Having big stars in a film is an advantage Mission Mangal director

first_imgMumbai: Jagan Shakti is making his debut as a director with Akshay Kumar-Vidya Balan starrer “Mission Mangal” and he says having big stars on board is always an advantage. The film is based on real-life scientists, who contributed to India’s first interplanetary expedition, Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), launched by Indian Research Space Organisation (ISRO) in 2013. Akshay plays Rakesh Dhawan, a scientist, who is in charge of the mission and the five female colleagues, played by Vidya Balan, Taapsee Pannu, Kirti Kulhari, Sonakshi Sinha and Nithya Menen, help him in spearheading the mission. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: Priyanka “When I started writing it I never had a plan of having big stars. I just wanted to make this film, share this story with everyone. But when stars come on board it is an advantage. With stars, a film reaches more people. But having said that, a good film will also work well with lesser-known actors,” Shakti told PTI. The first poster of “Mission Mangal” courted controversy for giving Akshay a bigger display than the female co-stars. The director, however, said the all the characters contribute equally to the film. Also Read – Salman Khan remembers actor Vinod Khanna “You are going to have that because when you have seven to eight stars you are bound to have such a poster. But it is everybody’s story and everybody brings in the crowd. In the writing every role is strong,” he said. Shakti was an associate director on “Padman” (2018) and “Holiday” (2014) and it was during the former when he had shared the idea of “Mission Mangal” with Akshay. Talking about the casting of the film, Shakti said, “I am blessed, I have no complaints. I narrated him and he loved it. It was a blessing for me to have Akshay in my first film itself. I approached Vidya ji, I knew her when I was working on ‘Paa’ (as an AD), I have also worked with Sonakshi on two films – ‘Akira’ and ‘Holiday’. “I approached them because I knew them well. Maybe the script was strong that everybody agreed to be part of the film.” Shakti said his elder sister is a scientist working for ISRO and through her he got to meet a lot of people who were part of the Mars Mission. The film also features Sharman Joshi and Dalip Tahil playing pivotal roles. “Mission Mangal” is scheduled to be released on August 15.last_img read more

Septuagenarian found dead in Netaji Nagar

first_imgKolkata: A 70-year-old man was found dead inside his rented house at Netaji Nagar, a few kilometres from the place where an elderly couple was strangulated to death on July 30. The victim, whose body was found on the ground floor of the rented house, was identified as Sadhan Som.He had been living at Biswajit Bhawan in Vidyasagar Colony for the past six months as his house was handed over to real estate developers for setting up of a new apartment. The incident triggered tension among the people in the locality on Sunday morning. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaA maid servant went to his rented house on Sunday morning and found that the front door was not locked from inside. As she pushed the door it opened. When she stepped into the room she saw that the victim was lying on the floor with his head tied against a leg of his bed with a rope. Local residents also rushed to the spot after knowing about the incident. They informed the local police station. Police later reached the spot and recovered the body and it was sent for the postmortem examination. The investigating officers are waiting for the postmortem report which will throw some light into the cause of his death. According to the preliminary investigation, police suspect that there may be some foul play behind the incident as the door was open. Police also came to know that construction of housing complex has been going on after his house given to the real estate developers. An eyewitness said that the window of the room was also open in the morning when his body was found. The investigating officers collected some samples from the room. A detailed probe has been initiated to ascertain the cause of his death. They are also investigating if the victim had committed suicide. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayIt may be mentioned here that Dilip Mukherjee (80) and Swapna Mukherjee (72) were murdered in Netaji Nagar on July 30. Following the incident, the Kolkata police started installing CCTVs outside the houses where elderly couples live alone. Soumadeep Pal (17), a resident of Baganpara, within Regent Park police limits was found hanging from the ceiling inside his room on Sunday morning. The victim was a first-year student at Hazra Law College. The family member spotted body hanging from the ceiling and informed the police. He was declared dead on arrival after being taken to MR Bangur Hospital.last_img read more

Arvind Kejriwal in HC to quash defamation complaint by Vijender Gupta

first_imgNew Delhi: Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has moved the Delhi High Court for quashing of the defamation complaint against him by BJP leader Vijender Gupta and summons issued to him in the matter. When the matter came up for hearing before Justice Manoj Kumar Ohri on Tuesday, the judge observed that there was a high court ruling which said whether re-tweets would constitute an offence of defamation under the Indian Penal Code has to be determined during trial. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder The court asked Kejriwal’s lawyers to go through the judgement to ascertain whether it would be applicable in the instant case and listed it for hearing on August 23. Gupta, in his complaint, had accused Kejriwal and Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia of “maligning” his image by allegedly accusing him on Twitter of being part of an alleged “conspiracy” to kill the AAP chief. The AAP convenor, represented by senior advocate Vikas Pahwa and advocate R Arunadhri Iyer, has claimed that he had neither mentioned Gupta in his tweet nor made any allegations against him. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchings His lawyers, however, admitted that the AAP chief had re-tweeted Sisodia’s tweet but with his own comment in which also Gupta was not mentioned by name. Kejriwal, in his plea filed through advocate Mohd Irsad, has contended that he has neither made any defamatory comment against Gupta nor mentioned his name and therefore, the offence was not made out against him. After Kejriwal was slapped in May this year during the general election campaign, he had alleged on Twitter that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wanted to get him killed by his own personal security officer (PSO) in the manner in which Indira Gandhi had been assassinated. In response to his comments, Gupta had said that Kejriwal was slapped because he had relaxed his security cordon. To this, Sisodia had tweeted that there was a conspiracy to kill Kejriwal and that Gupta was allegedly part of it.last_img read more

