IPL 2011: Senior players protest fee cut if teams fail to end in Top 3

first_imgTop Indian cricketers, who have been part of different teams of Indian Premier League (IPL), have objected to a clause in their contract with the respective franchises that denies them 20 per cent of their fees in case their team fails to finish among the top three.Gautam Gambhir was bought by Kolkata IPL team for Rs 11.04 cr. APThe clause has been introduced for season IV. As per the rule, if the teams fail to qualify for the Champions League (top three IPL teams make it to the international league), the players would get only 80 per cent of their fees.The players of the 10 IPL teams read the newly-introduced fine print in their contracts only after the January 8-9 auction. They collectively approached Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Shashank Manohar with their complaint last week.At the meeting, the players said that the clause was unfair, and a breach of their trust. Manohar assured them that the matter would be discussed at the IPL governing council meeting on February 4.However, the team owners insisted there was nothing unfair in the clause as the players’ payment was meant to be for both the IPL and the Champions League.The clause was part of the contract of only those players whose names figured during the auction. Uncapped players would get full payment regardless of how their teams do.last_img read more

Doug Bracewell ruled out of second Test vs Australia

first_imgNew Zealand fast bowler Doug Bracewell has been ruled out of the second Test against Australia, starting Saturday, with a shoulder injury.Bracewell joins batsman Ross Taylor (side strain) and allrounder Mitchell Santner (bruised foot) in being unavailable for a match at Hagley Oval that New Zealand must win to level the two-Test series. Australia won the first Test at Wellington by an innings and 52 runs. (Also read: Ross Taylor to make return from injury ahead of World T20) Matt Henry is likely to take over Bracewell’s role as third seamer behind Tim Southee and Trent Boult.Australia needs only a draw in the second Test to overtake India as the top-ranked test-playing nation.last_img

Traditional stone pulling ceremony held in Kohima

first_imgKohima, Dec 3 (PTI) Thousands of Angami Nagas, both young and old, conducted the traditionally important stone pulling ceremony in state capital Kohima.The traditional ceremony was organised by Angami Sports Association (ASA) as a prelude to its Golden Jubilee celebration coinciding with the states Hornbill Festival.The stone pulling ceremony was the main attraction of the third day of Hornbill Festival as around 6000 Angami men pulled a stone a distance of around 4 km from KMC Parking lot at Old Ministers Hill and culminate at Phoolbari Y Junction.The around 22 feet long stone weighed hundreds of kgs.Dressed in traditional attires, women walked in the front extending moral support to the men.As the ceremony continued with traditional yelling, which when translated into English means “we will take you to a better place”, they also fired from muzzle loading guns, during which the traffic movement was halted for almost five hours.Nagaland Chief Minister T R Zeliang, other ministers and dignitaries were present on the occasion.The ceremony concluded with grand feast in the evening. PTI NBS NNlast_img read more

One-millionth Porsche 911 rolls off the assembly line

first_imgAn ‘Irish Green’ 911 Carrera S has rolled off the production line at Porsche’s factory in Zuffenhausen to become the one-millionth 911 to be manufactured by the German sports car manufacturer. The ‘Irish Green’ is a special colour for this particular model. Porsche will not be selling one-millionth 911 and rather it will take its place in the Porsche museum. Before that however, Porsche have said the milestone car will embark on a world tour and will take road trips in the Scottish Highlands and around the Nurburgring, and in the USA, China and beyond. Dr Wolfgang Porsche, Chairman of the Supervisory Board at Porsche AG, has been a part of the development of the 911 since day one, said, “54 years ago, I was able to take my first trips over the Grossglockner High Alpine Road with my father. The feeling of being in a 911 is just as enjoyable now as it was then. That’s because the 911 has ensured that the core values of our brand are as visionary today as they were in the first Porsche 356/1 from 1948”. The first 911 was built in 1963 and since then, Porsche has worked on improving the technology in the 911 while maintaining its core values. According to Porsche, 70 per cent of 911’s built till date are still functional and that just proves the quality of the iconic German sports car brand.Also Read:Porsche Cayenne sets new Guinness World Record for towing an Airbus A380last_img read more

MS Dhoni continues to shatter ODI records

first_imgMahendra Singh Dhoni’s record-shattering run continues as he became the second highest run-scorer by a wicketkeeper in One-Day Internationals. Not only that, he is now fifth on the list of the most number of sixes hit by a player in ODIs.Dhoni achieved both the feats during his unbeaten knock of 78 off 79 balls which helped India reach 251/4 from their 50 overs in the third ODI against West Indies at the Sir Vivian Richards stadium in Antigua. (SCORECARD)Dhoni now has 9442 runs from 294 matches at 51.31 with 10 hundreds, he overtook Adam Gilchrist who amassed 9410 runs from 282 matches at 35.64 with 16 centuries. Sri Lanka legend Kumar Sangakkara tops the list with 13341 runs from 360 matches at 43.74 with 23 tons. (FOLLOW LIVE HERE)Zimbabwe’s Andy Flower (5845 runs from 186 matches) and South Africa’s Mark Boucher (4680 runs from 294 matches) complete the top five.The 78* today is his second highest score in any international format in the Caribbean. His previous highest was 95 against the West Indies at Kingston in June 28, 2009.Dhoni is fifth on the list of most number of sixes hit in ODIs with 322 maximums. Shahid Afridi (476), Chris Gayle (434), Brendon McCullum (398), Sanath Jayasuriya (352) are the ones ahead of him.This is the first time India have 50-partnerships for third, fourth and fifth wicket in a ODI outside India. But the visitors’ 251/4 is also their lowest total in ODIs since October 2015 outside India.Dhoni came in after the fall of Yuvraj Singh’s wicket with the score at 100/3 from 26.2 overs.He steadied the ship with Ajinkya Rahane to begin with, he was put down twice in the same over of Devendra Bishoo and then finished off the innings in his trademark style. He upped the ante once Rahane fell for 72 and his late surge helped the visitors cross the 250-run mark on a slow track. He hit four boundaries and two maximums during his brutal knock.advertisementHis knock helped India beat the West Indies by 93 runs and take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the five-match series.last_img read more

