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Govind Pansare murder: Kolhapur court extends police custody of suspect Sharad Kalaskar till June 24

first_imgPune: A local court in Kolhapur on Tuesday extended the police custody of Sharad Kalaskar, named by agencies to be one of the shooters of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar, till June 24 in connection with the 2015 murder of senior Communist leader and writer Govind Pansare. Government prosecutor Shivajirao Rane, along with case investigating officer Tirupati Kakade, Additional Superintendent of Police, urged the court that Kalaskar’s custody be extended for a week as the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Maharashtra police probing the Pansare murder had uncovered vital information regarding his involvement in the crime.“The SIT has obtained crucial information on Kalaskar’s role in the crime. He has confessed that there was another accomplice with him in Kolhapur as part of the conspiracy to murder Communist leader Pansare [on February 16, 2015]. While the accused has described that person to us, he has not revealed his name as yet. Furthermore, we believe that he [Kalaskar] was tasked with destroying the murder weapon,” advocate Rane said.He further submitted that Kalaskar, along with other suspects, had obtained instructions in firearms in neighbouring Belagavi district in Karnataka and that the accused had brought the weapon (that was eventually used for the murder) into Maharashtra.“The SIT also needs additional time to take the accused to a city outside Maharashtra to determine his precise role in the case. His mobile records and diaries also need to be examined in greater detail,” Mr. Rane said, arguing for a seven-day extension of Kalaskar’s custody.After hearing the arguments, Judge S.S. Raul granted extension of Kalaskar’s custody.The SIT, which had secured Kalaskar’s custody from the Mumbai Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), is investigating his precise role in the conspiracy hatched in Belagavi and Kolhapur to murder the veteran Communist leader.The Mumbai ATS had first arrested Kalaskar — a native of Aurangabad district — along with fringe right-wing activist Vaibhav Raut from Nallasopara in Mumbai and Sudhanwa Gondhalekar from Pune on August 10 last year for allegedly planning disruptive activities in several parts of the State.Probe agencies have alleged that Kalaskar was an expert in arms manufacturing and was part of the wider conspiracy that links the murders of other rationalist activists and journalist Gauri Lankesh, who was shot dead in Bengaluru.Pansare, along with wife Uma, was repeatedly shot at close range by motorcycle-borne assailants while returning from a morning stroll in Kolhapur’s Sagar Mal locality in February 2015. While Ms. Pansare survived the murderous attack with serious injuries, her husband succumbed to his wounds in Mumbai’s Breach Candy Hospital on February 20 that year.A total of nine people have been named in Pansare’s murder so far, including Sarang Akolkar and Vinay Pawar, two absconding activists of the Sanatan Sanstha, who the agencies earlier alleged to have carried out the actual shooting of Pansare.In June 2017, a Kolhapur court, after three rejections, had finally granted conditional bail to Sanatan Sanstha activist Sameer Gaikwad, who was picked up from Sangli district in western Maharashtra in September 2015 — the first arrest in the Pansare case.In January last year, the Kolhapur sessions court had granted conditional bail to radical Hindutva activist and ENT specialist Virendra Tawde — named as the ‘mastermind’ in Dabholkar’s murder — in connection with his suspected role in the killing of the veteran Communist leader.According to probe agencies, Tawde is a crucial link to the murders of both Pansare and Dabholkar. The SIT’s supplementary charge sheet even names Tawde as the ‘mastermind’ in the Pansare murder, suspecting him of conducting the reconnaissance before the murder.Then in November last year, Amol Kale, a key accused in the murder of Lankesh, was arrested by the SIT in connection with the murder of Pansare. Amit Degwekar, another co-accused in the Lankesh case, also was arrested by the SIT probing the Pansare murder. Motorcycle-borne assailants had killed Dabholkar on August 20, 2013, with a 7.65-mm country-made pistol when he was taking his morning stroll on the Omkareshwar Bridge in Pune. Pansare and his wife were similarly shot at close range from two 7.65-mm country-made weapons. The same modus operandi was used in the murder of scholar-rationalist M.M. Kalburgi, who was chillingly murdered by two unidentified assailants outside his home in Dharwad in Karnataka.last_img read more

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#KicksStalker: A ‘homecoming’ for the Hyperdunk ’17

first_imgWATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding K-pop star Jung Joon-young convicted of gang rape, spycam crimes LATEST STORIES Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH MOST READ Hyperdunk ’17 ‘Tenement’.Another Nike shoe comes home. And this one is a little bit closer to the heart of the Filipino baller.Going straight back to the roots of Filipino hoop dreams, Nike just announced the Hyperdunk 2017 Manila with little fanfare–but expect patriotic local sneakerheads to rave about this latest pair.ADVERTISEMENT The Hyperdunk 2017 Manila is of of six shoes representing different cities with rich basketball culture. The others include American playground haunts New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, Chinese hoop hotbed Beijing and Spanish basketball mecca Madrid.The “Tenement” tribute shoe honors the place where every Filipino baller dreamt of playing big-time hoops in front of adoring crowds: The streets. Taking inspiration from the Tenement Court Taguig, the limited edition Hyperdunk 2017 Manila still features its latest cushioning breakthrough, Nike React.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThat means players still get the quick bounce reaction that streetball players will find reassuring even during the harshest concrete court battles.Even the aesthetics of the shoe takes from the tenements. It boasts an all-gray upper and concrete-style midsole. Read Next Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chiefcenter_img The Hyperdunk 2017 ‘Manila’ (retail: P6,745, Titan BGC and Titan22.com), is the latest in the line of Nike “homecoming” kicks released to satiate the thirst of flag-waving Filipino hoop fans for local-flavored lines.Among the fan-favorite “homecoming” kicks from Nike include the Kobe 9 EM “Philippines,” which features the likeness of flip-flops, another streetball fixture, and the Lebron 14 “Agimat,” which features Filipino words and phrases and was inspired by Gilas Pilipinas. Palace: Duterte to attend Asean Summit in Bangkok but with ‘spacing’ PLAY LIST 01:09Palace: Duterte to attend Asean Summit in Bangkok but with ‘spacing’00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension LOOK: Filipinos in Lebanon go all out in support of Gilas Pilipinaslast_img read more

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ATP Finals: Rafael Nadal Stays Alive With Stunning Turnaround to Beat Daniil Medvedev

first_img alexander zverevATP FinalsDaniil Medvedevrafael nadal First Published: November 13, 2019, 10:57 PM IST London: Rafael Nadal came back from the dead against Daniil Medvedev on Wednesday to keep his ATP Finals hopes alive and boost his chances of finishing as the year-end number one.The Spaniard was on the brink of defeat when facing a match point on his own serve after being broken twice in the deciding set but stormed back to win 6-7 (3), 6-3, 7-6 (4). Both players were under intense pressure after losing their opening round-robin matches in Group Andre Agassi ahead of the match at London’s O2 Arena.Nadal is on a double mission in London — aiming to win the end-of-season event for the first time in his illustrious career and to secure the year-end number one spot.ASTONISHING FROM RAFA NADAL Down 1-5 in the third set, @RafaelNadal saves a match point & completes a sensational comeback at the #NittoATPFinals!: @TennisTV pic.twitter.com/1bk5DYBTPs— ATP Tour (@atptour) November 13, 2019 Russia’s Medvedev, who has won two Masters titles this season, took the first set on a tie-break to leave Nadal staring down the barrel.The Spanish veteran broke his 23-year-old opponent early in the second set, repeating the trick to level the match.But Medvedev was quickly into his stride in the decider, sprinting to the net to dispatch a cross-court backhand past his opponent and earn a double break.Nadal, who came into the tournament under an injury cloud, avoided the embarrassment of a “bagel”, which looked a distinct possibility at one stage.The 19-time Grand Slam champion fended off a match point on his own serve and then, roared on by the crowd, broke Medvedev twice to level the match at 5-5 and edged ahead 6-5.But just when it seemed Medvedev was slipping inexorably towards defeat, he managed to hit the reset button and hold to take the third set into a tie-break.Medvedev was first to falter in the shootout, hitting a regulation forehand wide to hand Nadal two match points and he sealed the win on the next point.The Spaniard has qualified 15 straight times for the ATP Finals but has never clinched the title, won a record six times by Roger Federer and five times by Djokovic.In the evening match on Wednesday the two youngest players in the top 10 of the ATP rankings square off, with Stefanos Tsitsipas, 21, taking on defending champion Alexander Zverev, who is 22.Zverev beat Nadal on Monday for his third consecutive victory at the eight-man ATP Finals against the “Big Three”, dating back to last year’s tournament.Tsitsipas beat Medvedev for the first time in his career.Dominic Thiem has already secured one of the qualification spots in Group Bjorn Borg, leaving Roger Federer and Djokovic to scrap it out on Thursday for the remaining place from the four-man pool. Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time.last_img read more

