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Funding hope for Zim economy?

first_imgThe International Monetary Fund (IMF) has opened a window of possible funding opportunities for the bankrupt Zimbabwean government, says an analyst.Noting improved cooperation on economic policies, the IMF announced on 6 May that it would resume technical support to Zimbabwe, but would not release any financial aid until Harare honoured its arrears. Zimbabwe owes the IMF about US$133-million (R1.1-billion).The IMF’s re-engagement could help allay scepticism over the viability of the newly installed unity government and bolster confidence in prospective investors, according to Emira Woods, director of the Institute for Policy Studies, a US-based think-tank.“Normally, financial creditors take their cue from the IMF,” she said. “This development therefore opens the doors for both public and private financiers to engage with the government of Zimbabwe.”The executive board of the IMF adopted a declaration of non-cooperation in 2002 over Zimbabwe’s overdue financial obligations, and suspended technical assistance.The news was welcomed by Elton Mangoma, Zimbabwe’s economic planning and investment promotion minister, who has been flying across continents to appeal for funds for his country.“This is a key step for us,” he said. “We certainly hope that their technical expertise will help us strengthen our systems, which have been undermined by years of economic collapse and international isolation.”But political analyst Rejoyce Ngwenya was more cautious. “The political environment in Zimbabwe is currently not conducive for any large-scale investor inflows,” he said. “The institutions of repression, both at legal and political levels, are still intact. Rights violations are also a daily occurrence, primarily because Robert Mugabe still dominates the government.“I think investors remain wary of all this, and know that it will be unwise for them to start triggering rapid movement into Zimbabwe. They can only do so when proper governance systems have been restored.”The IMF also noted that “Potential political instability and limited implementation capacity may undermine reform and stabilisation efforts, weakening the prospects for mobilising donor financial support and attracting private capital inflows.”Earlier this week, two journalists and members of the Movement for Democratic Change, which is part of the government of national unity, were sent back to prison after being out on bail for two months. Following an international outcry, most of them were again released on 6 May.The government has said it will need US$10-billion (R83.6-billion) to finance its economic recovery plan, but has managed to secure only US$400-million (R3.3-billion) from African countries.Mangoma noted that Zimbabwe was willing to fulfil its outstanding financial obligations to creditors, but the government was bankrupt and “we are doing the best we can to bring the country back to its feet.”Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Mary Alexander at [email protected]: Irin NewsRelated articlesZimbabwe’s turning point? To Zim, with love, Jenny … How to halt Zim hyperinflation? A holiday – in Zimbabwe? Useful linksInternational Monetary Fundlast_img read more

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Video: Tim Tebow Hung Out With Manny Pacquiao This Week Ahead Of Tonight’s Big Fight

first_imgTim Tebow and Manny Pacquiao pose for picture.IG/espnmicheleEven with the Kentucky Derby, NFL Draft, NBA and NHL playoffs, and plenty of early season baseball action, the marquee sporting event of the weekend is the long-awaited Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao fight, which will take place tonight around 11:30 p.m. One of college football’s recent superstars, Florida great Tim Tebow, is in Las Vegas for the bout, and spent time at Pacquiao camp during training this week.Pacquiao and Tebow first met in March, and BehindTheGloves.com caught up with the two stars, who have a lot in common, including their strong faith, and connections to the Phillipines. Pacquiao is a national hero in his home country, and Tebow was born in the city of Makati and spent five years living in the country.Much of the sports world appears to be split over tonight’s fight, but it seems like Tebow is all in on Pacquiao.last_img read more

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Fifth Harmony Star Designs Tee For Save The Children

first_imgFifth Harmony’s Camila Cabello has teamed up with Save the Children to design a limited-edition T-shirt to shine a light on girls around the world.Fifth Harmony’s Camila Cabello has teamed up with Save the Children to design a limited-edition T-shirtThe special Love Only collaboration, which launches ahead of International Day of the Girl, is available starting today through Oct. 18, with 100 percent of the net proceeds going to Save the Children. The Love Only collaboration will be available at represent.com/camila.On Oct. 11, Save the Children will celebrate International Day of the Girl, a day dedicated to highlighting the barriers girls face globally and to empowering girls to reach their full potential. The Love Only tee will help support the charity’s efforts to raise awareness of these issues and to ensure a world where girls get equal access to education, health care and opportunities to succeed. The Love Only collaboration for Save the Children is Camila Cabello’s first-ever charity tee.“Love Only is an important concept to me – it’s all about uplifting ourselves and supporting others,” Camila Cabello, a Save the Children Celebrity Cabinet member, said. “I am so inspired by what Save the Children is doing to give girls around the world a brighter future. So I wanted to support this amazing cause by designing this special Love Only tee and hoodie.”The limited-edition T-shirt is selling for $24.99. A hoodie sweatshirt is also offered for $39.99. Both styles are available for purchase worldwide.Camila Cabello and Save the Children invite supporters and influencers to get involved, take a photo in the T-shirt and spread the campaign on social media using #LoveOnlyTee.last_img read more

