The tremors have been numerous. Since November, hundreds of earthquakes, ranging between 1 and 4.3 on the local magnitude scale, or ML (broadly equivalent to the widely used moment magnitude, or Mw), have struck Palghar district, 150 km north of Mumbai. Around 18 of Palghar’s villages, with 63,000 residents, have borne the brunt because of their proximity to the epicentres.These earthquake “swarms”, as clusters of small quakes are called, have pushed Hyderabad’s National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI) and Delhi’s National Centre for Seismology (NCS) to install seismometers in the region. These devices will help measure the magnitude of the quakes. The district administration, meanwhile, is scrambling to provide tents for those who are too scared to live in their homes; some 1,300 community tents have been distributed. Simultaneously, a team from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay, headed by structural engineer Ravi Sinha, is training Palghar’s engineers and masons to assess the safety of constructions in the quake hotspots.Much of this panic could have been avoided if existing building regulations had been better enforced. Long before these temblors began, Palghar was classified as Zone 3 on India’s seismic zoning map, which means it can expect quakes measuring up to 6-6.5 on the Mw scale; for comparison, the devastating 1993 Latur quake measured 6.1 Mw. So, local laws require all constructions in Palghar to be designed for such quakes. They must comply with the National Building Code and tick multiple boxes of earthquake-resistant design.As things stand, repeated battering by the swarms have left several homes with cracks, and a handful with collapsed walls. A preliminary assessment in Dahanu and Talasari subdivisions, the worst hit locations, has identified 1,750 damaged houses. While these are mostly in rural areas, where the enforcement of seismic codes is poorer, urban areas may not be better off.According to IIT Bombay’s analysis of the 2011 Housing Census data, 10 lakh people in Palghar live in potentially weak homes. Unless these structures are upgraded, the region will likely suffer loss of life in the event of a larger quake.The chances of a large quake (upto 6.5 Mw) are no longer remote, according to seismologists. Even though the initial suspicion was that the swarms were a temporary phenomenon linked to rains, NGRI seismologists have argued that the real reason is tectonic activity along a geological fault in Palghar. “If it is related to a fault, we cannot be complacent that quakes will continue to be small,” says Mr. Sinha. Moreover, given that the epicentres are in rural areas, “it is likely that a disproportionately large fraction of buildings will be damaged with relatively low shaking,” he adds. Scientists divided on causes of Palghar quake | Photo Credit: Prashant Nakwe The scale of the exercise is currently restricted to the 18 quake hotspots, although a larger temblor would spread farther. Around 90 local engineers will be trained. They will scan buildings and inform occupants about safety.Public structures, such as schools and hospitals, will be the top priority, with the government paying for their strengthening. “The idea is that, in the event of a real Zone 3 earthquake, the government’s own capacity should not be degraded,” says Mr. Sinha. Private constructions, on the other hand, will have to fund themselves. Only low-income groups will get financial help through the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana.There isn’t much time. Once the monsoon arrives, the government tents may not hold up. So, the assessments must be completed earlier. At the end of it, some of Palghar’s residents may learn that their homes are safe enough to return to, says Mr. Sinha. Others may have to upgrade their houses, while still others will have to rebuild altogether.The compliance gapPalghar’s unpreparedness is typical of large parts of India today. Close to 60% of the country lies in Zones 3, 4 and 5, which means these areas can experience moderate to severe quakes. These places legally require all construction to comply with the seismic codes developed by the Bureau of Indian Standards. Yet, a swarm of small temblors has disrupted life in Palghar.Why has compliance been below par? The reasons are complex. First, the worst affected areas are villages, where there is a shortfall of trained engineers. So, even though local laws require home owners to consult a licensed structural engineer and meet NBC requirements, it often doesn’t happen. Says Aseemkumar Gupta, Secretary of the State’s Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Department, “It would be wrong on my part to say that for every building constructed in rural Palghar, there is a structural consultant applying his mind about Zone 3 earthquake issues. It doesn’t happen for 99% of the small houses.”In urban areas, the problems are different. Many constructions are slums built without municipal permissions. Others may follow seismic codes on paper, but not in reality, given the added costs. And municipal bodies do not have the resources to police everyone.It was to tackle such issues that the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) published earthquake management guidelines in 2007. The ambitious document recommended wide-ranging measures such as training engineers, improving enforcement, and raising public awareness.But implementation has been uneven because it isn’t a small task, says Kamal Kishore, an NDMA member. Between the 2001 and 2011 Censuses, for example, close to 3 crore new brick masonry houses came up in India’s earthquake-prone regions. To ensure compliance of all of them would need many more engineers than municipal bodies have at present. “You simply can’t do it overnight,” Mr. Kishore says. “Even countries that have turned over their entire building stock successfully have taken not years, but decades.”Rare, but deadlyThere is another obstacle in the way of earthquake preparedness: quakes are rare, despite their deadliness. Further, intra-plate earthquakes, which occur deep inside the peninsula — such as the Latur, Bhuj and even Palghar quakes — are even more infrequent, compared to Himalayan ones. This makes it likelier that peninsular inhabitants will be unaware of the region’s seismic history. “A large number of people have forgotten about the 1993 Maharashtra earthquake. It’s been more than 25 years and a whole generation has turned over since then,” says Mr. Kishore. Not knowing how much damage an earthquake can wreak can take away motivation to spend money on seismic compliance.Still, globally, there is a growing realisation that earthquakes do more than kill humans; they cause mass migrations, job losses, and economic stagnation. Mr. Sinha cites New Zealand’s Canterbury earthquakes in 2010 and 2011, which measured 6.3 Mw and 7 Mw. Because the region was known to be situated on a fault, most buildings were appropriately designed. As a result, casualties were fewer than they would have been otherwise.The problem was that even though most structures survived, they subsequently became unusable. “They were designed to be safe against fatalities, but not designed to be stronger than that,” says Mr. Sinha. “So they were not safe for people to return after the quakes.” As a result, Christchurch, until then a thriving manufacturing hub, had to demolish over 600 commercial buildings, and cordon off sections for days. According to a 2015 paper in the International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 6,000 businesses were displaced by the cordon. The New Zealand Treasury estimated the capital cost of the quakes to be equal to 20% of the country’s GDP, a significant hit.For Palghar’s residents, though, GDP is the farthest thing on the mind. It’s the everyday anxiety of not knowing if their homes will collapse, and of sleeping in