Li Na Finally Wins Aussie Open

first_imgMELBOURNE, Australia –  Once again Li Na had the Rod Laver Arena crowd on its feet, roaring — this time with laughter.Her encore to a 7-6 (3), 6-0 win over Dominika Cibulkova in the Australian Open title match Jan. 24 night made her even more popular at Melbourne Park, where she’d lost two finals in the previous three years.So she paid her supporters back with one of the best of her improv stand-up routines.First she thanked her agent “for making me rich,” then her coach Carlos Rodriguez and then her husband, Shan Jiang — her former coach and constant traveling companion.“Thanks for him give up everything just traveling with me to be my hitting partner, fix the drinks, fix the racket — so thanks a lot, you are a nice guy,” she told Shan in a rare public compliment, pausing for the laughter. “Also you are so lucky (to) find me.”Li, who will turn 32 next month, is the oldest women’s champion in Australia in the Open era. She didn’t see age as a barrier, obviously, replying to a question on the topic with a smile and an opinion: “I’m not old!”“Yeah, start of tournament everybody talking about the age. I would like to say age is nothing,” she said. “Still can win the Grand Slam. So pretty happy about my age. I got more experience on the court.”Li lost Australian Open finals to Kim Clijsters in 2011 and to Victoria Azarenka last year, when she twisted her ankle twice in the second and third sets and needed a medical time out after hitting her head on the court. In between, she won the 2011 French Open in one of the many firsts she’s established for Chinese tennis.Yet it was a defeat that almost had the biggest impact on her career, with heavy criticism in the domestic media following a second-round loss at last year’s French Open sending her to the verge of retiring.Rodriguez, who previously worked with Justine Henin, had to talk Li into playing Wimbledon, encouraging her to just see how she progressed at the All England club before making such a big career decision. She responded by reaching the quarterfinals at Wimbledon, the semifinals at the U.S. Open and now breaking her drought in Australia.She paid tribute to Rodriguez’ calm, composed approach and support.“Before the match he was telling me to relax, just think it’s a match, don’t think it’s a final,” she recounted, admitting that she’d even taken time out for a short afternoon sleep. “He always say ‘believe in yourself.’ He always believed in me, I never believed in myself. That was my problem.”In both her previous finals at Melbourne Park, Li won the first set but went down in three.She had no such trouble against No. 20-seeded Cibulkova, who was playing in her first major final.Li opened the final by breaking Cibulkova, holding, and then getting a breakpoint chance in the third game. But Cibulkova held, and then broke back in the sixth game thanks to a pair of double-faults from Li. Another service break followed, and Li had a set point before losing three straight points to ensure it went to the tiebreaker.As the second set began, a fan in Rod Laver yelled “C’mon Li Na, bagel her!” She did.A half hour later she was holding up both thumbs to the crowd, and holding back tears as she hugged her Slovakian rival. She went to the side of the court to see Rodriguez, but the stands were too high and they could only shake hands.The diminutive Cibulkova, one of the shortest players ever to reach a Grand Slam final at 1.61-meters (5-foot-3), had four wins over Top 20 players on her way to the final, including a fourth-round upset of third-seeded Maria Sharapova and a straight-sets semifinal trouncing of No. 5 Agnieszka Radwanska.She had to pull the microphone down closer to her before her post-match speech. “These were just fantastic two weeks of my life,” she said, adding: “Hello to everybody in Slovakia. This means a lot for our country and I’m happy I can be the one here for Slovakia.”No. 4-seeded Li, who reportedly has four-times more followers on her Chinese social networking site than there are people in Slovakia, had a good run through the tournament as other star players like Serena Williams, Sharapova and Azarenka tumbled out by the quarterfinals.She didn’t have to face a player ranked in the Top 20 en route to the final, opening with wins over the two youngest players in the tournament, then saving a match point in her third-round win over Lucie Safarova, who was a fraction away from causing a major upset.“I think I should send email to Safarova,” Li said. “Sorry … and send smile to her as well.”Now she’s already promising to come back and defend her Australian title. “Finally I got her,” Li said as she put a hand on the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup for the first time. “Last two times was very close.”(John Pye, AP Sports Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Caps Stop Islanders Streak, 5-2