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Bengals sombre tea belt

first_imgThere 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)last_img read more

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Former Ohio State wide receiver Ray Small arrested

Former Ohio State receiver Ray Small was arrested in Meigs County, Ohio Sunday evening by the Ohio State Highway Patrol for allegedly possessing over 200 suspected Oxycontin tablets. According to a report from the Pomeroy Daily Sentinel, Trooper James Trelka of the Gallia-Meigs Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol arrested Small, 24, Sunday evening at 5:56 p.m. The report said that Small allegedly possessed 243 Oxycontin pills, an undisclosed amount of suspected heroin, hand-rolled marijuana cigarettes and a loaded 25-caliber pistol. The Lantern was able to confirm with the Meigs County Sheriff Office that they had Small in custody until Monday evening. Small was scheduled to report to Meigs County Court Monday where, reportedly, he was charged with the possession of a schedule II narcotic. According to the report, Small has since been released, although further charges are pending. The Ohio State Highway Patrol did not immediately respond to The Lantern‘s request for comment. It’s not the first time Small has been in hot water. Small, who was suspended a number of times throughout his career, told The Lantern last spring that he sold OSU memorabilia for cash, opening the floodgates on the OSU football tattoo scandal that began in December, 2010. The Lantern attempted to contact Small using the phone number he responded to during the May interview, but the number is no longer active. During his controversial career as a Buckeye, Small totaled 61 receptions for 659 yards and three touchdowns from 2006-09. read more

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JK Dobbins and Jonathan Taylor to clash in battle of star freshmen

Ohio State freshman running back J.K. Dobbins (2) runs the ball in the third quarter of the game against Michigan on Nov. 25 in Ann Arbor. Ohio State won 31-20. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorNo freshman running back has led the Big Ten in rushing yards in over a decade. Wisconsin then-freshman P.J. Hill racked up 1,569 yards in 2006, but every leading rusher since him has been a sophomore or upperclassman. This year, that will change. Badger true freshman running back Jonathan Taylor leads the conference with 1,806 rush yards. Sitting in second place, more than 600 yards behind Wisconsin’s phenom, is Ohio State true freshman running back J.K. Dobbins. Dobbins has 1,190 yards, more than the 1,096 yards last year’s starter, Mike Weber, had as a redshirt freshman. In the Big Ten championship game Saturday, they will face off in the first of many possible battles between the present and future of the conference’s best running backs. In the Big Ten, a storied conference loaded with run-first teams and former highly ranked running back recruits, physically mature veterans nearly always lead in rushing.Ohio State co-offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson, who worked as Oklahoma’s offensive coordinator in 2004 when then-freshman running back Adrian Peterson rushed for 1,925 yards, attributed the success to freshmen entering programs as “young men,” not “little kids.”Ohio State redshirt freshman quarterback Dwayne Haskins (7) hands the ball off to freshman running back J.K. Dobbins (2) in the third quarter of the game against Michigan on Nov. 25 in Ann Arbor. Ohio State won 31-20. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo Editor“One, it’s raw talent, but is the kid mature enough to handle the protections and the thought process because there’s some communication where there’s some guys who have the skill-set and they can’t process mentally,” Wilson said Tuesday evening.Dobbins and Taylor are the anomaly. That’s what makes their matchup on Saturday so intriguing. Many believe in the “freshman wall,” a name given to something freshmen who are not used to playing an extended schedule against collegiate competition.When asked about whether he hit the proverbial wall, Dobbins scoffed.“I don’t feel like I’ve hit that wall, I don’t feel like I did,” he said almost incredulously. The proof of his confidence is seen in the numbers. In his first collegiate game, Dobbins picked up 181 yards on 29 carries, an average of 6.2 yards per rush. The next game, against Oklahoma, he added 13 rushes for 72 yards, averaging 5.5 yards per carry. Since then, he has rushed for less than 6.7 yards per carry just once, when he picked up 4.3 yards per carry two weeks ago against Illinois.Wilson said he has been conscious of the freshman’s carry count, spelling him in games and in practice with Weber, who became the third freshman in program history to rush for more than 1,000 yards last season, and sophomore Antonio Williams. “You’ve got to be able to practice hard enough to get them tough, but you can’t over-practice, you can’t burn them out,” Wilson said. “You’ve got to be smart with them.”The return of Weber, who had just seven carries in the first four games due to an injury, takes pressure off Dobbins to be the Buckeyes’ bell cow running back. Weber has even received double-digit carries in each of the past two games.Unlike Dobbins, Taylor has been pushed to the maximum without anyone to sub in for him in most games. Wisconsin’s second-leading rusher, running back Bradrick Shaw, has 96 carries, more than 150 fewer than Taylor. And Shaw has not been nearly as successful as Weber, who has a 6.5 yard per carry average. Shaw averages just 3.7 yards per carry.Ohio State freshman running back J.K. Dobbins (2) runs the ball in for a touchdown in the first half in the game against Illinois on Nov. 18. Ohio State won 52-14. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorBut Taylor has continued his stretch of dominance, averaging at least 5.4 yards per carry in each of the past eight games. He has received less than 19 carries just once during the stretch.On a teleconference Monday, redshirt linebacker Chris Worley said Taylor “doesn’t run like a freshman.” It did not take long for him and the rest of Ohio State’s first-team defense to learn the same about Dobbins. During spring practice, the first-team offense was working on getting out of its end zone against the Buckeyes’ starting defense. The coaches put the offense on its own 1-yard line. Redshirt senior quarterback J.T. Barrett took a snap and handed the ball to Dobbins, who took just seconds to leave all the first-team defenders in the dust.“He busted up a 99-yard touchdown run, and that’s when I was like, ‘Oh, this is going to be for real,’” senior left tackle Jamarco Jones said. “He’s for real.”Dobbins knows he’s for real. When asked whether the college game has been easier than he anticipated, he smirked, chuckled and said, “Yeah.” Dobbins said he thought it would be more difficult both physically and mentally. Even still, he was confident he would be OK. “I thought it was going to be really hard, but I knew I was going to do good,” Dobbins said. “I didn’t know it was going to be like this.”On Saturday on the conference’s biggest stage, Dobbins and Taylor will have the opportunity to not just prove who the Big Ten’s future greatest running back will be, but who is already the best. read more