tents, that gnaws. “We suffered a lot in the initial days,” says Patel. When the tremors began, schoolchildren slept under the open sky during the chilly winter nights. Now, they have tents and bunk beds, but it would be nice just to get back to their rooms. When the earthquakes first began in November 2018, the children of Palghar’s Nareshwadi Learning Centre were terrified. The youngest, aged 5-7 years, burst into tears. Five months later, the tremors continue, but the children are used to it, much to the chagrin of the school coordinator, Vivek Siyaram Patel. He would like them to stay alert and dash out of their classrooms every time the ground shakes. That’s what they have been taught to do.But when the largest quake occurred on March 1, its noise was like a large Diwali bomb, “the bigger kids ran out but the younger children kept sitting inside. It’s like they were used to it,” says Mr. Patel.Like thousands of residents of Palghar, a district on Maharashtra’s coastline, Mr. Patel and the rest of the staff at Nareshwadi, a residential school for underprivileged children, aren’t sure if their buildings will withstand further shaking. Cracks have already appeared in the school’s dining hall. A few of the tall metal rods that support the hall’s sloping roof have bent with each quake. Unsure of whether everything will come down with the next tremor, some 220 of the school’s boarders now sleep in tents.Also Read Such quakes have distinct characteristics — they are small, shallow, noisy, and typically end after the monsoon water drained. Small means they never exceed 4 in magnitude, making them relatively harmless. Shallow implies that they originate from within 5 km of the earth’s crust. This also makes them audible, in contrast to intermediate and deep earthquakes, which emerge from beyond 60 km.The NCS, the first body to set up 4 seismometers in Palghar in December, opines that the swarms could well be hydro-seismicity. Its calculations show a shallow depth of 3-4 km. “We are going by experience here,” says Vineet K. Gahalaut, NCS director. “We have seen several such swarms in western and central India.” But he cautions that tectonic activity cannot be ruled out.In contrast, NGRI, which also began monitoring the Palghar quakes in January, is convinced that the quakes are tectonic, triggered by the same forces that cause planetary tectonic plates to drift over a ductile layer of the mantle. The NGRI now has six seismometers in Palghar, and its data suggest that most quakes are emerging from between 6 km and 15 km, too deep for rain-related seismicity.Another factor that has swayed the NGRI’s assessment is how long the quakes have continued. “They should have died down by now,” says Mr. Srinagesh. “Usually, they have a lifespan of a month or two.” But the Palghar tremors have continued for nearly five months, at the rate of 30-35 per day. Further, their magnitude has risen, with the largest ML 4.3 quake occurring on March 1.The differences between the NGRI’s and the NCS’ depth estimates could be due to a number of reasons. To calculate depth, scientists use the timings at which seismic waves arrive at their seismometers. Then, based on assumptions of the wave velocity, and distance of each seismometer from the epicentre, they estimate the depth that best fits their data. This means that the calculations have error margins, and depend a lot on assumptions made. Since neither NCS nor NGRI have published their data, it’s hard to say why their estimates differ. “I haven’t seen their data, so I cannot comment on the accuracy. But in general, for geophysical problems, there is no unique solution,” says Mr. Rajendran.Mr. Sinha, however, has seen NGRI’s data and is inclined to buy its arguments. The district administration too is working on the assumption that the quakes are not mere hydro-seismicity. “I have reasons to believe that what the NGRI is saying is correct,” he says.The implications of this are significant. While rain-related seismicity peters away quickly, tectonic quakes can be large and destructive. If so, the current swarms could merely be foreshocks before a bigger temblor. It has happened before. In the year before the 1993 Latur earthquake, NGRI recorded several small earthquakes in the Killari region. No one thought they would end in a large one, given the historical lack of seismicity there, but they did. If the same happened in Palghar today, it would find itself unprepared. Mahesh Gollapudi and Dhiraj Kumar Singh, project assistants at Hyderabad’s National Geophysical Research Institute, collect data from a seismometer in Gagodi village, Palghar. Why are quakes happening at Palghar? Fortifying PalgharThis is why Mr. Sinha’s team is working on a training module for Palghar’s engineers, so that they can assess which buildings are the most vulnerable. Mr. Sinha has his task cut out. Prima facie, many structures in the district aren’t earthquake-resistant. Nevertheless, to strengthen every such home in the district is too massive an exercise. “It’s expensive, not just monetarily, but also in terms of available human resources. There are only so many engineers who can be deployed in Palghar to do this, without affecting the governance of the entire State,” he says. For comparison, a World Bank-funded project to repair and reconstruct 225,000 houses in Latur cost about $220 million and took four years.So, Mr. Sinha’s strategy is to triage: find the most vulnerable of the vulnerable houses. These will be reconstructed, while others will merely be strengthened. “It is possible to do things so that without demolishing and reconstructing a house, we can strengthen it to the extent that it doesn’t collapse. It may still collapse partially, though,” he says. For example, traditional houses made of irregular stones, or “random rubble”, caused heavy casualties in both the Latur and the 2001 Bhuj quakes. Their walls are made of two vertical layers, or wythes, of stones. When tremors hit, these poorly bonded wythes separate and fall apart. So, one fortifying technique is to add long “through stones” at intervals along the wall’s length. These hold the wythes together when shaking occurs.Also Read Maharashtra’s Palghar district to get another seismometer Searching for the causeSeveral residents of Dahanu don’t remember prior earthquakes in the region. “This is the first time I am experiencing it,” says the principal of the Nareshwadi Learning Centre, Babasaheb N. Pawar, who has been in Palghar for 30 years. Then there’s the noise, described sometimes as a deep rumbling and others as a large bomb. “My heart would leap out of my body,” says Mr. Patel. “Can you imagine the condition of the little children?”Still, despite the absence of tremors in Palghar’s memory, the Deccan peninsula has a history of swarms. This phenomenon, thought to be triggered by rains, is called hydro-seismicity. Even though the tremors seem tectonic — the kind that occurred in Bhuj, Latur or Nepal — they aren’t. While both involve geological faults — cracks in the earth’s crust along which rocks can move — that’s where the similarity ends. The movement of the rocks that causes earthquakes is triggered by very different mechanisms.In hydro-seismicity, heavy rains seep into the top layers of earth, compressing the rock beneath and increasing the pressure inside the rock pores. “It’s a bit like a baby elephant sitting on a mattress,” says Kusala Rajendran, a seismologist at Bengaluru’s Indian Institute of Science.According to one estimate, for each 10 m rise in groundwater level, the pore pressure increases by 1 bar (bar is a unit of pressure, equal to 100,000 pascals). When this happens in the vicinity of existing geological faults, the pressure can destabilise them. Another way for rain to trigger quakes is if the water enters faults that are sealed and inactive. “Here, the water can lubricate the clayish contact surface of the fault, causing it to slip,” she explains.Such hydro-seismicity has struck the peninsula before. In October 2017, residents of Hyderabad’s Borabanda suburb experienced small quakes for over a month. They began after intense rains, says D. Srinagesh, who heads NGRI’s seismology observatory, and measured less than 1 ML each, a tiny wobble. “But they sounded like Diwali hydrogen bombs. People grew panicky and were running helter-skelter,” he recalls. When the rains ended, the tremors stopped. Similar phenomena had occurred in Andhra Pradesh’s Nellore in 2015, Saurashtra’s Talala in 2007 and 2011, and Madhya Pradesh’s Khandwa district.Also Read
