Veteran left-arm pacer Ashish Nehra has made a comeback in the 15-member Indian team while selectors once again ignored senior spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja for the three-match T20 series against Australia, starting October 7.The selectors decided to drop Ajinkya Rahane, who struck four back-to-back half centuries, in the just concluded ODI series as his game is not considered to be suitable for the shortest format.Shikhar Dhawan made a comeback to the side after missing out on the ODI series due to his wife’s health issues.Test specialists Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami have also been dropped from the T20 squad.Seasoned Dinesh Karthik pipped young Rishabh Pant, primarily due to his current form as well as wealth of experience.“The All—India Senior Selection Committee has named the teams for India ‘A’ and Board President’s XI. The India ‘A’ side will play five One—Day games at Vizag against New Zealand ’A’ after the completion of the ongoing four—day game,” a BCCI release said. “The Board President’s XI will play two warm—up matches in Mumbai against New Zealand ahead of their ODI series.” The first warm—up game between Board President’s XI and New Zealand will be held on October 17th at Mumbai. The opening match of the ODI series between India and New Zealand starts at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on October 22.Pant is expected to play for India A in the five match List A series against the New Zealand A. Shreyas Iyer will lead the India A team in the first three One—Day games against New Zealand ‘A’ before captaining the Board President’s XI in the two warm—up matches against New Zealand.The 38-year-old Nehra’s comeback may have surprised a few but the kind of faith and respect he enjoys in the Indian dressing room is second to none. He has so far played 25 T20 Internationals taking 34 wickets in them.“Ashish Nehra played the last full T20 series against England earlier this year. He was in contention to play Champions Trophy but an injury during IPL put paid to his hopes. India’s last two T20s were one off games against West Indies and Sri Lanka, so Ashish wasn’t picked,” a BCCI official privy to selection matters told PTI on conditions of anonymity.“Ashish if fit was due for a comeback as and when there would have been a three match T20 series. There isn’t anyone craftier than Ashish and when it comes to his selection, it’s about fitness and not form. Check records, Ashish has never been dropped because of poor form,” the official added.The other significant development is Ashwin and Jadeja being ignored once again.With Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav and Axar Patel giving a good account of themselves, it was going to be very difficult for Ashwin and Jadeja to make a comeback.Ashwin has had a decent County outing for Worcestershire.In four matches, he took 29 wickets and also scored more than 200 runs with 82 being his highest score.The decision is an indication that the burly Tamil Nadu tweaker is slowly falling off the radar as far as limited overs cricket is concerned.Squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Manish Pandey, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Ashish Nehra, Dinesh Karthik, Axar Patel. × COMMENTS SHARE SHARE EMAIL October 02, 2017 SHARE Published on COMMENT cricket
The dope offenders have no place, be it any sport with stringent measures in place. Whenever, they have been caught, repercussions have been harsh The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) have left no stone unturned to keep the Games clean. There have been stray incidents when athletes did indulge in misadventures but when caught, the WADA made sure their fame was just ephemeral. Prior to the start of the Rio Olympics, IOC started an aggressive retests of samples stored with them for 10 years, preventing the dope cheats from entering the Games. The first wave of tests done on samples revealed 30 positive cases from Beijing and 23 from London. However, plenty of athletes down history, have also gained where others have been tainted for life. Indian wrestler Yogeswhar Dutt is the latest example. He won bronze at the London Games but the Russian silver medallist Besik Kudukhov, failed a dope test after a belated retest by the WADA. He died at 27 in a car accident and the silver will now be given to Yogeshwar, who lost his qualification bout at the Rio Olympics.There was a spur in the numbers with new tests being conducted, taking the total to 98 turning up positive combining the samples of 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics. The total is bound to rise with IOC saying that a third and fourth round of retests being done even after the Rio Olympics. In dope related cases, the Court of Arbitration (CAS) too plays a crucial role – like it did before the start of the Rio Games by upholding IAAF’s decision to ban Russia’s track and field athletes. Russia earned a bad name with allegations of running a systematic and state-run doping programme. The fall out was even worse as IOC completely banned Russia