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TFA 2014/15 Annual Report

first_imgThe Touch Football Australia (TFA) Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held on Saturday, 28 November 2015 in Canberra. Anita Hagarty was appointed as Chair of the TFA Board while Barry McNamara was reappointed to the Board and Neil Collins was a new appointment. Jane Russo’s term as a Director on the Board concluded at the meeting, Touch Football Australia would like to acknowledge Jane for her outstanding contribution and wish her all the best in the future. Delegates from across the country then spent the evening with Touch Football Australia Board, staff, sponsors and athletes as they reflected on the 2011-15 Strategic Cycle with the ‘Celebrating our Journey to 2015’ dinner. Please find attached the 2014/15 Annual Report:Annual ReportFinancial ReportRelated LinksTFA Annual Reportlast_img read more

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No point in getting frustrated, excitedly waiting for opportunity to play for India: Sanju Samson

first_img Press Trust of India New DelhiMay 3, 2019UPDATED: May 3, 2019 21:37 IST Sanju Samson has been one of consistent performers with the bat in this IPL with 337 runs from 11 games. ( Courtesy by BCCI)Sanju Samson has always been considered as a bright prospect but he has not been able to break into the Indian team and the Kerala wicket-keeper batsman Friday said instead of feeling frustrated he would work harder to earn a spot for himself.Samson, who has played just one T20 International for India against Zimbabwe in 2015, has been one of the consistent performers with the bat in this IPL with 337 runs from 11 games that included a century and a half-century.Legends like Brian Lara have found it difficult to understand why a talented player like Samson has not even been considered in India’s World Cup probables.”It feels really great when legends like Lara talk highly of you. It boosts your confidence. I am very confident and happy the way I have been playing. But I am excitingly waiting for my opportunity to play for India,” the Rajasthan Royals player said ahead of his team’s last IPL league game against Delhi Capitals here Saturday.”There is no point in getting frustrated. You can use it as a motivation and push more. It’s not easy to get into the Indian team. You need to work hard and earn that spot.”Insisting that failure is the secret of success, Samson said he has gone through many tough phases in his career which only made him a better, determined cricketer.”If you talk about my career or anyone’s career, there are definitely ups and downs. Going through such phases I feel is very lucky because when you go down then only you will know how to climb up.advertisement”I am lucky that I have gone down many times in my career. I’m happy to have all these experiences. To enter the Indian team you need to know how to make a comeback, you need to be strong enough and you only get strong when you fail. I failed a lot of times and now I am strong enough to play for India,” he said.Steve Smith has flown back to Australia to prepare for the World Cup but Samson said his team has good bench strength. Ajinkya Rahane will lead the Royals on Saturday.”Definitely, it (Smith’s departure) is a great loss. First Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes and now Smith but we knew this before the tournament. We have enough bench strength to cover the losses,” Samson said.The Royals are mathematically still in the playoff hunt with 11 points from 13 games but to progress any further they will first have to win against Delhi Capitals and then hope for favourable results from the other remaining league games.A win on Saturday might just not be enough for Rajasthan to sneak through but Samson does not want to think on those lines.”It is very tough for us and it has been tough for us for the last 5 matches. But the approach has been the same, to win and it is not going to be any different tomorrow. We will be keeping things simple, just go out there and express ourselves,” he said.”The plan is to win the IPL. We know it’s very tough for us now but we need to win this match and be positive. We can’t play thinking that it is our last match. We still want to feel that we can still win the Cup.”Also Read | Ajinkya Rahane to lead Rajasthan Royals vs Delhi Capitals as Steve Smith returns to AustraliaAlso Read | You destroyed my day David: Sanju Samson tells Warner after SRH thrash RRFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted bykarishma Tags :Follow Sanju SamsonFollow Rajasthan RoyalsFollow IPL 2019Follow Ajinkya Rahane No point in getting frustrated, excitedly waiting for opportunity to play for India: Sanju SamsonSanju Samson, who has played just one T20 International for India against Zimbabwe in 2015, has been one of the consistent performers with the bat in this IPL with 337 runs from 11 games that included a century and a half-century.advertisementlast_img read more

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Diana Shipping Charters Out Myrto

first_imgzoom NYSE-listed owner and operator of dry bulk carriers Diana Shipping has through a separate wholly-owned subsidiary entered into a time charter contract with Glencore Grain B.V., Rotterdam, for one of its Kamsarmax dry bulk vessels, the M/V Myrto. The gross charter rate is USD 9,850 per day minus a 5% commission paid to third parties, for a period of minimum eleven months to maximum fourteen months. The charter is expected to commence on January 7, 2015.The Myrto is a 82,131 dwt Kamsarmax dry bulk vessel built in 2013.This employment is anticipated to generate approximately USD 3.25 million of gross revenue for the minimum scheduled period of the time charter.Earlier this week Glencore Grain chartered one of Diana Shipping’s Panamax dry bulk carriers, a 75,311 dwt M/V Nirefs.last_img read more

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Christine Elliott jumps into Ontario PC leadership race

first_imgTORONTO – The race to lead Ontario’s Progressive Conservative Party kicked off in earnest Thursday, with the entrance of a high-profile candidate who was once considered the odds-on favourite to lead the party.Former Ontario legislator Christine Elliott announced via social media she is running to lead the provincial Tories, who have been working to get back on track after their top ranks were rocked by sexual misconduct allegations last week.The 62-year-old former Whitby-Oshawa politician announced her leadership plans with a simple tweet — “I’m in.”Elliott will be among those vying to replace former party leader Patrick Brown, who resigned last week in the face of sexual misconduct allegations he categorically denies. His resignation came just months before a spring election.Elliott’s campaign spokeswoman, Melanie Paradis, said the media will hear more from the new candidate in the days to come.Elliott “is immediately focused on connecting directly with grassroots members to talk about the issues that matter most to our party and the future of Ontario,” Paradis said.The widow of late federal finance minister Jim Flaherty, Elliott has run twice unsuccessfully for the Tory leadership — once in 2009, when she lost to Tim Hudak, and again in 2015, when she came second to Brown.She was considered the front-runner in the 2015 race and lost to the up-start Brown, who began the race as a relatively unknown back-bench MP in the Harper federal government.She went on to serve as Ontario’s non-partisan patient ombudsman but resigned from the role Thursday after announcing her bid to lead the PCs.Elliott’s entry means she joins former Toronto city councillor Doug Ford, brother of the city’s late former mayor Rob Ford, as the race’s only declared candidates.“I’d like to welcome my friend (Christine Elliott) to the race,” Ford said in a statement on Twitter. “I look forward to talking about positive ideas for a stronger Ontario PC Party and how we’re going to beat Kathleen Wynne.”Other potential candidates include Caroline Mulroney, the daughter of former prime minister Brian Mulroney, and former Postmedia executive Rod Phillips. Sources tell The Canadian Press Phillips is set to enter the race within days.PC energy critic Todd Smith said in a statement Thursday afternoon that after contemplating a bid for the leadership he will not run, citing the cost to enter the race and the debt required to finance a campaign.The provincial Tories are set to pick a new leader March 10.Party executives laid out the rules that will govern the race to replace Brown late Wednesday night.Those seeking to take the reins — or help decide who will — must register with the party by Feb. 16, with the vote set to begin a few weeks later.Under the rules, leadership candidates must submit their paperwork and $100,000 in fees and deposits by the February date, with another $25,000 due later to access the party’s membership list. Each candidate’s campaign spending cannot exceed $750,000, according to the document.Ontario residents who wish to help select the new Tory leader must become party members by that same date.Votes will be cast electronically between March 2 and March 8, and the results will be announced March 10, the rules say.“We have almost 30-35 days, so that is one of the best options in front of us, so it will be mostly electronic voting,” party president Jag Badwal told Wednesday night after a meeting of the party’s executive.The party’s leadership election organizing committee has said the Tories would stick to a one-member, one-vote rule.Caucus had recommended that the party’s interim leader, Vic Fedeli, stay on through the June election, drawing objections from those who argued the party membership should have a say. The party executive chose to overrule caucus and hold a leadership race before the spring campaign.Fedeli announced soon afterwards that he would not be seeking to make his role permanent. Two other legislators considered potential candidates, Monte McNaughton and Lisa MacLeod, have also ruled out a run for the top spot.The party has been in turmoil since Brown stepped down after vehemently denying sexual misconduct allegations reported by CTV News. The Tories also had to deal with party president Rick Dykstra leaving his post on Sunday amid a separate allegation reported by Maclean’s magazine. None of the allegations have been verified by The Canadian Press, and Dykstra’s lawyers said he “categorically denies” the Maclean’s report.Asked how the upheaval in the Opposition would affect the upcoming election, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said what happens with the Tories is outside of her control.“The Tories will either be energized or depleted by their process, that’s up to them,” she said.Regardless of who is chosen as leader, there will be a “strong contrast” between the two parties’ policies, she said.last_img read more

