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Sunil Chhetri: We will put our best foot forward against Oman and Afghanistan

first_imgFIFA World Cup Qualifier: Super sub Seiminlen Doungel saves India After 0-1 loss to Oman, India’s FIFA World Cup hopes almost over New Delhi: “We will put our best foot forward against Oman and Afghanistan,” promised India captain Sunil Chhetri, days after his defenceless team left its scoring boots at home in a 1-1 stalemate with Bangladesh in the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. On a high after holding Asian champion and 2022 World Cup hosts Qatar to a goalless draw, a struggling India escaped with a 1-1 draw against lower-ranked Bangladesh in their previous second round qualifying match in Kolkata. “I think one of them is going to be in Dushanbe because they (Afghanistan) play their home games over there and then against Oman (in Muscat). Both are very difficult and important games, but we back ourselves. If we play the way we played against Qatar, we can do it. We are not scared,” Chhetri said on the sidelines of a Herbalife Nutrition event.Related News World Cup Qualifier: Inconsistent India face Afghanistan in must-win tie Yet to taste a win, India are scheduled to play Afghanistan on November 14 and Oman on November 19. Having squandered a one-goal advantage to lose 1-2 to Oman in their opener at home, India held fancied Oatar in Doha before the underwhelming result against Bangladesh in Kolkata. “We felt bad after the game because we felt we could have done a lot better than what we did. We are over it. We will put our best foot forward against Afghanistan and Oman, two away games, which are very important and difficult ones also. “We do not want to wash away the good things we have done against Oman, Qatar and Bangladesh, we are definitely on a high. We are learning a lot, just hope we continue that,” said one of international football’s leading scorers. “We are not happy with our performance against Bangladesh. The team played well but our strikers missed a lot of chances, and that’s why we lost two points which we should not have, and that really bothers us.” The Asian Football Federation (AFC) has recently recognised the ISL as the country’s top league and asked about the roadmap, he said, “I think they have discussed with the AFC and I hope every stakeholder will come together, for me more teams the better, as soon as possible.” He added, “The bigger the better it is. That will increase the number of competitive matches and it is better for the players. I hope all the stakeholders come together and take the best step forward for Indian football.” He said the team is trying but yet to fully embrace coach Igor Stimac’s philosophy. “The best think about Stimac, apart form his technical knowledge is, he gives everyone a chance who does well in training. He simply comes to training and sees who does well, and in which position, and will give him the chance. “We are still far from exactly being in sync with what he wants us to do but we keep trying.” At a time when the city is grappling with poor air quality, Chhetri said it is not easy to keep oneself fit here. “It is very difficult to keep oneself fit in Delhi because the pollution is more here than in other states. Start climbing stairs, do exercise, don’t overeat, let’s not blame the environment our problem is that we are not sincere enough” Chhetri, who turned a vegan recently, advised. Herbalife Nutrition’ Fit Families Fest is an initiative aimed at supporting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Fit India Movement.last_img read more

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Samsung Galaxy On7 Pro (2017) tipped to arrive with Android Nougat, 5.7-inch display

first_imgAfter announcing the most anticipated flagship phones – Galaxy S8 and S8+, Samsung is now preparing itself to launch another smartphone this year. The South Korean giant is working on Galaxy On7 Pro (2017) edition. The smartphone has been spotted in the wild, after being benchmarked on GFXBench yesterday.The GFXBench listing dated April 5 reveals a few specifications of the upcoming Samsung Galaxy On7 Pro (2017) which comes with a model number SM-G615F. The smartphone is likely to come equipped with a 5.7-inch display with a (1920 x 1080 pixel) resolution. While on the storage front the device is expected to feature a 32GB internal storage. The listing further reveals that the Samsung device is expected to come loaded with 4GB of RAM and be powered by a MediaTek MT6757 octa-core SoC.Also Read: How Samsung beat Apple in the race for innovation with Galaxy S8, S8+The benchmarked listing also reveals a detailed picture of the camera set up that the smartphone may boast. The upcoming Samsung Galaxy On7 Pro (2017) is expected to sport a 12-megapixel camera on both rear and front. Further, the smartphone will be running on Android 7.0 Nougat. Well, this is surely not the first time that renders of the Galaxy On7 Pro (2017) have been making rounds on the web.To recall, the previously leaked rumours suggest a different RAM count, while other features remain the same. Earlier the rumours suggest Samsung Galaxy On7 Pro with 3GB of RAM. This builds up a high chance for Samsung to bring in two variants of the device – one with 3GB RAM, while the premium one may come with 4GB of RAM. No details revealed on the launch and availability of the device as of yet.   advertisementWhen compared to the Samsung Galaxy On7 Pro (2016), the upcoming phone is going to be a little top-end one, with a bigger display screen and few improvements on the hardware front. Launched at the beginning of last year, Galaxy On7 Pro (2016) comes with a 5.5-inch display and is powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. On the camera front, the smartphone features a 13-megapixel rear camera with LED flash. The device further runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow and is backed by a 3,000mAh battery and is available at Rs 11,190.Samsung recently announced the two flagships of the year, the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+. The smartphones are already up for pre-orders in India, and you can book the device by visiting the official Samsung India website. However, the South Korean smartphone maker is yet to announce the India launch date of the devices as of yet.Also Read: Samsung Galaxy S8 pre-registration begins in Indialast_img read more

