offers two-hour guided rides, while Sleepy Hollow Horse Riding offers a variety of horsey activities.Read more on SouthAfrica.info: Finding South Africa’s secret beaches and Horseback safaris in South Africa Cape Town Tourism: www.capetown.travelAfrican Pixel’s photostream on Flicker: www.flickr.com/photos/african_pixels
World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide With no movement as the deadline for player changes elapsed, TNT KaTropa will stick it out with the mammoth import that took the Texters this deep in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup, as they try to turn the tables on the rock-solid, fancied San Miguel Beermen.TNT will come in as the underdog in the best-of-seven title series starting with the 7 p.m. opening contest at Smart Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday, and the Texters have embraced that tag even more so with Joshua Smith functioning on only one good foot and the Beermen looking as sharp as ever.ADVERTISEMENT Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Defense sorely lacking in Horn’s fight blueprint Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken Jason Castro is the biggest local weapon of the Texters, and the fleet-footed guard showed that much by pumping in 38 points in Game 4 of the Ginebra series.But Castro was quick to downplay the role he will play in this series, insisting that individuality has no place in their team.“When we play together as a team, good things always happen,” Castro said. “It will not be Jason Castro against anyone in the San Miguel lineup, we will need total team effort to beat San Miguel.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH View comments June Mar Fajardo and import Charles Rhodes will be the main concerns of the TNT defense, and once this duo dominates the inside, TNT could be in for a heap of trouble when they clog the lanes with Marcio Lassiter, Alex Cabagnot and a whole lot of others there to make the outside shot.If Smith comes out healthier than he did in the last two games of the Ginebra series, the Texters stand a good chance to upset the Beermen as he could more or less make life difficult for Fajardo because of his size and leave the locals to try and handle Rhodes.San Miguel has the hunger factor despite this being the Beermen’s fifth trip in the title series in the last eight conferences. The winningest team in the league has not won this tournament since 2000, a 17-year thirst the Beermen would want to quench.After winning the Philippine Cup in all of the last three seasons, the Beermen have been unlucky in this conference owing to import problems.They have none of that here, with Rhodes displaying utmost professionalism and jiving with the star-studded local roster.ADVERTISEMENT 1 dead in Cavite blast, fire LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garage Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken Team sources told the Inquirer on Tuesday afternoon that the local players had asked coaches, led by Nash Racela, to play Smith in the series opener, knowing that the entire team owes the 6-foot-9, 330-pound banger something for taking them past No. 1 ranked Barangay Ginebra in the Final Four.No one in authority confirmed this news, though, but it seems logical since TNT has opted not to tap standby import Mike Myers—at least for Game 1.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSan Miguel will be shooting for the second jewel of a coveted Triple Crown sweep and the Beermen have the roster that can pull it off.In their Final Four with sister team Star, the Beermen won the last three games with contributions coming from everywhere. What ‘missteps’?
Day one commenced without any major upsets early, with the favourites starting off well. In the 18’s Girls, QSST beat the Sunshine Coast 10-1, while the 2nd ranked Southern Suns defeated North Queensland 9-3. 3rd seeds SQBD Sharks were also victorious in the first round of 20’s Boys beating Victoria 12-7. Sharks kicked off their campaign in impressive style, beating Northern Territory 14-2 in the 18’s Boys division. Under 18’s Boys top seeds Sydney Mets were challenged in their 10.50am game, winning 4-2 against the 12th seeded Western Tigers. The Mets 18 Girls did it a bit easier, beating Tasmania 11-0. North Queensland nearly caused an upset against NSWCHS in the 18’s Boys, losing by one try. 6th seeds Hornets were too good for the Northern Eagles in the 20’s Boys, winning 10-3 and ACT beat the Sunshine Coast 12-8 in a high scoring affair.The 20’s Mets and Scorpions teams met in a local derby at 11.40am, with the Mets easily accounting for the Scorpions 9-2. Other winners included the Cobra’s over the Rebels and the Sharks over the Scorpions in the 20’s girls. In the 18’s Boys, Sharks beat the Scorpions in the 20’s Girls and the 14th seed Northern Eagles caused an upset by beating the 3rd ranked Cobras side 4-0.Suns 20’s Girls kicked off their campaign in style beating West Tigers 10-2 and Mets beat Sunshine Coast 10-0. Local hopes Northern Eagles had an easy win over Victoria 8-1 in the 20’s girls, as did NSWCHS over Northern Territory in the 18’s Girls division.Suns 20’s Boys beat Victoria 7-1 and the SQBD Sharks beat the Northern Eagles 10-3.QSST easily accounted for Mets 14-0 in the 18’s boys as did 16th seeds North Queensland, who beat 3rd seeds Cobras 10-4 in an upset. 2nd seed in the 20’s Girls, the Cobras, were too good for Scorpions winning 12-0, with Sunshine Coast beating ACT in similar fashion. Late in the day, NSWCHS beat South Australia convincingly, as did QSST against Mets, winning 16-0 in the 18’s Girls division. 1st seed Suns also did it easy against Victoria in the 20’s girls and the 6th placed Mets won a close one against the 7th ranked Rebels in the same division.To watch day one footage: www.austouch.com.au/index.php?id=865
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Ferguson declares ex-Arsenal boss Wenger ‘an absolute legend’by Paul Vegas17 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United icon Sir Alex Ferguson has declared Arsene Wenger “an absolute legend” as the former Arsenal boss enjoyed a special night in his honour.On Monday night, Wenger was named a ‘Legend of Football’ at the annual Nordoff Robbins charity award dinner.Addressing his old adversary via video, Ferguson said: “The career you had as a manager at Arsenal was absolutely fantastic – an absolute legend.”I loved the competition against you. We had some great times and it’s wonderful you’re getting this award tonight. So good luck, my blessing with you.”Ferguson himself has been a past recipient of the ‘Legends of Football’ award, which has been handed out since 1996.