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Germany France propose euro budget to bolster currency zone

first_imgFRANKFURT — A top eurozone finance official says the 19 countries that use the euro will push ahead with discussions on a eurozone budget proposed by France and Germany to make the currency union more resistant to crises.Mario Centeno, president of the eurozone finance ministers’ group, said that ministers had a “very good discussion” of the proposal at their meeting Monday in Brussels and that “the topic will remain on our agenda.”French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said that “everyone is aware of the necessity of reinforcing the eurozone.”A separate budget could help countries in difficulty stabilize their economies. Le Maire said that even though discussions were of small amounts, of 20-25 billion euros ($23-29 billion), “you need a starting point and a framework.”The Associated Presslast_img read more

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On World Food Day UN agencies urge concerted effort against global hunger

14 October 2011United Nations agencies tasked with tackling global hunger today highlighted the need for concerted efforts to address the root causes, focusing on the need to ensure that children have enough to eat, and addressing the factors that make food unaffordable for so many. To mark the annual World Food Day, which falls on Sunday, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) noted that price fluctuations, especially upswings, are a major threat to food security in developing countries, where the poor are particularly hard hit.It cited World Bank data indicating that rising food costs pushed nearly 70 million people into extreme poverty in 2010-2011.FAO chose the theme of ‘Food Prices – From Crisis to Stability’ for this year’s Day to shed light on the trend and what can be done to mitigate its impact on the most vulnerable.“Greater policy coordination in international food trade can reduce volatility by helping maintain an assured flow of goods. FAO supports the multilateral negotiations under the World Trade Organization and the elimination of trade-distorting agricultural subsidies in rich countries,” according to the agency’s information note.On food commodities speculation, FAO research suggests that while it might not trigger price movements, it could exaggerate their size and duration.Mitigating the effects of price volatility, national or regional safety nets, possibly featuring emergency food reserves, can help ensure food supplies to needy and vulnerable groups during crises, according to FAO. Poor consumers can also be assisted with cash or food vouchers and producers helped with inputs such as fertilizer and seeds.The UN World Food Programme (WFP), for its part, is marking the Day with an effort to connect the lives and dreams of hungry children in developing countries with activists and supporters who are in a position to help them, through a new online platform.“Good nutritious food is the very foundation of healthy children and nations. It is time for us to end hunger and malnutrition among children once and for all,” said Josette Sheeran, the WFP Executive Director.“But many children never get to realize their ambitions. Good nutrition provides the basic foundation for a better future. The onus is on all of us to mobilise the resources and awareness to make the dreams of every child come true.”WFP also launched its “Feed a Child, Feed a Dream,” initiative ahead of World Food Day to provide a glimpse into the lives and aspirations of some of the children around the world who are receiving food from the agency, and to demonstrate how easy it is to help.Visitors to www.wfp.org/dreams can meet children such as Guilaye of Senegal who likes talking about football during his school breaks, and aspires to be president, or Shiva from India, who is scared of nothing but snakes, and wants to become a sweetshop owner.The platform also invites visitors to share their dreams of what they wanted to be when they were children, and to provide a donation that can feed a child for as little as 25 cents a day.“It’s heart-warming to hear what each of these children want to achieve in their lives, and inspiring to help them dream big,” said Ms. Sheeran. “When I was young, I dreamed of helping build a better world. Each and every one of these children is our future – we owe them the basic right to be free from hunger,” she added.In a related development, WFP and LG Electronics have unveiled an innovation in digital technology to help in the fight against hunger.On the latest LG Smart TVs, which combine the advanced technology of Internet-linked television, owners will have access to an application that allows them to directly participate in global efforts to achieve Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 1, which calls for the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger. The launch of the application will take place during World Food Week, which runs from Monday until 23 October.“This partnership allows us to use LG’s cutting edge technology to make a dent in the biggest global social problem of our time – world hunger,” said Nancy Roman, the WFP Director of Communications, Public Policy and Private Partnerships. “With this app, we can reach new audiences and enlist their support for this crucial work.”The Smart TV application will allow owners to donate to WFP through the WeFeedback campaign, the agency’s social media tool that encourages users to make a difference in the lives of hungry schoolchildren. read more

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List of 18 inmates on death row submitted to Justice Ministry

A list of 18 inmates on death row has been submitted to the Justice Ministry as the Government looks to implement the death sentence on them.The inmates had been sentenced to death over drug related offences and have been serving life in prison as the death sentence was not implemented in Sri Lanka. Meanwhile, it was reported that the application for the post of an executioner will called for from next week. (Colombo Gazette)

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As Myanmar Government mulls status of democracy leader Annan calls for her

As the Government of Myanmar prepared to review the status of the country’s most prominent democracy advocate, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been under house arrest for 10 of the past 16 years, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today again called for her release to pave the way for reconciliation and economic development. “I believe her release will facilitate national dialogue and allow the National League for Democracy to participate in that dialogue,” Mr. Annan said in a statement, referring to the party which Ms. Suu Kyi leads. “I think it would be in the interest of Myanmar, the region and the world at large.”Calling last week’s visit to Myanmar by Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambari, the first high-level contact in more than two years, “a welcome development,” and noting that the Government will be reviewing Ms. Suu Kyi’s status within 24 hours, he appealed directly to the head of State, Senior General Than Shwe, for her release.“It would also allow the government and the people, not only to build the nation together, but to focus on the essential issue of economic and social development. For the democratic process and the reconciliation process to be truly successful, it has to be inclusive. And she has a role to play. And I’m relying on you, Gen. Than Shwe, to do the right thing,” he concluded. Mr. Annan has repeatedly called for Ms. Suu Kyi’s release and that of other political detainees over the past several years. read more

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UNs top political officer meets Myanmar ministers stresses need for political progress

Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Ibrahim Gambari, began a four-day visit building on an earlier one in May, when he spoke with a cross-section of officials, including the most prominent democracy advocate, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been under house arrest for 10 of the past 16 years.“In meetings in Yangon today with the ministers of Foreign Affairs, Labour and Planning, Mr. Gambari discussed enhancing cooperation between the UN and Myanmar, while stressing the need for concrete results in areas of concern to the international community,” spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters in New York.“These include: the need to make the road map political process more transparent and inclusive, the release of political prisoners, the opening of space for humanitarian assistance, and the situation in Kayin State,” he said, referring to the disputed southern area also known as Karen State where the military are fighting various local groups.On Monday, when Secretary-General Kofi Annan announced Mr. Gambari’s visit, he emphasized that the continued value of such engagement “can only be demonstrated by tangible steps forward on central issues such as human rights, democratic reform and national reconciliation.”Mr. Annan has repeatedly called for the release of Ms. Suu Kyi and, during his May visit, Mr. Gambari met not only with her but also members of her party, the National League for Democracy (NLD). Over the next few days he is scheduled to meet with all the groups and people that he spoke with on his first visit. read more

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Rascal Martinez Coming to Green River

On May 10, Rascal Martinez will be welcomed to put on a performance at the John Wesley Powell Museum.The concert goes from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets are on sale for $10. However, if you are a local to Green River, you can purchase them for $5 if you purchase them early.Martinez grew up in Nebraska and began playing music at a young age. His career began in his family basement where he learned to play guitar and drums. A game changer in his career was back in 2011 when a Chicago DJ came across Martinez. Martinez has been a featured guest several times over the years, building a loyal fan base in Chicago.His music channels a mix of rockabilly, folk and country with a mix of Latin melodies. Martinez enjoys writing his own songs but also appreciates performing the timeless hits from the 50’s and 60’s along with other genres. read more

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Celebrating Brocks TAs and honouring the awardwinners

Talha Rafiq lives by the golden rule of education — teach others the way you want to be taught.As one of the top 2018 Teaching Assistants at Brock, the master’s student in Applied Health Sciences, combines his passion for challenging subjects such as Biostatistics with interactive teaching techniques to motivate and encourage students toward success.Brock’s 2017-18 TA Award winners included, left to right, Talha Rafiq, Hawa Conde and Evans Boadi.Rafiq received the 2018 TA Award at the recent annual TA reception held by the Centre for Pedagogical Innovation (CPI), to celebrate the important contributions to the University by teaching assistants, seminar leaders and lab demonstrators.“I make a conscious effort to get to know my students, understand their background, and discover their strengths and weaknesses,” says Rafiq. “This process allows me to grow their enthusiasm for the course and ensures that every student leaves the lab with a sense of accomplishment.”Other top TAs recognized for teaching excellence were:Evans Boadi, International TA Award: Evans has been a TA since the fall of 2016 when he came to Brock from Ghana to begin a master’s degree in Mathematics and Statistics. His teaching philosophy is focused on active learning methods to provide an interactive lab experience in his classes.Malcolm Matthews, Graduate TA Award: Malcolm has been a TA since 2012 when he began his PhD studies in Interdisciplinary Humanities. He received his doctorate in October 2017. He helps students to negotiate their way through “that variable space between the simple and the impossible” that defines the challenges of a learning journey.Hawa Conde, Novice TA Award: Hawa uses her past experiences as a Public Health student to contribute to the development of seminar activities as a TA in the Qualitative Research in Health Sciences course. She looks to core values to guide her as a teaching assistant — namely fairness and integrity, and support and openness.CPI also honoured close to 60 TAs who completed TA certificate programs to further develop their teaching skills this year.  Over CPI’s 21-year history, more than 1,550 TAs have received TA certification.Profiles of the 2017-18 TA Awards recipients are available online at https://brocku.ca/pedagogical-innovation/awards-grants/awards-showcase-2018/Information about the annual TA Award nomination process is also available on CPI’s website at https://brocku.ca/pedagogical-innovation/awards-grants/ta-awards/ read more

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Heres What Happened When We Tried To Play Moneyball Without Any Money