first_imgWASHINGTON — The mood in the Washington dressing room between the first and second periods was quite somber after the host Capitals blew a two-goal lead to the streaking New York Islanders in less than a minute.However, the Capitals regrouped and went on to a 5-2 victory on Nov. 28 to gain a split of the home-and-home series.“We went back in the room and it was pretty quiet,” Washington coach Barry Trotz said. “We said, ‘Listen, it’s a 40-minute game now. Let’s look at it that way. We’ve got to win a period and then we’ll be back to where we want to be.’”Alex Ovechkin got the message loud and clear. Ovechkin scored the go-ahead goal midway through the second period, and Matt Niskanen chipped in with three assists.Marcus Johansson and Evgeny Kuznetsov each had a goal and an assist, and Andre Burakovsky and Joel Ward also scored for Washington. Ovechkin has four goals in his last three games.Braden Holtby stopped 26 shots and has a 1.86 goals-against average over his last seven games.After a 3-2 overtime loss on Long Island on Nov. 26, the Capitals bounced back to beat the team right above them in the standings.“You go into this obviously looking for four points when you play someone, and we got three,” Trotz said. “We gained a little ground, but importantly, we didn’t lose any ground.”John Tavares and Anders Lee scored for New York, and Chad Johnson made 22 saves. The Islanders, who began play tied with Pittsburgh in points atop the Metropolitan Division, had won five straight and 10 of 11.“We didn’t handle the puck the way we wanted to. It was sloppy,” Lee said.The Capitals took a 3-2 lead at 9:53 of the second when Tom Wilson skated across the blue line and passed to Ovechkin, who fired a shot past Johnson from the right circle for his 12th goal.Kuznetsov sent a drive over Johnson’s shoulder to make it 4-2 at 5:56 of the third, and Ward added an empty-net goal.The Islanders will look to get back to their winning ways when they host New Jersey on Nov. 29.“I think we know that we haven’t played at the top of the game, maybe for the last couple,” Tavares said, “I think we should be itching to get back home, back in front of our crowd and obviously (against) a team that we see a lot – the Devils.”Washington didn’t have a shot until 10:01 of the first period, but a hooking call against Matt Martin gave its second-ranked power play unit a shot at New York’s 29th-ranked penalty killers. Just 31 seconds later, the Capitals opened the scoring when Niskanen’s slapper was deflected home by Burakovsky.Johansson’s ninth goal made it 2-0 at 18:27. The Capitals had gone nearly 150 minutes over parts of four games since their previous even-strength goal.New York, which outshot Washington 11-5 in the first period, needed just 35 seconds to tie it. Tavares, alone to the left of Holtby, banged in a rebound for his 10th of the season with 1:02 remaining.Then, with 27 seconds left in the period, Lee eluded Capitals defenders to Holtby’s right and redirected in a deflected puck sent toward the net by Travis Hamonic to make it 2-2.“That could have been deflating,” Niskanen said, “We had a good response the rest of the game with a really urgent effort from everybody. We needed that one.”(HARVEY VALENTINE)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Hryana Assembly witnesses ruckus during Zero Hour

first_imgChandigarh, Sep 11 (PTI) The Haryana Assembly Tuesday witnessed ruckus for nearly 90 minutes during the Zero Hour, with the opposition alleging that the ruling BJP was “running away” from issues being faced by the state.As soon as the Zero Hour began, Congress MLA Karan Singh Dalal raised the issue of employees, alleging workers of various departments have been forced to take to streets due to apathetic attitude of the government towards their demands.”Instead of listening and solving their problems, this government is raining ‘lathis’ on them to crush their democratic right to hold peaceful protest,” Dalal said.He alleged that the state government was “running away” from burning issues being faced by the state.Raising another issue, senior Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) leader Abhay Singh Chautala, who is the Leader of Opposition, alleged that the government was protecting some “corrupt officials”.He gave a few examples, claiming that while the government had suspended the officials for alleged corrupt practices, but re-instated them soon afterwards, “which punctures their (the Bharatiya Janata Party government’s) claims of zero tolerance towards corruption”.Chautala also raised a two-year-old incident and alleged that BJP MLA from Bahadurgarh Naresh Kaushik had allgedly abused a police official after he tried to book the legislator’s relative for triple-riding a motorcycle in Bahadurgarh.Chautala sought to know from the chief minister what action was taken in the matter after an FIR was registered in connection with the incident in April 2016.Dismissing allegations of abusing the policeman, Kaushik lashed out at Chautala.advertisementMinister Manish Kumar Grover told Chautala “not to threaten our MLA (Kaushik)” after which INLD members were up on their feet and ruckus continued for a while.On Chautala’s demand that the chief minister should answer on the issue, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar told the INLD leader that the House has its own rules and if he has to raise a two-year old matter, then he should have given an advance notice so that details about a particular case are procured.”There are several FIRs and I am not a computer to recollect details of every case immediately. There are FIRs against people from your party too, but I cannot immediately recall details if I am asked to do so right now. However, as you insist, we will gather details of this particular case and let you know accordingly,” Khattar said.On another issue during the Zero Hour concerning sportspersons, the House again witnessed pandemonium.INLD MLA Parminder Dhull urged Sports Minister Anil Vij that the sportspersons from outside Haryana, who are not state domiciled, but play for the state, should not be rewarded and given jobs by the Haryana government under its sports policy.However, Vij sought to clarify and told Dhull that “you have not fully read our government’s notification, as per which, if any player has played for any other state (and later for Haryana also), he will not be entitled for jobs etc by the state government”.When Dalal raised the issue that no officials or ministers were present at the airport when the Asian Games medallists hailing from Haryana returned home, Vij said that the officials who were supposed to welcome them had already been assigned duties prior to the arrival of the sportspersons.Vij reminded the Congress legislators that it was the present BJP government which released pending prize money of sportspersons of various categories when it came to power in October 2014.Later, Minister Krishen Kumar Bedi trained guns at the Congress benches and even Vij joined. The opposition Congress accused Vij of using an unparliamentary word while referring to former chief miniser B S Hooda.Before raising some issues pertaining to the ex-servicemen, Congress’ Geeta Bhukkal said, “It is unfortunate that several unparliamentary words have been used in the House today for the opposition members. Use of such kind of language is unacceptable..”. PTI SUN KJKJlast_img read more

