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Sourav Ganguly: Indian cricket’s knight in shining armour

By on November 19, 2019

first_imgJune, 1996: India are in the middle of a tough England tour. Up against a hostile pace attack in testing conditions, two young batsmen were called up into the side. Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid marked the start of a golden era and an upward surge for Indian cricket.Early 2000: India were reeling from crushing defeats in Australia down under and against South Africa at home. Enter Ganguly. A few months later, India reach the final of the ICC Knockout Tournament. In 2001, India stop Australia’s record-breaking winning streak in Test cricket and finally in 2003, the Men in Blue stormed into the final of the World Cup only to lose to Australia.Dada, as Ganguly is popularly known in cricket circles, brought the curtain down on his illustrious career in 2008 but not before firmly defining how India would play the game in the time to come.He brought about a rapid transition in the team. He wanted his men to be world-beaters and he did not take a step back on the field. The Aussies were paid back in their own terms, younger players were encouraged to go out and blossom while the seniors felt safe knowing they were being led by a fair and honest man.Years after his retirement, Ganguly continues to play an important role in Indian cricket. The former captain, as president of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB), has worked wonders at the Eden Gardens.WATCH VIDEOPakistan were scheduled to play India in Dharamsala at the World T20 last year. Political compulsions forced the game to be shifted out and Eden Gardens put its hand up. Ganguly was more than happy to host the high-profile game and it went smoothly without incident.advertisementIndia returned to play a Test match at the venue against New Zealand and the trueness of the surface left even the visitors pleasantly surprised. There was pace, movement and bounce for the pacers while the batsmen found they could get runs if they spent enough time in the middle.Ganguly now, of course, plays an even more critical role. As part of the cricket advisory committee (CAC), he was responsible for selecting Anil Kumble as India coach last year. A leader by nature, Ganguly has been sought after by the BCCI’s mandarins in complex administrative issues.Ganguly is once again in focus along with Tendulkar and Laxman as the CAC seeks to appoint Kumble’s successor. It cannot be an easy task – dealing with the frail egos of cricket stars and officials. The Kohli – Kumble rift had left a bad taste in the mouth and Ganguly was convinced the powers-that-be could have handled it better.With so much already on his plate, he became the only cricketer to be named in a seven-member committee appointed by the BCCI to study the critical points in the implementatio nof the Lodha Panel.Ganguly, Captain Courageous, master tactician, ace commentator is now soon turning into a seasoned administrator. One man, many sides. What a player.last_img read more

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Graham Nash Wild Tales Of Rock And Charity

By on October 16, 2019

first_imgThe names of Crosby, Stills and Nash are synonymous with harmony, political activism and the excesses of rock n’ roll stardom. And in Graham Nash’s new book, Wild Tales – A Rock & Roll Life we get an inside view on how these three elements intertwined to form one of the most compelling stories of survival ever to come out of the music industry.Graham Nash Wild TalesFrom humble beginnings in Manchester to the dizzying heights of the California rock scene, Nash takes us on a journey that encompasses fame, jealousy, good times, bad times, drugs – oh so many drugs – and everything in between. Wild tales indeed.But more than that, the book allows us to see how this acclaimed singer/songwriter – awarded an OBE and twice inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – slowly became aware of the issues facing his generation in the 1960s and went on to become one of the leaders in celebrity activism.It was while a member of The Hollies – which he formed with his friend Allan Clarke – that Graham Nash first tuned in and turned on to the causes affecting the world. 1965 saw the release of his first song addressing social change – Too Many People was in answer to the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya and a far cry from The Hollies’ bubbly pop. But it opened his eyes to the possibilities of using music as a tool for change.And it is a tool he has wielded for the last few decades, using his voice to make sure the people are heard. Whether it is with his bandmates David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Neil Young or solo, Graham Nash ensures he makes the world a better place for those without voices.In 1979 – following the nuclear meltdown on Three Mile Island – Nash joined with Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt and John Hall to form Musicians United for Safe Energy (MUSE). After organizing a series of No Nukes concerts at Madison Square Garden that featured Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor, Carly Simon and more, the MUSE musicians went on to join The Guacamole Fund, a charity that helps coordinate events for organizations that work in the public interest. They have been behind over 1,200 cultural, educational, environmental, social change and service events since 1973.We may all be aware of environmental issues today, but it was the groundbreaking work of these musicians in the 1970s who brought the cause to the public arena. What was hushed up and swept under the mat was suddenly lit up in bright lights. And they didn’t stop there. Crosby, Stills and Nash never shied away from playing benefit concerts to shine a light on the issues affecting their fans. Homelessness, drug education, the fall of the Berlin Wall, Greenpeace, Farm Aid, the Bridge School, the California Environmental Protection Initiative, UNICEF – the list is never-ending. Graham Nash and David Crosby even joined the Occupy Wall Street movement in 2012.Wild Tales is more than just a book about music. It is about how music can change a generation. This is Graham Nash stripped bare and unplugged. It is no-holds-barred and not for the faint-hearted. More than anything else, it makes you wish you were there.Wild Tales by Graham Nash is available at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.Copyright ©2013Look to the Starslast_img read more