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Sports minister lauds football team, says stay focussed

first_imgNew Delhi, Jul 6 (PTI) Sports Minister Vijay Goel today lauded the Indian football team for achieving its best-ever FIFA ranking in two decades and asked the players to stay focussed on the challenges that lay ahead. India rose to the 96th spot in the latest FIFA rankings, its best-ever in the last two decades and the second best overall. In the process, India are currently placed 12th in AFC. “We are going through a golden period of football and the best is yet to come. The present FIFA spot doesnt mean that we have achieved much. We need to stay focused on the upcoming challenges,” Goel said in a statement. He said that with India hosting the FIFA U-17 World Cup later this year coupled with the Mission 11 Million programme, India will “surely be the next big bright spot” in international football. Goel reiterated that youngsters must take up every sport seriously and the ministry is committed to provide the best facilities to the players, coaches and support staff. Indias best-ever FIFA ranking till date stays 94, which was attained in February 1996, while 99 was Indias second- best, achieved in November 1993. The national team has been on an upsurge with a string of impressive results leading to a climb of 77 places over the last two years. The team has now won 13 of its last 15 matches and is unbeaten in the last eight games (including the unofficial match against Bhutan). PTI AH AHlast_img read more

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Swiss Extradite Webb to U.S.

first_imgZURICH – Former FIFA Vice President Jeffrey Webb has been extradited to the United States following his arrest in Switzerland on racketeering and bribery charges filed by American prosecutors.The Swiss Federal Office of Justice said the man was extradited a day earlier after 50 days of detention.“He was handed over to a three-man U.S. police escort in Zurich who accompanied him on the flight to New York,” the ministry said in a statement.Two people familiar with the case identified the defendant as Webb and confirmed he has been brought to the United States.The people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case, declined to disclose his exact location.Webb, who is from the Cayman Islands, was President of the CONCACAF, soccer’s governing body for North and Central America and the Caribbean, and a FIFA Vice President at the time of his arrest.A total of 14 men — nine soccer officials and five marketing executives — were indicted by the U.S. Justice Department in May, including former FIFA Vice President Jack Warner, who is resisting extradition from Trinidad and Tobago. Webb promised reform when he was elected in 2012 to succeed Warner as President of CONCACAF.A further four, including former FIFA executive committee member Chuck Blazer of the United States and two sons of Warner, had their guilty pleas unsealed in May.They are alleged to have taken part in a racketeering conspiracy paying bribes of more than $150 million over a 24-year period.The payments were tied to the award of broadcast and hosting rights for the World Cup, continental championships in North and South America, and regional club tournaments.Another of the arrested was Aaron Davison, President of the marketing company Traffic Sports USA, who is subject to home detention at his residence in Florida.A day ahead of a status conference in his case in federal court in Brooklyn, prosecutors sent a letter to U.S. District Judge Raymond J. Dearie informing him that Davidson has been involved in plea negotiations.The government said it anticipates “audio recordings in multiple languages” and “records produced to the United States by foreign countries pursuant to mutual legal assistance requests” will be part of discovery in Davidson’s case. Prosecutors also said they are coordinating with FIFA’s counsel to notify all 209 national federations of the proceedings.All seven men were arrested on May 27 in dawn raids on a luxury hotel in Zurich by Swiss federal police at the request of American prosecutors.They include FIFA Vice President Eugenio Figueredo of Uruguay, who like Webb was suspended from soccer activity by FIFA’s ethics committee.The others are Jose Maria Marin, who led Brazil’s 2014 World Cup local organizing committee; Eduardo Li, an elected member of FIFA’s executive committee and president of Costa Rica’s soccer federation; FIFA staffer Julio Rocha, a development officer from Nicaragua; Venezuela federation president Rafael Esquivel; and Costas Takkas, a Briton who works for Webb.Extradition hearings are being held by Zurich cantonal police in a process expected to finish by early September, Swiss justice office spokesman Raphael Frei told the Associated Press on July 16. Appeals to Switzerland’s federal criminal court and supreme court can extend the cases by several months.Webb and Figueredo were named in the indictment among several men who have already shared in bribe payments of at least $40 million linked to broadcast rights for four editions of the Copa America tournament.Blazer admitted sharing in a $10 million bribe scheme with Warner and a third FIFA voter to support South Africa’s successful bid for the 2010 World Cup. South African officials asked FIFA to transfer the money through the governing body’s accounts.U.S. authorities have said more indictments could follow, and FIFA President Sepp Blatter is a target of the widening case.Under pressure from the investigation and a separate Swiss federal probe of money laundering linked to FIFA’s award of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, Blatter announced on June 2 that he intends to leave office.Blatter, who denies wrongdoing, has not attended FIFA business in nations that have extradition treaties with the U.S.On July 20, he will chair an executive committee meeting in Zurich that is likely to decide on an election date for FIFA’s member federations to replace him as president.Blatter is expected to travel to Russia next week to oversee the 2018 World Cup qualifying draw on July 25 in St. Petersburg.___By Graham Dunbar, AP Sports Writer. AP Writer Tom Hays in New York and AP Sports Writer Ronald Blum in New York contributedTweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

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IPL 2019: Rajasthan Royals to don pink jersey for new season

first_imgRajasthan Royals have changed their colour ahead of the new season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), which is set to start on March 23, 2019. Rajasthan Royals, who wore a blue-coloured jersey for the 9 IPL seasons they played, will now embrace the colour pink. The new pink jersey which was unveiled on the show Halla Bol on Sunday, will have blue colour on the neckline and the end of the shirt’s sleeves.Rajasthan Royals’s captain Ajinkya Rahane and brand ambassador Shane Warne revealed that it was the reactions of the fans to their one-match pink jersey last year that made the team think of wearing it throughout.”We wore pink for cancer awareness in one match last year and the fans loved it. Then we thought that Jaipur is the pink city and we should be wearing pink,” Rahane said on the show.Meet the Pink Diamonds of Cricket! Meet the new Rajasthan Royals. #HallaBol pic.twitter.com/3rGPOl7gM5Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) February 10, 2019″I think when we think back the last year and we joined forces with cancer charities and raised awareness about that, the fans coming back and saying we love the Royals in pink. We all started thinking that may be we should do it full time.”We then started elaborating that and exploring, Jaipur is the pink city and we thought let’s go with it. The players are looking forward to wearing it and more importantly, the fans they absolutely love it. I think the boys will be rocking the pink this year,” Warne said.advertisementSanju Samson and Shreyas Gopal will become one of the senior members of the Rajasthan Royals setup this year and are expected to shoulder responsibilities in batting and bowling department, respectively.Samson and Shreyas shared that the Royals camp has a very cool vibe and everyone is very helpful and engaging.A new colour to don, a new colour to celebrate the same Royal spirit. Say Hello to Pink! #HallaBol pic.twitter.com/rT1R8E5jSMRajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) February 10, 2019Rahane in fact revealed that Shane Warne is a funny character as he introduced this pink doll thing in the Rajasthan camp.”We have this thing in Royals – the pinky doll. So whoever is late to the ground or late to the bus when we are travelling, he has to carry the pinky doll with him for the next 24 hours.”Shreyas Gopal said he was left shaken by the eating habits of Warne. “He has butter naan with tomato sauce and he loves it. Then 20 scoops of ice cream and french fries – he loves all of that and I saw that and was like I can’t digest that.”last_img read more