Senior Tripura government official suspended after rape chargeAgartala, Jun 29 (PTI) A senior Tripura Civil Service officer Panna Ahmed has been suspended after an FIR was lodged against him alleging that he had raped a woman, official sources said today.Chief Secretary Y P Singh said Ahmed, a joint director of sports and youth affairs department, was suspended yesterday after an FIR was lodged by a woman claiming that he had raped her when she went to his residence in South Ramnagar on Monday.On the basis of her complaint, a search warrant has been issued against the absconding accused, Superintendent of police (Police Control) Uttam Bhowmick said.According to the FIR, the incident took place on Monday morning when she went to meet him seeking to rent rooms.The accused also reportedly threatened her of dire consequences if she disclosed the incident, they said. PTI JOY MM RT RT
Ethel Booba on SEA Games cauldron: ‘Sulit kung corrupt ang panggatong’ This jewelry designer is also an architect View comments During ring presentations for the Raptors’ staff, fans cheered loudly for Alex McKechnie. Toronto’s Director of Sport Science was credited with creating the load management schedule that helped keep Leonard healthy during his lone season north of the border.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next The rings each contain more than 650 diamonds, as well as 16 rubies representing the number of playoff victories required to win the title. On the face of the ring, diamonds form the Toronto skyline above the word “North” spelled out in diamonds inside a golden chevron. Who are Filipinos rooting for in the NBA Finals? PLAY LIST 01:43Who are Filipinos rooting for in the NBA Finals?01:08Huge Toronto crowd celebrates Raptors’ historic win03:12Kevin Durant out with Achilles injury; to undergo MRI on Tuesday02:11Makabayan bloc defends protesting workers, tells Año to ‘shut up’03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games01:38‘Bato’ to be ‘most effective’ CHR head? It’s for public to decide – Gascon02:07Aquino to Filipinos: Stand up vs abuses before you suffer De Lima’s ordeal01:28Ex-President Noynoy Aquino admits contracting pneumonia00:45Aquino agrees with Drilon on SEA games ‘kaldero’ spending issue Matteo Guidicelli had saved up for Sarah G’s ring since 2014? Toronto Raptors watch their 2019 NBA basketball championship pennant being raised before the team’s game against the New Orleans Pelican on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019, in Toronto. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press via AP)TORONTO — The Toronto Raptors received the biggest championship rings in NBA history and unfurled a banner celebrating their victory in a ceremony before their season opener against the New Orleans Pelicans.NBA Commissioner Adam Silver was on hand Tuesday night to honor the Raptors, who won the first title in team history with a six-game triumph over the Golden State Warriors last June.ADVERTISEMENT Becoming his own man Canadian vaping study details danger from ‘popcorn lung’ chemical Duterte calls himself, Go, Cayetano ‘the brightest stars’ in PH politics Born again Christian LATEST STORIES DTI creates Marahuyo, a luxe Filipino fashion brand for global buyers Afer the rings were handed out, five-time All-Star guard Kyle Lowry took the microphone to thank fans for their support, then gathered his teammates around him before leading a countdown to reveal the black, red and gold championship banner hanging above the home bench.Soakin’ it all in 🤩 pic.twitter.com/see12f7dtC— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) October 23, 2019The Raptors lost NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard to the Los Angeles Clippers in free agency.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ Drilon apologizes to BCDA’s Dizon over false claim on designer of P50-M ‘kaldero’ A historic ring for a historic accomplishment. #WeTheNorth pic.twitter.com/IZdkXQTj4B— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) October 22, 2019FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGreatest ever?SPORTSFormer PBA import Anthony Grundy passes away at 40SPORTSSan Miguel suspends Santos, Nabong, Tubid indefinitely after ‘tussle’ in practice
Italy’s Olympic Committee has officially withdrawn its bid to stage the 2024 Games in Rome after the city council voted to oppose the candidacy, committee chief Giovanni Malago said on Tuesday.Clearly upset by having to pull the plug on his ambitious project, Malago said Italy had not only been made to look stupid by backing out at this late stage, but had also missed out on a golden opportunity to attract badly needed foreign investment.”Today I wrote a letter to the International Olympic Committee in which we have broken off our candidature for the Olympic Games in 2024,” Malago told a news conference.”Do you realise what fools we have made of ourselves at an international level?”Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi announced last month that she would not back Malago’s drive to put on the sporting extravaganza, saying that staging the Games would bury the Italian capital under piles of debt and tonnes of cement.Raggi’s anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, which took control of Rome in June following a landslide victory in local elections, had repeatedly flagged its opposition to hosting the Games, arguing that the city had more pressing concerns.Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s government had supported the bid and the broader Rome municipality, which includes an array of small town councils, had indicated it was ready to put its name to the project in an attempt to bypass the 5-Star veto.But Malago, who met Olympic chiefs last week, made clear he was not going to forge ahead without the full backing of the main city council.advertisement’WE CANNOT DO ANYMORE'”We cannot do any more than we have done. As of today, the bid committee is officially liquidated,” he said.His announcement means only Paris, Los Angeles and Budapest are left in the running to stage the 2024 Games. The IOC is due to make a decision next September.A spokesperson for the IOC said the organisation had taken note of Rome’s decision, adding: “All the circumstances and the information we have received in the past days clearly demonstrate that this is about Italian politics.”Rome’s withdrawal, following Boston and Hamburg also abandoning their 2024 bids, represents a blow to the IOC as it is struggling to convince potential host cities that it is worth all the disruption and cost to put on the sporting event.Rome also applied to host the 2020 Olympics, but pulled out of that race in 2012 because the then prime minister, Mario Monti, was worried heavily indebted Italy could not afford it.Those games were eventually awarded to Tokyo.With the new prime minister backing the project this time around, Malago had been confident of success. On Tuesday, he said putting on the Games would have created 177,000 jobs.Looking to salvage ties with the IOC, Malago said he had offered to host the organisation’s main meeting in 2019 in the northern Italian city of Milan.”This is the first step towards rehabilitating Italy after this unacceptable interruption,” he said.