Deeply concerned about situation in Kashmir US Senator Bernie Sanders

first_imgHouston: US Senator and Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders told a gathering of Muslims that he was “deeply concerned” about the situation in Kashmir and asked the US government to “speak out boldly” in support of a UN-backed peaceful resolution to resolve the issue. Addressing the annual convention of the Islamic Society of North America in Houston on Saturday, the 77-year-old leader also sought an immediate end to communications blockade in Kashmir. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalIndia has categorically told the international community that the scrapping of Article 370 of the Constitution to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special status was an internal matter and also advised Pakistan to accept the reality. Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik last week said internet and phone services have been shut because these are more useful to terrorists and Pakistan for mobilisation of people and indoctrination of youths. “I am deeply concerned about the situation in Kashmir,” Sanders said while addressing one of the largest Muslim gatherings in the country. “India’s action is unacceptable,” he said. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostHe said the US government “must speak out boldly in support of international humanitarian law and in support of a UN-backed peaceful resolution that respects the will of the Kashmiri people.” His remarks came days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday categorically rejected any scope for third party mediation on Kashmir, saying it was a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan – a position that was immediately backed by US President Donald Trump who had recently offered to mediate. In an apparent backtracking from his earlier comments, Trump, while speaking to the media alongside Modi on the sidelines of the G-7 summit in France, said he feels that both India and Pakistan can resolve the Kashmir issue on their own. Organisers said they invited all presidential candidates, Democrats and Republicans, but only Juli n Castro and Sanders came.last_img read more

Canada says sorry for Inuit relocation

first_imgBy Kent DriscollAPTN National NewsGRISE FIORD, Nunavut— They were cheated, deceived and abandoned thousands of kilometres from their homes and the Canadian government says it is sorry.Indian Affairs Minister John Duncan says “Canada made a mistake” when Inuit families from Quebec and Nunavut were relocated to the High Arctic in the 1950s.They were moved to help assert Canada’s claim to sovereignty over the region.But the painful impact of that transfer is still being felt today.last_img read more

RelianceBPs 1st bid for oil block Vedanta bids for 30 ONGC 20

first_imgNew Delhi: The RIL-BP combine made its first bid for an oil and gas exploration block in more than a decade, vying for one of the 32 blocks up for auction in the OALP-II and III bid rounds, which saw mining major Vedanta put in as many as 30 bids and ONGC, for 20 areas. Bidding for 14 blocks on offer in the Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP) round-II and another 18 oil and gas blocks and 5 coal-bed methane (CBM) blocks on offer in OALP-III closed on Wednesday. Also Read – Commercial vehicle sales to remain subdued in current fiscal: IcraOfficial sources said Vedanta, which had walked away with 41 out of the 55 blocks offered in OALP-I last year, bid for 30 areas. Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) bid for 20 blocks while Oil India Ltd (OIL) bid for 15. Indian Oil Corp (IOC), GAIL (India) and SunPetro bid for two blocks each, they said. Reliance Industries-BP made an offer for one block off the east coast. The block they bid for possibly is the one which BP had demarcated during the expression of interest (EoI) stage. India had in July 2017 allowed companies to carve out blocks of their choice with a view to bringing about 2.8 million sq km of unexplored area in the country under exploration. Also Read – Ashok Leyland stock tanks over 5 pc as co plans to suspend production for up to 15 daysUnder this policy, called open acreage licensing policy or OALP, companies are allowed to put in an EoI for prospecting of oil and gas in any area that is presently not under any production or exploration licence. The EoIs can be put in at any time of the year but they are accumulated twice annually. The blocks or areas that receive EoIs at the end of a cycle are put up for auction with the originator or the firm that originally selected the area getting a 5-mark advantage. The two window of accumulating EoIs end on May 15 and November 15 every year. EoIs accumulated till May 15 are supposed to be put on auction by June 30 and those in the second window by December 31. Sources said EoIs accumulated till May 15, 2018 were offered in OALP-II and those that came in by November 15, 2018 in OALP-III. The two rounds ran concurrently. The government had in January offered 14 blocks in OALP-II bid round and a month later offered another 23 oil and gas blocks and CBM blocks in third round. Bids for the 14 blocks offered in OALP-II bid round, covering an area of 29,333 square kilometers, were to close on March 12 but the deadline was extended to April 10 and then again to May 15, according to the Directorate General of Hydrocarbon (DGH). April 10 was also the bid deadline for the 23 oil and gas and CBM blocks offered in the third round, which was launched on February 10. Its bid deadline too was extended to May 15. OALP-II bid round was delayed by six months and its launch came barely a month before the third round. Sources said OALP-II and OALP-III ran concurrently. Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had at the time of launch of OALP-II bid round on January 7 stated that an investment of about Rs 40,000 crore is expected in the prospecting of oil and gas in blocks offered. In the first round of OALP last year, as much as Rs 60,000 crore was committed in the exploration of oil and gas in 55 blocks or areas. In the third round, the government is expecting up to USD 700 million (about Rs 49,000 crore) of investment that it hopes will help raise domestic output and cut imports. The first OALP round was launched in 2017 and bids came in by May 2018. EoIs for second round closed on May 15, 2018, and the blocks were supposed to be put for auction by June but the round was delayed for unknown reasons. OALP-II was finally launched on January 7. In the meanwhile, EoIs in the third window also closed on November 15, 2018 with as many as 18 blocks and five CBM blocks, measuring 31,722 sq km, being sought for. OALP-III bid round was launched on February 10 with April 10 as the last date for bidding. Officials said the 14 blocks in OALP-II are estimated to hold in-place resource of 12,609 million tonne oil and oil equivalent gas. In OALP-1, mining mogul Anil Agarwal-led Vedanta walked away with 41 out of 55 blocks bid out. State-owned Oil India won nine blocks while ONGC managed to win just two. The 55 blocks have a total area of 59,282 sq km. This compares to about 1,02,000 sq km being under exploration prior to OALP. Blocks are awarded to the company which offers the highest share of oil and gas to the government as well as commits to do maximum exploration work by way of shooting 2D and 3D seismic survey and drilling exploration wells. Increased exploration will lead to more oil and gas production, helping the world’s third largest oil importer to cut import dependence.last_img read more