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Merry Christmas and happy fundraising this week!

first_imgI hope you’re enjoying your holiday – and that you know the coming days are not a time to take a vacation from fundraising. Sorry, but it’s true!Late December is the season of philanthropic procrastinators who want to get in their donations by the end of the tax year. A third of giving online happens in December, and 10-20% of all the giving in the year happens the last two days of the month. Ask for donations 2-3 times in the coming days. It works. Repetition drives top-of-mind awareness, and you want that visibility when people are making their year-end gifts online.And on December 31, send that email first thing in the morning. Giving peaks midday and early afternoon!last_img read more

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I have not seen versatility like Sridevi’s in 48 years of my career, says Bappi Lahiri

first_imgBappi Lahiri, the man behind unforgettable Sridevi numbers like Naino Mein Sapna, told India Today that he was left “totally speechless” after the legendary actress’s untimely demise. Calling her a “lady superstar”, the composer also said that Sridevi’s death was a huge blow to Bollywood and offered his condolences to the Kapoor family.”Sri ke saath maine almost 25 films kiya. Unka jo style tha woh ekdum pakad leta tha audience ko. Sri ki jo adayein thi, kya dance tha! Jaisa western, waisa classical. Main industry mein 48 years se kaam kar raha hoon, maine aisa versatility kahin nahi dekha,” he said.Bappi Lahiri said that he would like to dedicate a song to her memory – “Chalte chalte mere yeh geet yaad rakhna, kabhi alvida na kehna…”Sridevi breathed her last in Dubai on Saturday night. While it was initially believed that she passed away after suffering a cardiac arrest, after her brother-in-law Sanjay Kapoor told the media that it was cardiac arrrest which claimed her life, Sridevi’s death certificate revealed her cause of death to be accidental drowning.The actress’s body was brought back to Mumbai last night. Sridevi’s fans will be able to pay their last respects today from 9.30am to 12.30pm at the Celebration Sports Club in Lokhandwala, where her body will be kept. After that, her mortal remains will be taken to the Seva Samaj Crematorium in Vile Parle. Her funeral is to take place from 3.30pm to 5 pm today.PAY YOUR TRIBUTE TO SRIDEVI HEREALSO READ: Sridevi returns home. One last time.advertisementALSO READ: I saw Sridevi serving tea like an ordinary housewife, says Ram Gopal Varma on why he hated Boney KapoorALSO WATCH: Sridevi neither threw tantrums nor behaved like a big star, says Rishi Kapoorlast_img read more

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ESPN Revealed Where Urban Meyer Watched Saturday’s Ohio State Game From

first_imgA closeup of Urban Meyer during an Ohio State football game.GLENDALE, AZ – JANUARY 01: Head coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes on the sidelines during the BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 1, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)Saturday was a good day for Ohio State’s football program – the Buckeyes began their season with a blowout against Oregon State – but it had to be a little tough for Urban Meyer.Meyer, of course, is suspended for the first three games of the season. He was not able to be at Ohio Stadium on Saturday.Where was he?According to ESPN, Meyer was watching from home. The Ohio State head coach was watching the Buckeyes’ game from his Dublin, Ohio house.His family was with him.We are all here at home cheering loud for our boys!!— Shelley Meyer (@spinnershells) September 1, 2018Awwwww, thank u! ❤️— Shelley Meyer (@spinnershells) September 1, 2018Urban will be able to return to the Ohio State sideline Week 4 against Tulane.The Buckeyes are set to play Rutgers on Saturday.last_img read more

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DSME Inks Deal with Iran’s ISOICO

first_imgzoom South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) has penned a business agreement on operation and technology instruction with the Iranian government for Iran Shipbuilding & Offshore Industries Complex Co. (ISOICO), Korean newspaper the Pulse informed.As reported, the agreement paves the way for DSME to share its technology and conduct consignment management on the Iranian shipbuilder.The move is triggered by Iran’s desire to modernize its aging dockyards and build bigger ships especially on the back of the lifting of sanctions against the country since January this year.On the other hand, the deal is believed to have perfect timing for Korean shipbuilders, which are suffering from order slump stemming from industry downturn and overall tonnage oversupply across the board. Having in mind that majority of shipowners are abstaining from new orders, Iran is anticipated to invest heavily in fleet expansion.Specifically, Iran is expected to splash some USD 2.5 billion in modernization of its tanker fleet alone. In addition, plans on investing in LNG carriers have been voiced as well.Iran’s ISOICO has built so far vessels of up to 80,000-dwt and their product portfolio included bulk carriers, containerships and product tankers.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more