Ben with his clipboard at a tryout. Umpire Dean Poteet with Stompers mascot Rawhide on opening day. Mindful that each passing day might remove someone we want from the market, I bypass coaches who don’t call back and contact some players directly, gambling that they won’t be bad guys. But ballplayers aren’t award-winning communicators, either: Unlike a lot of people in our profession, they aren’t constantly connected to email, and they aren’t notified when someone sends them a tweet. Whenever possible, I call a player’s parents, banking on the fact that if his mother is like mine, he’ll know no peace until he replies.The more players I have trouble tracking down, the more I expand the search, and the longer my short list looks. I form attachments to strangers in our spreadsheet almost instantly: All it takes is a name, a stat line, and a head shot, and I’m mentally penciling a player into our lineup and announcing his name over the public-address system. If you’ve played fantasy baseball, or even rooted for a real team that’s one upgrade away from a well-rounded roster, you know the feeling of fixating on a particular player: refreshing MLB rumor sites until a deal is done or off the table, or sending several permutations of the same trade to a leaguemate and hoping that one of them will land your white whale. This is the same impulse, turned up to 11. I’m perplexed by the players who aren’t curious or courteous enough to respond, but the close calls are especially agonizing.Take Andrew Kelley, a 2014 graduate of Grinnell College, a Division III school known for its “rigorous academics and tradition of social responsibility.” (I see nothing about its undervalued athletes, but maybe that means we’re ahead of the curve.) Kelley, who’s fourth on our pitcher list, is listed at 5-foot-7, which is a concern given the sport’s prevailing preference for skyscraping pitchers. But everyone on our list is bound to have some physical flaw. And hey, he was 5-foot-6 as a junior — maybe he’s a late bloomer with 5-foot-8 in his future.In 48 innings, mostly in relief, Kelley struck out 48 batters and walked only 4. His LinkedIn account says he’s had a full-time job as an “Integration Engineer” since a few months after his final semester, but I dig up his email and message him anyway, just to make sure. His response, which arrives in under an hour, mentions small samples, machine learning, predictive statistics, a previous internship with an expert on the physics of baseball whose articles I’ve edited at Baseball Prospectus, and the fact that he possesses a “pretty good knuckleball.” He can’t quit his job to play baseball, but he feels bad about it. “It would have been awesome to have been able to play this summer and chat about all sorts of statistics,” he says. I come close to shedding tears. This feels like finding out that your biggest college crush, who met someone else and settled down soon after school, would have wanted to date you if you’d only asked her out sooner. Alas, Andrew is too smart and well compensated to be a baseball player. He’s in a better place, and it’s time to let go.Andrew Kelley isn’t the only one who gets away. He’s not even the only engineer: Our best shortstop option, with the improbable porn-star name Billy Steel, has just joined Northrop Grumman. Then there’s George Asmus, a standout pitcher at Sonoma State with hometown-hero potential. Unfortunately for us, he’s happy in his current role at Triple-A — as in, the American Automobile Association. There’s also Arismendy Nuñez, a well-intentioned but indecisive senior starter at Old Westbury, who strings me along over multiple calls (including a conference call on which Theo makes a passionate appeal) before breaking up with me by text. He says something about family obligations, but odds are he’s just not that into us.And then there’s the unicorn, the spreadsheet player who has great stuff. His name is T.J. Fussell, and he’s a 6-foot-4, 220-pound right-hander who pitched for Western Carolina, a Division I school. Fussell had a high ERA, but he struck out 81 batters in 64 1/3 innings, and we suspect he got somewhat unlucky. I contact his coach, Bobby Moranda, who gives Fussell as enthusiastic an endorsement as I’ve heard so far. “He is the best!!!” Moranda writes. “He was up to 94-95 with a plus breaker and change. Really should have been drafted!!!” It’s rare enough for us to see any velocity numbers that start with nine, so even after levying the 2-3 mph exaggeration tax, I’m still salivating.“I’m kind of in a peculiar situation,” Fussell says when I call. He explains that while he “hasn’t left [his] love of baseball behind,” he has enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. The good news is that he doesn’t have to head to basic training until August 25. The bad news arrives a second later: “I’m supposed to be getting married at the end of May.” And there’s even worse news than that: “We had a cruise planned right at the start of June, and it’s for seven days.” He sounds a little uncertain: Supposed to be? Had a cruise planned? Is the call of the mound so strong that he’d think about being a runaway groom? He says he’ll talk to his fiancée and let me know. The next day, he does: Shockingly, she’s pretty attached to the whole “honeymoon” thing. There goes my four-pitch flamethrower.Fortunately for the Stompers (and my sanity), we don’t always strike out. Our first “yes” comes from Kristian Gayday. (“He’ll be popular on LGBT night,” Theo says.) Gayday, an Indiana native, played shortstop in his final season last spring at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, a Division I school where he’s still working as a student assistant. Our spreadsheet says he was the best D1 hitter among 2014 fourth-year players. Not the best D1 hitter among undrafted fourth-year players; the best D1 hitter, period. (In fairness, most true prospects get drafted after their junior year.) He hit .358/.472/.653 with 12 home runs in 166 at-bats, and Long’s adjustments hardly hurt him. And unlike a lot of our targets, he’s 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds, blessed with a prototypical baseball body.Granted, Gayday’s senior season was the exception: In his first three years, he didn’t hit for power, never slugging above .327. But it still doesn’t make sense that a strapping player with his senior stats and a modicum of defensive ability didn’t get drafted. Before talking to him, I email his college coach, Bobby Pierce. I ask him the questions that the spreadsheet can’t answer. Why the huge improvement in his senior year? Is he a good guy? Can he play defense? (A big blind spot for us: College fielding locations aren’t tracked, so Long’s method evaluates only offense.) They’re all ways of reframing the indelicate question at the root of all our inquiries: “What’s the catch?”Coach Pierce sets my mind at ease. More than that, he makes me excited, as if we’re party to a secret no one else knows. He tells me that Gayday’s newfound fourth-year “spray approach allowed him to really handle the breaking ball/off-speed really well,” and that he hit at least half of his homers — more than he’d hit anywhere in his first three seasons combined — to the opposite field. That change in approach gives us a plausible explanation for the extreme uptick in production.Even more encouragingly, Pierce says that Gayday was drawing interest from scouts and advisers until he suffered “severe lower back issues” for six weeks at midseason, playing one day at 50 percent, resting the next day, and pinch-hitting the day after that. “This middle part of the season was when all our local guys came to see him play, and they either saw him play at 50% with below avg draftable tools/skill/performance/ etc, or they didn’t even get to see him play,” Pierce writes. But by the end of the season — after his back had blown his chances — he’d recovered and gone deep in each of his last three weekend series.Despite Gayday’s breakout, the Mastodons went 19-34, and for them that was a good year. “We’re a small Div I that gets little respect and scouts never come to see us play,” Coach Pierce writes. “We haven’t been very good and I do understand that scouts are very busy and they can’t afford to waste a weekend afternoon on us, but Kristian was plenty good enough to be a 20-30 round guy. If he stayed healthy, he would definitely be in organized baseball.” Pierce also reports that Gayday would fit in fine in the clubhouse.On the phone, Kristian tells me that his back feels fine. I ask about his plans for the summer. “I was just gonna go to a couple tryouts,” he says. “And if nothing happened, I was just gonna call it quits.” In my eagerness to sign him, I tell him we’ll pay for a one-way plane trip, which I’m supposed to use as a bargaining chip in exchange for a lower salary. My unauthorized largesse works: Kristian consults with his family and commits to sign the contract as soon as Theo sends him a copy. I can’t believe our luck: We’ve signed one of our top targets, and he doesn’t even look like a runt. It seems as if we’ve stolen a march on the majors, using stats to take the long view on a player whom others might have missed because of an ill-timed injury.Sam seems content once we get Kristian to commit — at least we have something to show for our spreadsheet — but the taste of one transaction makes me hungry for more. I turn my attention to pitchers, tag-teaming with Theo on a series of deal-sealing conference calls. Jeff Conley is a skinny, 6-foot-2 lefty out of Alderson Broaddus University, a Division II school in West Virginia so obscure that most scouts haven’t heard of it. In eleven starts and six appearances out of the pen, the southpaw recorded a 1.96 ERA with 89 strikeouts and only 15 walks in 78 innings. Moreover, he recorded those stats while also playing outfield for 49 games, batting .345 with 21 walks and 11 hit by pitches against only 22 strikeouts, which helped him post a .446 OBP. His left arm was also an asset in the outfield, where he racked up 17 assists. Conley hit only 3 homers, so his adjusted offense isn’t good enough for him to appear on our batter spreadsheet, but even if he’s only an emergency outfield option, we’re happy to have the flexibility, given our restrictive roster size. Mr. Conley, come on down.We also recruit Sean Conroy, a 6-foot-1 right-handed pitcher from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, an engineering school in upstate New York. In 259 career innings at RPI, Conroy struck out 223, walked 49, and allowed only 4 homers, posting sub-2.00 ERAs in his last three seasons and going the distance in more than a third of his starts. He’s also interested in evaluating clubhouse chemistry, an obsession of ours. A psychology major, he’s working on a thesis entitled “How Perception of Teammates’ Ability Affects Personal Ability,” and we envision him as a like-minded mole on the inside who can be our eyes and ears while advising us on avoiding missteps. We also envision him as an effective arm.“I’m a sidearm pitcher,” he says. “Just recently I’ve added an over-the-top curveball for an out pitch, which is working pretty well for me.” He tells me how he dropped down in his senior year of high school, and how he’s alternated his arm angle ever since to maximize his deception. “The slider would be the pitch I throw most often, like more than 50 percent of the time,” he adds. No wonder the guy didn’t get drafted: He uses an atypical repertoire from an unorthodox angle, and according to his coach he tops out at about 85. All of the oddities that make him undraftable endear him to us.And then, of course, there’s Paul Hvozdovic, our on-paper ace and shining spreadsheet star. (The first “v” is silent.) When he signs with us shortly before spring training, I pump my fist, just like Jonah Hill in the “Moneyball” movie when he gets the approval to trade for Ricardo Rincon. I haven’t met Hvozdovic — haven’t watched him, haven’t even talked to him. There’s no way I should be this excited about someone I know so little about. But any hidden doubts that might be buried within me will have to talk to the hand, because the limbic system ain’t listening.People who write about prospects often speak disparagingly about “Google scouts,” wannabe evaluators who “scout the stat line” instead of seeing players in person or talking to experts who have. Sam and I are guilty of these sins — not because we wouldn’t welcome the input of a seasoned on-site observer, but because we have no time, no travel budget, no scouting staff, and next to no video. Stats are our specialty, but they’re also our only resort.Gayday, Conley, Conroy, Hvozdovic. At this point, they’re names and numbers, not fully fledged personalities. But they’re our names and numbers. Thanks to us, they’ve got golden tickets to spring training. And thanks to them, we won’t feel ashamed to show up. The official Sonoma Stompers team photo. By Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller Ben Lindbergh discusses his summer with the Stompers on our podcast What’s The Point. This is an excerpt from “The Only Rule Is It Has to Work: Our Wild Experiment Building a New Kind of Baseball Team” by Ben Lindbergh, a writer for FiveThirtyEight, and Sam Miller, the editor in chief of Baseball Prospectus. (The book was published this week by Henry Holt and Co.) In the summer of 2015, Lindbergh and Miller took over the baseball operations department of an independent-league team in California, the Sonoma Stompers, putting their sabermetric beliefs to the test with actual professional players. As spring training approached, they compensated for their lack of connections, tight budget and even tighter time frame by using statistics to scour the country for overlooked talent.As proud as we are of our Baptista heist, Sam and I still want to prove that we can find players who wouldn’t have been blips on the Stompers’ screen without us. What we want is a source of talent that the other teams in the Pacific Association aren’t already mining: a good, old-fashioned market inefficiency, like the one the Oakland A’s exploited in the “Moneyball” era when they targeted players with high on-base percentages, or the one the Tampa Bay Rays leveraged years later, when they realized that