With so many decisions to make before and during one’s own wedding, looking one’s absolute best becomes a bit cumbersome. That’s clearly not the case with celebrity couples, though, especially if they’ve had somewhat of a secret wedding with no one but just close relatives in attendance.We’re talking about the couple of the hour, Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli–the two went away on a “secret getaway” to Tuscany, Italy, only to make a lifelong commitment of love to one another. And while they did that, both of them ended up looking the best they have so far.So, what is it that went into making one of the most good-looking bride and groom of Indian entertainment industry look this good? We take a look…Anushka’s lehengaPicture courtesy: Instagram/sabyasachiofficialAnushka Sharma wore a pale-pink lehenga with delicate embroidery by Sabyasachi, and looked more radiant than ever. What really worked for the actress were the vintage English colours of the lehenga’s embroidery–it was majorly done in pink, mild green, yellow and just a dash of peacock blue. This delicate embroidery was then embellished with silver-gold metal thread, pearls and beads, which lent the lehenga the subtle vibe it boasted of.The fact that Anushka wore a garland made of fully bloomed, pale-pink and yellow roses to complement the colours of her lehenga also worked wonders for her look.Virat’s sherwaniPicture courtesy: Instagram/sabyasachiofficialIt’s not every day that you see cricketer Virat Kohli donning a sherwani. When he did, however, he made for one dashing groom!advertisementWhile Virat matched steps with Anushka, choosing a pale-pink sherwani for his big day, what made Virat’s look really stand out was his royal, silk turban (safa) and the jewel embellishment atop it, especially the delicate feather.Virat’s raw-silk sherwani by Sabyasachi Mukherjee was hand-embroidered in a vintage Benarasi pattern and sported royal-looking buttons.Anushka’s jewellery Picture courtesy: Instagram/sabyasachiofficialAs exquisite as Anushka’s lehenga was, it was her uncut-diamond jewellery by Sabyachi that elevated her look to a whole new level of regal.The uncut-diamond choker Anushka wore with her wedding attire boasted of pale-pink spinel stones and baroque Japanese cultured pearls.Picture courtesy: Instagram/sabyasachiofficialDespite wearing three very heavy pieces of jewellery–chocker, headband and long necklace– Anushka’s bridal look was not even close to gaudy, thanks to the subtlety and consistency of colours throughout her attire.Vitrat’s embroidered stolePicture courtesy: Instagram/sabyasachiofficial In place of jewellery, Virat decided to embellish his look with a rather exquisitely embroidered stole (or dupatta). The gold, zardosi work on Virat’s pink, silk stole lent his groom demeanour a rather royal touch, making him look absolutely regal for one of the biggest days of his life. Picture courtesy: Instagram/sabyasachiofficial
TweetPinShare0 Shares CLEVELAND — Michael Brantley saw what his teammates had in mind and took off toward the safety of the outfield.As he sprinted away, Corey Kluber pursued Brantley with a water gun and Francisco Lindor had two bottles.Walk-off wins have been scarce this season, and the Indians wanted to celebrate this one in style.Brantley’s RBI single with one out in the 16th inning lifted Cleveland to a 5-4 victory over the skidding New York Yankees, who lost their fourth straight and had their lead over Toronto in the AL East trimmed to one-half game.Brantley hit a hard single off Branden Pinder (0-2) that first baseman Mark Teixeira couldn’t handle and easily scored Jose Ramirez from second base, ending the 5-hour, 4-minute game and triggering just the second walk-off winning celebration by the Indians this season.Following a slew of trades, the Indians have been sparked by the arrival of some new players and young ones finding their stride. Cleveland has won three straight and there’s a noticeable change in the atmosphere in the clubhouse.“It was a fun game to be a part of because we’ve been fighting all year to try to get a personality or identity,” manager Terry Francona said.“And then all of a sudden we’ve got a bunch of new guys and we seem to kind of be finding it. They played with enthusiasm the whole night, even when it would get frustrating they kept playing and having fun doing it.”The clubhouse sound system was turned way up following the game as players dressed. After some tough months, maybe the final two will be better than expected.Austin Adams (2-0) worked a perfect inning and combined with seven other Cleveland pitchers to record 16 strikeouts.The Indians, who rallied to tie with two runs in the 10th off Yankees closer Andrew Miller, held the top four hitters in New York’s lineup — Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner, Alex Rodriguez and Teixeira — to a combined 1 for 25.Indians infielder Chris Johnson, who arrived in Cleveland last week in a trade from Atlanta, went 3-for-4 and is 7-for-8 in his two starts. Also, Abraham Almonte has been a pleasant surprise with his hustle.The new faces have injected life into the Indians and rookies Lindor and Giovanny Urshela are gaining confidence with each game.