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Ohio State Fans Are Chanting “Michigan Sucks” In The Horseshoe During Their Game’s Rain Delay

first_imgOhio State Buckeye fans doing the "O-H-I-O" chant.COLUMBUS, OH – SEPTEMBER 27: Ohio State Buckeyes fans cheer on their team against the Minnesota Golden Gophers on September 27, 2008 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)Ohio State’s contest against Tulsa is currently in a rain delay, so fans are packed inside the halls of the Horseshoe waiting it out. They found a fun way to pass the time.Ohio State is currently up 20-3 on Tulsa at halftime, and the second half of the game is set to begin in a few minutes. For the past hour, fans at the Horseshoe have been stuck inside the stadium, unable to get back to their seats for safety reasons. It appears that they’ve decided to have some fun at the expense of Michigan.In the below video, you can hear Buckeyes fans chanting “Michigan sucks.” We’ll assume they also don’t give a damn for the whole state of Michigan.”Michigan Sucks” chants ringing through the Shoe: #BestDamnFans pic.twitter.com/cJzcAWd6oV— Sports Nation Ohio (@SN_Ohio) September 10, 2016Jabrill Peppers got a bit frustrated with Ohio State fans earlier in the day, too – so this isn’t the first story about the famed rivalry today. Reminder – the two will meet again this November.last_img read more

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In Throne Speech response Atleo says Canada was not an empty land

first_imgAPTN National News OTTAWA–Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo said Canada “was not an empty” land as he responded to Wednesday’s Throne Speech that claimed pioneers forged a country “where none would have otherwise existed.”The Harper government set its agenda for the coming Parliamentary session through the Throne Speech which was read by Gov. Gen. David Johnston.While the speech also mentioned the 250th anniversary of the Royal Proclamation as a foundational document that acknowledged the “rights of Indigenous peoples” and laid the basis “of their relationship with the Crown,” it also painted an image of a country hewed from an unorganized landscape and fashioned into a nation-state.Referring to coming 150th anniversary of Confederation, the speech described a country founded by “leaders or courage and audacity” that faced down “geographic, military and economic” challenges to create the country.“They were undaunted. They dared to seize the moment that history offered. Pioneers, then, few in number, reached across a vast continent,” read Johnston. “They forged an independent country where none would have otherwise existed.”Atleo said the statement echoed the legal theory of terra nullius and the related doctrine of discovery used by European powers to claim lands inhabited by Indigenous peoples.“It was not, as they say terra nullius, the doctrine of discovery that says there was no one here,” said Atleo. “The Indigenous nations pre-existed the establishment of Canada.”Atleo, however, did make an effort to find positive morsels in a speech that was thin gruel on First Nation issues.The national chief said he was glad to see a nod to the 250th anniversary of the Royal Proclamation which he saw linked to the speech’s mention of continued dialogue on treaties and comprehensive claims.“(It) must be based on the recognition we have title and the path of economic prosperity…must be based on our right of free, prior and informed consent,” said Atleo.Atleo said he was also pleased to note the speech mentioned the need to deal with the high rates of murdered and missing Indigenous women, adding he would continue to press for a full public inquiry.The speech said that the Harper government would “renew its efforts to address the issue of missing and murdered Aboriginal women.”AFN regional chief Morley Googoo, who is in charge of the education file, said he wanted to hear stronger language from the speech on the need to improve First Nation education.“I found the talk was very soft,” he said. “We have to see how the government is going to proceed.”The speech made no mention of the federal government’s plan to introduce the controversial First Nation Education Act to govern on-reserve education.Instead, the speech made vague reference to continuing work with First Nations leaders on the issue.“Our government recognizes the tremendous potential of Canada’s First Nations, Metis and Inuit populations to strengthen the growing Canadian economy,” read Johnston. “It will continue working with First Nations to develop stronger, more effective and more accountable on-reserve education systems.”Atleo said the government has a choice to make.“It is a moment of either collaboration or collision,” said Atleo. “It has everything to do with the words that were spoken being followed up with real action, in full partnership, which is the words that they used, with First Nations.”news@aptn.calast_img read more

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Trump expresses confidence in EPA chief as questions linger

first_imgWASHINGTON – White House officials sounded increasingly doubtful Thursday about the future of embattled Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt, even as President Donald Trump appeared to throw him a public lifeline.Speaking Thursday to reporters aboard Air Force One, Trump used a series of superlatives to describe Pruitt.“I think he’s done a fantastic job,” the president said. “I think he’s done an incredible job. He’s been very courageous. It hasn’t been easy, but I think he’s done a fantastic job. I think he’ll be fine. “That was contrasted by more tepid remarks earlier from White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley.“They say we all serve at the pleasure of the president,” Gidley told reporters. “The president himself said he had confidence (in Pruitt), and so that’s where we stand today.”Pruitt has been under fire for days amid numerous ethics questions, including his rental of a bargain-priced Capitol Hill condo with ties to a fossil fuels lobbyist. If Trump were to fire him, he would be the fourth agency head ousted in the Trump administration’s first 15 months.Trump has often lavished praise on Pruitt, a former Oklahoma attorney general who has worked relentlessly to scrap, delay or rewrite Obama-era environmental regulations opposed by the oil, gas and coal industries.But he also has publicly expressed support for other administration officials who were fired or resigned, right up until sending tweets announcing their departure.A review of Pruitt’s ethical conduct by White House officials is underway, adding to other probes already being conducted by congressional committees and EPA’s inspector general into outsized spending on luxury air travel and unusual security precautions.The ranking Democrat on the House oversight committee, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, called Thursday for Pruitt to appear on Capitol Hill next week to provide sworn testimony. In a letter to the committee chairman, Trey Gowdy, a South Carolina Republican, Cummings said EPA had failed to fully comply with prior demands for Pruitt’s travel records and requested that the documents be subpoenaed.The New York Times reported Thursday that at least five EPA officials were reassigned or demoted after pushing back against spending requests that included a $100,000-a-month private jet membership, a bulletproof vehicle and $70,000 to replace two desks in the administrator’s office suite. None of those purchases were approved, but Pruitt is reported to have gotten an ornate refurbished desk comparable in grandeur to the one in the Oval Office.CBS News first reported that the head of Pruitt’s security detail was demoted last year after the career employee refused the administrator’s demand to use the lights and sirens on his EPA vehicle to get him through D.C. traffic faster.Meanwhile, an EPA ethics official said Wednesday he wasn’t provided all of the relevant “factual information” before determining last week that Pruitt’s $50-a-night rental was not an ethics violation.EPA lawyer Kevin Minoli said his finding that Pruitt was paying fair-market value was based on the assumption that Pruitt occupied only one bedroom for $50 a night, as outlined in the lease.Media reports later disclosed that Pruitt’s college-aged daughter occupied a second bedroom in the unit while she interned at the White House last summer. Minoli said he did not consider the value of a second room in his analysis.Pruitt paid about $1,000 a month, less than a third of what Minoli’s review found nearby two-bedroom homes listed for. The Associated Press obtained a copy of Minoli’s letter, which was first reported by CNN.Pruitt had gone on the offensive Wednesday, trying to shore up his position in a series of interviews with Fox News and conservative media outlets during which he continued to suggest he had lived alone.White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Wednesday that Trump is not OK with some of the details that have emerged, including news this week of enormous raises awarded to two of Pruitt’s close aides. In a combative Fox News interview, Pruitt said he didn’t approve the raises and doesn’t know who did.Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York on Thursday became the third House Republican to say Pruitt should go, joining a growing chorus of Democrats and environmentalists. She was speaking to about 200 constituents in her home district.Amid the ethics cloud, one of Pruitt’s closest aides has resigned. Samantha Dravis served as his senior counsel and associate administrator for policy. EPA spokeswoman Liz Bowman said Thursday that Dravis, 34, was leaving to pursue other opportunities.Dravis previously worked for a fundraising group founded by Pruitt before being hired at EPA. She often accompanied the administrator on his frequent trips across the country and oversees.The condo rented by Pruitt is co-owned by the wife of J. Steven Hart, chairman and CEO of the powerhouse lobbying firm Williams & Jensen.On Pruitt’s lease, a copy of which was reviewed by AP, Steven Hart’s name was originally typed in as “landlord” but was scratched out. The name of his wife, health care lobbyist Vicki Hart, was scribbled in.Federal disclosure reports show Hart’s firm lobbied EPA, including Pruitt himself, extensively over the past year.The Associated Press reported last week that while living in the Hart condo he met in his EPA office with a lobbyist from Hart’s firm and two executives from an energy company seeking to scuttle tighter pollution standards for coal-fired power plants.Beyond the question of whether Pruitt paid a fair-market value for the rental, Hart’s business interests potentially raise other ethics issues that Minoli said he did not consider as part of his earlier review of whether the favourable lease constituted an improper gift to Pruitt from the lobbyist.Ethics rules covering federal officials say they must remain impartial when making regulatory decisions and can’t show favouritism. Pruitt also signed an ethics pledge when joining the Trump administration in which he promised not to accept gifts from lobbyists.But, ultimately, it’s up to the president to determine whether Pruitt goes or stays.“I’ll make that determination,” Trump said when asked whether he was bothered by the ethics issues surrounding Pruitt. “But he’s a good man, he’s done a terrific job. But I’ll take a look at it.”___Associated Press reporters Zeke Miller, Catherine Lucey and Jonathan Lemire contributed to this report.___Follow AP environmental reporter Michael Biesecker at http://twitter.com/mbiesecklast_img read more