from participating in the Rio Paralympics Games starting September. Later, Russia termed IOC’s ban as “immoral”. India too had its share of dope-related issue at the Rio Games, which turned dramatic when CAS upheld WADA’s decision and handed a four-year ban to wrestler Narsingh Yadav. The decision came when Narsingh’s bout was hours away the next day.advertisementThis shows the no-nonsense approach of the agencies dealing with dope cheats. While hearing to Narsingh’s lawyers, WADA outrightly dismissed the ‘sabotage’ claims made by the Indian wrestler. It would be hard to imagine of any athlete successfully managing to dodge a test with IOC continually in the process of adopting and implementing new methods. The Summer Olympics happening in four years is a huge temptation to take the shortcut, and usually the athletes less talented falling off the track. But there have been instances when famed athletes have been stripped of their medals for dope offenses. Ben Johnson of Canada, Marion Jones of USA, and Lance Armstrong of USA come to mind.Johnson won a gold in 100m at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, but later his urine and blood samples were found with stanozolol. While Jones won three gold and two bronze medals at the 2000 Sydney Games, but was later stripped of the titles after admitting to steroid use. Armstrong also failed a drug test in the same Games resulting him losing the bronze in cycling road time trial. IOC and WADA have a difficult job of keeping out the dope offenders and complete cleansing is near to impossible. But the tests and retests of samples with latest technology can be a big deterrent to weed out dope cheats gradually.Here’s a list of Olympians, who were stripped of their medals after failing dope tests: 1968: Pentathlon team (Hans-Gunnar Liljenwall)1972: Bakhaavaa Buidaa, Jaime Hulamo, Cycling team (Aad van den Hoek), Rick DeMont1976: Blagoy Blagoev, Zbigniew Kaczmarek, Valentin Khristov1984: Tomas Johansson, Martti Vainio1988: Mitko Grablev, Angell Guenchev, Ben Johnson, Andor Szanyi1992: Ibragim Samadov, Ashot Danielyan, Izabela Dragneva, Ivan Ivanov, Sevdalin Minchev, Gymnastic team (Dong Fangxiao), Alexander Leipold, Andreea Raducan2000: Marion Jones, Lance Armstrong, Relay team (Antonio Pettigrew and Jerome Young)2004: Ivan Tsikhan, Iryna Yatchenko, Equestrian team, Leonidas Sabanis, Adrin Annus, Rbert Fazekas, Ferenc Gyurkovics, Irina Korzhanenko, Svetlana Krivelyova, Oleg Perepetchenov, Yuriy Bilonoh, Rowing team (Olena Olefirenko), Crystal Cox, Tyler Hamilton2008: Ara Abrahamian, Sibel ?zkan, Lyudmyla Blonska, Relay team (Yuliya Chermoshanskaya), Relay team (Anastasiya Kapachinskaya)2012: Nadzeya Ostapchuk, Darya Pishchalnikova, Yuliya Zaripova, Asli Cakir Alptekin, Relay team (Tyson Gay), Soslan Tigiev, Sergey Kirdyapkin, Olga Kaniskina, Yuliya Kalina, Oleksandr Pyatnytsya, Yevgeniya Kolodko, Besik Kudukhov2016: Izzat Artykov
With the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) scrapping the moderation policy under which grace marks are given to students in exams for difficult questions, it is likely that the Class 12 marks to see a dip of 10 per cent.As reported, the decision came in after a high-level meeting was held on April 24 in the national capital organised by the CBSE and attended by School Education Secretary Anil Swarup.Moreover, scrapping marks moderation is likely to affect the Delhi University cut-offs in college admission.(Read: DU to CBSE: No extra weightage, special treatment to board students) Here’s what senior official said: “The board has adopted the consensus on the issue of moderation of marks. This is expected to result in a drop in marks scored as well as a marginal dip in the pass percentage. This is likely to be the trend across boards,” said a senior CBSE official in a recent TOI report. More on the report:Moreover, CBSE as well as the state boards have been increasing marks in the pastFurther, TOI reported that CBSE gave as many as 16 extra marks in the Class 12 Maths exam in 2016 in the all-India set of papers and 15 marks in the Delhi set during the process of ‘standardisation’.About moderation of marks:Moderation of marks is a common practice adopted to “bring uniformity in the evaluation process”In simpler terms, the marks scored by students are changed to align with the marking standards of different examinersUnder the moderation policy, students are awarded up to 15 per cent extra marks in certain papers if the questions are deemed to be difficultSeeing the past trends, this practice has been blamed for inflation of results across school boardsFurthermore, in March, a report claimed that the number of students scoring 95 per cent and above in the Class 12 examination conducted by CBSE rose 23 times in six years– from 384 in 2008 to 8,971 in 2014.advertisementRead: No more ‘grace marks’ in Class 12 board exams, CBSE scraps moderation schemeRead: DU Admissions 2017: Sports quota weightage increased to 60 per centRead: DU Admission 2017: List of entrance-based UG courses releasedFor information on more latest news and updates, click here.