“The new guys have come in and swung the bat real well, so that helps,” Francona said. “They’re not coming in and searching and trying to figure out who their friends are or who they’re going to hang out with or if they’re going to play. So that helps a lot. Almonte has come in and played so hard. Everything he does is going 100 percent. It’s kind of contagious.”The Yankees came in with their bats sound asleep, and Indians starter Carlos Carrasco kept them that way.The Bronx Bombers were shut out in consecutive games over the weekend by Toronto, and Carrasco blanked them for the first five innings, running New York’s scoreless drought to 31 innings — the club’s longest since 1991 — before Stephen Drew opened the sixth with his 14th homer.It was the first run allowed by Carrasco in 22 innings, and the right-hander was six outs from his 12th win before Carlos Beltran turned on one of his fastballs in the eighth to tie it 2-2.Carrasco finished with a no-decision despite his third straight powerful outing. The right-hander has allowed only three runs and seven hits in his past 26 innings.He got a spectacular defensive play from Urshela at third base in the fourth.Gardner hit a ball down the line that Urshela stopped with a back-hand near the bag. In one motion, Urshela leaped and made a strong throw from foul territory across the diamond — a la Derek Jeter — to nip Gardner.“That kind of looked like that Brooks Robinson game way back,” Francona said, referring to the Hall of Fame third baseman’s performance in the 1970 World Series. “That was a heck of a play. Especially with Brett Gardner running. That was some kind of play.(TOM WITHERS, AP Sports Writer)
Crotone striker Maxi Lopez: I’ve forgiven Mauro Icardiby Carlos Volcano8 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveCrotone striker Maxi Lopez says he’s forgiven PSG ace Mauro Icardi.Icardi, on-loan at PSG from Inter Milan, had an affair with wife Wanda Nara while she was married to Lopez and they were teammates at Sampdoria.“I chose to be happy and made a lifestyle choice. Things can go well or badly,” Maxi told Club 947.“My relationship failed, but I became a father from it. It was just a situation. Things go on and I chose to live like this: with energy and good vibrations.“I think I chose the best option. Everyone has problems and complications, but your life develops based on how you cope with them.“I’ve forgiven Icardi and I have no problems with him. My objective in life, besides football, in a human sense, is trying to find and give happiness to my children.“The only objective I have is that. The rest has already passed for me. It’s a page I turned a long time ago and it doesn’t put any strain on me at all.” About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say
zoom Following the news that South Korea’s container carrier Hanjin Shipping is dropping direct calls to the US West Coast Port of Portland, the port’s Terminal 6 operator ICTSI Oregon said that retaining and attracting new carriers is now number one priority.ICTSI Oregon says that there is substantial market demand for exporting and importing goods to and from Asia through the Port of Portland on which new carriers can capitalize and fill in the void left by Hanjin’s departure.But the operator also warns that this will be a difficult task, given that the situation at Terminal 6 goes much deeper and has been going on much longer than the current labor dispute at other West Coast ports.Hanjin ships have carried around 78% of containers to and from the port’s Terminal 6, moving around 1,600 containers per week. The business was bringing USD 83 million annually, according to the port’s authorities.Germany’s Hapag-Lloyd, accounting for some 25% of overall calls at Terminal 6, remains the only major shipping company to use the terminal.
Kolkata: A city court recently convicted and awarded 20 years of rigorous imprisonment to man accused of sexually harassing a minor girl.According to police, on March 14, 2016, an elderly woman arrived at the Chetla police station and alleged that her granddaughter has been sexually harassed by one of their relatives. She said the child’s father died few months ago and her mother worked as domestic help to support the family. The elderly woman further said the mother of the minor could not take of the girl as she was busy with her work and therefore the girl lived with her in a slum in Chetla. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaAs the elderly woman was not able to keep a watch on the girl, one of their family members took the advantage of the situation and sexually harassed her for four months. The accused person also threatened the girl not to disclose the incident to anyone. If she tells anyone about him, she will be killed, he threatened her. But, as the victim was not able to bear the torture any more, she narrated the whole incident to her grandmother. Upon receiving the information, the police rushed to the place where accused person lived. He was arrested on the same day. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayDuring medical examination, it was indicated that the girl was sexually abused. Immediately, a case was initiated under sections of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. Within a month the police submitted the charge-sheet along with the medical report and substantial evidences. After a long trial, recently the concerned court convicted the accused person. Later, the accused was awarded 20 years rigorous imprisonment along with a fine of Rs 30,000. Upon failing to pay the fine amount, the convicted person will have to serve 18 more months in the prison. The court also ordered that half of the fine amount along with Rs 3 lakh as compensation will have to be paid by the state government to the victim girl.