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Maradona explains feud with FIFA

first_imgThe Argentinean legendary footballer says that FIFA hasn’t changed a bit under president Gianni Infantino and they treat players “like dogs.”As one of football’s historical players, Diego Armando Maradona used to captain the FIFA Legend’s programme.But former Argentina national team footballer and FIFA World Cup champion has said that the football’s governing body mistreats players.“I sent a letter to [FIFA president, Gianni] Infantino in which I resigned from (the post of) being captain of (FIFA) legends,” he told Sky Sports.“Since [former FIFA president, Sepp] Blatter and [former Argentina Football Association president, Julio] Grondona left, FIFA hasn’t changed a bit. No change,” he said.”“They put us [in a hotel room] with [former Dutch player, Marco] van Basten and another player. And they treated us as if we were little dogs that only needed to be fed and that’s it. A total lack of respect.”“That’s why I resigned. And now, I will start revealing what I know about this new FIFA,” he explained.The now Dorados de Sinaloa manager in the Mexican second division also took a jab against FIFA’s deputy general secretary Zvonimir Boban who he challenged to a boxing fight.Lautaro has a better start than Argentina’s greatest legends Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 11, 2019 After his impressive exhibition vs Mexico last Tuesday, Lautaro Martinez officially surpassed the start of Argentina’s greatest legends.We truly can’t stress enough incredible Lautaro…“Also, I would like to say to Boban that if he wants to look good, let’s go to a [boxing] ring. He shouldn’t have come to the hotel and got angry,” Maradona said.“The worst part is that Boban was sent by someone. And this someone is Infantino. I am not a 20-year-old kid, I am 58. It hurts me because I believed in these people. Now I don’t believe them anymore.”Under Maradona, Dorados made it to the final last year, only to lose against Atletico San Luis. Right now his team is dead last in the Mexican Ascenso MX standings with only two matches played, both lost, and zero points.Regresó Diego Armando Maradona a #LaPecera ‼Galería completa aquí ➡ https://t.co/PpnZfezqlO#ConElPezHastaElFinal pic.twitter.com/Q3tHnmLi6A— #ConElPezHastaElFinal (@Dorados) February 1, 2019last_img read more

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Immigration round ups in Bahamas condemned by activist group calls for desist

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, November 24, 2017 – Nassau – Immigration Department officials continue to deny that they know anything about a report where a Haitian mother and child fell off the back of a truck in Andros during an immigration raid.    Rights Bahamas claims the incident is real and is calling on The Bahamas Government to cease the crackdown citing that it has migrants running scared, even to the point of hurting themselves.The woman was said to have been trying to evade arrest when she fell off the back of the truck, a photo of a bruised child had been circulated on social media but no one is authenticating the image as true – at least no one other than the activist group.In a media release, Rights Bahamas said:   “This behaviour on the part of the immigration officers was totally illegal.   Frightened by the aggressive and illegal action of the officers, the driver sought to escape, resulting in a mother and her young child falling from the truck and sustaining injuries, the severity of which remain unknown. They were taken to a local clinic where, according to witnesses, they were detained by the Immigration officers.”Reaction to the call for a cease and desist by Rights Bahamas is outright rejected as Bahamians reacting to the report say it is the mother who put the child at risk and that anyone helping people to break the law should also be prosecuted.#MagneticMediaNews#activistcondemnimmigrationraidsphoto credit: Save the Bays Related Items:#activistcondemnimmigrationraids, #magneticmedianewslast_img read more