New Delhi, Jun 4 (PTI) Sports Minister Vjay Goel today congratulated the Indian cricket team for its win over Pakistan in the ICC Champions Trophy, terming it a “significant” victory. Defending champions India launched their campaign in the tournament with a 124-run victory over Pakistan in Birmingham. “Its a significant victory for the Indian team. I am very happy and I congratulate each and every member of the team for this spectacular victory over Pakistan,” Goel said after the win. “Its a happy moment for all cricket loving Indians and I congratulate them,” he added. Batting first, India notched up a competitive 319 for three after two rain interruptions reduced the match to 48 overs a side. Set a revised target of 324 in 48 overs at the start of their innings under the Duckworth/Lewis method, Pakistan were required to chase 289 in 41 overs when play resumed after the days third rain interruption. The task proved too much for Pakistan, who were bowled out for 164 in 33.4 overs. PTI MPB AH AH
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton admitted on Saturday that greed almost cost him dearly before he clinched a landmark pole during qualifying for Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix.The three-times Formula One champion pipped team mate Valtteri Bottas to first place on the grid to secure his 66th career pole – one more than his childhood hero Ayrton Senna and two off record-holder Michael Schumacher.It was touch and go at one stage as Hamilton trailed his team mate after running wide on turn 16, with Bottas appearing destined for pole.”The lap before was very good until the last corner,” Hamilton told journalists in the post-qualifying press conference. “(It was) so weird that, just before going into it, I thought, ‘don’t be greedy’.”Of course, I was greedy and locked up.”A red flag prompted by Daniel Ricciardo’s collision late on in his Red Bull left Hamilton with enough time to attempt to overhaul Bottas, and in a gutsy shootout, he eventually pipped the Finn to top spot by 0.434 of a second.”It was do or die,” Hamilton added. “If ever there was a time to be perfect, that was the time.”In qualifying, sometimes you don’t extract it, but it was a perfect lap.”All weekend we’ve not been able to (get our tyres up to temperature) in one lap, but others have, so I had to give it everything,” he continued. “I could see (Bottas) was on a great lap, as well.”The British driver dominated the practice sessions on Baku’s street circuit last year before clipping the barriers during qualifying and starting the race 10th on the grid, ultimately finishing fifth.advertisementHowever, his strong showing on Saturday – coupled with an underwhelming fourth-placed qualification by rival Sebastian Vettel, of Ferrari – opens the door for Hamilton to win his fourth Grand Prix of the season.Hamilton currently sits second in the drivers’ championship standings, but cut Vettel’s lead to 12 points after winning the Canadian Grand Prix earlier this month and could overhaul him in Sunday’s race.
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. — Leaders of the U.S. Olympic Committee are sticking with Boston as a candidate for the 2024 Olympics, knowing full well that getting the city to the starting line in this contest could be as tough as actually landing the games.The USOC board met June 30 to discuss the Boston bid, which has been troubled by tepid polling data and opponents who, among other things, don’t want taxpayers footing the bill for a huge international event.Thoughts that the board might turn elsewhere or pull the plug altogether were put on hold. They were replaced by a show of support for the Boston 2024 team, now under new management, along with a not-so-subtle nod to the reality that the city needs to find a support level among its residents well above the current low to mid-40 percent range.“We want to see a positive trend, and the sooner the better,” said USOC Chairman Larry Probst, who was joined by CEO Scott Blackmun and the leaders of the Boston bid at a news conference.“We want to see it get to 50 percent relatively soon, and ultimately get to the mid-60s range, certainly before the vote of the IOC.”That vote comes in 2017, but the key date is Sept. 15, 2015, which is when all cities must declare themselves candidates. Probst made reference to “circling back” with the Boston leadership in the next few weeks, and both Probst and Blackmun said they’d be monitoring the polling numbers carefully.Boston joins Paris, Rome and Hamburg, Germany as the officially declared candidates.Had the board wanted more certainty, it could have ditched Boston and looked to Los Angeles — an awkward and difficult choice that may have netted a better final result because Los Angeles has hosted the Olympics twice and there has been talk that some IOC members would like a “safer” American choice.Instead, the USOC said it was all-in with Boston, which unveiled its new “Bid 2.0” to the public on June 29.“I’ve seen their presentation five times in the last six days, and each time, it keeps getting better,” Probst said.So, the board decided the right thing to do was to see how that plan plays out before simply walking away.The $4.6 billion blueprint was filled with before-missing specifics about venues and cost. Probst and Blackmun said they were impressed with the man who will oversee it: Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca, who replaced John Fish as chairman nearly six weeks ago.“We’ve had so many conversations with Scott that he hasn’t had time to talk to anyone else,” Pagliuca deadpanned, after Blackmun was asked if anyone at the USOC had, in fact, had conversations with Los Angeles.The answer: An emphatic “No.”