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Indian Airforce chief leads missing man formation in tribute to Kargil heroes

first_imgBathinda (Pb): Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa Monday flew the ‘missing man’ formation in a MiG-21 aircraft to pay tributes to Squadran Leader Ajay Ahuja and other fallen heroes of the Kargil war. He was accompanied by Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C) Western Air Command Air Marshal R Nambiar in the flypast organised at Air Force Station in Bhisiana here. The ‘missing man’ formation is an aerial salute accorded to honour the fallen comrades-in-arms. It is an arrow formation, with a gap between two aircraft in the formation depicting the missing man, the IAF said in a statement. Also Read – Pak activated 20 terror camps & 20 launch pads along LoCThe Chief of the Air staff, led a four aircraft, MiG-21 ‘missing man’ formation flypast to honour the valour and supreme sacrifice of men killed in action during ‘Operation Safed Sagar’ at Kargil, an IAF spokesperson said. Later, in a sombre ceremony, he laid a wreath at the War Memorial to honour the IAF men who made the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty. Squadron Leader Ajay Ahuja had laid down his life during the Kargil conflict. He was at that time the Flight Commander of 17 Squadron and was awarded the Vir Chakra posthumously for his valour during the conflict which took place 20 years ago. On the occasion Alka Ahuja, widow of Ajay Ahuja, also paid tributes to the late IAF officer. On May 28, the air chief will visit Air Force Station in Sarsawa, Uttar Pradesh and fly in a Mi-17 V5 ‘missing man’ formation to commemorate the Kargil martyrs.last_img read more

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Five stories in the news for today Sept 12

first_imgFive stories in the news for Tuesday, Sept. 12———PM TRUDEAU AND HIS CABINET PLOT COURSE FOR FALL SESSIONPrime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet have gathered in St. John’s, N.L., to spend today and Wednesday preparing for the second half of their mandate. Canada’s relationship with the Trump administration figures to be high on the agenda, especially as Ottawa prepare to host the next round of NAFTA negotiations later this month. The cabinet will also look at a busy agenda this fall, which includes some massive bills such as the proposed legalization of cannabis for recreational use.———WILDFIRE PROMPTS EVACUTION ORDERS IN ALBERTAAuthorities in western Alberta have issued a pair of evacuation orders due to approaching wildfires. One order covers residents in several areas of the Municipal District of Pincher Creek due to the Kenow Mountain wildfire. Parks Canada said the fire had entered Waterton Lakes National Park by last evening. The second evacuation was ordered for sections of nearby Cardston County because of the same fire.———WILDFIRE THREAT EASING IN B.C., RECOVERY BEGINSEvacuation orders are being lifted and highways reopened as the recovery phase begins following the most destructive wildfire season in British Columbia’s recorded history. But B.C.’s agriculture minister warns that the fire season is not yet over, despite the progress being made on existing blazes and rain forecast to arrive later this week in the parched southeastern region. More than 12,000 wildfires have consumed nearly 11,700 square kilometres of land since April 1, forcing almost 50,000 people out of their homes at the peak of the disaster.———B.C. BUDGET HIKES TAXES FOR RICH, FUNDS TEACHERSBritish Columbia’s minority New Democrat government says it is starting to build the province all residents want, tabling a budget update that promises to hire 3,500 teachers and build thousands of rental units and homes for the homeless. Finance Minister Carole James’ spending plan also lowers the corporate income tax rate for small business to two per cent from 2.5 per cent, but increases the general corporate tax rate from 11 per cent to 12 per cent. The personal income tax rate will jump from 14.7 per cent to 16.8 per cent for those earning $150,000 and over.———ONTARIO LEGISLATURE RESUMES AMID TRIALSOntario politicians are back at the legislature after a three-month break, but they returned under the shadow of two Liberal trials happening simultaneously in Toronto and Sudbury. The Toronto trial began yesterday, with two former staffers to ex-premier Dalton McGuinty facing breach of trust and mischief charges. In Sudbury, two other Liberals have pleaded not guilty to offering a would-be candidate a job or appointment to get him to step aside for a preferred candidate in a 2015 byelection.———SEARS CANADA TO SEEK PENSION PLAN TERMINATIONSears Canada will file a petition in Toronto today to terminate its pension plan. The retailer said in June that it would close 59 stores and cut approximately 2,900 jobs under a court-supervised restructuring. The announcement followed years of dwindling sales and a revolving door of top executives. Sears said it planned to emerge from the restructuring as a leaner operation better able to compete in the hyper-competitive retail industry.———last_img read more

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Publics views about telecom sales practices now being collected until Sept 9

first_imgGATINEAU, Que. – Consumers now have until Sunday to answer an online survey about sales tactics used by Canada’s largest phone, cable and internet service providers, two more days than originally announced by the industry’s regulator.The online survey conducted by Ipsos is part of a months-long process leading to public hearings to be held by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission starting on Oct. 22.It expects to release a summary of its findings from public consultations on Oct. 15.The minister responsible for telecommunications, Navdeep Bains, ordered the CRTC investigation in June after media reports and consumer complaints about how telecom services are sold.In particular, the inquiry wants to address complaints that prices for services may be unpredictable or higher than expected and sales messages may result in stress, confusion and frustration.The country’s large telecom providers, other organizations and individuals had until Aug. 31 to file their comments to the CRTC in a more formal process. Most of the 1,407 responses posted by the regulator were from individuals.last_img read more