their opponents’ emphasis on power bats made it easier to sign players with good gloves at a discount. The problem is that inefficiencies like these are increasingly difficult to find.What sets us apart from our competitors in the Pacific Association, and theoretically gives us an edge, isn’t our meager budget, our nonexistent network of contacts in the indy-league grapevine, or our untested scouting skills. It’s our ability to find the significance in statistics, either on our own or through our relationships with the leading lights of the sabermetric community, who can crunch numbers in extremely sophisticated ways. We could search for wrongly released players by sifting through last season’s stats from the minors and upper-level indy leagues, but that method wouldn’t be the best use of our time. Players who’ve had any recent success at higher levels won’t want to sign with us until they’ve exhausted all their other options, which might mean waiting until midseason. For now, we need to aim lower. Baseball has a caste system, and at our level we’re trafficking in Untouchables. The manager’s office in the Stompers’ clubhouse at the end of the season. Every rating Chris sends is based on a smaller sample than we’d like — in many cases, a four-year player’s entire college career comprises fewer innings or plate appearances than a big leaguer records in a single season — but it’s the best we can do. It’s clear that we’re not the first people to look at a list like this. Scanning the top of our leaderboard of undrafted players, we see a number of players who were signed as free agents after the 2014 draft and spent the summer playing for organizations that are known as early adopters of amateur analytics, among them the Cardinals, Astros, and Yankees. This is discouraging in one sense — the college carcass is picked even cleaner than we thought — but encouraging in another: Most of the undrafted free agents played well at minor league levels that are comparable in quality to the Pacific Association. We might be on the right track.Armed with the names we wanted, our job shifts from ranking to recruiting. Sam and I spend a few hours combing through Google results, YouTube videos, and social-media sites for information on the players with the most impressive stats. At the end of this process, we’ve created another spreadsheet full of players whose coaches we want to call. (Spreadsheet creation is becoming a theme.) Separately, we practice our sales pitches. In our fantasy leagues, it takes us one click to add an available player from the waiver wire, and no one is allowed to turn us down. In reality, we’ll have to talk to human beings and try to persuade them to travel to a place they’ve probably never been, to play for a team that they almost certainly haven’t heard of, for a salary that we’re embarrassed to say out loud. Aspiring pro athletes expect to lead nomadic lives, but this still isn’t the easiest sell.No matter how persuasive we are as speakers, there’s only one aspect of our project that makes this PR campaign possible: We have the power to make these people professional athletes, with all the cultural cachet and appeal to the opposite sex that this occupation confers. With a few words, spoken like a sacrament, we can give a few young men a line on their résumé that they’ll never remove, an answer to “What do you do?” that makes people perk up. The Stompers are the mangiest mutt of a team imaginable, but a pro team nonetheless. And ballplayers miss being ballplayers: Even two years after graduation, every player’s Facebook photo and Twitter bio is a callback to his college career.As we work our way down our short lists like political candidates calling potential donors, it becomes clear that college coaches — at least the ones we’re trying to reach — aren’t great at returning calls. I consider trying to catch their attention by claiming to be with a big league team, then decide that misrepresenting myself might not be the best way to persuade players to sign with the Stompers. Pitchers have a weird trick, too. “I think there’s going to be a place for some junkball pitchers, guys that scouts wouldn’t touch because their fastball velocity is too low, but they did still strike out guys using a variety of off-speed stuff,” Chris says. “Some of those guys are going to do quite well at that level of competition. Put it this way: They did well in college. If your level of competition is at the level of good D1, for example, there’s still room for junkball pitching.”College stats are difficult to work with, which explains why, until very recently, major league teams all but ignored them when compiling their predraft rankings. College players face dramatically different levels of competition depending on whether they’re in Division I, II, or III, and even within each division there are significant variations from conference to conference. “An average D1 school is going to beat an average D2 baseball team about 70 percent of the time,” Chris says. “It’s not like 98 percent or anything. There’s a bit of luck, and the spread isn’t that huge.” Still, the gap between divisions and schools is large enough that one can get into trouble trying to go on gut feel or surface stats.On top of the interdivisional differences, there’s enormous variability from game to game: Some hitters beat up on bad weekday pitching that would pale in comparison to the Pacific Association’s, but look overmatched against stronger weekend starters. There’s also unevenness in climate, ballpark dimensions, and playing surfaces. Before players can be compared on an even footing, we have to take into account the diversity in environments that makes raw stats at certain schools far less impressive than the same stats would be elsewhere.To do his draft work, Chris built a repository of college statistics by “scraping” information from school websites and parsing it into a database-friendly form. By comparing players’ production at each park with their production elsewhere, he can isolate the statistical impact of every home field. And by comparing players’ performance against each opponent with their performance in all other games, he can also assess the impact of each school’s strength of schedule. Apply the appropriate adjustments to each player’s actual stats, and the result is a ranking of every player’s production on the same scale, independent of division and environment. With the confounding effects of location and competition neutralized, we can compare Division III hitters in good pitchers’ parks to Division I hitters in bandboxes, based purely on their play. This should save us from signing a “slugger” who posted gaudy stats against guys throwing garbage in the college equivalent of Coors Field.“The starting point would be, you really want to identify the best of the seniors that did not get drafted, and also didn’t return to college,” Chris says. He says he’ll send us his adjustments for every school, along with the real prize, rankings of every fourth-year college player from 2013 and 2014. This is our favorite phone call ever.Listening to Chris, Sam and I realize, much to our relief, that we’ve found an organizing principle for our Stompers star search. Chris’s stats will make the world seem smaller and more manageable, transforming a confusing array of unknown names and unverified claims into objective rankings like the ones we’re used to. We’ll operate under the theory that a player capable of posting elite stats in college could hold his own in the Pacific Association, one of the lowest rungs on the professional ladder. And if the stats insist that someone can play, we won’t rule him out based on body type, facial structure, or fastball speed. We’re the Ellis Island of the indy leagues. Give us your small, your soft-throwing, your huddled middle infielders yearning to play for (almost) free. Embed Code More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed Although Chris promises results soon, it takes him some time to deliver. That’s understandable — we aren’t paying him, and plenty of others are — but as the days stretch into weeks, I start torturing myself by checking his Twitter feed a few times a day to see what else he’s working on. He’s a sports polymath (emphasis on the math), and he’s on an NCAA volleyball analytics kick. Thanks to a little light stalking, I learn a lot about the best volleyball schools, but Sam and I are no closer to building a baseball team. I send emails asking for updates at what I deem to be socially acceptable intervals. Finally, one of them works. The long-awaited rankings arrive.Chris cautions me that “99.9 percent of the talent is sucked away in the draft,” but I can almost hear the heavenly choir as my cursor hovers over the file. That remaining 0.1 percent could be the key to the Stompers’ season. I open the list of all players, create another spreadsheet of players who did get drafted, and filter the latter from the former, leaving only the undrafted guys. (When our story gets made into a movie, the spreadsheet-opening montage will make for an exciting scene.) There are hundreds of rows, each of them containing a name, a school, a division, a position, an at-bats or innings total, and a few columns of hitting or pitching stats, both raw and adjusted. Each player receives an “Index” score, based on adjusted on-base percentage and slugging percentage for hitters and those same stats allowed for pitchers (Column R).After additional begging by me, Chris also sends us estimates of each catcher’s “framing” skill — his ability to catch pitches in a way that makes umpires more likely to call strikes — based on the percentage of taken pitches that are called strikes when he’s behind the plate versus the percentage of taken pitches called strikes when the same pitchers are throwing to different catchers. On the phone, Chris suggests that we “find some senior guy who’s the best framer in all of the NCAA but wasn’t drafted. That would be an interesting guy to invite to a camp.”He’s reading my mind. “If you could find one who’s left-handed, he might have to get a restraining order against Ben,” Sam says. The majors haven’t seen a left-hander who played catcher as his primary position since before the birth of the American League, and no left-handed catcher has caught even an inning since 1989. The anti-lefty bias seems based more on superstition than sense, with explanations usually citing theoretical impediments (can’t throw to third; trouble applying tags) that don’t stand up to scrutiny. Chris agrees. “I think the bias against left-handed-throwing catchers is pretty stupid,” he says. He’s my statistical spirit animal. There’s only one level of competition that combines a decent statistical record with players who’d probably be happy to hear from us: college. Every June, the thirty major league teams cull the best college talent in the forty-round amateur draft, leaving only the undesirables behind. But MLB scouting directors work with the far future in mind: Although they know that only a tiny percentage of their selections will work out, every player drafted — aside from a few nepotism picks — has a backer who believes he has some shot, however remote, at developing into a big leaguer. We aren’t worried about long-term potential; we care only about what players can do this summer. And because our incentives aren’t aligned with those of the big league teams that went back for fortieths from this buffet before we were seated, we might unearth a few “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” types: guys who can get outs, or avoid making them, right now, regardless of whether they have the physical tools that allow teams to dream. Drafting college players instead of riskier high school stars was one of the hallmarks of the “Moneyball” A’s, but Oakland owed much of its success to the type of amateur talents who never get near an indy-league team unless their careers take several wrong turns. If the A’s were “a collection of misfit toys,” as Michael Lewis wrote, then we’ll be building a team out of toys that got recalled because they were choke hazards.Nothing about baseball is as easy as it seems, and finding our statistical standouts isn’t as simple as sorting an official NCAA leaderboard. I email an acquaintance named Chris Long, who worked as the San Diego Padres’ senior quantitative analyst from 2004 to 2013 and has since consulted for other major league teams. Chris, who had no professional background in baseball when he was hired and occasionally clashed with traditional evaluators, was one of the first quants allowed in a draft room alongside scouts and grizzled special assistants, and his numbers-based evaluations helped dictate the Padres’ decisions.To our relief, Chris loves what we’re doing and agrees to help just for fun, even though he charges big league teams sums in the five figures for the same service. “Performance in college has a fairly strong predictive value to how [players] perform in the minors,” Chris tells us when Sam and I call to learn at his knee. Better yet, he says, some teams are still overlooking that link. “Probably starting in the late ’90s, every year it got a little bit better,” he explains. “It’s still not great. Even the Chicago Cubs, for example, have a very traditional scouting department in terms of how they approach the draft. It’s not like they don’t look at performance numbers at all, but they’re not analytically evaluating the performances of the players and then combining it in some sophisticated way with their scouting evaluations.“You’re looking for guys that you want to perform immediately,” Chris continues, echoing our thoughts. “That actually gives you more freedom, because you can go for guys that have flaws. High strikeouts, but also hit home runs, for example. Those guys tend not to do as well as prospects, but they’re certainly going to make contributions to the team. Or the scout’s least-favorite player, the short, gritty [batter] that gets hit by a ton of pitches and has a strike zone the size of a postage stamp — those guys are going to be perfect for your team.” His voice, normally low-pitched and nasal, takes on the bright timbre of an infomercial. “Win your independent league with this one weird trick!” read more