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WilsonRaybould asks for clarity before speaking to justice committee

By on October 14, 2019

first_imgAPTN NewsJody Wilson-Raybould says she wants “clarity” around what she can and cannot say, and an extended amount of time to speak, before she testifies to the House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.The former justice minister and attorney general, who is at the heart of a controversy involving allegations of political interference against the Prime Minister’s Office in a legal matter, was expected to testify to the committee this week.But in a letter to the committee’s chair Monday, Wilson-Raybould tells Liberal MP Anthony Housefather that while she is “anxious to appear at the first available time,” she also wants “as much clarity as we can in relation to the possible constraints on the matters about which I may properly testify.”Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has faced intense pressure from opposition parties and the public to waive any restrictions that would prevent Wilson-Raybould from speaking freely.In her letter, the Vancouver—Granville MP names solicitor-client privilege, Cabinet confidence and the sub judice convention—which holds that those involved in matters being considered by a judge or court may not speak publicly about those issues—as the “possible constraints” to her speaking openly during her appearance before the committee.Wilson-Raybould is expected to address her interactions with Trudeau, Privy Council Office Clerk Michael Wernick, and likely some former cabinet colleagues and senior PMO staff about the events leading up to her resignation as veterans affairs minister.Download (PDF, 1.18MB)When she does appear, the MP has asked for “an extended opening statement of approximately 30 minutes during which I propose to give the Committee my best recollection of all the relevant communications about which I may properly testify,” according to the letter.“I will remain before the Committee to answer questions for as long as the Committee wishes.”The lawyer and former First Nations leader resigned on Feb. 12 amid allegations from unnamed sources cited in a Globe and Mail story days earlier that Wilson-Raybould was pressured to intervene in the criminal prosecution of Montreal-based engineering and construction giant SNC-Lavalin, which is facing fraud and corruption charges related to its work in Libya.Trudeau indicated in the House of Commons Monday that Wilson-Raybould will be permitted to address “relevant matters” during her appearance before the justice committee questioned by members of the Commons justice committee, but in a way that would not jeopardize the two active court cases involving SNC.Last week, following a long silence on the matters, Wilson-Raybould stood briefly before the House on a point of order to say that she “understand[s] fully that Canadians want to know the truth and want transparency.“Privilege and confidentiality are not mine to waive,” she said, “and I hope I have the opportunity to speak my truth.”news@aptn.ca@aptnnewslast_img read more

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London City Airport shuts down due to unexploded WWII bomb