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BC threatens to sue Alberta as all sides in Trans Mountain dispute

first_imgVICTORIA – All sides in the escalating dispute over the Trans Mountain expansion project appear to be digging in with the Alberta and British Columbia governments clashing over fuel prices and Indigenous and political leaders warning of civil unrestTensions escalated Monday with B.C. Attorney General David Eby threatening to sue Alberta over legislation it introduced to restrict the flow of oil, gasoline and natural gas leaving that province, which could boost fuel prices in B.C.“The immediate recourse that’s available to us is to potentially sue the Alberta government for an unconstitutional piece of legislation,” he said.Eby said he can’t predict gasoline prices — now at about $1.50 per litre in Metro Vancouver — but “what I can say is any concern British Columbians have that a bill that preferentially punishes B.C. from the Alberta perspective and tries to drive up gas prices would be unconstitutional and we would take action immediately to address that.”Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said the legislation sends the message that Alberta is prepared to defend its resources.It would direct pipeline companies, truckers and rail operators on how much oil product they ship and when. Violators would face fines of up to $1 million a day for individuals and $10 million a day for corporations.The legislation is the latest manoeuvre in the ongoing dispute over the pipeline project that has the federal and Alberta governments supporting the pipeline expansion project, while B.C. opposes it, saying it is defending its coast from a potentially catastrophic spill.The federal government approved the 1,700-kilometre pipeline expansion project starting near Edmonton and ending in Burnaby, B.C., in November 2016, saying the pipeline is in the national interest. Alberta said the $7.4-billion pipeline to the West Coast gives the province access to overseas markets.But the B.C. government says the expansion and seven-fold increase in oil tanker traffic in coastal waters poses environmental and economic risks that are too great. The province is preparing to ask the courts to determine who has jurisdiction over the pipeline in the province.Kinder Morgan announced earlier this month it is pulling back on spending for the project and gave Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government until May 31 to give a clear signal the project will proceed.Trudeau, Notley and B.C. Premier John Horgan met Sunday in Ottawa to discuss the pipeline, but emerged from the meeting deadlocked. Trudeau repeated the federal government’s commitment to ensuring the project’s completion and announced his government was preparing to hold private, financial talks with Kinder Morgan.Indigenous leaders, who were not invited to the meeting in Ottawa, joined together with representatives of the cities of Vancouver and Burnaby on Monday to redouble their opposition to the pipeline.Stewart Phillip, the grand chief of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, said opposition is broad-based and entrenched.“It’s a stinker of an idea. It’s a stinker of a proposal and it will be defeated,” he said.Phillip said resistance to Trans Mountain isn’t just from Indigenous Peoples, but people of all backgrounds from across Canada.So far, about 200 people have been arrested at protests near the pipeline terminal site in Burnaby.Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan said he expected civil disobedience against the pipeline to continue to grow.He said he’s embarrassed Canada’s prime minister and the Alberta premier are kowtowing to an American multinational oil company.“I think if people totally lose faith in our democratic system, if they believe that the federal government has been able to impose its will, that they’ve ignored the court proceedings, then I think we’re looking for chaos,” said Corrigan. “And that’s what worries me.”B.C.’s prosecution service announced Monday it would consider criminal contempt of court charges against protesters alleged to have broken a court injunction while demonstrating near the pipeline construction site.The service also said it had appointed a special prosecutor in the cases of Green party Leader Elizabeth May and New Democrat MP Kennedy Stewart, both arrested at the site.— With files from Gemma Karstens-Smith.last_img read more

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Spanish Minister of Interior to Visit Morocco for Working Trip

Rabat – The Spanish Ministry of Interior has announced that Minister of the Interior Fernando Grqnde Marlaska will travel to Morocco on Tuesday September 3 for a working visit.The minister’s agenda includes a meeting with Morocco’s interior Minister Abdelouafi Laftit. The meeting will take place on Wednesday, September 4.Europa Press  reported that the aim of the meeting is to “reinforce the existing cooperation” between Rabat and Madrid, especially in the control of migration flows and criminal networks. The news outlet said that Spain is facing pressure from undocumented migration, stating that more than 18,396 migrants arrived in Spain irregularly in 2019. The statistics come from the International Organization of Migration (IOM). The number represents 43.3% less than the same period in 2018, when 32,451 migrants arrived in 2018.In March, Spanish Minister of Interior Fernando Grande-Marlaska  said that Morocco’s security services are “leading to a decline in the arrival of migrants to the Spanish coasts.”He added that “coordination with the countries of origin and transit in the fight against these networks has led, since February, to a decline in migrant arrivals that is being confirmed during this month of March.”Morocco considers Spain one of its major partners in the fight against irregular migration.The visit of the Spanish official came after the Spanish acting government approved on  August 23, a  €32 million grant to back Morocco’s efforts to curb irregular migration.Read Also: Minister: Morocco Thwarts 57,000 Irregular Migration Attempts in 2019The visit of the interior minister will also follow two important visits of both the Spanish royal family earlier this year and the visit of the Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez. On November 19, Sanchez visited Morocco, where he met with King Mohammed VI, Morocco’s Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani and other Moroccan officials.Sanchez also visited Morocco in December, when he  participated in the Intergovernmental Conference on the Global Compact for Migration. read more

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US trade deficit falls 56 per cent to 444 billion as exports