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Manny Machado Picked A Great Time To Have His Best Season

Stats through July 10.Machado and Realmuto are both listed among MLB Trade Rumors’ top 10 2018 trade targets.Source: FanGraphs, MLB Trade Rumors M. Ramirez2008Red SoxDodgers141✓ X. Nady2008PiratesYankees142✓ R. Henderson1993AthleticsBlue Jays182 In essence, Machado switching teams is as a big a deal as the A’s trading Mark McGwire at the 1997 deadline. (That one worked out pretty well for the Cardinals, too, with one major caveat.) Machado might not be the best fit for every contender, with questions about his defense at short and his reported unwillingness to switch positions in order to fit better with a potential trade suitor.2Maybe that stance makes sense in the free agent market, since shortstop is considered a premium defensive position. Then again, shortstops don’t seem to be paid more than other positions. But in terms of raw hitting, Machado is making the most of his walk year, and his bat could make a real difference for a top-shelf team looking for that extra edge in October — regardless of whether that team is willing to re-sign him for an increasingly exorbitant price this winter.Check out our latest MLB predictions. J.D. Martinez2017TigersD-Backs160 Machado is one of the modern era’s best hitting trade targetsBest pre-trade weighted runs created plus (wRC+) for players who were traded at the deadline, 1975-2018 S. Hairston2009PadresAthletics143 B. Bonilla1995MetsOrioles154✓ M. McGwire1997AthleticsCardinals156✓ K. Phelps1988MarinersYankees170✓ M. Teixeira2008BravesAngels136 H. Baines1989White SoxRangers157✓ C. Beltran2011MetsGiants150 J. Guillen2003RedsAthletics159 G. Parra2015BrewersOrioles138 It’s been a truly miserable summer for baseball in Baltimore. Not only do the Orioles currently have MLB’s worst record, but according to the FiveThirtyEight projections, they are also on pace to lose a staggering 111 games this season. That’s so bad, it would put them in the same company as such notably putrid clubs as the 2003 Tigers (119 losses), 2013 Astros and 2004 Diamondbacks (111 losses apiece). Not even Buck Showalter’s magical managerial touch could save the Orioles from their wretched fate. (Not that they necessarily want to be saved.)Amid such horrors, there has been one bright spot in the form of shortstop Manny Machado. Through Wednesday’s games, Machado has 23 home runs (sixth most in the American League) with a .314/.383/.573 slash line. That helps make him the AL’s seventh-best hitter so far this season according to weighted runs created plus (wRC+), which measures run production relative to the league on a per-plate appearance basis. Not only is it a massive improvement over the disappointing stats Machado put up a year ago, but it represents the best hitting season of his entire career to date.Machado picked a great time to put up career numbers, since he’s set to be a free agent after the season. And it’s good for the Orioles, too, though they’ll miss their star player. When Machado is inevitably traded before the July 31 deadline, he’ll command plenty in return, even if he’s just a three-month rental for a World Series contender.But it’s tough to say Machado isn’t worth the ransom — he’s having one of the best seasons by a trade-deadline target in modern history. Going back to the dawn of the free-agent era in 1975, here is how Machado compares to the top performances by batters who were traded at the deadline,1We also included Marlins’ catcher J.T. Realmuto, whom MLB Trade Rumors has listed among the players most likely to be dealt at this year’s deadline in addition to Machado. in terms of their wRC+ for the team doing the trading: C. Floyd2002MarlinsExpos147 O. Gamble1979RangersYankees160✓ J.T. Realmuto2018Marlins?149? F. McGriff2001Devil RaysCubs139✓ G. Berroa1997AthleticsOrioles145 M. Machado2018Orioles?155? PlayerYearTraded fromToPre-Trade wRC+Stayed w/ Acquiring Team? S. Pearce2016RaysOrioles147 read more