PBL: Carolina Marin wins but Pune 7 Aces lose second straight match

first_imgAwadhe Warriors inflicted a second straight loss on Pune 7 Aces as they registered a win in their PBL season 4 opener at the National Sports Club of India, Mumbai on Monday. In what a dramatic and see-saw encounter, Awadhe edged out Carolina Marin-led Pune and got their season kicked off in a perfect fashion. Awadhe won one men’s singles and both men’s doubles and mixed doubles to win the tie. Pune, on the other hand, could not capitalise on the massive fightback shown by Marin and youngster Lakshya Sen.Awadhe Warriors’s icon player and world No.5 Son Wan Ho set the tone for the match with a win in their trump match over Brice Leverdez. The Frenchman, who had defeated the likes of former world number one Lee Chong Wei on the BWF Tour, looked primed for an upset when he came back from 8-11 deficit to close in on at 12-14 in the first game.But Son dominated the net over the next three points to pocket the first game. From there he never looked back and raced to complete a 15-14, 15-7 win. Pune’s hopes of starting their second tie of the tournament with a win did not materialise as the Warriors took an early 2-0 lead. Son Wan Ho gave Awadhe Warriors a winning start against Pune 7 Aces. (PBL Photo)Pune 7 Aces, who next pitted Vladimir Ivanov with skipper Mathias Boe for men’s doubles, would have hoped that the experienced duo could find a way out to that elusive point to help them rolling in the competition.advertisementLee Yang and Mathias Christiansen cruised to victory in the opening game but Ivanov and Boe fought back from a 6-12 deficit to take the match till the final point only to end up losing the match 15-12, 15-14.The result meant that Awadhe Warriors had a 3-0 lead in the tie and Pune 7 Aces icon player Marin needed to win her trump against Beiwen Zhang to keep the team alive in this tie and the Spaniard did that in style.The world champion provided Pune with the much-needed winning spark as she outclassed 2018 India Open champion Zhang to help the Aces earn their first points in the competition.Marin, who had lost her first match of the season to Hyderabad Hunters’s PV Sindhu, was under pressure after her team lost the first two matches of the second tie, having lost all five matches on Saturday. Carolina Marin won her trump match for Pune 7 Aces against Awadhe Warriors. (PBL Photo)Zhang was clearly high on confidence with her team already 3-0 ahead and that showed in her aggressive play in the opening game as helped herself to a 9-7 lead before Marin came up with a series of four points to get a two-point advantage.Marin then showed the trademark big match temperament to see off a spirited fight from Zhang, who closed in on at 14-13, by raising the tempo during a rally to pocket the game.The Spaniard seemed to be in a hurry to finish the match and simply raised the pace of the rallies and raced to an 8-1 lead before cruising to 15-13, 15-9 win to bring Pune back in the tie at 2-3.Young Lakshya Sen then built on the momentum by edging past Lee Dong Keun in straight games at 15-11, 15-8 to pull the tie back on level terms at 3-3. Lakshya Sen won his first match of the Premier Badminton League. (PBL Photo)It all went down to the decider as Christiansen and Ashwini Ponnappa took the court against Ivanov and Line Kjaersfeldt. It was an enticing game and a test of nerves for the players of both teams as winning the mixed doubles would have won the tie. In the end, Christiansen and Ponnappa came out triumphant and won Awadhe the tie 4-3.How neatly she put it into the other half. #VodafonePBL #PUNvAMD pic.twitter.com/GzGtwKsishPBL India (@PBLIndiaLive) December 24, 2018With the match the Mumbai leg of the tournament got over and on Tuesday, Hyderabad Hunters will take on Chennai Smashers in Hyderabad.last_img read more

Traffic Advisory Victoria County

first_imgVictoria County: Seal Island Bridge High-sided vehicles and motorcycles are advised to stay off the Seal Island Bridge because of strong winds gusting up to 100 kilometres an hour. All other traffic is urged to use caution on the bridge. Local Area Office: 902-295-2700 -30-last_img

Smart LED streetlights to be installed under KMC BMC areas as part

first_imgKolkata: State Urban Development and Municipal Affairs minister Firhad Hakim announced on Thursday that around one lakh smart LED streetlights will be installed in the areas under Kolkata Municipal Corporation and Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation.”It is with great pride that we dedicate the smart and energy efficient LED streetlights to the people of Bengal. Another milestone towards achieving an energy efficient state. These streetlights will illuminate the lives of the citizens, enable more savings, security and ensure a greener future for the people,” he said, dedicating 56,000 LED streetlights as part of the Green City Mission. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaThe Urban Development and Municipal Affairs department has roped in Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) to deploy the smart LED streetlights. In the first phase, approximately 60,000 LED lights are being installed in Bankura, Beldanga, Budge Budge, Khardah and Durgapur. The lights will reduce carbon emissions by 8,500 metric tonnes and will save electricity of 12.2 million units annually. Subrata Gupta, principal secretary, Urban Development and Municipal Affairs Department, Papia Ghosh Roy Choudhury, joint secretary, Green City Mission and Venkatesh Dwivedi, director (Projects & Business Development), EESL, were present at the programme. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highway”Citizens will get better service as there will be 7 year maintenance through CCMS technology,” said Venkatesh Dwivedi. He said at EESL, the endeavour is to support and empower states with energy efficient solutions and strengthen their contribution to India’s energy efficiency and environmental goals. “Bengal is a testament to the great partnership between EESL and the department of Urban Development & Municipal Affairs, with their shared vision of achieving greater energy efficiency and sustainability. We are confident that we will replicate this success across other districts of Bengal as well. We are committed to successfully implement this programme across the state to enable energy efficiency for all,” he added.last_img read more