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email US trade deficit falls 5.6 per cent to $44.4 billion as exports hit record high and imports dip by Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press Posted Jul 3, 2014 6:37 am MDT WASHINGTON – The U.S. trade deficit fell in May as U.S. exports hit an all-time high, helped by a jump in exports of petroleum products. Imports dipped slightly.The trade deficit narrowed 5.6 per cent in May to $44.4 billion after hitting a two-year high of $47 billion in April, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.Exports of goods and services rose 1 per cent to a record $195.5 billion in May while imports fell a slight 0.3 per cent to $239.8 billion.A lower trade deficit boosts overall economic growth when it shows U.S. companies are earning more in their overseas sales. Economists are looking for a smaller trade deficit in the April-June quarter which will mean less of a drag on overall growth than in the first quarter, when the economy shrank at an annual rate of 2.9 per cent.Paul Dales, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics, said he looked for the trade deficit to be just about half of the 1.5 percentage point drag it represented in the first quarter.Many analysts are looking for overall growth to rebound to a healthy rate between 3 per cent and 3.5 per cent in the second quarter.In 2013, the trade deficit declined 11.3 per cent to $476.4 billion. That reflected in part a boom in U.S. energy production that cut into America’s dependence on foreign oil while boosting U.S. petroleum exports to a record high.The larger trade gap in the first three months of this year, compared to the fourth quarter, shaved 1.5 percentage points from growth. That was a big factor in helping to push the economy into reverse. In addition to a higher trade deficit, the economy was held back by severe winter which dampened consumer spending.In May, the U.S. trade deficit with China rose 5.4 per cent to $28.8 billion. Through the first five months of this year, America’s deficit with China is running 3.2 per cent ahead of last year’s record pace.The rise in exports reflected record sales of U.S.-made autos and auto parts and an 11.3 per cent jump in exports of U.S. petroleum products. The rise in U.S. production has helped lower the need for imported oil, which dropped by 5 per cent in May to $28.3 billion, the lowest monthly import total since November 2010.Total U.S. exports to Canada were the highest on record while imports from Canada were the highest since July 2008, leaving a trade deficit of $2.8 billion with Canada. America had a record $2.7 billion trade deficit with South Korea in May as imports from that country hit a record high.Obama administration officials will meet with their Chinese counterparts in Beijing next week for annual high-level talks covering economic and foreign policy issues. Previewing the discussions on Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said the Obama administration would push China to allow its currency to rise against the dollar. The Chinese yuan has declined by about 2.4 per cent against the dollar so far this year.American manufacturers contend the Chinese currency is undervalued by as much as 40 per cent and the Chinese government is manipulating the value to gain trade advantages. A weaker yuan makes Chinese goods cheaper in the United States and U.S. products more expensive in China.Lew said that computer security would be another issue discussed. In May, the Justice Department charged five Chinese military officers with hacking into U.S. companies’ computer systems to steal trade secrets. read more

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Top 25 Capsules

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Arike Ogunbowale scored 30 points and her fellow starters all finished in double figures as No. 1 Notre Dame routed 14th-ranked Iowa 105-71 on Thursday night.The game was the final tuneup for the Irish (7-0) before their showdown with No. 2 UConn on Sunday afternoon.Ogunbowale was 13-of-21 from the field. Brianna Turner added 14 points and 11 rebounds while Marina Mabrey had 18 points in her second game after missing the first five contests with a quad injury.Muffet McGraw rested her regulars for most of the final quarter during which the lead reached 39 points.Megan Gustafson scored 26 points for Iowa (4-2).No. 5 LOUISVILLE 85, NEBRASKA 68LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Asia Durr scored 25 points to lead Louisville to a victory over visiting Nebraska in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.Playing a team that has four starters returning from an NCAA Tournament trip last season, the Cardinals (7-0) never really dominated in the first three quarters, but they weren’t really threatened either. After the first quarter, the Huskers (2-4) never got closer than five points to the Cardinals, and that came with 6:30 left in the first half.Maddie Simon scored a season-high 16 points to lead the Cornhuskers.No. 7 MARYLAND 67, GEORGIA TECH 54COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Kaila Charles scored 23 points and sparked a fourth-quarter surge that carried Maryland past Georgia Tech in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.After the Terrapins let a 20-point halftime lead dwindle to 47-46 with 9 minutes left, Charles rattled off 11 straight points to blunt the comeback.Freshman Taylor Mikesell scored 20 for Maryland (7-0) and Stephanie Jones added 11.Charles began her personal 11-0 run with a three-point play and followed with a jump shot. The junior guard then made two free throws, a runner in the lane and two more foul shots for a 58-46 lead with 5:53 remaining.Kierra Fletcher scored 14 for the Yellow Jackets (5-2).No. 20 MINNESOTA 72, No. 12 SYRACUSE 68MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Taiye Bello scored a career-high 20 points and pulled down 18 rebounds, Kenisha Bell added 24 points and Minnesota beat Syracuse.Trailing by six, the Golden Gophers went on a 12-0 run on their way to outscoring the Orange 17-7 over the final 3 1/2 minutes. Minnesota had led almost the entire game until a 13-0 run by the Orange put them up 61-55, setting the stage for the Gophers’ final push.Kiara Lewis scored 14 points, Miranda Drummond 12, Tiana Mangakahia 11 with eight assists and Maeva Djaldi-Tabdi had 10 points and five blocks for Syracuse (6-2), which had a five-game win streak end.No. 13 N.C. STATE 66, MICHIGAN 55RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Grace Hunter scored 19 points and No. 13 North Carolina State pulled away in the third quarter to beat Michigan in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge and remain undefeated.NC State is 7-0 for the first time since 1999. The Wolfpack have won 23 consecutive nonconference home games and host Old Dominion on Sunday.Hunter was just 4 of 14 from the field but made all 11 of her free-throw attempts. Kiara Leslie added 15 points on 7-of-19 shooting for the Wolfpack. Elissa Cunane chipped in with 13 points, and Hunter and Leslie grabbed eight rebounds apiece.Nicole Munger scored 18 points and Deja Church had 14 to lead Michigan (5-2).LAMAR 74, No. 17 TEXAS A&M 68COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — Chastadie Barrs scored 23 points, Miya Crump added 20 and Lamar knocked off Texas A&M in a rare non-conference home loss for the Aggies.The Aggies were missing leading scorer Chennedy Carter, who was suspended for the game for a violation of team attendance rules.Aaliyah Wilson led Texas A&M with 17 points and a game-high nine rebounds while fellow sophomore Kayla Wells added 16 points, but the Aggies (4-2) saw their 10-game home winning streak snapped as they fell to 164-7 against unranked teams at home (103-9 vs. non-conference foes) dating to 2005.The Cardinals (5-3) trailed briefly in the second quarter, but took a 39-35 lead into the second half and ended the game with 10 steals while Texas A&M wound up with 20 turnovers.PURDUE 74, No. 21 MIAMI 63WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Dominique Oden scored a career-best 27 points, hitting six 3-pointers, to lead Purdue to a victory over Miami.Karis McLaughlin was 5 of 5 from the arc and added 18 points with seven assists and Ae’Rianna Harris scored 12 points with seven rebounds. Tamara Farquhar also had seven boards. The Boilermakers (6-2) shot 44 per cent but were 12 of 18 from the arc for 67 per cent.Miami (7-1) had a 34-14 advantage in points in the paint but made just 4 of 15 from the arc while shooting 44 per cent overall.Emese Hof scored 25 points with 14 rebounds and was the only Hurricanes player in double figures.The Associated Press read more

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When to Sign an NBA Player to the Max