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Committee should be unhindered in investigating garda whistleblower files

first_imgFIANNA FÁIL’S TRANSPORT spokesperson has said that the Public Accounts Committee should not be obstructed in investigating files alleging abuse of the penalty points system that have been handed to it in recent weeks.It’s emerged that the Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan and the Data Protection Commissioner Billy Hawkes have written to the PAC asking it to hand back to gardaí files that were given to it by a garda whistleblower earlier this month.The files are reported to contain more detail about the alleged abuse of the penalty points system than has previously been disclosed.Speaking at Leinster House today, Timmy Dooley said: “I think that the work of the Public Accounts Committee should proceed unhindered. The committee will decide whether or not they’re in a position to deal with the information that has been provided to them.”“I think there has to be separation between the Houses of the Oireachtas, the gardaí and the courts.” Dooley said he believed it is right that the committee be allowed to review the documentation which it has not yet done.Though the files may come under parliamentary privilege the PAC has written to Callinan and Hawkes to explain that the unopened documents are currently with the parliamentary legal advisor who will advise on whether or not the committee can access the files and carry out an investigation.Yesterday the committee’s clerk said that as soon as the legal advice is received “we’ll then deal with the substantive issue”.Committee chairman John McGuinness explained: “The whistleblower gave the information and the information needs to be checked legally so the committee can be protected.”McGuinness said that the committee is only interested in the files from the perspective of potential systems failures and as a result potential loss of funds to the State.Independent TD Shane Ross said the committee would “want to be very careful that we’re not allowing information that should in the public arena being kept out of it”.Read: Garda Ombudsman says there should be “healthy tension” with gardaíRead: No informants acting off the books – as far as the Garda Commissioner knowslast_img read more

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Heres What Happened Today Tuesday

first_imgHere’s What Happened Today: Tuesday Government adopts unified stance on abortion bill, man who threatened to shoot schoolchildren remanded in custody and six to be tried over topless Kate Middleton photos – it’s the Evening Fix. 9,627 Views PARTING SHOT THE SKELLIG RING has been voted as one of Lonely Planet’s top ten regions travellers should visit in 2017. [DailyEdge]Here are 13 stunning views from it. Oct 25th 2016, 9:06 PM By Cliodhna Russell Get our daily news round up: Tuesday 25 Oct 2016, 9:06 PM No Comments Share1 Tweet Email Short URL INTERNATIONAL Source: PA Wire/PA Images#US: Donald Trump’s campaign has launched a nightly show on Facebook Live in order to bypass “the media filter”.#CANADA: A Canadian nurse has been charged with the murders of eight retirement home residents.#UK: Six reporters, photographers and media chiefs are to be tried in France for invasion of privacy over topless photos of Britain’s Duchess of Cambridge published in 2012.#ROME: Today the vatican urged Catholics not to scatter the ashes of the dead after cremation and instead to store them in places approved by the Church.INNOVATION An Irish plastic surgeon and a bat expert have teamed up to find the cause of cleft palate in humans.Last year was the ‘turning point’ when renewables toppled coal as the world’s main power source. [Fora] Ruth Coppinger has said that it’s because of “sell-out Independents” that the AAA-PBP bill requesting a referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment will be rejected.Revenue officers have seized cocaine with an estimated street value of over €5 million found concealed in a ‘torpedo-like’ device on the shoreline in Co Clare.The Chief Executive of Ervia (the parent company of water utility Irish Water) Michael McNicholas is to step down from his role.A man who threatened to shoot and stab three schoolchildren while he robbed them as they made their way to school has been remanded in custody for sentencing.An eight-year-old schoolgirl who suffered anxiety and stress after she was accidently locked in a classroom for 25 minutes has been awarded €20,000 damages in the Circuit Civil Court.A jury has been told that it’s more likely that a man was drunk rather than sleepwalking when he allegedly raped his friend.A new crematorium has opened at Dardistown Cemetery in Cloghran, north Dublin today.Katie Taylor is reportedly set to turn professional and could make her debut as early as next month. NEED TO CATCH up? TheJournal.ie brings you a round-up of today’s news.IRELAND http://jrnl.ie/3046104 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

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City delays 164th Avenue paving project

first_imgPaving of Southeast 164th Avenue was delayed due to issues grinding the old asphalt surface, according to the city of Vancouver.Private crews will finish grinding southbound lanes on Sept. 5-7 and pave between Sept. 10-14. Grinding of northbound lanes will resume Sept. 16-21. Paving of those lanes is scheduled for Sept. 24-28. Work is scheduled to happen between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m. Sundays through Thursdays to avoid traffic impacts.A thin layer of asphalt was added to streets where old layers were removed, the city said.The paving work is tied to a project to improve the east Vancouver arterial.Paving is weather dependent and may be rescheduled.last_img read more

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Copa America 2019 quarterfinal Argentina vs Venezuela Preview TV listings and how

first_imgMabromata/AFP/Getty ImagesTwo-time World Cup champion Argentina will take the field on June 28 against Venezuela for their quarter-final match of the Copa America 2019, at the iconic Maracana stadium, Brazil. This match will be a very important one for Argentina and Lionel Messi in their quest for an international trophy after 26 years. Messi’s quest for international success will get a huge setback if they lose as this will probably be the last Copa America for the ageing legend.Argentina scrapped through the group stage after defeating Qatar 2-0 with goals from Sergio Aguero and Lautaro Martinez. Their performance in the match was not at all good and Messi was more or less silent throughout the match. La Albiceleste have been performing poorly in the tournament so far. They lost to Colombia in their first match of the tournament and drew with Paraguay in their second fixture. The condition of their defence and midfield have been shambolic. There is no coordination between their defenders and midfielders. Moreover, Lionel Messi has not been successful in inspiring his squad as most of the players in the team are youngsters. He has not been able to match up to his standards in the tournament. The Argentine team need to get on the right track if they want to go for glory. Lionel Messi has been silent throughout the tournament. Catherine Ivill/Getty ImagesOn the other hand, the Venezuelan team have been performing well in the tournament. After being a man down with 15 minutes of the match left against Peru they showed resilience and performed pretty well to squeeze out a point from the match. In their second match, they stopped Brazil from winning. Their only victory in the group stage came in their third and final match against Bolivia, when they defeated the Bolivians 3-1. They will be looking forward to beat Argentina and add to the agony of the La Albiceleste fans.The Argentina-Venezuela quarter-final match will start at 4 PM on June 28, according to local time and 12.30 AM, June 29, according to IST.Global TV listings and Live streamTelemundo: USAPremier Sports 1: UKStream: Telemundo Deportes En Vivo, ESPN+, Premier PlayerHow to watch in IndiaThere has been a huge disappointment for Indian football fans as the tournament will not be telecast in the country. Fans can watch the live stream by using free VPN services and download apk’s like Navixsport. The application cannot be downloaded from any play store but it is available online for free. It can be downloaded by simply searching on Google. Two search results will come, one for Android and another for iOS. The viewers have to go inside the website according to their requirements, click on free download and enjoy the match.last_img read more