Lindros urges MPs to recommend national protocol for sportsrelated concussions

first_imgOTTAWA — Former hockey great Eric Lindros brought his star power to Parliament Hill on Wednesday, urging MPs to develop a single national protocol for preventing and treating sports-related concussions.Among other things, Lindros suggested youngsters, whose brains are still developing, should have to take at least a few months off each year from rough-and-tumble sports to give their shaken brains a chance to heal.They should also be prevented from making hits on opponents until they’re in their mid-teens, Lindros said, and any player who delivers a hit to the head should face a severe penalty.Lindros, whose own NHL career was cut short after he suffered repeated debilitating concussions, was testifying at a special House of Commons committee that is exploring what, if anything, the federal government should be doing about sports-related head injuries.However, the 45-year-old steered clear of commenting on the NHL or other professional sports. Indeed, he warned MPs they’d be wasting their time trying to persuade pro leagues to improve their protocols for concussion prevention and treatment.“Quite honestly, any time you mix athletics and money, the lines blur,” Lindros told the committee. “I don’t think you focus there. That’s the top end.”Rather, Lindros said the focus should be on peewee and junior sports, where kids can be taught a different culture about concussions that will eventually trickle up to the pros.On his way into the committee, Lindros said there are “a lot of good efforts” happening in different sports across the country to develop concussion protocols, but they vary from sport to sport and region to region.“In my opinion, I’d like to see them consolidated,” he said.“Whether you’re riding horses or playing soccer or hockey … a concussion is a concussion.”When he was a kid, Lindros said he used to take a break from playing hockey from May to September each year. But with kids now increasingly playing contact sports 12 months a year, Lindros likened their brains to a pick-up truck being driven repeatedly over bumpy roads.“(If) you don’t every once in a while pull it in for servicing, something’s going to fall apart. Sooner or later, it’s inevitable.”The committee also heard from former professional wrestler and college football player Chris Nowinski, founder and CEO of the Concussion Legacy Foundation.Nowinski said in the past, athletes were essentially shamed into continuing to play after suffering a concussion. Over the past dozen years, he said, there’s been some progress in persuading young athletes that they “don’t need to be a hero.”The danger comes not just from outright concussions, but from receiving repeated hits to the head over time, which can lead to memory loss, cognitive decline, behavioural changes and mood disorders in later life, Nowinski said. And the earlier an athlete is exposed to head hits, the worse off he or she is likely to be in later life.Noting that government sets age limits for other dangerous activities, such as driving, drinking alcohol or smoking, Nowinski said: “Maybe we should regulate how often you’re allowed to let your child get hit in the head or how many concussions you’re allowed to have.” The Canadian Presslast_img read more

VANCOUVERS JACKIE BLACKMORE ON VOICING A LESBIAN AUNT IN MY LITTLE PONY

first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement TORONTO – Jackie Blackmore is a big hit with bronies these days.The Vancouver actress voices one of two new lesbian characters in an episode of the animated series “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.”She says she’s felt an “explosion of love” from fans, who include a large contingent of adults — many of them men — known as “bronies.” Advertisement “The Last Crusade” episode, which is making international headlines, has already aired in the U-S and Europe and will be available to TV viewers in Canada on Sunday on Treehouse.Blackmore says there have been a lot of people reaching out and expressing their love for the characters and excited that there is some lesbian representation on television.Now into its ninth and final season, “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” was created by American animator-writer Lauren Faust and is acclaimed for its clever scripts full of horse puns and strong, fleshed-out female characters.The show, based on the Hasbro toy franchise, revolves around six main ponies known as the Mane Six, and is recorded in Vancouver with many local actors, animators and directors.Blackmore made her debut on the show in just the one episode as Aunt Holiday alongside Vancouver actress Saffron Henderson as Auntie Lofty, a same-sex pony couple who become guardians to their niece Scootaloo when her world-traveller parents go away on an adventure.She says the story is about a sweet relationship between two cool aunts who love each other, are there for each other, live together, are great guardians to Scootaloo, and are lovely people.By Victoria Ahearn ~ The Canadian Press Facebookcenter_img Advertisement Login/Register With: Twitter This photo provided by Hasbro Studios LLC/Discovery Family shows a scene from the Discovery Family Channel cartoon series “ My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” coinciding with Pride Month. (Hasbro Studios LLC / Discovery Family via AP)last_img read more