New Delhi: The micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector has hailed Centre’s move to quicken refunds of GST claims but expect more measures to cut down processing time. They have demanded more action at state-level to clear pending refunds and reduce paper work which continues to be a painful exercise. “Most small firms are under the jurisdiction of state tax officials who process their refunds for both CGST and SGST. Not much action has been so far seen in states. On its part, the Centre has expedited the process but we have not seen the same speed at state level,” said Animesh Saxena, President of Federation of Indian Micro Small & Medium Enterprises (FISME). Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalAs part of measures to boost economy and lift business sentiment, Finanace Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had on August 23 said that all the pending GST refunds that are due to MSMEs till now will be executed within the period of 30 days. Fresh claims of refunds will be settled in 60 days in order to ensure working capital is not blocked. Smaller firms and traders with annual turnover below Rs 1.5 crore are under the administrative control of state tax department and the remaining 10 per cent with the Centre. The large taxpayers with annual turnover above Rs 1.5 crore turnover is divided equally in the ratio of 50 per cent each for the central and the state tax administration. As on July, 2019 there were 1.22 crore businesses registered with Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN). Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostBharat Garg, Managing Director, JK Metal Industries and also former president of Haryana Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that refunds are processed in 30 days even now once the papers are filed online as required by the Tax Department. But the problem lies in collating and matching of all the documents. “The procedure to get refunds from the government is still painful. There is so much harassment. All the documents are now filed online but still we are required to give hard copy. It takes a lot of labour and time to get all the papers together. If I talk about my business, I haven’t got refunds for the last 13 months. If my funds are tied up with government it means crores and crores of rupees. Funds of so many MSMEs are tied up. This is another reason why there is slowdown,” he said. Small businesses which have been severely impacted by the double blow of demonetisation and GST are facing severe liquidity crunch. Any delay in the refunds of their claims worsen their working capital position. They have, therefore, demanded speedy refunds. “Government is talking about digital India and transformation. If it is so then why can’t the refunds be cleared in 10 days,” said Chandrakant Salunkhe, founder and president of SME Chamber of India.