By on October 13, 2019

first_imgLONDON – All flights in and out of London City Airport were cancelled Monday after a 500-kilogram (1,100-pound) unexploded World War II bomb was found nearby in the River Thames.The Metropolitan Police service cleared an area within 214 metres (700 feet) of the bomb, including several residential streets, as officers worked with specialists from the Royal Navy to remove the device.Police said the German bomb was discovered Sunday at the George V Dock during pre-planned work at City Airport. They described it as a 1.5-meter (5-foot) shell that was lying in a bed of dense silt.“The first stage of the removal operation is to free the shell from the silt so that it can be floated for removal,” police said in a statement.After that, navy bomb-disposal experts will tow it away and destroy it underwater in a controlled explosion.Local officials offered emergency accommodations to residents, although some refused to leave their homes.Airport CEO Robert Sinclair said he recognized that passengers will be inconvenienced but said the airport was co-operating fully with authorities “to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.”Sinclair said later that he expected the airport to reopen Tuesday.London City, the smallest of London’s international airports, handled 4.5 million passengers last year. Popular with business travellers, it’s located in east London’s docklands, an area that was heavily bombed by the German air force during World War II.last_img read more

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Shares in Cenovus Canadian Natural soar on Alberta crude production cuts

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first_imgCALGARY, A.B. –  Shares in oilsands companies most likely to benefit from Alberta’s move to curtail crude production starting Jan. 1 are soaring in the wake of Sunday’s announcement by Premier Rachel Notley.In early trading Monday morning, Cenovus Energy Inc. rose as much as 13 per cent over its Friday close to $11.11, while Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. rose as much as 16 per cent to $38.74.Cenovus CEO Alex Pourbaix was the first oilsands CEO to call for the province to curtail production and on Sunday issued a statement commending the government for its “difficult but necessary” decision to try to repair Alberta’s “temporarily broken” oil market. The discount between Western Canadian Select bitumen-blend oil and New York-traded West Texas Intermediate was about US$21 per barrel on Monday morning, an improvement of about US$7 per barrel from Friday, according to Net Energy. WTI was up almost US$2 per barrel.Canada’s largest oil and gas company, Suncor Energy Inc., opposed the curtailments as an unnecessary market intervention, noting it is insulated from most price discounting due to its Canadian refining assets and firm pipeline contracts.Its shares were up slightly Monday as it issued a statement saying its estimate of the impact of the provincial cuts will be provided when it issues its 2019 capital and production guidance.The Alberta government announced a plan Sunday to impose oil production cuts starting in January to reduce output by 8.7 per cent or 325,000 barrels per day until the province’s glut of oil is cleared, with the curtailments continuing at a lower pace for the rest of 2019.(THE CANADIAN PRESS)last_img read more

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State allots land for 37 handicraft artisans

By on October 12, 2019

first_imgKolkata: The Bengal government has allotted land to as many as 37 people involved in the production of various handicraft items in the Biswa Khudra Bazar at Bolpur in Birbhum district.After attending a Cabinet meeting, state Finance and Industry minister Amit Mitra said that allocations of land have been made for 23 people and 14 new allotments are coming up soon, taking the number to 37. According to Mitra, at least 5,000 people may be employed in the various units that are coming up in the Biswa Khudra Bazar. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellers”Apart from katha stitch projects, terracotta and ornamental jewellery, various other projects are coming up like poly printed packaging materials and various spare parts for the power sector. The units that are coming up will produce small components of various power related equipments,” Mitra said. It may be mentioned here that the Bengal government is developing the Biswa Khudra Bazar- an integrated production and promotion hub for small and micro enterprises, in Birbhum. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaThere will be three separate units in the state-of-the-art Biswa Khudra Bazar, including one where there will be production of goods, while the second one will be meant for promotion and sales of the same products. West Bengal Small Industries Development Corporation is developing the project. It was a dream project of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Meanwhile, in another development, the state Cabinet has constituted a committee comprising a group of ministers which will chalk out a detailed policy on development of refugees in the state. Following the instruction of the Chief Minister, various works have already been initiated for the socio-economic development of the refugees across the state.last_img read more

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UK court rejects Mallyas appeal against extradition order