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RUN THIS TOWN THE FILM STARRING DAMIAN LEWIS AS ROB FORD TO

first_img Login/Register With: TORONTO — A drama that features a portrayal of the late Toronto mayor Rob Ford will make its world premiere at the South by Southwest Film Festival.“Run This Town” is in the “Narrative Spotlight” section of the festival, which runs March 8-17.Tony Award-winning “Dear Evan Hansen” star Ben Platt plays the lead role of a fledgling journalist trying to break a story involving the city’s controversial mayor. Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter Advertisement Advertisement Facebook Ford isn’t specifically mentioned in a description of the film on the festival website.But in an interview from the Toronto set last April, writer-director Ricky Tollman told The Canadian Press that “Homeland” star Damian Lewis was playing Ford in the film.Tollman stressed it’s not a biopic and that the mayor is actually a fairly minor character.“This isn’t the Rob Ford story, this is a story about people that I know and people I grew up with and a generation of people,” said the first-time director, who noted the Ford character is only “in a few key scenes and a few key moments.”He added that he wanted to create “a sympathetic portrait” of Ford and his tumultuous time in office before he died in 2016.Tollman also said Platt’s character isn’t based on any real-life reporters who covered Ford’s tenure.The film’s SXSW synopsis describes Platt’s character as Bram, a new graduate whose journalism dreams are dashed by click-bait assignments and a tough economy.“After the paper is hit with another round of layoffs, Bram stumbles upon a potentially explosive story involving the city’s controversial mayor,” says the synopsis.“But he needs to beat the mayor’s smooth talking aide, Kamal, to the punch. This could be Bram’s big break — if he had any idea how to be a real journalist.”Other cast members include Canadian actors Nina Dobrev, Mena Massoud and Scott Speedman.last_img read more

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Indias ecommerce regulations need more consultation

first_imgKolkata: India’s e-commerce regulations need more consultation with American companies that have invested in India, according to a senior US official Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Director General of the US Foreign Commercial Service for the Department of Commerce, Ian Steff on Friday said some of the e-commerce regulations have not received the type of consultation that is needed with some of the large investors. “Not only the US investors but Indian entrepreneurs as well. This is a market that has been fuelled by data,” said Steff on the sidelines of an event organised by Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC) here. When asked on issues related to generalised system of preference (GSP), Steff said issues related to the GSP have been discussed between the office of the American and Indian trade representative. “We need to really deal with the issues in a substantive manner in a way that encourages industry on both sides to take advantage of an ecosystem that fuels additional investment.” Pointing out that issues like data localisation, price control of medical devices and higher tariffs threaten to slow down trade relationships between the two countries, Steff said he was optimistic that the issues will be sorted out. Steff is a part of US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross’s delegation to India that also included over 100 US companies as part of the Department of Commerce’s annual trade mission programme, Trade Winds. Speaking at the event, S.K. Sarkar, the National President of IACC, said India and the US were looking at a bilateral trade volume of $500 billion by 2023-24 from the current level of $142.3 billion. “To take the relationship to the next level we need to take care of some of the short term issues, whether its data localisation, e-commerce, price controls of medical devices or high tariffs. These are issues that threaten to slowdown the trade relationships that we want to build,” Steff added.last_img read more

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Tangier Forum Brings MoroccanGerman Expertise Back to the Kingdom

Rabat – More than 100 Moroccan experts residing in Germany gathered in Tangier from September 30 to October 1 for the third International Forum of Moroccan Skills Abroad.Under the theme, “Moroccans of the world, a human capital relay for the future,” the forum focused on Moroccan competencies established in Germany, revolving around three thematic round tables: “Entrepreneurship and Investment,” “Energy and New Technologies,” and “Education and Vocational Training.”The opening ceremony took place last Saturday in the presence of Abdelkrim Benatiq, Minister Delegate to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, in charge of Moroccans Residing Abroad and Migration Affairs, Moulay Hafid Elalamy, Minister of Industry, Investment, Trade and Digital Economy, Götz Schmidt-Bremme, the ambassador of Germany in Morocco, and Karim Zidane, president of the Moroccan-German Skills Network. Speaking at the opening of the meeting, Benatiq stressed that the degree of integration and success of Moroccans in Germany demonstrates that immigration is a major asset, adding that Morocco relies on its nationals installed in Germany to play the role of “positive relays” with regard to investment and transfer of technology.“They are also called to promote the true image of Morocco as a developed and prosperous country, and to contribute effectively to the industrial and developmental dynamics that the kingdom lives,” the minister delegate added.Later, Elalamy, reviewing the changes that the national economy has undergone in recent years, stated that the kingdom has gone from being a consumer of industrial products to being an exporter.He added that the ratio of Moroccan skills is very important and that the forum is a great opportunity for exchange and sharing experiences.Zidane, president of the Moroccan-German Skills Network, said that the meeting aims to consolidate the links between Moroccan competences in Germany and their homeland, with a view to making their expertise and knowledge available to the kingdom in order to contribute to its development.This year’s forum was organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in charge of Moroccans Residing Abroad and Migration Affairs in partnership with the Moroccan Skills Network in Germany.The International Forum of Moroccan Skills Abroad was set up in 2007, aiming to mobilize the skills and investments of Moroccans living abroad to support development projects and share their experiences with their counterparts in the kingdom. read more