“We’re focused exclusively with Boston,” Blackmun said. For now, at least.A referendum on the Olympics is set for next year in Massachusetts and Boston 2024 leaders have vowed to pull out of the race if it doesn’t win.That’s why the polling trends are so crucial, and that’s why the “announcement” certainly doesn’t end this debate, but rather, kicks it down the road.Much of the handwringing in Boston has been about public funding. Pagliuca described an intricate, $128 million insurance plan that gave Boston “five levels of protection” against cost overruns, contractor bailouts and the sort of things the IOC wants guarantees for before awarding its premier event to any city.“Nothing in life is risk-free,” Pagliuca said. “I could walk off the podium and trip on the carpet. But this is five layers of protection. People will look at it and say the risk is limited and small, but the reward is great.”His task is to get the word out about the 4,100 construction jobs, 7,000 new apartment units and $362 million in tax revenue that a Boston Olympics could generate.He has a big sales job ahead. Shortly after the news conference, the opposition group “No Boston Olympics” tweeted pictures of residents at a rally. Many held up signs saying schools and infrastructure were higher priorities than hosting the games.“Citizens want better schools, better transit, not a 3wk, taxpayer-backed event in 2024,” the tweet said.All this is set against a backdrop that indicates now should be a great time for the United States to be bidding.The U.S. hasn’t hosted a Summer Games since 1996. An Associated Press-GfK poll from last week found 89 percent of Americans would like to see the an Olympics on home turf, though the support dwindled to 61 percent when respondents were asked if they would want the games in their local area.“I love seeing those polling numbers,” Blackmun said. “They speak to the fact that, as a nation, we want to see the Olympic Games in the United States. … The games always create questions in the city where they’ve been chosen to be held.”(EDDIE PELLS, AP National Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shares
NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Harry Kane scored his sixth hat trick of 2017 in Tottenham’s 3-0 win over Apoel Nicosia in the Champions League on Tuesday, taking the in-form striker’s tally to five goals after two Group H games.After going through his usual dry spell in August, the Premier League’s top scorer for the past two seasons is back to his prolific best. It’s now nine goals in his last five games in all competitions for the England striker.Kane followed up his double in Spurs’ 3-1 win over Borussia Dortmund by grabbing the opening goal in Cyprus when he finished from the edge of the area in the 39th minute from Toby Alderweireld’s defense-splitting pass.An unmarked Kane got his second in the 62nd when he received a pass from Moussa Sissoko and fired again past goalkeeper Boy Waterman. He rounded off his hat trick five minutes later with a header from inside the box after meeting a cross from Kieran Trippier.Tottenham’s Kieran Trippier, right, is fouled by APOEL Nicosia’s Praksitelis Vouros during the end of the Champions League Group H soccer match between APOEL Nicosia and Tottenham Hotspur at GSP stadium, in Nicosia, Cyprus, on Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017. Tottenham won 3-0.(AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)His haul featured goals with his right foot, left foot and head — sometimes referred to as the “perfect hat trick.”Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino said after Kane’s double in the 3-2 win over West Ham in the Premier League on Saturday that he was “in love” with the striker.Asked if he’d swap Kane for current world player of the year Cristiano Ronaldo, Pochettino said: “Kane is one of the best, Ronaldo is one of the best.”The 24-year-old Kane tied a Champions League record of scoring five goals in the first two games of a group campaign, after Ronaldo and Filippo Inzaghi. He has seven goals in five games in Europe’s top competition.It was Tottenham’s biggest away win in the Champions League.For Apoel, it is two straight 3-0 losses to open the group, after defeat at Real Madrid two weeks ago. The Cypriot team, which is making its fourth appearance in the group stage, came closest to a goal in the 19th minute when Igor De Camagro’s blistering left-foot shot rattled the crossbarTweetPinShare0 Shares
Honor is ready to announce its next smartphone in India after the Honor 8X. The company will be bringing the Honor 8C which is expected to be priced lower than the 8X. The Honor 8C will succeed the Honor 7C, but more notably it will be the world’s first phone to sport a Snapdragon 632 chipset. This is a mid-range processor that slots just below the Snapdragon 636 SoC that powers the likes of the Redmi Note 6 Pro and Nokia 6.1 Plus.The Honor 8C will be an Amazon-exclusive product and there is a dedicated page on the e-commerce website that reveals some key specs about the device. The Honor 8C was first announced in China last month priced at CNY 1,099 (approx Rs 11,800) for the base model wih 4GB of RAM and 32GB of inbuilt storage and CNY 1,399 (approx Rs 15,000) for the 4GB + 64GB configuration. We expect the Honor 8C’s price in India to be similar at under Rs 15,000.The Honor 8C comes with a notch display so you can expect more screen-to-body ratio. It sports a 6.26-inch HD+ (1520X720) display and a 19:9 aspect ratio. As mentioned earlier, it is powered by an octa-core Snapdragon 632 chipset. This is an octa-core processor that clocks at 1.8GHz and gets an Adreno 506 GPU. This chipset pairs with 4GB of RAM. Honor my announce both 32GB and 64GB storage variants in India.The upcoming Honor smartphone also sports an AI-based dual camera system with 13MP + 2MP configuration. The primary sensor gets an f/1.8 aperture while the secondary sensor will be used for portrait shots. On the front, the Honor 8C sports an 8MP sensor with f/2.0 aperture. The handset houses a 4,000mAh battery that promises to deliver up to two days of battery life.advertisement