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first_imgLondon: A UK High Court has rejected Vijay Mallya’s application for permission to appeal against his extradition order, in a setback to the embattled liquor tycoon who is wanted in India on alleged fraud and money laundering charges amounting to Rs 9,000 crores.The 63-year-old former Kingfisher Airlines boss had filed the application seeking “leave to appeal” in the High Court after UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid signed off on a Westminster Magistrates’ Court order for his extradition to face the Indian courts back in February. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM'”The application for permission to appeal was refused by Mr Justice William Davis on 05/04/2019,” said a spokesperson for the UK Judiciary. “The appellant (Mallya) has five business days to apply for oral consideration. If a renewal application is made, it will be listed before a High Court judge and dealt with at a hearing,” the spokesperson said. Mallya’s “leave to appeal” application had been passed on to a single judge, who was to make a decision on the basis of papers submitted as part of the appeals process. Now that the “judge on papers” application has been rejected by Justice Davis, Mallya has the option to “renew his application for permission to appeal” by this Friday. The renewal process will lead to a brief oral hearing during which Mallya’s legal team and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) on behalf of the Indian government will renew their respective claims for and against an appeal for a judge to determine if it can proceed to a full hearing. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K”If he (Mallya) does so (applies for renewal), there will be an oral hearing at which the Administrative Court (High Court) will consider whether or not to grant permission to appeal,” a CPS spokesperson said. While this effectively means that the appeal process in the case is not at an end, the latest decision does move the case one step further in favour of Mallya’s extradition to India. The latest ruling marks a fresh legal setback for the UB Group chief, who just last week offered to curtail his “lavish” lifestyle to satisfy numerous Indian banks trying to recoup some of the nearly 1.145 billion pounds owed to them as a result of the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines’ unpaid loans. Mallya is required by court order to live within an “ordinary living expenses allowance” of a maximum of 18,325.31 pounds a week, which he offered to cut down to around 29,500 pounds a month during a separate UK High Court hearing last week. However, a consortium of 13 Indian banks led by State Bank of India (SBI) did not agree to his offer as they seek access to nearly 260,000 pounds in an ICICI Bank current account in his name in London. The judge in that case, Master David Cook, has reserved his judgment on an interim court order and is expected to pronounce his final ruling in the coming weeks. “Dr Mallya continues to do all he can to support a court process in India, which should see creditors paid off in full,” said Jonathan Isaacs, partner at DWF Law LLP the firm representing Mallya in the case against the Indian banks related to a worldwide freezing order. Mallya has been based in the UK since March 2016 and remains on bail on an extradition warrant executed by Scotland Yard in April 2017. At the end of a year-long extradition trial at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London last December, Judge Emma Arbuthnot had ruled that the “flashy” billionaire had a “case to answer” in the Indian courts.last_img read more

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TMC Panchayat pradhan assaulted in Cooch Behar

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first_imgKolkata: A Trinamool Congress Panchayat pradhan in Cooch Behar sustained serious injuries, while some other party supporters were roughed up by some miscreants. The incident occurred at the Panchgora Panchayat area of Mathabhanga on late Wednesday, barely a few hours before the elections and triggered tension among the local residents. The district Trinamool Congress leaders have accused that BJP-backed goons were involved in the attack. A detailed probe has been initiated. The district election officials also sought a report in this regard. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaPanchayat pradhan Atul Das was returning home along with some Trinamool Congress activists on Wednesday night, when some miscreants came on motorcycles, stopped their way and attacked Das. He was hit with sticks. The victim fell on the ground after receiving several blows. When the Trinamool Congress workers who were accompanying Das came to his rescue, they were also beaten up by the goons. After being alerted by their screams, local residents rushed to the spot. The miscreants fled from the spot immediately after the incident. The district Trinamool Congress leaders have alleged that BJP-backed goons had attacked their Panchayat pradhan to create a reign of terror in the area, hours before the elections. BJP leaders in the district have, however, denied the allegations and termed the incident the result of a fallout between two groups within Trinamool Congress. Das was taken to Mathabhanga Sub-Divisional Hospital for treatment. He has received injuries in various parts of his body. However, his health condition is stated to be stable now.last_img read more