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Catholics to resume mass two weeks after attacks

The cardinal, who is also Archbishop of Colombo, conducted a private memorial mass that was broadcast live on television last Sunday after cancelling all public services amid fears of a repeat of the attacks.Armed guards and an armoured personnel carrier have been placed outside his Colombo residence as part of his security arrangements. Sri Lanka’s Catholic Church said public masses will resume Sunday under tight security, two weeks after Easter bombings claimed by the Islamic State group killed 253 people at three churches and three luxury hotels.Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith said the Church was closely monitoring investigations into the April 21 suicide attacks and wanted to be sure of the security situation before returning to daily services. But he said he has returned a bullet-proof limousine provided by the government and instead travelled in an ordinary car.“I am not afraid. I don’t need bullet-proof vehicles to go about. The Lord is my protector,” he said. “But, I want security for my people, and for the country.”He said he had concerns about the progress of security operations against jihadists behind the worst single-day attack against civilians in the country’s history. “But we will start with a smaller number of masses and see if we can slowly increase it depending on how the situation develops.” “We don’t know the progress of the investigations. We are told that they have good information from suspects in custody, but I am not sure if they have the capacity to follow up.”He said Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe telephoned him on Tuesday morning to assure him that search operations were being conducted and that there was no let-up. (Courtesy AFP) “There should be tougher laws to deal with those responsible for the attacks,” the cardinal said. “On the 5th of May we are going to begin (Sunday) masses,” he told AFP on Tuesday. read more

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Broadcom to buy Symantecs enterprise business for 107B

SAN FRANCISCO — Semiconductor giant Broadcom says it has reached a deal to buy the enterprise business of cybersecurity company Symantec for $10.7 billion cash.Symantec provides cloud, web and data security for organizations. The company also has a consumer business, which is not part of the deal.Broadcom said Thursday it expects the Symantec business to bring in over $2 billion in annual revenue.The deal will strengthen chipmaker Broadcom’s position in the infrastructure technology market. Broadcom tried to acquire Qualcomm last year, but was blocked by the Trump administration.Broadcom Inc. then moved its headquarters to San Jose, California from Singapore.Symantec Corp.’s stock climbed more than 12% during trading Thursday amid speculation of a deal, and added another 2.5% after hours. Broadcom stock moved up about 1% in after-hours trading.The Associated Press read more

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US homebuilder confidence sales expectations edge lower in December outlook remains positive

In this Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015, photo, a home under construction and for sale is shown in Roswell, Ga. U.S. homebuilders are feeling slightly less confident about their sales prospects in coming months, though they remain positive overall that the housing market will continue to improve in 2016, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015. (AP Photo/John Bazemore) by Alex Veiga, The Associated Press Posted Dec 15, 2015 8:03 am MDT Last Updated Dec 15, 2015 at 10:20 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email US homebuilder confidence, sales expectations edge lower in December; outlook remains positive U.S. homebuilders are feeling slightly less confident about their sales prospects in coming months, though they remain positive overall that the housing market will continue to improve next year.The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released Tuesday slipped to 61 this month, down one point from a reading of 62 in November.Readings above 50 indicate more builders view sales conditions as good, rather than poor. The index has been consistently above 60 since June.Builders’ view of current sales conditions and their outlook for sales over the next six months declined. A measure of traffic by prospective buyers also fell slightly.While a retreat from last month’s reading, the latest builder index is in line with a gradual, consistent housing recovery, said David Crowe, the NAHB’s chief economist.“With job creation, economic growth and growing household formations, we anticipate the housing market to continue to pick up traction as we head into 2016,” Crowe said.Americans recovered much of their appetite for owning new homes this year. Purchases surged 15.7 per cent through the first 10 months of the year, benefiting from the solid hiring gains and low mortgage rates.Even so, the U.S. housing market is still healing from the bursting of the housing bubble and the 2008 financial crisis.New home sales hit a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 495,000 in October, ahead of the 437,000 new homes sold in all of last year. Still, sales of new homes remain below the 52-year historic average of 655,200. New home sales data for November are due out next week.Homebuilders remain concerned about the price and availability of construction labour and ready-to-build land parcels.This month’s builder index was based on 341 respondents.Builders’ view of current sales conditions for single-family homes dipped one point to 66. Builders’ outlook for sales over the next six months slid two points to 67. A measure of traffic by prospective buyers fell two points to 46.Though new homes represent only a fraction of the housing market, they have an outsize impact on the economy. Each home built creates an average of three jobs for a year and generates about $90,000 in tax revenue, according to NAHB data. read more