The Cleveland Cavaliers won the lottery on Tuesday and will make the NBA’s No. 1 overall draft pick for the third time in four seasons. There’s a lot riding on whom they choose. Earlier this week I looked at the value produced by first-round NBA draft picks. These players, especially the highest draft picks, are valuable assets while they’re still on rookie-scale contracts. The average No. 1 overall pick produces the equivalent of $63 million in value during his first five NBA seasons, based on the number of wins he generates for his club. Yet the player drafted first overall this year can be had for about $35 million in salary. These averages, of course, conceal a wide range of outcomes — from LeBron James to Anthony Bennett — but the odds of acquiring a valuable player at a discount are stacked in the team’s favor.Edges like those aren’t easy to come by in the NBA, however. And the Cavs’ most difficult choice this summer may not be between Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid, but what to do about Kyrie Irving, their No. 1 overall pick three drafts ago. They’ll need to determine whether to offer Irving a maximum extension, which would kick in during the 2015-16 season and pay him around $90 million through 2019-20.These decisions can easily go wrong. The very best players in the league might be worth 20 wins per season or more, which can translate into valuations in the range of $40 million a year — much higher than the maximum salary. However, only the top few players in the league — James, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul and perhaps a half-dozen others — are worth considerably more than the max. And not all players who look to be on a LeBronian trajectory stay the course. The Chicago Bulls’ Derrick Rose won the MVP after his terrific 2010-11 season — a lot more than Irving has accomplished — and the Bulls signed him to a “supermax” extension afterward through 2016-17. Rose has played in just 49 regular-season games since; the deal could wind up being a curse for Chicago.My earlier article considered cases like these on an anecdotal basis; this one will do so in a more formal way. Here’s the issue: Irving has played his first three NBA seasons, and his team needs to decide whether to offer him a maximum extension. This is a fairly common dilemma for NBA teams; the Indiana Pacers faced it last year with Paul George, for instance, and the Houston Rockets did two years ago with James Harden.Maximum extensions lock up a player for five years,1Offering a 5-year extension requires the team to use its Designated Player status on the player; otherwise, it can only offer a 4-year extension. for his fifth through ninth NBA seasons. If you’ve been reading carefully, you may be wondering what happened to a player’s fourth season. The short answer is that the team needs to decide on a max extension a year ahead of time. Essentially, it loses out on a year’s worth of information. This makes more difference than you might think2In a regression analysis modeling the player’s performance in seasons five through nine, adding his fourth season improves the explanatory power of the model by about 15 percent.; the fourth season is sometimes pivotal in young players’ development. Penny Hardaway’s performance regressed significantly during his fourth season, for instance, the start of a rather steep decline, and his fourth season is when Rose’s injury problems began.As the name implies, a maximum extension is for the league’s maximum salary and maximum annual raises of 7.5 percent. The maximum salary for a player in his fifth NBA season was $13.7 million last season. However, assuming inflation under the salary cap is 3.5 percent per season,3This assumption is perhaps on the conservative side. it will be closer to $16.3 million by 2018-19, when the players chosen in the draft this June will enter their fifth year. Factoring in annual raises, that means the price of a maximum extension will be about $94.5 million over five years when Andrew Wiggins or Julius Randle become eligible for one. Or, Wiggins or Randle instead could be eligible for a supermax extension if they meet certain criteria, such as starting on the All-Star team at least twice. Those supermax extensions are 20 percent more expensive, or $113.4 million over five years.My apologies if this has begun to read like a legal brief. The NBA’s contract rules aren’t simple; there’s a reason that Larry Coon’s salary cap FAQ runs for more than 60,000 words. The “fun” part of the story starts now.First, let’s look at the typical aging curves for NBA players, based on their position in the draft and the number of years since they were drafted.The chart shows that the typical first-round draft pick improves significantly during his first and second seasons in the league. Then he has a long and relatively flat peak that persists from about his third through eighth NBA seasons. After that, he begins to decline. The shape of the aging curve is fairly similar regardless of where a player is chosen in the draft. Players chosen higher in the draft are better as rookies, better at their peak, and better in their declining years — but they don’t peak substantially earlier or later than other players.This represents a reasonably favorable set of circumstances for an NBA team considering a max extension. In buying up a player’s fifth through ninth NBA seasons, it’s still getting him at something close to peak performance.4This is especially likely to be the case for a player who entered the draft as soon as he was eligible, as most potential NBA superstars now do, because he may be a year or two younger than the typical player represented by these aging curves. The situation is better than in baseball, when the average player doesn’t hit the free-agent market until he’s something like 30 years old, and already in his decline phase.So suppose that the No. 1 overall draft pick was always signed to a max extension. Would teams come out ahead on those deals on average?No; this would be a silly strategy. Based on the past performance of No. 1 overall picks, you’d expect the player chosen first this year to produce the equivalent of $80.5 million in market value from 2018-19 to 2022-23.5This calculation assumes 3.5 percent inflation in the price of a win on the free-agent market. That’s not bad, but his max deal would cost his team $94.5 million instead.So let’s allow teams to take a more sophisticated approach. They run a regression on all first-round picks from the lottery era, which provides them with a projection of their player’s performance in his fifth through ninth seasons based on his age, his draft position and his performance in his first three seasons (as measured by win shares).6The three years are not weighted equally in this regression; instead, weighting the most recent seasons more heavily produces a considerably better prediction. If the player’s projection comes out in the 80th percentile or higher, they offer a max extension. This means that 20 percent of first-round draft picks would get max extensions, or an average of six players per draft class.This strategy is also not any good for the teams; it’s much too liberal in giving out max contracts. The average player from this group produces about $75 million worth of market value in his extension seasons — about $20 million less than his team would need to pay him.We have to set the bar a lot higher. Suppose teams extend only the top 5 percent of players, or the equivalent of one or two players per draft class. These players do provide some surplus value during their extension years. Their performance is worth an average of $105.7 million in market value, compared to their $94.5 million in salary. That’s a profit of about $11 million for the teams.Even so, most of these are good deals for the teams rather than great ones. The majority of these players are worthwhile at the maximum salary, but the majority would not be worth the supermax salary of $113.4 million.7Also, all of the team’s profit comes from the first four years of the extension; teams should be indifferent about whether to lock the player up for a fifth year.To find players worth the supermax deal, teams need to be pickier still — offering it only to players who rank in the 99th percentile of all first-round picks. There are about 700 players in our sample of lottery-era first-round picks, which means only seven meet this definition: James, Durant, Paul, Hardaway, Shaquille O’Neal, Grant Hill and Tim Duncan. This is a noisy estimate because of the small sample size,8And because Durant and Paul have not yet had the chance to play nine seasons in the league; my method adjusts for this by not including their win shares in the average for the seasons they’ve not yet played. but these players produced an average of about $130 million worth of value in their fifth through ninth seasons, well more than both the max and supermax contracts.9Even within this exclusive club, however, there were two players, Hardaway and Hill, who would have been bad deals.But it’s not much of a challenge to identify the 99th percentile players. Instead, the hard part is distinguishing between players in the 95th through 98th percentiles, who generally are worth max extensions, and those in the 90th through 94th percentiles, who usually are not. According to our model, in fact, players in the 90th through 94th percentiles are expected to produce a significantly negative return on investment when signed to max extensions, receiving almost $20 million more in salary than their production is worth.This is an awfully abstract way to think about NBA players, so let’s look at some examples. The table below lists all players from 2000 through 2014 who would be classified in each grouping after their third NBA season. The guys on the right are the ones you’d have wanted to extend — given what you knew about them at the time. The guys on the left are the ones you wouldn’t.Each side of the list has a few mild oddities (Ronnie Brewer?), but for the most part the breakdown is reasonably intuitive. The guys on the right side are those who by their third season in the league were serious candidates for one of the three All-NBA teams. In fact, 57 percent of the players on the right-hand list had made at least one All-NBA team by their third season, and almost all the others would have been very reasonable picks. By contrast, just two of the 21 players on the left-hand list had done so (the exceptions were Russell Westbrook and Paul George and they both rated in the 94th percentile, just barely missing the right-hand side of the list).If you were an NBA team actually contemplating a max-extension offer, you’d want to do more homework on the decision. Still, the following is a pretty good rule of thumb:Has your guy made an All-NBA team, or would it have been entirely reasonable for him to do so? Then offer him the max extension. If not, then don’t.If it’s a close call, you might consider the player’s age, his injury history, his advanced defensive metrics, his leadership abilities, positional scarcity, your cap flexibility or whatever else pleases you.Kyrie Irving hasn’t made an All-NBA team and he isn’t going to this season. But is he a close call or a flat ‘no’? He’s squarely on the left-hand side of our chart10He rates in the 92nd percentile and is not a true borderline case like George or Westbrook. based on win shares — and that metric likes Irving a lot better than some other systems. ESPN’s NBA real plus-minus rated Irving as just the 37th (!) best point guard in the league, by contrast, in large part because it rates his defense as awful.Perhaps Irving’s disappointing season had more to do with motivation and mindset than talent. But it’s important to consider the downside as well as the upside of a max deal. Unless you have a potential 99th percentile player on your hands, the downside is sometimes larger. A very, very good but not quite world-class NBA player — say, Russell Westbrook — is worth a little more than the maximum salary. But a guy who gets hurt or who burns out early — say, Steve Francis — can be a huge albatross. If Irving has a 50 percent chance of turning into Westbrook and a 50 percent chance of following the Francis course, the Cavs probably shouldn’t sign him. (The team also has other options to explore: trading him, locking up his fifth season by making him a qualifying offer, and so forth.)This analysis also implies that there isn’t much intrinsic value in a draft pick above and beyond what a player gives you while he’s still on the rookie salary scale. Your player will be worth signing to a max extension only 5 percent of the time, and your expected profit on those extensions is only $11 million a pop. Having a 5 percent chance at an $11 million profit is worth just $550,000. By contrast, being too liberal about giving out max extensions to players like Irving can chip away at the value gained from them during their first several seasons. read more