PSG Fortune favours brave Zidane but PSG’s latest collapse puts Emery’s job at risk Ben Hayward Last updated 1 year ago 17:00 2/15/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(34) Getty PSG UEFA Champions League Real Madrid v PSG Real Madrid Zinédine Zidane Opinion The Frenchman saw his side prevail after some positive changes late on, while his PSG counterpart was left complaining about the match officials This is a tie in which so much is at stake. With both Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain playing for their season in the Champions League, it is difficult to see how both coaches can survive losing this last-16 series. After the first leg, it is advantage Zinedine Zidane.Despite poor results in La Liga and the Copa del Rey this term, as well as all the pressure that comes with coaching Real, Zidane was his usual charismatic, calm and smiley self in the pre-match press conference on Tuesday. PSG’s Unai Emery, by contrast, looked tired, stressed and haggard as he faced the Madrid media.It is often said that teams are a reflection of their coaches and perhaps that explains why Zidane has been so successful at Real. He has an aura about him, is always positive and seems to transmit tranquility to his players. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player The same cannot be said of Emery. The Basque boss is an anxious presence on the touchline, a coach who rarely sits still and one who does not emanate the same serenity when he addresses the press. Players pick up on all of that.Emery is a top tactician, of course, but he has a notoriously poor record in meetings with Madrid and Barcelona, his case hardly helped by last season’s collapse against the Blaugrana at this same stage of the Champions League, losing 6-1 at Camp Nou after he had masterminded a fantastic 4-0 win in Paris.In this match, he surprised by dropping Thiago Silva in defence, while Angel Di Maria – who has impressed for the French league leaders this season – was left out for the entire 90 minutes.Youngster Giovani Lo Celso started in another shock move, the Argentine leaving his hands all over Toni Kroos and conceding the penalty that allowed Madrid a route back into the match when there appeared not to be one. Emery’s changes did not exactly work out either. Thomas Meunier caused a few problems for Madrid down the right, but was taking off the club’s all-time top scorer Edinson Cavani really the correct call?Later, Julian Draxler came on, the German only given six minutes to impress as he replaced Lo Celso; enough time to witness Madrid’s third of the night, but little else.Hindsight is always great when it comes to analysing matches, but PSG appeared to look far too often to Neymar for inspiration. The Brazilian shared no passes at all with Cavani, the Uruguayan himself also failing to combine once with Kylian Mbappe. That, surely, is not how Europe’s most-feared trident is supposed to operate.Lo Celso was a gamble that did not pay off and his clumsy challenge cost PSG dear. Why Emery did not call upon Di Maria or Draxler sooner, only he will know, but the former Sevilla coach was left complaining about the match officials.”A debatable referee call opened the possibility of a comeback,” he said. “I’ve been told there could have been a handball by Ramos. I didn’t see it but they suggested it was. If you give the first one, the second one is too. It’s your job and if it’s a penalty, you have to blow for it.”It’s not a question of justification. I think we could have come back if the refereeing decisions don’t go the other way.”Goalscorer Adrien Rabiot was less inclined to make excuses. “I am disappointed,” he said. “We started by producing the match that we needed to. We always say the same things, we always do the same things, and in the end, we are always floored in the same way.”Such words will not go unnoticed with the PSG hierarchy and although president Nasser Al-Khelaifi complained about the officials, he will also want a coach who can win through adversity.Emery, having survived a disappointing second-placed finish in Ligue 1 last year plus humiliation against Barcelona, will be unlikely to remain in charge this time unless the Parisians can turn this tie around at the Parc des Princes.Such a prospect is not impossible for a side that has netted 127 goals already this season – more than any other side in Europe. However, Madrid are now clear favourites and, for that, Zidane must take some of the credit.The Frenchman hauled off the ineffectual Karim Benzema, replacing the French forward with Gareth Bale with just over 20 minutes left. However, it was the introduction of Marco Asensio and Lucas Vazquez for Casemiro and Isco, respectively, that really made the difference.After one Lucas run on the right, Asensio attacked down the left flank and set up Ronaldo for Real’s second, the Spain midfielder then crossing for Marcelo to fire a deflected effort in for 3-1.The extra energy and verve made the difference and Madrid ended the night with an outcome they could barely have conceived even a few minutes earlier.”It is a deserved victory after everything we have worked on,” Zidane said. “It was a team effort and we have to be very happy. But we know we will have to suffer again in three weeks’ time.”So, Zidane lives on, at least for now, although he will have to take Madrid deep into this competition – and maybe even win it again – to keep his job in the summer.The same goes for Emery at PSG, of course, meaning the Spaniard will need to start putting together a more positive plan for success in the second leg on March 6.Because only one of these two coaches can survive losing this tie – and right now that looks like Zizou .