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High Court wont hear appeal over Backpagecom escort ads

by Sam Hananel, The Associated Press Posted Jan 9, 2017 4:41 pm MDT Last Updated Jan 9, 2017 at 8:20 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email High Court won’t hear appeal over Backpage.com escort ads WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court said Monday it won’t hear an appeal from three sex trafficking victims who accuse advertising website Backpage.com of helping to promote the exploitation of children.The justices left in place a lower court ruling that said federal law shields Backpage from liability because the site is just hosting content created by people who use it.The women say they were sold as prostitutes in Massachusetts and Rhode Island through advertisements for escort services on the site when they were as young as 15. They say Backpage is not protected by the Communications Decency Act because the company not only hosted the ads, but created a marketplace that makes child sex trafficking easier. Backpage has denied those allegations.A federal judge threw out the lawsuit and the federal appeals court in Boston upheld that ruling.In a related development, a Senate subcommittee released a report Monday that accused Backpage of concealing evidence of criminal activity by systematically editing its “adult” ads to remove words that indicate sex trafficking. The report cites internal documents showing that 70 to 80 per cent of the ads are edited to conceal the true nature of the underlying transaction.The report also says that despite public claims to the contrary, the “true beneficial owners of the company” are CEO Carl Ferrer and former owners James Larkin and Michael Lacey. The report says the men concealed their ownership interest through “a complex chain of domestic and international shell companies.”Ferrer, Lacey and Larkin are scheduled to testify Tuesday before the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, which released the report on Backpage late Monday.Critics say the website has become an increasingly popular vehicle for commercial sexual exploitation. Senate investigators have called Backpage a market leader in sex advertising and it has been linked to hundreds of reported cases of sex trafficking.Lawyers for the website have said the company does more than any other online classified site to prevent the trafficking of minors. They argue that Congress wrote the law to preserve free speech on the Internet by giving immunity to websites for items posted by third-party users.A spokesman for Backpage.com said the site shuttered the “adult” section of its website in the U.S. Monday night and a replaced it with a red “censored” sign that protests what it calls “unconstitutional government censorship.”The page urges readers to “protect Internet free speech” and contact advocacy groups that support Internet privacy. It also asked readers to use social media to support #freespeech and donate to groups that rescue children from prostitution.Twenty-one states had signed onto a brief urging the high court to take up the case, arguing that federal law does not protect websites that help create or develop third-party content.In a separate case last month, a California judge rejected pimping charges against Backpage CEO Carl Ferrer and former owners Michael Lacey and James Larkin, citing federal free speech laws. California officials have said they intend to pursue new charges against the company based on new evidence.Prosecutors have alleged that more than 90 per cent of Backpage’s revenue — millions of dollars each month — comes from adult escort ads that use coded language and nearly nude photos to offer sex for money.___Associated Press writer Matthew Daly contributed to this report. read more

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Nigerien peacekeeper presented with inaugural UN Military Gender Advocate Award for her

Inaugural winner of the UN Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award, Major Aichatou Ousmane Issak. Photo: MINUSMA While there, she developed quick impact projects that aided the local population, accompanied what would have been all-male patrols thus making them more approachable and accessible to local women and children, and spent considerable time and effort training fellow staff officers and reaching out to women in the local community. “As you know we bring something different than men, a different vision – I think as a woman I brought a different perspective in the peace process and some ideas that helped make decisions,” Major Issak said.“Making women part of the patrols is important because on certain terrains of operation it is difficult to get certain information,” the 42-year-old mother of three added. “In the specific case of Gao, it is important for women to partake in patrols because in the Muslim religion men do not have access to homes but with women access to households is easy, so you can identify what the needs are and then report them to the hierarchy and then help the population.”Major Issak’s award comes a day ahead of the UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial taking place in London on Thursday. Hosted by the Government of the United Kingdom, the gathering is a follow-on event to the Leaders’ Summit on Peacekeeping hosted by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and US President Barack Obama last year. During the Ministerial, Defence Ministers will review progress on the implementation of last September’s pledges and announce new commitments, develop a shared plan for how peacekeeping can help implement the women, peace and security agenda and focus on operationalising pledges through better training, force generation, pre-deployment processes, doctrine, equipment, leadership, performance, lessons learned mechanisms and rapid response capability. The Ministerial will also discuss how to prevent and respond to sexual exploitation and abuse allegations. Those attending include the Under-Secretaries-General for Peacekeeping Operations and Fiedl Support, Hervé Ladsous and Atul Khare, as well as the Special Coordinator on improving the UN response to sexual exploitation and abuse, Jane Holl Lute and other peacekeeping officials. “I am filled with a real sense of pleasure and satisfaction today. I am most grateful to the UN, and to the Government of Niger who deployed me as military staff, and I am also very happy in the name of all women,” Major Aichatou Ousmane Issak said in a telephone interview with the UN News Centre from London, where the United Kingdom’s Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Baroness Joyce Anelay, presented her with the award on Wednesday evening.The UN Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award recognises the dedication and effort of an individual peacekeeper in promoting the principles contained within the UN Security Council’s resolution 1325, aimed at drawing attention to women in armed conflict and their role in peacekeeping and security.Adopted in 2000, the resolution stresses the importance of women’s equal and full participation as active agents in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, peace-building and peacekeeping. It calls on UN Member States to ensure women’s equal participation and full involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security, and urges all actors to increase the participation of women and incorporate gender perspective in all areas of peace building. Nine peacekeeping missions nominated peacekeepers to be considered for the award and were graded on how they integrated the principles of resolution 1325 into military functional areas. According to the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, Major Issak – then serving at the rank of captain – stood out for her work with the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), particularly in the eastern region of Gao, where she served in a civilian-military cooperation unit. read more