What do Maruti Suzuki Chairperson R C Bhargava, Apollo Hospitals Vice Chairperson Shobana Kamineni, and I have in common? All three of our names have been deleted from the voter list by the Election Commission. We are not the only ones, there are reports of thousands of people who have complained that their names don’t feature on the voter list. This number could increase manifold given that many citizens would not even know how to complain or raise an issue or by the time they realise that their names are missing, it would be too late. I can personally vouch that I voted in the West Bengal Assembly polls of 2011; I especially travelled from Delhi to Kolkata to vote in 2014. Obviously, after voting in the last two major elections held in the state, one would expect to feature on the voter list. But imagine my shock when a cursory perusal of the Election Commission’s National Voters’ Service Portal website revealed that I no longer have the right to cast my vote! My mother’s name exists (even though she didn’t vote in 2014 due to ill-health) but mine doesn’t. When I called the EC’s helpline for voters, I was told that since I am not residing at the address, my name was deleted as part of EC’s ‘purification’ programme. Even though my Aadhaar card and passport to carry the same address. But was I informed? Was there any official communication of the impinging of my constitutional right to vote? No. But I would not let matters be. So, I called up a local politician in our area who was witness to me voting both in 2009 and 2014. His party records showed my name till 2014 but this time around, it was deleted. He had no other explanation to offer except that it had happened to many people. This curious situation makes me wonder if the Election Commission has taken into account lakhs of migrant labour (both white and blue collar) who regularly travel for work or stay in other cities for long periods of time. If in the last two elections, those individuals have exercised their right of franchise, what’s the logic behind deleting their name? The Election Commission indeed has the mammoth task of organising the largest elections in the world. But this time there are rampant complaints of ad hoc deletion of names from the voter list based on reasons best known to the Election Commission. The EC’s PR drive has not been effective enough to spread awareness among voters ahead of Lok Sabha polls to verify if their names are on the list. Apparently, the EC did release the voter list to political parties to cross-check names but to leave it entirely to them to decide the right of vote ordained to the citizens by the Constitution of India is problematic. Online check could be done to make sure one’s name is on the voter list, but then how many fellow Indians have access or understanding of digital means of checking the voter list? Around 90 crore Indians are eligible to vote this time with almost 13 crore first-time voters. Should it not be the Election Commission’s responsibility in the years preceding Lok Sabha polls to ensure that every voter gets a chance to vote? The EC needs to devise a better strategy that leads to increase in the number of voters rather than a decline. And what is the use of Aadhaar cards if their data was not used by the EC to determine who should remain on the voter list? The numbers are great enough for two social activists in Bengaluru to start an online petition called ‘My Vote, My Right’ that urges all deleted voters to submit their details. Over 2,000 people have signed this petition, 10,000 have enquired about it, and uncorroborated reports suggest that over 2 lakh voters were deleted in Bengaluru while there are allegations of deletion coming in from parts of Telangana (almost 80,000 couldn’t vote), Gujarat, Delhi, and Tamil Nadu. But these numbers don’t fully expose the reality that this time many willing voters stand a chance to lose out on the opportunity. As for me, I have applied for a change of constituency and followed up my application with calls to the EC helpline. Since the last date of applying for voter registration and/or change of constituency is allowed till the last date of filing nominations for that phase, I am keeping my fingers crossed that my name will just about make it. But several others will have been cheated of their right to vote. Who will take responsibility for that? (The writer is a journalist and media entrepreneur. The views expressed are strictly personal)
Mr. Ban extended his condolences to the family of Mr. Arrigoni, who media reports say was a pro-Palestinian activist who arrived in Gaza on a ship that broke through the Israeli naval blockade more than two years ago. A radical Islamist group has reportedly claimed responsibility for kidnapping the 36-year-old, who was found hanged in a house in Gaza City.“This crime was committed against a person who lived and worked among the Palestinian people in Gaza,” noted a statement issued by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson.“The Secretary-General calls for the perpetrators of this appalling crime to be brought to justice as soon as possible,” the statement added. 15 April 2011Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today condemned the murder of Vittorio Arrigoni, an Italian national who was abducted in the Gaza Strip on Thursday, and called for those responsible to be brought to justice.
21 September 2011Peace between Israel and the Palestinians can only be attained through negotiations, United States President Barack Obama told the General Assembly today, urging both sides to make compromises to break the current deadlock and saying that “statements and resolutions” at the United Nations will not resolve the conflict. “Ultimately, it is Israelis and Palestinians who must live side by side. Ultimately, it is Israelis and Palestinians – not us – who must reach agreement on the issues that divide them: on borders and security; on refugees and Jerusalem,” Mr. Obama said in his speech to the General Assembly’s annual general debate.He stressed that Palestinians deserved their own State and that Israel for its part deserved recognition and normal relations with its neighbours.“Friends of the Palestinians do them no favours by ignoring this truth, just as friends of Israel must recognize the need to pursue a two-State solution with a secure Israel next to an independent Palestine.”The fact that each side had legitimate aspirations was one of the reasons why it has been difficult to make peace, Mr. Obama said.“The deadlock will only be broken when each side learns to stand in the other’s shoes; each side can see the world through the other’s eyes. That’s what we should be encouraging. That’s what we should be promoting.”Turning to nuclear non-proliferation, Mr. Obama said the US will continue to work for a ban on the testing of nuclear weapons and the production of fissile material needed to make them.He urged Iran to demonstrate that its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to abandon its nuclear arms development and what he called its belligerent actions against the Republic of Korea.“But if they continue down the path that is outside international law, they must be met with greater pressure and isolation,” he said.Mr. Obama hailed the recent progress made towards democracy in North Africa and the Middle East, including the dramatic political changes in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, and the groundswell of demands for greater freedoms in Syria, Yemen and Bahrain.“Something is happening in our world. The way things have been is not the way that they will be. The humiliating grip of corruption and tyranny is being pried open. Dictators are on notice.”He pledged that the US will stand up for universal rights that have been embraced by the General Assembly, and continue to support States in transition to democracy with greater trade and investment so that freedom is followed by economic opportunities.During their meeting on the margins of the general debate, Mr. Obama and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon discussed current developments in the Arab world, notably the Middle East peace process, Libya and Syria, according to information provided by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson.They also exchanged views regarding the situation in Somalia, food security and UN reform.
The Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) led by former LTTE negotiator Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran, is to form an international team comprising of international Judges, international lawyers and Human Rights specialists to monitor the implementation of the UN Human Rights Council Resolution on Sri Lanka.The TGTE said that rhe world witnessed two visions of justice at the 30th Session of the UNHRC this month. One vision of justice which States are willing to dispense and then one vision called for by humanity at large demonstrated by the participation of 1.4 million people through the “Million Signatures Campaign” calling for “Referral of Sri Lanka” to the International Criminal Court (ICC). However Rudrakumaran’s TGTE says the Human Rights Council, a state-centric institution, had passed a resolution last week noting that a credible justice process should include independent judicial and prosecutorial institutions led by individuals known for integrity and impartiality and further affirms in this regard the importance of participation in a Sri Lankan judicial mechanism, including the Special Counsel’s office, of Commonwealth and other foreign judges, defense lawyers, and authorized prosecutors and investigators. “The Northern Provincial Council in Sri Lanka, the Tamil Nadu State Assembly, and the Transnational Government’s Parliament passed resolutions calling for an international mechanism to investigate and prosecute international crimes namely war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid, was bold in telling that accountability “requires more than a domestic mechanism” and he called for a special hybrid Court,” the TGTE said. “This Resolution is a fudge. It prioritizes the Sri Lankan Government’s obsession with controlling criminal proceedings over the victims’ rights to effective justice. Any reasonable observer knows that all criminal proceedings within the Sri Lankan justice system will be stymied by racial bias and political interference. The role of the Sri Lankan State in the mass crimes will be whitewashed,” TGTE said.TGTE says based on a treaty between the UN and the Sri Lankan Government, a hybrid criminal tribunal should be established. “We call upon the High Commissioner to make the evidence gathered during the investigation available to states willing to undertake cases through the important legal principle of universal jurisdiction. The TGTE is willing to work with any State in this regard. The TGTE will facilitate the exploration of all techniques available to bring war criminals and perpetrators of genocide to justice through means available under the law. The measures taken by the Sri Lankan Government will not exhaust these remedies unless they are measures that satisfy the standards of international law,” TGTE said.The TGTE for its part will form an international committee comprising international judges, international lawyers and human rights specialists to monitor the implementation of the present HRC Resolution. (Colombo Gazette)
The owners and top management of the Carlton Sports Network (CSN) including Yoshitha Rajapaksa, Nishantha Ranatunga and Rohan Weliwita were arrested today by the Financial Crimes Investigations Division (FCID) over alleged financial irregularities.They were later produced before the Kaduwela Magistrate. The CSN management was being investigated for financial irregularities alleged to have been committed at CSN. Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, his wife and family members were present in court while large crowd was seen outside.CSN was launched by Yoshitha Rajapaksa when Mahinda Rajapaksa was President and the network was given exclusive rights to cricket matches featuring Sri Lanka. (Colombo Gazette)
Montreal real estate developer Group Mach is offering Transat A.T. shareholders $14 per share in an effort to scoop up 19.5 per cent of the airline’s shares in order to block its sale to Air Canada.Group Mach is making the offer to Class B shareholders, representing an eight per cent premium over Air Canada’s offer of $13 per share which was approved by Transat’s board in June.The developer says in a statement that it believes Air Canada undervalues Transat, that its sale process to Air Canada was flawed and that Air Canada’s offer creates uncertainty for Transat employees and its head office.Shareholders are scheduled to vote on the Air Canada offer on Aug. 23. It requires approval from two-thirds to go through, and faces resistance from major Transat shareholders who feel the price is too low.Letko, Brosseau and Associates and PenderFund Capital Management, which control about 22.06 per cent of Transat shares, have said they would vote against the agreement if the purchase price remained at $13 per share.The deadline for Group Mach’s offer expires Aug. 13. The Canadian Press Companies in this story: (TSX:TRZ, TSX:AC)
With one in six Liberians dependent on international food assistance, including 10,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) at a camp in the capital, Monrovia, the World Food Programme (WFP) said it needs another $11 million to buy food for the rest of the year.From 30 June to 6 July, WFP distributed some 2,725 tons of commodities to over 63,625 IDPs, and 1,950 returnees. The agency also distributed 1,327 tons of commodities to about 267,220 children in 710 schools through the school feeding programme.The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said it faced a $23 million shortfall for its repatriation programme, which was expected to start next October and end in December 2006.Awaiting help are 300,000 refugees in Sierra Leone, Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Nigeria, it said.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Braxton Miller’s name was repeatedly spelled incorrectly on the Michigan Stadium video boards during the Ohio State football team’s 40-34 loss to Michigan.For the record, it’s “Braxton,” not “Braxston.”Despite Michigan’s victory, Wolverines fans likely won’t forget Miller, or the proper spelling of his first name, after the freshman quarterback’s debut in the UM versus OSU rivalry at the Big House Saturday.Miller helped open the scoring for the Buckeyes when he found sophomore wide receiver Corey “Philly” Brown on a 54-yard touchdown pass less than three minutes into the game.That was just the opening act for Miller in a game that featured six lead changes.OSU fell behind Michigan at several points in the first half, but Miller helped OSU overcome one deficit with a 19-yard touchdown run that put the Buckeyes up, 17-16.The freshman collected 100 rushing yards on 16 carries, and averaged six yards per carry.With the Buckeyes trailing, 23-17, with 1:21 to play in the first half, Miller connected with senior receiver DeVier Posey on a 43-yard touchdown pass to retake the lead at 24-23.Miller finished the game with a career-best 235 passing yards on 14-of-25 passing.One pass that Miller didn’t connect on was a deep ball intended for Posey that was overthrown, but even that elicited complimentary remarks on Miller’s command of the offense by Posey.“That was a call that (Miller) made. I just felt that was a grown-man call that he made,” Posey said. “I was like, ‘Let’s go,’ and he just missed it by a little bit.”Miller also went toe-to-toe with Wolverines’ junior quarterback Denard Robinson, whose five touchdowns and 337 total yards of offense were just enough to upend the Buckeyes.Miller said he wasn’t focused on the matchup against Robinson.“I wasn’t paying attention to that. I was just trying to win the game,” Miller said. “I was doing my best to help my team win the game. I had fun doing it.”Despite several overthrown balls by Miller on the day, Posey said he spoke to Miller after the game and offered words of encouragement.“That’s one thing about that kid that I admire so much — at such a young age, (Miller) is such a fighter,” Posey said. “No matter what it is, he’s going to make some plays. He’s a hell of a player.”First-year Michigan head coach Brady Hoke agreed.“Miller threw the ball well,” Hoke said. “With his ability to run the dual threatness that he presents, we got distracted a little bit with our eyes.”Miller led the offense onto the field with less than two minutes to play and a final shot at victory in “The Game.”The Buckeyes’ last-ditch effort to notch a come-from-behind victory was thwarted by Michigan as a Miller pass was intercepted by Wolverines’ sophomore cornerback Courtney Avery.“I was just trying to get the job done,” Miller said.Then the celebration began as Michigan took to a victory formation and downed the ball on its ensuing possession, which brought an end to its seven-game losing streak to the Buckeyes.By the time he addressed the media after the game, Miller had already begun to focus on the 2012 season, though.“I’m just going to go watch film and fix my mistakes,” he said. “I’m just starving for next year.”OSU (6-6, 3-5) will now wait to see if it receives a bid to a postseason bowl game.