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Womens volleyball Ohio State avenges its earlier loss to Maryland with a

Junior outside hitter Audra Appold (9) jumps to block an attack during a match with Maryland on Oct. 28 at St. John Arena. OSU won the match 3-0. Credit: Jenna Leinasars | Assistant News DirectorThe Ohio State women’s volleyball team had a double dose of the Maryland Terrapins this week – but the second tasted much sweeter than the first. The Buckeyes swept Maryland at St. John Arena on Friday (25-19, 25-16, 25-16). With the win on their side, OSU now stands at 15-9 overall on the season and 5-7 in Big Ten play. The first matchup between the teams this week gave a much different result. When the Buckeyes travelled to Maryland on Wednesday, it was the Terrapins who were celebrating the win after a grinding five-set fight. OSU sophomore setter Taylor Hughes said the main difference between the two matches was her team’s mentality. “We were missing our competitive edge on Wednesday. We went into (the match) soft,” she said. “Tonight we showed a lot of grit and hustle.” The Buckeyes were on top from the beginning in the first set. Junior outside hitter Luisa Schirmer fueled OSU’s offense by swinging away for six of the team’s 14 kills recorded in the opening set. OSU wasn’t easing off in the second either. They were able to continuously counter back after mistakes with kills and points of their own. It was again Schirmer who was steady at the service line and allowed the Buckeyes to go on a five-point run mid-set and pull away from the Terrapins. In the third set, sophomore outside hitter Audra Appold racked up impressive hitting numbers, posting seven kills of her own. OSU maintained a comfortable lead late in the set, allowing the Buckeyes to cruise to the match victory.Schirmer said Friday served as satisfying redemption from earlier in the week, as well as a confidence booster to the team’s mindset. “It’s great when a game like that (on Wednesday) was so close, and we feel like we had it – and then to come back and solidify the fact that we should’ve had it,” she said. OSU shut down the Terrapin’s offense, limiting them to a mere .020 attacking percentage. The Buckeyes also more than doubled Maryland’s blocking efforts — 10 for the Buckeyes and five for the Terrapins. Appold was the night’s attacking and dig leader with a double-double, 16 kills and 12 digs respectively. Hughes contributed 38 assists and combined for five blocks, barely topped by senior middle blocker Taylor Sandbothe with seven rejections. All six of OSU’s hitters ended the match with healthy attacking averages over .220. Hughes said the offense’s skills were pivotal to the win, also giving credit to the back row’s contributions.“I’m most proud of our hitters for mixing up their shots and being able to move the ball around,” she said. “On our defensive end, I think Val really stepped up and became our heart and soul tonight.” Schirmer commended Hughes for spreading out the team’s offense and giving everyone a chance to do their part. “We distributed the ball really well, and every person made big plays when it mattered. It was a team effort,” she said. OSU will see play again on Wednesday when they defend their home court against the Wisconsin Badgers at 8 p.m. read more

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Proposed satellite would collect and beam solar power to Earth

first_imgThe idea of a solar power collection satellite has been percolating for years. The technology has always been just far enough out of reach that no one had the gumption to stand up and seriously talk about doing it. Now NASA has decided to give some consideration to building such a satellite and has awarded a grant to Artemis Innovation Management Solutions to take a look at the logistics of such a system.NASA engineer John Mankins has come up with an intriguing design for the solar collector array. Mankins looked to nature and replicated what he saw; this is called bio-mimetics. The proposed satellite would be shaped a lot like a flower, with a spread-out conical shape. The array would be composed of many small, lightweight mirrors arranged in a lattice. This is the only way to get an array of sufficient size into orbit. Mankins believes this design will be more efficient at collecting solar radiation, but that’s only half the battle.When power is collected in orbit, it has to get back down to the Earth for us to run our blenders, iPhones, and other electronic whatnot. A very long extension cord certainly isn’t the answer, but a microwave generator might be. The microwave signal would be received by a station back on Earth, and converted into usable electricity. The satellite would be positioned far enough from Earth that is can collect sunlight at all times, so even when it’s dark at the receiving station, it will still be pumping out power.The money handed out by NASA isn’t going to actually build anything. No, this early phase is all about studying the feasibility of the whole endeavor. If things look good, a smaller version of the device will be put into near-Earth orbit as a test. There’s only so much solar energy that can be collected on Earth, but in space the rules are different. If the bio-mimetic solar collector satellite proves plausible, it could change everything.via Phys.orglast_img read more

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Free Mobile Orange sépanche Bouygues se tait

first_imgFree Mobile: Orange s’épanche, Bouygues se taitQuelques heures après la présentation des nouvelles offres de téléphonie mobile de Free, les réactions des autres opérateurs commencent à apparaître.Orange n’a pas perdu son temps et l’annonce a été faite assez rapidement. L’opérateur historique a déclaré qu’il ne réagirait pas immédiatement au lancement de Free Mobile. “C’est le jour J pour Free, nous allons leur laisser savourer leur journée” a déclaré le porte-parole de la société. Elle a tout de même tenu a rassurer ses clients: “nous allons revenir vers eux pour leur parler des propositions que nous avons préparées”. La firme n’a cependant pas précisé si ces changement passeront par l’opérateur low cost d’Orange, Sosh. De son côté, Bouygues Télécom reste très discret et préfère rester à disposition de ses clients. Contrairement à SFR et Orange, il est le seul à conserver son mur Facebook et continue à interagir avec ses clients. B&You, l’opérateur low cost de Bouygues a tout de même réagi en annonçant que “B&YOU a toujours regardé les offres de la concurrence et a toujours écouté sa communauté pour faire évoluer ses forfaits. N’hésitez pas a nous faire part de vos idée via le lien suivant:https://idees.b-and-you.fr/. Nous revenons vers vous très prochainement.”Le Nouvel Observateur révèle aussi que les services de résiliation des trois opérateurs saturent depuis 10h ce matin.  Le 10 janvier 2012 à 12:37 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