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Ohio State mens hockey breaks winless streak in Buffalo

Sophomore goalie Matt Tomkins reaches for the puck during a game against Miami (Ohio) on Oct. 17 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU lost, 5-1.Credit: Michael Griggs / For The LanternThe Ohio State men’s hockey team gained an extra hour for celebration on its ride back from Buffalo, N.Y., following a Saturday-night win. After tying Canisius College, 3-3, on Friday, the Buckeyes broke their four-game winless streak with a 4-1 victory the following night.“We just seemed to have a little better jump in our step,” OSU coach Steve Rohlik said Saturday. “To get the first goal certainly was a real positive.”Production from the forward line of seniors Nick Oddo, Chad Niddery and freshman Kevin Miller propelled the Buckeyes (2-3-1), combining for two of the team’s goals on Saturday while Niddery and Oddo teamed up with sophomore defenseman Josh Healey on a third.“It was good to see them have some success,” Rohlik said. “All four lines need to be effective for us to be successful and tonight was just their opportunity.”Scoring opened late in the first period of Saturday’s game when Oddo picked up his first goal of the season. OSU made it 2-0 at the 6:14 mark of the second frame when senior forward Darik Angeli also scored his first of the year. The Buckeyes continued to build their lead early in the third period with two goals separated by 29 seconds. Oddo’s second of the night was followed by Miller’s first collegiate goal.Canisius (4-3-1) broke OSU sophomore goalie Matt Tomkins’ shutout with a shorthanded goal at the 15:34 mark of the third period. Tomkins finished the night with 20 saves.  While the Golden Griffins’ tally did not stage a comeback, it exploited OSU’s key weakness of the weekend: its power play. The Buckeyes went 0-3 on the power play on Saturday and 0-9 during the weekend. OSU’s penalty kill went 8-8 during the series.Friday’s game had a different flow than Saturday’s as the Buckeyes fell behind 2-0 less than two minutes into the game. The lackluster start prompted Rohlik to replace sophomore goalie Christian Frey with Tomkins, who finished the game with 26 saves.“Frey didn’t have the start he wanted,” Rohlik said. “I didn’t think our team had the start (we wanted).”Senior forward Matt Johnson, freshman forward Luke Stork and sophomore forward David Gust scored for OSU to finish the night in a 3-3 tie. Stork’s goal was his second of the season, but Friday’s game marked the end of his series as an upper-body injury kept him out of Saturday’s lineup, Rohlik said. Loose PucksSenior defenseman Al McLean was a healthy scratch for Saturday’s game.Sophomore forward Nick Schilkey returned after missing three games with an upper-body injury.16 Buckeyes have registered a point this season. read more

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Papa Johns Apologizes for Criticizing NFL Anthem Protests

San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid (35) and wide receiver Marquise Goodwin (11) kneel during the performance of the national anthem before an NFL football game against the New York Giants in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Papa John’s Pizza apologized Tuesday night for comments made by CEO John Schnatter blaming sluggish pizza sales on NFL players kneeling during the national anthem.The Louisville, Kentucky-based company is a major NFL sponsor and advertiser, and Schnatter said on an earnings call on Nov. 1 that “NFL leadership has hurt Papa John’s shareholders” and that the protests “should have been nipped in the bud a year and a half ago.”The company tweeted a statement offering to “work with the players and league to find a positive way forward.”“The statements made on our earnings call were describing the factors that impact our business and we sincerely apologize to anyone that thought they were divisive,” it said. “That definitely was not our intention.“We believe in the right to protest inequality and support the players’ movement to create a new platform for change. We also believe, as Americans, we should honor our anthem. There is a way to do both.”The movement was started last year by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who kneeled to protest what he said was police mistreatment of blacks. More players began kneeling after President Donald Trump said at an Alabama rally in September that team owners should get rid of players who protest during the anthem.Papa John’s added that it is “open to ideas from all. Except neo-Nazis.” It previously has tried to distance itself from white supremacists who praised Schnatter’s comments, saying it does not want those groups to buy its pizza.The company’s stock has fallen by nearly 13 percent since Schnatter’s comments. read more

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The Washington Capitals Are Lucky Because Theyre Good