In a precedence-setting move, CEO/Commissioner of the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA), Mrs. Velma Ricketts Walker, has been elected by the membership of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) to serve as Chairperson of the WCO’s Capacity Building Committee (CBC). She has the distinction of being the first female chairperson of the CBC, and the first person from Jamaica and the Caribbean to hold the post.Mrs. Ricketts Walker vied for the post at the 9th Session of the WCO Capacity Building Committee (CBC), which was held in Brussels from 26 to 28 February 2018, under the theme “Smart Customs: The Gateway to High Performance and Sustainability.”Mrs. Ricketts Walker will serve for a period of one (1) year and will be eligible for re-election. Canada will serve as Vice-Chair for the Committee, with Norway being the outgoing Chair. Previous chairpersons were from Canada, Brazil and Norway. The CBC enjoys wide membership support and comes in second, with over 200 participants, only to the WCO’s Annual General Council Meeting.Jamaica has been a member of the WCO since 1963. The WCO has 182 members from across six (6) regions; namely the Americas and the Caribbean, Europe, Asia and the Pacific, Eastern and Southern Africa, Western and Central Africa and the Middle East and Northern Africa.The CBC has been gaining increasing support in recent times, as Customs administrations focus on modernization and capacity building, especially in light of their obligations under the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), which entered into force on February 22, 2017.The CBC’s mandate is to initiate work and studies on capacity building to consider overall capacity building priorities, and to prepare guidelines, standards, tools and instruments to support capacity building objectives. It also provides a forum for cooperation and information exchange on development topics.These initiatives are informed by an annual needs assessment process carried out together by the WCO Secretariat and Member administrations, and supported by the Regional Offices for Capacity Building (ROCBs).Since the last session of the CBC, held in March 2017, 492 capacity building missions have been conducted across all six (6) regions of the WCO, with more than 130 Members benefitting from this support. Jamaica has been benefitting from various capacity building initiatives including the WCO Knowledge Academy, WCO Fellowship Programme, various WCO Accreditation Workshops, WCO Time Release Study Workshop, WCO Strategic Planning Workshop, WCO Rules of Origin and Advance Rulings Workshop.A near future engagement of the Jamaica Customs Agency is the WCO Mercator Programme, which aims to assist governments worldwide to implement trade facilitation measures, including the WTO TFA, in a uniform manner, through the use of WCO instruments and tools.Other future and current capacity building engagements the JCA will participate in include the human resource boosting Leadership and Management Development Programme (LMPD), WCO e-learning platform CLiCK! (Customs Learning and Knowledge Community), the Virtual Customs Orientation Academy (VCOA) and various scholarship programmes.Other key areas of focus for the WCO’s CBC include building capacity in integrity, in order to adopt new methods and develop new tools to combat corruption and promote integrity; and gender equality and diversity.Gender equality and diversity is an area being given keen interest by WCO Members, resulting in the WCO’s participation in the “Women and Trade International Forum,” organized by the European Commission in Brussels. The Forum gathered policymakers, private stakeholders, and civil society organizations with the aim of promoting inclusive trade policies to promote women’s economic empowerment.A Virtual Working Group on Gender Equality and Diversity is to be launched by the WCO Secretariat with the objective of gathering best practices on Gender Equality and Diversity initiatives implemented by Members and promoting the exchange of information in this field.Further, a special section of the WCO website has also been devoted to this topical issue. It is expected that work will continue under the CBC on these two very important areas, to the benefit of the Members, particularly Members from Developing and Least Developed Countries (LDCs), including Jamaica.
Motorists are advised to use extreme caution while driving insome parts of Cape Breton Island and Antigonish County today,Feb. 28, as blowing snow is reducing visibility in some areas of Cape Breton and Antigonish County, especially nearlakeshores and coastlines. Some roads remain closed in Inverness County, including Route395 from the West Lake Ainslie Road to Scotsville. However,crews from Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and PublicWorks and the private sector are working non-stop to open and widen all roads. The Cabot Trail at Grand Etang is closed until 5 p.m. today,Feb. 28, so crews can remove snow. And all roads in InvernessCounty are expected to be open by Sunday evening, Feb. 29. The Canso Causeway is open to two lanes of traffic, howeverconditions may change depending upon weather. Motorists areasked to call 902-625-2540. The department also provides updated road condition reportsthree times a day, seven days a week in winter by calling toll-ree 1- 800-307-SNOW (7669). The service is also availableonline at www.gov.ns.ca/tran . -30-
APTN National NewsA coalition of organizations are looking to keep more women safe from exploitation.A new program will focus on preventing the trafficking of Aboriginal women and girls from northern Manitoba to cities in the south.Diana Redsky is with the Canadian Women’s Foundation and she’s one of the founders of the new program.