Ryan Giggs is the Best Replacement for Van Gaal Rio Ferdinand

Rabat – Rio Ferdinand, English former Manchester United’s center-back, is of the opinion that Ryan Giggs is the best option to replace Louis Van Gaal when the Dutch manager leaves the club at the end of his contract in 2017.As United’s manager, Van Gaal might, has reportedly decided not extend his contract at Old Trafford any further than the following season, the former Red Devils defender has suggested Ryan Giggs to be the perfect man for the job, reported UK’s Express.Ryan Giggs, 41, is the assistant manager at Manchester and he is tipped to be promoted to take Van Gaal’s place. “He grew into where he is now. Towards the end of my time there you could see it more. So it’s a natural progression,” commented Ferdinand to The Sun.Ferdinand, 36, has known the Welsh coach for a long time as they shared the pitch for 12 years as teammates at the British club.The English star had good words for his friend: “You can see that he [Giggs] loves the game and is a student of the game by taking all of his coaching badges”.“Ryan was in and around the coaching staff” when Scottish manager David Moyes coached the club, Ferdinand, who played with the Red Devils from 2002 to 2014, said according to the same source.It remains to be seen if Giggs will take the job and become United’s main man when Van Gaal leaves Old Trafford. read more

Ford Canada inching closer to title of Canadas bestselling automaker for 2012

The Canadian auto industry has seen incredible growth in 2012, and we are pleased that Ford of Canada has outpaced it in NovemberTORONTO — Ford Canada is on the road to taking the title of Canada’s best-selling automaker this year, after reporting its best November in more than a decade and taking first place for sales for another month.The Oakville, Ont.-based subsidiary of one of Detroit’s big three automakers said Monday that its November sales rose to 19,447, up 7.4% from a year ago, marking its best November since 2001.That was about 2,400 more units than at Chrysler Canada, which had its best November since 2000.Ford’s Canadian car sales rose 14%, while truck sales were up 6%.“November was a record-breaking month for Ford of Canada,” said Dianne Craig, president and CEO at Ford of Canada.“The Canadian auto industry has seen incredible growth in 2012, and we are pleased that Ford of Canada has outpaced it in November.”For the first 11 months of 2012, Ford’s sales rose 1% to 259,194 vehicles from 256,597 in 2011.The Ford Focus car had its best November since 2003 with a 37% rise.Sales of the Ford Transit Connect cross-over vehicle were up 93% and sales of the Ford Escape sport-utility vehicle were up 47%. Both vehicles had their best November on record.The Canadian built Ford Edge, Flex and Lincoln MKT saw increases of 21%, 25% and 34%, respectively.Meanwhile, rival Chrysler Canada said it sold 17,013 vehicles in Canada last month, up five% from November 2011, when the company sold 16,244.Chrysler said the increase helped it post its longest growth streak in its history at 36 consecutive months of year-over-year sales growth. Chrysler also called it the best start to a year through 11 months since 2000.Passenger car sales improved to 2,802 cars sold for the month, up from 1,909 sold in the same month, one year ago.Total truck sales dipped to 14,211 compared with 14,335 in November 2011.Japanese automaker Toyota Canada said November sales of 14,512 Toyota, Lexus and Scion vehicles fell just slightly from 14,563 sold last November. However, year-to-date Toyota sales are up 21.1% from last year, when the company was struggling to pump out supply after Japan’s devastating tsunami in March.The company said sales of its trucks, of Lexus vehicles and hybrids all had record months.Fellow Japanese carmarker Hyundai Auto Canada Corp. said year-over-year sales grew 20% to 10,101 units for the best November in its history. Hyundai has sold 128,420 vehicles in Canada year-to-date, a gain of 4.6% over the first 11 months of last year.Kia Canada reported its best November ever with sales up to 5,719 vehicles, a 17.8% year-over-year increase. For the first 11 months of the year, sales are up 19.7%.In the U.S., carmakers from Chrysler to Volkswagen reported brisk demand in November, and said sales rose on everything from small SUVs to sedans.November sales, when calculated on an annual basis, are likely to be 15 million or more, the highest rate since March of 2008, according to LMC Automotive, a Detroit-area industry consulting firm.That’s higher than the 14.3 million annual rate so far this year, even though November is normally a lacklustre month due to cold weather and holiday anticipation.The Canadian Press read more

Army turns down Indian offer

The army spokesman said that the Sri Lankan authorities, whilst appreciating the offer, declined to accept it as it was observed that the HDMC was not in line with the initial purpose of sending the two officers for training in India.“Moreover, a higher course with an entirely different scope would neither benefit the officers nor the Sri Lankan Armed Forces in immediate future employment of these officers.  Hence, the Sri Lankan Government made a request to withdraw the two officers from DSSC course and accordingly they returned to the island this morning,” he said. The Higher Defence Management Course normally followed by senior officers in the rank of Colonel is a higher course in scope. The army says it had turned down an offer by India to train two Sri Lankan officers at another location as opposed to the Defence Services Staff Course (DSSC) in Wellington, Tamil Nadu.The two officers who were following the Defence Services Staff Course (DSSC) in Wellington, India returned to the island today (Tuesday) prematurely following stiff opposition in Tamil Nadu to the training given to them. However he reiterated that the withdrawal does not in any way hamper the growing relationship and training partnership between the Armed Forces of India and Sri Lanka.He said that the Indian Armed Forces are key partners in the professional career development of officers, soldiers, sailors and airmen of the Sri Lanka Armed Forces.  (Colombo Gazette) Army spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said that due to some security concerns the Indian Government had offered to transfer the two officers from DSSC Wellington to the Higher Defence Management Course (HDMC) in the College of Defence Management, Secundrabad in Andhra Pradesh. read more