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Reinventing a Legend Interview With Cory Barlog and the Cast of God

first_imgLet us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on target If you’re a gamer, then you know the title everyone’s currently talking about is God of War. Like I said in my review, this is easily one of the best releases of 2018. It comes as no surprise God of War would get spotlighted during this year’s Tribeca Games Festival, where the game’s director and cast spoke about its development and shared behind-the-scenes stories in front of a live audience.After the panel, I interviewed director Cory Barlog, and actors Christopher Judge (Kratos), Danielle Bisutti (Freya), and Jeremy Davies (Balder). Given the spirit of the event (a celebration of story-driven media), I focused on how the actors brought their respective characters to life and how wearing motion-capture equipment impacted their performances. I also asked the director about how this entry honors the legacy of the series and if he believes they were successful on that end.What was it about Christopher Judge that made him an ideal actor to play Kratos? Was it due to his natural speaking voice?Cory Barlog: The power he had as a performer was the thing that really drew it. I mean, I also was a gigantic Stargate fan, so I entertained the idea early on but because of a lack of confidence, didn’t know if we should approach him. It took a little while but then it came back around and everything kind of fused together.First and foremost we were looking for the physicality in the voice, but that was such a small part of it. There was so much of the performance that had to come through on the set with all the actors because I needed to do it all in one take. Everybody had to hit their sort of emotional range all the time. He was, without a doubt, just so incredibly powerful, even in the first audition. It’s wonderful.Jeremy Davies: I want to credit Chris as well. I have met a number of individuals who were just born with this gift. They can roll out of bed and sound like god. I’ve seen folks rely on that. But what you get when you’re this close to him is that you really sense this powerful presence. He isn’t relying on his god-given voice. He’s got a lot to back it up. He is a dangerously gifted guy.What was the motion capture process like? Was it difficult to act while having all of that motion-capture equipment on you? Without a traditional set, how much of your imagination did you need to use?Judge: Stargate kind of came out right at the beginning of CGI. So, very often, our reactions to stuff didn’t match what was there. I learned that when someone says “it’s immense, it’s the world” it’s believable. Every time Cory would say “so, this is going to [be huge],” I took him at his word. Thank god that I did because all of the set pieces were just mind-blowing. I was watching my son play, and I remember thinking to myself: “My reaction, it almost wasn’t big enough.”Davies: I found it interesting. The whole apparatus, the camera, these massive hard drives right over your heart. But the phenomenon with having a camera right in your face, I found really surprisingly helpful. When you’re shooting film, the cameras use these long lenses; you kind of feel this tendency, if it’s wide especially, to push it. With the camera so close, it can be reassuring to know that when they see it, they’re not going to miss anything. You don’t have to redo it. I found that really, really helpful. It helped me get over the fact you got these suits on.Judge: You really articulated something that I felt but I never thought about. When you do film or television, you generally do a lot of takes. You always get a break, you’re off camera. But sometimes when you do something that is surprising and it’s in the wide, then you have to re-create it.Judge: Every time we did discover something [during this shoot], it was documented.Davies: That’s right. From every conceivable angle.Bisutti: A lot of times in the theater, you’re in a black box. It’s black box theater. There’s no set. You create these imaginary sets and circumstances and you can see it. So, as we were there, we had the privilege of sometimes watching the rehearsals or sometimes seeing the scenes and the animation that was happening so we can kind of get a sense of the world. Of course, then actually watching it when it all came together was like, oh my god, that is a big scope, the world we’re living in.Davies: Because you’re surrounded by all these computers, computer power from every single angle, you could imagine a director just having an attitude of a robot like we talked about [during the panel]. An attitude of “we will fix your performance.” But it was like, as I said, equal to the best experience I’ve had. It’s a human being working with human beings.Chris, was it intimidating to know you were portraying such a beloved character that people have high expectations for?Judge: I… sometimes got a little performance anxiety [laughs]. Especially in the beginning, when we were discussing what he should sound like. I worked with a voice coach but we quickly moved away from that from the first day.Barlog: That was the fantastic sort of miscommunication on that one. We had talked to the voice coach but somehow there was a misinterpretation. I said we need to look at the previous Kratos’ performance since there is a sense of the speech pattern that can act as the foundation. The interpretation was more “this is the time period” so you [Chris] had more of an English accent at some point. That was was totally my fault. So we went through the whole thing. You trained with all that stuff. You came on the set with a little bit of this English accent and we’re like “what the fuck?”Judge: Cory walked up to me and he was like: “Was that a British accent?” I thought you wanted just a hint of that [laughs].Thank you for getting rid of that. That’s just weird. Kratos with an English accent? No way.Bisutti: Especially in Norse mythology. You see those films in Roman times and they speak with a British accent. That’s not quite right [laughs].Danielle and Jeremy, did you discuss your characters off-set? Your relationship with one another was very natural. How were you able to make that authentic?Bisutti: Well, I just fell in love with him the second I met him. I was already a fan of his work. I mean, Lost was for me one of the best shows ever created. But of course, I’d known him prior. I just have this approach of just opening my heart as an actor, opening my heart to these imaginary circumstances and believing them as real. We actually didn’t discuss very much, did we? A little bit. But we kind of just brought it in the moment and riffed off each other.Davies: It was instantaneous. The first day you got on set, everybody kind of warmly welcomed each other. It felt like the momentum, this sort of kinetic energy, was instant. We were going from zero to one hundred right away. I just felt like we were all family from a long time ago. It never felt like we had to work on it or force any of it. That was just incredibly lucky. I was thankful every single day that it just came naturally.Judge: You said something very interesting. Acting is supposed to be the recreation of the natural. But what you’re asked to do is something very unnatural. To walk into spaces where you don’t know people with an open heart and an open mind, which is very unnatural and can be very, very painful. We keep saying over and over again about the safe space that it was. That’s why it always happened. The ground was watered and fertilized and lovingly cultivated so that it was a space for these relationships to grow at a very unnatural speed.Cory, in a lot of ways, this is a soft reboot of the franchise. You’re introducing a lot of new mechanics, storylines, locales and so on. At the same time, you still have this giant legacy behind it. Was it a challenge to balance everything people know about God of War with all of the new elements you wanted to incorporate?Yeah, it was something that I was conscious of at all times. To not just respect the work that we had done, but to honor it. To know that we made every choice that we made to create this world very specifically. The continuation of this growth, the evolution needed to be built on that foundation. While you can blur your eyes and see something differently, the clarity shows you very clearly, that the DNA, that the molecular level of what we were doing, was so incredibly inspired by what we started with. It’s easy, very easy, to lose sight of that.We’re blessed to have such good, smart people like Richard Gaubert and Matt Sophos, our writers, being on set every day. They were the honesty that I needed. That gut-check, that mirror that I needed to look at. To say “Alright where are we going with this?” Because, I would just throw things in on the day of like “Hey, something came to me last night. Let’s try this.” And they were the sounding-board to go “I don’t know about that,” and I had to defend it. If I couldn’t defend it, it was something I realized, okay that’s not what we need to do.It was constant discussion, constant evaluation of “is this Kratos?” He can evolve and change, but does he go in a direction that is antithetical to where he began? There were a lot of times where we had to course-correct to ensure the evolution felt correct. I think the response that people are having says that we did hit a few of those notes right to resonate, to connect in the right way.center_img ‘God of War’ Documentary ‘Raising Kratos’ Explores 2018’s Top Video GamePS4 Hits Turn Tabletop With ‘God of War,’ ‘Bloodborne&… last_img read more

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