Alipurduar: BJP president Amit Shah said Friday his party will replicate the National Register of Citizens (NRC) exercise in West Bengal on coming to power at the Centre to “throw out” infiltrators. He, however, made it clear that Hindu refugees will not be touched. “We will also bring in NRC in Bengal and throw out all inflitrators. We will also ensure that the Hindu refugees are not touched. They are very much a part of our country,” Shah said. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja The NRC is a document containing names of all genuine Indian citizens in Assam. It, however, became a hugely contentious issue after the complete draft, released last year, omitted the names of lakhs of people who have been residing in the state for several decades. The BJP president also said the upcoming Lok Sabha polls are all about restoring democracy in the TMC-ruled West Bengal. “The TMC stands for three Ts -Trinamool, toll and tax. Under the TMC government, syndicates (groups of extortionists) are flourishing in Bengal,” he claimed. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highway Criticising opposition leaders for questioning the government over air strikes in Pakistan’s Balakot to avenge the Pulwama killing of 40 CRPF personnel, Shah said only a strong leadership under Narendra Modi could give a befitting reply to China on Dokalam issue and Pakistan for its terror tactics. “But the opposition leaders are questioning the government (over the air strike). They want to hold talks with Pakistan. In this election, you have two ways – one leads you to Narendra Modi, the other to Thugbandhan (a gang of thugs) of leaders like Rahul Gandhi, Mamata Banerjee and Akhilesh Yadav,” Shah said.
Rabat – The Central Bureau for Judiciary Investigations (BCIJ), under the general directorate for national territory surveillance, foiled last Friday a dangerous terrorist project inside Morocco, planned by ISIS leaders, following the dismantling of a terrorist cell composed of three extremist people imbued with ISIS ideology and operating in the city of M’diq and Tangiers, said the Interior Ministry on Wednesday.The investigation under way confirmed that this cell was planning to commit serious terrorist acts to trigger a series of destructive operations seeking to undermine Morocco’s security and stability, with the aim of declaring Morocco a wilaya linked to ISIS, said the ministry in a statement.The same source said that the probe revealed that the cell chief, who was getting ready to join the Syrian-Iraqi scene, was chosen by a Moroccan fighter, who had broadcast recordings of threats against the Kingdom. The suspect was recruited an important leader within ISIS foreign operations unit who tasked him to carry out terrorist acts in Morocco against sensitive spots, security establishments and tourism sites, as well as foreigners from countries taking part in the international coalition against ISIS. The cell chief, who is skilled in explosive manufacturing from experience, was receiving from the said leader financial and logistical support to implement his terrorist project, the ministry added.The investigation also showed that the latter stole chemical products and equipment from the laboratory of an educational establishment in the city of M’diq in order to use them in bomb making.The suspects will be brought to justice after the end of the investigation led under the supervision of the public prosecutor’s office, it said, noting that this operation is part of the fight against ISIS terrorist threats.