Lebanon UN report cites Lebanese Syrian involvement in expremiers murder

“It is a well known fact that Syrian Military Intelligence had a pervasive presence in Lebanon at the least until the withdrawal of the Syrian forces (in April),” the head of the UN International Independent Investigation Commission (UNIIIC), Detlev Mehlis, said in the report to the Security Council on the bomb attack. The bombing killed 22 others, leading to renewed calls for the withdrawal of all Syrian troops and intelligence agents who had been in Lebanon since the early stages of the country’s 1975-1990 civil war.”The former senior security officials of Lebanon were their appointees. Given the infiltration of Lebanese institutions and society by the Syrian and Lebanese intelligence services working in tandem, it would be difficult to envisage a scenario whereby such a complex assassination plot could have been carried out without their knowledge,” the 63-page report said.The Security Council, which set up UNIIIC after an earlier UN mission found Lebanon’s own investigation seriously flawed and Syria primarily responsible for the political tension preceding the murder, will discuss the report on Tuesday when it receives a public briefing by Mr. Mehlis.On Thursday, the Secretary-General transmitted the report to the Security Council. In an accompanying letter, he says the report details progress made in the investigation but notes that a criminal investigation is yet to be completed. Mr. Annan also says he intends to extend the Commission’s mandate until 15 December so that it can continue its investigation and assist the Lebanese authorities.”Building on the findings of the Commission and Lebanese investigations to date and on the basis of the material and documentary evidence collected, and the leads pursued until now, there is converging evidence pointing at both Lebanese and Syrian involvement in this terrorist act,” Mr. Mehlis said, summarizing the four-month probe, during which the Commission interviewed more than 400 persons and reviewed 60,000 documents.The report noted that the apparent growing conflict between Mr. Hariri and senior Syrian officials, including Syrian President Bashar Assad, was a central aspect of information provided to the Commission through interviews and documents. “It is incumbent upon Syria to clarify a considerable part of the unresolved questions,” it concludes, adding that the Commission has established that many leads point directly towards Syrian security officials as being involved with the assassination.”While the Syrian authorities, after initial hesitation, have cooperated to a limited degree with the Commission, several interviewees tried to mislead the investigation by giving false or inaccurate statements,” the report stated, adding that the “letter addressed to the Commission by the Foreign Minister of the Syrian Arab Republic proved to contain false information.” The report stressed that the investigation was not complete and should continue for some time to come. It is the Commission’s view that the continuing investigation should be carried forward by the appropriate Lebanese judicial and security authorities, who have proved during the investigation that with international assistance and support, they can move ahead and at times take the lead in an effective and professional manner.” read more

Ban establishes eminent panel to help broaden access to quality medicines at

The panel will be co-chaired by Ruth Dreifuss, former President of Switzerland, and Festus Mogae, former President of Botswana. In a statement, the UN chief said the panel’s eminent members are “well-respected individuals with a deep knowledge and understanding of the broad range of trade, public health, human rights and legal issues associated with access to treatment.”The Secretary-General emphasized that there is an urgent need to ensure that everyone can access quality treatment at affordable costs, while also incentivizing innovation and the development of new technologies such as vaccines, medicines and diagnostics, in order to ensure healthy lives and promote the well-being of people of all ages, as set out in the recently adopted Agenda 30 and the Sustainable Development Goal 3.Mr. Ban noted that at present, most research and development in vaccines, medicines and diagnostic tests are undertaken on the basis of financial potential rather than focused on the needs of the poorest and most marginalized communities.He added that the recent Ebola crisis, which killed over 11,000 people in West Africa, highlighted the need to invest research and development of non-terminal diseases, including infectious diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis C, the rising burden of non-communicable disease, and the affordability of both modern and traditional health technologies.The Panel is expected to hold its first meeting in December 2015 and to engage in extensive consultations with stakeholders, where a set of recommendations will be presented to the Mr. Ban in June 2016. Mr. Ban will then make the report available to the General Assembly and take any further action, as appropriate. read more

Lifelike baby dolls designed to deter teenage pregnancies actually have opposite effect