Morocco Has Third Largest Prison Population in the Arab World

By Zainab Calcuttawala,Rabat – Morocco has the third highest prison population rate in the Arab world, according to data published in The World Prison Brief by the London-based Institute for Criminal Policy Research last week.With 222 out of every 100,000 inhabitants in prison, the size of the Moroccan prison population is third only to Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, both Gulf countries that incarcerate at a rate of 301 and 229 inhabitants per 100,000, respectively. The report stated that the world prison population rate puts 144 out of every 100,000 people in prison, with Seychelles and the United States topping the international list with 799 and 698 people per 100,000 locked up in the two countries. The Central African Republic and Liechtenstein had the lowest rates, with 16 and 21 out of every 100,000 in prison in the countries.The new data, collected in October 2015, comes at the heels of reports that prisons in Morocco are becoming increasingly crowded and violent.Last November, Delegate General of the Prison Service and Reinsertion, Mohamed Saleh Tamek stood before the Legalization and Justice Committee of the House of Representatives in Rabat to underscore increases in prison violence during 2015.According to the numbers he presented, assaults amongst prisoners and against prison staff doubled between 2014 and 2015. Populations in certain regional prisons have also risen as much as 300 percent. read more

Saudi Arabia Expels Canadian Ambassador Recalls Ambassador to Canada

Rabat – Saudi Arabia has expelled the Canadian ambassador over criticism from Canada’s foreign minister on the kingdom’s arrest of human rights activists.Saudi Arabia considered Canada’s criticism as interference in the kingdom’s internal affairs.Saudi Arabia also recalled its ambassador in Canada and announced Canada’s ambassador in Saudi Arabia to be “Persona-Non-Grata who must leave the Kingdom within the next 24 hours,” the Saudi press agency (SPA) reported today, August 6. The kingdom made the decision after Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland had denounced the arrest of two Saudi activists Samar Badawi and Raif Badawi by Saudi authorities.Canada is “very alarmed to learn that Samar Badawi, Raif Badawi’s sister, has been imprisoned in Saudi Arabia. Canada stands together with the Badawi family in this difficult time, and we continue to strongly call for the release of both Raif and Samar Badawi,” wrote Freeland on her Twitter account on August 2.Samar Badawi and Nassima al-Sadah, both Saudi women’s rights activists, were arrested on July 30.“This unprecedented level of persecution of human rights defenders in Saudi Arabia is a disturbing sign that the crackdown is far from over,” said Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Middle East research director.“These brave women represented the last vestiges of the human rights community in the country, and now they too have been detained,” he added.According to SPA, the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs found Freeland’s statement surprising. The Canadian ministry’s statement “is a negative unfounded comment, which was not based in any accurate or true information,” said the Saudi foreign ministry.“The persons referred to were lawfully detained by the Public Prosecution for committing crimes punishable by applicable law,” the foreign ministry added.The ministry also deemed the Canadian statement “a blatant interference” in domestic affairs.Just one day after Freeland’s tweet, Canada’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that it “was gravely concerned” about arrested women’s rights activists, including Samar Badawi.Canada is gravely concerned about additional arrests of civil society and women’s rights activists in #SaudiArabia, including Samar Badawi. We urge the Saudi authorities to immediately release them and all other peaceful #humanrights activists.— Foreign Policy CAN (@CanadaFP) August 3, 2018Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry responded to the statement and asserted that “Canada and all other nations need to know that they can’t claim to be more concerned than the Kingdom over its own citizens.”“The Kingdom will put on hold all new business and investment transactions with Canada while retaining its right to take further action,” it added.Canada’s official responseMarie-Pier Baril, a spokeswoman for the Canadian foreign ministry, said Canada was “seriously concerned” by Saudi Arabia’s recent actions on suspending trade between the two countries, according to CTV News.Despite the kingdom’s action, Canada’s position towards detained Saudi activists is constant. “Canada will always stand up for the protection of human rights, very much including women’s rights, and freedom of expression around the world,” Baril said in a statement.“Our government will never hesitate to promote these values and believes that this dialogue is critical to international diplomacy,” she added.Saudi crackdown on women’s right activistsAccording to Human Rights Watch (HRW), Saudi authorities arrested many activists and intellectuals in September 2017 in a “coordinated crackdown on dissent.”Saudi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman “has overseen a widespread crackdown on prominent activists, lawyers, and human rights defenders,” HRW said.According to HRW, many detained activists were campaigning against “the ban on women driving and publicly advocating abolishing the male guardianship system.”The Canadian foreign minister expressed her disappointment over the arrest of Saudi women activists.“We are extremely disappointed by the arrest of civil society and women’s rights activists in Saudi Arabia,” said Freeland in May.“The entire Canadian government is prepared to speak up for Saudi women.” She also called on Saudi authorities to release the activists.Canada is extremely concerned by the arrests of civil society and women’s rights activists in #SaudiArabia. We call on Saudi authorities to release peaceful activists. pic.twitter.com/jz8Q7rvjes— Chrystia Freeland (@cafreeland) May 24, 2018Raif Badawi’s family and detentionRaif Badawi is a Saudi blogger who was arrested in 2012 in Jeddah. He was sentenced to 7 years in prison and 600 lashes for allegedly insulting Islam through his liberal blog.The court also ordered that Badawi’s website be shut down since it criticized Saudi Arabia’s religious police. In 2014, Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court upheld the verdict against the Saudi blogger on appeal and increased the sentence to 10 years in prison, 1,000 lashes, and a $266,000 fine.Badawi’s arrest caused uproar worldwide. His case was raised by many international human rights activists and organizations, which called for his release.Since 2013, Badawi’s wife, Ensaf Haidar, has been living in Canada with their three children. They four obtained Canadian nationality earlier this summer, according to Radio Canada International. read more