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Govt mulls integration of 200 state services into one app

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first_imgKolkata: The Bengal government is trying to develop a single mobile app platform, integrating over 200 services of the state government. The task of developing the app will be supervised by the state Department of Information Technology & Electronics. Ernst & Young has already started work for developing the mobile app platform.”We will start with integration of 50 services offered by the state government and gradually proceed towards our target of over 200 such services. We hope to launch this app with 50 services in this ongoing financial year,” a senior official of state IT&E department said, on the sidelines of a Knowledge Workshop on Mobile Governance & Mobile Manufacturing at Biswa Bangla Convention Centre on Thursday. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja”There are as many as 100 services available under the e-district programme of the state government. But it is not integrated in the manner it should be. Services like birth certificates, land records and many other essential services that the Bengal government is offering will come under this app,” said Ramesh Mishra, Director Advisory Services, Ernst & Young. Mishra said that the company is developing a similar app titled E-Pragati in Andhra Pradesh. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayThe state IT department has already began interacting with the other state departments to have a concise idea of the services that they offer. However, the participation of the state departments in the app will be voluntary. “We have Tathya Mitra Kendras in different parts of the state, where people can seek information about the various services offered by the government. But through this integrated app, people can access the information at the touch of a button,” the IT department official added. The official reiterated that this app will be similar but much better than the Umang app of the Central government, as the security features in this app will be foolproof. “Data privacy is of utmost importance and all measures will be taken in this regard,” the official said. It may be mentioned that some other states like Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Telangana have already integrated or started integrating their government services into a single platform.last_img read more

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Worlds highest polling station records 132 pc voting till 3 pm all

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first_imgShimla: It may be strange but true! The world’s highest polling station at 15,256 feet in Tashiganag village of Himachal Pradesh Sunday recorded an unbelievable, 132 per cent voter turn out — all valid votes.Against merely 49 registered voters figuring in the village electoral roll, a total of 65 voters have cast their votes till 3 pm at the Tashigang polling booth, said a district election official. The unbelievable spike in the poll percentage was attributed to the desire of many poll officials, deployed at polling booths in the Tashiganag village and other nearby areas to cast their votes at the world’s highest polling station, located at a dizzying height of 12,256 ft. Poll officials said the poll percentage is likely to rise further as out of 49 voters, registered in the village electoral roll, merely 33 have cast their votes till 3 pm. With the remaining 16 village voters and many other poll officials deployed in nearby polling stations likely to exercise their franchise at the world’s highest polling booth by the end of voting process at 6 pm, the poll percentage is likely to go up further, they added. The poll officials cast their votes at Tashigang polling booth after showing their election duty certificate (EDCs) issued to them by concerned assistant returning officers, he added. Tashigang is a village near an ancient monastery in Himachal Pradesh. It is the highest settlement in Spiti Valley near the India-Tibet border with villages Nako and Khab located nearby and is connected to Shimla by National Highway 22. Tashigang acquired the unique distinction of becoming the highest polling station during Himachal Pradesh assembly elections in 2017, when the erstwhile polling station at the highest altitude of 14,400 ft was replaced by Tashigang due to some technical reasons, said HP’s Assistant Chief Electoral Officer Harbans Lal Dhiman. Hikkim is located 160 km from Tashigang. The polling at Tashigang began at 7 am when the temperature was below freezing point. Voters came to the polling station wearing their traditional attire to beat the chilly weather. Besides Tashigang, Himachal has another unique polling station, Ka, with lowest number of voters. Located in Sipti valley itself, Ka has only 17 registered voters. The poll officials were yet to release the voter turnout at Ka. Both Tashigang and Ka polling stations fall under the Mandi parliamentary seat where the highest number of 17 candidates among the four Lok Sabha seats in the state are in the fray. Mandi is witnessing a direct contest between the BJP and the Congress.last_img read more

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