The Washington Capitals are on fire right now. They’ve lost only three times since the calendar flipped to 2017 and have outscored their opponents 95 to 44 over that stretch. Aside from an 8-7 overtime loss to the rival Pittsburgh Penguins on Jan. 16, the Capitals have only surrendered more than three goals two times during their hot streak. In a league in which holding the opponent to three goals or fewer will earn you at least a shootout most nights, it’s easy to see why Washington is piling up points in the standings.Not only do the Caps own the league’s best record, but they also have the most dominant stats in hockey. They lead the league in Hockey-Reference.com’s Simple Rating System (SRS), which estimates the strength of every team in the NHL,1Technically speaking, SRS measures a team’s average goal differential after adjusting for strength of schedule. as well as team goals against average, the mark of a stingy defense. They also rank in the top five in several other major statistical categories, including goals scored per game; power play percentage; penalty kill percentage; and Corsi percentage, which estimates a team’s all-important possession rate by measuring the percentage of shot attempts it directed at the opponent’s net during games.2Adjusted for score, zone and venue.This is all to say that the Capitals look really, really ridiculously good on paper. But they’ve also ranked highly in a few key stats that are traditionally more in the realm of luck than skill. For example, they’re No. 1 in PDO, which is the sum of shooting percentage and save percentage (a notoriously unstable indicator in stathead circles), both of which the Capitals also either lead the league in or are tied for No. 1. Ordinarily, a high PDO could be seen as a red flag — suggesting that a team’s statistical résumé is like a house of cards, ready to collapse at any moment. But in Washington’s case, the team even seems to have come by the percentages that make up PDO (mostly) honestly. It’s the consequence of a roster design that could mean it’s finally Washington’s year to hoist Lord Stanley’s cup.The Capitals’ statistical excellence is nothing new — in each of the past three seasons, they’ve ranked among the NHL’s top eight in both points and SRS. Perhaps even more telling, they’ve been among the NHL’s top three in PDO for the past two seasons. Their good fortune in the percentages is commonplace by now.So how do we know Washington’s success isn’t purely based on good luck? For one thing, they’ve assembled a roster that perennially shoots the lights out. The Capitals have finished outside of the top 10 in shooting percentage only once since 2009-10. And since Barry Trotz took the helm as head coach in 2014-15, the team has ranked no worse than fourth. Only the Dallas Stars outperformed the Capitals in shooting percentage in both 2014-15 and 2015-16, but while the Stars have regressed — they sit in the middle of the pack (12th) in 2016-17 — the Capitals continue to put the puck in the net with a high degree of efficiency, thanks to that group of good shooters.A handful of said marksmen are having personal best shooting percentage seasons: T.J. Oshie, whose career shooting percentage of 13.1 percent is good for 24th among active players, is scoring on 23.7 percent of his shots in 2016-17. Frequent playoff hero3This is one of the reasons the Capitals signed him. Justin Williams has a career shooting percentage of 9.7 percent, but he’s scoring on 15.7 percent of his shots. Left winger Marcus Johansson has a career shooting percentage of 14.0 percent but is scoring on an astounding 22.9 percent of his shots. And he looks poised to shatter his career high mark for goals in a season. Some of that overachievement is bound to regress to the mean, but if the Caps’ history as a team is any indicator, Washington should be able to hold onto at least some of their improvements.That’s just one of PDO’s two (usually unstable) components. The other half of the Capitals’ brilliant, odds-beating equation is goaltender Braden Holtby. Holtby is among the best netminders in the world (his career save percentage is third-best among active goalies), and he’s only getting better. His goals against average and save percentage are both better than they were last season, and if it weren’t for Minnesota Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk’s ridiculously impressive performance in 2016-17, Holtby would be a lock for a second consecutive Vezina Trophy. Goaltending statistics can be notoriously fluky, but they tend to be more stable over a career, particularly when they’re as consistently great as Holtby’s have been.The main criticism of the Capitals — and especially their captain, Alex Ovechkin — has been that they’re playoff underachievers.4It’s hilarious to assign an “underachiever” tag to a guy who ranks sixth all-time — and first among active skaters — in goals scored per game. Alexander Ovechkin is a gift and a once-in-a-generation talent, and every hockey fan on Earth — Washington Capitals fan or not — should cherish his existence. They’ve qualified for the postseason in eight of the past nine seasons but haven’t managed to get past the conference semifinals despite having rosters stacked with such quality players as Ovechkin, Oshie, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Alexander Semin (when he was actually good), Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Green (when he was actually good), and Holtby.When juxtaposed against the Capitals’ inability to make a deep playoff run, Washington’s degree of statistical dominance suggests that, sure, perhaps the team has underachieved a bit. But there’s no doubt that Trotz and general manager Brian MacLellan have built a team poised to succeed in the modern era of the NHL. Not only do they have a group that controls the puck well, but they’ve also hacked through the noise of PDO to assemble a roster that isn’t just lucky when it beats the percentages. Who knows if the Capitals will win the Cup this year, but they’re a legitimately dominant team and, as things sit now, championship favorites. Maybe this is the year they finally shrug off the underachievers tag and deliver on that promise. read more