Troops still at work in cycloneaffected Gampaha District

Troops of the 141 Brigade, 8 Sri Lanka Light Infantry (SLLI), 2 (V) Sri Lanka Army Service Corps (SLASC) of the 14 Division as on Monday (15) are serving Diklanda, Katukenda, Sirignawatta, Alugolla, Agalegedara, Mellawagedara, Heeralugedara, Pethigoda, Polhena, Walpita, Tammita, Kudagammana, Hagawatta, Waradala, Pahalamadithiyawela, Ullapola, Ihalamadithiyawela, Hunumulla, Kalumada and Delwagura areas where more than 661 houses remain either partly or fully damaged due to those cyclonic winds.Major General Ralph Nugera, GOC, 14 Division in the past two days visited the worst-affected Alugolla, Mallawagedara, Diklanda, Katukenda, Heeralugedara and Giriulla areas and encouraged the troops. Army troops, deployed in more than 20 Grama Niladari Divisions in Divulapitiya Divisional Secretariat area in Gampaha District are still engaged in clearing and relief operations in cyclonic wind-hit locations in close coordination with members of sister services, District Secretariat and officials of the Disaster Management Centre, the Army media unit said.The sudden emergence of cyclonic winds in the western province during evening hours on Friday (12) prompted Army personnel in the Security Force Headquarters – West (SFHQ-West) to rush to affected areas and respond quickly providing immediate clearing assistance and relief measures. Alert to the sudden cyclonic catastrophe, Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake, Commander of the Army instructed the SFHQ-West to take necessary steps as necessary and help the victims as much as possible. Troops are currently busy clearing of roads, restoring electricity, removal of fallen trees and other paraphernalia, establishment of temporary shelters and huts, laying of tarpaulin on damaged roofs, transport of garbage and other related work under the guidance of Major General Ralph Nugera, General Officer Commanding, 14 Division. read more

Raptors coach Nick Nurse jams on stage with Hamilton band Arkells

Video courtesy of Scott BurnettThe crowd can be heard cheering loudly in one video as Nurse makes his surprise appearance on stage.Nurse had been photographed several times throughout the season – and Toronto’s playoff run – with a guitar flung over his shoulder. Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse took his off-court skills on stage Saturday night.Nurse, who led the Raptors to their first NBA championship in franchise history earlier this month, joined Hamilton rock band Arkells at their Toronto show to perform a song with them on guitar.Fans posted photos and video on social media Saturday night of the rookie NBA head coach, clad in his signature black NN baseball cap, strumming along to a cover of Stevie Wonder’s hit “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours” at Budweiser Stage. read more