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SBI Indias most trusted bank Samsung Sony and LG among top brands

first_imgState Bank of IndiaReutersAt a time when India’s banking system has been fraught with challenges including a surge in bad loans and a recent revelation of bank frauds, the TRA-Brand Trust Report 2018 released Wednesday tells a different story.State Bank of India (SBI) has topped the charts and become the most trusted bank in the country in both private and public sector in the Banking and Financial Services Institutions (BFSI) sector. While ICICI Bank is spotted in the top slot among private sector lenders exclusively.”This year, State Bank of India tops the chart of BFSI (Banking and Financial Services Institutions) super-category despite seeing a dip in its overall brand trust index rankings from 13th in 2017 to 21st this year,” the Brand Trust Report 2018 said, reports IANS.In 2018, 51 brands from the BFSI sector got listed among the 1,000 most trusted brands in India. In 2017, it was 23 brands only.”The leader among the private banks is ICICI Bank, rising nine ranks in the overall ranking”, the IANS report added.Interestingly, the survey was carried out during the November-January period and did not take into account the recent reports of irregularities involving the ICICI Bank, the report clarified.Punjab National Bank (PNB) is ranked 297th spot in the overall ranking. Country’s second-largest state lender PNB, which revealed a $2-billion fraud at it’s Mumbai branch in February this year ranks sixth among the public sector banks exclusively.The other leaders: Among the most trusted brands, according to The Brand Trust Report 2018, Samsung, Sony and LG top the list in India. Samsung leads the list second year in a row. The fourth most trusted brand is Tata and is followed by Apple.Dell is spotted at the 6th position and Honda is ranked at 7th position. Nike(8), Hewlett Packard (9), and Maruti Suzuki rank (10) are made to the top ten list.Arrow (43) in formalwear, Pepsi (44) in F&B, Amazon (53) in Online Retailer – diversified, American Express (167) in Credit/Debit card, Muthoot Finance (171) in financial services, and Tanishq (258) in jewellery are some of the important category leaders in the report.Relatedlast_img read more

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Boeing 737 MAX trouble hits airline shares traders brace for more turbulence

first_imgIndian pedestrians walk on Dalal Street – Trader’s Street – next to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) in Mumbai. On Wednesday the shares of SpiceJet and Jet Airways nosedived on a day when bulls were on the play following the DGCA decision to ground all Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft on their fleet.INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty ImagesUS aircraft maker Boeing’s troubles with its highly successful B737 MAX 8 planes have hit the share valuation of its only two users in India, SpiceJet and Jet Airways. The shares of Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE)-listed SpiceJet, which has 13 of these highly fuel-efficient planes in operation, plunged early in the day after reports emerged that aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had asked all airlines to ground before 4 pm all aircraft of the B737 MAX family that had been involved in two air crashes in five months. On the other hand, InterGlobe Aviation’s IndiGo shares surged as the prospect of higher price realisation from the grounding of rival carriers’ aircraft.An Ethiopian Airline MAX airliner crashed a few minutes after takeoff from Addis Ababa en route to Nairobi killing all the 157 people aboard in an accident said to be similar to that of an Indonesian Lion Air Max plane in on October 29 last year killing 189 people.SpiceJet closed at Rs 77.15, down Rs 1.65, a decline of Rs 2.09 per cent, on a day when the benchmark index continued its surge closing at 37,752, about 216 points higher, a change of 0.58 per cent. The share opened at RS 74, hit a high of Rs 77.90, before sliding to the day’s low of Rs 72.50. Ever since new of the Ethiopian air crash spread and several nations began grounding the MAX family aircraft, the SpiceJet share that was trading at Rs 84.65 on Monday began declining, defying the market’s bull rally. The share hit a low of Rs 74.25 on Tuesday on Tuesday before recovering somewhat. The share was on a slow recovery from its 52-week low of Rs 60.60 that it hit on October 3, last year. The share’s 52-week high of Rs 142 was on April 9, 2018.Following the aviation authorities’ order to ground the MAX aircraft, SpiceJet, which has more than 150 aircraft of the same Boeing family on order, has announced several flight cancellations and rescheduling. A broadcast news channel said two of its B737 MAX aircraft deployed on international sectors would be withdrawn from service only later in the evening after their return to home base.The share of Jet Airways, the only other operator of B737 MAX aircraft in India in BSE and NSE nosedived, though its five MAX aircraft are no longer available to the airline because the lessors have grounded them over payment defaults. The cash-strapped Jet Airways, in the midst of a funding crisis, has already been suffering from operational issues with nearly 60 of its 120 aircraft unavailable for operations because of the payment default and technical issues. On BSE the Jet Airways share closed at Rs 240.60, down Rs 5.05, a change of 2.06 per cent. The share opened at Rs 241.70, hit a high of Rs 242.80 and then slid all the way to a low of Rs 236.70. The airline’s share has been having a rollercoaster ride over the past several months because of the continuing board room drama and issues with lenders and other stakeholders. The Jet share was on a path of recovery after the lenders reportedly neared a debt resolution programme for the crippled airline, rising to about Rs 252.90 on Tuesday. However, it slid to a low of Rs 236.70 on Wednesday around 3.30pm because of worries that even a debt resolution deal would not make it possible for the airline to bring the grounded aircraft back to air. The share that suffered a slump from its 52-week high of Rs 732 touched on March 16, 2018, to hit the 52-week low of Rs 171.90 on October 1, 2018, was on a slow recovery. A SpiceJet passenger aircraft takes off from Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel international airport in Ahmedabad in this May 19, 2016 file photo. REUTERS/Amit DaveThe Indigo share closed on the BSE at Rs 1,301.45, up Rs 26.85, a change of 2.11 per cent, performing better than the benchmark index. The share opened at Rs 1,279, went down to Rs 1,278, but hit an intra-day high of Rs 1,325 as the news of the grounding of MAX aircraft emerged. The company’s market cap has steadily risen to Rs 49,836 crore as the scrip has made a smart recovery from the 52-week low of Rs 697 that it hit on October 10, 2018. The period high for the share was Rs 1,520 that it touched on April 26, 2018.Aviation industry observers are expecting more turbulence ahead as the number of cancellations rise as the situation regarding B737 MAX aircraft is not likely to be resolved anytime soon.last_img read more

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Writ seeking formation of caretaker govt before next polls

first_imgparliamentA writ has been filed with the High Court seeking dissolution of the 10th parliament 42 days ahead of the next national elections and formation of a caretaker government.A Supreme Court lawyer named Eunus Ali Akond filed the writ with the concerned bench of the High Court on Monday, reports UNB.The writ sought issuance of a rule asking the respondents to take steps for dissolving parliament and forming a caretaker government.It also sought order for staying the announcement of the election schedule until the disposal of the rule.The law secretary, legislative and parliamentary affairs secretary, the president’s office secretary, the cabinet secretary, the secretary to prime minister’s office, the Jatiya Sangsad secretary and the chief election commissioner have been made respondents to the writ.The hearing on the writ was expected to be held at the bench of justice Moinul Islam Chowdhury and justice Ashraful Kamal sometime Monday.Eunus Ali said in the petition that according to proposal of constitution and article 11, 65(2), the national parliament will be formed with 300 elected members. But 153 members of the parliament are not elected directly by people, he claimed. Therefore, the directive has been sought for dissolving parliament ahead of the election.If parliament is not dissolved ahead of the election there will be two parliaments at the same time as per article 123(3), which is contrary to articles 65 and 123(3). Besides, contesting the election keeping intact the parliament membership goes against the constitution, he said.last_img read more

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