There are about three lakh voters out of nearly five lakh tea workers and their family members residing in more than 276 tea estates in Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and North Dinajpur in West Bengal. But they are not enthusiastic about casting their vote. A sense of disbelief on the democratic system runs deep in the minds of people whose livelihood comes from the once-thriving Bengal’s distant tea gardens. Even when the tea tribe’s votes are high and political parties are wooing them, in all possible ways, their status remains unchanged. Also Read – A special kind of bondThe idyllic picture-perfect tea gardens with verdant plantations tucked away in state’s northern parts present a picture of neglect, deprivation and poverty. Jupiter Orang, one of the three lakh voters, is unsure if he should vote. “My wife, three children and I live in India, but survive on Bhutan’s water. My wife Nancy walks for miles to enter Bhutan to fetch drinking water. Frankly, we are not bothered who wins or loses as we have little time to think about candidates and governments. We’re too much bothered about our basic minimum daily needs of survival,” says Orang sitting in a room with a tin roof near Bandapani Tea Estate in Jalpaiguri. Also Read – Insider threat managementHe says former tea workers, who were forced to work as daily labourers after the closure of the Bandapani estate due to unrest, look up to Bhutan government to provide them water. Unavailability of drinking water, especially during torrid summer, aggravates their problem. “Last year, we had to give Rs 5,000 to authorities in the neighbouring country to use their water. We’re poor and find it difficult to eke out a living for ourselves, but we had no option. We somehow collected money from family members in the village and gave it to Bhutan authorities,” says Orang. Workers are unsure if they can survive under this financial burden for long. Bandapani garden workers in other gardens, like Carron and Lankapara, also spend a substantial amount of money to get water from Bhutan because there is no facility for drinking water in their areas. Fed up of the way they were treated, Orang’s fellow worker Ramkant Orang migrated to Bhutan to work at a factory. “In India, tea workers are living in sub-human conditions. Management asked us to collect 25 kilogrammes of leaves in eight hours. Earlier, it was 20 kg in eight hours. Again, wage is very less. What will you do with Rs 176 per day? I was forced to leave my home and migrate to Bhutan where working at a factory helps me sustain my family,” says Ramkant. Other than water crisis and poverty, problems that stalk tea gardens are low wages and lack of land rights for workers, whose votes are decisive in three Lok Sabha constituencies in North Bengal. The country’s second largest employer — tea industry — undermines labour rights and deprives workers and their families of the most basic needs. Other glaring problems the voters in nearly 300 tea estates face are malnutrition, human trafficking and starvation deaths. These are certain factors underscoring the desire for a better life. The availability of basic facilities like healthcare and education do not even meet the minimum criterion. Experts believe daily wage is a major bone of contention. “Tea garden workers in North Bengal have been demanding revision of minimum wages. Nearly three lakh workers in North Bengal called a three-day strike in August 2018. Right now, a worker gets a daily wage of Rs 159. After several meetings with the joint forum of trade unions, the West Bengal Labour Department issued a notification saying tea workers will have to be paid at an enhanced rate,” Debu Chaki, who has done research on North Bengal’s tea problems. “The wage rate has to be increased by Rs 10 from September 1, 2018, and by Rs 7 from October 1, 2018, which means, the new wage will be Rs 176 per day. This is an interim measure to help the workers until the minimum wage rate is finalised, says the government order. But in reality, the wage issue still persists as many workers are getting less than the amount,” adds Chaki. Anadi Sahu, general secretary of Centre of Indian Trade Unions, feels the condition of tea workers is getting worse by the day. “Tea workers are beset with a host of problems and the state government and Centre have turned a blind eye to their plight. We’ve raised the issue of their minimum wages, lack of livelihood and lack of sanitation, but to no avail,” says Sahu. He further questions the intent of the West Bengal government regarding minimum wage of tea workers. “A tea worker in Bengal struggles to get Rs 176. But think of Assam, where a tea worker gets Rs 350 for the same work. Centre’s 7th Pay Commission also recommended at least Rs 18,000 for such tea workers, but the recommendations have not been implemented yet,” adds Sahu. Another problem that stalks the gardens is human trafficking. “About 80 per cent of migrants from tea gardens are unsafe. Trafficking agents get Rs 40,000-50,000 per person,” says Binu Rai, an activist in the region. There are agents who lure unemployed tea workers with job promises. “First, they travel to Delhi, from where they fly to Saudi Arabia. Women, who get jobs as domestic help, are abused in foreign countries. In the past two years, only a few women were able to return and some of them came back with communicable diseases,” adds Rai. Speaking about the main reason behind the closure of tea gardens and financial condition of tea workers, secretary of Tea Association of India in Dooars, Ram Avtar Sharma, says, “Most of the tea estates are running in losses. India produces high-quality tea and a good amount of tea is exported to foreign countries, but we’re losing out to China, Kenya and Sri Lanka as they sell tea at a cheaper rate. Tea production has become costly and the profit margin is very less.” (The author is a journalist. The views expressed are strictly personal)
Riyadh– Leaked documents have revealed that the U.S. National Security Agency intercepted 125 billion phone calls and SMS messages in January 2013, many of them in the Middle East.Saudi Arabia and Iraq had 7.8 billion wiretapping incidents from the NSA each, while Egypt and Jordan had 1.8 billion and 1.6 billion respectively, according to Cryptome, a digital library that publishes leaked documents.Additionally, over 1.7 billion wiretapping incidents were recorded in Iran. News of the NSA spying on phone calls has angered many Western countries, in addition to many American citizens.Last week, Germany summoned the U.S. ambassador to Berlin over suspicion that the United States spied on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone line.Countries in the Middle East have not yet issued a statement concerning U.S. spying on billions of phone calls within its territories.Source: Al Arabiya