New NCAA football targeting rule a point of emphasis for Ohio State

Eric Seger / Sports editorSenior safety C.J. Barnett answers questions following Ohio State’s fourth practice of fall camp at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.The NCAA implemented a new targeting rule in March for the 2013 season that will allow officials to eject any player who targets and hits a defenseless player above the shoulders, and the Ohio State football team is preparing for the change.In the Buckeyes’ fourth practice of the season on Wednesday, which Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany attended, freshman safety Chris Worley was flagged for hitting sophomore tight end Nick Vannett as he caught a pass at the goal line during a full team scrimmage. That led senior safety C.J. Barnett to say the officials “don’t even know what they are looking at.”Barnett said it is something the defensive coaches are teaching in the film room as well as on the practice field, but it does not change his mentality.“Play fast, play fast,” Barnett said. “And if you get a penalty you get a penalty, oh well. Next guy up.”Co-defensive coordinator Everett Withers said, from a coaching standpoint, the rule change will affect everyone, not just OSU.“What it does is it makes coaches on defense sure you got two and three (players) deep,” Withers said. “It will affect you at some point in the season. You hope not, but there’s a good possibility.”As the rule is intended to make the game safer, Withers said it is his job to get that message across to the players.“We always talk about it in the secondary room, about how that’s a lot of time where it comes from,” Withers said. “The back end with those bang-bang plays. It’s a rule about safety and, as a coach, you have to teach it as a rule about safety.”Senior safety Christian Bryant said it is a rule he would rather not “speak on,” but as a leader on the team, it is just another thing the veterans are responsible for handing down to the young guys.“All of the older guys in the secondary are just trying to do a good job of leading a lot of young guys in the right direction and showing them the way,” Bryant said.One of those veterans is redshirt junior corner Bradley Roby, who practiced with the second-team defense Wednesday.Roby is waiting a pretrial hearing later this month for a misdemeanor battery charge from an incident at a Bloomington,Ind., bar.Bryant said he thinks the experience will be humbling for his teammate.“I feel like it’s a humbling experience for (Roby), just him stepping down with the twos right now,” Bryant said. “He’s doing a pretty good job of taking that role and understanding what he needs to do and showing the young guys that he doesn’t really have a problem with it.”Barnett agreed, saying Roby knows the price he has to deal with.“Coach Meyer doesn’t tolerate anything,” Barnett said. “He messed up and broke a rule and he’s gotta pay for it.”Replacing Roby at corner is not the only thing the defense is concentrating on during camp. Even though the unit lost seven starters from last year’s 12-0 squad, Barnett said the team will be fine.“I know we lost Johnny (former defensive lineman John Simon) and Hank (former defensive lineman Johnathan Hankins) and all, but it’s Ohio State. One down, next up,” Barnett said. “We’re not really worried about who we lost but more of who’s next.”From the offensive side of the ball, freshman Dontre Wilson was all the buzz again, catching passes both as a wide receiver and from the back field. He outraced members of the defensive secondary easily on numerous occasions, and Bryant called him a “special player right now.”“I feel like he has a lot of attributes that he can bring to the team,” Bryant said. “One of those things is just being elusive.”Wilson was not the only freshman who caught the eyes of the veteran defenders, as both Bryant and Barnett said wide receiver Jalin Marshall also jumped out after he returned a kick off for a touchdown.“He’s one of those guys who’s a strong, fast guy, so he can produce at any position,” Bryant said. read more

Womens basketball Shayla Cooper selected in WNBA draft

Ohio State senior forward Shayla Cooper sizes up Western Kentucky guard Kendall Noble at Memorial Coliseum in Lexington, Kentucky, in the first round of the NCAA tournament on March 17. Credit: Dana Lewin | Courtesy of OSU AthleticsFormer Ohio State women’s basketball forward Shayla Cooper will continue her hoops career even farther from her home in Norcross, Georgia. She was selected with the first pick of the second round by the Connecticut Sun in the 2017 WNBA Draft on Thursday. Cooper, who transferred to OSU from Georgetown after playing two games in 2013, averaged 10.5 points and 6.7 rebounds per game as a senior in a starting role. As a junior, Cooper came off the bench in 11 of her 32 games, averaging 13.3 points and 8.1 rebounds.Cooper, an outspoken presence on the court, was named to the All-Big Ten second team in each of her final two seasons as a Buckeye.When the team’s second-leading scorer, redshirt junior forward Stephanie Mavunga, injured her foot with four games left in the regular season, Cooper stepped up. In the eight games until the dominant post presence returned to action, Cooper averaged 13.8 points and 9.4 rebounds per game.In her final night playing at the Schottenstein Center, Cooper, the only senior on OSU’s team, rose up. She dropped 20 points and pulled down nine rebounds as the Buckeyes upset No. 2 Maryland 98-87.She scored 1,070 career points while wearing Scarlet and Grey, the 33rd most in school history, and picked up her 1,000th point against Rutgers on February 26.In her final game for OSU, Cooper came a point away from a double-double as she scored nine points and corralled a game-high 13 rebounds as Notre Dame beat the Buckeyes 99-76 in the Sweet Sixteen.Last year, former OSU guard Ameryst Alston was selected by the New York Liberty with the No. 24 overall pick in the 2016 WNBA Draft. read more