The OSU football team returned to the practice field on March 10 at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, less than 2 months after the Buckeyes beat Oregon in the 1st-ever College Football Playoff National Championship. Credit: Tim Moody / Sports editorThe Ohio State football team is coming off its eighth national title, returns three Heisman-caliber quarterbacks and a likely Heisman front-runner at running back — but it still has doubters.At least that is what senior linebacker Joshua Perry said Tuesday after the Buckeyes concluded the first day of spring practice.“It’s just the nature of the game and the nature kind of being in the position that we are in. We’re one of those teams that’s got a great tradition and we’ve been good in the past, but you know there’s always that little bit of doubt,” Perry said.While some might say it was indeed a fluke in 2014, the Buckeyes completed “The Chase” and have created a new motto for the 2015 season: “The Grind.”Perry said the new slogan was created by two people not on the playing roster: coach Urban Meyer and strength and conditioning coach Mickey Marrotti.“The grind is a lot of things. It’s what our program is about. You sharpen, you shape, you pulverize. It’s a lot of friction and so we like that,” Perry said. “It’s how you develop players and get the best out of people.”Meyer said he worries about motivating his players to make another run at a title, but that’s not his main focus at the moment.“Right now, we are not into the motivation. It’s just about improving. As long as a player or program feels like it’s getting better, then the motivation is going to be there,” Meyer said.The Buckeyes will have a plethora of experience on the 2015 roster as the offense and defense each graduate just four regular starters.Senior offensive lineman Taylor Decker said while he understands people doubting the Buckeyes, he and his teammates are not buying into any negativity.“I can see why there are reasons people could doubt us, not that I believe in those. We did lose players that were vital to that team last year,” Decker said. “It’s kind of scary, a team coming off a big season like we did, to have a let down because you don’t want guys to think they’ve arrived, or be entitled to winning games.”The current Buckeye senior class enters the 2015 season having won 38 of 41 games, and that figure doesn’t include redshirt-seniors like Braxton Miller. The quarterback returned to practice in a limited role on Tuesday for the first time since August.As Miller returns from a torn labrum, the majority of the Buckeyes are feeling healthy and are ready to begin “The Grind,” Perry said.“I think we did a really good job this offseason being smart and taking care of our bodies. Guys were talking about how fresh they felt, I felt fresh today and ready to go,” Perry said. “I think when you’re anxious to get back out there on the field, a lot of that stuff goes away. If you have a nagging ache or pain, you just wanna get back out there.”Perry said the people who might doubt the OSU football program are the ones who make the Buckeyes want to get back out on the field.“It gives you a little bit of extra energy. It wouldn’t be as fun if everybody was always just cheering you on,” Perry said. “You kind of need those doubters to give you a little bit of that extra edge.”With doubters fueling their drive, Decker said it’s time for the Buckeyes to get back to work, less than two months removed from a national title.“We have to start that next journey for next season,” he said. “We can’t idle because of what we did last season.”The Buckeyes are set for their annual Spring Game on April 18 at Ohio Stadium before opening the 2015 season on the road against Virginia Tech on Sept. 7.
THE EUROPEAN UNION is to give an extra €30 million in aid for victims of the Syrian conflict.The money is a top-up on the donations of €960 million provided by the European Commission since the start of the crisis in 2011.The funds will be divided between those in need within Syria and refugees living in camps in Jordan and Lebanon. The two neighbouring countries have given shelter to about 60 per cent of the 2.3 million Syrian refugees.The extra aid will help upgrade basic services such as water and sanitation in the camps there with an aim to reduce health risks caused by inadequately treated wastewater.In order to avoid a lost generation, the funding will also be used to support UNICEF in its work to protect refugee children and to promote access to learning for about 400,000 of those at school-going age.A total of €16 million will go to UNRWA to provide urgent cash assistance to Palestinian refugees from Syria and to help meet the climbing costs associated with the ten-fold increase in the number of Palestinian refugees now facing severe poverty.An estimated 235,000 Palestinian refugees – around half of the total Palestinian refugee population – are displaced within Syria, having effectively become refugees a second time, and 80 per cent of the total 540,000 registered Palestinian refugees in Syria are now in need of critical assistance.Last week, the European Commission signed major contracts with United Nations agencies totalling an initial €147 million to deliver vitally needed aid to people affected by the Syrian crisis.According to the UN, about nine million people (half of the population of Syria) currently require some form of assistance. That figure makes it the greatest humanitarian emergency in decades.Within Syria, more than 6.5 million people are internally displaced. Meanwhile, 2.3 million people have fled the country because of the violence. According to UNHCR estimates, the refugee population in the region could reach over 4 million by the end of 2014.The situation has been exacerbated in the past few weeks as Syria witnesses its coldest, harshest winter in years.Related: At least 42 dead after ‘TNT-packed barrels’ dropped on Syrian city of AleppoMore: British doctor ‘failed by his government and Syrians’Explainer: So what is left of the Arab Spring?
Here’s something that’s sure to irk those who have been eagerly awaiting the white iPhone–looks like we might actually see a white iPad before that thing actually arrives. Of course, we’re still in the leaked photo stages for the thing here. That’s the proof above, a white frame sent to 9 to 5 Mac from Shenzhen City.The question, of course, is whether the existence of a white iPad means that the company has finally resolved the problems that have plagued the company since Jobs first held up the white iPhone 4 during the launch event last summer.Apple thus far has only stated that the white version of the phone has been “challenging to manufacturer,” repeatedly pushing back the launch date of the device (at present, it’s said to be due out at some point in the spring). One of the most dominant rumors surrounding the delay is the effect that a white bezel has on the development of photos, letting too much light in and thus ruining shots taken with the device.If the Pad 2 does indeed have the front facing camera we all expect, the release of a white iPad seems to imply that the company has finally tackled the issue.