first_imgThe study looked at the Virtual Infant Parenting (VIP) programme, an Australian adaptation of the US programme RealityWorks – often referred to as “Baby Think It Over.”The VIP programme also involves classes warning not to smoke, drink or take drugs while pregnant, the financial costs of having a baby, sexual health, and contraception.As part of it, girls care for an infant simulator over the weekend. It cries when it needs to be fed, burped, rocked or changed. It also measures and reports on mishandling, crying time, the number of changes and general care.Some studies have looked at the effect on girls’ intentions to get pregnant, or attitudes to pregnancy, but no randomised trials have objectively measured the impact on pregnancy.A total of 57 schools in Western Australia took part in the study with 1,267 girls aged 13 to 15 on the VIP programme (or 1,567 given traditional sex education classes.They girls were followed to age 20 and compared with records from hospital and abortion clinics. It found eight per cent of girls – 97 – on the VIP programme had at least one birth, compared to four per cent – 67 – in the control group.Similarly, nine per cent – 113 – had an abortion, compared to six per cent – 101 – in the control group.Professor Julie Quinlivan, of the University of Notre Dame Australia, said of the findings: “The cure for teenage pregnancy is more difficult than a magic doll.”We have to address both mothers and fathers. Programmes need to start in infancy. Investment in vulnerable children is needed to entice these adolescents from the path of premature parenthood into brighter futures.”We cannot afford the quick fix, especially when it doesn’t work.” Researchers found girls who used the dolls were twice as likely to get pregnant and a third more likely to have an abortion than those who did not Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Lifelike baby dolls that cry and are designed to stop teenage pregnancies actually increase the number of underage mothers, suggests new research.The baby simulators form part of sex education classes across the world and are touted as a key weapon to discourage girls from having sex.But a new study of the programme in Australia, published in The Lancet, found girls who took part were twice as likely to get pregnant and a third more likely to have an abortion than those who did not.Researchers suggested the dolls, which cost around £1,000 each, do not prevent underage sex and unwanted pregnancies. Researchers found girls who used the dolls were twice as likely to get pregnant and a third more likely to have an abortion than those who did notCredit:Doug Marke/PAGE ONE The risk of pregnancy is actually increased compared to girls who didn’t take part in the interventionDr Sally Brinkman Dr Sally Brinkman, an associate professor at Telethon Kids Institute, University of Western Australia, said: “Such programmes typically include a series of education sessions in combination with ‘care’ for an infant simulator-a lifelike model that is programmed to replicate the sleeping and feeding patterns of a baby.”The infant simulator is an example of an approach used in persuasion technology or captology.”The use of infant simulator-based programmes is widespread in developed countries and is expanding into low-income and middle-income countries.”Despite their popularity, little evidence is available to suggest that such programmes are effective.”Our study shows that the pregnancy prevention programme delivered in Western Australia, which involves an infant simulator, does not reduce the risk of pregnancy in teenage girls.”In fact, the risk of pregnancy is actually increased compared to girls who didn’t take part in the intervention.”Similar programmes are increasingly being offered in schools around the world, and evidence now suggests they do not have the desired long-term effect of reducing teenage pregnancy. These interventions are likely to be an ineffective use of public resources for pregnancy prevention.”last_img read more

Endangered red panda found after escape from British zoo

Talking in November about the two female cubs, a Belfast Zoo spokeswoman said the pair were born to parents, Chris and Vixen. Chris arrived at Belfast Zoo, from Beekse Bergen Safari Park in the Netherlands, in 2013. As part of the collaborative breeding programme he was joined by a female, named Vixen, who arrived from Dresden Zoo in April 2017. The pair hit it off straight away and after a gestation period of approximately 135 days, Vixen gave birth to two healthy female cubs on 19 June 2018.Alyn Cairns, Zoo Manager, said: “We are pleased to report that Amber has been safely returned to Belfast Zoo after a short time exploring the local area. We would like to thank all of those involved in the search for our missing red panda. “Over the last few weeks the twins have become more adventurous and visitors will hopefully get the chance to spot our colourful little arrivals as they start exploring their habitat.”It was not immediately clear which one of two red pandas cubs but the species is notorious for disappearing from enclosures.In 2001 and 2002, two red pandas escaped from Belfast Zoo into the nearby Cave Hill area and in 2009, one was found in a tree outside London Zoo. Most recently, Edinburgh Zoo called a search for one of its red pandas in 2017.But the survival rate is so good that when a 19-month-old red panda disappeared from Virginia Zoo in 2017, it was found alive after two weeks in the wild. We are happy to report that the missing red panda has been located and is being returned to its home at Belfast Zoo – thanks to everyone for their help with the search! pic.twitter.com/hHLcLmtDyv— Belfast Zoo (@BelfastZoo) January 28, 2019 The animals are largely nocturnal, can deal with the cold weather and enjoy living in trees, where they can forage for bird eggs to eat, making the immediate woodland area surrounding the zoo suitable for the escaped panda’s survival.Belfast Zoo will not be open to visitors today and is closed week for maintenance works this week. Warning the public during its search, police said: “Our curious friend has not yet learned the green cross code, so if motorists could also be vigilant.”In June, the zoo celebrated the arrival the red panda, along with its twin, and towards the end of the year staff were beginning to notice the pair getting more adventurous. According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, the red panda is facing a very high risk of extinction. “Following the initial report of the escape, we discovered a power fault in an electric fence in red panda habitat. Our maintenance team were informed at the earliest opportunity and the fence has since been repaired. Safety and security of our animals is of paramount importance so we will continue to monitor this to ensure there are no further incidents.”Red panda cubs are born blind and develop quite slowly. They therefore spend the first few months in the den. It is for this reason that, despite being born back in June, the twins have only recently started to venture outside.  An endangered red panda cub has been found alive and well after it escaped from Belfast Zoo on Sunday.Officers in the Northern Ireland capital said Amber, a cub, went missing yesterday after an electrical fault in the enclosure’s fence and she was “believed to be taking in the sights of beautiful Glengormley”.  But she is now safe at home, having been found in the garden of a family home this morning.According to the zoo, the panda cub was first spotted by a local resident who flagged its whereabouts to the police, who received a call at 5.30pm yesterday. Following a wider appeal, the zoo received a dozen calls to report potential sightings this morning, some of which led to its capture within a mile of the zoo.The search team believe the cub travelled through woodland and spent the night in trees.Belfast Zoo said that following a check up from the vet, the red panda appears to be well and is back in its enclosure.In a Tweet, the council said: “We are happy to report that the missing red panda has been located and is being returned to its home @BelfastZoo – thanks to everyone for their help with the search!” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more