Ohio pipeline is vital to Buckeyes success

One YouTube video will tell you a certain city in Ohio is “the place where there used to be industry” and that its “main export is crippling depression.” Don’t let that, or the statistics, fool you. Ohio, as a whole, is actually capable of keeping people in state. Well, at least its athletes. National Signing Day makes me think of just how important the in-state products are to Buckeye sports. Much has been made of Jim Tressel’s ability to recruit in Ohio. He rarely lets a high-profile recruit slip out of state. When he does, though, it’s not to Michigan, which might as well be the Mongolians to Tressel’s “Great Wall of Ohio.” Letting Michigan dip into Ohio for recruits was a criticism of the John Cooper era. Though he was a phenomenal recruiter otherwise, few forget he let “that school up north” steal two Heisman Trophy winners. 1991 Heisman winner Desmond Howard is a Cleveland native, and ’97 winner Charles Woodson is from Fremont. For 2011, the Buckeyes missed out on the top linebacker in the state, Trey DePriest, and the top lineman, Aundrey Walker. But, of the top 16 recruits in Ohio, according to Scout.com, nine committed to the Buckeyes. This isn’t out of the ordinary, either, as the number of Ohioans who play for the Buckeyes is always pretty high. OSU’s success under Tressel speaks for itself, and it also speaks for the great talent that comes out of the area. Though Ohio is the birthplace of football, its contributions to its flagship university’s basketball program cannot be forgotten. Eight of the 12 players on the No. 1-ranked Buckeyes are from Ohio. These aren’t BJ Mullens-level scrubs either. The entire starting lineup is from Ohio. Two Indiana guys, Greg Oden and Mike Conley Jr., led the 2006-07 Buckeyes to the Final Four — but key players, including Ron Lewis, Jamar Butler, Ivan Harris, Daequan Cook and David Lighty are from Ohio. The basketball talent coming out of Ohio isn’t consistently as great as that of football, but coach Thad Matta still recognizes the Buckeye state is an area he needs to focus on when recruiting. Much like Tressel, Matta has successfully locked down in-state talent. Sure, OSU doesn’t have to compete much against other in-state schools, such as Ohio University or Cincinnati (Bob Huggins isn’t walking, or stumbling, through that door). Yet, the fact that other schools in the region haven’t considerably plucked away at Ohio’s talent is remarkable. Some OSU athletes will tell you they have been Buckeyes “since birth.” That’s a testament to the success of Tressel’s and Matta’s coaching staffs, because that never changed in many recruits’ minds. read more

US wont be worlds policeman Trump says during surprise Iraq visit

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters at the White House in Washington, U.S., September 14 2017. REUTERS/Kevin LamarqueAL-ASAD AIR BASE, Iraq (AFP) — President Donald Trump used a surprise visit to US troops stationed in Iraq on Wednesday to declare that “the United States cannot continue to be the policeman of the world.”And Trump defended his controversial decision to pull US troops out of neighboring Syria, saying there would be no delays.“You can’t have any more time. You’ve had enough time,” he said he had told his generals.This was Trump’s first visit to US combat troops in the two years since his election. It came as he faces strong pushback from some allies, including France, and from some of his own Republican party members on his decision to exit Syria and to slash troop numbers in Afghanistan.Critics say he is being dangerously hasty.But Trump stressed during his brief stop at Al-Asad Air Base in western Iraq that the United States has been fighting other countries’ battles for them for too long.“It’s not fair when the burden is all on us,” he said. “We don’t want to be taken advantage of any more by countries that use us and use our incredible military to protect them. They don’t pay for it and they’re going to have to.”“We are spread out all over the world. We are in countries most people haven’t even heard about. Frankly, it’s ridiculous,” he added. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedOutspoken general named Trump’s top security adviserFebruary 21, 2017In “World”Syria war: Trump and Putin trade barbs as ministers meetApril 12, 2017In “World”US sending up to 5,200 troops to border with MexicoOctober 29, 2018In “latest news” read more