OTTAWA — The federal government is fining a rogue drone pilot for flying the device over downtown Toronto as crowds celebrated the Raptors’ historic NBA championship win — and again during the victory parade four days later.Transport Canada says it will serve up a fine of $2,750 to the individual, who was not identified, following its investigation into the incidents in mid-June.The earthbound pilot broke multiple rules, steering the drone within 30 metres of another person and through the controlled airspace of Toronto’s skyscraper canyons — which sit within three nautical miles of an airport. The Transport Department says the violator flew the remote-controlled device — which was not registered — despite lacking drone pilot certification.Transport Minister Marc Garneau says safety is his “No. 1 priority” and that pilots “must never put people or aircraft in danger.”Celebrations after the Raptors’ historic win against the Golden State Warriors on June 13 carried on late into the night in Canada’s biggest city.The daytime victory celebration on June 17 saw an estimated two million people flood the downtown core in an event that drew criticism for its planning, with some bystanders caught in the crossfire when gunfire erupted near city hall, injuring four.The Canadian Press
Mahmoud Kaseem, Chairman of the Expert Panel on the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources and Other Forms of Wealth in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, briefed the Council on the Panels’ recent report, stressing that in their work, the experts had never lost sight of the need to integrate their efforts into the broader thrust of the peace process. The implementation of the experts’ recommendations and the implementation of the ceasefire should be seen as complementary. The results of the Panel’s findings highlighted the fact that the ceasefire agreement did not address the issue of the economic profits derived from the exploitation of the natural resources.In its report, the six-member Panel said that the effective collapse of State institutions and structures of the DRC had resulted in continuing and systematic exploitation of its natural resources by various predatory groups. The Panel stressed the need to formulate a plan of action to rebuild State institutions in the country, recommending that such action be linked to an international conference on peace and development in the Great Lakes region. It also called for a moratorium on the purchase and importing of precious products such as coltan, diamonds, gold, copper, cobalt, timber and coffee originating in areas where foreign troops are present, as well as in territories under the control of rebel groups. Addressing the Council today, Mr. Kaseem said a lack of follow-up on the recommendations of the experts would send a message to traffickers and profiteers that they could continue their activities with impunity. He emphasized that a monitoring body would reduce the powerful incentive to continue the war, noting that in the Panel’s view a moratorium on selected products would not significantly impact the Congolese people. He said the Council would have to decide whether a moratorium should be compulsory or voluntary. The Panel also underscored the importance of disarmament, demobilization, repatriation, resettlement and reintegration being undertaken by the UN Mission in the DRC (MONUC) and called for the parties concerned to assume the primary responsibility for dealing with security concerns, Mr. Kaseem said. His statement was followed by an intensive debate, in which representatives of some 20 countries took part, including the Foreign Ministers of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda and Zimbabwe, the Deputy Foreign Minister of Tanzania, and an adviser to the President of Rwanda.
Bjarte Myrhol is finally back to the field, after long absences. Therefore, the Lions can count on him for the derby today against Frisch auf Goppingen. Everybody from the Baden side is expecting easy points tomorrow against Goppingen, despite warnings that it’s a squad that must be respected, with the return of Myrhol, RN Lowen have grown to even bigger favorites in this game. Should they materialize the home court advantage and the return of Myrhol, we will find out today at about 5pm German time… ← Previous Story Djurkovic resigns as Pelister coach Next Story → Champions League Round 4: Review
PLANNING APPLICATIONS ARE down by 17 per cent as the decline in the construction industry shows no sign of abating, according to a new index.Figures released today show only one county – Donegal – saw an increase in housing planning applications in 2012, while Kildare saw the largest decline with a drop of 34 per cent.The National Housing Construction Index found that overall construction industry has decreased significantly on 2011, particularly in western and border counties counties. Roscommon saw a drop in building of 30 per cent, followed by Laois and Donegal (both 27 per cent).Westmeath topped the list of just six counties which saw an increase in the number of building projects which were started in 2012 compared to 2011.The National Housing Construction Index is compiled by Link2Plans which counts every housing construction planning applications and planning commencement in each county.Danny O’Shea of Link2Plans said the index showed there had been a slow down in the rate of decline in building and that there was reason for optimism for this year.“If these trends [the increase in planning commencements in six counties] continue into 2013, we could expect to see numbers potentially rising in the first half of this year which is potentially very positive news for the sector as a whole,” he said.Figures released earlier this month by the Construction Industry Federation found that fewer than 8,500 houses were built in Ireland last year – a drop of almost 2,000 on the previous year.A Deutsche Bank report last year suggested there were almost 300,000 houses lying empty in Ireland as a result of the huge surplus of homes which were built during the property boom years.Read: Average national rent rose 2.2 per cent during 2012 – Daft.ie report >
Un séisme enregistré au large de la CrèteCe lundi matin, un séisme d’une magnitude de 5,2 l’échelle de Richter a été enregistré au large de l’île de Crète. Pour l’heure, aucun dégât n’a été recensé sur l’île grecque.Comme le rapporte le Figaro, citant l’Institut géodynamique de l’observatoire d’Athènes, le séisme s’est produit à 9h49 (8h49 heure de Paris). Son épicentre a été localisé à 25 kilomètres au large des côtes sud-est de la Crète, à 468 kilomètres au sud-est d’Athènes.À lire aussiUne gigantesque toile d’araignée recouvre un lac en GrèceLa secousse a été ressentie dans la région de Lassithi, située à l’extrémité orientale de l’île, mais si l’Institut considère ce séisme comme “fort”, il n’a fait aucune victime et les autorités locales n’ont signalé aucun dégât matériel.Ce type de secousse est loin d’être rare dans cette région du monde. La Grèce est en effet le pays d’Europe le plus exposé aux séismes, qui se sont montrés souvent très meurtriers et destructeurs. Ce fut notamment le cas en septembre 1999, lorsqu’un tremblement de terre de magnitude 5,9 s’était produit dans les environs d’Athènes, faisant 140 morts, 60.000 sans-abris et des dégâts estimés à 600 millions d’euros.Le 28 février 2011 à 16:10 • Emmanuel Perrin