Ausdrill to mine Toro Golds Mako in Senegal

first_imgThe West African gold industry continues to provide strong growth opportunities for Ausdrill, with the company’s wholly owned subsidiary, African Mining Services (AMS), appointed as preferred contractor by Toro Gold Ltd. AMS expects to enter into a contract with Petowal Mining Co SA, a wholly owned subsidiary of Toro Gold Limited, to provide a full suite of open pit mining services at the Mako project located in Senegal, West Africa.The contract is expected to generate approximately A$300 million in revenue over a term of 75 months, with mining expected to commence in January 2017.While some of the equipment required to perform the drilling, blasting, load and haul, and crusher feed services will be sourced from within the Group, the project will require capital expenditure of approximately A$25 million for the acquisition of new equipment.Ausdrill’s Managing Director, Ron Sayers: “We are delighted at being appointed preferred contractor at this new project, which will expand on our West African operations where AMS has been operating for over 25 years. Our deep expertise in the gold sector means our team is perfectly positioned to deliver a successful operation for Toro.”On July 22 Toro Gold announced the award of a Mining Concession in respect of its wholly owned Mako gold project, situated in the Kedougou region of Eastern Senegal. After constructive and successful negotiations with the Government of Senegal in respect of the technical, environmental and social and fiscal aspects of the project during late 2015 and the first half of 2016, a presidential decree was signed on 14th July 2016, awarding a 15 year mining concession to the project.Based on the award, Toro Gold started to finalise the raising of development funding through a combination of a $100 milion secured loan facility and a $77 million equity placement to leave the company fully funded to first gold production inclusive of construction cost contingency, development cost overrun support, working capital and corporate costs.Martin Horgan, Chief Executive Officer and Director of Toro Gold: “We are delighted to have reached this significant milestone in the development of the project after the successful conclusion of discussions and negotiations with our partners in the Government of Senegal. Since establishing the Company in 2009, Toro Gold has been active in Senegal and made the greenfields discovery at Mako in 2011. In spite of the difficulties faced by the junior mining sector over this period, Toro Gold has been able to progress the project based on its robust forecast returns and the attractiveness of Senegal as a stable and supportive jurisdiction for international investors. We would like to thank all our stakeholders in the project for their support which has enabled the company to arrive at the start of construction in this short space of time since the initial discovery only five years ago. We look forward to commencing construction activities in the immediate short term and updating you in due course.”The project is developing a + 1 Moz reserve, at an average grade of 2.25g/t Au, which is planned to be extracted over an eight-year operating life after an initial 18 month construction period. Extraction of reserves will be via an open pit mine employing a contract mining approach resulting in an average life of mine strip ratio of 5.1 t (waste) : 1.0 t (ore). The mining operations will provide mill feed for a 1.8 Mt/y CIL plant which utilises a primary crushing/SAG Mill circuit which averages ~90% recoveries over the life of mine. Other infrastructure includes a 14 MW diesel powered power station, an integrated waste rock dump and tailings management facility, a 130 man camp and a ~1 million m3 water storage dam.The project is forecast to produce an average of 137,000 oz/y of gold over the first six years of production at an average grade in excess of 2.5g/t. When combined with the moderate stripping ratio this leads to an AISC of below $750/oz for the same six-year period which places the project competitively on the operating cost curve.There remains excellent potential to extend the resource and reserve base of the project both from within the existing mining concession area and within a 25 km radius of the project where satellite deposits could form the basis of truckable mill feed.The project configuration has been completed with significant consideration of both the social and environmental setting of the project location. While noting that the project footprint lies outside the Niokola-Koba National Park (NKNP) and its associated buffer zone, the infrastructure design is seeking to minimise the footprint and utilises the local topography to ensure a sympathetic infrastructure layout that meets the needs of both local communities and the surrounding environmental conditions. The project has been designed to be constructed, operated and closed in line with both Senegalese and international regulatory requirements in respect of its environmental and social performance.Award of the mining concession has been underpinned by the development of a comprehensive environmental and social management plan that spans all stages of the project’s life and specifically recognises the environmental sensitivity of the project development area arising from its proximity to the NKNP and the Gambia River. To this end, a detailed Biodiversity Action Plan was developed by the company which outlines the strategy for mitigating project-related impacts and offsetting residual impacts to achieve at least a No Net Loss of biodiversity. The company has already commenced a biodiversity offset programme comprising landscape level conservation actions covering areas both within and outside the NKNP. The company has put in place an independent advisory panel comprised of eminent national and international conservationists to guide the development of the offset program.The project has been designed to avoid the need for physical displacement (resettlement), however there will be some unavoidable impacts on lands that will result in a partial loss of livelihood for some families. The company has worked closely with affected communities to understand the extent of the livelihood impacts and reach agreement on appropriate compensation and mitigation measures. A negotiated agreement for land acquisition and livelihood restoration was finalised in June 2016.An independent review of Toro Gold’s work conducted in March 2016 concluded: ‘Social License to operate is excellent, with community relationships built up through a multi-layered engagement process over several years, resulting in strong perceptions of transparent, collaborative working relationships in a partnership arrangement’.last_img read more

The US has begun flying armed drones over Iraq

first_imgTHE US HAS armed drones flying over Baghdad to protect U.S. troops that recently arrived to assess Iraq’s deteriorating security, the Pentagon said.The military for more than a week has been flying manned and unmanned aircraft over Iraq, averaging a few dozen sorties daily for reconnaissance. The decision to arm some of the drones follows the deployment to Baghdad of troops who will advise and assist Iraqi counterterrorism forces.“The reason that some of those aircraft are armed is primarily for force protection reasons now that we have introduced into the country some military advisers whose objective will be to operate outside the confines of the embassy,” the Defence Department’s press secretary, Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby, told a Pentagon press conference.Using U.S. air assets to target the leaders of the Sunni-led insurgency is one of the options being prepared for President Barack Obama as he considers what support to provide to Iraq, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, told NPR in an interview. Protection of critical infrastructure is part of that option, he said.“We’re flying a great deal (of) manned and unmanned … intelligence and reconnaissance assets, and we’re building a picture so that if the decision were made to support the Iraqi security forces as they confront (ISIS), we could do so,” Dempsey said.So far, 180 of 300 troops promised by Obama have arrived in the country. That’s 90 advisers and 90 who are setting up an operations and intelligence analysis unit.A handful of Predators armed with Hellfire missiles are being used over the capital for the new force protection mission, a senior defense official said. The official was not authorized to discuss the new flights on the record and requested anonymity.Officials stressed that Obama still has not authorized airstrikes against Sunni militants who have been overrunning territory in other parts of the country.Read: “We were afraid for our children”: 10,000 flee Iraq townlast_img read more

Le bisphénol A un facteur potentiel dobésité

first_imgLe bisphénol A : un facteur potentiel d’obésité ?Une étude chinoise, publiée dans le Journal of Clinical Endocrinology et reprise dans Environmental Health Perspectives, s’est attachée à observer le lien entre la présence de bisphénol A dans les urines et le surpoids. Alors que la présence de perturbateurs endocriniens potentiels tels que le bisphénol A est de plus en plus décriée, les scientifiques s’interrogent sur les risques qu’ils peuvent représenter pour la santé humaine. Ainsi, des chercheurs chinois se sont questionnés sur un effet potentiel : le bisphénol A serait-il une cause de l’obésité ? Pour en savoir davantage, les scientifique chinois ont mené une enquête auprès de 3.390 adultes habitant à Shanghai pour établir s’il existe ou non un lien entre la présence de bisphénol A dans le corps et le surpoids.À lire aussiObésité : quels risques pour la santé ?Pour que l’étude soit la plus fidèle possible, ils ont pris en compte l’origine sociale, les antécédents médicaux mais aussi le style de vie de chaque individu. Chez chaque participant, ils ont également mesuré le taux de glucose et d’insuline dans le sang. Au final, les résultats de l’étude ont ainsi montré que pour un groupe de personnes âgées de plus de 40 ans, obèses, et résistantes à l’insuline, la concentration en BPA dans les urines était particulièrement élevée. Elle est même apparue encore plus élevée chez les sujets plus jeunes. Néanmoins, cette étude n’est pas la première à se pencher sur la question d’un lien entre le BPA et l’obésité. Or, de nombreux travaux ont abouti à une conclusion contraire. Récemment, des spécialistes et les autorités sanitaires de plusieurs pays ont ainsi étudié la littérature scientifique et les nombreuses recherches effectuées : ils en ont conclu qu’il n’y avait pour l’heure pas de preuves suffisantes pour affirmer que l’exposition au bisphénol A prédisposait au développement d’obésité ou de surpoids. Davantage de résultats seraient donc nécessaires pour compléter ceux obtenus par les chercheurs chinois qui ne sont basés que sur un seul échantillon d’urine et confirmer ou non le lien. Le 9 janvier 2012 à 14:27 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Impaired drivers focus of extra patrols

first_imgMultiple local law enforcement agencies are stepping up patrols today to target impaired drivers.The Vancouver, Washougal and Battle Ground police departments and the Washington State Patrol have additional officers out enforcing DUI laws. Officers, who are also drug recognition experts, are among those conducting the increased DUI patrols.The increased DUI enforcement is made possible through a grant from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, which covers the overtime costs for the additional officers and marketing in support of the Target Zero program. The program aims to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries by 2030.Anyone who sees a suspected impaired driver should call 911.For more information about the DUI patrols, visit www.cityofvancouver.us/police/page/dui-enforcement .last_img read more

ASA Honors Warren Stemme with Outstanding State Volunteer Award

first_imgASA President John Heisdorffer (left) presents Warren Stemme (right) with Outstanding State Volunteer Award during the annual ASA Banquet at Commodity Classic in Anaheim, Calif on Feb. 28. Photo credit: Joe MurphyThe American Soybean Association (ASA) recognized Warren Stemme, from Chesterfield, Mo., with its Outstanding State Volunteer Award at its annual awards banquet during the 2018 Commodity Classic in Anaheim, Calif.The Outstanding Volunteer Award recognizes the dedication and exemplary contributions of volunteers with at least three years of volunteer service in any area of their state association operation.Stemme is recognized by his state association as being a “standout” volunteer who is always willing to take on challenging tasks to help the association. He’s worked on policy development, advocacy activity, grower engagement, membership recruiting and fundraising.“Warren Stemme is the association leader we all hope to grow up to be,” wrote Missouri Soybean Association President Matt McCrate in his nomination letter. “He seeks to find the best in others and to be that rising tide that lifts all boats, rather than to raise his personal profile.”Stemme’s many years of volunteer work at the state level has helped create financial stability for the Missouri Soybean Association and solid positioning for the organization’s future.While Stemme has served in all the top farmer-leadership positions with the Missouri Soybean Association, he is also recognized for mentoring young growers and helping guide them toward leadership positions.Stemme also regularly opens his farm for farmer-focused events. He is committed to relationship building and strategic initiatives that help further the mission of the Missouri Soybean Association.last_img read more

Soy Family Participates in Taiwan Goodwill Mission and Signing Ceremony

first_imgU.S. soybean farmers have been present and active developing demand and utilization of soy in Taiwan for nearly 50 years. During a Washington visit this week, Yau-Kuen Hung, chairman of the Taiwan Vegetable Association and Wade Cowan, past president of the American Soybean Association, signed a commitment by the Taiwan soy industry to purchase an additional 600,000- 1 million metric tons of U.S. soybeans.The Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) is hosting a Goodwill Mission from Taiwan with the help of the soy family during this week, and on Wednesday, the delegation met with soy family representatives, Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) officials and Members of Congress. This trip reestablishes the deep connection and relationship between the U.S. and Taiwan.ASA appreciates the Taiwan market’s steadfast partnership with the U.S. soy industry. The Taiwan Goodwill delegation will travel later this week to Minnesota and then to Iowa.last_img read more